Korea’s Gay Seoul

Author: , October 23rd, 2014

Seoul South Korea

As my partner John and I settle into a dining room at The Plaza in Seoul, Korea, the hotel’s public relations manager, Nayhe Kim, leans into the table and says, sotto voce: “I have to admit, I’m a little surprised. Do Americans really come to Seoul on vacation?”

It’s a fair question. With the exception of those Korean-Americans who visit to keep in touch with their families and heritage, most US visitors to Seoul over the past two decades have been military and business travelers. The tourism trade has focused on attracting leisure guests from within Korea and from other Asian countries. That helps explain the fine dining options at The Plaza: Shanghainese, Japanese, and remarkable Italian at Tuscany (of all Western cuisines, Koreans have the strongest affinity for Italian–the noodle is a culinary common denominator).

Kim laughs delightedly when we sheepishly confess we’d been expecting to find Korean food here. “Business travelers expect things that are very cosmopolitan in Seoul hotels,” says the University of Hawaii-educated Kim. “And many of our Korean guests have Korean food all the time, so they want something different here,” she insists.

By Jim Gladstone – Full Story at Passport Magazine

Tennessee as a Gay Travel Destination

Author: , October 23rd, 2014

Tennessee - Debbie Pippin Photography.Tennessee is probably not the first place that comes to mind when planning a big gay holiday, but let’s think about this for a minute. Dolly Parton. Check! Corn-fed country boys and girls in tight jeans. Check! Stunning scenery. Check! Moonshine. Check! Not sounding so bad an idea now is it?

First off, Tennessee is a big ole’ state, kinda like a parallelogram, so if you are in Memphis at the west end of the state, you are a full day’s drive and a different time zone away from the Great Smoky Mountains in the East end of the state.

There are plenty of resources out there for visiting the big cities like Memphis (Elvis! Scream!!) and Nashville (Rayna James!! Double Scream!!) but I’m from the other end of the state so let’s see what goes on around there.

By Baylen Leonard – Full Story at Gay Star News | Tennessee Gay Travel Resources

Photo by Debbie Pippin Photography

Nine Options for Your 2015 Wine Bucket List

Author: , October 23rd, 2014

Grapes, WineryThere’s nothing wrong with booking a holiday solely for the sake of soaking up some booze, especially if it means exposing yourself to new wines and new destinations that weren’t on your radar before. Whether you prefer the taste of a robust red or enjoy a dry white vintage, the selection of wines available for purchasing these days is magnificent.

While specialty stores and super markets try to out do each other with sales and deals on the cheapest bottles, surely the best place to try your favorite wine is the source.

South Africa and California may continue to win awards for their outstanding grapes, but we want to go a little beyond the expected wine holidays to offer you some up and coming wine destinations. Obviously Italy and Spain make the cut, but did you know Canada and England are rising stars in the wine scene?

Full Story at Gay Star News

Ten Things to Know About Gay Bars

Author: , October 23rd, 2014

Yuri KaganAs a Castro bartender at establishments ranging from Badlands to Blackbird for nearly a decade, Yuri Kagan has seen and heard just about everything. On the eve of the publication of his book, Vodka & LimeLight, Queerty asked the drink maker-turned-author to distill 10 lessons from that experience.

Here are 10 things:

1. Often people move to San Francisco with the assumption it’s this huge gay mecca. They then proceed to act like a kid in a candy store. That is a candy store that serves dick. The truth of the matter is that San Francisco is smaller than Kristen Chenoweth. It’s a small town that looks like a big city. Everyone sort of knows each other and bad reputations spread like Chlamydia.

2. When ordering a drink, don’t ever ask to “make it strong,” or my personal favorite asking for “Strong Island.” It’s basically telling the bartender that you don’t tip and actually want less alcohol. Why not just skip the Long Island and ask the bartender to put their fist down your throat? The results are the same.

Full Story at GayCities

Photo by Carmen Leilani Photography

Silver series: A Halloween Evening with John Astin – Oct 31

Author: , October 22nd, 2014

It’s going to be a creepy and kooky, mysterious and spooky, an altogether enchanting Halloween night when you spend it with Silver CenterGomez Addams, Edgar Allan Poe, William Shakespeare, Kurt Weill, Thomas Wolfe, E.E. Cummings, Ezra Pound and the usual suspects–also known as John Astin http://glynnhouse.com/events/.  He’ll touch on the dark side of the human psyche as explored by some of his favorite authors for a chilling evening of theater.  Then, he’ll take you to the lighter side as he shares clips and stories from one of TVs most beloved comedies, The Addams Family.

The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s White Mountains and Lakes Region – offers guests and exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your four-footed canine pal on holiday and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and enjoy antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, skiing, snowmobiling, “tax free” shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities.

How to Visit Morocco as a Gay Man

Author: , October 22nd, 2014

Morocco - Google MapsI can only feel sympathy and solidarity with Ray Cole and his partner (Report, 17 October). It must have been a horrific and frightening experience. But as an openly gay man who has travelled more than 20 times to Morocco in the last decade (often with my partner), it seems useful to make some things clear to other lesbian and gay travellers.

1) Male homosexuality is, theoretically, illegal in Morocco. However, the law is not imposed frequently.

2) Homosexuality is an accepted part of Moroccan culture and has been for centuries. Most ordinary people are not hostile if you respect local customs (discretion, not pursuing underage boys etc). In addition, extreme Islamism is very rare in Morocco.

3) The whole state apparatus in Morocco has problems with corruption. This means that officials, including police, can act for personal motives – of power, money or religion – without much regard for legal niceties.

I have mostly found warm and open acceptance from ordinary Moroccan people as a gay man. Indeed, sometimes I have been pleasantly surprised: such as when the Moroccan-owned riad where we stay upgraded us to the best suite of rooms for free, on hearing that we had just had a civil partnership.

So, I think the best advice is to be streetwise: bear in mind you are in a Muslim country where homosexuality is, at least in theory, illegal.

By Patrick Baker – Full Story at The Guardian | Morocco Gay Travel Resources

Image via Google Maps

First Appalachian Queer Film Festival Debuts Tomorrow

Author: , October 22nd, 2014

Appalachian Queer Film FestivalHoping to both quash stereotypes and introduce the public to the pulse and talent of local queer artists, the Appalachian Queer Film Festival is set to premiere Wednesday, Oct. 23 and conclude three days later. The event, which will be hosted in the self-described artistic colony of Lewisburg, W. Va., will screen 12 films of varying narrative forms along with panel discussions and a dance party on Saturday night.

The festival is the byproduct of two men, Tim Ward and John Matthews, who shared a dream of introducing the region to the culture of the LGBTQ experience, a culture that has a surprising amount in common with that of Appalachia. Ward, a native of Huntington, W. Va., recalls how the experiences of his youth helped shape the narrative that would propel him to this moment in time.

“As a gay kid from Huntington, I never had the opportunity to see myself reflected on screen,” Ward said. “That’s why starting this film festival was important to me. I wanted to give folks like myself the chance to see people just like them on screen without having to drive out of state.”

Full Story at LGBT Weekly | West Virginia Gay Travel Resources | Other Gay Travel Events

Under the Streetlamp: Nov 2

Author: , October 22nd, 2014

Under the Streetlamp, America’s hottest new vocal group with a top PBS special, performs an electrifying evening of classic GH autumn exterior 411hits from the American radio songbook. Critics have called Under the Streetlamp http://glynnhouse.com/events “a sure-fire sellout!”  All the songs are delivered in the inimitable Under the Streetlamp style, with tight harmonies and slick dance moves that will take you back to an era of sharkskin suits, flashy cars, and martini shakers.

The romantic Glynn House Inn – situated in the heart of New Hampshire’s spectacular lakes and mountains – offers guests an exceptional experience. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal on holiday too and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. Venture away from the Inn and antiquing, art galleries, boating, fine dining, fishing, golf, hiking, historic sites, ‘tax free’ shopping and scenic drives along tranquil country roads. Visit the Glynn House website http://www.glynnhouse.com for additional information about the Inn and local activities.

The Top Ten Gay Friendly Travel Destinations Worldwide

Author: , October 22nd, 2014

In an extract from Lonely Planet’s ‘Best in Travel 2015′, Chris Zeiher makes his selection.

Little Mermaid, Copenhagen, DenmarkCopenhagen, Denmark

Denmark may be the home of Lego and at the forefront of New Nordic Cuisine, but importantly it made history in 1998 by becoming the first nation in the world to recognise registered same-sex partnerships. And at Denmark’s heart is the relaxed beauty of its compact cobblestoned capital, Copenhagen.

Copenhagen is home to Europe’s oldest openly gay bar, Centralhjornet, whose origins date back to the 1950s; as well as the hip and super-cool district of Vesterbro, which also happens to be the city’s red-light district. One of the most tolerant and open communities in Europe, Copenhagen’s functional yet edgy fashion scene, brilliant array of cocktail bars, excellent range of gay-friendly boutique accommodation and packed calendar of queer events make it the gay-friendliest place on Earth.

At 105.6m, City Hall Tower is one of the tallest buildings in Copenhagen and provides some of the best views of the cobblestoned city. In 2014, the adjoining square was named the “Rainbow Square” in recognition of the quest for equal rights (visitcopenhagen.com).

By Chris Zeiher – Full Story at The Independent

The Magic of London

Author: , October 22nd, 2014

London Street Art - Adam GroffmanLondon, one of my favorite cities in the world. I lived there briefly in 2006 and these days, living in Europe, I visit it frequently. And even with all the time I’ve spent in London, I’m still enchanted by its magic. It’s not only the historical and cultural relevance of the city, but maybe more charming? The daily life. No matter where you are, London comes to you. In the news about royal babies, economic crisis, in the dark avenues filled with Sherlock Holmes’ adventures and even in the post-apocalyptic scenarios of movies like 28 Days Later. (Yes, zombies love London too! Scary, but smart!)

My last trip was already several months ago, but I remember why I love London so much. It’s the rhythm of the automatized wandering in the Tube, the smells of the Indian restaurants on Brick Lane, the relaxing atmosphere of walking along the Thames. I’ve done lots of things in London, from visiting the Globe Theater and enjoying both comedies and tragedies of William Shakespeare.

I’ve seen one of the best musicals: Wicked! And I would see it again and again and again. And again! I love to get lost in London’s museums (most of them work with donations) and I’ve been lucky to spend hours admiring paintings from Rothko to ancient pieces recovered (or stolen) from faraway places.

This article was written by Adam Groffman, author of the internationally popular travel blog, Travels of Adam. Read more here: The Magic of London.

London Gay Travel Resources