, December 11th, 2013
Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay.
Venetian Palace, with Terraces, Towers & Domes: Belvedere, Fire Island’s premier accommodation, located on the bay front at Cherry Grove, near Fire Island Pines, a few minutes from one of the world’s best beaches. It is in the style of a Venetian Palace, with terraces, towers, domes, statuary, antiques and fountains. A roof-top terrace and bay front deck affords spectacular views.
See the Belvedere Guest House For Men Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here
Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in New York
, December 11th, 2013
You know what Kinsey posited — we all have a percentage of gay in us. You may be 50-50, you may be 60-40. Hell, you might even be 98-2! But, he argued, all of us fall in a grey area. And what city knows this better than Montreal, one of the most gay-friendly places in the world. Whether you’re a native Montrealer, or from a small town, all agree that there’s no better place to get your heteroflexible on than in this bilingual metropolis. Full-fledged homo already? Perfect! You’ll feel right at home. And what better place to get your queer on than the Gay Village itself.
Now I know this makes it sound like I’m encouraging everyone to hurry up and go make out in a Village cafe bathroom, but trust me, entrepreneurs caught on a long time ago…and bathroom doors are now locked.
Going to the Village, you’ll soon see that there are many things to do–there’s partying, walking down the blocked-off streets in summer, people-watching, shopping, and, for an increasing amount of people, choosing to move to the neighbourhood for good. Here’s why it’s appeal is only growing over time.
It Gets Better
Whether you’re gay or straight or asexual or really self-involved, you’re sure too appreciate the tight-knit community you’ll find in the Village. The diversity makes people more accepting of each other, so whether you’re a gay couple, a gay family, or just a plain old Joe looking to experience a diverse and inclusive environment, this might be the place for you.
Far from being just a party neighbourhood (the fiestas are usually reserved for Sainte Catherine Street), walking around the village you’ll be surprised to find tree-lined streets with an assortment of charming old triplexes, B&Bs, and small-scale shops and studio spaces that blend beautifully into the surrounding streetscape. So walk around and take it all in, because everyone here is welcome.
Ah, the Great Outdoors
Worried this visit will leave you too confined to the city? Don’t worry! The Village has the largest abundance of wildlife on the Island of Montreal–here you’ll find bears, cubs, otters, foxes, and the occasional lone wolf. And it’s not as weird as it sounds to say that you’ll find them alongside leather daddies and baby dykes with backwards baseball caps and skater shoes.
So let’s get your homo lexicon up to date: A bear– an older, larger, very hairy gay man. A Cub– a younger hairy gay man who is sure to grow up into a bear. Otter–Also a hairy gay man, but markedly smaller and leaner than a bear. Fox– young man, also sometimes known as a twink when lean and hairless. Wolf– similar to an otter, but more sexually agressive or on the prowl. A baby dyke is a girl who has just come out and is determined to look as gay as possible. Leather daddy? Use your imagination…
Lest you start growing sleepy at the thought that the Village is all picturesque B&Bs surrounded by exceptional fauna with a backdrop of double rainbows in the sky, let’s talk about all the festivals that happen yearly. During the summer months, Sainte-Catherine Street is blocked off for pedestrian use only. Restaurants spill over into the streets and tourists and locals alike enjoy the culinary offerings of the area and perhaps indulge in some daytime sangria.
Street performances and shows abound, and for several weeks you’ll be able to enjoy all the events put on by Divers/Cite and its more radical queer counterpart, Pervers/Cite (although the latter does not happen in the Village proper). Fierte Montreal Pride follows, which includes the famous gay pride parade and the recently instated (and personal favourite) Dyke March.
Everything is Here
The Village is close to many of the city’s more, ah, hetero, neighbouroods, if you’re into that kind of thing. Go north to Sherbrooke Street and you’ll find yourself on the Plateau and just a few steps from Parc Lafontaine. Go south a bit and you’ll find yourself in the Old Port. You’re just west of Downtown and Le Quartier des Spectacles at Place des Arts. Never want to leave your homosexual cornucopia? Do you find the world turns from colourful to black and white as soon as you reach Berri UQAM? No problem. The Village affords for than enough shopping to keep you satiated for one more day. Amherst Street in particular is home to interior decorating shops like Cite Deco, Second Chance, and Spoutnik. Bikurious on Amherst will help you with all your bicycle-fixing needs, and for a sliding-scale price will give you a “Lesbian Haircut for Everyone”. Boutique Osez and Evolution are staples for men’s clothing.
Your life is as edgy as you make it. What for one person could be a sweet and simple night out dancing at Unity with friends, could, for another person, result in some pretty hot-and-heavy activity. Intrigued? Make sure to also try out Parking and Sky, some of the Village’s most popular nightclubs. What, for some, could be a simple day out shopping could, for some, turn into leather-chaps sampling at Priape or Fetish Armada on Saint-Catherine. Some will simply go to bars for a drink.
Others will go to men-only clubs with promising names like “Le Stud”, or to Chez Mado, the most popular drag venue in Montreal. So when you’re in the Village, the option is there, and it’s completely up to you. What would you like to do tonight? Go out to dinner, stay in and relax… or perhaps explore a side of yourself that’s just itching to get out?
See you there!
When she isn’t toying with the idea of going to sea, going back to bed, building a cabin in the woods, or opening a bottle of good whiskey, Laura Brouillette is the bullet that just passed you on the bike path. She is also a copywriter, people watcher, white water rafting guide, and a blogger for GuideHabitation.ca
, December 11th, 2013
London is a big, big city and because of that, it can be overwhelming to decide where to stay. On my numerous visits to London, I’ve stayed in quite a few different neighborhoods but far and away, my favorite area of the city is (predictably) the East.
East London (also called the East End) has been the “it” area for the past few decades. In the 90s, Shoreditch was the place for squatters and hipsters, bohemians and hippies. Nowadays, for better or worse, this part of London has been undergoing the typical gentrification process.
The areas of Shoreditch, Hackney, Clapton, Hoxton and Dalston are some of the coolest and trendiest areas of London right now.
Authored by Adam Groffman. See the Full Story at Travels of Adam here.
See Adam’s full blog here.
Click here for gay travel resources in London.
, December 11th, 2013
In 2002, the Winter Olympics took place in Salt Lake City, which put the destination in the public’s eye. The city grew, loosened its necktie (minimally, some will argue), and proved to be welcoming to all types of travelers. But it’s not Salt Lake City that won the gold medal for tourism, it was Park City just 30 minutes away that hosted a number of the Olympic Games. It was also Park City, not Salt Lake, that was home to unbeatable skiing, great mountain biking, and a community that welcomed people with open arms. Park City eventually grew to become one of the top destinations in the world for outdoor recreation, luxury hotels, and, of course, a small little film festival called Sundance.
While the Olympics helped facilitate growth, Park City had already served as an otherwise esoteric tourism destination, mostly for highbrow skiers. In the late 1800s, the city was founded as a silver mining town, but when that industry crashed it became a ghost town (both literally and figuratively, considering its “paranormal” history).
It wasn’t until 1963 when Park City Mountain Resort opened that wealthy skiers went beyond bunny slopes and began to bring out the whole family. In 1981, Deer Valley skiing started to develop. Not only were tourists coming, they were renting apartments and staying all season. It was more “word of mouth” then, like a best-kept secret, where they have miles and miles of great skiable terrain all to themselves. Now, millions of outdoor enthusiasts around the world not only witness some of the state’s best scenery on their cable TV, many also personally experience it.
Authored By Jimmy Im – See the Full Story at Passport Magazine
Click here for gay travel resources in Utah.
, December 11th, 2013
With its white sand beaches, tropical climate and relaxed pace, Fiji has rightfully earned a reputation as a South Pacific paradise. But it’s the friendliness of the people that makes traveling in these islands a real delight. You’ll quickly learn the ubiquitous word “bula” (pronounced boolah) which means hello and is usually accompanied with a broad smile.
Not everything in paradise is perfect, however. There’s been a succession of military coups in Fiji, and the political restiveness stands in contrast to the easygoing nature of the people. And once you travel beyond the idyllic tourist resorts you’ll see that most people live in very basic conditions. That said, Fiji remains a fascinating destination. While most tourist activities come with a price tag, there are plenty of things for adventurous travelers to do and see for free.
NADI MUNICIPAL MARKET
Most travelers arrive via the international airport at Nadi. In downtown Nadi, a bustling market offers tables laden with ginger, coconuts, mangoes and jackfruit. There are also lots of stands selling kava, a plant from the pepper family which is native to the Pacific. Fijians use kava powder to make an intoxicating beverage which is drunk in ceremonies throughout the islands and even by a few people in this market. If you do decide to try it, drink it in moderation. Be warned that kava supplements have been banned from several countries due to health concerns. Fiji’s capital city Suva has a similar municipal market that also sells fruit, vegetables and fish.
Authored By Nick Perry – See the Full Story at Edge Boston
Click here for gay travel resources in Fiji.
, December 11th, 2013
Do I need to say more? These photos will really make you impulsively buy a ticket right now because New York skyline at night is magical, stunning and romantic! In almost ALL cities I have visited, going to the top has always been a must-do thing for me. I love the feeling of being up there–where you can see the panorama of the city, feel the rush of the adrenaline that comes with it and admire the world below your feet. It’s like going to space but closer to earth.
There’s something about New York City’s skyline from the Rockefeller Center that made me so sentimental about my life. Coming from a village in the third world, I never thought I’d make it to New York City one day. When I was young, life was sooooo simple back then.
Authored By Alain – See the Full Story at The Sojourner
Click here for gay travel resources in New York.
, December 9th, 2013
Even if Italy isn’t the most tolerant country regarding same-sex couples, due to the strong influence of the Vatican, it has grown to accept its gay and lesbian citizens, especially over the past few decades. Homosexuality has been legal here since 1889, and the age of consent is 16. It is of course forbidden to have sex in public, and even open displays of affection can be an issue with some officials.
No law has been passed to recognize same-sex couples, but in some towns there are registered civil partnerships that give recognition, if no special rights, to gay couples couple.
And yet, Italy remains a favorite romantic destination for gay men and lesbians.
Rome, Florencem and Venice are wonderful places to see at least once in your life. But over the years, the increasing number of visitors from all over the world has pushed them to become extremely tourist-oriented, and more commercial. Although still beautiful, they have lost the “true Italian” authenticity and experience.
Italy, a country with more than 3,000 years of history, has much more to offer. There are many places not yet overcome by tourists, where you can experience towns, food, people & customs which are truly Italian. Landscapes rivaling (and perhaps surpassing) Tuscany await your discovery along the back roads.
So how to help a gay target travelling in Italy, discovering new areas and combining adventure with high quality, and safe? This is why ever since I have started my company, “My Hidden Italy”, back in 2007, I undertook a big challenge: build a gay-friendly tour operator able to offer private tours with a welcoming and pleasant travel enviroment. All the hotels, restaurants, guide and transports involved in our services are gay-friendly. This is the idea who convinced me to become IGLTA member last year.
But eventually my challenge was even bigger: So I have developed off the beaten track itineraries with gay-friendly unconventional experience for travelers: Puglia, the heel of Italy, Sicily, Amalfi Coast and Piedmont with its world class wine area. There is much more to say, and so much more to see in Italy than one might expect. On my web site, www.MyHiddenItaly.com, you can find my point of view, and the Italy I know best, “My Hidden Italy”.
Click here for gay travel resources in Italy.
, December 9th, 2013
There’s such thing as Italian Renaissance. Or English Renaissance. But, there’s no such thing as Manhattan or Queen or Bronx or Brooklyn Renaissance. However, there’s such thing as Harlem Renaissance. It refers to the African-American cultural movement in the 1920\0x2032s in the US where Harlem in New York City was at the center of the New Negro Movement. In the old days, Harlem was a small Dutch farming village. It was named after Haarlem in Holland, a.k.a Netherlands.
But, enough of history. It bores me.
The New Harlem in New York City has changed dramatically (or drastically?) through the years. Used to be feared for its high crime rate and known for its people in dire poverty, Harlem, nowadays, is a bustling area of diversity, businesses and developments. Skyscrapers are beginning to rise and rents are going up, too. The favorite word around is: gentrification.
See the Full Story at The Sojourner
Click here for gay travel resources in New York City.
, December 8th, 2013
Written by Robert Saldarini for Diversity Rules Magazine
Appears in December issue
Compliments of allfreedownload.com
Regardless if you celebrate Christmas or respectfully decline, few can dispute the glamor of the Christmas tree. In actuality, the tree predates Christianity and was an intimate part of winter festivals. Few know that celebrating Christmas was viewed as pagan and outlawed in the newly found settlement of Boston; whereby, a fine was levied if one made merry. Even after the Revolutionary War, Congress sat in session on the 25th of December. Time past and in 1870 America declared Christmas a National holiday. So, let’s look beyond the political correctness and religion of late December and instead admire the art of the Christmas tree.
New York State hosts the most celebrated Christmas tree in the Nation, i.e., the one that stands in Rockefeller Center (47 to 51 Streets between 5 & 6 Avenues). The majesty of this tree is uncompromised by any other as it is set behind the beauty of the ice-rink. The tree lighting is set for December 4. Nonetheless, New York City offers other spectacular trees which are indoors, such as, the tree at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (5 Avenue and 82 Street) and the tree at the Plaza Hotel (5 Avenue and Central Park South).
Yet, the great State of New York has spectacular Christmas tree displays beyond those found in New York City. In Syracuse, you can enjoy the beauty of the Clinton Square (North Clinton Street) tree which is lighted as part of the City’s “Home for the Holidays” tradition. In Yorktown, the community Christmas tree stands proud at the Jack DeVito Memorial Field (Front Street) where it is lighted following the Annual Lights Parade on December 7. Speaking of December 7, if you are near Buffalo, journey to the Rotary Rink at Fountain Plaza (Main and Chippewa Streets) where the City tree lighting is immediately followed by a fireworks display. The vast geography of the State generates more tree exhibits than could possibly be discussed here, so, power-up your computer and find a local event that celebrates the beauty of the evergreen.
If you celebrate the Holiday with a tree, consider ‘keeping it real.’ Artificial pre-lighted trees can be perfect down to every needle. Nonetheless, the smell and history of a live tree adds a bit of magic that plastic and steel simply cannot replicate. The State offers many opportunities for a ‘bringing home the tree’ adventure; for example, in Albany County, you can visit George and Janice VanEtten at the VanEtten Tree Farm (2000 Berne-Altamont Road) and tie up a fir of your choice.
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, December 7th, 2013
Join Clara on her magical journey through an enchanted winter wonderland to a palace of sugary confections and magical friends. This light hearted rendition of the beloved Tchaikovsky classic – Nutcracker http://www.glynnhouse.com/calendar/#december__2013 – is sure to delight both the young and young at heart. Blending the talents of local professional, youth, and community dancers from throughout the White Mountain and Lakes Regions, this year’s performance also features a chorus performing Christmas Carols and Live Storyteller. A charming dance and musical production that is sure to keep all ages engaged and entertained.
Use the romantic Glynn House Inn as your New Hampshire getaway base. Experience elegant surroundings, delicious food, uncompromising service and genuine hospitality. A full gluten free breakfast menu is always available. Bring your favorite four-footed canine pal and reserve one of five pet friendly rooms. View the Glynn House www.glynnhouse.com/ website for other special offers plus additional information about the Inn and local activities.