Queer Albuquerque

Author: , October 26th, 2019

queer Albuquerque

We’re just back from the GRL (GayRomLit) con in Albuquerque – part of my “other” life as a queer writer.

We explored downtown and Old Town, and thought we’d share some of our favorite things about each. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in the heart of the “new” downtown. Albuquerque is clean and quiet – at least in October. We were both surprised by the paucity of public art – there are very few murals or public statues and sculptures here.

But the city is pretty, and the mountains that surround it reminded me of my home town, Tucson, just a few hundred miles away to the southwest.

The restaurant scene is also a lot smaller than what we’re used to in our current home town, but we did find an awesome place to eat in the heart of Downtown – Brixens:

Brixens - queer Albuquerque

This is a cool, reasonably priced modern restaurant that combines a comfortable atmosphere with a mix of New Mexican and American cuisine, and some innovative touches as well. The menus are all touch screen tablets, which allows them to change the mix regularly. Each item has its own page, with an appetizing picture, price, details about the ingredients, and all kinds of options for picky diners. The swipe and click interface is easy to use, and I loved all the info at our fingertips.

Each table also includes an ice bin in the middle, covered by a board with a hole in it, to keep your beers cold.

We ate here three times over the five days we were in town – the burger was great, as was the flatbread – but the stand-out here was the desserts, especially the fry bread – it’s big enough to easily serve four, and I’m convinced that the one I had was responsible for half my six pound weight gain on this trip:

fry bread at Brixens - queer Albuquerque

Another restaurant just down the street intrigued us:

The Library - queer Albuquerque

We were in town for a book convention, after all – but it was a bit too much of a dark, hooters style bar for our tastes.

We spent most of our one non-conference day over in Old Town, the (touristy) heart of the city. I liked Old Town. Yes, there were about ten thousand shops selling the same things, most of it made overseas. But it has a certain charm, and we managed to find a few gems there.

Old Town surrounds a central square, and funny story – when we were there, a wedding was taking place in the gazebo in the heart of the square. We checked it out from afar, and saw that the bride and groom were in t-shirts – “Second Amendment Rights” t-shirts, to be exact. So yeah, there’s that. As I remarked to the hubby – “hey, at least they found each other. Once the wedding party was gone, Mark strode around the gazebo’s interior a few times to dispel the gun karma with a little fairy dust of his own:

gazebo - old town - queer Albuquerque

St. Felipe de Neri

On the north side of the square, a beautiful peach-colored church dominates the block. This is St. Felipe de Neri, named for an Italian saint Philipe di Neri. The church was built in another location, burned down, and when it was reconstructed in its current location, it was funded by Spain and King Felipe, named for the original saint. It’s a beautiful little church that has gone through three or four reconstructions, from Jesuit to Franciscan, once hosted a convent, and and which is still an active community church:

St. Felioe de Neri - queer Albuquerque

There’s also a lovely side courtyard/garden to wander through:

St. Felipe de Neri courtyard - queer albuquerque

And the inside is simple but beautiful:

St. Felipe de Neri interior - queer Albuquerque

Bonus, there’s a cute little gift shop attached to the church. We found a beautiful hand-made angel ornament there for a friend, and I bought a miniature replica of the church to take home as a memento of our time in queer Albuquerque.

La Choco

This is a cute store and candy shop on the eastern side of Old Town, perfect for a quick chocolate pick-me-up. But it also had some really cool merchandise, including balloon ornaments designed by the owner and made in Mexico. You can see some of them hanging from the ceiling in the second picture:

La Choco - Queer Albuquerque

La Choco - Queer Albuquerque

Genuine Southwest Arts and Gifts

This was our favorite shop in Old Town. The whole place is chock-full of art made by local artists, and while you could spend a whole lotta money here, you can also get some great things at reasonable prices (including the beautiful turquoise-colored earrings I found for my Mom – don’t tell her)! The shop is tucked away on the Eastern edge of Old Town, but it’s well worth the search. here are a few of the pics we took there of their beautiful gifts and art (including a few rainbow finds):

Genuine Southwest Art & Gifts - Queer Albuquerque

Genuine Southwest Art & Gifts - Queer Albuquerque

Genuine Southwest Art & Gifts - Queer Albuquerque

Genuine Southwest Art & Gifts - Queer Albuquerque

Church Street Cafe

When you wind down and want a nice place to eat, check out the Church Street Cafe. It’s about a block north of the square. The food was good, if not the best Mexican I’ve ever had, and the back courtyard was beautiful.

Church Street cafe - Queer New Mexico

The sopapillas after dinner were hot and delicious, especially with a little honey (though we wished they had honey bottles instead of packets).

I won’t mention the name of another restaurant – this one on the square – that was out of almost everything, and that served us a “salad” of green lettuce with no dressing that was basically cooked by a helping of poor quality dark meat chicken put on top too hot, and smothered with cheddar cheese.

All in all, we had a great time in Albuquerque, and hope you enjoy it too!

Here are a few ore pics of Old Town from our trip:

Queer Albuquerque

Queer Albuquerque

Queer Albuquerque

Queer Albuquerque

Queer Albuquerque

Queer Albuquerque

 

 

LGBTQ Albuquerque – Travel Pulse

Author: , January 14th, 2019

LGBTQ Albuquerque - Travel Pulse

Albuquerque is a fascinating and dynamic city, sometimes overlooked by travelers. Similarly, the city is under the radar as a queer destination. But the city and region are very queer-friendly, and there are many reasons why LGBTQ travelers should consider New Mexico’s largest city for their next trip.

According to Mauro Walden-Montoya, President of the Albuquerque LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, the city has been used to diversity since its founding, way back in 1706.

“With the Native, Spanish and other cultures mixing for so many years, LGBTQ folks have been naturally accepted. It is easy to be LGBTQ in Albuquerque and we are very welcoming to residents and visitors alike,” he said. “New Mexico was the 17th state to legalize same-sex marriage, and Albuquerque welcomed thousands of LGBTQ couples from other states like Texas, Arizona, Colorado and as far away as Virginia who came to get married here.”

Walden-Montoya noted that one hotel welcomed a same-sex male couple from Dallas, who flew in on a Sunday evening to get married. They planned to have the ceremony on Monday and then leave that evening.

“The hotel manager sent them out sightseeing before the minister arrived. When they came back for their wedding, she had gotten them a cake (from an LGBTQ-friendly bakery) and decorated the lobby for their wedding. She and a staff member were their witnesses,” he said.

By Paul Heney – Full Story at Travel Pulse

Albuquerque Gay Travel Resources

 

New Mexico Hot Air Ballooning – 2TravelDads

Author: , December 14th, 2018

New Mexico Hot Air Ballooning

I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to travel. I’ll rock climb with the kids, go hiking with bears and moose, I’ll free dive with sea lions and sharks, I’ll even paddleboard with alligators… but I never thought I would go hot air ballooning in New Mexico. I did it. I actually bit the bullet, climbed into a wicker basket and lifted off into the great blue beyond. And you can too!

New Mexico is known for many things, from the Navajo and Hopi pueblos and culture, to the incredible nature and epic landscape unlike anywhere else. And hot air ballooning. Since we’re all about sharing unique experiences and encouraging everyone to be a little more brave with each adventure, here’s how you can do a hot air balloon in New Mexico.

Places for New Mexico hot air ballooning

New Mexico is one of the most unique and gorgeous places I’ve ever been in the United States. It’s that combination of mountains, desert, high prairie, and vibrant geology that makes the Land of Enchantment totally enchanting. How better to experience and take in the wonder of New Mexico than from a hot air balloon? There are three primary destination in New Mexico for hot air ballooning: Gallup, Albuquerque, and Alamogordo. (see map below)

I went up out of Gallup, New Mexico and wow, the landscape made it not just beautiful, but thrilling. With Alamogordo, you’ve got the plains leading to White Sands National Monument. With Albuquerque you’ve got view of the mountains and metropolitan city. Hot air ballooning in Gallup provides you with an up-close encounter with nature… the way eagles see it.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

New Mexico Gay Travel Resources

 

Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B – Gay Santa Fe Bed and Breakfast

Author: , November 14th, 2018

Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B

The Inn of the Turquoise Bear is a quintessential rambling adobe villa set in the heart of historic Santa Fe. Guests of our Santa Fe bed and breakfast will enjoy being within walking distance to Santa Fe’s Plaza, museums, galleries, shops, fine dining, and nightlife.

The estate was once the home of noted poet, playwright and essayist Witter Bynner. Bynner and his companion Robert Hunt were famous – or infamous – for the wild parties they hosted in the house know as “Bynner’s bashes.” The celebrity guest list included D. H. Lawrence, Ansel Adams, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Willa Cather, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Stephen Spender, Christopher Isherwood, Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Austin, Thornton Wilder, Robert Oppenheimer, Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, Lynn Riggs, Rita Hayworth, Errol Flynn and countless others.

See the Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Santa Fe Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

 

Casa Gallina – Taos Gay Inn

Author: , August 3rd, 2018

Casa Gallina

This gay-owned and operated Artisan Inn is located just five minutes from the historic Taos Plaza, in a quiet, pastoral, farmland setting. Casa Gallina’s five adobe casitas offer an oasis of home and renewal for visitors to Taos.

Casa Gallina is the perfect base for exploring the Taos area, and it’s also the perfect place to stay put and to “Slow Down”. Richard, your Inn-keeper, will welcome you and guide you to all of his favorite places to visit, eat, shop, explore and adventure – your concierge in Taos.

The breathtaking Taos mountains and valley views that surround the property are awesome, as are the 50+ hens (and 2 roosters) that live on the property affectionately known as “the girls” – Casa Gallina literally means “Hen House” in Spanish and Italian. The Girls roam the grounds and provide fresh eggs every day for a delicious breakfast that guests can cook up in the fully stocked kitchens in each of the casitas.

See the Casa Gallina Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Taos Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

 

New Mexico’s Gila Cliff Dwellings – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , July 19th, 2018

Gila Cliff Dwellings - Free Wheel Drive

While staying up late one night during our stay at White Sands, Laura was peering over our atlas for possible routes and potential fun stuff to see before we had to had to be at our next farm. We didn’t do any research on what to do in Southwest New Mexico, but looking at a map there is a ton of public lands with the possibility of fun. One place intrigued us the most, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

Gila (pronounced Heela) Cliff Dwellings is only 37 miles North of Silver City, Nm, but it takes over an hour and a half to get there. The road up is narrow, winding, and with steep drop-offs inches off the road. The landscape is very different up the mountains of New Mexico. Pine trees, rivers, and the color green. It was actually a welcome sight after being in the desert these last couple of months… minus the colder weather.

By Camrin LaFond – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Southwest New Mexico Gay Travel Resources

Dune Sledding at the White Sands National Monument – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , July 7th, 2018

White Sands National Monument

Getting to the White Sands National Monument took two hours of driving west out of Roswell. The journey takes you through beautiful rolling hills and river fed farms to the town of Alamogordo, New Mexico.

The city sits in a “landscape bowl” surrounded by mountains and the Tularosa Basin. It’s also the closest city to White Sands National Monument and Holloman Air Force Base. There is an interesting clash of people here with all the military personnel and tourists around.

Alamogordo is also home to McGinn’s Pistachioland, home of the worlds largest Pistachio.

By Camrin LaFond – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Southeastern New Mexico Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Travel: Exploring Carlsbad Caverns National Park – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , July 2nd, 2018

Lesbian Travel: Exploring Carlsbad Caverns National Park - Free Wheel Drive

On to Carlsbad Caverns National Park! It’s so close to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park that we were able to stay at the same campground just inside of New Mexico from Texas. Carlsbad Caverns National Monument was created in 1923 by President Calvin Coolidge and then it was made into a national park in 1930.

We love a good national park visitor center. They are like little free museums. A great place to learn about the history of the area.

To get into the cave you take a path around the visitor center to the Natural Entrance. Unfortunately, at the beginning of February, the bats have all migrated to Mexico for the winter so we didn’t get to see them fly out.

By Camrin LaFond – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Southeastern New Mexico Gay Travel Resources

Rass Mandal – Santa Fe Gay Friendly Vacation Rental

Author: , January 31st, 2018

Rass Mandal - Santa Fe Gay Friendly Vacation Rental

Rass Mandal is a unique adobe vacation residence situated on a mountain range of pine forests with spectacular views. Entering brings you to another time and presents a serene and inspiring atmosphere for all. The house and grounds of more than 10 acres offer abundant locations for quiet time. There are numerous hiking & mountain bike trails immediately accessible, some of which take you directly to the center of Santa Fe.

Rass Mandal was built by a direct descendant of the daughter of King Akbar of India, sister to Shah Jahan who built the Taj Mahal.

It was also featured on HGTV’s House Hunter’s on Vacation with initial airing on June 22nd 2012.

Upon entering the home you encounter a large domed circular living room complete with a fireplace, eastern antique furniture and beautiful views looking out to a pool. This space is ideal for group sessions, gatherings and entertainment. Off to the left of the living room is the dining room and kitchen area. The dining table has room to accommodate 12 and is a great area for entertaining and formal meals. The kitchen is open plan and has a Moroccan style fireplace and a very comfortable breakfast nook ideal for bird watching. Behind the kitchen is a queen size bedroom and a bathroom, secluded from the rest of the house with its own private entrance.

To the right of the living room are guest quarters, each room offers views overlooking the grounds and the entire Santa Fe valley. The master bedroom is complete with a fireplace, a large meditation/work area, beautiful bathroom and sunken Jacuzzi with views. Additionally, there is a 2nd story observation deck that provides expansive views over all of Santa Fe, the Jemez Mountains and beyond. The house is not air conditioned but given the cool evenings it is not actually necessary. Fans are provided should they be desired.

Heading outside, there is a large private pool with waterfall, hot tub and sauna. The pool is heated during the summer months (June 1st – September 30th) – however it is 35,000 gallons and heating is not feasible during the other times. Generally the pool water temperature will be maintained at 78 F in July and August but ranges about 74F – 76F for June and September. The hot tub is kept at 104 F. All this is surrounded by a deck and patio ideal for outdoor dining and relaxation. There is also a gas-fired Fire Pit for enjoyment during the cool evenings.

See the Rass Mandal Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Santa Fe Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

Burch Street Casitas – Taos Gay Friendly Vacation Rentals

Author: , August 25th, 2017

Burch Street Casitas

Periodically we’ll feature one of our properties here to let our readers know about some great gay friendly places to stay:

Recently built (June 2005) and with a very convenient in-town Taos location, Burch Street Casitas are an easy walk from the Historic Taos Plaza and Kit Carson Museum. These vacation rental cottages provide the ideal Taos vacation rental.

At Burch Street Casitas, our Taos Gay Friendly Vacation Rentals, we offer four cozy 550 sf units featuring southwestern style architecture in a private compound.

We supply everything you’ll need except for food!

Our Taos Casitas are in the heart of “Canyon”, a historic neighborhood just 1.5 miles from Carson National Forest. This area is well-known for great hiking, biking, and fishing.

These casitas are also close to the Taos Plaza, shops, galleries, restaurants, and Kit Carson House.

We offer pleasant relaxing environments, including all the comforts of home, as well as romanticwood burning fireplaces. Outdoors, you’ll find private patios under a canopy of tall Chinese Elm and Cottonwood trees. There is also private off-street parking just a few feet from your arched front door.

Each of our ground-level Taos casitas features an open floor plan, and has a king-sized bed, full kitchen, full private bath, and quaint living/office/dining areas, with saltillo tiled radiant floor heat throughout.

The custom tongue-and-groove native New Mexico Pine and cross-beamed ceilings, along with the large windows and glass-wall blocks lend a light and airy charm. Each casita is decorated with contemporary southwest flavor.

Tastefully appointed niches, attractive wall hangings, consignment art from J. K. Lamkin, an eclectic selection of books and talavera tile kitchen counter accents complete your home away from home.

Casita amenities include:

  • king-sized bed with ceiling fans
  • free high speed internet
  • direct phone line with computer jack
  • TV / DVD Player / VCR
  • a selection of videos and books
  • informal book exchange
  • washer/dryer
  • iron / ironing board
  • generous closet/cabinet storage
  • wood-burning fireplace
  • desk
  • hair dryer

Each full kitchen includes all appliances:

  • gas flamed broiler / oven / range stove
  • refrigerator-freezer with icemaker
  • microwave
  • coffee maker & toaster
  • blender & crock pot
  • cooking / service ware for four people
  • coffee & tea
  • specialty equipment supplied at your request

You’ll find all the conveniences, staple items, and paper supplies you’ll need for your stay.

Coming to Taos? Stay with us at the modern, charming, friendly Burch Street Casitas!

See the PROPERTY Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in AREA