San Francisco’s Presidio

Author: , May 24th, 2015

San Francisco Presidio

Part of the U.S. National Park Service, the Presidio of San Francisco is a national park unlike any other. What started in the late 1700s as a Spanish military outpost and evolved into an American Army post from 1846 to 1994 is now a public park with plenty of natural beauty (it sits on the northwest corner of San Francisco, bordered by the Pacific Ocean, San Francisco Bay, and dense forest) but also historic sites, commercial businesses, residential districts, and restaurants by James Beard Award-winning chef Traci Des Jardins. Many things to do in the park are free, making it a budget-friendly place to spend a day in the city.

Presidio Officers’ Club

Start your day in the Presidio at its oldest building, the revamped Presidio Officers’ Club, which reopened last October as a small museum, event space, and cultural center. Once a gathering spot for Army bigwigs and their families, the Spanish-style building dates back to 1776 and houses permanent exhibits about the Presidio’s military history and a temporary exhibit called “Operation Babylift: Perspectives and Legacies.” This multimedia exhibit runs through the end of 2015 and details the adoption of Vietnamese children at the end of the Vietnam War, an initiative based at the Presidio in 1975.

Also inside the Officers’ Club, you can see a piece of the building’s original adobe walls; have a drink or meal at Arguello, a Mexican restaurant by Traci Des Jardins; see Earth Wall, an art installation by British sculptor Andy Goldsworthy; and stop by the front desk to grab a map of the park and a calendar of events. Admission to the building and exhibits is free.

By Leah Still – Full Story at Shermans Travel | San Francisco Gay Travel Resources

Image via Google Maps

Featured Gay Friendly Accommodations: St. Barthelemy, BelAmour, St. Barthelemy, French West Indies

Author: , May 24th, 2015

BelAmour

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

Are you looking for the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion like your boyfriend’s birthday or your honeymoon as a married couple? Then, come to St. Barths, the most gay-friendly of all Caribbean islands, and stay at BelAmour, my romantic, luxurious and private boutique villa for 2. My name is Thibault, I am owner of BelAmour, and I have built the most stunning 1-bedroom villa in St. Barths for people just like you and me.

See the BelAmour Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals on St. Bart’s

Nomadic Boys – Recipe for Vietnamese Cao Lau

Author: , May 22nd, 2015

Cao Lau - Nomadic BoysCao Lau was our favourite Vietnamese dish. It is a noodles based dish with slowly cooked sliced pork, bean sprouts and herbs served in a rich broth and topped with deep fried wonton crackers.

Cao Lau originates from the Central Vietnamese city of Hoi An. The noodles have a chewiness to them and are darker then normal white noodles. The colour is apparently due to the noodles being soaked in ash water from a particular tree on Cham island near Hoi An.

Japanese soba noodles are a good alternative, which have the similar texture. We had many yummy Cao Laus when we visited Hoi An and took a cooking class with the Golden Lotus Cooking school.

Full Story at the Nomadic Boys | Vietnam Gay Travel Resources

Globetrotter Girls – The Philippines in Pictures

Author: , May 22nd, 2015

Philippines - Dany at Globetrotter Travel

This is my very last post about the Philippines – at least for now. My next trip to this gorgeous country is already in the works, and I can’t wait to visit all the places I didn’t make it to the first time around.

Whenever people ask me about my favorite places in South East Asia, I can’t stop gushing over the picture-perfect beaches I visited, the lush green islands with their scenic rice fields and softly swaying palm trees, a stark contrast to the urban sprawl of Manila which is rapidly turning into a modern, advanced city; rivaling Singapore and Bangkok with the number of skyscrapers and shopping malls that continue to emerge in the ever growing capital.

When I sat in one of Manila’s third-wave coffee shops, located in one of the shiny fancy malls, after returning from Palawan, I couldn’t believe that a day earlier, I had shared the road with ox carts and that I didn’t even have cell phone reception in El Nido – now I was surrounded by people who were all glued to their smartphones again.

By Dany – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls | Philippines Gay Travel Resources

Five Things to See in Cambodia and Laos

Author: , May 22nd, 2015

Cambodia - google mapsThis weekly travel column is brought to you by ManAboutWorld, an immersive digital gay travel magazine for iOS and Android devices from Billy Kolber, Ed Salvato, Kenny Porpora, and nearly 75 Global Correspondents.

Cambodia and Laos sit between Thailand and Vietnam and are among the least developed countries in Southeast Asia. Tourism is a bright spot in both countries, and based on our short exploration, it is easy to see why. Despite the difficult history and circumstances, people greet visitors with enormous smiles and warmth. Cambodia’s magnificent Angkor Wat complex, rediscovered in the 1850s, is a bucket list draw for world travelers.

It has brought about tourism infrastructure development, and some of the same free-wheeling tourist economy trappings — good and bad — seen in more developed tourist economies. By comparison, Laos is most notable for its relative lack of development, but here too, the power of tourist spending is changing the landscape — literally and quickly.

We visited the three most accessible destinations in the area: Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in Cambodia, and Luang Prabang in Laos. All three are easily reached, with accommodations for luxury travelers, backpackers, and everything in between.

By Ed Salvato – Full Story at Towleroad.com | Cambodia Gay Travel Resources | Laos Gay Travel Resources

Image via Google Maps

Featured Gay Accommodations: Arden Forest Inn, Ashland, Oregon

Author: , May 22nd, 2015

Arden Forest Inn

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

Ashland’s best kept secret! Come see why our guests say, “the best keeps getting better.” Upon your arrival, you’ll discover a unique and eclectic environment dominated by a collection of original art, curiosities, and an extensive library – all housed in an historic Ashland home. The folk Victorian farmhouse with adjoining carriage house, were both built in 1890 by one of Ashland’s founding families.

See the Arden Forest Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in Southern Oregon

Globetrotter Girls – The Ultimate European Vacation: Europe By Rail

Author: , May 21st, 2015

Dany at Globetrotter Girls

For me, there is no more relaxing way to travel than riding the train. Sitting by the window, a cup of coffee in one hand, my camera in the other hand, and watching the world go by, the landscapes change, while listening to the smooth and steady rattling sound of the train gliding down the tracks is the perfect way for me to see a country. I have taken trains in Thailand, the U.S., Spain, Portugal, Panama, India, Italy, Sri Lanka (I have an article about that amazing experience coming up), from England to France, all over the UK, and all over Germany.

I believe that my love for trains was planted at a very early age, when my grandma would take me as a 3-year old on train rides across the country, simply because as a train driver’s wife, she was entitled to free train travel, and nothing was more delightful to her than spending a few hours on a train.

For her, it was all about the journey, never about the destination, and her giddiness and excitement whenever we got on a train was infectious. I was recently able to plant the seed for another train travel lover when I took my 3-year old niece on her first train trip, and the sparkle in her eyes as the train rolled down the tracks me fall in love with train travel all over again. Her first train trip was within Germany, but I am hoping to introduce her to more of Europe soon – more on that below.

By Dany – Full Story at Globetrotter Girls

What’s New in Gay and Chicago

Author: , May 21st, 2015

ChicagoThe stools at Dove’s Luncheonette (1545 N Damen Ave. Tel: 773-645-4060. www.doveschicago.com) in Wicker Park are crafted of a shiny, rich brown vinyl and gleam with newness. On a bustling weekday afternoon each one will be flattened by Midwestern butts–which are arguably more voluminous during the winter months. Dee Dee Warwick’s “A Fool for Love” is playing on a record player, not on the vintage Select-O-Matic 100 jukebox hiding in the corner, which works only about half of the time.

Meanwhile, gratuitous wood paneled walls give the whole place a kind of 70s dive bar vibe and provides the requisite cue that we are deep in the heart of hipster country. But the real draw at this newly opened throwback diner from superstar chef Paul Kahan (Big Star, the Publican) is the menu whose Tex-Mex inspired standouts include smoked brisket with avocado, pico de gallo, chicarones and green chile vinaigrette rolled into a large flour tortilla, or chicken fried chicken drenched in chorizo verde gravy and topped with sweat peas and pearl onions. It is joints like this that remind the world why Chicago is everyone’s kind of town.

There is much to be excited about in Chicago these days. Yes, it’s still cold December through March (and sometimes November and April), yes the crime rate is higher than residents would like it to be (although way down overall when measured against previous decades), and yes the Cubs still suck (but does anybody really honestly care?). On the other hand, a spate of enchanting new public parks are slated for 2015 arrival (two of which are profiled below), neighborhoods like the West Loop, Fulton Market, Pilsen, and Logan Square that were quiet a mere decade ago are now chockablock with bars, restaurants, shops, and art galleries, and the city’s queer scene has gotten so big that Boystown on weekend summer nights rivals places like the French Quarter and Ybor City in terms of exuberant revelry.

By Jason A. Heidemann – Full Story at Passport Magazine | Illinois Gay Travel Resources

Gay Travel: Turin Like a Local

Author: , May 21st, 2015

Giovanni MinerbaThe Turin (Torino) Gay & Lesbian Film Festival director on his impossibly chic hometown, from alpine vistas to charming pizzarias

I’ve lived here since…
…1972, after having done military service here [before this Giovanni lived in Lecce in the south of Italy]. Therefore, I’ve been here for 43 years – I was 21 so I can say that I grew up in Turin!

I’ve stayed because…
…I met many of my best friends and above all Ottavio Mai, my life partner who passed away. Together we founded the ‘From Sodom to Hollywood’ Festival, now known as the Torino Gay & Lesbian Film Festival [which celebrated its 30th birthday this past weekend]. It has become the third most important film festival about LGBT themes in the world.

By Giovanni Minerba – Full Story at Gay Star News | Piedmont Gay Travel Resources

Nomadic Boys: Recipe for Vietnamese Savory pancakes

Author: , May 20th, 2015

Nomadic BoysBanh Xeo are Vietnamese pancakes, which have been deep fried and cooked with pork, shrimp and bean sprouts.

They are served with a yummy sweet, fish, chilli, garlic based sauce for dipping.

We took an excellent cooking class in Hoi An with the Golden Lotus Cooking school where Sebastien learnt this recipe for these finger licking Vietnamese savoury pancakes.

Full Story at the Nomadic Boys | Vietnam Gay Travel Resources