Inside the Vatican Museum – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , December 4th, 2017

Vatican Museum in Rome - Kep Calm and Wander

My jaw dropped inside the spectacular Vatican Museum. I can’t even find the exact words on how I felt while slowly going around. It is the best museum I’ve been to and every piece seems to be priceless. Even the minutest thing of all would cost more than my life!

I reckon that no visitors at the vatican Museum left unimpressed or shocked by its grandeur. It took me time to sink in that I was in the worlds greatest museum where art and religion is its main centrepiece.

Works of Great Artists. It seems like every Renaissance artist had left a masterpiece at Vatican Museum. Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and Raphael’s frescoes are a must-see. Don’t miss gazing at the works of Titian, Caravaggio, Bernini, Filippo Lippi, Giotto di Bondone, Bellini, and many more.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Rome Gay Travel Resources

Bilbao & Beyond: 10 Great Spanish Art Museums To Visit Before You Die

Author: , November 30th, 2015

Dali Museum - Queerty

She’s been home to some of the worlds most important artists, from El Greco to Goya to Picasso. So its no surprise that Spain is also home to many of the worlds best art museums, covering virtually every period in history and every corner of her map.

At the heart of it all is Madrids Golden Triangle of Art, the three-museum powerhouse (made up of the Prado, the Thyssen-Bornemisza and the Reina Sofa) thats one of the most potent concentrations of culture in all of Europe.

But incredible must-see museums are strewn across all of Spain, from Bilbao in the north to Mlaga in the south, and from Mrida in the west to Figueres in the east.

Here are 10 to remember for your next Spanish itinerary. See, seor!

Full Story at Queerty

Spain Gay Travel Resources

Raleigh is for Gay Travel

Author: , April 23rd, 2014
Raleigh

Photo Courtesy of VisitRaleigh.com – Brian Gassel

Farmer's Market Raleigh

Photo Courtesy of VisitRaleigh.com

Raleigh, North Carolina, USA. Raleigh has always been considered a fairly liberal small metropolitan southern U.S. city that people receive a good education in, because of its many public and private Universities, and then leave to go out and change the World by moving to a much larger populated area.

But here we are in 2014 and the World has suddenly realized that Raleigh, its people and geographic location is much, much more and especially for GLBT people. Raleigh is currently listed as the fastest growing major city within the USA by several major business publications including Forbes.

Not to be outdone in food and beverage, Raleigh has really upped the cooking and locally produced beverage bar as well for international foodies.

As any locals know, Raleigh, the City of Oaks, isn’t just divided by old food traditions and new cuisine; we’re deeply divided by our respect for traditional food preparation traditions including barbecue or seafood philosophies. But the traditional flavorful preparations and barbecue domination, through local establishments like The Pit or Clyde Cooper’s BBQ or The Angus Barn or 42nd Street Oyster Bar, has given way to a thriving wine and slow-food culture that is best witnessed at a number of bustling and award winning foodie haunts.

Dinner in Raleigh

Photo Courtesy of VisitRaleigh.com

Stanbury , which opened on a quiet block north of downtown in September 2013. The decor is unfussy – wooden tables, a few votives, an open kitchen – but the spot’s take on modern American cuisine is adventurous. The seasonal, ingredient-driven menu, which changes daily, recently included Chadwick Creek oysters ($3 each), pan-fried North Carolina triggerfish ($12) and a scrumptious plate of crispy pig’s head with beluga lentils, arugula and an oozy 63-degree duck egg ($12). Desserts don’t disappoint, but consider going next door to Escazu Artisan Chocolates, where chocolate is made on-site and the truffles with clove-scented caramel are almost too pretty to eat.

Or go nouveau – or rather, nuevo at Jose and Sons, a slick new restaurant that draws on the owners’ heritage to produce a mash-up of Southern and Mexican cuisine. The culinary fusion seems natural when you bite into pimento-cheese-topped tostones ($6) or the belly-busting entree called Chicharron and Waffles (corn-masa waffles, a pile of pork belly cracklings, sriracha sauce, and a poached egg; $11).

Raleigh Convention Center - Raleigh

Photo Courtesy of VisitRaleigh.com – Michael Zirkle

The increasingly diverse dining options downtown are typified by Bida Manda, a new upscale Laotian restaurant where walls are lined with woven bamboolike sticks. Vansana and Vanvisa Nolintha, the siblings who own the place, also incorporated personal elements into the decor, like a black-and-white image of their smiling parents in Lao wedding dress that greets patrons. Standout dishes recently included a rich pork belly soup with coconut curry, vegetables and rice noodles ($16.90) and spicy green papaya salad with ginger-and-garlic pork neck, peanuts, lime sauce and a basket of sticky rice ($17.90).

The acclaimed Raleigh chef Ashley Christensen now oversees five ventures in the city (with more on the way). But the casual cafe Joule Coffee, which opened in September 2013, may be her finest yet. The cheerful interior is punctuated with jolts of color from vermilion chairs and benches, while glassed-in alcoves flanking the entrance provide quiet nooks in which to peruse the Sunday paper.

After choosing the beans for your pour-over coffee (all from the local Counter Culture Coffee roasters), focus on the excellent brunch menu. The puffy sweet potato hot cake ($12) is sure to recharge your batteries, as will the Hangover, a delectable bowl of grits, melted Cheddar, bacon, pico de gallo, scallions and sour cream ($12).

Further, The Raleigh’s entrepreneurial bent also fueled an explosion of new craft breweries over the last several years, so take a tour of our many on-site taprooms to find your new favorite beer. At the cavernous Raleigh Brewing Company, try the cheekily named Hell Yes Ma’am, an easy-drinking Belgian Golden. At the sleek bicycle-themed Crank Arm Brewing, which has beers like Unicycle Single Hop Pale Ale and Pumptrack Pumpkin Porter, old gears and chains are integrated into the industrial decor and wall-mounted art installations.

And at the cozy Trophy Brewing Company, flavorful small-batch beers like the rosemary-scented Rose Gose are poured from trophy-topped taps.

North Hills

Photo Courtesy of VisitRaleigh.com

The downtown Raleigh area known as the Warehouse District, traditionally know as a GLBT business and entertainment area, which is the location of most of the GLBT & friendly nightclubs Legends Nightclub, Flex, Fifteen, Spy, Deep South, was also once just a sector of dilapidated redbrick buildings, where gay people only went to at night to dance and cruise for a quick romantic date.

Over the years, due to a much larger GLBT & allied population, this downtown district now houses high-rise condominiums, high tech international businesses, boutiques, art studios and galleries along with the well-established gay bars & restaurants, with more to come. Start an exploration of the neighborhood during the daytime at either the female Chiefs and life-partners owned vegetarian restaurant Fiction Kitchen or female owned The Borough or Cafe de los Muertos or Humble Pie or Flanders Gallery, a bright space that exhibits varied contemporary art – a tractor covered in crochet, fantastical animal sculptures – with an emphasis on emerging area artists.

Then head across the street to CAM Raleigh, the city’s first contemporary art museum, which opened in 2011 ($5). A recent exhibition showcased art made by using mapping technology like satellite imagery and Google maps. Then stop at Designbox, a gallery, shared working space and shop that sells, among other items, cartoon cards from the in-house illustrator Paul Friedrich.

Among the many sites to make sure you pop into on any day or night is the LGBT Center of Raleigh, which houses the largest GLBT lending Library within the southeastern USA as well as meeting space, local GLBT artist exhibits and community programs on any topic one can conceive concerning GLBT subjects and causes.

Raleigh’s expanding Art and Culture offerings has gained it the title Smithsonian of the Southern USA. When travel writers think of museums, they think of Washington, DC, the Smithsonian Institute, and even New York City. But more and more travelers looking alternative destinations think about Raleigh and other GLBT friendly mid-size U.S. Cities. Often called the “Smithsonian of the South,” Raleigh is home to many museums.

North Carolina Museum of History

Photo Courtesy of VisitRaleigh.com

Raleigh’s most well-known museums include the North Carolina Museum of History, North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, and for GLBT parents traveling with their children Marbles Kids Museum. In addition, the North Carolina Museum of Art, which has been run by Larry Wheeler, one of the World’s leading art curators who is also gay, or the J.C. Raulston Arboretum, which also was founded and named for a historically significant gay man – Dr. J.C. Raulston of Raleigh, both within a short drive from downtown Raleigh.

Further, during any night or day no visit is complete without taking in one of the many North Carolina Symphony or North Carolina Theater productions or any number of smaller theater or music venues around town.

There is an abundance of GLBT Travel information about Raleigh at the Greater Raleigh CVB GLBT Guide; the Raleigh Business and Professional Network; the LGBT Center of Raleigh, and the OutGuide; or the Out Raleigh Pride Festival.

There are so many great things to do in LGBT Raleigh – come and see for yourself!

Willie D. Pilkington runs the Raleigh GLBT Report, and is an avid booster of gay Raleigh!

Musement App – Skip the Museum Lines

Author: , April 9th, 2014

Musement App

If you love art and you’ve travelled to Europe before, I’m sure you’re very familiar with this scenario: waiting in long lines just to get into some of the best attractions and museums in the world, probably even waking up really early just to try to avoid the queue. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Meet Musement

Positioning itself as the go-to booking site for museum and cultural tours, Musement seems to be the next big thing in travel. Priority access? Skipping the lines? Immediate confirmation? It promises to let you indulge in your art and cultural cravings and discover unqiue experiences around the world in just one click.

The team behind it just launched a free Musement app two weeks ago. I quickly checked their website and I got a bit excited because I saw that they are currently offering a lot of artsy and cool stuff in major European cities and the US. I’m sure you guys would love this as much as I do.

Authored By DJ Yabis – See the Full Story at Dream Euro Trip

Click here for gay travel resources.

Off-The-Beaten-Path Museums in Philadelphia

Author: , August 31st, 2013

Philadelphia - Apple Maps

from Apple Maps

Philadelphia’s most iconic thoroughfare, Benjamin Franklin Parkway, is populated by important art and cultural centers like the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Rodin Museum, and the Barnes Foundation. Directly east of there is the Liberty Bell viewing site, and Independence Hall, where the Declaration of Independence took form. But what if you’re looking for slightly more obscure cultural references? It turns out Philadelphia has plenty of that, too, as long as you’re willing to seek it out. From mosaic-tiled houses to the world’s first pizza museum, here are a few places to spice up the usual Philly itinerary:

Benjamin Franklin Museum

Next month heralds the re-opening of an iconic Philly museum dedicated to Benjamin Franklin, the USA’s most eccentric Founding Father. Located on the site where Franklin himself lived in the 1700s, the underground museum is not visible from the street – instead, look out for the iconic steel frame structure outlining the shape of Franklin’s original house. Inside the museum’s five galleries, visitors can interact with different exhibits relating to Franklin’s many earthly interests, which range from electricity to flip books to chess and everything in between.

Authored By Alex Schechter – See the Full Story at Shermans Travel

Click here for gay travel resources in Philadelphia.

Central and Eastern Oregon Musuems Worth Making the Trip

Author: , March 30th, 2012

High Desert Museum, in Bend, Oregon, is nationally acclaimed and is dedicated to broadening the understanding of the High Desert’s wildlife, culture, art and natural resources.

Bobcat of Eastern OregonAt daily shows and demonstrations, wildlife experts will help you learn about the Museum’s more than 100 wildlife creatures — from porcupines, golden eagles and owls, to bats, lizards, snakes and spiders.   In the Birds of Prey Center you will have a rare opportunity to get a close-up look at some of nature’s fiercest predators – owls, hawks and eagles.

Kam Wah Chung Museum. in John Day, Oregon, is a must-see for anyone with an interest in Oregon history. This structure was built as a trading post on The Dalles Military Road in the mid-1800’s. Chinese businessman Lung On and herbal doctor Ing Hay worked out of this building. Dr. Hay administered care to the Chinese gold-mine workers, pioneers, and others from the John Day area and beyond by using traditional Chinese remedies. Built to preserve the legacy of the Chinese workforce in Oregon, the museum contains artifacts and displays that share some of the trials of everyday life of these people. The museum is open seven days a week, 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. Call (541) 575-2800 or (800) 551-6949 for more information.

They walked for 2,000 miles…men, women, and children by the tens of thousands. The story of this journey comes alive today through the life-size exhibits at the National Historic Oregon Trail Interpretive Center, Baker City.  The museum offers living history demonstrations, interpretive programs, exhibits, multi-media presentations, special events, and more than four miles of interpretive trails.Let the innkeepers of the Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild share their knowledge of these unique museums and many other natural attractions in the beautiful and vast expanse of Eastern Oregon.

Get to know our State like a local.  Select a Bed and Breakfast from where to start and end your trip.  Experience romantic getaways, historic treasures, and tucked away rustic retreats. Whether your trip is for a quiet escape to a quaint rural or coastal town, for a World Class City experience or for a new spin on business travel, you can be assured of combining gracious hospitality with ambiance by staying at an inspected and approved Oregon Bed and Breakfast Guild member Inn.

Moseying Through History: Santa Fe's Museums

Author: , March 4th, 2010
by Linda, La Casa Santa Fe, Santa Fe, New Mexico

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Ask five different people what’s great about visiting Santa Fe, and you will get way more than five answers. People enthuse about the food, the inclusive community, the unique shopping opportunities, the sunshine 325 days a year, the rich tri-cultural history, the vibrant arts scene, and much more.

They may forget to mention that the heart of the city is very compact. A multi-faceted Santa Fe experience is available on foot, while saving your automobile rental dollars for something more gratifying. This is especially true for museum buffs. Between the art galleries and the historical buildings, half the town looks like a museum, but eleven museum collections reside within five blocks of the central Plaza.

Start at the New Mexico State Capitol Building to see a sample of paintings, sculpture, photographs, lithographs, pottery, weaving, and just about every other New Mexico art form that doesn’t require live performance. There is no charge for admission to the Capitol building, which is interesting in itself as the only round U.S. state capitol. The surrounding grounds have sculptures representing many of New Mexico’s outstanding artists, as well as landscaping with a variety of native plants. You may take a self-guided tour, or arrange for a guided tour by appointment: www.collectorsguide.com/sf/sffa10.shtml.

When were you last asked to touch the sculptures in an art exhibit? Just north of the state capitol, the Bataan Memorial Building Atrium Gallery features the Touching Beauty exhibit. Sculptor Michael Naranjo lost his sight, the use of one arm, and most of the use his other hand in the Vietnam War. Nevertheless, he pursued his sculpture. Follow the artist’s vision, as you touch and explore the bronzes with your hands as well as with your eyes: www.collectorsguide.com/fa/fa116.shtml.

Located in the newly developed Railyard District, SITE Santa Fe does not hold permanent collections, but rather presents exhibitions of contemporary arts. Biennial exhibitions, developed around particular themes, provide a showcase for internationally recognized artists. They open in even-numbered years, usually in midsummer. Additional, shorter exhibitions and lecture series vary throughout the year: www.sitesantafe.org.

Also in the Railyard District, you find El Museo Cultural. El Museo was developed to showcase and promote Hispanic culture and learning. Although Northern New Mexico traditions are featured, the art, history, and culture of the larger Hispanic community are celebrated as well. The museum also hosts community-oriented events, classes and workshops. www.elmuseocultural.org.

Moving to the north, locate the Santuario de Guadalupe. This large, adobe structure has a somewhat mysterious history – some sources suggest it was built in the late 1600’s, others cite early 1700s or even 1800s. Clearly, there has been rebuilding and remodeling at various periods, and the Santuario now serves as a museum and a popular site for weddings and community oriented activities. You can visit to see a collection of Mexican baroque and Italian Renaissance paintings, and New Mexican santos (carved images of saints.) A large statue of Our Lady of Guadalupe graces the patio to the north, and rose gardens glorify the image.

Onward to the five museums closest to the Plaza, in the heart of the city:

The Georgia O’Keeffe Museum is the only museum in the United States dedicated entirely to the works of a woman artist, and is the most-visited museum in New Mexico. O’Keeffe’s works rotate through the museum throughout the year, with approximately 50 selections on view at any given time. In addition, the Museum presents special exhibitions either devoted entirely to O’Keeffe’s work or combining examples of her art with works by her American modernist contemporaries: www.okeeffemuseum.org.

Founded in 1917, the New Mexico Museum of Art focuses on work produced in or related to New Mexico. Long-term exhibits are augmented by special projects devoted to a particular artist or New Mexico theme. The west wing of the museum houses St. Francis Auditorium, one of Santa Fe’s premier performance spaces. www.nmartmuseum.org

The Spanish colonial government built the adobe Palace of the Governors in the 1600s to house its representatives. In this, the oldest continuously occupied public building in the United States, exhibitions draw on the museum’s collection to highlight New Mexico history. An additional attraction is the Portal Program, where over 900 Native American artists rotate to sell authentic arts and crafts from New Mexico, the Navajo Nation, and parts of Arizona: www.palaceofthegovernors.org/.

Step through the Palace of the Governors courtyard, and enter the New Mexico History Museum. Initially opened in 2009, the core exhibit tells New Mexico history from the pre-colonial era to the present. Although tangible artifacts are generously displayed, the emphasis is upon the interweaving of peoples and events which developed present-day New Mexico: www.nmhistorymuseum.org/.

A block from the east side of the Plaza, you’ll find the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum. The Institute is a multi-tribal four-year fine arts college, and the Museum provides exhibit space for work by contemporary Native American artists, including IAIA students. It also serves as a resource for training the students in skills which prepare them to work as museum professionals: www.iaia.edu/museum/info.php.

Those who wish to venture a bit farther afield can catch a ride on the city Museum Bus route to Museum Hill, with four more extraordinary offerings:

Museum of Spanish Colonial Art: www.spanishcolonial.org/

Museum of Indian Arts and Culture, and Laboratory of Anthropology: www.indianartsandculture.org/

Museum of International Folk Art: www.internationalfolkart.org/

The Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian: www.wheelwright.org/

Lastly, the city hosts two additional museums eight blocks from the Plaza, on the Old Santa Fe Trail:


=”font-family: Verdana, sans-serif”>The Santa Fe Children’s Museum
provides hands-on educational exhibits, and a climbing wall helps kids burn off some energy in a safe environment. www.santafechildrensmuseum.org/

The Bataan Memorial Military Museum tells the tale of the 200th and 515th Coast Artillery Regiments, who were captured on Bataan when the Japanese overran the island in 1942. They endured captivity for one and a half years, losing half their members in the ordeal. The collection of artifacts and memorabilia from World War II is steadily growing. www.angelfire.com/nm/bcmfofnm/museum/militarymuseum.html.

Make your stay in Santa Fe special by staying in the fully-furnished, historic José D Sena House. We have been happy to live in Santa Fe for over thirty years, and would like to help you have a happy stay in our historic dwelling. Here in the Guadalupe district, you will be near the Plaza, the Lensic Performing Arts Center, the Sanbusco Center, the Railyard District, and the Santa Fe River, as well as downtown museums and a bus link to Museum Hill.

You will be staying in rooms with 12 foot ceilings, in which you can still see hand-hewn boards and vigas, along with bits of the adobe that originally served for the roof. But never fear, there are modern touches such as electricity and indoor plumbing! See our home page at www.lacasasantafe.com for our rates, and for clickable links to information about nearby restaurants, shopping, museums, outdoor activities, and more. You can contact us at 505-231-6670, or lacasasantafe@comcast.net.