Purple Roofs Gay Travel Newsletter 9/29/13

Author: , September 29th, 2013

Mark and ScottWelcome to the Purple Roofs gay travel newsletter.

Our articles section now has four parts – local news,
general interest, travel event news (including upcoming events and reviews and photos of past events), and finally sweepstakes and contests.

We’ve got lots of other great stuff for you this month, too – including a bunch of feature articles on Buenos Sires, Nova Scotia, Key West, Maui Pride, Ithaca NY, Margarita Island, and Seattle.

And we’re featuring a number of other gay travel articles from around the world.

You’ll also find some great accommodation specials and discounts, tons of upcoming gay travel events, and much more.

Seaton Dreams - Toronto, OntarioOur Newsletter Sponsor: Seaton Dream, Toronto, Ontario

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Our Featured Articles This Month:

resort photoTRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Getting Ready for Going SOUTH For the Winter
by Don & Ray
It is time to start thinking about winter traveling for those of us who are retired or have the time and money to go south for a few weeks this winter. In the United States unfortunately we have few options however there are always new and exciting places to go. Ft. Lauderdale is still the #1 favorite for gays in the United States as well as Canada. When we winter in Ft. Lauderdale we are always running into dozens of Canadians. Monthly rentals are found everywhere down there and with all of the gay resorts you are sure to find whatever you are looking for. Our favorite is the Grand Resort and Spa, www.grandresort.net and we have been staying there for a dozen years. Greater Ft. Lauderdale really offers anything and everything that any gay person would want including fine dining, fabulous beaches, a huge variety of gay bars and wonderful shopping.
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Carlos MeliaARGENTINA: Buenos Aires: Myths, Legends, and Cafes
by Carlos Melia
Once again in Buenos Aires, city where I was born and left, many years ago, searching for new challenges and adventures. My family still lives in this beautiful city, reason why I visit at least three times a year. Every visit to me is a new discovery, always looking to learn more about it and to find new interesting things to share with all my followers and passengers. This time, expert guide Victoria Lustig, came my way and willing to work with me, she offer to take me around, to see a different side of it.
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2756936763_2089d2415fCANADA, NS: V-Day Wait? Or Nova Scotia Getaway?
Who said you have to wait until Valentine’s Day to have a romantic getaway? And who said anything about being confined to the basic destinations like Paris and the whole of Italy? Yes, they are lovely destinations but they’re also a lovely distance away from your humble abode; not to mention, the money to trek overseas. Try checking a little closer to home: Nova Scotia. It’s sitting right on the US northern neighbor’s edge just waiting to be explored. Yes, it is more than one of the top most gay-friendly destinations in the northern hemisphere. Check out a few of these gorgeous and ambient places.
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Santa Croce church, FlorenceITALY: Dreaming of Italy… Again
by Dolly Goolsby
I know I haven’t blogged for awhile. I have been enjoying the summer here in the United States, but there is never a day that I don’t think of Italy. There is just something that keeps calling me back. Although I was sitting in my lovely back yard this afternoon, enjoying the Indian Summer weather, I still had my head in Italy. I cannot tell you just one thing that keeps me going back. There are so many magnets. The food, the markets, the beautiful language that I keep trying to learn, the friendly people, the insanity of the roadways, the way of life that keeps the stress level down.
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Margarita Island BeachVENEZUELA: A New Gay Caribbean Paradise – Margarita Island
The Island or Margarita, or better, Margarita Island, is the largest of the New Sparta State Islands, one of Venezuela’s 23 states, which also includes the islands of Coche and Cubagua. It’s a Caribbean island, just northwest of the Venezuelan coast. Porlamar is largest city on the island, and tourism is the main industry on Margarita, with a dry and mild year-round climate, and many enchanting beaches, some perfect for wind surfing and kite surfing.
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blog1USA, FL: 5 Ways Key West is Perfect For a Gay Vacation
by David Hardy
Key West has a lot of really good gay accommodation: It makes a massive difference to stay at a place where the room is great, the service is fantastic and your fellow guests are interesting, right? Key West has 1 gay hotel and 8 gay run guest houses with LaTiDa hotel, Alexander’s and BigRuby’s the big names in town. Most of the guest houses in Key West were originally built by sea captains in the 1800s, and then renovated when Key West was re-discovered from the 1970s onwards. So they are historic and beautiful properties. Choose right and you’ll find a guest house which is more beautiful and more welcoming than any hotel. Make sure you choose a place which has a late afternoon happy hour as they are very social and really make the vacation special. Brace yourself though: no one will say Key West inns are cheap!
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Maui Hula DancersUSA, HI: Head to Paradise for Maui Pride Next Month
by the Maui Sunseeker
Didn’t get enough sun and fun this summer due to the weather or a busy work schedule? Not to stress! We’ve got the perfect solution to chase away your blues that summer has ended. Come to Maui for the big full weekend event of Maui Pride, October 4th-6th. Don’t miss this last chance to celebrate your Pride and our accomplishments for equality this year… Maui Pride has a larger all day festival than Honolulu Pride and much more!! The following is a short description of events scheduled.
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USA, NY: Ithaca, A Jewel in Upstate New York
by Rpbert Saldarini
As we pack away the beach balls and pails, let’s turn our attention to some autumn adventures. September is a great time for a weekend in Finger Lake region; especially, the town of Ithaca. This ‘Cornell Community’ has been LGBT friendly for decades and the natural beauty of the region is extraordinary. As a college-town, Ithaca is an easy commute by many means – even by bus. The expression, “Ithaca is Gorges,” is by no means shy of the truth. Visitors find the trails, the waterfalls (there are over 100-waterfalls in this region of New York), and views to be breathtaking. September may offer some warm temperatures. So, if the weather prediction is a hot late summer’s day, you might want to plan a water adventure on Cayuga Lake. Another appealing activity centers on exploring the wineries along the Cayuga Wine Trail. If you wish to do a wine tour in a grand way, companies like Finger Lakes Winery Tours can provide a limo and driver to take you about.
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Grand Central Station - NYCUSA, NY: Behind the Scenes at Grand Central Station
by Carlos Melia
If there is something that always intrigues and interests me about iconic landmarks and destinations, is to dig deep into their apparent facade and learn about the myths and legends behind them. You saw my recent post on Buenos Aires, from my visit last week, and now New York. Invited to join this exclusive group of luxury concierges of Manhattan, by my friend Michael Romei, I took part of this exclusive behind the scenes 3hs tours of Grand Central Terminal and Beyond. The tour was conducted to detail and perfection, by Docent-in-Chief Daniel Brucker, who not only is an erudite in the subject, but also is known and referred as “The Keeper of Grand Central’s Secrets”.
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Seattle Aerial ViewUSA, WA: Visiting Gay Seattle – Overview
by Scott & Mark
Just got back from a four night whirlwind tour of Seattle – we were just here a year ago with our friends from Italy, Marco and Fabry, and we decided to do it again. We arrived on a Wednesday morning, and the weather was a little gloomy – turns out we had arrived just before the first storm up here in months. It rained on three of the five days we were here, but the worst of it was at night, and it wasn’t bad at all except for one day.
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Espresso VivaceUSA, WA: Visiting Gay Seattle: Capitol Hill
by Scott & Mark
Looking for the gayborhood in Seattle? Check out Capitol Hill… home to the nation’s first LGBTQ Visitor’s Center, it’s just across the freeway and up a few blocks from downtown Seattle. The Capitol Hill neighborhood is really a series of little areas that each have their own charm. Walk up 15th Street near Volunteer Park, and you’ll find a neighborhood Safeway grocery store and a cute little set of shops with a couple local Cafes – we really liked Caffe Ladro, a local coffee chain. As we noted last time we were here, there’s also lots of construction – even in this market – especially new apartments.
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Terra Plata Restaurant - SeattleUSA, WA: Visiting Gay Seattle – Terra Plata, Our Top Restaurant Pick
by Scott & Mark
Last year, we came to Terra Plata for drinks and dessert. It’s a beautiful restaurant nestled between Pike and Pine about two blocks east of the 5. This year we came back for dinner – and it’s now our favorite Seattle restaurant. Owned by lesbian couple Linda (the host) & Tamara (the chef), this place has a really great, cool, comfortable atmosphere. One of our favorite things about Terra Plata is the rooftop bar – opened just last summer. We followed our host up the stairs at the back, and emerged onto a charming rooftop scene – a long, narrow triangle-shaped space with a fireplace at the pointy end, an urban herb garden along the edges, and an outdoor grill where chef and co-owner Tamara sometimes prepares food for the upstairs crowd.
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EMP Museum SeattleUSA, WA: Visting Gay Seattle – The Seattle Center
by Scott & Mark
The Seattle Center is where you’ll find that most-famous of Seattle landmarks, the Space Needle. But there’s so much more to see and do here – check out the science fiction and rock and roll museums at EMP, or explore the Pacific Science Center with its Lady Gaga planetarium laser show. Or maybe take a stroll through the Chihuly Glass Gardens, and afterward, enjoy a really good lunch at Collections Cafe. There are often food festivals and other events here during the summertime, too, and of course, the Space Needle has one of the best views in town.
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We also scour the web to bring you all the gay travel news we can find. You can see these posts on a daily basis at http://www.purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-blog, or sign up for our RSS feed. Here are some of our favorites from the last month.

Local Stories:

BELGIUM: Antwerp’s Got Game
So here’s the story: Long, long ago (right before the Roman Empire invaded present-day Belgium) in a land far, far away (present-day Belgium), the giant Druon Antigoon terrorized the people of the Schelde River by demanding a fee to cross.
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BRAZIL: Gay Guide to Rio
By any stretch of the imagination, Rio de Janeiro is one of the most spectacular cities on the planet – the blue-green South Atlantic Ocean laps a wide expanse of white beaches, abutting the lush greenery of a semi-tropical forest.
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BRAZIL: Lesbian Travel: Sao Paulo, Brazil’s Silver Lining
Sao Paulo is the kind of city that locals love to hate; like any metropolis in the world, you’ll want to scream during rush hour, complain about the crowds (the population is a little over 11 million), whine about the parking prices and cost of living.
Full Story

CROATIA: Guide to Gay Croatia
You’ve been to Ibiza, Mykonos, Playa del Ingles, Sitges…and now you are ready for something new?
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ICELAND: Iceland in Five Days
After spending five days in Iceland, I can’t understand what took me so long to visit.
Full Story

INDIA: What’s It Like in Gay Delhi?
Ryan C. Haynes at Honest Omissions looks at life in gay Delhi, India.
Full Story

SERBIA: Government Bans Belgrade Pride
For the third year in a row, yesterday the Serbian government banned Belgrade Pride, citing security concerns over threats of violence by neo-Nazi groups who battled hundreds of riot police at Belgrade Pride 2010.
Full Story

THAILAND: A Tale of Three Thai Cities
Translated, its ceremonial name begins with “City of Angels” and then manages to haul in immortals, palaces, nine sacred gems, the king Visvakarman, and the god Indra. I think the world will forgive me if I stick with “Bangkok.”
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UK, ENGLAND: Gay Couple Who Discriminated Against Gays to Sell B&B
A Christian couple that refused to allow a gay couple to share a room, because of their beliefs are now selling their nine-bedroom Chymorvah Hotel in Cornwall, because business has nosedived since their controversial court case.
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USA, CA: Nine Free Things to Do in the Castro
1. Free Chicken Wings at Lookout: The Lookout (3600 16th Street) is not only a great bar to people-watch from their prime balcony spot, but on Fridays from 6:30pm to 8:30pm, you can stuff your face with free chicken wings!
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USA, FL: Discovering Gay Miami
It’s hard to believe that in fewer than 100 years, Miami has grown from a small village to an important city on the world stage.
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USA, ME: Ogunquit – A Gay Family Friendly Getaway
For those still nursing memories of summer camp, Maine–touted on signage as “Vacationland”–conjures images of sleeping bags and tents, mosquitoes and frigid lakes. But if camping’s not your idea of a vacation, Maine has a lot more to offer gay families, especially when your destination is Ogunquit.
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USA, NM: Visit Albuquerque For The Food
The distinct regional tastes of New Mexico have become a huge draw for foodies, thanks to the cultural fusion of Anglo, Native, Mexican and Spanish cuisines.
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USA, NV: Kayaking Las Vegas
It’s easy to trade the wild ways of Las Vegas for the wilds of the nearby Colorado River: All it takes is a call to a boating outfitter and a federally-approved form of ID.
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USA, NY: Autumn in Boston
Summer may signal the end of high season at New England’s beach resorts, but early autumn is the perfect time for visiting the region’s largest metropolis, Boston, along with its smaller neighbors, Cambridge and Somerville.
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USA, NY: New York’s Catskill Mountains
Once Himalayas-high and populated by Paleoindians some 13,000 years ago, the Catskills (three hours or less from New York City) are truly ancient.
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General Gay Travel News:

What to Look For in a Gay Friendly Hotel (Venere.com)
Gay friendly hotels are popping up everywhere, which is fantastic news for the LGBT community. But what can you expect from a gay friendly hotel? Well, here are five of them.
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What Happens to the Men’s Room on a Lesbian Cruise?
“Do we need our lifejackets?” Lea asks as she passes me, heading toward the bathroom of our cabin aboard Holland America’s Nieuw Amsterdam.
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Is Gay Pride Too Corporate? Or Too Risque?
Initiated as small, defiant, sexually daring protests, gay pride parades have become mainstream spectacles patronized by corporate sponsors and straight politicians as they spread nationwide.
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Traveling With a Disability
Navigating after Achilles surgery on my right ankle last August was a tough experience. But being disabled for a short time opened my eyes to the very serious lessons of what it would be like to not be able to walk.
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Gay Event Reviews:

PORTUGAL: Gay Portuguese Film Festival Releases Braveheart Spoof Ad
Every September, Lisbon hosts Queer Lisboa, “the sole Portuguese Film Festival dedicated exclusively to screening gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, and transsexual themed films.”
Full Story

Upcoming Event News:

This Winter’s Top Gay Ski Events
The days are getting darker and the warmth of the sun is lowering, while the mountains are preparing to go pink as gay and lesbian travelers look into their winter retreats.
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CARIBBEAN: Sea of Love Gay Cruise to Host Commitment Ceremonies
(Sept 27th-Oct 4th, 2014) Cruise Planners – American Express Travel has announced their Sea of Love cruise, the first of its kind for the company: a one-time only seven-night Caribbean cruise packaged with a group destination ceremony in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands, devoted to same-sex couples.
Full Story

CHINA: Hong Kong’s Gay Film Festival To Be Huge
Sept 18th-Oct 5th) Clocking in at a record 54 submissions, this year’s Hong Kong Lesbian and Gay Film Festival (HKLGFF) will showcase a diverse array of voices including two brand new categories, one for bisexual-themed movies entitled ‘Bi the way’ and ‘Les porn.’
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CHINA: Hong Kong Pride Takes to the Streets
(Nov 9th) Hong Kong Pride is coming in November.
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SWITZERLAND: Arosa Gay Ski Week Next January
(Jan 12th-19th) This 12-19 January, journey to the heart of gay Europe’s favourite ski event during Arosa Gay Skiweek! Set in the picturesque Swiss town of Arosa, this event will celebrate its’ ninth year of fun, frivolity and pride in the European Winter.
Full Story

USA, AZ: Tucson’s Pride in the Desert Coming in October
Pride in the Desert is in its 36th year. This event is our annual fundraiser allowing us to continue to give back to the community.
Full Story

USA, CA: Gay Days Comes to Anaheim October 4th
(Oct 4th-6th) The 2013 Gay Days at Disneyland are set to take place Friday, Oct. 4 to Sunday, Oct. 6.
Full Story

USA, CA: Palm Springs International Film Festival to Include Day of LGBT Films
(Jan 3rd-13th) The Palm Springs International Film Festival (PSIFF), scheduled from January 3 – 13, 2014, will mark its 25thAnniversary this year.
Full Story

USA, CO: Telluride Gay Ski Week Announces 2014 Dates
(Feb 21st-Mar 2nd) Telluride, Colorado’s gay ski week just announced their dates for their 2014 Ski Week.
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USA, FL: Next World OutGames Coming to Miami in 2017
(2017) A delegation of 12 civic and community leaders and volunteers from Miami Beach and Miami recently returned home from the worldOutgames III in Antwerp, Belgium, bringing back with them the official worldOutgames flag.
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USA, HI: Head to Paradise for Maui Pride Next Month
(Oct 4th-6th) Didn’t get enough sun and fun this summer due to the weather or a busy work schedule? Not to stress! We’ve got the perfect solution to chase away your blues that summer has ended. Come to Maui for the big full weekend event of Maui Pride, October 4th-6th.
Full Story

USA, IL: Chicago’s Gay and Lesbian Film Festival Back in November
(Nov 7th-14th) Reeling: The Chicago Lesbian & Gay International Film Festival is back this November with gay-themed films hoping to make you laugh, cry, and everything in between. From November 7 through 14, audiences will be treated to a variety of films from up-and-coming as well as established filmmakers.
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USA, OH: Gay Games Coming to Cleveland in 2014 – Better Than the Russian Olympics
(Aug 9th-16th) The two quadrennial international sports competitions taking place in 2014 — the Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and the Gay Games in Cleveland — couldn’t be setting more dissimilar tones.
Full Story

USA, TX: Fort Worth’s Q Cinema Film Festival Announces Line-Up for Next Month
(Oct 10th-13th) Fort Worth’s Q Cinema has a new month (October) and a new line-up.
Full Story

US, TX: Fort Worth’s Gay Pride Celebration Adds Film Festival
(Oct 3rd-3th) In 2013, the Tarrant County Gay Pride Week Association (yep, that’s TCGPWA) celebrates its 32nd anniversary.
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CANADA, ONTARIO: Win a Trip to Toronto World Pride 2014
(Dec 31) Win a once-in-a-lifetime trip for two to Toronto for WorldPride in 2014. Join us in June 2014 for the world’s largest international celebration of LGBTQ culture and human rights.
Full Story

SWITZERLAND: Win a Gay Swiss Vacation
Passport magazine and SWISS are tickled to announce The Ultimate Swiss Gaycation giveaway, and your chance to hit the slopes in style at Arosa Gay Ski Week (January 12-19)–on us! The contest launches today (now!) online.
Full Story

USA, MARYLAND: Win Five Nights in Maryland at the Black Walnut Point Inn
(Oct 1) By any measure, Tilghman Island’s Black Walnut Point is unique. A private gate secures the half-mile drive through fifty seven acres of bird sanctuary before it emerges at our six-acre island of lawn.
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Gay Travel Events – The List:

Check out our new events list, where we list gay events around the world – http://www.purpleroofs.com/gay-travel-events.html.

Sign Up for Our Gay Travel Sweepstakes

Maryland Sweepstakes: We’re teaming up with the beautiful Black Walnut Point Inn on Tilghman Island (http://www.blackwalnutpointinn.com/) to give away 5 nights in Maryland.

Check Out Our Special Offer Section

Our innkeepers and travel agents offer exclusive specials to travelers who find them on Purple Roofs. This month, we have 122 Accommodation/Tour offers listed in 16 countries and regions around the world! No membership required.

Visit Our Other Websites:

Gayapolis: Personals, daily news, and a great gay and lesbian directory.

Mi Casa Su Casa: Our home trade network – join for just $75 for 5 years.

Gay Realty Network: Real estate professionals around the world.

Purple Unions: Gay friendly wedding vendors around the world.

Find Us On Twitter:

We have a Twitter account – follow us at http://twitter.com/purpleroofs.

Find Us On Facebook:

We have a Facebook page too – like us at http://www.facebook.com/purpleroofs.

Find Us On Google+:

We have a Google+ page as well – follow us at https://plus.google.com/105511413517642023561/posts.

Find Us On Pinterest:

And we have a Pinterest board as well – follow us at https://pinterest.com/gayapolis/purple-roofs/.

Marriage Equality News:

Also check out Gay Marriage Watch, our daily news blog about gay marriage: We bring you all the news on the fight for gay marriage daily. Join our blog email list by sending a subscription request to info@purpleunions.com. Find the full blog at http://www.purpleunions.com/blog/index.html. You can now also find us on Twitter with regular updates every day at http://www.twitter.com/gaymarriagewatc.

That’s it for this issue – enjoy the newsletter!

Mark & Scott

PurpleRoofs – http://www.purpleroofs.com

PO Box 4666, El Dorado Hills, CA 95762

PS: Wanna sponsor this newsletter and reach over 27,000 people? Email us at wheretostay@purpleroofs.com for details.