Pieta Rondanini, Michelangelo’s Unfinished Statue – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , July 9th, 2018

Pieta Rondanini - Keep Calm and WanderPieta Rondanini – Keep Calm and Wander

Pieta Rondanini is Michelangelo’s unfinished marble statue. Since 1952, Milan is a host to the master’s work. Today, you can find it at Museo Pieta Rondanini inside the Castello Sforzesco. When Michelangelo died in 1564, they found the sculpture at the artist’s workshop in Rome. Afterwards, the unfinished statue was missing for more than 200 years and reappeared in 1807 at Palazzo Rondanini.

And that’s how it gained its monicker: Pieta Rondanini.

As you can see, Mary is standing, supporting her son, Jesus, after he was taken down from the cross. The famed Pieta inside St. Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican has Mary sitting while looking down at his son bathed in blood.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Florence Gay Travel Resources

Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , June 9th, 2018

crystal bridges front

We recently had the opportunity to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas. It was founded by Alice Walton and designed by Moshe Safdie, who has created some of the most remarkable architectural structures in the world. Ms. Walton spent millions and millions and millions of dollars creating one of the finest Museums in the country. The Museum opened in 2011 and offers FREE ADMISSION!

Actually it is much more than just a Museum as it is really a “Museum Campus” with hiking trails and paths plus a sculptor garden outside. It has space for public functions as well as concerts. The Museum’s quality and it’s range and depth has placed it as one of the finest Museums of Art in the United States.

Examples of artists are: Winslow Homer, Thomas Eakins, John LaFarge, Norman Rockwell, Mary McCleary, plus Charles Wilson Peale’s portrait of George Washington in addition to many more. Sculptor works are all over both inside the Museum as well as outside.

They have special exhibits from time to time so if you live near the Museum one needs to go back often. We know people in the Midwest that drive several hundred miles to visit the Museum several times a year.

This is truly a remarkable Museum and you really need to spend the entire day there. On site is a fabulous restaurant with not only interesting cuisine but a view of the scenic beauty to die for. The restaurant is named Eleven since the Museum officially opened on 11/11/11.

crystal bridges flwA few years ago they purchased a Frank Lloyd Wright house on the east coast and had it dismantled piece by piece and had it shipped to the Museum site and had it completely restored to perfection. It is of course on display for everyone to take a tour of. Truly incredible how that feat was accomplished but they did it. Taking a tour of the interior of a Frank Lloyd Wright house is something that one seldom gets to do.

Their website is https://crystalbridges.org/. Their hours are Saturday and Sunday: 10 AM to 6 PM, Monday: 11 AM to 6 PM, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday: 11 AM to 9 PM. Their address is 600 Museum Way in Bentonville, Arkansas and you can call to get information at 479.418.5700. Over 3 Million visitors have been to the Museum since it opened and we can see why. People drive from all over the Midwest to visit this Museum as well as people flying in from coast to coast.

We want to thank Alice Walton for many things, but especially for creating this absolutely remarkable Museum and making it free to the public. We need more people like her in the world. We also want to thank Beth Bobbitt, Director of Public Relations for her generous and professional courtesy to us during our visit. In all of our travels from coast to coast we have never seen such hospitality, friendliness and professionalism as the staff and docents of this Museum.

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Las Vegas Gay Travel Resources

Mausoleo di Galla Placidia in Ravenna – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 30th, 2018

Mausoleo di Galla Placidia in Ravenna - Keep Calm and Wander

I am an admirer of ancient art. And when I glance back at the time I spent in Mausoleo di Galla Placidia or the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, I feel that my thirst for the arts, especially the mosaic art, had been partly quenched.

To describe this small mesmerizing place, I’d go with what UNESCO has said about it: “It is the earliest and best preserved of all mosaic monuments, and at the same time one of the most artistically perfect.”

1. It is still unknown what the building was built for

Surprisingly enough, by the looks of it, one would think that it is a chapel. The Byzantine mosaics dotted on the ceiling, the walls, and the floor say much about it pertaining to its role as a chapel. However, till date, no one quite knows what it was built for. I asked one of the men there about its story and he said that this building was built by Honorius’ sister Galla Placidia. Honorius was the Roman ruler at that time. Just like me, ahem, Galla Placidia also loved arts and crafts and, reportedly, she poured all of her love in creating the captivating mosaics lining the walls of this place. But more than her love for the arts, it seems that she built it as a mausoleum for her and her family.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Ravenna Gay Travel Resources

George Washington Carver National Monument and Museum – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , April 28th, 2018

George Washington Carver National Monument and Museum

George Washington Carver National Monument and MuseumJust 17 1/2 miles southwest of Joplin, Missouri in a very small town of Diamond, population of less than 1,000, is the George Washington Carver National Monument and Museum. Carver, a black American, was born in 1864 there and died in Tuskegee, Alabama on January in 1943.

Six months later the United States Congress designated the George Washington National Monument, the first park to honor an African American scientist, educator and humanitarian AND HE WAS “FAMILY”.

In her 2015 biography, Christina Vella reviews his relationships and “suggests that Carver was bisexual and constrained by mores of this historical period.” Carver is said to have enjoyed a very intimate relationship with his male assistant Austin W. Curtis Jr, a Cornell University graduate in chemistry who taught at a North Carolina College. This companionship, as it was seen at the time, helped Carver to continue working in his later years.

Carver was best known as the inventor of peanut butter but he was also a botanist, chemist, and inventor whose work revived the last 19th and early 20th century agricultural economy of the American South. He was born the son of slaves. He never knew his parents as his father died before he was born and his mother and his siblings were kidnapped during the Civil War and he never saw them again.

At a very early age, he knew that education was the only way to go. Later in life, he said, “A man can make a lot of money however another man can steal your money away, but another man can never steal your education.”

George Washington Carver National Monument and MuseumAfter going from school to school, he was finally accepted at a college in Kansas only to be told upon his arrival that because he was black, that he was not welcomed. That did not deter him and he did attend a college in Iowa and got both his Bachelors and Masters degree in Agriculture. Booker T. Washington, President of the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) hired him to head the Agriculture Department there. He stayed there for over 47 years until his death.

He invented over 300 uses for the peanut including peanut butter, peanut oil, peanut shampoo, salted peanuts, shredded peanuts, pecan flour, pomade, and peanut brittle, He taught methods of crop rotation, introduced several alternative cash crops for farmers that would improve the soil of areas heavily cultivated in cotton.

He was a highly sought after speaker all over the country and in England. He was given dozens of awards for his works. In 1921 he gave a captivating testimony before Congress on Agriculture. He inspired hundreds of both students as well as businessmen and farmers to understand what they could do.

George Washington Carver National Monument and MuseumCarver was also a gifted artist and some of his paintings and drawings are on display at the museum. He also enjoyed crocheting and a couple examples of those are also on display. Needless to say Carver had a very rough early life but he rose above it and became a truly great person.

TIME magazine called him the “Black Leonardo da Vinci” as he was such a Renaissance man. And this all started with him in the 1800’s! And people today complain about having problems! Carver MADE his life as he wanted to. Sure he had setbacks but that did not stop him. Guess the old adage, “Never, never, never, never give up” rings true.

Learn more about George Washington Carver by viewing this movie: https://www.nps.gov/gwca/learn/photosmultimedia/multimedia.htm

The website for his National Monument is https://www.nps.gov/gwca/index.htm

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Missouri Gay Travel Resources

Five Great London Museums – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , April 12th, 2018

London Museums - Keep Calm and Wander

Paying nothing to enter almost all galleries / museums in London is one of the best things about living in the city. They’re yours to see, admire and love. After visiting these 5 museums / galleries, I must say that nothing can be better than treading the floors of these destinations in a pursuit to have a rendezvous with some of the world-famous collections. Perhaps, if you’re living in this amazing city, going into these galleries (remember, it’s free!) is the best way to kill time.

1. Tate Modern

Situated along the South Bank, and opened in 2000, the Tate Modern houses some of the most spectacular ancient exhibits like that of the Pablo Picasso’s “Figure dans un Fauteuil”. I know it’s hard to pronounce, but let me tell you, it is a one-of-its-kind spectacle. All of the shapes forming the perfectly distressed image is more than worthy of everyone’s eyes. This is not all, however. The art gallery also has art relics from the time of Piet Mondrian, and particularly, his “Composition C” is a big eye-catcher. These are the permanent instalments of the gallery among other absorbing art pieces dotted along the walls of the gallery.

And most of all, when you’re done exploring the collections, go upstairs and enjoy a glass of wine and the view.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Keep Calm and Wander Gay Travel Resources

The Evel Knievel Museum – Traveling in Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , April 6th, 2018

Evel Knievel Museum

Evel Knievel MuseumSmaller cities and towns can have the most interesting and unusual Museums. We recently visited the Evel Knievel at the Historic Harley- Davidson Complex in Topeka, Kansas. Was Evel Knievel born in Topeka, Kansas? He was not. Did he ever perform in Topeka, Kansas? He did not. Apparently the closest that he ever came to Topeka was when he flew over in an airplane flying from one coast to the other.

However that did not stop the Harley-Davidson Company from opening a museum for him there in one of the most iconic and historical Harley Davidson stores around and it is in the middle of the country. The museum is connected to the store.

Evel Knievel Museum

Evel Knievel was born in 1938 and was a stuntman and performer and made dozens of ‘jumps’ with his motorcycles all around the country. He had thousands of people who would pay to watch him make these historic jumps. He broke and fractured 433 bones in his body which was list in the World Book of Records. His last successful jump was in 1977. He died in 2007 after a lot of health issues.

Evel Knievel Museum

The Museum has a huge collection of memorabilia concerning Evel including his motorcycles, helmets, his jackets and costumes, photos, newspaper clippings, posters, etc. BIG RED was his semi-truck which was converted to a living quarters with a room in the rear for his motorcycles. His custom built 1974 Cadillac Pickup is there for all to view.

You can actually sit on a motorcycle and take a ‘virtual reality ride, wearing a helmet and letting the wind blow thru you with a movie screen directly in front of you as you jump over a lot of cars. It really is quite scary but worth the experience. His great quote was, “Anybody can jump a motorcycle. The trouble begins when you try to land it. ”

Before visiting the Evel Knievel Museum be sure and visit their website at  http://evelknievelmuseum.com/  They are located at 2047 S.W. Topeka Blvd. in Topeka, Kansas, just a few blocks from downtown Topeka. Their phone number is 785.215.6205. Their hours are Tuesday -Friday, 10 AM to 6 PM , Saturdays from 9 AM to 5 PM and closed on Sunday and Monday. You can email them at hello@evelknievelmuseum.org.

Don and RayAlways remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for gay publications from coast to coast (And now legally married).

Proud members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com and visit their website at http://gaytravelersataol.blogspot.com/

Kansas Gay Travel Resources

Oscar Wilde Tours – New York Gay Tour Operator

Author: , March 17th, 2018

Oscar Wilde Tours

Luxury guided tours focused on gay history. Exclusive experiences, including visits to places normally closed to the public and lectures by prominent gay authors and performers. Our 2014 tour follows Oscar Wilde’s life from Dublin to Paris. Gay Italy in 2015, Greece in 2016.

Oscar Wilde’s London and Paris 2018 – England, London: The Chesterfield Mayfair, 35 Charles St.

When: Custom Website: Click Here

This 9 day tour includes 4 nights in each city. See London and Paris a whole new way: these are not only Europe’s two great metropolises, they are also its two great *gay* metropolises. From Shakespeare to Stephen Fry, King Henri III to Yves St.-Laurent, gay people have had a huge role in both cities’ histories and cultures.
Let gay historian Dr. Andrew Lear and his staff of gay guides show you both cities from the gay perspective. We will have walking tours of neighborhoods with key roles in gay history, such as Bloomsbury and the Marais; gay tours of monuments and museums, such as the National Portrait Gallery and the Louvre; and excursions to places with fascinating gay histories, such as the Castle of Chenonceau and Bletchley Park, where gay hero Alan Turing broke the Nazi’s secret codes, helping to save the Western World.

A trip which combines fun, learning, and pride. Top-level 4 star hotels, excellent (often historic) restaurants: 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 1 tea, 1 dinner.

See the Oscar Wilde Tours Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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Gay Philadelphia – The Hornet

Author: , February 23rd, 2018

Gay Philadelphia

Philadelphia, founded in 1682, played a significant role in shaping America. This city was where the Founding Fathers signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. From there, Philadelphia became one of the leading industrial cities during the 19th century. Today, the City of Brotherly Love continues to thrive. There’s also quite a lot to explore in gay Philadelphia, as the city has one of the nation’s most vibrant LGBTQ neighborhoods known as the Gayborhood.

There are a total of 67 national landmarks in Philadelphia. You can spend a whole week just sightseeing! The Liberty Bell, the most iconic American symbol, is a great place to start your tour. Find it at the Liberty Bell Center (oddly enough) in Independence National Historical Park.

The Betsy Ross House, several blocks away from the Liberty Bell, is a tiny museum and a landmark where the seamstress and flagmaker Betsy Ross lived when she sewed the first American flag. Take a tour of the house and relive the days of how Ross lived.

The Edgar Allan Poe National Historic Site is a must-visit place for fans of his work. This house, the only surviving residence of Poe, is in the Spring Garden neighborhood of Philadelphia. Check out different rooms while savoring Poe’s famous works like “The Raven” during the tour.

By Charles Thompson-Wang – Full Story at The Hornet

Philadelphia Gay Travel Resources

Masterpieces of the Louvre – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , January 29th, 2018

Masterpieces of the Louvre - Keep Calm and Wander

The Louvre Museum is the world’s largest art museum. It is renowned for Leonardo Da Vinci’s, Monalisa. If you only have limited time to spare inside, here are 10 masterpieces not to miss at Louvre Museum in Paris.

Ideally, this museum should not be seen in rush. There’s so much to see here and I’d say that spending a half day here would be great! If you’re really into arts, then spending a whole day here would be a day you won’t forget. The Louvre Museum is beyond Monalisa. There are certain rooms and galleries that have only few people – where you can be almost alone with the works of the master artists.

Tips in Visiting the Louvre Museum. I have three tips for you. First, buy the ticket online to avoid the line. Second, go early to avoid the crowd. Make it your very first thing to do in the morning. Third, get the audio guide to get the story / descriptions of each masterpiece – in your language of choice.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Paris Gay Travel Resources

Flawless New Orleans Arts Destinations -Towleroad

Author: , January 24th, 2018
Oleander on Royal gallery

Photo: Jonno D’Addario

It’s easy to get your fill no matter what you’re thirsty for in New Orleans. No, we’re not just talking about the city’s cocktail culture, 24-hour bars and infamous “go cup.” The Crescent City also serves up plenty of opportunities to drink in the city’s vibrant art and culture scene.

New Orleans’ rich history and unique blend of cultures are on display all over the city, from museums to bookstores and even just lining the streets. No wonder it’s long drawn creatives looking for inspiration (including Scissor Sisters’ frontman, Jake Shears). As New Orleans readies for a year-long tricentennial celebration, we’ve rounded up a few of our favorite can’t-miss cultural destinations.

Mardi Gras may be New Orleans’ most famous annual tradition, but even if you can’t make it for the annual blowout, you can still partake in the celebration at Mardi Gras World. Let a tour guide lead you through the studios where artists are hard at work building floats. You’ll have the chance to see lavish costumes, extravagant props and even sample King Cake — a delicious treat that’s hard to come by when it’s not Carnival season.

By Andy Towle – Full Story at Towleroad

Louisiana Gay Travel Resources