New in Queer Boston – Passport Magazine

Author: , September 15th, 2018

Boston - Pixabay

There’s a lot of action to be found in Boston these days…and certainly of the Lights! Camera!…Hollywood sort. “Amy Schumer shot I Feel Pretty here and was just dragging people into scenes off the street,” a guide for On Location Tours (www.onlocationtours.com/tour/boston-tv-movie) tells me during a Boston movie locations tour. Openly gay director Gus Van Sant also shot Good Will Hunting in the area, while Boston has also been a location for LGBT faves Legally Blonde and Ally McBeal. In fact, early 2018 saw Kevin Bacon, Jill Hennessy, Cathy Moriarty, and Aldis Hodge around for a new Showtime pilot, crime drama City on a Hill.

Location shooting aside, Boston is also seeing vibrant programs, festivals, and initiatives that promote movies, including those about and by LGBTQ folks. Besides the annual LGBT Film Festival, Wicked Queer(www.wicked queer.org), celebrating its 35th anniversary in March 2019, Autograph Collection’s 136-room The Envoy Hotel (70 Sleeper St. Tel: 617-338-3030. www.theenvoyhotel.com) launched a film-centric program in September2017 with a special screening and appearance by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

The Autograph Collection initiative includes a library of indie films for hotels’ guests to stream on their TVs or iPads, and partnership/residency program with screenplay resource The Black List (www.blcklst.com), whose annual survey of the best unproduced screenplays has seen writers get launched into the Hollywood stratosphere. First time screenwriter Elizabeth Hannah’s The Post, turned into a Best Picture Oscar nominee by director Stephen Spielberg, was once on the list, while Jared Frieder, with a 2015 Black List script about a gay teenager, Three Months, went on to land a writing gig on MTV’s series Sweet/Vicious.

By Lawrence Ferber – Full Story at Passport Magazine

Boston Gay Travel Resources

Bolzano – Dolly Travels

Author: , September 15th, 2018

Bolzano - Dolly Travels

Good evening,

I finally have time to sit and write. We have been in Bolzano since yesterday afternoon, and it seems we have been going non-stop since we arrived.

We had a long train trip from Vernazza to Bolzano. If you look at a map of Italy, you will see that we came from the Ligurian Coast to northern Italy, to the gateway to the Dolomites. Actually, I have to admit, our train trip wasn’t so bad. We got a medium high speed train, the Frecciaargento from La Spezia to Florence, taking only and hour and a half, versus the usual 3 hours on a regional train. We had to wait about an hour in Florence, then we got another Frecciaargento train direct to Bolzano, a little over three hours.

Our hotel, Hotel Feichter, is located about four blocks from the train station, near the center of town. We got checked in, then took a walking tour of the town. It is a lovely Austrian-looking town, and of course, as we walked, we did not hear Italian being spoken anymore; the primary language here is German. Everything is so clean and neat. We walked down one street that had a covered portico to shield us from the sun. The shops were pretty upscale, but we weren’t shopping, we were just strolling.

Of course, for me, the biggest draw to Bolzano, is that this city is the gateway to the Dolomites. From the walkway in front of my room, I can see the stark Dolomite mountains. They are calling me.

Last evening, we walked again, and had not really decided where to have dinner. There was a big black cloud hovering over the western edge of the city. I told the kids that our dinner destination would be determined by what that cloud did. Interesting enough, we were just a few steps from a brew pub when the first fat rain drops started to fall, and within minutes, everyone was scrambling to get out of the rain.

We made it into the pub, got seated and enjoyed a traditional Austrian type dinner.

Of course, Danny had a beer with his dinner. After all, he had to try the locally-made brew.

After dinner, the rain had stopped, so we were able to walk home without getting soaked. However, about an hour after we got back to the hotel, we were treated to one of the most spectacular lightning and thunder shows that I have ever seen, complete with pouring down rain. It was so incredible, I had to open my window and watch the show. Heather and Danny told me that they went out onto the walkway in front of our rooms to watch it. What a fantastic treat…one we could enjoy from the comfort of our rooms.

Today, we visited the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, where we saw the displays focused on Ötzi, the Ice Man: an intact body of a man that was found high in the mountains between Austria and Italy in 1991. He has now been determined to be between 5,100 and 5,300 years old.

Later, we took a gondola up to the town of Oberbozen, a small resort town in the hills above Bolzano.

Tonight, we walked through some small streets, finally settling on one small restaurant for our dinner.

I do enjoy being in Bolzano, for it is an interesting city. There is a university here; it is the largest city in the northern part of Italy. There are many shops, eateries, plus parks and places to relax. Staying here is always a pleasure.

We will leave here in the morning, and take a bus for the one hour ride to Castelrotto, where we will spend four days, hopefully hiking and enjoying the outdoors in the clean Alpine air. For me, just being in the Dolomites makes me happy.

I will try to write a blog post within a day or two. It is hard to believe that this vacation is drawing to a close. What wonderful memories we will have to take home with us.

Arrivederci,
Ciao for now,
Dolly

By Dolly Goolsby – Full Story at Dolly Travels

Trentino-Alto Adige Gay Travel Resources Gay Travel Resources

Taiwan’s Pingxi Lantern Festival – Once Upon a Journey

Author: , September 13th, 2018

PINGXI LANTERN FESTIVAL

If you are looking for magic, you should go to a sky lantern festival. Sky lantern festivals are one of the most magical things on earth. Disney dreams will come true. We can’t get enough of them, so after experiencing Yi Peng in Chiang Mai, we travel to Taiwan to experience the magic of the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival. It’s one of the most spectacular happenings in Taiwan.

As it’s a big happening, you would think there’s a lot of information available online. Unfortunately, the resources of the Taiwan Tourism Board were limited and the blog posts we found, didn’t provide us with the right transportation-information. Therefore, we end up in the wrong town. We will not let that happen to you, so here’s the ultimate guide to Pingi Sky Lantern Festival!

WHY SHOULD YOU GO?

The Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival takes place once a year, usually in February or March, during the first full moon of the Lunar New Year. The festival has been named one of the 15 Festivals To Attend Before You Die and one of the Best Winter Trips. So, it’s a must see! At night, thousands of lanterns float up into the night sky, and with them, so do many dreams and wishes for the new year. The lanterns are released in group releases. And it’s truly like a dream come true.

WHERE SHOULD YOU GO?

So here’s where it gets tricky. The festival takes place in the Pingxi district, in New Taipei City, and lantern releases are held in the towns Jingtong, Pingxi and Shifen. The biggest lantern releases are NOT held in Pingxi old town – so don’t try to go there, like we did. The biggest event is in Shifen, where they set up the main stage at a parking area and is transformed into the Shifen Sky Lantern Square. It’s located close to the Shifen waterfall, and only a short 15 minute walk from Shifen Station.

By Roxanne & Maartje – Full Story at Once Upon a Journey

China Gay Travel Resources

Nevada is Much More Than Vegas – Gay Star News

Author: , September 13th, 2018
Nevada - Gay Star News

Photo: Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority

Vegas is like nothing else on Earth. And Las Vegas Boulevard, known more commonly as the Strip, is like nothing else in the city. To call the Strip iconic probably plays it down. The Statue of Liberty is iconic. So is the Palace of Westminster. The Strip is extra. 100-percent, 24-carat extra.

Bright lights, slot machines as far as the eye can see, slushies with a higher alcohol content than neat vodka; that’s what you see when you think of Vegas. Neverland on acid. Yet the City of Lights is just a single, glorious destination in Nevada and it’d be a crime not to venture out and see the state. Vegas is the perfect base from which to explore and, given the number of direct flights from the UK, the most accessible too. But first things first…

Every hotel, restaurant and casino worth its salt is situated in and around the Strip. There’s one for every budget, from the Bellagio if you’re blowing the bank (or you win big on a table while you’re there) to the gargantuan Caesar’s, to the more reasonably priced Flamingo, coming complete with a flock of flamingos in its garden. And nearly every hotel has a casino.

The rules of everyday life are suspended on the floor of the house. Servers will bring you a steady flow of free drinks and snacks (all you need do is tip), gamblers will huddle around machines and tables, smoking freely, and natural light is very hard to find, making it easy to forget the world outside.

By Andrew Gonsalves – Full Story at Gay Star News

Nevada Gay Travel Resources

Eating Out: Austria – Passport Magazine

Author: , September 10th, 2018

Austria - Pixabay

I ask an American what is considered quintessential Austrian cuisine, and you’re likely to get a furrowed brow. At roughly 32,000 square miles (think South Carolina, but landlocked), the country shares borders and cultural influences with the Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Liechtenstein, and Slovakia. In its heyday, the Austrian Empire was one of the most powerful in Europe, ruled by the Habsburgs for nearly six centuries. The declared war against Serbia marked the beginning of World War I, and by 1918 the dynasty was history. Nazi invasion followed and an eventual restoration of autonomy with the help of the Allied Forces.

Sitting at the epicenter of Europe’s evershifting alliances has tested Austria’s resiliency, but it has also laid the groundwork for culinary inspiration drawn from historical trade routes and centuries-old farming and agriculture industries. I recently visited the land of Wiener schnitzel and pumpkinseed oil in search of Austria’s best bites, and to taste how the country is keeping pace with 21stcentury gastronomy trends, while still maintaining its authentic traditions.

Vienna is Europe’s unsung hero for stunning Gothic, baroque, and modern architecture. It also boasts the Ringstrasse, a three-mile circular road where you can find the Vienna State Opera, the Museum of Fine Arts, and other Insta-worthy landmarks. Commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1857, it is the symbol of the city’s penchant for the finer things in life and still serves as an anchor for Vienna’s bustling and sophisticated lifestyle.

I begin my edible excursion by checking into the Grand Ferdinand (Schubertring 10-12. Tel: +43-1-91880. www.grandferdinand.com), hotelier Florian Weitzer’s opulent reimagining of several adjacent 1950’s office buildings. Its showcase restaurant, Meissl & Schadn (www.meisslundschadn.at), pays homage to the legendary namesake hotel and restaurant that opened in Vienna in 1896 but didn’t survive the city’s World War II bombing. History is reborn with classic recipes served in a dramatic setting featuring wicker chairs, tiled pillars, low-hanging chandeliers, and crisp white linens.

But it’s the sound of veal cutlets pounded into plate-size portions in the salon kitchen that gives Meissl & Schaden its signature Viennese flair. Dipped in free-range eggs then coated in breadcrumbs, the Wiener schnitzel sizzles away (in your choice of clarified butter, lard, or neutral vegetable oil) until crispy. Finished with a hearty squeeze of lemon, it embodies the essence of classic Austrian cuisine.

By Matthew Wexler – Full Story at Passport Magazine

LOCATION Gay Travel Resources

Hummingbird Inn – Goshen, Virginia Gay Friendly B&B

Author: , September 8th, 2018

The Hummingbird Inn

At the western edge of the beautiful Shenandoah valley near historic Lexington, Goshen Pass, and Warm Springs, The Hummingbird Inn, a unique Carpenter Gothic villa, offers deluxe accommodations in an early Victorian setting.

Antique furnishings, modern bathrooms, and warm hospitality await you.

More than full breakfasts satisfy the largest appetites. Elegant romantic candlelight dinners are available.

See the Hummingbird Inn Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

5 Interesting Facts about the Doge’s Palace in Venice – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , September 8th, 2018

Doge's Palace - Keep Calm and Wander

If anything that strikes our minds after hearing the name “Italy”, it is definitely Venice – a city where everything is shrouded in romance and intrigue. Doge’s Palace, in particular, is one of those places.

Here are some interesting facts about it.

1. It exhibits Gothic Architecture

The architectural exuberance of the palace is the first thing that meets the eyes of an onlooker. The building is purely gothic; however, there is a huge influence of the Venetian art; thus, making it Venetian Gothic style.

2. The “White House” in its heyday

This palace was the central government building at its peak time. “Doge of Venice” or the ruler used to live here with his family for his lifetime.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Venice Gay Travel Resources

Five Gay Travel Apps You Need Now – The Nomadic Boys

Author: , September 7th, 2018

Five Gay Travel Apps You Need Now - The Nomadic Boys

We rely more and more on our phones and tablets during our travels than ever before. So much so, each year we love to put together our favourite new app discoveries, such as our 9 favourite gay travel apps and our 5 awesome apps for gay travellers.

So in true Nomadic Boys tradition, here are our latest 5 new gay travel app discoveries. Note that although these are not necessarily brand new apps, nor are they gay specific, they are apps that we’ve recently stumbled on, absolutely love, and have completely embellished our travels in one way or other.

AccuWeather

What’s wrong with the iPhone weather app? It’s quite unreliable and doesn’t always find the local place you’re based. We’ve had this problem on numerous occasions, so we spent a lot of time searching for an alternative weather app.

The best we found is AccuWeather, which is comprehensive, user friendly, lists multiple places, and of course reliable. It also gives a detailed breakdown by hour and day.

Drone camera users like us will also appreciate the wind speed info given by AccuWeather so you know if it’s safe to fly.

By Stefan Arestis – Full Story at The Nomadic Boys

Inside the Pisa Cathedral – Keep Calm and Wander

Author: , September 7th, 2018

Pisa Cathedral - Keep Calm and Wander

The Pisa Cathedral marks the zenith of the architectural power of Pisa at the time of its creation by having bits from the Islamic, Byzantine, Lombard-Emilian, and classical architecture. Lying peacefully in the Piazza dei Miracoli (Miracle Square), it gleams in multi-colors, courtesy of the different types of marbles that it is adorned with, especially cosmatesque marble.

1. The marble facade

Unlike the exterior, the cathedral’s interior depicts much more decorations and ornamentations. The Romanesque façade of the cathedral is made of pastel-colored marble that is designed divinely by the students of Giambolongna.

While the three doors leading inside were constructed or cast after the deadly fire of 1595, an original door “The Door of San Ranieri” designed by Bonnano Pisano still stands and provides a way in from the southern transept.

2. Medieval and Renaissance art

The interior of the cathedral has a mixture of the Renaissance and Medieval architecture. This mixture has been a result of the fire of 1595. After the destruction of most of the Medieval parts of the cathedral, they were rebuilt in the Renaissance style as it was popular back then.

The surviving Medieval pieces include Tomb of Emperor Henry VII, originally sculpted by Tino di Camaino, and the pulpit by Giovanni Pisano, which has been recently placed in its original place after being found dismantled.

By Alain – Full Story at Keep Calm and Wander

Pisa Gay Travel Resources

Small Towns Can Be Fun and Interesting – Traveling In Our Fabulous Gay World

Author: , September 6th, 2018

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay Travelers

Ever go to a town with a population of about 2,000 to have a fun and interesting time when you absolutely know no one? We did a couple of weeks ago and had a fabulous time and met some really, REALLY wonderful and interesting people. Oakley, Kansas is located on Interstate 70 in western Kansas, 350 miles west of Kansas City and 250 miles east of Denver.

We checked out the motels ahead of time and chose the Kansas Country Inn, www.kansascountryinn.com which turned out to be the best one in town. Amanda was the Manager and had a personality perfect for her job description. She was fun, funny, very professional and made everyone staying at the motel feel right at home. She was a ‘hands on’ manager who knows what is going on and is on top of everything. More motels around the country needs to hire more people like her and they would get a lot more business. We could not have asked for a better place to stay out in western Kansas. She directed us to the best places to see and dine. There were some oil rig workers staying at the motel and we had a great conversation on the history and workings on what they do which was extremely interesting. They are such hard workers. They deserve double the salaries that they receive.

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay TravelersThe first afternoon, we toured the Fick Fossil Museum, www.discoveroakley.com/167/Fick-Fossil-Museum. Kansas was a very different place 80 million years ago and an inland sea stretched from the Arctic Ocean to the Gulf of Mexico and Kansas was under water. In 1964 Ernest and Vi Fick began collecting fossils left by ancient sea creatures that inhabited this prehistoric sea. After collecting thousands of items, it was time to establish a museum. Any museum or town or anything is only as good as the staff or people involved. The receptionist, Donnette was a REAL JEWEL! She explained about the museum, the town and surrounding area. We enjoyed talking with everyone in Oakley but she was our favorite. We wish her well. She was ‘born FABULOUS’ and she is staying that way!

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay TravelersOur next stop was the Buffalo Bill Cultural Center, www.buffalobilloakley.org/ which has a 2X life size Bronze statue of Buffalo Bill and a Buffalo. Like kissing the Blarney Stone one is supposed to kiss the Buffalo. They have a great Center adjoining the statue. We met a wonderful lady who works there, Alice and she was extremely interesting to talk with. She also gave us recommendations on where to go in the area and also where to dine.

Our first night we dined at the Buffalo Bill Bar and Grill downtown. The food was exceptional and our server Audra was very proficient and friendly.

Oakley, Kansas - small towns - Gay TravelersThe next day we drove 20 some miles south of town to visit The Chalk Pyramids and Monument Rocks,  www.kansastravel.org/monumentrocks.htm. Out here in the middle of nowhere are these absolutely wonderful rock creations which you can park your auto and walk all around. One has to go the Grand Canyon or someplace like that to see this type of a scenic vista. They do not go for miles and miles however it is certainly worth the trip to see these extra ordinary structures. Do be careful because this on private land (the owners are very nice to allow visitors drive on their property for free,) but there are dozens of cattle walking all around and they do leave ‘droppings’ NOT to step in! Be sure and check out the photos on their website.

Back to Oakley we had lunch at the Dairy King and had a delicious cheeseburger and chocolate milk shake. Our clerk, Leesa was a delight to talk with. She actually is a cousin to Amanda, the motel manager. Needless to say the cheeseburger and milk shake was made from scratch unlike at the fast food restaurants. Then off to Russell Springs, Kansas about 30 miles southwest. The population is 24, yes, 24! It was the original county seat of Logan Country until 1963 which it was moved to Oakley. The beautiful county court house is now the Butterfield Trail Museum, www.butterfieldtrailmuseum.org/. which is full of history as well as hundreds of artifacts and relics from the area. Debbie who was in charge of the Museum was great! She loves her town and it’s rich history. A ‘friend’ of hers, Kendal walked in from town like one block away and he was equally interesting to talk with about the town and it’s history. They were perfect together and we think that they should get married. Needless to say the town has no grocery stores or service stations or anything other than it’s residents. On cold winter nights one needs to stock up on groceries and beer/liquor from another town far away.

That night we dined THE BLUFF restaurant in Oakley which was highly recommended to us by several people. The food was excellent! Our server, Jessie was friendly and professional. The two guys in the kitchen (and owners) certainly knew what they were doing and our food was outstanding! Three more people we want to mention was John at the Meat Processing business across the street from the motel. They process all of their own meat. Large cities needs a place like this. Unfortunately we were running late when we left and didn’t have time to purchase some meat to bring home. They have a wonderful grocery store in Oakley. Heartland Foods, where everyone is super friendly, especially Jack and Matthew. If you are ever driving along I-70, take a couple of days and stay in Oakley. You will be glad that you did. You will also meet some of the friendliest people around. Thanks again to Amanda at the motel for being so fabulous! For more information about Oakley, Kansas, check www.discoveroakley.com/
Don and Ray

Always 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/