Queer Albuquerque

Author: , October 26th, 2019

queer Albuquerque

We’re just back from the GRL (GayRomLit) con in Albuquerque – part of my “other” life as a queer writer.

We explored downtown and Old Town, and thought we’d share some of our favorite things about each. We stayed at the Hyatt Regency in the heart of the “new” downtown. Albuquerque is clean and quiet – at least in October. We were both surprised by the paucity of public art – there are very few murals or public statues and sculptures here.

But the city is pretty, and the mountains that surround it reminded me of my home town, Tucson, just a few hundred miles away to the southwest.

The restaurant scene is also a lot smaller than what we’re used to in our current home town, but we did find an awesome place to eat in the heart of Downtown – Brixens:

Brixens - queer Albuquerque

This is a cool, reasonably priced modern restaurant that combines a comfortable atmosphere with a mix of New Mexican and American cuisine, and some innovative touches as well. The menus are all touch screen tablets, which allows them to change the mix regularly. Each item has its own page, with an appetizing picture, price, details about the ingredients, and all kinds of options for picky diners. The swipe and click interface is easy to use, and I loved all the info at our fingertips.

Each table also includes an ice bin in the middle, covered by a board with a hole in it, to keep your beers cold.

We ate here three times over the five days we were in town – the burger was great, as was the flatbread – but the stand-out here was the desserts, especially the fry bread – it’s big enough to easily serve four, and I’m convinced that the one I had was responsible for half my six pound weight gain on this trip:

fry bread at Brixens - queer Albuquerque

Another restaurant just down the street intrigued us:

The Library - queer Albuquerque

We were in town for a book convention, after all – but it was a bit too much of a dark, hooters style bar for our tastes.

We spent most of our one non-conference day over in Old Town, the (touristy) heart of the city. I liked Old Town. Yes, there were about ten thousand shops selling the same things, most of it made overseas. But it has a certain charm, and we managed to find a few gems there.

Old Town surrounds a central square, and funny story – when we were there, a wedding was taking place in the gazebo in the heart of the square. We checked it out from afar, and saw that the bride and groom were in t-shirts – “Second Amendment Rights” t-shirts, to be exact. So yeah, there’s that. As I remarked to the hubby – “hey, at least they found each other. Once the wedding party was gone, Mark strode around the gazebo’s interior a few times to dispel the gun karma with a little fairy dust of his own:

gazebo - old town - queer Albuquerque

St. Felipe de Neri

On the north side of the square, a beautiful peach-colored church dominates the block. This is St. Felipe de Neri, named for an Italian saint Philipe di Neri. The church was built in another location, burned down, and when it was reconstructed in its current location, it was funded by Spain and King Felipe, named for the original saint. It’s a beautiful little church that has gone through three or four reconstructions, from Jesuit to Franciscan, once hosted a convent, and and which is still an active community church:

St. Felioe de Neri - queer Albuquerque

There’s also a lovely side courtyard/garden to wander through:

St. Felipe de Neri courtyard - queer albuquerque

And the inside is simple but beautiful:

St. Felipe de Neri interior - queer Albuquerque

Bonus, there’s a cute little gift shop attached to the church. We found a beautiful hand-made angel ornament there for a friend, and I bought a miniature replica of the church to take home as a memento of our time in queer Albuquerque.

La Choco

This is a cute store and candy shop on the eastern side of Old Town, perfect for a quick chocolate pick-me-up. But it also had some really cool merchandise, including balloon ornaments designed by the owner and made in Mexico. You can see some of them hanging from the ceiling in the second picture:

La Choco - Queer Albuquerque

La Choco - Queer Albuquerque

Genuine Southwest Arts and Gifts

This was our favorite shop in Old Town. The whole place is chock-full of art made by local artists, and while you could spend a whole lotta money here, you can also get some great things at reasonable prices (including the beautiful turquoise-colored earrings I found for my Mom – don’t tell her)! The shop is tucked away on the Eastern edge of Old Town, but it’s well worth the search. here are a few of the pics we took there of their beautiful gifts and art (including a few rainbow finds):

Genuine Southwest Art & Gifts - Queer Albuquerque

Genuine Southwest Art & Gifts - Queer Albuquerque

Genuine Southwest Art & Gifts - Queer Albuquerque

Genuine Southwest Art & Gifts - Queer Albuquerque

Church Street Cafe

When you wind down and want a nice place to eat, check out the Church Street Cafe. It’s about a block north of the square. The food was good, if not the best Mexican I’ve ever had, and the back courtyard was beautiful.

Church Street cafe - Queer New Mexico

The sopapillas after dinner were hot and delicious, especially with a little honey (though we wished they had honey bottles instead of packets).

I won’t mention the name of another restaurant – this one on the square – that was out of almost everything, and that served us a “salad” of green lettuce with no dressing that was basically cooked by a helping of poor quality dark meat chicken put on top too hot, and smothered with cheddar cheese.

All in all, we had a great time in Albuquerque, and hope you enjoy it too!

Here are a few ore pics of Old Town from our trip:

Queer Albuquerque

Queer Albuquerque

Queer Albuquerque

Queer Albuquerque

Queer Albuquerque

Queer Albuquerque

 

 

LGBTQ Albuquerque – Travel Pulse

Author: , January 14th, 2019

LGBTQ Albuquerque - Travel Pulse

Albuquerque is a fascinating and dynamic city, sometimes overlooked by travelers. Similarly, the city is under the radar as a queer destination. But the city and region are very queer-friendly, and there are many reasons why LGBTQ travelers should consider New Mexico’s largest city for their next trip.

According to Mauro Walden-Montoya, President of the Albuquerque LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce, the city has been used to diversity since its founding, way back in 1706.

“With the Native, Spanish and other cultures mixing for so many years, LGBTQ folks have been naturally accepted. It is easy to be LGBTQ in Albuquerque and we are very welcoming to residents and visitors alike,” he said. “New Mexico was the 17th state to legalize same-sex marriage, and Albuquerque welcomed thousands of LGBTQ couples from other states like Texas, Arizona, Colorado and as far away as Virginia who came to get married here.”

Walden-Montoya noted that one hotel welcomed a same-sex male couple from Dallas, who flew in on a Sunday evening to get married. They planned to have the ceremony on Monday and then leave that evening.

“The hotel manager sent them out sightseeing before the minister arrived. When they came back for their wedding, she had gotten them a cake (from an LGBTQ-friendly bakery) and decorated the lobby for their wedding. She and a staff member were their witnesses,” he said.

By Paul Heney – Full Story at Travel Pulse

Albuquerque Gay Travel Resources

 

New Mexico Hot Air Ballooning – 2TravelDads

Author: , December 14th, 2018

New Mexico Hot Air Ballooning

I’m pretty adventurous when it comes to travel. I’ll rock climb with the kids, go hiking with bears and moose, I’ll free dive with sea lions and sharks, I’ll even paddleboard with alligators… but I never thought I would go hot air ballooning in New Mexico. I did it. I actually bit the bullet, climbed into a wicker basket and lifted off into the great blue beyond. And you can too!

New Mexico is known for many things, from the Navajo and Hopi pueblos and culture, to the incredible nature and epic landscape unlike anywhere else. And hot air ballooning. Since we’re all about sharing unique experiences and encouraging everyone to be a little more brave with each adventure, here’s how you can do a hot air balloon in New Mexico.

Places for New Mexico hot air ballooning

New Mexico is one of the most unique and gorgeous places I’ve ever been in the United States. It’s that combination of mountains, desert, high prairie, and vibrant geology that makes the Land of Enchantment totally enchanting. How better to experience and take in the wonder of New Mexico than from a hot air balloon? There are three primary destination in New Mexico for hot air ballooning: Gallup, Albuquerque, and Alamogordo. (see map below)

I went up out of Gallup, New Mexico and wow, the landscape made it not just beautiful, but thrilling. With Alamogordo, you’ve got the plains leading to White Sands National Monument. With Albuquerque you’ve got view of the mountains and metropolitan city. Hot air ballooning in Gallup provides you with an up-close encounter with nature… the way eagles see it.

By Rob Taylor – Full Story at 2TravelDads

New Mexico Gay Travel Resources

 

Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B – Gay Santa Fe Bed and Breakfast

Author: , November 14th, 2018

Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B

The Inn of the Turquoise Bear is a quintessential rambling adobe villa set in the heart of historic Santa Fe. Guests of our Santa Fe bed and breakfast will enjoy being within walking distance to Santa Fe’s Plaza, museums, galleries, shops, fine dining, and nightlife.

The estate was once the home of noted poet, playwright and essayist Witter Bynner. Bynner and his companion Robert Hunt were famous – or infamous – for the wild parties they hosted in the house know as “Bynner’s bashes.” The celebrity guest list included D. H. Lawrence, Ansel Adams, Igor Stravinsky, Martha Graham, Willa Cather, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Stephen Spender, Christopher Isherwood, Georgia O’Keeffe, Mary Austin, Thornton Wilder, Robert Oppenheimer, Robert Frost, W. H. Auden, Lynn Riggs, Rita Hayworth, Errol Flynn and countless others.

See the Inn of the Turquoise Bear B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Santa Fe Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals

 

Mauger Estate B&B – Albuquerque Lesbian Bed & Breakfast

Author: , August 10th, 2018

Mauger Estate B&B - Albuquerque Lesbian Bed & Breakfast

Native to Albuquerque Leigh and Stephanie are the proud new owners of the Mauger Estate Bed and Breakfast. The Mauger (pronounced Major) is a wonderfully intimate, restored Queen Anne residence, where high ceilings and rich woodwork offer an old-fashioned, one of a kind experience.

The Mauger Estate B&B is Albuquerque’s most centrally located bed & breakfast. Located less that half a mile off historical Route 66, the Mauger Estate B&B is in the heart of thedowntown business district, blocks from the Convention Center, and one mile from Historic Old Town. Our homemade breakfasts, outstanding customer service, knowledgeable staff,and our extremely high standards of cleanliness makes for a memorable stay with us.

The beds are comfy with high quality linens and fluffy pillows. Feel at home in our home. This historic property features private bathrooms, daily breakfast, evening refreshments, free WiFi, mini fridge and coffee pot, and free parking. We love our K-9 family and we know you love yours, we have one room available on the property with a private fenced court yard and doggie door. Please confirm availability before booking.

See the Mauger Estate B&B Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

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

New Mexico’s Gila Cliff Dwellings – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , July 19th, 2018

Gila Cliff Dwellings - Free Wheel Drive

While staying up late one night during our stay at White Sands, Laura was peering over our atlas for possible routes and potential fun stuff to see before we had to had to be at our next farm. We didn’t do any research on what to do in Southwest New Mexico, but looking at a map there is a ton of public lands with the possibility of fun. One place intrigued us the most, Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument.

Gila (pronounced Heela) Cliff Dwellings is only 37 miles North of Silver City, Nm, but it takes over an hour and a half to get there. The road up is narrow, winding, and with steep drop-offs inches off the road. The landscape is very different up the mountains of New Mexico. Pine trees, rivers, and the color green. It was actually a welcome sight after being in the desert these last couple of months… minus the colder weather.

By Camrin LaFond – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Southwest New Mexico Gay Travel Resources

Dune Sledding at the White Sands National Monument – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , July 7th, 2018

White Sands National Monument

Getting to the White Sands National Monument took two hours of driving west out of Roswell. The journey takes you through beautiful rolling hills and river fed farms to the town of Alamogordo, New Mexico.

The city sits in a “landscape bowl” surrounded by mountains and the Tularosa Basin. It’s also the closest city to White Sands National Monument and Holloman Air Force Base. There is an interesting clash of people here with all the military personnel and tourists around.

Alamogordo is also home to McGinn’s Pistachioland, home of the worlds largest Pistachio.

By Camrin LaFond – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Southeastern New Mexico Gay Travel Resources

Lesbian Travel: Exploring Carlsbad Caverns National Park – Free Wheel Drive

Author: , July 2nd, 2018

Lesbian Travel: Exploring Carlsbad Caverns National Park - Free Wheel Drive

On to Carlsbad Caverns National Park! It’s so close to the Guadalupe Mountains National Park that we were able to stay at the same campground just inside of New Mexico from Texas. Carlsbad Caverns National Monument was created in 1923 by President Calvin Coolidge and then it was made into a national park in 1930.

We love a good national park visitor center. They are like little free museums. A great place to learn about the history of the area.

To get into the cave you take a path around the visitor center to the Natural Entrance. Unfortunately, at the beginning of February, the bats have all migrated to Mexico for the winter so we didn’t get to see them fly out.

By Camrin LaFond – Full Story at Free Wheel Drive

Southeastern New Mexico Gay Travel Resources

Burch Street Casitas – Taos Gay Friendly Vacation Rentals

Author: , August 25th, 2017

Burch Street Casitas

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

Recently built (June 2005) and with a very convenient in-town Taos location, Burch Street Casitas are an easy walk from the Historic Taos Plaza and Kit Carson Museum. These vacation rental cottages provide the ideal Taos vacation rental.

At Burch Street Casitas, our Taos Gay Friendly Vacation Rentals, we offer four cozy 550 sf units featuring southwestern style architecture in a private compound.

We supply everything you’ll need except for food!

Our Taos Casitas are in the heart of “Canyon”, a historic neighborhood just 1.5 miles from Carson National Forest. This area is well-known for great hiking, biking, and fishing.

These casitas are also close to the Taos Plaza, shops, galleries, restaurants, and Kit Carson House.

We offer pleasant relaxing environments, including all the comforts of home, as well as romanticwood burning fireplaces. Outdoors, you’ll find private patios under a canopy of tall Chinese Elm and Cottonwood trees. There is also private off-street parking just a few feet from your arched front door.

Each of our ground-level Taos casitas features an open floor plan, and has a king-sized bed, full kitchen, full private bath, and quaint living/office/dining areas, with saltillo tiled radiant floor heat throughout.

The custom tongue-and-groove native New Mexico Pine and cross-beamed ceilings, along with the large windows and glass-wall blocks lend a light and airy charm. Each casita is decorated with contemporary southwest flavor.

Tastefully appointed niches, attractive wall hangings, consignment art from J. K. Lamkin, an eclectic selection of books and talavera tile kitchen counter accents complete your home away from home.

Casita amenities include:

  • king-sized bed with ceiling fans
  • free high speed internet
  • direct phone line with computer jack
  • TV / DVD Player / VCR
  • a selection of videos and books
  • informal book exchange
  • washer/dryer
  • iron / ironing board
  • generous closet/cabinet storage
  • wood-burning fireplace
  • desk
  • hair dryer

Each full kitchen includes all appliances:

  • gas flamed broiler / oven / range stove
  • refrigerator-freezer with icemaker
  • microwave
  • coffee maker & toaster
  • blender & crock pot
  • cooking / service ware for four people
  • coffee & tea
  • specialty equipment supplied at your request

You’ll find all the conveniences, staple items, and paper supplies you’ll need for your stay.

Coming to Taos? Stay with us at the modern, charming, friendly Burch Street Casitas!

See the PROPERTY Expanded Listing on Purple Roofs Here

Gay Friendly Bed and Breakfasts, Hotels, and Vacation Rentals in AREA

TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS GAY WORLD: Unbuttoned – Gay Life in the Santa Fe Arts Scene

Author: , March 18th, 2017

UnbuttonedSometimes when we visit a town we wish that we had read more about it before going. Such is the case with Santa Fe, New Mexico where we have visited many times over the past 30 years. We visit all the really great places and shrines and churches and really appreciate the architecture, etc.

When we visited last year we ran across a new published book about Gay Life in the Santa Fe Arts Scene written by Walter Cooper. It is a great history of Gay Life in Santa Fe particular in the art scene.
Walter was born in New York, got his B.A. in American Studies from Hobart College and worked in New York City and Tokyo for 10 years as a copywriter. but yearned for more out of life. He then moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico in the early 1970’s and as they say, the rest is history and what a rich life he has had in Santa Fe.

Like many of us, he enjoys “people” in all forms, shapes and sizes. Walter’s artwork has been exhibited in major galleries and private collections. His work in graphic design includes opera posters, book and record album covers, wool rug, greeting cards and postage stamps. He is the author of two previously published books.

Santa Fe has always been a haven for artists and writers, poets and sculptors and the rest of the arts including their famous Santa Fe Opera which has become a world renown Opera. It is located just to the north of Santa Fe in the high mountains and draws thousands of visitors each year. Santa Fe has it’s mountains and scenery and chapels and architecture but it is PEOPLE that makes a community and Santa Fe has had a very colorful history of people from all walks of life.” Why be like everyone else” would be a good description of  the people in Santa Fe ?

Walter Cooper’s book of more than 250 pages, including over 80 photographs, tells about most all of the people that he has met in his many years living in Santa Fe. And what colorful characters he has met and partied with ! From Grande Dames to artists, writers, entertainers, and just people who live there. Often it is those people who are most interesting to be with.

He tells his readers about his social life as well as his personal life with the different lovers that he has had. He tells readers about the dozens and dozens over extremely interesting characters that has met and become friends with.  Readers will really get involved with his stories and wish that they were there enjoying the life as he has lived and continues to live.  You will be introduced to so many VERY interesting people. This is certainly a book that when you start reading, you cannot put down until the ending.

The one thing that readers need to take home with them from reading his book is that one can have the life that he has had anywhere that they live. One just has to enjoy people and get involved with people on different levels of life. Being ‘different’ is a good thing !

Walter Cooper has now lived in Santa Fe and he and his partner of many years, Doug live in the countryside near Santa Fe. Many book stores sell his books or you can purchase them from Amazon.com. After reading his book all we can say is that he has had a life, well lived. Readers should take heed and live their lives more fully. Walter certainly as had a life well lived. Next time you are going somewhere to visit, try learning about the ‘people’ before going there.

And when going to Santa Fe the best place to stay is El Farolito Bed & Breakfast Inn. They are located at 514 Galisteo which is just a few short blocks from the Plaza. Their website is: https://farolito.com/ and their phone is: 505.988.1631 or 888.634.8762. Owners Wayne Mainus and Walt Wyass have owned the Inn for nearly 20 years and they have guests that keep coming back all the time simply because they are the BEST ! If they are booked up, which they often are, they also have another B and B, The Four Kachinas Inn, just a few blocks away, https://fourkachinas.com/

And on top of everything else about Santa Fe, they have a very handsome and WONDERFUL Mayor, Javier Gonzales. Hopefully he will be the Governor one of these days.

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/

Santa Fe Gay Travel Resources