Enchanting, Lesbian Philadelphia – Windy City

Philadelphia

Philadelphia, the nation’s fourth largest city, feels vibrant, its walls covered in more than 3,500 murals, its narrow streets buzzing with excitement—and traffic. Streets can be packed with nightlife at two in the morning, but it feels rather like a carnival than an annoyance.

Despite the traffic, bicycles abound in lesbian Philadelphia. The Indego system—a bike share like Chicago’s Divvy—only costs $4 per half-hour ride. As long as you accept that the streets only have numbers sometimes, the grid system is easy to follow, and in the corners of the city you’ll find charming squares with sculptures, trees and benches. Staying in a Kimpton Hotel means you get free bike rental, though, as long as you return by sundown. The Hotel Palomar, in the middle of Center City, has a funky rock ‘n’ roll groove to it and personable, helpful staff who might offer you champagne at check-in.

When thinking about lesbian Philadelphia, art is not the first thing that comes to mind. Yet within a half-mile of each other exist the Philadelphia Museum of Art, home of the picturesque rocky steps, its smaller offshoot the Rodin Museum, and the Barnes Foundation. The Rodin Museum is a beautiful small repository of the sculptor’s works, including The Gates of Hell, one of his masterpieces.

The Barnes Foundation, a treasure trove of impressionism, is notable for staying true to its collector’s vision, despite a controversial move from the outskirts of town to the city itself—and for its utter lack of signage. Instead, visitors absorb the art with sly hints Barnes installed by the work, metal objects like keys and ladles indicating fundamental shapes in the painting below. It’s an unusual and ultimately incredibly rewarding way to view these priceless works, and is a must-see experience for an art lover.

By Liz Baudler – Full Story at Windy City

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Hershey Park Announces Trans-Friendly Policy

Hershey Park From Hershey Park press release: Every year, the employees of Hershey Entertainment & Resorts (HE&R) welcome over 6 million guests from down the street and around the world. We recognize that the more perspectives we have within our company, the more welcoming we are to all those who visit and seek employment here. In fact, our company has four core values, one of which is “respectful of others,” which we define as treating all people with dignity, while respecting their differences and ideas. For decades, Hersheypark has been dedicated to the safety and security of our guest and employees. It is foundational to our brand. Additionally, the Park has and will always strive to accommodate all guests and employees – including members of the LGBT community – to ensure those visiting or working at Hersheypark are comfortable and feel secure. To that end, the Park will continue its practice of treating all guests and employees the same no matter race, ethnicity, sexual identity, etc. Guests and employees may continue to use the restrooms with which they gender-identify, or are welcome to use the many family restrooms available across the destination.

Full Story at Joe.My.God

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Gay Philadelphia: The Rodin Museum

Rodin Museum - Philadelphia The Thinker - Rodin MuseumGay Philadelphia is home to some amazing museums. We visited one of them while we were there – the Rodin (pronounced “roh-daan”) museum. Most of us are familiar with Rodin’s “The Thinker” – a seated man with his head on his fist, deep in thought. When we found out that “The Thinker” was there at the Philadelphia Rodin Museum, we were excited. How often do you get to see such an iconic piece of art first-hand? Then we learned a little more about the casting process. Rodin MuseumA sculptor like Rodin makes the original mold in his studio, and then creates or licenses a certain number of copies, or “casts”, that can be made with it. The Philadelphia museum opened in 1929, and many of the sculptures were cast around that date. But Auguste Rodin died in 1917. So most of the works we saw were actually made by others, using the molds Rodin created. Rodin MuseumIt’s strange, thinking that the actual art in front of you was not created by the man whose name is on it. It’s also strange knowing it’s not the only copy. “The Thinker”, for instance, comes in several sizes. The largest of these has 28 copies scattered around the world. And there are more of the smaller version. Rodin MuseumWhen you go to see the Mona Lisa at the Louvre, you are seeing the one and only copy of DaVinci’s masterpiece. It’s a singular experience, by nature. Still, seeing so many of Rodin’s casts in one place is an amazing thing – it’s the second largest collection of his work, outside of Paris.

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Gay Philadelphia: The Views!

Gay Philadelphia - views Whenever we visit a new city, we like to find a great place to see the views. Gay Philadelphia - City HallIn Philadelphia, surprisingly, this is the gorgeous, recently restored City Hall. Tickets to the Observation Deck were cheap – just $6 when we were there. You have to get a ticket in advance – they go up every 15 minutes – and you can either call the visitor center at City Hall at (215) 686-2840, or you can stop by. It’s a bit tricky to find. City Hall is massive. We started at the entrance at the southeastern corner of the building, where you go through a security check – but that was the wrong place. To find the visitor center, start on the south side, where Broad Street runs into the building. Enter through the main walkway. The visitor center will be on your right in the tunnel just before you reach the courtyard. We were waylaid a bit by a last-minute VIP who wanted to see the view (eliciting grumbles from the staff) but we did eventually make it to the top. It was well worth the cost. Gay Philadelphia - views Gay Philadelphia - views

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Gay Philadelphia: Public Art

gay Philadelphia One of the things we absolutely loved about our visit to gay Philadelphia in October was the amazing amount of public art – murals and statues and the like. Of course, we had to get a photo of the famous “Love” sculpture – and did you know there’s one in Spanish too? But there is so much more to see scattered throughout the downtown core. One plaza is covered in giant pieces from various board games we loved as children. And walls all over the city are plastered with gorgeous murals, including the LGBT one on the side of the Center. Here are some of our favorites! <

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Guide to Philadelphia Neighborhoods

Philadelphia As someone who’s lived in Philadelphia for over a decade now, there’s one thing I can tell you with no hesitation: it’s a city of neighborhoods. While of course this applies to just about any city, it’s particularly marked in Philadelphia, where a few minutes’ stroll can bring you to a totally different atmosphere. Of course, there are things that united the city into a cohesive whole, including its combination of history and modernity, the gay-friendly quality that consistently lands it at the top of rankings by LGBT groups, and the immensely walkable nature of the “Center City” area, which is where we’ll spend most of our time. Set between two rivers, and only thirty blocks wide and about ten blocks long, with numbered streets going north/south and (mostly) tree-named streets east/west, the Philadelphia’s center city is a paradise for walkers. So let’s go on a tour of the City of Brotherly and Sisterly love, neighborhood by neighborhood. I think you’ll like the things we discover. I’m just sayin’.

The Gayborhood: At the Heart of Things

PhiladelphiaWe’ll start, of course, in the Gayborhood (aka Midtown Village), which is geographically as well as thematically a great place to begin, as it’s pretty much in the heart of Center City. For our purposes, we’ll call the Gayborhood the district from 10th to Broad Streets (Broad is the equivalent of 14th), and Market down to Pine. It’s here that you’ll find almost all the LGBT nightlife, and one of the most pleasant neighborhoods in the city. Good news: you can stay right in the Gayborhood. For convenience and appeal, I love Alexander Inn, a boutique hotel at Spruce and 12th that couldn’t be more perfectly located. Add to that Alexander’s nice rooms, super-helpful staff, and great breakfast buffet in their cozy living room, and what we have here is a winner. On the edge of the neighborhood, Loews Hotel, built in America’s first skyscraper, offers the style and friendliness we’ve come to associate with Loews.

By Rich Rubin – Full Story at Passport

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