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By @ 07/27/18 in Gay travel, Japan, Tom Goss, Travel, Traveling Tom


Konnichiwa from Kyoto, Japan! For thousands of years, Kyoto was the cultural center and capital of Japan — and It shows. Kyoto boasts expansive temples and a deep sense of tradition. As Kyoto modernized, it never lost its sense of culture and history, making it a fascinating example of modern and ancient Japan living side by side.

Join Trav’lin Tom for a fun, fast-paced tour of temples, bamboo groves, food markets, and even Japanese karaoke.

Tom Goss is a ManAboutWorld global correspondent. He travels with his husband, Mike, all around the world and sends us these video updates. Click on his video and follow his KinosakeOnsen adventure. Follow Tom’s other video adventures here.

TOM’S ALSO A TALENTED PERFORMER

Tom is also a singer, songwriter, and filmmaker whose concerts and projects keep him constantly moving. When not traveling for work, Tom is usually traveling for fun. Check out his music at TomGossMusic.com and more Trav’lin Tom videos on YouTube.

Also connect with Tom on the following social media platforms:

Meet all of our Global Correspondents hereSubscribe to ManAboutWorld here and find insights from Tom, our global correspondents and the staff writers at the magazine Ed, Billy and Kenny.

Tom.Square.Bed

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By @ 07/20/18 in Dining/food/wine, Event, Gay tours, Gay travel, Travel
Bear naked chef cooking up a storm at la Cucina Sabina and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineTHE BEAR NAKED CHEF IS BACK!

Adrian De Berardinis, AKA “The Bear Naked Chef,” is a naked bear chef. What he lacks in clothing he more than makes up for with exquisite culinary skills.

From November 11-17, 2018. our favorite bear is hosting a gay cooking week at a La Cucina Sabina, a luxurious Italian villa, in the tranquil foothills of the Monti Lucretelli mountains, just 30 minutes north of Rome

Book by July 31, 2018 and receive a special Couple’s Spa Package — a $250 added value.

This all-inclusive vacation trip includes a week at the luxurious villa; four hands-on cooking lessons, including The Bear-Naked Chef in action along with three Michelin star trained chefs! You’ll also experience guided excursions to medieval villages, vineyards, and castles, a day in Rome, and so much more!

This post is brought to you via our partner, La Cucina Sabina.



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By @ 07/17/18 in Barry Hoy, Canada, Gay pride, Gay travel, Montreal, Party, Travel

Our correspondent, Barry Hoy, left (and his partner) in Montreal's Gay VillageWe all know Montreal has a reputation for being a place of acceptance and inclusion, especially in Montreal’s Gay Village, which is is just east of downtown around Beaudry Metro station, running along Saint Catherine Street. Montreal’s Gay Village is where most of this year’s Pride activities will happen. Whether you are visiting for the parties or shows, you still need to know the best spots to get yummy cocktails and, of course, where to fill up. We got your covered! Here are the village’s top bars and restaurants:

Top bars in Montreal's Gay VillageTop 5 bars in Montreal’s Gay Village

Sky Complex – This is the city’s most popular gay club/bar and it has several spaces, from a dance clue to a male strip bar, to a cabaret. The rooftop terrace is also amazing.

Bar Renard – This sexy cocktail bar and lounge has a great selection of spirits and happy hour.

Bar Aigle Noir – Traditionally, the Black Eagle bar for the leather enthusiast. The crowd is now getting more diverse serving up beer and drinks in a classic setup with guest DJs and a buzzy patio.

Stock Bar – One of the more popular male strip bars in Montreal where you can grab a drink and watch hot buff men dance around you!

Le Stud – Le Stud is more of a dive bar with cheap drinks and great happy hour.

Our correspondent, Barry Hoy in Montreal's Gay VillageTop 5 restaurants in Montreal’s Gay Village

O’ThymAsophisticated French bistro that uses seasonal ingredients and has a relaxed, yet cute ambiance. You can also BYOB!

Saloon – This campy restaurant has a great outdoor terrace so that you can people watch. They also serve amazing martinis!

Kitchenette – Located just outside the village, in case you want to escape for a more intimate dining experience. They offer a great 5 course tasting menu where you choose 2 starters, 2 main dishes, and a shared dessert!

Bato Thai – A casual BYOB setting with the best Thai food in the area. This is a great place for a quick bite if you want something yummy but not too formal.

Le Red Tiger – Le Red Tiger offers Vietnamese affordable street food that is both delicious and unique. Portions are small but shareable, so order at least a few items per person.

Add a few, or all, of these spots to your list and you are bound to have an amazing trip. For more things to do and places to visit in Montreal, stop by www.asianmapleleaf.com

 

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By @ 07/09/18 in Gay travel, Hotels, Ronnie D'Amico, San Francisco, Travel

Proper Hotel rooftop in San Francisco and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineSan Francisco has an overabundance of many things: boys in hoodies, cable cars, and public parks to sip rosé.  What the city hasn’t been home to is a sophisticated proper rooftop lounge with sweeping views incorporating fire pits, thoughtful cocktails and an attractive crowd that leaves its active wear at home. Story by Ronnie D’Amico. Photo by Proper Hotel.

Meet Charmaine’s: A proper rooftop bar and lounge 120 feet above the newly opened mid-Market Street Proper Hotel featuring all of the above. For a night out, arrive early before 7pm to avoid the line. Head on up through the McAllister Street entrance where you’ll meet a doorman who takes himself too seriously. Don’t let him deter you. Remember this is SF. Not LA. Once you get past him, you’ll be lead down a corridor to the elevator.

When the elevators empty you above, your senses will heighten with the rush of fresh air on your face, the sight of an energetic crowd of all demographics, gay and straight (who put an effort into their look), and the sound of moody French-pop playing over it all. You’ll feel a sign of relief that such a space exists in San Francisco.

Grab a seat at any of the seating areas with fire pits as soon as you see an open spot. The cocktail menu offers inventions from the city’s well-known bartenders Josh Harris and Morgan Schick (of Trick Dog and The Bon Vivants). The food menu offers classic comfort bites, but also healthy California options by James Beard Award–nominated chef Jason Franey (Monterey’s 1833 and Eleven Madison Park in New York). The décor is what you want: swanky, comfortable and sophisticated. A welcome addition to the city’s nightlife options.

  • Proper Hotel
  • 1100 Market Street,
  • San Francisco, CA 94102
  • (628) 895-2055



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By @ 07/09/18 in Ed Salvato, Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, New York, Travel

Skintight at the Roundabout Theater with Idina Menzel in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineWe recently enjoyed seeing Idina Menzel, a gay fan favorite, perform a non-singing role in “Skintight,” which has her surrounded by a bevy of gay men who discuss youth, beauty and the nature of love. If you’re visiting New York through August 26, 2018, this is fun performance to see.

The performance space Roundabout reunites writer Joshua Harmon and director Daniel Aukin (the team behind Bad Jews and Admissions) for Skintight, a scorching examination of beauty, youth and sex. Reeling from her ex-husband’s engagement to a much younger woman, Jodi Isaac (Idina Menzel) turns to her famous fashion-designer dad for support. Instead, she finds him Our very own Ed Salvato and his partner at Skintight at the Roundabout Theater with Idina Menzel in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinewrapped up in his West Village townhouse with Trey. Who’s 20. And not necessarily gay. But probably an adult film star. At least, according to Jodi’s son. Who’s also 20. And definitely gay. Skintight assays the nature of love, the power of attraction, and the ways in which a superficial culture persists in n teaching its children that all that matters is what’s on the inside.

Note that Google Maps gives multiple locations for the Roundabout Theater. This performance is at 7:30pm at the Laura Pels Theatre, 111 W. 46th Street.

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By @ 06/22/18 in Dominican Republic, Gay travel, Hotels, Ivan Quintanilla, The CheckOut, Travel

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado sits on its own island, accessible only by ferry, off the secluded Samana Peninsula in the Dominican Republic. This luxury all-inclusive resort is a good choice for couples seeking a romantic escape away from a gay party scene.

Location

Remoteness is part of the allure of the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado. With no direct flights from the United States and about a 2½ hour drive from Santo Domingo, the Samana Peninsula has remained a hidden gem in the Dominican Republic. The destination is more popular with Canadians and Europeans, who enjoy direct flights into the region’s airport from Toronto, Montreal and Frankfurt. A fifteen-minute ferry ride from Samana Bay Marina, the resort is the sole occupant on the island of Cayo Levantado. From here, you are perfectly positioned to explore the natural beauty of the Samana Peninsula, on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic. The resort’s concierge can arrange any of the following excursions:

  • Los Haitises National Park: A half-day boat tour meanders through 618 square miles of lush islets home to rainforests, hiking trails and limestone caves.
  • Salto el Limon Waterfall: A 20-minute horseback ride through hilly terrain reveals a 130-foot waterfall from Sierra de Samana—a perfect photo backdrop, with its own natural dipping pool.
  • Humpback Whale Watching: These giant mammals are just like us and want to winter in the warm waters of the Caribbean. From January to March the Samana Bay boasts one of the largest concentrations of humpback whales in the Atlantic.
Room/Bathroom

The Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado has 268 rooms of ranging categories, including Superior with two full-sized beds, Suites with king-sized beds and Beach Villas with their own terrace and access to the private beach. All have romantic canopy beds, hydro-massage tubs and 24-hour all-inclusive room service and minibars.

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAmenities

Though there’s much to explore in Samana, the Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado has you covered should you want to stay put on your own little Caribbean island. The all-inclusive resort offers 6 restaurants, with buffet and international a la carte options; and 4 bars, including a beach bar and a pool bar. Guests have full access to the resort’s relaxing private beach with kayaks and paddle boards available for use. There is also a public beach for day-trippers with lively beachside restaurants and bars. The resort even includes a scuba diving lesson in one of its 2 pools, should you want to prepare for deeper sea exploration. At night, you can hit the disco or enjoy nightly entertainment, ranging from acrobats to dance troupes. During our stay they even featured a synchronized swimming performance. Or you can wind down a romantic evening in your room with a specially prepared bath, from their butler services menu.

Gay Factor

At the resort, all guests are welcome and should not experience any issues, but this isn’t a gay party destination. Though homosexuality is legal in the Dominican Republic, gay travelers should still be cautious with public displays of affection. For non-gay-specific nightlife, the best option is the town of Las Terrenas, about a one-hour drive. This old fishing village is home to many French and German expats, making the town the most cosmopolitan of the province. At Las Terrenas, start your evening at the gay-owned Mi Corazon restaurant, serving international cuisine infused with local flavors.

Rates

All-inclusive rates start at $200 per person, per night, depending on the room selection and season.

Luxury Bahia Principe Cayo Levantado in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineABOUT THE CHECKOUT

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

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By @ 06/21/18 in Allister Chang, Gay travel, Phoenix, Scottsdale, Travel

Andaz Scottsdale in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineA uniquely Sonoran getaway with stunning views of Camelback Mountain, the Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa is a good choice if you’re looking for blue skies, private relaxation, and Arizonan cowboys. A close collaboration with Cattle Track Arts & Preservation, a local artists’ commune, creates a special feeling that you’re joining a close-knit community when you check-in.

Location

Located on 23 -acres in exclusive Paradise Valley with amazing views of Camelback Mountain, this Andaz is located two miles north of Old Town Scottsdale for galleries, museums, art walks, restaurants, and the Fashion Square shopping center. Less than a mile from the Cattle Track Arts & Preservation compound, you can ask for a quick shuttle over in the resort’s Teslas to check out these local artists’ studios. Great mountain hiking, biking and running can also be found in The Valley of the Sun. Nearby, it’s a short trip to go kayaking in the Salt River with Arizona Outback Adventures or to take a private hot air balloon ride with Hot Air Expedition (an activity that’s extra popular here because it’s almost always sunny!).

Andaz Scottsdale in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Cattle Track Artist Mark McDowell

The resort has an artist-in-residence program that provides guests with opportunities to interact with local artists throughout their stay. These artists create all the artwork around the resort, from painting, pottery, to photography. Once you’ve entered this secluded Andaz bubble, it’s easy to forget that you’re only 20 minutes from the Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Rates

During Scottsdale peak season (winter), rooms start at $399 per night and suites start at $2,500. The (ANDAZ)RED Cabana + XL Pool View King Package starts at $629 per night, including a snack upon arrival, a signature (RED)-inspired breakfast and a special departure gift. At the Resort’s restaurant, Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, local flavors like avocado toast with cress start at $14, and room service for fresh-creations like the AZ grass fed burger ($22) cost a delivery charge of $5. Bespoke poolside cocktails start at $10.

Room/Bathroom

Each of the 201 bungalow-style guestrooms and suites has a shower with double showerheads, with enough space to comfortably fit 8. You’ll feel serious FOMO every second you aren’t partying with college boys from ASU in this shower. Reserve a room with a private outdoor patio to keep the party going outside, with chaise lounges and high walls for additional privacy. Perfect to fill in between your tan lines. The guestroom interiors were conceived by EDG Interior Architecture + Design, with colorful nods to mid-century designers like Alexander Girard. Guestrooms and suites range from 350 to 1,800 square feet, with Spanish-style front terraces.

Andaz Scottsdale in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Amenities and services

The Palo Verde Spa & Apothecary is worth spending a full day (or ten) at. Champagne pre- and post- personalized treatments heighten your senses to take in the novel smells and textures of indigenous ingredients, like prickly pear treatment oils. The 12,000-square-foot spa includes four indoor and three outdoor treatment rooms, outdoor hydrotherapy pools, a nail and hair salon, eucalyptus steam rooms, outdoor relaxation lounges and an exclusive private pool for spa guests. Sunbathe, steam, swim, and repeat. Next to the spa is the Andaz’s gym, whose walls come down when weather permits (i.e. when it’s not too sunny and beautiful outside). Erg outdoors with a straight-shot view of Camelback Mountain.

For better people watching, take a dip in and lounge by Turquoise Pool, which has over 150 chaise lounges and day beds in addition to 13 private cabanas. Weft & Warp Art Bar + Kitchen, the Resort’s restaurant and bar, features innovative use of plancha cooking techniques by Executive Chef Adam Sheff. Delicious fresh-cooked dishes featuring local ingredients are available to eat in or order in as room service from 6:30AM to 10:00PM. For a show, order the Mercury Mirage cocktail, smoked tea infused over proofed rye whisky with smoked chili bitters. Don’t forget to take advantage of the complimentary “adult treats” by the pool every day at 11:30AM.

Gay factor

Artsy and progressive, this Resort sees a diverse clientele, including many gay couples and families. Open Grindr and you’ll find a mix of ASU college students and pumped-up Arizonan daddies. In March this year, Andaz Scottsdale joined 4 other Andaz resorts to partner with (RED), the AIDS organization founded by Bono and Bobby Shriver. The (ANDAZ)RED Cabanas provide a portion of each booking to support (RED)’s fight to end AIDS.

Andaz Scottsdale Resort & Spa
ABOUT THE CHECKOUT

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

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By @ 06/18/18 in Dane Steele, David Perry, Gay pride, Gay travel, Manchester, Travel
Manchester in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

When it stops being a wig and starts being a triumph of architecture

It’s the gayest city in the United Kingdom, and it is not London. Gather round, dear readers, and find out how an itty-bitty backwater named Manchester became one of the outright gay capitals of Europe.

Gay Manchester: story and photos by travel writer David Perry.

Most histories will give the quick version of Manchester’s rise; that it was born out of the Industrial Revolution. Not true; the city traces its lineage back to the Romans, circa 79 AD, when it was known as Mancunium, a name that lives on in “Mancunian,” what people from Manchester call themselves. But it is also true that during Roman rule and for centuries after, it remained a pastoral, rather backwoodsy community living in the particularly long shadow of nearby Liverpool. Nevertheless, by 1520, Manchester earned a rep for its weavers, and that is key.

Manchester in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Manchester Town Hall welcomes the world

Because by 1600, Manchester’s looms were throwing sparks thanks to cotton from the New World. Canals were dug. Warehouses, mills, and factories thrown up. A commodities exchange established. By the Victorian Era, it was “Liverpool where?” But something else was happening, something that blue-blooded London or stodgy Oxford could not have predicted: Manchester, having been built by common men (nicknamed “worker bees,”) became an incandescent hotbed of common-men ideas. Abolitionism, free trade, Marxism, women’s rights, workers’ rights, immigration, child labor, republicanism, parliamentary reform, and yes, discussions on the inherent rights and liberties for “Urianians” and “homogenic love” — early terms for gay men and same-sex affection — found fertile soil, often for the first time, in Manchester’s unions and trade halls.

Manchester in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Nice cock in the Northern Quarter

Skip to 2018, and very gay Manchester still has a decidedly anti-snooty vibe, bees are the ubiquitous city emblem, and the gay life is off the charts. Manchester Pride (August 24 – 28) is one of the oldest of its kind in the UK, and one of the biggest events on the city’s calendar. This is the city that inspired “Queer as Folk,” after all. Mancunians particularly embrace the LGBTQ heritage; you may see a few rainbow flags flying year-round in the form of small mosaics in sidewalks and facades. These are stations along the famous Manchester LGBT Heritage Trail, a historic stroll through the seminal events and places that made gay rights a “thing.” Advertisers, from mega-companies like Thomas Cook Airlines to modest self-storage warehouses, fall over themselves getting a float in the Pride Parade. It’s all very chummy. And gives “God Save the Queen” a whole new dimension.

It is also homo-concentrate! (KEEP READING… 🙂



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By @ 06/18/18 in Gay travel, Giuseppe Giulio, Travel

Giuseppe Giulio's top 5 gay Italy hot spots in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine Beauty, the romantic town of Naples and the soaring height of Etna are just some of the treats in store for LGBT travelers making their way to this country — a gay-friendly jewel in the world. Here, we take a look at my 5 top Italy hot spots.

Sicily

One of the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Sicily is an autonomous region of Italy Places that also includes several smaller isles. Home to every great Mediterranean civilization, Sicily is rich in art and history; from Agrigento’s Valley of the Temples to Palermo’s Baroque churches.

Lakes

The Romans were first to see the potential of the Italy lakes as a holiday destination. They built their sumptuous villas in some of the prime positions around Como and Garda, where the southern foothills of the Alps sweep down towards the Mediterranean and the fertile plains of northern Italy.

Giuseppe Giulio's top 5 gay Italy hot spots in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineVenice

Venice never loses its capacity to enchant in Italy. There’s a reason why it’s popular: the sheer loveliness of an exquisite city that seems miraculously built on water. It’s important to remember Venice’s churches and museums offer antique glories aplenty, but there is also a vibrant art scene, even away from the Art Biennale.

Tuscany

Italy’s most famous region, Tuscany conjures images of beautiful rolling hills, olive groves, vineyards and cypress trees. The many pleasures of Tuscany include tasting wine in Chianti, simply relaxing in hill towns such as San Gimignano or exploring Renaissance art in Florence.

Naples

Naples, Italy birthplace of pizza has drawn many hungry visitors, including those hungry for culture: its historic center is the largest in Europe, covering over 4,000 acres and 27 centuries. Piazza Bellini, by day a quiet square with cafes to relax from the hustle and bustle in the nearby Via dei Tribunali, at night a popular hangout of young Neapolitans.\

Giuseppe Giulio's top 5 gay Italy hot spots in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Story and photos by Giuseppe Giulio

Giuseppe Giulio, IGLTA member, is a Travel Design and Digital PR Specialist, who serves several tour operators, online magazines and startups reaching the LGBTA community using SEO, Web 2.0, Social Network marketing and Strategic Online Media Placement.

 

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By @ 06/11/18 in Barry Hoy, Gay travel, Shanghai, Travel

Barry Hoy and his partner with Shanghai in the background in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineShanghai literally means the city by the sea, and it is the gateway to China. There are endless things to do and see, like shopping in high-end venues for designer items, or stroll through the backstreets for photo opportunities… or to hunt for interesting trinkets and traditional Chinese handicrafts.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 2: Kuala Lumpur here.

Where to Stay

Jing An Shangri-La – Located on the Puxi side of the Huangpu River in the Jing An Business District – one of Shanghai’s most prestigious and fashionable business and commercial districts. The hotel boosts spectacular 360-degree panoramic views of the city.

Peace Hotel – This has been a Shanghai landmark for over eight decades, enjoying a premier location on the Bund. The hotel faces the Pudong area over the Huangpu River, where you will find all the impressive high-rise buildings and towers.

Where to Eat

Here are a few suggestions: 

  • Yong Yi Ting at the Mandarin Oriental – A one Michelin star restaurant featuring Chef Tony Lu and his unique vision, combining the diverse gastronomic influences of Shanghai and its neighbouring provinces.
  • 1515 West at the Jing An Shangri-La – The 1515 West, Chophouse & Bar combines the aesthetics of an old Shanghai movie set with the décor of a classic American bar and grill.
  • Din Tai Fung – This is the chain of restaurants that made Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings) famous, so it’s only logical that they serve some of the best in the world.
  • Yang’s Dumpling – With multiple locations throughout the city, they serve their famous pan-fried soup filled buns.
  • Shanghai Grandmother (by the Bund) – Shanghainese restaurant with many classic local dishes.
Adventures in Shanghai by Barry Hoy for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineGay Nightlife

There are not many gay bars in Shanghai, but here are a few top picks of places to go for a drink and to meet locals:

  • Lucca – One of Shanghai’s best-known gay bar and club in the French Concession area. It gets busy on weekends and attracts upscale local and international crowd.
  • Happiness 42 – Modern and chic, with a sexy red lighting throughout the bar. It’s a good place to start off the night.
  • Paw & Six – Located in the same building as Lucca on the sixth floor, this place attracts more of a bear crowd.
  • Snap! – Monthly party where people gather for a night of dressing up and dancing. Each party generally has a unique theme, and the location may change so you should check with a local or on WeChat (Chinese social app) for details.

Did you know that most visitors require a visa to enter China? Want more information about this and the Transit Visa Exemptions? Visit asianmapleaf.com to read more about our adventures in Shanghai. Also, stay tuned for more of our ultimate must-see travel stops around the Globe.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

Read Barry’s Journey to Asia, Part 2: Kuala Lumpur here.

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By @ 06/11/18 in Barry Hoy, Gay travel, Kuala Lumpur, Travel

ManAboutWorld global corresondent Barry Hoy contemplating the city of Kuala Lumpur shirtless. Because.

Kuala Lumpur is the capital of Malaysia and a place where you will find a variety of cultures from the region, all living together in one city. There is Chinatown, Little India, Malay village and many more neighbourhoods. In this city, it is not uncommon to find a Muslim mosque, a Hindu shrine, a Christian church, and a Buddhist temple – all in the same area! Story and photos by ManAboutWorld correspondent Barry Hoy.

Click here to read Barry’s Journey to Asia Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.

Where to Stay

Shangri-La Kuala Lumpur – Set in the heart of the city’s business and shopping district, and near major landmarks such as the Petronas Twin Towers and the Kuala Lumpur City Center. Despite it being right in the city centre, the hotel is still set amidst plenty of lush greenery, and has a good size outdoor pool and lounge area.

Where to Eat

There are a lot of food options to try in Kuala Lumpur. Here are a few to wet your appetite!

  • Nobu – Located on the 56th floor of the Menara Petronas, it boosts dramatic 360-degree views of the KL city skyline, including the iconic Petronas Twin Towers.
  • Jalan Alor – Famous street food in Kuala Lumpur and bustling nightlife.
  • Old China Kafe – Step back in time at this charming and authentic café in Kuala Lumpur’s Chinatown.
  • Fatty Crab (Fei Lo) – Best known for its seafood. Make sure you try the Sweet and Sour Chili Crab!
Some of the many delectable food items on offer in Kuala Lumpur via ManAboutWorld global correspondent Barry HowThings To Do
  • Petronas Twin Towers – The iconic Petronas Twin Towers are basically the symbol of Kuala Kumpur, and they dominate the skyline. Make sure you buy tickets in advance (especially for the bridge connecting the two towers). Visit com for tips to save some money and enjoy a cocktail at the same time.
  • Batu Caves – Deep inside a Limestone Mountain, just outside the city of Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, is the Batu caves. The cave is one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside of India.
  • Chinatown – Wander down little laneways and into cute coffee houses and restaurants, or around the markets filled with fresh fish, fruits and vegetables, and out on to the lively main street of Chinatown.
  • Little India – colourful neighbourhoood with lots of restaurants where you can sample different types of fragrant curries or snacks.
  • Pavilion KL – This is a huge shopping centre where you can satisfy all your shopping needs.

Make sure you also visit the beaches and little towns outside of the city of Kuala Lumpur. The city itself offers some great food and sights, but it’s not a place where you would want to spend more than a weekend.

Important note about homosexuality:

Gay sex is still technically illegal in Malaysia and punishable under a colonial-era sodomy law. Foreigners are generally safe from this, but caution is still recommended.

Want more information? Visit asianmapleaf.com and read more about our adventures in Kuala Lumpur. Also, stay tuned for more of our ultimate must-see travel stops around the globe.

Click here to read Barry’s Journey to Asia Part 1: Discover Hong Kong.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.

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By @ 06/06/18 in Gay travel, James Careless, The CheckOut, Toronto, Travel

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe brand-new, stylistically-striking Hotel X Toronto in Toronto, Canada is anything but yet another cookie-cutter urban luxury hotel crammed into a downtown lot. Hotel X Toronto is a very short taxi/Uber/Lyft ride from everything that Toronto has to offer; making it an ideal headquarters for enjoying Pride Toronto or any other event in Canada’s largest city. Story by ManAboutWorld correspondent, James Careless.

Amenities

Worth noting: The 404-room, 30-storey Hotel X Toronto is likely correct in claiming that it offers “a wealth of amenities unrivalled by any downtown hotel, including four indoor tennis courts, a full-service spa, two year-round heated swimming pools and TEN X TORONTO—a 90,000 square foot athletic centre with its own children’s area.” In addition to its restaurants (with options for vegetarian, gluten free, and vegan diets), Hotel X Toronto has an art gallery, beer garden, stadium-style movie theaters, event spaces, historical exhibits, and the three-storey rooftop SkyBar with – again – unparalleled views of downtown Toronto and the lake. The multi-story ‘living wall’ at the Front Desk – literally a vertical surface of plants rising high above one’s head – is impressive in its own right.

Rates

Hotel X Toronto is currently in what is known as a ‘soft opening’ until the end of July 2018, when it will officially open. This means that the hotel is still in the process of getting everything running – and giving guests price breaks as a result of it. (Note: Everything I experienced while there gave me the feeling that the hotel was fully operational.)

The good news: “During the soft opening period of Hotel X Toronto, you will find rates reduced as much as 30%,” said Celso Thompson, the hotel’s director of Sales and Marketing. “At any time, the hotel offers a prepaid, non-refundable option which clearly is the best deal if you are certain about your travel plans. Rates start at $350 for the entry level rooms.”

The bad news: You’ll have to go through Hotel X Toronto’s booking sites to get actual prices. Still, 30% is 30% off – and that is on top of the US dollar being worth about $1.20-$1.25 Canadian.

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Location

Located at spacious Exhibition Place (home of the Canadian National Exhibition – CNE — every summer, and various Class A events and conventions year-round), Hotel X Toronto is right on the shore of Lake Ontario. It is far enough from the downtown core to have a clear, unobstructed view of the lake, the nearby Toronto Island with its parks and airport, and Toronto’s major buildings; plus the lakeshore’s Ontario Place and the 1840s-era stone Stanley Barracks at Fort York.

Having grown in Toronto and spent many summers at the CNE in all its gaudy midway glory, I could never have imagined a true luxury hotel being located on the fair grounds. But much has changed at Exhibition Place. New convention/display buildings have been added (like the Enercare Centre) and older spaces renovated, while the rundown Exhibition Place grandstand has been replaced by the modern BMO Field (home of the Toronto FC pro soccer team). The historic Stanley Barracks next door has been restored and softened with the addition of gardens.

Add the fact that Hotel X Toronto is right on Lake Ontario, yet so close to the downtown hub (transit is available, in addition to taxis and walking), and this hotel combines the best of open waterfront breeziness with downtown urban access. It is a welcome alternative to the very best downtown cor hotels that are crammed together, through no fault of their own. (Runners will particularly like the quick access to the lakeshore and its open spaces, rather than being confined to car-packed downtown sidewalks.)

Room/Bathroom

I was fortunate to stay in a corner suite, on the 18th floor of Hotel X Toronto. I walked into an entrance hallway that angled left to the spacious modern bathroom (including a glass-walled shower with space for more than one), then turned right into a truly roomy bedroom with floor-to-ceiling full glass windows on two side.

The view alone from this suite justifies the price of admission. It is one of the best that I have seen in Toronto’s many downtown hotels. But the quality of Hotel X Toronto’s modern furniture and appointments is also worth mentioning: The wood, metal, leather and fabric far are above the usual hotel fare. They and the room’s fabric walls make you feel like you are staying in someone’s elegantly-decorated high-end condo; rather than yet another unsuccessfully pretentious hotel.

I was also struck by the bathroom’s elegant fittings, and the little details that were tended to; such as having two bathrobes and slippers available rather than just one. The room service was also a treat: What a luxury to have smoked salmon Eggs Benedict delivered to one’s room for breakfast!

Hotel X, Toronto in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Gay Factor

If ‘Gay Factor’ translates into superb modern design with no false flash, elegance and quality in all things, and the sense that staying here somehow raises one’s game and sense of self, Hotel X Toronto has tremendous Gay Factor. That said, what I have just said applies to anyone, regardless of gender or orientation – as long as they have class, style, and a sense of how to comport themselves in public.

Meanwhile, Hotel X Toronto is a quick taxi/transit ride to everything in downtown Toronto; be it the city’s famous Gay Village, the Rogers Centre (home of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball club), the Theatre District, the business core, shopping, or the Toronto Island (accessible by an underground tunnel at the nearby Island Airport, or a short ferry ride across the harbor; well worth it).

About the Checkout

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

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By @ 06/05/18 in Barry Hoy, Gay travel, Hong Kong, Travel

Barry Hoy writing for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine - in Hong KongWhether you are visiting for the first time, or re-exploring if you have been before, Hong Kong is an exciting, energetic and vibrant city that really lives up to the term – “East meets West”. To get you started on your journey, here is a mini guide to one of Asia’s greatest cities, including top accommodations, top places to eat, and the best experiences. Story and photos by ManAboutWorld correspondent Barry Hoy.

This is Journey to Asia, Part 1.

Check out Journey to Asia, Part 2: Kuala Lumpur here.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.

Where to Stay

The Murray – Hong Kong, A Niccolo Hotel – This newest luxury iconic landmark hotel has stunning natural fabrics and stones, leathers, and plush textiles, creating a contemporary chic sanctuary, and an ambience of understated sophistication.

The Kerry Hotel – Hong Kong – Bringing a dynamic approach to hospitality to the shores of Victoria Harbour, it’s the city’s first urban resort offering an unparalleled array of dining options, leisure activities, business and meeting services, and wellness programs.

Where to Eat

Hong Kong is renowned for its food scene. From Chinese to western food, and everything in between, it is a foodie’s paradise with options from street side snacks to high-end five star restaurants. Here are a few suggestions:

  • Street food and “Cha Chaan Teng” – Hong Kong has amazing local street food, including items such as stinky tofu, curry fish balls, squid or octopus tentacles, egg waffles, egg tarts, Chinese buns, and pastries. Also, you must try a local Cha Chaan Teng (translates to “tea restaurant”), where you will find fuss-free affordable comfort food. They are all around the city!
  • Zuma – Zuma features a sophisticated twist on the traditional Japanese Izakaya type of restaurant. Make sure you try out the much-loved champagne Baikingu brunch!
  • Tao Li at the New World Millennium Hotel – Overlooking the spectacular Victoria Harbour, Tao Li is celebrated for its elegant selection of dim sum and authentic Cantonese dishes.
  • Rech Restaurant at the InterContinental – A Michelin star restaurant – this is the first outpost of Paris’s most famous seafood restaurant by Alain Ducasse.
  • Ham & Sherry – Spanish restaurant serving some of the city’s best aged Spanish hams, tapas items and sherry. Make sure you also check out the Backbar hidden in an alleyway behind the restaurant.
Barry Hoy writing for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine - in Hong KongGay Nightlife

There are endless things to see and do in Hong Kong. Here are a few top picks for where to go out for a drink and meet some locals:

  • Bing Bing (formerly Circo) – This cocktail lounge and dance club in Causeway Bay boosts a great view of the city. It is super crowded later in the evening and tends to draw more locals than foreigners.
  • Time Bar – Located in an unassuming alleyway in the Soho area, this is more of a place for a quiet drink or intimate conversation. The younger local crowd tends to spill out into the street where the drinks continue to flow.
  • Zoo – This is a high-energy bar in Sheung Wan with regular theme nights. The crowd is a mix of locals and expats.
  • FLM – One of the few gay clubs where you can dance on the first floor and have a quiet drink on the second floor. FLM is across the street from Zoo and tends to have a more international crowd.
  • Petticoat Lane – One of the newer gay bars with great drag performances and a small outdoor terrace. The crowd is mixed with a lot of expats and people from out of town.

Want more information? Visit asianmapleaf.com and read about our adventures in Hong Kong. Also, stay tuned for more of our ultimate must-see travel stops around the Globe.

This is Journey to Asia, Part 1.

Check out Journey to Asia, Part 2: Kuala Lumpur here.

And here is Journey to Asia, Part 3: Adventures in Shanghai.

 

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By @ 05/31/18 in Gay pride, Gay travel, Travel, Travel safety, Twitter chat
ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine; twitter chat on LGBTQ travel safety Join our annual Pride LGBTQ travel-safety Twitter chat happening Tuesday, June 5. It’s hosted by Ed Salvato at ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine with our partners at the U.S. Department of State Consular Affairs via TravelGov.
We’ll discuss how to stay safe during the busy summer travel and LGBTQ pride season. Join this important conversation Tuesday, June 5 2pm-2:45pm ET by following #PrideGuide on Twitter.
Pride LGBTQ travel-safety Twitter Chat participants usually include:
Below are the topics we’ll discuss so you can think about your contributions and questions or feel free to pre-program your replies.
See you on Twitter Tuesday, June 5 at 2pm ET. And remember to set your  !
Pride LGBTQ Travel-Safety Twitter Chat; Tuesday, June 5, 2pm, #PrideGuide
2:00 pm ET
Q1: Before we get into #travelsafety, tell us … What is your next big trip this summer? And where are you traveling for LGBTQ Pride 2018? #PrideGuide 
 
2:05 pm ET
Q2: Do you feel it’s safe to travel overseas for LGBTQ Pride celebrations, gay or lesbian cruises or parties in Europe? How about in Eastern Europe? Russia? Israel? What precautions is it best to take? #prideguide
 
2:10 pm ET 
Q3: Today 74 countries criminalize same-sex relations. How do you get information in advance of a trip to help ensure your safety? #prideguide 
 
2:15 pm ET
Q4: Which travel agents, tour operators and content providers do you use for information on LGBTQ issues, destinations and events — especially in more exotic destinations? #prideguide
 
2:20 pm ET
Q5: What resources do you use from the U.S. State Department, TSA, CDC, HRW and other organizations committed to LGBTQ travel/safety in destinations around the world? #prideguide 
 
2:25 pm ET
Q6: What are the biggest concerns for lesbian travelers (especially when going to destinations with anti-LGBT attitudes or laws)? #prideguide  
 
2:30 pm ET
Q7: What are the greatest concerns for transgender travelers heading to airports and to destinations around the world? #prideguide 
 
2:35 pm ET
Q8: How concerned should LGBTQ travelers be about health issues and what can we do to prepare? #prideguide
 
2:40 pm ET
Q9. Anything can go wrong when we travel. What’s the best way to prepare for the unexpected? #prideguide
Ed Salvato



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By @ 05/29/18 in Asbury Park, Gay travel, NJ, Travel

Asbury Park, NJ in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAlthough New Jersey towns such as Point Pleasant and Wildwood are well-known for their summertime beaches and boardwalks, Asbury Park is a shore town that has appeal all year round. Not only does it offer unique restaurants, trendy events, and a lively nightlife, but the LGBTQ community’s involvement in bringing business back to the town has made it a welcoming environment for all. Story by Christi Peace.

Typical Summer Day in Asbury Park

Obviously, Asbury Park’s clean and relatively inexpensive beach is one of the places to visit during the summer. But whenever you get tired of the surf and sand, you can always stroll along the mile-long boardwalk to do some shopping and sample the beach-side cuisine. From Korean fusion tacos and Cuban tostones to crepes and seafood, the small stretch of boardwalk has a variety of foods for beach-goers to try.

If you’d like to cool off from the summer heat and don’t mind walking a few blocks away from the beach, head to Cookman Creamery for an assortment of both regular and (surprisingly creamy) dairy-free ice cream. There are some seats outside the parlor next to an unorthodox garden that is open to the public, filled with old items that were repurposed in an artistic manner. The little garden is a reminder that one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.

Throughout the summer, small festivals and pop-ups also tend to take place on the weekends in spots like Kennedy Park, Bradley Park and Convention Hall. While some are centered around a theme (such as vegan food) others simply offer the chance to purchase original, handcrafted wares from vendors.

And if you happen to be around on the first weekend of June, don’t forget to attend the Pride Parade that Asbury Park has hosted for over 25 years. In addition to the parade of local LGBTQ groups, the event features musicians, food vendors, informational booths, LGBTQ-themed merchandise and more. It’s a celebratory and inclusive event for you and your partner to attend.

Asbury Park, NJ in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Off-Season Activities

Just because the beach is no longer an attraction when the summer ends, doesn’t mean this shore town goes dormant. Asbury Park’s real appeal comes from the popular businesses that reside along Cookman Ave. and Lake Ave. where there’s an array of restaurants, bars and quirky spots to fill your time.

If you’re into mysticism, you may get a kick out of Paranormal Books & Curiosities – a small book shop that exclusively sells supernatural-themed publications and other items. They even hold occasional paranormal events, such as a Krampus Festival in December which celebrates the nightmarish, inverted version of Santa Claus. Or if you’re feeling more inclined to watch a movie than read a book, The ShowRoom is a small theater that screens indie films for movie buffs to enjoy. Animal lovers can even visit Catsbury Park, the recently opened and aptly named cat cafe where patrons sip their drinks while awaiting their turn to enter an adjacent room filled with furry felines.

There are quite a few unique spots to enjoy local food as well. One such place is The Speakeatery, a sandwich shop with a 1920’s theme. Not only is the name itself a play on the old speakeasies of the Prohibition Era, but each specialty sandwich is named after famous figures, terms and events of the roaring 20’s. Some of their delectable options include ‘The St. Valentine’s Day Massacre,’ which is loaded with every single deli meat they offer, and the vegetarian ‘Dizzy Dame’ sandwich. It may take a while to get seating, so you can always place an order and visit the nearby Rock & Roll-themed bakery, Confections of a Rockstar, while you wait.

Nightlife in Asbury Park

There are plenty of bars for adults to visit during their stay in Asbury Park. The popular Johnny Mac House of Spirits is known for its energetic atmosphere, eclectic décor and free mini pizzas that come with each drink purchase. Meanwhile, Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten has a more rustic, spacious interior where you can sit with your friends at a communal table while drinking craft beers.

If you’re in a dancing mood, head over to Paradise. This popular gay nightclub is located on the ground floor of the Empress Hotel. You and your partner can dance alongside other LGBTQ clubbers, grab a drink, sit and relax poolside, or participate in events such as drag shows and karaoke night.

Music-lovers should definitely consider visiting the Stone Pony while they’re in Asbury Park to see who is playing at this acclaimed venue. Artists such as Bruce Springsteen and Jon Bon Jovi performed here when they were just starting off, so you never know what next big hit you may get the chance to see on this small stage. Make sure to get your tickets in advance!

Where to Stay

You could always check Airbnb to see if any locals are opening their doors to visitors. In a town where quite a few beach houses proudly fly the rainbow flag, it shouldn’t be too hard to find LGBTQ-friendly hosts (if you book far enough in advance). If you’d prefer the more traditional route, the Asbury Hotel offers highly-rated lodgings. Guests have their pick of several types of rooms, from a ‘standard queen’ to a ‘park suite’ with ample space and a deluxe king bed. Hotel features include a pool, rooftop bars, and interior lounge/food areas with book-lined walls, board games, coffee, open mic nights and more.

Tips

While visiting this small yet lively LGBTQ haven, you’ll generally want to stick to the two aforementioned streets and the beach region, since those are the safer areas geared towards tourists. Unlike some NJ beach towns, there is quite a bit of parking all along the beach, but you’ll most likely have to pay at a nearby meter. If you or your partner are driving in the evening, make sure to drive carefully so as not to risk being pulled over for suspected drunk driving. And keep in mind that Asbury Park has plenty of other unique, fun, and even historical places/events to offer – so look into all your options before booking your trip!

 

 

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By @ 05/14/18 in Gay travel, Patrick T Cooper, Pittsburgh, Travel

Pittsburgh in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinePittsburgh is oozing with food, style, steel, sophistication and tons of technology. Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh make this community a haven for research and development. Additionally, technology firms are sprouting up daily. There is an ingrained, humbled, and rhythmic work ethic that vibrates throughout the city.

The Steel City gritty spirit is bridging the gap of past with present day. Did you know that Pittsburgh has more bridges than any other city in the world? Now you do. There are 446 bridges in Pittsburgh to be exact. Oh and as you prepare to experience this amazing destination we hope you are welcomed into the elite club of Uber’s driverless car experiment. Yes, that is correct an Uber without a driver. On fire, is an understatement.

This American gem is bustling with culture, food and tons of activity. Here is glimpse of our “Bite Out of the Burgh.” Story by ManAboutWorld global correspondent Patrick T Cooper and photos by Terry A Sprunger.

EAT

Pittsburgh’s food scene is growing astronomically and is an incubator for several rising stars in the culinary world. Feel your tummy in The Strip District you will not be disappointed. You can eat yourself into a coma but make 2 stops Enrico Biscotti Company and Smallman Galley

Enrico Biscotti Company: Hopefully you will get a chance to meet the incredible personality of Chef Roy Godin when you stop at Enrico Biscotti Company. The food is divine but it’s all in the personality that makes this dining experience unique and evergreen.

Tyler Benson, Pittsburgh in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

Tyler Benson at Smallman Galley

Smallman Galley: Tyler Benson is one half of the brilliant team behind the Smallman Galley. The galley serves as an incubator and an accelerator of young talent and artisans in food. Inspired by global travels your taste buds will be forever grateful as you indulge in innovative food and beverage concepts.

STYLE

Andy Warhol Museum: Who doesn’t know the name Andy Warhol? However, did you know that Andy was a native of Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. Spend the day in this beautiful presentation of Warhol’s oeuvre and become inspired to live larger than life.

Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

SOPHISTICATION

The Duquesne Incline: Thanks to engineer Samuel Diescher and The Society for the Preservation of the Duquesne Heights Incline you can experience a moment in history. Preserving a piece of history… there is a level of sophistication in this. Climbing the steep incline offers a moment of reflection and gratitude for people that dare to dream. Upon arrival at the top of the incline prepare to go into selfie overload and to capture amazing landscape photography of Pittsburgh.

Do yourself a favor and adventure in person to see Pittsburgh’s STYLNOLOGY.

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By @ 04/16/18 in Art, Gay travel, New York, Paris, Travel

PIaf! The Show in New York City and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThe French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), New York’s leading French cultural center, partnered with Gil Marsalla and Directo Productions to present the international musical hit PIAF! THE SHOW from Wednesday through Saturday, April 18–21 at 7:30pm at FIAF’s Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street, between Madison & Park. And we were invited to experience it.

Piaf! The Show in New York and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineInspired by the Oscar-winning movie La Vie en Rose, PIAF! THE SHOW is a musical celebration of the life and music of the legendary French chanteuse who was also a beloved icon of the gay community, particularly that of France. Conceived and directed by the Nice-based Gil Marsalla, this special concert stars Anne Carrere, a young French performer hailed as “Edith Piaf’s legitimate musical heiress.”

In two 45-minute acts, the show will narrate the rags-to-riches story of the Parisian singer’s career through her unforgettable songs, complemented by a visual tapestry of previously unreleased photographs and images of famous locations of the Edith Piaf era. PIAF! THE SHOW premiered in 2015 as a tribute to “The sparrow of Montmartre” on the centennial of her birthday. With over half a million tickets sold in more than 30 countries and rave reviews worldwide, this is a rare chance to see the show in the New York! (Photo by Alain Biguet.)

 

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By @ 04/09/18 in Event, Gay travel, Jean-Pierre Soutric, Lisbon, Travel

Lisbon in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineWhen I was little, the Eurovision Song Contest was THE show of the year, seen on TV by all Europeans across the old continent but not across the Berlin Wall as for all men my age that was the official limit of our world i.e., the Free World. (This year’s Eurovision Song Contest takes place May 8-12 in Lisbon; photo above by Pedro Simões)

Story by Paris-based ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent Jean-Pierre Soutric (below)

Jean-Pierre Soutric, ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent representing FranceThat said, for all us “boys and their moms,”  that show was not to be missed. It was a night of elegance and great music. All songs (that was the rule then) had to be interpreted in the artists’ home country’s respective languages. (Today artists choose whatever language suits them.)

I absolutely adored listening to the Italians, Germans, Dutch, Brits of course, the Spanish, not to forget the most exotic songs in Finnish, etc. My mom would share her admiration for the beautiful gowns worn on the occasion, severely condemning any “laisser-aller” if anyone had not dressed-up.

A brief (personal) gay history of Eurovision Song Contest

One day the Wall came down and more countries would be invited. All of a sudden, we would start to get acquainted to Hungarian, Russian and Hebrew, too. The show grew as did Europe as a political entity. All men my age are unconditional Europhiles. The show was the materialization of our dreams. Not only would it encourage young artists to express and showcase their culture, it would also become the stage for further tolerance. Abba won in 1974. In 1998 transgender Dana International won the coveted award for Israel. In 2014, the bearded Conchita Wurst in his couture gown won it for Austria.

Conchita Wurst as seen in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

The other lady in Gold

The show takes place in the winning country of the previous year and this year it’s in beautiful Lisbon. The White City by the Tagus River is one of the most pleasant capitals of Europe thanks to its wonderful climate and charming people. Historic and set on several hills like Rome, it has changed a lot lately but for the best as old districts have all been carefully restored. Foodies will love to visit and so will night owls.

My top hotel recommendations
  • Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon set amidst the elegant Edward VII’s gardens
  • Bairro Alto in the heart of the chic and animated Chiado (the hotel is currently under renovation)
  • Memmo Alfama high above the old city for the most spectacular views over the river and city
  • Carmo Lisboa also in Chiado and close to the ruins of historic Carmel
Bites and more
  • Mercado da Ribeira, the old covered market now a place to experience all kind of foods in a very casual atmosphere. Opens for coffee and pasteis de nata quite late
  • Sea-Me, a must-go if your idea of sea-food is stuck in boring souvenirs (be sure to book ahead)
  • A Cervicheria in Principe Reias, cool and very popular restaurant (ask for a seat at the bar); be patient and enjoy a glass of Portuguese white wine outside (you will love the way Portuguese dress in fine weather)
Gay life

Gay bars, restaurants etc are all close to A Cevicheria à Principe Real and Bairro Alto. No need to cab or drive. I personally like Finalmente as the club has been around as much as I have(!); check-out Posh Lisbon; and TR3S Lisboa, “where the bears are” I will do for you in May when I visit on the occasion of the 2018 Eurovision Song Contest. Come back here and/or check our Facebook page during Eurovision Song Contest 2018 (May 8-12).

Airline Tips
  • U.S. travelers can take TAP, Portugal’s national airline, to any of their 65+ destinations throughout Europe and Africa and get up to five days in Lisbon to enjoy the festival on the way for no additional airfare. Check their website for more details.
  • Also, download TAP Portugal Stopover app for hotel discounts, complimentary wine at restaurants, and free experiences like walking tours, gallery and museum admission, and other discounts.

 

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By @ 04/04/18 in Dennis Hensley, Gay travel, Gay-Friendly, Key West, Travel

Dennis Hensley Key West update on a podcast and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineManAboutWorld correspondent Dennis Hensley was recently in Key West, Florida. He had planned to post a collection of short interviews he did with the people he met. Then Hurricane Irma happened. He did manage to organize two interviews: One with an openly gay man who ran a small tour company. And another with a woman who’s been tirelessly working to promote Key West for years. Here’s Dennis’ report.

UPDATED April 4, 2018

Key West podcast update by Dennis Hensley for ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineDennis updated his post with this very cool new podcast featuring short interviews with some of the folks he met in Key West. Give a listen here.

 

 

Cody White, passionate Key West resident

One of the people I met and interviewed while I was there was Cody White who until recently ran a small tour company with his husband RyanListen to the podcast here. In the wake of Irma, the pair decided to focus on other endeavors … but I spoke to Cody before the storm over blizzards at a Dairy Queen not far from the gay resort I was staying at, The Equator. We talked about how he ended up in Key West, what it’s like to have an Airstream trailer, Key West’s passion for costume parties, how tourists react when they learn he’s gay and why Key West is the place for him. Listen to the podcast here.

Dennis Hensley Key West update on a podcast and in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineCarol Shaughnessy, Newman Public Relations, Key West

Met lots of awesome people on my trip to Key West, FL in August for Man About World magazine. One of them was local writer and publicist Carol Shaughnessy. Listen to the podcast here. Over breakfast with our small group of journalists, she regaled the table with the story of Mel Fisher, the legendary treasure hunter who spent 16 years combing the waters around Key West for treasure from a Spanish ship that sank in the 1600s.

It was such an amazing tale–complete with a $450 million ending–I asked Carol to tell it again on the podcast. We also talked about the giant rainbow flag that went from the Atlantic ocean to the Gulf of Mexico down Key West’s main boulevard and the spirit of Key West and how the community supports people in their dreams, no matter how out there they may be. I’ve heard from Carol since Irma and she said that Key West’s motto of “One Human Family” if in full display as everyone works together to get back to normal. Listen to the podcast here.

More from Dennis Hensley on ManAboutWorld here.



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By @ 03/26/18 in Gay travel, Jean-Pierre Soutric, Paris, Travel
What happened to the Gay Marais in Paris?

Has the charming Gay Marais gone? If your last visit to Paris goes back to the mid-’80s or the ’90s, Is the Marais still gay? Read all about it in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinechances are you may not recognize the neighborhood. The days of first ever created gay-bars like Le-Village and L’Amnésia seem really far.

Things have changed but to understand what’s really happening now we may need to board the time-machine.

A little history

Le-Marais (marsh, swamp in English) goes back to the Middle-Age and was developed right after the Renaissance when the rich and famous started to build elegant mansions also known as “Hôtels-particuliers” to remain rather close to the king’s palace, the Palais des Tournelles which will be demolished eventually, allowing enough space to build a brand new square, known today as Place des Vosges and still visible today. When the Court moved to Versailles, the area started to lose its wealthy patrons. In the 19th century the rich inhabitants moved further West and South, and the old Marais started to host a new population: the many Jews who had escaped cruel persecutions, frequent in the ancient Russian empire.

Gay Marais in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAfter WW2 Le Marais was sentenced to death, in other words: to be demolished. Too old and the bearer of tragic war memories. Thanks to a clever minister of cultural affairs, it survived the bulldozers but wont see its renaissance until the arrival of the gay community in the early 80s following the first solid renovations of historic mansions and inauguration of the Pompidou Center which will bring international light to the older part of the capital city. As often with the gay community, the street started to become prettier, flower pots popped-up in front of design stores and friendly cafés and restaurants.

The best years indeed!

Le-Marais was back, it was fashionable – luxury brands could not miss this opportunity and over the past 5 years we have seen high-end stores coming-in, replacing traditional and convenient businesses. L’Amnésia closed and so did many other gayGay Marais in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine “institutions” often replaced by luxury boutiques. Rue des Archives a whole series of top boutiques have been created by a single investor. The facades all look alike and are truly magnificent but the Givenchy, Gucci, Moncler boutiques seem a bit lost and too often quite empty. They are not terribly inviting as a security guy stands right at the door and this is never a way to say “bienvenue!” In fact Givenchy is about to close its store. Cox, Open-Café, Raid, Free DJ are still here to welcome their gay patrons. It is important to notice that Bernard Bousset first owner of the popular Open Café has declined very generous offers to sell off.

Plus ça change

Change everything so nothing changes (The Leopard, Visconti): in reality Le-Marais has never so Gay Marais in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinebeautiful and charming. All restaurants, cafés, wine-bars, bakeries, boutiques, art galleries – not to forget the legendary department BHV, totally revamped, all are truly gay-friendly and all know what they owe to the Gay Community. We only hope this mind set will remain but further closure would not help and may simply sign the end of Le Gay-Maris!

In the meantime, it’s never been a better time to visit. So don’t wait!

ParisMarais.com

One fantastic resource for the Marais is ParisMarais.com. Created by Pascal Fonquernie, the site — which is available in seven languages — is among the world’s most visited guides on le Marais, including a large gay community section. Not a gay guide, it’s the best of le Marais, including booking hotels; information about the Jewish quarter; recommended tour guides; restaurants; history; and interviews with famous people. Download a copy of the Marais map here.

Story by ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent, Jean-Pierre Soutric, Paris, 18-March 2018, 

 

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