Category Archives: Miles Griffis

By @ 06/21/17 in Cincinnati, Gay travel, Miles Griffis, Travel

Cincinnati, OhioCincinnati, also known as “Queen City,” is the jewel of the midwest. In just over 10 years the area has flipped homeless parks and crumbling architecture into modish neighborhoods while simultaneously becoming one of the most inclusive cities in America with a score of 100 in the Human Rights Campaign municipal equality index.

The city has a peppy food, craft beer, and cocktail scene that compliments their vivid arts sphere which hosts three museums and over one hundred murals scattered amongst the historic brick buildings. Most surprising is the city’s role in the LGBTQ historical frontier with its controversial Mapplethorpe obscenity trial in 1990 that bushwhacked the way for Jim Obergefell, a local, to lead us to marriage equality in the landmark Supreme Court case in 2015. If you’re not impressed in your first hours in Cincinnati wait until you meet the locals, they’ll persuade you.

Where we stay

Look into two locations: Downtown and Over-the-Rhine. Both are close to major attractions and are lively, walking friendly neighborhoods.

Cincinnati’s most unique downtown hotel is the 21c Museum Hotel. The entire hotel is a provocative modern art gallery dedicated solely to works of the 21rst century. The lobby has lofted white walls with art displays of multiple mediums. Exhibits change every sixth months and have featured works by artists John Waters, Kara Walker, and Nick Brandt. The four-star hotel rooms contain quirky features like 3D shower tiles of body parts, purple telephones, and donkey graphic pillows.

Over-the-Rhine hosts a wide array of apartments and townhouses available on Airbnb. The transforming neighborhood looks like old Brooklyn complete with four to five story brick buildings with beautiful fire escapes which locals lounge on during warm mid-summer evenings while others amble to quality restaurants and bars below them. Airbnbs are a steal in the area and most have been freshly renovated in the past five years.

Where we eat

Serious gourmands should visit Cincinnati in May for the annual Tastes of Cincinnati festival that usually falls on Memorial Day weekend. But no matter when you visit, the city offers premium restaurants. Try a Cincinnati breakfast classic, goetta, sausage patties mixed with steel-cut oats.

Boca is considered the top-notch restaurant by locals and features a solid French and Italian menu as well as a full and separate vegetarian menu. Service is incredible and so is the tropical pavlova for dessert, with coconut tapioca, compressed pineapple, lychee cream, meringue, passionfruit-yuzu-coconut sorbet.

Cincinnati, Ohio in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineFor a date of classic Italian try Sotto where rapper Drake and tennis player Serena Williams are rumored to have canoodled in the space’s sexy and intimate atmosphere.

If you’re on the go, walk by Gomez Salsa, an actual hole in the wall and order ‘The Turtle,” a filling quesadilla-burrito combo with the ingredients of your choice. It’s better but as quick as any Chipotle.

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By @ 06/23/16 in Gay travel, ManAboutWorld, Miles Griffis, Travel

“Fellow Travelers” is an opera featuring a love story between the young Timothy “Skippy” Laughlin and the distinguished Hawkins Fuller during the Lavender Scare of the 1950s. The premiere show opened on Friday, June 17th to a sold out crowd at the Aronoff Center for the Arts in Cincinnati, Ohio, six days after the tragic Orlando shooting at Pulse night club.

(This report is from ManAboutWorld global correspondent Miles Griffis.)

The opera’s strong exploration of McCarthy era homophobia simultaneously tugged the audience to a woeful pa

Fellow Travelers, a gay-themed opera in Cincinnati and featured in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

st while reminding them of our devastating present. They were forced to ask what progress had occurred in sixty years. The silence and breathlessness after show’s impassioned conclusion echoed with an answer of hollow bewilderment, tears hanging on eyelids, ready to jump.

“Fellow Travelers” is a rare and unique gem among live performances. It’s a craft cocktail you can sip only once. With so few gay stories emerging from Hollywood or Broadway, “Fellow Travelers” is a handsome but brisk breeze that shows why our stories never reached the light of day, why they were buried anytime they sprouted. Why this opera sits on a thin bookshelf with Vidal, Baldwin, and Isherwood. Unlike those books printed on paper the painful story shouts, and harmonizes in a masculine libretto by Greg Pierce with music composed by Gregory Spears. It cannot be ignored.

 We deserve gay stories like Fellow Travelers. We deserve operas with characters we can relate to, that we might see ourselves in. We deserve tasteful love scenes between men like the three that occur between tenor Aaron Blake and baritone Joseph Lattanzi. Queer stories are the most important things we have. Without them we cannot form ourselves. Sip this rare cocktail and consider the story it tells. Get it before it is buried.

 “Fellow Travelers” info:

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