Category Archives: Publications

Traveling IQ is “Awesome”

OK, this post is way overdue.  I was extremely honored in March to receive the “Awesome Blog Content” award from Mark, the Mancunian blogger of the vibes, with whom I share a love of cats, travel, photography and the Kinsey scale, among many other things.   Mark lives in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, England–a city that I’m dying to visit–and gives great blog.

Now to accept this award, the rules mandate that I describe myself or my blog using every letter of the alphabet and pass on the award to six fellow bloggers–easier said than done considering all the fantastic blogs I read and all the letters that compose the English alphabet.  But I could not let his opportunity pass without 1) thanking Mark and 2) paying this award forward to a few of the fabulous people that touch my world-wide-webbed world. So here we go, the following is a bit stream of consciousness… some words are adjectives, some nouns, etc., but they all describe me, or the me I tell myself I am, or Traveling IQ or what it strives to be… or they are things I just really like… such as margaritas… I really like margaritas… they are like limeade with a built-in self esteem booster.

Actor, Boozy, Cuban, Disorganized, Espirituano, Flirty, Gluttonous, Heretic, Intrigued, Jaunty, Kooky, Loud, Margarita, Nincompoop, Optimist, Procrastinator, Qualitative, Rambunctious, Sun-worshiper, Titillated,  Understanding, Vodka, W(o)(a)ndering, XXX, Yearning, Zippy.

And now for my favorite part of this project.  Six really cool people (in no particular order) who I hope will intrigue you as much as they have me over the last few years:

*EdSalvato.com:  Ed Salvato has, as stated on his website, “spent the last 14 years in the world of LGBT travel and tourism on just every angle you can imagine: editorial, marketing, communications, product development, sponsorships, events and more.”  The man juggles multiple gay travel balls better than anyone I know (insert joke here).  He was one of the first editors that ever published my work and he’s one of the best, most professional communicators I’ve encountered in this crazy business.

*Carlos Melia Blog: Carlos Melia is pure travel porn, in every possible way.  Not only is he extremely handsome and features prominently in many of his pictures, but this former Mr. Gay International (no joke!) is also constantly traveling to–and tirelessly posting from–the most fabulous destinations imaginable.    The man is a traveling machine.  Though it’s difficult not to envy his life at times (and his Mr. Gayness), I greatly admire his incredible work ethic (and, oh yeah, his Mr. Gayness too).

*The Butterfly Jar:  This Tumblr blog  highlights the versatile and beautiful work of NY-based photographer Chasi Annexy.  Chasi is a kick ass photographer of people, travel, lifestyle, performance and all-around awesomeness (her official website is chasiannexyphotography.com).  As the photographer of Salseek.com she captures the beauty, sexiness and flair of salsa dancers; as a travel and documentary photographer she manages to create infinitely intriguing photos of people in both exceptional and mundane settings.  I’ve also been fortunate to take a writing class with Chasi and can tell you 1) she’s a fantastic writer and 2) her hips don’t lie… even when visiting a tea garden outside of Darjeeling.

*Voyage Addicted: Or “Adiccion a Viajar” is the travel blog of Jose Ferri of Valencia, Spain.  Jose works with Valencia Guias and was the fabulous guide who took me on the walking tour of Centro Historico that I describe in my Washington Post article.  He also, in a short time, became a great new friend and took it upon himself to show me a Valencia that I would’ve never found on my own.  He writes  about his fantastic travels and not only allows me to discover beautiful new places but also forces me to practice my Spanish.

*PhotoBotos.com:   Created by brothers Charlie and Tom, this photography website uploads a new image daily with a detailed description.  Photographers will appreciate all the technical jargon; I love the beautiful pictures.  I first discovered this site when they posted “Go Your Own Road” by Swedish photographer Erik Johansson, and have been hooked ever since.

*Humans of New York:  According to the website, “Humans of New York began as one man’s effort to construct a photographic census of the city of New York.”  And boy do we have some colorful characters in NYC!  This site captures New Yorkers from all walks of life and is a constant reminder of just how special this city truly is.  Brandon’s captions are also witty, funny, and offer an insightful glimpse into the people that make New York… well, New York.  If you like the photographs, I suggest “liking” the Facebook page as he posts photos even more frequently on Facebook.

(And while we’re on the subject of Facebook, I would be forever grateful if you visited Traveling IQ on Facebook and perhaps “liked” me too.  Thank you!)

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Traveling IQ turns 2!

Two years ago, today, I launched Traveling IQ and began a new journey by simply walking out the front door.

Many exciting trips and 119 posts later, I want to thank you for joining me.

I hope you will continue to follow my travels on Facebook and Twitter, and I look forward to exploring our huge, small world… together.

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Fashionable East London

More than ever, London fashionistas are feasting in the East.  Improved access by public transportation, cheaper rents for shops, and a renewed interest in East London, which is serving as the main site for the 2012 London Olympics, have fueled a flurry of new store openings over the last year, appealing to residents and visitors alike.  Click below to read about our East London faves, as published in Out Traveler:

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IQ in The New York Times: Amsterdam Tattoo Museum

In Amsterdam, which claims to have the greatest number of museums per square mile in the world, few topics are left unexplored. There is a museum that delves into sex, another on war (or at least the Dutch resistance), and a museum dedicated, of course, to marijuana. Last fall, a museum opened with a focus on another topic that rarefied institutions generally avoid: tattoos.

Founded by the Dutch tattoo artist Henk  Schiffmacher, the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum is dedicated to the art, history and preservation of tattoo culture. Occupying 21,000 square feet of two beautifully restored 19th-century buildings, the collection is a wide-ranging one that documents the history of tattooing, from the prehistoric era to the present day…

Read IQ’s full article in The New York Times, by clicking on the picture below:

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The Aloft London Excel Hotel

Aloft London Excel Hotel

London’s cup runneth over and its creativity is pouring East. Thanks to new rail stations, contemporary art galleries, bohemian shops, and — of course — the 2012 Olympic Games, London’s Eastside is emerging as the city’s new, gold medal neighborhood. It is no accident that Aloft Hotels, the young, hip sister of the W brand, has chosen this hood to launch their first U.K. property.

The Aloft London Excel brings impeccable design and urban sass to the next generation traveler. The 252 loft-like rooms feature 10-foot-high ceilings, walk-in showers with Bliss Spa products, and a plug-and-play system which connects your electronic devices to the 42” flat-screen TV, turning each room into a high-tech office and entertainment center…

But the Aloft is also made to mingle. Bring your laptop; with free, hotel-wide wireless internet, you can share your ideas or plan your sightseeing activities in the communal spaces. Bring your gym shorts; at the spacious re:charge fitness center you can sweat and pump with the latest exercise machines, cardio equipment and free weights. And bring your swimsuit; the Aloft London Excel also has an indoor, heated pool and sauna.

When you are hungry for a meal, bop over to FEDE restaurant  for contemporary British food, or pick up a snack at the 24-hour grab-and-go re:fuel café. And save some energy for nighttime. Aloft’s wxyz bar and re:mix lounge not only serve great drinks, but also invite a rotating roster of local bands and artists so you can rock to East London’s diverse music scene.

And best of all, with rooms under $150 per night, the Aloft London Excel is making a fashionable stay affordable for all travelers.

Aloft London Excel
One Eastern Gateway, Royal Victoria Dock
London, England, E16 1FR
+44 020 3203 0700
www.aloftlondonexcel.com

This article was originally published in Out Traveler:

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IQ in The Miami Herald: Valencia

IQ’s Valencia article from The Washington Post is making another appearance, this time in the Travel section of The Miami Herald.

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IQ in The Washington Post: Valencia

I’m a greedy tourist. When I travel, I want to experience it all: the old and the new, the quaint and the cosmopolitan, the historic and the contemporary. So when I heard about a city that flows with the ease of a small town while boasting beaches, museums and architectural masterpieces on par with those of the world’s great cultural centers, I took notice.

Read the full travel feature in The Washington Post by clicking on the picture below:

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Valencia’s Vincci Palace Hotel

Showcasing architectural styles to accompany more than 2,000 years of history, Valencia thrives on the pairing of old and new. Why should its hotels be any different? Located in the popular Centro Historico neighborhood, the Vincci Palace Hotel combines classic style and contemporary design in Spain’s third largest city.

Enter through the immaculately restored historic façade and check into the modern elegance of this five-floor boutique hotel. Accents of purples and reds pop from a background of shiny lacquered walls and sheer drapes to create a lobby area that can effortlessly double as an evening lounge. Upstairs, all 76 rooms are equipped with the modern conveniences we have come to expect from a four-star hotel:  satellite television, in-room internet, full mini-bar, and a pillow menu for a cushion-to-taste rest. In keeping with the design aesthetic, the bathrooms are sleek and sexy, each with deep soaking tubs, black granite counter tops, and modern chandeliers to stylishly light your routine toward cleanliness… or dirtiness.

In the morning, refuel at the complimentary breakfast buffet which includes eggs, meats, fruits, pastries, and even a glass of cava should you wish to toast last night’s adventures. When ready to explore, you are a five-minute walk from the Cathedral and Plaza de la Virgen, the epicenter of town, and just a few more steps to the nightlife options of Barrio del Carmen.

*Article originally published in Out Traveler

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Puerto Vallarta: Vacation Versatile

Activo o Pasivo?  Regardless of your preference, Puerto Vallarta will satisfy.  Whether swinging through treetops above mountainous jungles or cruising hidden coves off Mexico’s Pacific rim, Puerto Vallarta provides a vacation of complete versatility.  Flaunting its natural beauty, colonial charm and cosmopolitan sophistication, Mexico’s premier gay destination will quench both your thirst for adventure and desire for relaxation.

Read the full article on Fuerte Men by clicking on the photo below:

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IQ in The New York Times: Maritime Museum

After a four-year renovation, the National Maritime Museum in Amsterdam reopened yesterday, with a renewed focus on experiencing the Netherlands’ seafaring history through interactive presentations, voyage simulations and life-sized seafaring replicas.

Read IQ’s full article in The New York Times, by clicking on the picture below:

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