Tag Archives: New York

NYC Celebrates Furry octoBEARfeast

Photo: Dick Mitchell,  Model: Gio  Photo: Dick Mitchell,  Model: Gio

Before winter hibernation, New York City bears are having a ball, and you’re invited to flaunt your PETA-approved fur for a good cause.   For the first time, the city’s LGBT Community Center (commonly called “the Center”) is expanding their popular gay bear dance party, Fur Ball, into octoBEARfest:  “a week-long celebration of everything furry.”

The Fuzzy Wuzzy festivities kick off with sustenance.  On Monday, October 1, the boys will celebrate Bear-BQ at Bone Lick Park restaurant with $3 shots and drafts, $3.50 margaritas, and 35¢ wings.  Tuesday brings the Bears & Beers fundraising dinner, with unlimited food and drinks and optional VIP bourbon tasting, at 508 Gastrobrewery.

To help you find the perfect napping partner after all that food, the Center will host Bear Bating on Thursday, October 4, a speed-dating event for bears and their admirers; and then the big daddy event of the week, Fur Ball on Saturday, October 6.

Headlined by DJ Corey Craig,  Fur Ball’s estimated  900 guests will take over every floor of the Center, with two dance floors, go-go-bears, and an outdoor garden.  And more importantly, all proceeds benefit the Center, whose programs range from hosting arts and entertainment events, advocacy groups and family gatherings, to offering youth, recovery and wellness programs.

So let your hair down, wear your God-given fur out, and celebrate for a Grrrrrrreat cause.

Visit the Center’s octoBEARfest website for tickets and additional information.

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Filed under Events, Gay/ LGBTQ, U.S.A.

The Week in Travel (9/21/12)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   On Fridays,  Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

San Francisco  (Photo by Jeremy Brooks/Flickr)

*What’s the best place to wear skinny jeans, thick-rimmed glasses and a precisely-trimmed messy beard? Sorry Williamsburg, but the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles has been named “America’s Best Hipster Neighborhood.”  (via Forbes)

*Your mama taught you to look both ways before crossing the street.  Now, just in case you are too busy texting, New York City streets are going to remind you.  (via NY Daily News)

*What apps do you need to enhance your next trip?  Travel bloggers extraordinaire Carlos Melia and Matt Long break down the best travel apps to download.  (via dot 429  & Landlopers)

*Too many options can make traveling just as confusing as too few.  In New York City, where gay and lesbian visitors are welcomed at most hotels, start your search with one of  “The 51 Gayest Hotels in NYC.”  (via ManAboutWorld)

*To ban cock rings or not to ban cock rings–that is the San Francisco question:
Whether ’tis nobler in the Castro to suffer
The studs and straps of outrageous penile adornment
Or to make legislation against the naked troubles
And by opposing end them.  (via The Huffington Post)

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

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The Week in Travel (8/3/12)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   On Fridays,  Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

*Look truly refreshed after your next vacation.  No, like really refreshed.  Like, you-can’t-move-your-forehead refreshed.  The Four Seasons in Austin has partnered with Westlake Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery, offering guests services such as Botox, chemical peels, and skin tightening. Next year, new options will include breast augmentation and liposuction. (via USA Today)

*These boots are made for walking, and that’s just what they’ll do in New York City.  For now, NYC’s Bike-Sharing Program, which was supposed to launch this summer, has been delayed due to a software glitch.  No new official launch date has been announced.  (via New York Magazine)

*It’s easier than ever to stay toned during your travels.  New hotel programs lend you work-out videos, running shoes and pedometers, while airports offer walking paths and yoga studios.  (via New York Times)

*New York City is the theatrical top.  According to the World Cities Culture Report 2012, NYC hosted over 43,000 theatre shows and 6,000 dance performances to claim the #1 spot in each category.  London, Paris and Tokyo also ranked high in performance arts output.  (via The Stage)

*Extra cheese?  The owner of the “world’s largest collection of pizza memorabilia”–who has a tattoo of himself holding a pizza slice on his back–is planning to open a pizza restaurant and museum in Philadelphia.  (via NPR)

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

(Photo via Your Funny Stuff)

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The Week in Travel (7/27/12)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   On Fridays,  Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

*Virgins are making headlines:  Australian Virgins are too sexy (via USA Today), American Virgins wear Banana Republic (via NY Times), and Atlantic Virgins are blushing. (via NY Times)

*Jesus, Mary and Joseph are replaced by Anastasia Steele and Christian Grey at the Damson Dene Hotel.  The peaceful retreat, located in the Lake District of England has swapped the Gideon Bible in each of its 40 bedrooms with the popular erotic novel Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. (via Forbes)

*Marriage Equality Makes Money.  In the one year since New York became the sixth and most recent state to legalize gay marriage in the U.S., New York City has reaped $259 million of economic benefit and attracted 200,000 guests from outside of the city to attend same-sex wedding receptions. (via Bloomberg)

*Top Chefs pack their knives and open new restaurants in New York City. (via Next Magazine)

*These rooms will make a convert out of you.   Stay in a former monastery, jail or convent, recently crowned one of the world’s Top Ten Converted Hotels. (via Reuters)

*What would you do for a free vacation? (And by “free” I mean…) The online dating website, MissTravel.com, matches “Attractive Travelers” without money, and “Generous Travelers” willing to pay. (via USA Today)

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

(Photo via NY Times)

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The Week in Travel (6/8/12)

The world of travel moves fast!   Let’s keep up–together.   On Fridays,  Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

The Berkeley in London

*Get in touch with your inner Esther Williams this summer.  The Berkeley hotel in London is offering 90-minute synchronized swimming classes through August 29. (via New York Times)

*Train with Russian cosmonauts.  A Seattle-based tour group is taking 20 travelers to Russia to view the manned launch of the Soyuz spacecraft en route to the International Space Station.  Add-ons include cosmonaut training sessions and zero-gravity flights. (via USA Today)

*This year you have more opportunities than ever to be gay and proud.  The International Gay Pride Calendar guides you toward the festivities all over the world.  (via Passport Magazine)

*Size Queen… or King… or Full.  A new crop of NYC hotels are offering tiny, but well-designed “affordable luxury.” (via New York Times)

*Are you having Downton Abbey withdrawal? Highclere Castle, where the critically acclaimed drama is filmed, is now open for tours Sunday through Thursday. (via MSNBC)

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

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Lords Pops Big Apple

Lords South Beach celebrates NY Pride, polar bear and all

The Lords South Beach is making a colorful splash on New York’s Lower East Side this gay pride.  From June 18-24, Miami’s gay boutique hotel will invade the Hotel on Rivington, creating New York City’s first ever Pride pop-up hotel:  Lords New York.

And pop it will.  The Lords New York will feature a hot pink lobby, a New York version of the Lords South Beach beloved polar bear sculpture, and pop art portraits of Elizabeth Taylor (who watches over guests in every room of the Miami property).

The Lords New York is also bringing the party up north.  The Lords Penthouse series will occupy the Owner’s Suite of the Hotel on Rivington to host “Proud to Party”–a fetish beach party–with DJ Vito Fun on Friday, June 22.  The next morning, the hotel joins OUT Magazine in hosting the “Proud to be Creative” brunch at the hotel’s CO-OP restaurant with food, drink, music, and a special art installation.

The Lords New York at the Hotel on Rivington LGBT Pride Package Includes:

  • 15% Savings off the Best Available Rates
  • Exclusive access to the “Proud to Party” event on Fri., June 22nd
  • 2 welcome cocktails in CO-OP Food & Drink
  • Lords New York welcome gift bag
  • Priority reservations to the “Proud to be Creative” Brunch on Sat., June 23rd

Want to make more of an impact on our community?   Put your money where your pride is.  The Lords is introducing a New York version of its “Rooms that Matter” program.  Upon check-in, guests can choose to donate $10 to either the Aqua Foundation or Hetrick-Martin Institute. Last year, a similar Lords South Beach program raised over $10,000 for designated LGBT charities.

For more information on all the events or to book your reservation, visit LordsNY.com.

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The Week in Travel (5/18/12)

The world of travel moves fast!  Let’s keep up–together.  On Fridays, Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

Room Service Fitness

*Hilton Hotels are working it out.    Guests at the Hilton McLean Tysons Corner and the Hilton San Francisco Union Square will now have the option of staying in a Yoga Room or Cardio Room, each with a king bed and all the equipment needed for your workout routine.  (via USA Today)

*Enjoy the silence because flying is about to get louder.  By the end of the year, Virgin Atlantic will start offering mobile phone access in the air. (via Wired)

*High Dining, Adored!  This summer, New Yorkers will find more intimate dining settings on rooftops and upstairs decks throughout the city. (via New York Times)

*Gay Marriage in the Caribbean?  The government in Trinidad and Tobago is considering whether or not it wants to approve gay and lesbian marriage and will soon announce its decision. (via Passport Magazine)

*The Southwestern United States will see the sun’s annulus.  This Sunday afternoon, an annular solar eclipse will block most of the sun’s disc.  A few National Parks will be offering spectacular views.   (via ABC News)

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

(Photo courtesy of My Bizarre World)

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Fleet Week New York comes OUT!

Photo via flickr

The Sailors are coming to town and this year—for the first time ever—they can be openly gay.

From May 23 to 30, thousands of men and women serving on U.S. Navy and U.S. Coastguard ships will debark onto the streets of Manhattan for the annual Fleet Week New York.   According to the event’s website “Fleet Week New York is the City’s celebration of the sea services… [providing] an opportunity for the citizens of New York City and the surrounding Tri-State area to meet Sailors, Marines and Coast Guardsmen, as well as witness first hand the latest capabilities of today’s Navy, Marine Corps and Coast Guard Team.”

This year will also mark the first Fleet Week since the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, the U.S. policy that kept gay and lesbian troops from serving openly in the military until September 20, 2011.

To help celebrate, THE OUT NYC, the city’s first gay urban resort, is unveiling its Served with Pride package for any guest with a valid military ID.  This package will continue indefinitely, offering our service men and women:

  • 30% off the best available rate
  • Complimentary Served with Pride t-shirt or tank top
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary continental breakfast

So let’s welcome our troops to fully–and openly–explore New York City this Fleet Week.

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The Week in Travel (5/11/12)

The world of travel moves fast!  Let’s keep up–together.  On Fridays, Traveling IQ curates the highlights from the past week:

Brooklyn’s Like Buttah

*Berlin’s new airport is grounded!  The opening date for the highly anticipated Berlin-Brandenburg International Airport (BER)  has been pushed from June 3 to an “after the summer break” undetermined date. (via USA Today)

*Hungover in Vegas? The “Hangover Heaven” bus will have you feeling better and back to the bar in no time.  On the bus, treatment can take less than an hour for a $90 basic IV of saline solution, B vitamins and vitamin C. A premium package, $150, includes two bags. (via Miami Herald)

*Pay your taxes or stay home.  A  measure approved by the U.S. Senate  authorizes the State Department, as instructed by the IRS, to take the passport of any American citizen with a back tax debt of more than $50,000.  The bill is still required to pass the House and the President, before it can become law.  (via San Francisco Chronicle)

*Klout & Cathay Pacific partner.  A Klout score of 40 or higher now grants you entrance to the Cathay Pacific First and Business Class Lounge at San Francisco Airport.  (via Code Nast Traveler)

*Brooklyn people are the luckiest people in the world:  Barbra Streisand will perform in her native borough for the first time evah! …at the Barclays Center on October 11. (via AOL.com)

What did I miss?  Share your favorite travel news in the comments below or by posting on the Traveling IQ Facebook page.

(Photo courtesy of AOL)

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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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