Category Archives: Gay Columbus

Ru Pauls Drag Race Tour

 

ru-pauls-battle-of-the-seasons

 IT’S ABOUT TO GET REAL BITCHES!

RuPaul’s Drag Race Battle of The SeasonsCondragulations” Tour in a city near YOU, featuring a night of show-stopping performances by the world’s most talented drag performers, including winners and fan favorites from Logo TV’s hit series “RuPaul’s Drag Race.”

Over 40 cities in the US, Canada and Europe. The largest drag tour in history!

Adore Delano, Alaska 5000, Ben Dela Crème, Bianca Del Rio, Courtney Act, Darienne Lake, Detox, Ivy Winters, Jiggly Caliente, Jinkx Monsoon, Manila Luzon, Pandora Boxx, Phi Phi O’Hara, Raja and Sharon Needles. Plus Special Guest Cary NoKey and host Michelle Visage. (Lineup varies by city and is subject to change.)

February 1-April 13, 2015.  CHECK  CITIES  AND TICKETS!

ru pauls drag race  world tour

Columbus to Host NAGAAA Gay Softball World Series

The delegates of the North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance (NAGAAA)
unanimously selected Columbus, Ohio as the host city for the 2015 Gay Softball
World Series (GSWS) at their annual Winter meeting, which took place in
Washington, DC January 26-27.

The 2015 GSWS will
return to Lou Berliner Park August 14-22.  The largest annual gay sporting
event in the world annually has over 5,000 participants from 46 cities within 20
states and three Canadian provinces. Columbus hosted the GSWS in August 2010,
when the Series brought over $5 million in visitor spending and 4,600 hotel room
nights to the city over the course of the nine days of
events.

“We are so excited the
NAGAAA is returning to Columbus in 2015,” said Mayor Michael B. Coleman.
“The Gay Softball World Series was immensely popular with our residents and
businesses when it was here in 2010, and we look forward to showcasing how much
we’ve improved as a city since then.”

Typically, the
selection of the GSWS Host City takes place at the summer meeting just prior to
the Series taking place; however, after Executive Director, Dallas Aldridge,
gave a brief overview presentation to the delegates which outlined Columbus’
initial plans for the 2015 Series, delegates suspended their rules and motioned
to award Columbus as the Host City.

More than 50
businesses sponsored the 2010 Series, and more than 500 volunteers from Central
Ohio helped produce the GSWS tournament and events, which took place at Lou
Berliner Park and throughout Columbus. Berliner Park allowed for alcohol sales,
which raised $5,600 in tips that were donated to 15 local non-profit groups.
NAGAAA also hosted a talent show with nearly 1,000 people in attendance, which
raised $11,000 for Columbus AIDS Task Force and Camp Sunrise and their
12,500-guest closing block party was held in the Short North Arts District. The
Championship games were also broadcast live over OutQ on Sirius Satellite Radio
providing unique focus and exposure for Columbus and its GLBT
community.

 

In 2011, Experience
Columbus recognized the 2010 GSWS by awarding it The Expy Award, which
recognizes outstanding achievements by businesses, organizations and events in
creating vibrant, distinctive experiences for visitors and residents that have
enhanced the image of Columbus regionally, nationally and
internationally.

The volunteer Host
Committee, which produces the entire Series, is comprised of select members from
the Columbus Lesbian and Gay Softball Association (CLGSA), Columbus’ gay
community and its allies.

“We are thrilled the
NAGAAA Council has voted to return to Columbus in 2015,” said Columbus Lesbian
and Gay Softball Association Executive Director Dallas Aldridge. “Our
partnerships with the Columbus community are stronger than ever, and we look
forward to creating an even better experience for all the participants.”

“We are proud to have
NAGAAA return to our city in 2015,” said Greater Columbus Sports Commission
Executive Director Linda Shetina Logan. “This event shines a spotlight on
our open and diverse community and Berliner Park, which is a crown jewel for
Columbus as the largest softball complex in the United States with 31
diamonds.”

Mikeys Late Night Pizza in Columbus Ohio

The Incredible Story of What Happened When Two Gay Men Were Harassed While Waiting for Pizza

This past weekend I was a part of something incredible that happened in
my community of Columbus, Ohio. After a fun night out in the Short
North, my friend Ethan and I ventured down the street to a popular pizza
truck called Mikey’s Late Night Slice. Part of the process
for securing an insanely good slice of pizza. It was really cold so
Ethan and I were holding hands and standing close together to keep warm,
we were laughing and joking about all the fun we’d had that night, when
all of the sudden the guy in front of us turns around and tells us to
cut our “gay shit” out.

I was a bit startled by his words but I didn’t expect what happened next.
Almost every single person in that line made it known to him it was not
OK for him to speak to us like that. By happenstance my friend John, who
is also gay, was standing in front of him and as he continued his rant
about being disgusted by us we both let him know that this was our city
too and that we were not about to stand down to his bigoted ideas,
especially not in one of the gayest neighborhoods in town. As he
continued it was actually the straight people in line who spoke up that
were so awesome. 

I didn’t expect to see allies so willing to chime in and let this guy
know that his hate speech wouldn’t be tolerated. The best part though
was as he grew more irate and vocal the guys who work the truck stopped
what they were doing and leaned towards the window and told him they
would not serve him because he was spewing hate. They said they support
everyone in our community and that he should get out of line because
they would not be serving him. He begrudgingly got out of line and
walked away escorted by a friend who had been hanging back.” 

Only world stop for Annie Leibovitz exhibition : Columbus Ohio

Wexner Center to be exhibition’s only stop


The Wexner Center for the Arts will devote its
entire gallery space to a major presentation of work by photographer Annie
Leibovitz from  Sept. 20  through Dec. 30,
2012. ”Annie Leibovitz,”
organized by the Wexner Center, will feature more than 200 photographs.  The bulk of the exhibition comes from
“Master Set,” an authoritative edition of 156 of her images.  Leibovitz personally selected and
oversaw the printing of the limited edition, large archival pigment prints.
 A special lobby display will
feature portraits and related working prints by Leibovitz of artists who have
appeared at The Wex over the years, some of whom are Wexner Prize
recipients. 

 

A special travel getaway package
featuring the exhibition is available throughout the run of the show. Starting
at $259, the “Annie Leibovitz” travel package
includes:

  • First-class
    accommodations at the design-centric
    The Lofts Hotel
  • Two Tickets to
    Wexner Center for the Arts for the “Annie Leibovitz”
    exhibition
  • Valet parking
  • $25 dining
    gift card, valid at one of 14 Arena District venues
  • Two standard
    movie passes to the award-winning Arena Grand Movie
    Theatre
  • Cooked-to-order breakfast buffet at Max & Erma’s
    Restaurant
  • Package
    reservations are made at
    www.55lofts.com or (614) 461-2642  

 

The Wexner Center is the first institution in the world to have the
opportunity to exhibit them “Master Set” as a whole.  The presentation will be augmented by
work from “Pilgrimage,” a project featuring a series of photographs of
interiors, landscapes and talismanic objects attached to historical
figures—Abraham Lincoln, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Emily Dickinson, Georgia O’Keeffe,
Annie Oakley, and Elvis Presley, among others. “Pilgrimage” was organized by the
Smithsonian American Art Museum

 

“Annie Leibovitz” is organized by Bill Horrigan,
Wexner Center’s curator-at-large, in collaboration with Jill
Davis, director of exhibitions management. Both worked closely with Liebovitz
and her studio to conceive this unique presentation.  A printed gallery guide will accompany
the exhibition.

 

Annie Leibovitz began her career in
1970 as a photojournalist for Rolling Stone magazine, while she was a student at
the San Francisco Art Institute.  In
1983, she joined the staff of the revived Vanity Fair and was established as the
foremost rock music photographer and an astute documentarian of the social
landscape. At Vanity Fair, and later at Vogue, she developed a large body of
work that expanded her collective portrait of contemporary life.  

 

Leibovitz has had unique access to many of the most
notable figures of our time. She has photographed
U.S. presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama as
well as hundreds of athletes, actors, artists, dancers, musicians, fashion
designers, scientists and business leaders. She also has created several
influential advertising campaigns, including her award-winning portraits for
American Express and the Gap.  By no
means are all of Leibovitz’s subjects famous.  In special projects that became books on
women and music, she brought her approach to portraiture to figures who might
not necessarily be featured in a magazine. Leibovitz has been designated a
Living Legend by the Library of Congress. She lives in
New
York with her
three children, Sarah, Susan and Samuelle.

 

VISITOR INFORMATION: “Annie Leibovitz” will be on
view Sept. 22–Dec. 30, 2012 at the Wexner Center for the Arts,
1871 N. High
St. (at
15th
Ave.) on
the campus of The Ohio State University in Columbus. Gallery hours are Tuesday–Wednesday and Sunday
11 am–6
pm; Thursday–Saturday
11 am–8
pm; closed Mondays.
Admission is $8 for adults (18–64); $6 for senior citizens (65 or older); free
to all Thursdays, 4 – 8 pm and the first Sunday of the month. Details and
tickets at wexarts.org.  Travel packages are available via www.55lofts.com or (614) 461-2642.  

 

Columbus is a city unlike any other. Vibrant and alive,
Ohio’s capital is known for its open attitude, smart
style and entrepreneurial spirit. 
Columbus’ uncommon blend of neighborhoods, arts and
culinary experiences, events, attractions and accommodations are made
unforgettable by its diversity of outgoing locals who warmly welcome
visitors.  Free travel guides, maps,
online booking and detailed information are available at www.ExperienceColumbus.com or by calling 866.397.2657
(866.EXP.COLS). Visitor information is also available on Facebook: facebook.com/ExperienceColumbus .


Hocking Hills State Park Voted BEST Campgroud in USA

The premier website for camping and hiking, Tripleblaze.com, has just released its list of Best Campgrounds in America, and Hocking Hills State Park is now ranked as the #1 campgound in the United States.  Located in the heart of Ohio’s stunning Hocking Hills region, the campground beat out hundreds of camping sites across America, including the famed Yosemite National Park, which came in second, and Mt. Rainier National Park, which is ranked #14.  Tripleblaze.com uses a specially designed algorithm to rank campsites and determine the popularity of each one.  The system accounts for the average ratings, number of reviews and the number of people who have camped or wish they could stay at the campground.

 

Trailblaze describes Hocking Hills State Park Campground as offering “a variety of recreational opportunities in a splendid natural setting. Towering cliffs, waterfalls and deep hemlock-shaded gorges lure the hiker and naturalist and serve as a backdrop to popular facilities and accommodations.”

 

Tripleblaze.com is the foremost destination for people to learn about U.S. campgrounds, hiking trails and outdoor recreation gear.  The site posts reviews of campgrounds around the country and gives members the ability to post their own reviews of campgrounds they have visited.  The top feature of the site is the camp ground and hiking trial ranking system, implemented to give users insight into the parks in the country.  It also ranks outdoor gear and hiking trails.


 

Along with being home to the best campground in the U.S., Hocking Hills is also considered the “canopy tour capital of the Midwest.”  Throughout the lush forests of Hocking Hills exists miles of ziplines, giving campers and other visitors a chance to view the area from above.  However, Ziplines are just one of the many attractions to the Hocking Hills area.  Campers can hike among rugged cliffs, soaring rock faces and roaring waterfalls of Old Man’s Cave, Ash Cave or Cedar Falls.  Travelers seeking a break from hiking they can go horseback riding, kayaking or rent ATVs to ride through the immense forests.  Visitors can also tour the last washboard factory in America, or even learn how to blow glass jewelry from a local artist.  No matter what visitors come to do, they will not be disappointed by the thousands of acres of natural scenic beauty of Ohio’s Hocking Hills.


We have told you about the AMAZING B&B we stayed in last year in Hocking Hills.  And it is so close to hustle and bustle of the very gay Columbus Ohio you can easily spend time in the whole area.

 

Located 40 miles southeast of Columbus, Ohio, the Hocking Hills region offers once-in-a-lifetime experiences that make every day feel like Saturday, with plenty of Admission: FREE activities. The region boasts a wide variety of affordable lodging, from camping, cabins and cottages to hotels and inns.  In addition to hiking trails, parks and forests, the Hocking Hills is the canopy tour capital of the Midwest, with 50 ziplines being offered via three distinct guide services.  Unique gift and antique shops, canoeing, horseback riding, golf, spas and more add to the allure of the Hocking Hills as the perfect place to unplug. Complete traveler information is available www.1800Hocking.com or 1-800-Hocking (800-462-5464).


Shopping, Dining and Nightlife in Columbus Ohio




With the holidays fast approaching, it’s time to think about gift giving.  I was in Columbus Ohio last month, and got a jump on  my gift buying! Columbus has an amazing collection of shops! This is Part 2, in a series.

Take my advice, start your day on a full tummy.  And I have 2 words for you;  NORTH  MARKET


 


Butchers, bakers and candy makers. Fishmongers, greengrocers and restaurateurs. They grow, catch, find, make, produce, distribute, cook, create and invent!!

Columbus’ only public market and an incubator for small businesses. This is the place to shop, eat, mingle and people-watch.


The North Market is home to dozens of unique, independent merchants and farmers who deliver personal and personable service every day of the week. Have breakfast or lunch and start your day of shopping. From Crepes to Lasagna, fresh breads to fresh  meats,  Gyros to fine pastries, there is something here for everyones palate. Over 35 booths.



BOOKSThe Book Loft of German Village (pictured below)  is a city-block long store, located at 631 South Third Street. Books are always good gifts for just about anyone on your list. The  ultimate, old-fashioned bookshop experience: strolling down German Village brick pathways, gazing through windows the likeness of a Charles Dickens era, and then losing yourself within the 32 room labyrinth of ALL NEW books for every age and interest.  You can spend a day here!  You have never seen anything like this store, I can assure you! LOTS of coupons online.  So browse their site, before you get to the store.



 Flower Child   has been keeping Columbus (and Cleveland)  cool with great 20th century gear, including items from the 1930’s up to the 1980’s. Around every corner is more great vintage, hand selected and displayed as it would have been when originally sold. They are a true vintage department store and museum. From funky furniture, art, and housewares, to the clothes and accessories that match, Flower Child transforms vintage shopping into a time traveling experience! This is place is jam packed with treasures at all price points.  989 N. High street.


Who doesn’t love the gift of chocolate?
le Chocoholique, 601 N. High street.  Artisan chocolates in every shape, size and flavor.  Chipotle Cherry, Bacon Toffee, Coconut Curry and Bananas Foster – it’s all here!  Chocolate is their passion!  Perfect for gift giving. Online ordering coming soon!

There is a great body care line called Le Chateau Du Bois – made with fine Lavender from Provence.  CATERINA  LTD, 571 S. Third, is the ONLY PLACE IN THE US that stocks it! This is the BEST lavender products I have ever tried. Caterina Ltd. imports housewares from all over Europe. Our mission: bring to market at affordable prices functional works of art of enduring quality. Made with time-honored techniques by true artisans, our Italian hand-painted maiolica ceramics, French woven and printed table linens, lavender body care, furniture and other offerings are hard to find elsewhere. Shop online!



Need some new duds?  Jeans, shirts underwear and more at TORSO. This Columbus gay clothing institution has been around for years.  772 N. High St.  Hundreds of brands and styles. Even  online shopping, if you can’t make it by the store.

There is so much shopping in Columbus that is special and unique. POSH Pet stuff, fresh baked foods, cool art things for the home, and shopping till you drop. We can not possibly cover it all here. Looking for something particular?  Check out the Experience Columbus site.




FRIDAY NIGHT  FUN
……After all that shopping, how about Martinis with the gays?  HYDE PARK PRIME STEAK HOUSE is voted one of the top steak houses in America.  Massive and elegant dining rooms, plus small intimate dining rooms that attract celebrities. But on Fridays nights after work, the bar area and patio become a mix and mingle gay bar for the hip crowd.

Great Drinks, Great Food, Great People, Great Fun! It’s a great place to meet friends for cocktails before dinner or the perfect after work happy hour spot. Famous $4  martinis!    Enjoy some of the Chef’s small plate creations from the bar menu, which features everything from mini-kobe beef burgers to Russian caviar. The Bar at Hyde Park boasts an offering of 40+ wines by the glass, extensive martini lists.  569 North High Street.  (pictured below).






Then perhaps dinner at  Barcelona. Tucked away in historic German Village – 263 East Whittier Street, an authentic global dining experience awaits. Inspired by seaside sangria and a walk on the Ramblas, Barcelona is a culinary fusion of metropolitan chic & Old World European charm. The patio was BEST PATIO 2011! TOP 10 Best Restaurant and Most Romantic Award as well!  Gorgeous!!  – “I am extremely proud that Barcelona has become one of the premier restaurants in Columbus. Barcelona is continuously growing and evolving and has so much to offer you, my valued guests. None of this would be possible if it were not for the very talented managers and staff that I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by every day. They are the true reason Barcelona is so successful. ”  says  owner  Scott Heimlich.

Lots of amazing food  here. But one of the most unique things we had was the Iberico de Bellota ‘Fermin’ –  one of the culinary world’s most exquisite products. This “royal ham” comes from the acorn fed black-footed pig that roams the Dehesa; a wooded mountain range in Western Spain. This ham, produced by the Fermin company, is sea-salt cured and aged for at least three years! It is like the pork equivalent of fine Kobe beef. The ham is $200 a pound!  AMAZING! Average entree is  $20-$30.


or  Union  Bar +  Food for something a little more laid back.  This former video bar has moved and is refocusing on food & cocktails. 782 N. High St. –  Union  is located in the heart of the Short North Arts District. Union Cafe is one of Columbus’ most popular neighborhood cafes and cocktail lounges, serving our community since 1996.With an amazing patio, friendly staff, mind bending martini menu and Modern American Cuisine served at popular prices, Union Cafe is affordable and welcoming. Come dressed as you are for a laid back yet sophisticated experience. Lots of specials and happy hours – check out their site!


If you choose to go out  SATURDAY  as well – hopefully you can catch the gallery hop.


Short North Gallery Hop


Presented by Short North Business Association


The first Saturday of every month, thousands of visitors converge on the strip, the epicenter of the High Street Experience. They come to celebrate art and partake in an evening of sights, sounds, food, shopping, and cosmopolitan fun.
The district is very gay-friendly and many of the establishments are gay-owned.

Countless art experiences. District specials. Prize drawings. Ramped up entertainment. Unexpected surprises. Lots of fun and  an unforgettable experience. 4-10pm. FREE.





SWEET TOOTH?   All dessert tour of Columbus


Presented by Columbus Food Adventures


This van-based tour featuring some of the best desserts in Columbus. This tour will start at the acclaimed Pistacia Vera in German Village, visit the new Sugardaddy’s downtown location to sample some of their sumptuous brownies and blondies, and then head north to the Pattycake bakery in Clintonville. Of course no dessert tour of Columbus would be complete without Jeni’s splendid ice cream, so we will visit their new Clintonville location to try some of their newest seasonal flavors. Finally, we’ll finish our tour with a fabulous dessert cocktail created by mixologist extraordinaire Cris Dehlavi at M Restaurant (there will be a non-alcoholic drink option available for those under 21 or who do not wish to consume alcohol). Please purchase tickets in advance.

The tour starts at Pistacia Vera  desert boutique at 2.30pm on alternate Saturdays, thru Dec. 10,  and will last approximately 3 hours. The cost is $55 per person. Please check the calendar for dates. Parking is available in the lot at the German Village Society visitors center 588 South Third Street. CALL  Box Office: 1-800-838-3006 or reserve online.




We highly reccommend dinner at  LEVEL.  Hip spot for chic dining!  High standards of quality while boasting some of the most innovative displays of mixology and culinary excellence. Signature martini’s like Level Luau and Banana Cream Pie. Innovative dishes like Buffalo Style Ravioli and Pork Cacciatore, all very reasonably priced.  For the elegance of the space, you would expect to pay a lot more.   Average entree only $10-$18. Burgers and Wraps  $7-$11.


LOTS of bars and nighclubs in Columbus to choose from. OVER 20!  Which rivals the amount of bars in Chicago!


Level has a bar and lounge area which has a big gay crowd and lots of eye candy. 
Union has a very large bar.  AXIS is one the BIG nightclubs on the strip.  Havana is a cool video lounge.


For late night fun, Columbus offers LOTS  of choices.  Check out Gay Cities or Outlook Columbus for listings.

Experience Columbus!  You’ll be glad you did.



BestGayCities.com

What’s Hot? What’s New? What’s Next? Gay Columbus Ohio

 Like a snowball rolling down the hill, gaining momentum, Columbus Ohio continues to dominate in Gay Travel News this year!

JUST ANNOUNCED!  Columbus was just nominated for Best  NewNowNext Up-and-Coming LGBT Travel Destination by Orbitz and LogoTV!

Columbus is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States and they boast one of the hippest, coolest gay communities in the Midwest! 

Please take a moment and visit  tripouttravel.com/vote/   to vote — there about 12 categories, and  you submit your vote on each page. You can skip over a page, if you wish.

(We already gave Columbus 5 PINK CROWNS)


ANDREW DAVIS from Windy City Times just did an excellent article on Columbus, highlighting shopping, restaurants, clubs and more!

ALSO  if you are in Columbus Oct. 7-10 –
 
Special Sales, deals and pricing all weekend!

We  hope you’ll vote for Columbus in  their category!  (look for the  second to the last category.)

They really deserve it!!
BestGayCities.com

Made in Columbus Ohio – Gay and Gay Friendly



On our recent trip to Columbus Ohio I was very impressed with the cities’ strong farm-to-table attitude and the amount of home grown industry happening there!  Sure they’ve got big business companies like Abercrombie & Fitch / the Limited Brand and also  modern Columbus has emerged as a technologically sophisticated city, Forbes Magazine  ranked the city as the no. 1 up-and-coming tech city in the nation.

But we saw the big trend here of producing locally  and delivering locally, EVERYWHERE.  The freshest ingredients and unprocessed food and products. Businesses in Columbus Ohio are really trailblazing. Farm-to-Table, Cow-to-Cone, & Silo-to-Still…. Columbus is blessed by its proximity to fertile farmland and wonderful seasonal produce.

 In the coming weeks, we’ll  talk more in depth about great dining spots, things to see and do,  and  gay clubs – but today I want to share a few of our Columbus Ohio discoveries.




Who doesn’t want a SUGAR DADDY?  I mean the brownies. Award-winning Sugardaddy’s Sumptuous Sweeties®, Purveyors of The Edgeless Brownie®, has redefined the cozy, American classic brownie into a truly luxury dessert indulgence, gifting, and special occasion experience. Sugardaddy’s has extended its fresh-baked luxe brownie and blondies line with Sugardaddy’s Brownie Biscotti, Brownie Truffles, Brownie Cheese Cakes, Brownie Cakes, and Brownie Trifles.  Sugardaddy’s has been named “Best of the Best” by Food Network among MANY other awards. (Ellen is one of their biggest fans!)

In 2004, Tom Finney and Mark Ballard launched an online store and in 2005 they opened their first storefront!  Today they have 3  locations in Columbus, but sell and ship  ALL OVER THE WORLD. They use only the BEST ingredients and ship fresh to your door.  Hey, cupcakes are for sissies!



JENI’S ICE CREAM has been growing at leaps and bounds in Ohio, and now it is reaching freezers around the country.  Handmade American ice cream.  “We build every recipe from the ground up with luscious, Snowville milk and cream from cows that eat grass.”  Ice creams, yogurts, sorbets, sundaes and macaroon ice cream sandwiches  –  amazing flavors made with evolving and flavorful thoughtfulness.  Your mouth will water! 

Now with nine storefronts in Ohio and now you can find pints of Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams at fine markets and groceries across the United States.




Sunny Meadows Flower Farm is operated by Steve and Gretel Adams and is located 6 miles from downtown Columbus, on the city’s southeast side. “Currently we farm about 7 acres of flowers, fruits, and vegetables. We use organic practices and although we are not certified, this still means no chemicals are used, just lots of love!


Our mission is to educate the public about the quality and vase life of local flowers. Although you can get flowers for dirt cheap flown in from the equator, the workers do not have the same rights and protections, and there are fewer restrictions on chemicals. So, who knows what you are really buying into? As a farm specializing in all naturally grown fresh cut flowers, we are trying to show people just how important supporting your local flower farm really is.” –  I fell in love with Gretels Soap! Gretel’s natural soap is formulated for the health of one’s mind, body and soul.


Perfect for everyday use or as a gift, every ingredient in these hand-made soaps serves a purpose and has been carefully harvested and selected. A balance of coconut oil, palm oil, beeswax, and soybean oil provide a great lather and keep your skin moist. Additional ingredients, like herbs or coffee, provide a brilliant texture to gently exfoliate the skin. I have a bar (Sweet Earth)  sitting on my bathroom sink, and it makes the room so fragrant!  ORDER YOURS ONLINE.




Local beer lovers are “uncorking” ROCKMILL, the artisan sensation handcrafted in the Central Ohio countryside. 40 minutes from downtown Columbus is Rockmill Brewery. Located a sprawling property, this one time horse farm is now a special kind of place where invigorating flavors are brewing. This modern, certified organic “nano-brewery”  taps into an ancient, glacier-created underground spring to produce a world-class Belgian-style ale. One barrell at a time!  Handcrafted with a stubborn adherence to old-world methodologies.

Matthew Barbee is the young brewmaster at the helm. “Thousands of years ago as the glaciers melted, this water carved out the blackhand sandstone which today forms the origin of the Hocking River. A unique geographic feature that is only a short walk west from the Rockmill Farm. Many thousands of years after the glaciers melted, savy farmers in Wallonia, Belgium came to the genius conclusion that an ale is easy to produce, store and is an excellent vitamin-rich, motivator out in the field. This miracle beverage is now known as Saison, a farmhouse ale.

Roughly 150 years later we came to the realization that the water on our farm is almost identical in mineralitiy as the water found in Wallonia. How convienent! This was the primary inspiration for our four brews. Our water combined with all organic yeast, hops and malt is what gives our brew the aromatic qualities and taste that it does.”

His four brews are currently available at restaurants and retail outlets in Ohio, and he is having  a hard time keeping up with  the growing demands – but he plans to grow and take his product all over the country, very soon!




Not every city can boast a truly local micro-distilled spirit of choice, but Columbus has one : Short North-based Middle West Spirits makes a vodka called OYO (“O-Why-O”), the original Native American word for the Ohio River Valley.


Founded and run by Ryan Lang (left) and Brady Konya ( right), the company uses grain from within a local 50-mile microclimate, and relies on small batch precision and drop-dead gorgeous German-made artisanal equipment to produce a superior product.


WE HAVE BEEN BRAINWASHED in America.  That vodka should have NO TASTE. The common American idea is that vodka needs to be as tasteless as possible.


Rather than fix their product on the back end with flavor additives or over filtering, OYO works almost like a single malt Scotch producer, using carefully controlled distilling and blending to hit their target flavor profile. OYO is not anything like your standard, made for the American market, vodka. “Big distillers, because of how they produce, aren’t able to cut bad stuff out up front, so they have to filter it,” says Konya. “So you’ll see a lot of smart marketers talk about filtering — lava, ceramic, diamonds — six times, eight times, 20 times distilled — all of that is marketing.” – Can you believe that?!

The Beverage Testing Institute (BTI) is a marketing service company that provides reviews for spirits, wines, and beers. It uses numerical scores and publishes books of its test results. BTI gave OYO  Vodka  a 92 last fall!  90-95  is EXCEPTIONAL.  (Dan Akroyds Crystal head is a 89, Effen is an 84, and Vox is a 96, to give you some comparisons).



In just one year, OYO is spreading all over Ohio –  and soon, to a State near you!
Weekly tours and tastings – check their site for details. They have a storefront with their three main drinks as well as cool t-shirts and things. 1230 Courtland Ave , Columbus OH, 43201





Mead Wine? Simply put, mead is  wine made from honey. It takes 6 months to 2 years to make a mead, depending on the recipe.  The longer mead is aged in tanks and in bottles, the more amazing. “Our mead is meant to be aged like the finest artisanal products and enjoyed leisurely,”  says  BROTHERS DRAKE owner Woody Drake.  Brothers Drake makes award-winning mead in Columbus, Ohio using pure honey and the best locally-sourced ingredients.
 
Since 2008, “We continue to grow and expand a selection of exquisite meads made locally in Columbus, OH from as raw local wildflower honey as we can get and all natural ingredients sourced as organically as is possible in Ohio. ” Mead is arguably and understandably one of the oldest beverages known to mankind on every continent. Over the many centuries, people have modified the recipe and, with over 150 meaderies in the United States, the current century is no exception.

Brothers Drake is open for Open for Tastings, Tours, & Sales. 26 E. 5th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43201



More to come soon, from Columbus Ohio!

Best Gay Cities.com

GAY COLUMBUS…Conservative Ohio city becoming an LGBT hub of the Midwest



The state’s capital and nation’s 16th largest city, Columbus is one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the United States and currently has a population of just over one million.

Mayor Michael Coleman
, says he actively promotes Columbus as a gay-friendly market to the rest of the country. He welcomes the LGBT Community in ColumbUS. ” Where the US, means all of us,” he said recently, as 14 LGBT journalists from around the world were invited to Columbus. 

Gay Travel.com  named Columbus its Most Underrated Gay City and 
Gay Cities.com 
 named Columbus as the Up-and-Coming Gay City of 2011.


 

Andrew Collins points out that Columbus has two of the components that make for a great gay scene: it has a major collegiate presence (Ohio State University), and it’s a center of government (being the state capital). An extremely high number of gays and lesbians live here, and enjoy its lively downtown neighborhoods (such as the gay-popular Short North and German Village areas). Columbus has one of the Midwest’s best culinary reputations, a high number of art galleries, numerous gay sports clubs, and a youthful but unpretentious gay club scene.



Columbus has a widespread LGBT population with $7.5 billion in purchasing power that has helped establish the queer community as an integral part of the culture.

In the eighites, gay people ran to big cities. They spruced up all the property, created every art and fashion movement, and taught entire populations how to dance.

They created gayborhoods like WeHo, Chelsea, boystown and South Beach—and pretty much queered all of San Francisco. As more and more gays come out, we are, literally, everywhere, and seem to feel less need to move to the gayborhood.




 


Iowa City, Austin, and Asheville have more gays per capita than the biggies. And yes, Columbus, Ohio!  These cities where everyday gays live—towns and boroughs with a mix of baby carriages, gay bars, and B&Bs—signal the continuing movement of gay people into mainstream American life.

Located in the center of the state, halfway between Cleveland and Cincinnati,  Columbus is within 550 miles of more than half of the U.S. population, making it an easy get away from anywhere in the Midwest!



Find out more here in the coming weeks  and  check out    Outlook Columbus  and   Experience Columbus



BestGayCities.com



 

Columbus Ohio Rated High As A Travel Destination For LGBT


Columbus is widely known as an open and inviting community and a leading Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender destination.


This weekend, 14 leading LGBT travel writers from Canada and around the U.S.  toured Columbus for story ideas. – Best Gay Cites  was one of them!


Experience Columbus  hosted the group of writers who  visited local attractions, dining at area restaurants, and checking out the shopping and nightlife. Saturday night, the group was at the Short North Gallery Hop where the arches are lit in rainbow colors to welcome the guests.


Columbus should be extremely proud of itself for the way that Gay and Lesbian people feel welcomed in this community and city,” said Matt Mills who writes for Extra, a Toronto-based publication. “I would come back any time and would not hesitate to recommend it as a destination to Canadian travelers in the Gay community.”

“It was an amazing fun time and very eye-opening,” said Michael Snell from NewGayTravelGuide.com , “this city has a lot to offer  on so many levels and we are so happy to be here.”

Watch for lots of articles in the coming weeks on Gay Columbus Ohio!



OY VEY! My Son Is Gay! Comes to Ohio and Florida!

After making the rounds at LGBT film festivals WORLDWIDE, and winning countless awards, OY VEY! MY SON IS GAY begins opening in theaters this weekend!

Directed by Evgeny Afineevsky and starring
Golden Globe, Emmy and Tony Award nominee Lainie Kazan, Saul Rubinek, Carmen Electra, Vincent Pastore, Tony Award winner John Lloyd Young, Emmy Award winner Jai Rodriguez, and Emmy Award winner Bruce Vilanch.

Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay! is a family romantic comedy roller-coaster ride of laughs and shows how far we come and yet how far we still have to go.  The star-studded cast and wonderful story will have you laughing – and talking and thinking.

At a time where society is currently in dire stress, the public is even more challenged to find channels for relief and escape.  The film, “OY VEY! MY SON IS GAY!” delivers a very powerful message through the language of humor, and successfully combines the elements of fun, laughter, love, respect, tolerance and the  value of relationships.  It finds humor in the most awkward situations, but remains a powerful reminder that LOVE IS LOVE.


This movie was a long journey of 8 years of hard work, which finally resulted in a heartwarming and inspirational family comedy with an amazing and accomplished cast.

The film’s director, Evgeny Afineevksy (born in Russia, raised in Israel and currently living in the USA)  utilized powerful tools and different multicultural elements (drawn from his multicultural background) to make the movie unique.  He created the movie with a fresh perspective on a very unusual and sensitive matter; mixing elements of light language of comedy with sincerity; treating today’s  tough and sensitive subject with empathy and humor; and, creating funny and relatable characters, allowing the humor to progress from and within the characters.  “OY VEY! MY SON IS GAY! was awarded the Best Script at the 41st Houston World Festival and the Monaco Film Festival, and won over 20 different awards internationally during last year.




Every mother wants their child to get married and have a family.

This is the story of  a Jewish family living in the North Shore of Long Island, where every Friday night Shirley Hirsch (Lainie Kazan) invites another “perfect” girl for Shabbat dinner in hopes that her son, Nelson (John Lloyd Young), will marry a nice Jewish girl.

When Shirley and Martin (Saul Rubinek) once again set him up on a date, Nelson reveals that he is already seeing someone. Shirley and Martin are thrilled and can’t wait to meet the lucky lady.

 In a motherly attempt at finding out who her son is dating, Shirley stops by Nelson’s apartment. She is greeted by Angelo Ferraro (Jai Rodriguez), Nelson’s live-in boyfriend, and in order to not divulge Nelson’s secret life, Angelo introduces himself as his decorator! And the plot thickens!

THIS IS A MUST SEE MOVIE!

OPENING THIS WEEKEND in OHIO!


Starting December 24, 2010
‘Oy Vey! My Son Is Gay!’ is playing at
AMC Theaters – Lennox Town Center 24
(777 Kinnear Rd, Columbus, OH 43212)
Movie Times: 1-888-AMC 4FUN (888-262-4386)   /   Guest Services: (614)429-0100

Cast members with the director, producer and writer will be there to “MEET & GREET” after the movie!
Come out and show your support for this wonderful movie!




Starting January 7, 2011   –  playing at
REGAL South Beach Cinemas 18
( 1120 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Florida 33139 ) (T: 305-674-6766)

Sunrise Intracoastal Cinemas
( 3701 Northeast 163rd Street, North Miami, FL 33160) (T: 954-871-4178)

Regal Shadowood 16
(9889 West Glades Road, Boca Raton, FL 33434) (T: 561-482-2638)

Regal Cinemas Delray 18
(1660 South Federal Highway, Delray Beach, FL 33483) (T: 561-272-0510)



More dates  coming soon!  Check the website and links below!
 
OY VEY MY SON IS GAY official site
Watch the Trailer
Oy Vey  on  Facebook


Best Gay Cities.com

Gay Softball in Columbus Ohio in August

The 2010 North American Gay Amateur Athletic Alliance  (NAGAAA) will host their Gay Softball World Series in Columbus, Ohio. The event titled “Stand Tall, Play Ball,” will be held August 16 – 21, 2010, at Lou Berliner Park.

It will attract more than 150-170 championship teams representing leagues from 37 major U.S. and Canadian cities. The NAGAAA says it will be the largest gay sporting event ever held in the state of Ohio. Columbus has several neighborhoods for the LGBT traveler to explore however, Short North is the most popular. Short North’s High Street is lined with gay-friendly bars, restaurants, boutiques, and galleries.

It’s a state capital with a huge university, scads of hip and gay-friendly restaurants and bars, a wealth of art galleries and funky boutiques, and a progressive and bustling gay scene .

For a discount on your travel,   visit  American Airline / Rainbow    please use promotional code 3780AW.