Category Archives: Recommended Reads

LGBTQ+ Friendly City in Every Red State

THRILLIST  just put together  a  great article  on red states!

The state of the LGBTQ+ nation—much like the state of the rest of the nation—is quite precarious these days. On one hand, we’ve got swathes of motivated young elected officials and organizers committed to popping the over-inflated balloon of structural inequality by any means necessary. But on the other hand, we’ve got powerful lawmakers coming out against LGBTQ+ rights at an alarmingly rapid clip, throwing around bills that threaten to destroy all the progress of the Civil Rights Movement with a single signature. What a time to be alive.

Breaking things down into red states and blue states, especially at a time when the country is so politically and socially split, might seem like we’re reinforcing that ol’ problematic us vs. them, good vs. evil binary. But in reality, using hard numbers provided by the Human Rights Campaign’s 2021 Municipal Equality Index to determine the most LGBTQ+ friendly city in each state that went for Donald Trump in 2020 can only help to strengthen the idea that we’re all in this together. Did you know that Norman, Oklahoma, population 124,086, scored higher than Baltimore, Maryland, a city that hasn’t voted to elect a republican presidential candidate since 1988? Maybe those divisions aren’t as deep as they seem.


RELATED –  The Daily Beast  did an article about why some LGBT folks are MOVING to red states!  Despite skewing Democrat, LGBT people are flocking to red states. It’s a sign that cities in the center of the country are becoming more accepting, but it’s also an indication that traditional LGBT safe havens are prohibitively expensive. (allegedly).


Gay Mexico – Puerto Vallarta

Puerto Vallarta, a true gay paradise

By Sebastián Sáenz @sebastiaenz

Picture yourself swinging on a hammock, tanning under the warm sun, having a refreshing margarita, listening to the waves splashing softly against each other, the smell of Rockefeller oysters approaching, and the best: holding hands with your partner with no inhibitions. Gay touristic destinations all over the world are increasing and getting better, but a true must is Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.


Mexican tourist service providers know no discrimination, since they are very well aware that our community likes to travel, spend on resorts, spas, shows, boutiques, restaurants and attractions; and our exquisite taste is as welcome as any other. The LGBT market represents over 15% of the global touristic expense, and we travel two or three times more than straight people. If this wasn’t enough, Mexico is one of the most broadminded and tolerant countries, but Puerto Vallarta is certainly a Pride Parade, since LGBT tourists all over visit it all year long to be who they are in this sublime shore. Also, the Mexican government recently made gay marriage a national legal reality, so gay weddings at Puerto Vallarta will rise to the top in the world.

Even though the whole city is friendly, there are some attractions that can be considered more universal, such as the fun Navy Pier or “Malecón”, the botanical gardens, the Church of Our Lady of Guadalupe, the little village of Sayulita, ecotourism, delicious food tours, the City Center, the Marina (where boats and yachts are available for renting), and even whale watching from December to April. However, of course there are options that our community enjoys more.

It is actually curious to walk down the Malecón and watch families having fun at the beach and, after the Los Muertos Pier, start noticing more and more gay people as you walk along the beach. The big hotels are left behind and the noise of the City Center fades away as tourists enter to the so-called Romantic Zone, which also happens to be the gay zone. All along Los Muertos Beach our community feels like home, and there are all sorts of options.

The Marriot Hotel is internationally know for being one of the friendliest chains, but there are also boutique hotels such as Olas Altas Suites. Regarding friendly and breathtaking restaurants, I strongly recommend Café des Artistes, La Palapa and Michel’s. As for clubs, CC and Paco’s Ranch are the most popular. If you prefer something quieter, Garbo might be a better bar, but if you feel the kinky need to visit a strip club, Wet Dreams has gorgeous boys. The Blue Massage at Zona Romántica will make you feel brand new, and finally, for beach clubs, Blue Chairs and Sapphire Ocean Club welcomes us for a memorable day of sun, sand and sea.

You should really consider Puerto Vallarta for this summer vacation, or escape from the cold winter of your home town and celebrate Christmas this year. As you could see, there’s plenty of fun waiting for you. Don’t forget your sun block and a sassy swim suit!

More information at


Puerto Vallarta, un verdadero paraíso gay

Por Sebastián Sáenz @sebastiaenz

Imagínate meciéndote en una hamaca, bronceándote bajo el cálido sol, tomando una refrescante margarita, escuchando las olas chocar unas contra otras suavemente, oliendo ostiones Rockefeller acercarse, y lo mejor: tomando la mano de tu pareja sin inhibiciones. Destinos turísticos gay en todo el mundo están creciendo y mejorando, pero un lugar que debes conocer es Puerto Vallarta, México.

Los proveedores de servicios turísticos mexicanos no discriminan ya que saben muy bien que nuestra comunidad disfruta viajar y gastar en hoteles, spas, espectáculos, atracciones, boutiques y restaurantes; y nuestro gusto exquisito es tan bien recibido como cualquier otro. El mercado LGBT representa más del 15% de la inversión turística global, y viajamos dos o tres veces más que los heterosexuales. Si todo esto no fuera suficiente, México es uno de los países más progresistas y tolerantes, pero Puerto Vallarta es definitivamente una marcha del orgullo, ya que turistas LGBT de todo el mundo lo visitan todo el año para ser quienes son en esta playa sublime. Incluso el gobierno mexicano acaba de hacer del matrimonio igualitario una realidad legal nacional, así que las playas en Puerto Vallarta se irán a la cúspide.

Aunque toda la ciudad es amigable, hay algunas atracciones que pueden considerarse más universales, como el Malecón, los jardines botánicos, la Iglesia de Nuestra Señora de Guadalupe, el pequeño pueblo Sayulita, ecoturismo, deliciosos recorridos gastronómicos, el centro, la Marina (donde se pueden rentar botes y yates), e incluso ballenas de diciembre a abril. Sin embargo, claro que hay opciones que nuestra comunidad disfruta más.

Es curioso ir caminando por el Malecón y ver a las familias disfrutando la playa, pero pasando el muelle Los Muertos, empezar a notar más y más gente gay mientras se avanza sobre la playa. Los grandes hoteles se quedaron atrás y el ruido del centro se desvaneció mientras los turistas van ingresando en la llamada Zona Romántica, que es de hecho también la zona gay. Sobre la playa Los Muertos nuestra comunidad se siente en casa, y hay todo tipo de opciones.

El hotel Marriot es internacionalmente conocido por ser una de las cadenas más amigables, pero también hay hoteles boutique como Olas Altas Suites. En cuanto a restaurantes que quitan el aliento, recomiendo ampliamente Café des Artistes, La Palapa y Michel’s. Respecto a clubs, CC y Paco’s Ranch son los más populares. Si lo que se busca es algo más tranquilo, Garbo quizá sea un mejor bar, pero si se tienen ganas traviesas de buscar un club de strippers, Wet Dreams tiene chicos muy guapos. Blue Massage en Zona Romántica te hará sentir como nuevo, y finalmente, para clubes de playa, Blue Chairs y Sapphire Ocean Club nos dan la bienvenida para un memorable día de sol, arena y mar.

Puerto Vallarta debe considerarse indudablemente para este verano, o para escapar del frío invierno de la ciudad donde habites y celebrar Navidad este año. Como se ve, hay mucha diversión esperando. Que no se olviden el bloqueador solar y un traje de baño atrevido.

More information at


Travel to Berlin, London, Paris and New York City with Taschen Book set


Travel wisdom in your pocket, at your fingertips.

Get around New York, Paris, Berlin, and London in high style

TASCHEN 4 Cities   is a 12 Vol.  Boxed set of wonderful books  covering New York, London, Paris, and Berlin.  Each city is 3 guides  –  ”hotels”, “restaurants”, and “shops”.

We love that they’ve taken the design-oriented (and coffee-table sized) TASCHEN guide book concept and translated it into pocket-sized companions.  Wonderful for gift giving and a great keepsake from these wonderful cities! Great photos and the text gives you interesting and useful information, as well as addresses, phone numbers and website address.  $60 retail price, $39 at Amazon.
TASCHEN 4 Cities – 12 Vol. in Box (available Nov. 22)

Highlights include –

London: Number Sixteen, a chic South Kensington hotel in a beautiful Victorian townhouse with romatic gardens, celebrity chef Jamie Oliver’s restaurant and social project, Fifteen, where teenagers cook the meals, and Dover Street Market, the multi-floor concept store founded in 2004 by Comme des Garçons.

New York: the Maritime Hotel, a former sailors’ dorm, now Chelsea’s coolest hotel, the Waverly Inn, Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter’s exclusive salon for the glitterati, and where to buy New York’s best cheesecake

Paris: Ladurée, the best macaroons in the city, the ultra-luxurious Ritz hotel on elegant Place Vendôme, and Colette fashion concept store

Berlin: hip nightspot Green Door, where one rings the doorbell to gain entrance, oriental delight at Edd’s, the best Thai restaurant in Berlin (perhaps Germany), and experimental store Bless, “publicizing artistic values through products”

Order yours today!
TASCHEN 4 Cities – 12 Vol. in Box (available Nov. 22)


LinkedIn Pulls Ad for Gay Travel Guide

Canada’s  XTRA  reports, “The professional networking site LinkedIn has pulled an ad for a gay travel guide, claiming it contains “inappropriate content or language.”

“It’s baffling,” says Robert Christofle at Open Mic Press/Icon Empire Press.

Christofle says he’s been promoting The Gay Travel Guide For Tops And Bottoms on a variety of sites, many of them straight, without incident. But LinkedIn, which has networks ostensibly catering to gay professionals, censored the ad.

LinkedIn says it pulled the ad due to its sexual content.

“LinkedIn is a professional networking platform and, as such, there has never been a place on it for ads that feature or promote explicit sexual content or products of any kind,” spokesperson Danielle Restivo told Xtra on Sept 1.

LinkedIn says it pulled the ad due to its sexual content.

“LinkedIn is a professional networking platform and, as such, there has never been a place on it for ads that feature or promote explicit sexual content or products of any kind,” spokesperson Danielle Restivo told Xtra.

Google Ad and Facebook haven’t objected to the ad, Christofle notes. “Out of the three different advertising sites, only LinkedIn has a target gay networking site, and they are the only ones to pull the ad.”

Read the full article  on  XTRA

BUY THE BOOK!  The Gay Travel Guide For Tops And Bottoms


Gay Travel Around the World and Rooms With a View

Nothing compares to the moment when, after arriving in a foreign city, the hotel room’s drapes are drawn back to reveal the world outside – a world that, neatly if barely contained by the window’s geometry, seems to belong to you alone.
Conde Nast Traveler’s “Room with a View” column, featuring frame-worthy vistas from all over the world, has been whetting the appetites of armchair tourists for 20 years. This compendium gathers the most breathtaking sights of all time, from Balinese beaches to Asia’s bustling metropolises to African savannahs teeming with wildlife rather than nightlife.

Now buy a book! 
Conde Nast Traveler’s Room with a View
A  BEST OF THE BEST collection from the magazine.
ASSOULINE’S newest tome, Condé Nast Traveler Room with a View offers a global exploration of the world’s most stunning hotels and resorts and the most breathtaking views taken from the interior of their rooms. Each page offers a vista of the world’s wonders – natural and manmade, spiritual and sensual.  In each image, photographers have captured transporting views, presented the perfect spots to observe ethereal horizons, glittering urban skylines, and truly, everything in between.

Take, for instance, the bathtub vista from the Royal Park’s Urban Spa room in the 971 foot-high Yokohama Landmark Tower, or Room 609 at Badrutt’s Palace Hotel, the perfect box seat for the Cartier Polo World Cup on Snow, played on the frozen Lake of St. Moritz below.

Room with a View presents 160 of these stunning photographs that, along with the magazine’s concise commentary, are sure to stoke the imaginations of even the most seasoned travelers.

This view in Australia, is a suite at the  InterContinental Sydney

This eco-friendly spot  is Whitepod Resort, Les Cerniers, Switzerland.
These insulated tents have no plumbing! But great views (and a bathroom)!
Gorgeous unobstructed panoramas of the Bernese Alps.

Conde Nast Traveler’s Room with a View

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