Top 10 road trip in the U.S.

28 05 2010

Yahoo published a list of THE 10 road trips in the U.S to take. Here they are.

–  Big Sur in California, around Carmel. Did it and loved it ,that area is so spectacular with the views of the ocean and the cliffs.

– Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. Not yet

– Going to the sun, Montana. Not yet.

– Hana Highway, Hawaii. Not yet. Been to Hawaii but not there.

– Million Dollar Highway, Colorado. Impressive mountains, wildflowers, wildlife and neat little towns.

-Red Rock Scenic By Way, Sedona. So different from anything I had ever seen, just magical. Arizona was the most spectacular scenery I had ever seen in my life. Nothing like that in Europe.

-Sea Island, Georgia. Not yet but close to Savannah where Paula Deen has her restaurant so I will get there eventually.

-Seward Highway, Alaska. Not yet, but Alaska is on my wish list.

-Sonama and Napa valleys, California. Beautiful wine country with tons of great wineries. With a wine-lover as partner I have been there at least times.

U.S Route 1, Maine. 3 years ago my boyfriend and I took a long road-trip trough New England and i adore that area, the pretty english-looking towns, coastal beauty and great food. What more can you want!!

Surprised I did 5 out of 10 already while not being an American and being 31. I bet most 31-year old U.S folk have not done the same!!

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Gay news, Expedia opens gay store, Harvey Milk dayMoscow Pride satanic, Gay blood ban

22 05 2010

Travel site Expedia.com has opened a Gay Travel Store on their website since yesterday on http://www.expedia.com/daily/gaytravel/default.asp. They partner with International Gay&Lesbian Travel Association to help find and identify gay-friendly hotels all over the world. I just had a look and it is pretty cool except for the fact that with hotels in for instance NY or Amsterdam I do not understand why some hotels are listed as gay-friendly and others not…. What qualifies as being gay-friendly? I probably keep (small)luxury hotels of the world as my number 1 but this might be a good alternative.

Today is the first Harvey Milk Day. It is only an official holiday in California but all over the U.S there are parties and events. As most of you know he was the first elected openly gay official in the U.S and was killed shortly after. People that do not know the importance of Harvey, should watch the movie Milk or one of the documentaries made about his life. Celebrations in his beloved Castro neighborhood will be biggest but also in LA, San Diego and NY marches and events for equality will be held. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi will kick off a fundraiser in SF on Market Street. Yesterday she promised DADT would be over by the end of the year. Hope she can keep her promise. Below Milk Screenwriter Dustin Lance Black about the importance of Harvey Milk.

For the 5th year in a row Moscow Gay Pride was banned by Mayor Yury Luzhkov. According to him it is satanic and he will do everything to stop the event May 29. Moscow authorities have also blocked the website promoting the pride, GayRussia.Ru. How democratic.

There might come an end to the FDA approved ban on gays giving blood donations. The Department of Health and Human services wants to hear presentations and engage in deliberations on the topic. Since september 1985 men who had sex with men(even once) were not allowed to donate. This change would be about time, there are tons of monogamous gay men who are HIV-negative and can donate.





10 most over-hyped things to do in NYC

15 05 2010

The travel site concierge made a list of things that you should not do in NYC. I have done all and do not agree with most of it.

1 Hansom Cab Ride through Central Park. Love it. Great way to see the park quickly.

2 Dining at Tavern on the Green. Does not even exist anymore, food was not great, atmosphere was.

3 Eating on Times Square. Love Ruby Foo’s, W Hotel restaurants.

4 Comedy Shows on Times Square. Saw Mario Cantone at Caroline’s, was a lot of fun.

5 Shopping at Century 21. BF does not like it, but my sister bought a fabulous expensive coat for a lot less there.

6 Nightclubbing in Meatpacking District. Did it with my girlfriends to straight clubs. Not too bad, not great either though.

7 Pedicabs through Midtown. Expensive but fun

8 Eating from a hot dog-cart. Cheap and fairly tasty.

9 Visiting Empire State Building. The line is enormous sometimes and then it is not worth it but other days it is only 10 minutes and then it is fantastic.Empire State view

10 Cupcakes at Magnolia Bakery. Maybe  a bit over-hyped but petty damn tasty nonetheless.





Brussels

3 05 2010

Last weekend me and my boyfriend made a trip to the beautiful capital of Belgium. Even though it is my neighboring country and I have been all over Europe, strangely enough I had only visited Brussels twice before at night, to party. From Amsterdam it is only 1.5 hours with the Thalys and it really feels very different from Holland. The first night I was alone because my hubby was still on his way through Europe to get to Brussels(it was the week after the start of the volcano trouble).I walked over the magnificent Grand Place with numerous intriguing century old buildings. Lots of gold and amazing details. Then a quick bite to eat at a brasserie, duck in a beer broth and later on some of the best ice-cream I ever had, with a gingerbread flavor. After that I had a quick walk though the gay area of Brussels, which was fun. Lots of flirting going on, always good for the ego. I definitely miss that from NY, here where I live in the Netherlands I go weeks without seeing many gays(or none at all) sometimes. Our hotel was the luxurious Rocco Forte Amigo where the beds were very comfortable. Next morning I finally saw my boyfriend and it always feels extra great to see each other after a longer absence. We got some coffee, soft-drinks and sandwiches at a nice little bakery in the sun and planned the rest of our day. First we did some shopping and bought a cool retro orange/black messenger bag for myself and a new digital camera. We had lots of pictures so shoot and nothing to do it with at the time(2 of them are in NY) so it was a necessity. Then it was time for lunch already and we went to a small place recommended by the concierge of the hotel and it was phenomenal. My boyfriend had the best casserole with lots of meat and beans he ever had( and he had a lot) For myself there was rabbit rillette as a starter and sole in a creamy sauce for my main. After that it was off for a long walk to burn some calories, through the picturesque city center. Beautiful churches, pedigreed lawns/parks and the palace of the Belgian royal family. Not as pretty as the British one but still worth seeing. At night we had reservations at a 2-star Michelin restaurant. That means in general for foodies like us a good time but this was one of the most mediocre Michelin star restaurants we ever ate. The amuses were uninspiring, the fish-sauce too fat and the sweetbreads a bit bland. The silverware was very chic as was the interior but the service was not up to par while they were pretending to be very formal. Empty glasses were not filled on time and the bottles were out of reach for us, napkins were not refolded after toilet visits nor did people get any assistance sitting down. Don’t get me wrong the food was ok and some of the formalities are not important to me at all, but expectations from a 2 star are pretty big. We had a great night together nonetheless The next day the weather was again very nice (sunny and 70’s) and after a nice breakfast at one of the many outside cafe’s surrounding the Grand Place we thought it was time for some culture and went to 2 museums. The first one was a beer museum, perfect for my beer-loving boyfriend. The showed how some of the famous Belgian beer was brewed in the past and present and it ended with a tasty local beer. Not too shabby huh? Belgium is famous for his comic books and I read many of them as a kid. The cartoon-museum featured some of my favs like Suske and Wiske and Tintin but I expected a bit more. It is worthwhile for families but I would not recommend it for only adults. Then we walked fo another hour or so, bought some of the famous Belgian chocolate for family and had a farewell lunch at out spot from saturday afternoon. Another hearty feast was served and eaten to the last little crumb. All in all I would totally recommend people to visit Brussels, maybe in combination with the medieval beauty Brugge for a long weekend.





Gay news; Lawmakers thinks gays in military will cause more terror, Pride-house opened in Vancouver, new gay mega club coming to NYC

12 02 2010

Missourri State Senator Gary Nodler, candidate for Congress thinks the repeal od DADT would inspire acts of terrorism because muslims are offended by homosexuality. He thinks it would put the soldiers and America in general at further risk. What a buffoon. Like the terrorist does not wanna harm american soldiers anyway, them being gay makes not a slight bit of difference. Like they love the christian and jewish soldiers!!

The Olympic Pride House, a place to meet, get info and resources and welcome center for the GLBT community during the Winter Olympics was opened yesterday. It is kinda cool gay athletes have a place to go but I think most people just wanna stay with their team mates wether gay or straight then go to a gay house but I might be wrong. The Netherlands has 2 openly lesbian speed skaters, Ireen Wust and Renate Groeneworld, both multiple olympic medal winners and world champions. In the Netherlands skeed skating is as popular as American Football in the U.S and the girls make a lot of money with sponsors but nobody batted an eyelid when they came out. Not a big deal in Holland as it should be.

At West 42nd Street between 10/11 Ave. plans are for The Out NYC, a hospitality and entertainment club geared to the LGBT community. 80.000 square feet of fun. It will have a hotel with 123 guest rooms, a huge dance club, gym, spa and restaurant. It will be the first new gay dance club in 5 years in NYC for the gay community and will cost $ 20 million. Fairly risky in this economy but investing in gays is always a fairly safe bet. That is where the money for extras often is.





Gay news, Mrs. Robinson you are a hypocrite, gay marriage the good and the bad, Axel hotel in New York

11 01 2010

How delicious is the scandal homophobic Northern Ireland’s MP Iris Robinson who is married to the Province protestant unionist first minister?? Back in 2008 her reaction to a gay bashing in Ireland was that gays are an abomination and that they should see therapy to become straight again. Now she is herself knees down in a scandal that made her pull out if politics. She had an affair with a 19-year old boy that she funneled $80.000 in secret loans for him to start a cafe. She also fucked the boy’s father and had an affair with another man. The scandal has the potential to bring the entire government down. She still has no regrets for anything she said about gays. Maybe she comes to her senses in the institution she is currently in for mental problems.

While the heavily catholic Portugal became the 6th country in Europe were gays can get married, equality lost yet another time in the U.S. Like New York, the New Jersey senate voted against it this week. Pretty pathetic but it made at least some African-American religious freaks very happy as I saw on many YouTube clips. It is always baffling to see other minorities jump up and down when they see another minority stripped of their rights. Hallelujah!!

After having very popular hotels in Berlin, Barcelona and Buenos Aires, the hetero-friendly chain Axel will also open a hotel in New York. The site will be Hell’s Kitchen and opens in 2011. They also plan to open hotels in L.A and SF. I have never stayed there but have seen pictures of the chain and it looks very elegant and modern. Most gay hotels are a bit dated and not very chic and I never understood why, because most gays like luxury and have a fair bit of money to spent. I bet it will become a huge success.





Americans not that bad

7 01 2010

The New York Times has an article titled “a Letter from London” in which an Englishman says americans are not that bad. And I have to agree with him. He noticed that people in the U.S. itself as well as U.S people traveling abroad had similar characteristics, being friendly and hospitable while they are typically described as loud and crass. I totally agree with him on that, I always have to get used to the rudeness and bad manners people in the Netherlands( and the rest of Europe) have compared to Americans after spending time across the Atlantic. People( me included after a while here) don’t wait for their turn when exiting, men don’t let woman go first, people in traffic are super selfish and the U.S rule on a crossroads where the first one there goes first would never work in Europe. I think people in the Netherlands themselves are finally realizing this a bit and hopefully learn a bit from the U.S behavior.  Now if only some (mostly mid-western) folks that me and my american boyfriend meet across the globe would know a bit more about European geography and keep the God-loving talk to a minimum, they would be perfect!!