Saturday, December 28, 2013

Stockholm: Europe's Grown-up, (But Still Fun) Gay Uncle

You know that older, endlessly single guy in the family who spent the 80's and 90's partying it up? Well now (since he survived all the drugs & HIV) he's gay-married, owns a posh house in the best part of town and maybe even adopted. That's Stockholm for you. It's possible he'll feel rowdy sometimes - so he'll go party outside Sweden. He's more conservative now, makes good money (he also better be paying if you come visit him). The preppy but-not-arrogant town is an uber post-modern gay place & most boys are looking for more than one night! I'm happy to report they still have fun gay parties - but the gays often travel south, even in the summer, for warmer fun.

Tel Aviv Pride Pic - via Sweden gay mag QX!

While everyone must visit Stockholm, I definitely recommend summer when its beautiful & the warmest - and especially for Pride (if you buy tickets now - it's 2 for the price of one!). The city is clean and quaint with endless pastel-colored blocks, historic promenades and a respected royal family (including at least one gay former king). Furthermore, the people are friendly and helpful if you're lost, if not entirely warm (I'm from Minnesota - I know how we can be "nice"). For all your gay questions, refer to QX magazine - where I was excited to be featured (not surprisingly, they covered Tel Aviv Pride!).

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hong Kong: Asia's NYC; Minus Hipsters, Plus Natural Beauty

View from a friend's high-rise apartment!
Like New York City on dramatic cliffs (and without Broadway or Brooklyn) this gritty, frenzied financial center has the best and the brightest - of Asia and the world - from dining experiences to languages and ethnicities. Millions flock to the city, whether consult for a top multi-national or entertain, feed and clean for those energetic businessmen & women. It is also becoming Asia's art hub - with exhibitions and the planned opening of Asia's MOMA! If you feel like some spectacular views, smartly dressed yuppies & (what else in Asia) shopping galore - you've found it! 

But wait - what country is it?

Technically, the UK gave Hong Kong back to China in 1997, but (thankfully) with a number of caveats. China may appoint the Chief Executive, but the "city-state” has its own passport stamp and visa card – its own money (printed by each of the banks!) and it certainly doesn’t feel like China (and Hongkongers don't feel Chinese). Cantonese is spoken - "thank you" is "uhm-goi" (or "doh-jeh" if it's a gift you are receiving) not the mandarin "sheah-sheah" - and English is also an official language. Furthermore, it might be busy with throngs of people – but they are not running over each other in the street, like the "metropolis-villiage" of Beijing.