Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Andalucía: World's Most Spectacular Road (or Train) Trip

View from St. Nicholas Square of the Alhambra in Granada
Come see Spain’s most beautiful landscapes combined with its most exquisite historical treasures all while meeting the world’s friendliest people. Besides Sevilla (other blog), Granada, Cordoba, and Ronda serve as the most important cities in Andalucía – if not Europe! Granada has it all from a bustling nightlife (yay! students) to Spain’s most beautiful historical treasure, the Alhambra (and beer namesake). Cordoba subtracts the bustling town – but still includes another critical must-see site, the Mezquita/Cathedral/Mosque – and its touristy enough to find plenty of friends. Finally Ronda provides a majestic spot for a day-trip – with incredible cliffs, caves and (thus) staggering vistas. You can also stay in touristy Malaga or nearby Torremolinos, Andalucía's gay capital (links go to my earlier blogs).

Not only is Andalucía very modern, beautiful and (basically post-modern) gay - but it bears weighty historical influence for all "Americans" – as well as Europeans, North Africans & Muslims! In 1492, Columbus sailed the ocean (blue) after finally convincing King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella to fund his trip - he accepted the cash in Cordoba. This nearly didn't occur because the Catholics had just concluded the lengthy Reconquista, finally capturing Granada from the Moors early that same year; what little cash left in their coffers luckily went to Columbus. Thus, we now use this commemorative celebration to help unify the hispanic world, spread Catholic influence and serve as a rallying day for native peoples who suffered then and since Columbus' "discovery."

Friday, June 13, 2014

DC Pride (& more): Why Washington (the District) Ranked Gayest U.S. City

Preparing to join the Parade with GLIFAA
DC is where I came of age, it's where I have truly great friends as well as amazing acquaintances. It truly is a magical, clean city with beautiful neighborhoods - and even shiny spots in up-and-coming barrios. For Pride there is something for everyone; although its such a small place, sometimes people are running over each other to get to where "everyone" goes. Nevertheless - the Pride Parade and Pride Festival provide some of the best places to hang on to joyous moments with old, knowing friends as well as young new fresh friends excited about new possibilities and star-struck by the power players of this always engaging city.

The various events listed on the Capital Pride Calendar highlight this city's all-inclusiveness from interfaith events to Trans Pride and Pride for every ethnic group! But of course it's the parties that get all the attention. Although the main gay clubbing venues, Cobalt and Town have plenty of events - even outside of Pride, DC has become home to a number of new parties thanks in part both to DC's concentrated gay (yes, male in this case) population as well as creative individuals who have put their strong personal networks to work for purposes of fun!