Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Traveling In Our Fabulous World - JaRon K. Eames, Extraordinaire

We have become acquainted with JaRon Eames, who is a real Renaissance man.  He has lived in New York City for over 40 years and is  a Jazz/Blues vocalist, Cable TV Talk Show host, Archivist, and Author of the new Jazz history book,  'Jazz Conversations'.

Mr. Eames was born in Baton Rouge Louisiana and attended college at Southern University.  He worked for Japanese Airlines and travel around the world and then decided to devote his life to Jazz which he has done in New York City.  He has performed around the world for the past 30 years.
 
In January of 1994 he ventured into television by producing and hosting his own cable Television show, "The JaRon Eames Show".   His Television show is now the longest running weekly jazz television show in history. It's a swinging Jazz and Blues talk show format with various guest artist each week.  Past guests includes Nancy Wilson, Oscar Peterson, Joe Williams, Anita O'Day, Little Jimmy Scott,  Dr. Billy Taylor, and even comic legends like George Carlin and Soupy Sales and so many more.  You can watch his TV show every Friday night at 12:30 AM on Channel 14 and world-wide on the Internet  at www.mnn.org.   It is broadcast around the world.

JaRon Eames is a singer who has the range and capability to smooth the  meanest person in the world.  We often listen to his CD's when we are having lunch an dinner.  His sound is so mesmerizing! He has three CD's out and any person who is into Jazz, should have them in their collection.   'Suddenly' features I'm Gonna Make it Happen This Time,  Suffering With The Blues, Saturday Night Fish plus many others.  'Sounds Good To Me' features Shake Rattle and Roll, My One and Only Love A Change Is Gonna to Come plus many others and "Romantic Classics' features  Stormy Weather, Don't Go To Strangers,  Shadow  Of Your Smile plus many others where JaRon Eames sings and Emma Kemp plays.
 
THE book, as everyone in the Jazz world is talking about is titled, "JAZZ CONVERSTION" by JaRon K.  Eames.   It is filled with  conversations with some of the best Jazz entertainers and personalities in history.   This book has over 400 pages and is a "must" for anyone interested in the Jazz world.  reviews on this book praise Mr. Eames for his ability to get the best out of all of the legends he has interviewed over the years and his ability to get the most inner thoughts out of each of his guests.  It is truly a 'labor of love' for Mr. Eames and it shows.  

Mr. Eames also  has been teaching a course in jazz history at Old Westbury University.  JaRon  hosts Sunday afternoon Soirees at his residence in NYC and you can contact him about attending those directly at  jaroneames@gmail.com    Rex Reed summed  Mr. Eames up great when he wrote,  "Your interviews are polished, professional and very informed and the book you compiled of jazz conversations is a joy to peruse".

You can order his CD's and books at Amazon.com or directly from him at  his website, www.jaroneames.com    JaRon K. Eames truly IS a person who we consider,  "EXTRAORDAINIARE".     Check his website at : www.jaroneames.com to learn more about Mr. Eames and you will become a big fan like we are.

Always remember to have fun when traveling, meet new people and talk to everyone!
TRAVELING IN OUR FABULOUS  WORLD is written by Donald Pile and Ray Williams, Award-winning, Celebrity travel columnists who write for  publications from coast to coast .  Members of the IGLTA. You can email them at gaytravelers@aol.com

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Classic Travel Service Offers Rewards to EqualityCard Users

Partnership Allows Customers to Support Worthy LGBT Non-Profits While Booking Vacations  

Classic Travel Service is pleased to an-nounce a partnership with EqualityCard™, a Denver based credit card company that enables its business and consumer cardholders to generate tax-deductible donations equal to 1 percent of their purchases for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) charities of their choice, with no out of pocket expense. Beginning today, when consumers book hotels on classictrav-el.com using the EqualityCard™, they’ll receive a number of benefits including:

  • Noon check-in upon arrival, when available
  • Room upgrade upon arrival, when available
  • Daily breakfast for two people
  • 4:00 late check-out
  • Additional special amenity unique to each property, such as a $100 food and beverage credit or a massage for two people

“We’re thrilled to be working with EqualityCard™, a card that directs 1 percent of every purchase back to LGBT organizations working for equality,”  said Lance Stamps Vice-President of Market-ing for Classic Travel Service. “This offers our clients a unique way to donate back to the LGBT causes they care most about, and get extra travel rewards for doing so.”

Classic Travel Service is a New York City based, full service luxury travel agency, advising clients on the best places to lodge, eat and shop around the world. The company presents the most advanced online travel service befitting the luxury traveler.

“We are very proud to have Classic Travel Service as a merchant partner,” said EqualityCard™ Founder/CEO, Nick Lepetsos. “This collaboration gives our cardholders the opportunity to enjoy the fantastic benefits provided by one of the premier companies in the luxury travel business, while at the same time  giving back to the LGBT movement.”

To learn more about this collaboration visit: http://www.equalitycardproject.com/deals.html

To learn more about Classic Travel Service, visit: http://www.classictravel.com

To learn more about EqualityCard™, visit: http://www.equalitycardproject.com

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Legendary Annual Gay Getaway ‘One Magical Weekend’ Promises a Hot’n’Wet Fantasy, Orlando, June 6-8, 2014

Only at Walt Disney World® Resorts


One Magical Weekend, the legendary annual three-day Hot’n’Wet fantasy event at Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Waterpark and Epcot©. Brought to you by Let’s Go Play, advance tickets and Party Passes on sale now!

Limited number of Party Passes at 40% off door prices for short time.

All gay, all weekend, One Magical Weekend brings together more than 6,000 of your LGBT brothers and sisters June 6-8, 2014, for three Main Event events.

First, there is an aquatic spectacle “Riptide @ Disney's Typhoon Lagoon Waterpark” on Friday, June 6, 2014, from 7 p.m.–2 a.m. The premiere event of the week!  Cascade down the water slides, surf the tidal wave and splash away at this 52-acre world class waterpark.  Kick off One Magical Weekend with a Hot, Wet Splash and catch the waves of sound by International DJ/Producers Twisted Dee and Brett Henrichsen.

After an amazing debut in 2013 at Epcot, One Magical Weekend is excited to join forces again with Brett Henrichsen and Masterbeat to present the Main Event in Orlando on Saturday June 7th! Direct from Spain WE Party returns with their signature production, costumes, visuals, dancers and unique performance at Epcot’s World Showplace, which will be transformed into the largest mega-club in the country with 6 points of thundering line array concert sound, over 200 intelligent lights, and our 3-D LED walls...And that's just before the dancers get started! We welcome international DJs Sr. Edu from Spain and Danny Verde from Italy, hot off Winter Party in Miami.

And then Sunday, June 8.  What better way to wrap up your magical weekend than with a pint of beer in England and some tequila in Mexico, as you drink your way around the world at Epcot? After the beverages and country hopping, join a private E-Tea Dance from 5 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. with DJ Andy Ajar. Then One Magical Weekend will finish with a bang, as you watch the amazing fireworks display, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth from a private VIP viewing area.

Get your tickets for each event at www.onemagicalweekend.com.




Follow us at:
Facebook http://www.facebook.com/onemagicalweekend
Twitter http://www.twitter.com/1magicalweekend
You Tube http://www.youtube.com/onemagicalweekend
Instagram  http://instagram.com/onemagicalweekend

Win FREE tickets to all three events, just text Pink to 46246 and play the Scratch to Win game.

Contact:
billy@onemagicalweekend.com
www.onemagicalweekend.com
954.557.6990 cell


Wednesday, January 22, 2014

New York City and Chicago will be the next two stops on the LGBT Travel Expo tour

Starting years ago with the first LGBT Travel Expos put on by the team at Community Marketing, this successful tradition continues, with new expos being held in New York and Chicago in 2014.

Now owned and managed by Steven Levenberg Productions, recent shows from 2013 included Fort Lauderdale as well as New York and Chicago.

For 2014, the NYC show will continue to be held at Kimmel Center at New York University. Approximately 1,000 people will be in attendance, with a new emphasis this year on younger LGBT travelers. These new mobile and social media savvy travelers are a prime target group for those interested in developing new travel patterns for our community.

Airlines, hotels, new destinations and other members of the hospitality industry will comprise the almost 60 exhibitors. Attendees will find special travel deals, find companies that are reaching out to our community and learn about new destinations.

This will be the third year for our Chicago show. Its venue, Center on Halsted, is the focal point for gay life in the city with almost 1,000 people visiting the center daily.

Sponsors this year include:

  • Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau
  • Boi Magazine
  • Global Network of Black Pride
  • MEGA Personalities
  • Columbia FunMaps®
  • PINK BANANA MEDIA
  • Go Magazine
  • Air Europa 
  • H2Internet Service
For more information, please visit our website www.glbttravelexpo.com

Social Media:
www.facebook.com/GlbtTravelExpo
www.twitter.com/GLBTTravelExpo




Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Puerto Vallarta: This Is What a Gay Destination Should Be!

By Michael Sanchez

Competition for Gay travelers has been really heating up in the past few years, with cities large and small vying for what is perceived to be a bonanza in pink dollars. It’s true that Gay folks travel more than their Straight counterparts…and often spend more when they travel. But not every place that’s competing for your vacation dollars has the infrastructure in place to truly welcome LGBT visitors. And, while true that we are as diverse as society itself, and we all have our own expectations and interests in what we want out of our vacation, the “Gay Destination” still seems to be very much in the vernacular of Gay travel. We see the evidence for this in multiple surveys that ask LGBT respondents what cities are “most-visited” or “most-wanted-to-visit.”

Building up the infrastructure to become a truly world-class “Gay destination” requires time, capital investment, and a willing partnership between city governments and private entrepreneurs. It’s more than a marketing program launched last month or last week.

A general culture of welcoming acceptance – not ‘tolerance,” – but honest, heartfelt welcoming acceptance, is obviously vital for any destination hoping to capture a share of the Gay travel market. Local government – including but not limited to the local Tourism Board – has to be supportive to the point of investing resources and having local politicians out front, vocalizing their support and welcome. And they must back up nice words with action on behalf of the local and visiting Gay community.

Private sector entrepreneurs play perhaps the most vital, and challenging, role of all. For a city to become a serious contender as a gay travel destination there has to be a diverse business and arts community able to cater to the needs and desires of a Gay community that is anything but homogeneous. That certainly means having a broad offering of gay nightlife. Not just one big Gay dance club – but also a diversity of options, for daytime and nighttime activities. That might mean great shopping; sports and outdoor adventure; art and culture such as galleries, theater and cabaret offerings; and of course, accommodations to fit a broad range of budgets and tastes.

All of this brings to mind one of my favorite Gay destinations: Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

Puerto Vallarta seriously has a lot going for it as a Gay resort destination. Besides being gorgeous – it’s nestled between the Bay of Banderas and the verdant green slopes of the Sierra Madre Mountains on Mexico’s Pacific coast, it boasts a bustling Gay scene centered in the Zona Romantica, at the south end of the downtown “El Centro” area. And despite the hip martini bars, pulsing dance clubs, and world-class restaurants, the downtown retains a feeling of “old Mexico” with cobbled streets, whitewashed buildings with tiled roofs, and Mexican ranchero music blaring from rustic cantinas (some of which are Gay owned and attract many of the sizeable local Gay population).

Among the popular dance clubs, Club Enter, Paco’s Ranch and C.C Slaughter stand out. These venues get busy late, so before the club, enjoy a cocktail at La Noche (go-go boys and a popular rooftop terrace); or La Margarita (busy, with music that’s just loud enough to have a conversation with friends). For a basic, friendly cantina-style bar, there’s La Cueva (as “leather/cowboy” as you can get in the tropics), Bar Los Amigos, or Frida’s. For strippers, there’s Antropology and Wet Dreams. And if you’d like something a bit upscale, Garbo’s Piano Bar & Jazz. And these suggestions just scratch the surface! There are at least 20 different options for quenching your nighttime thirst (however you may define it!)…so be sure to check the local Gay Guide (www.gayguidevallarta.com) to see what’s new and hot!


In recent years, the show, theater, and cabaret scene has flourished in Puerto Vallarta. The Palm Cabaret hosts a remarkable array of Gay-favorite talents. Recent shows have included an extended run by Michael Walters as “Dame Edna;” Leslie Jordan (Will & Grace, Sordid Lives); Coco Peru; Bruce Vilanch, and others. The Red Room at Act II Entertainment features lesser-known, but no less talented entertainers, and on the adjacent stage, Act II has produced outstanding local productions of “A Chorus Line,” and “Steel Magnolias.” The Boutique Theater recently produced an outstanding production based on Bob Fosse dance choreography, “Fosse – All that Dance” featuring outstanding local talent.

Hungry? There’s more to Puerto Vallarta than tacos and frijoles! While there are great Mexican restaurants, there are options to delight any palate. Mexican favorites include Lesbian-owned El Arrayán, offering unique regional dishes from recipes collected by the owner over many years of travel throughout Mexico; and the gay-popular No Way José! that frequently offers live music, and always offers great service and outstanding, fresh Mexican fare. Of course, you’re right by the sea, so the freshest seafood is everywhere. The local tuna, marlin, snapper, shrimp, and shellfish are on most restaurant menus. And be sure and eat like the locals at least one night of your vacation – at a streetside taco stand! Among the best in the Gayborhood is known as “Las Gueras” (“the pale girls”) at the corner of Venustiana Carranza and Naranjo. There is great upscale dining with international and fusion menus at Restaurant Trio and Café des Artistes among others. And for the best steak in town, head north to “La Marina” (toward the airport, about 15 minutes by taxi) and check out Sonora Grill in the new Nima Bay condo complex.

For daytime activities, check out one of the popular Gay day cruises. Diana’s Tours leaves the Los Muertos Beach pier every Thursday at 9:30 AM. The Wet & Wild Cruise features sexy strippers who truly do get wild while on the high seas! The Wet & Wild Cruise departs the pier every Wednesday and Saturday at 11:45 AM. Horseback riding tours in the jungle-covered mountains by Juan can be arranged any day of the week, and can be great fun for a Gay group. There is a Gay River Expedition Tour every Monday that includes zip-lining, river tubing, and a mule ride. And if all of that still hasn’t satisfied your need for adventure, you can go swimming with dolphins, go whale watching (December to March), visit the Vallarta Botanical Gardens, or just check out the local shopping scene.

The city also offers a wide range of accommodations. Most gay travelers opt to stay in or near Zona Romantica, within walking distance of bars. Here you'll find a nice mix of Gay and Gay-friendly options. If you're on a budget and seek a clean, comfortable, and friendly gay property in the center of the action, check into the 28-room Hotel Mercurio, which is just steps from many gay bars and restaurants (and just a 5-minute walk to the Gay beach), and offers compact but pleasant rooms and a youthful, social vibe – there's always plenty of frolicking going on around the pool, and the staff is super-friendly. Mercurio offers an outstanding full breakfast buffet each morning, as well as wifi throughout the property and international calling all included in their affordable rates. PV's famed Blue Chairs Resort is a six-story hotel right on the Gay beach – the location couldn't be better, but the property underwent some major management changes recently, and it remains to be seen how this will affect the quality of the place.

An intimate gay B&B with a stunning view and a quiet location in the upscale Conchas Chinas district just south of Zona Romantica, the lovely Arco Iris B&B is run by helpful owners Ran and Thom – the latter is an expert chef who whips up amazingly tasty breakfasts each morning. This elegant hideaway, just a 15-minute walk from the beach, comprises three smartly furnished units, each with sweeping bay views.

There are also many condos available for vacation rental in the Zona Romantica and beyond. This option gives you more space, including kitchen where you can do your own cooking and dishwashing, thus saving on (and missing out on) restaurant meals. Most condo rentals do not include maid services, except at additional cost.

Zona Romantica, or Gayborhood, is a compact patchwork of hilly lanes tucked beneath the Sierra Madre foothills. The neighborhood fringes Los Muertos Beach, and narrow auto and pedestrian bridges connect the district with El Centro. The relative isolation of Zona Romantica as well as its elegantly faded veneer and historic charm may very well account for its ever-increasing draw among gay visitors and bohemian types. It's a neighborhood that celebrates its insularity and diversity – everyone is welcome, but especially during the bustling high season (from about December through April), certain blocks of Zona Romantica seem at least as gay as the downtowns of Provincetown and Palm Springs.

There are a few more general attributes that further enhance Puerto Vallarta's standing. Although the city has become more expensive as its star has risen, it's still less costly than many other alluring tropical resorts. Dinner entrees at top restaurants rarely cost more than $25 and often run $10 to $15. Hotel rates, cab rides, cocktails, fashionable clothing, and handcrafted gifts also tend to cost less than those in the Caribbean, Hawaii, or California, although it's absolutely possible to find high-end exceptions to many of these rules.

Although it helps to understand Spanish, you can get by easily in PV speaking only English. Adding to its draw, this city set stunningly in the center of Bahia de Banderas (the largest natural bay in Mexico) enjoys a spectacular climate. The city is generally dry and breezy with temperatures in the 80s, the exception being the summer rainy season (generally June through September), when highs often reach the 90s (F) and humidity can sometimes be oppressive. Puerto Vallarta receives far fewer international visitors during the summer season, but remains popular with Mexican nationals, particularly from Guadalajara, a city of 7 million within driving distance of Puerto Vallarta. If you don’t mind heat, thunderstorms, and humidity, summer can be a great time to visit Puerto Vallarta and get a true “Mexican” vacation experience, and at prices well below those in the busy winter season.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Leatherpride Belgium 2014


Five years ago Leatherpride started as an experiment, today it is a hobby that has run out of control. In recent years we have invested heavily in the quality of this event. Visitors who come to Antwerp should simply have a wonderful weekend. We do not intend to be the biggest – but we do want to be the best. We are will continue to work on the quality of the event and deliver an even better customer experience.

Fetish Express

This year our tour buses will travel to LeatherPride from Berlin, Paris and Lille at a very low cost. Return fares are just €95 from Berlin, €65 from Paris and €25 from Lille. Lille is an ideal connection point for visitors coming via the Eurostar from London.
The Fetish Express coaches are very comfortable and there is no maximum baggage allowance. That’s handy if you want to bring your leather, rubber and other fetish gear. There is free coffee onboard and can also purchase snacks.





Host Hotels Include the Hilton

For the first time we present three host hotels. We added another hotel because the two official hotels have been fully booked in previous years. The price of the cheapest rooms available has come down compared to last years.
This year we are pleased to welcome a great new partner: Hilton. Hilton has a long tradition with Chicago’s annual Mr Leather International Event which usually takes place at the Hyatt or Hilton.

Second Edition of Darklands

The Darklands festival will run on both the Saturday and Sunday of Leatherpride. As well as a fetish market with various vendors, different fetish demonstrations and workshops, there will be opportunities to snack and drink with friends. Highlights include:
  • Mr Leather Belgium election (main stage – Saturday)
  • Second edition of the X-awards (main stage – Sunday)
  • Wallpaper contest by Ton of Holland
  • Rubber demos by the crew from Mister Rubber NL
  • Massages and haircuts by Toti (Mr Belgian Leather 2012) and his husband Tom.

Perverts Party Comes from Berlin

Perverts has been an iconic party for years on the Berlin fetish scene. Now the concept is coming to Antwerp. Visitors will have the same great experience, though with the Antwerp touch.

Rage is the New Main Party

For the fifth edition of LeatherPride we thought it was time that the event, which has now quietly grown-up, had a right to its own unique main party. That is Rage. There will be a number of brand new toys in the darkroom, a stage and dance floor. But the atmosphere will nothing like you have ever seen at a fetish party with large projections, LED walls, fire jets, colour lasers, you name it. All the ingredients are there to make the party pop.

Madness Pass

Events do not need to be expensive and we prove that in Antwerp. For example, a single ticket for the main party costs €20 presale. For those who want to party all weekend, there is the Madness pass. For €50 you can party on Friday, Saturday and Sunday and visit Darklands on both days. That’s a saving of 37.5% on the individual door prices for these events. And for that you also get that ‘Belgian quality’ we are so proud of.

A Galaxy of International DJs and Pornstars

Leading DJs and pornstars from around the world will be in Antwerp for Leatherpride. Join Adam Dacre, Mateo Valentine, Ale Tedesco, Nicola Antonio, Jack Chang, Mike Kelly, Manuel Carranco, Cyril G, Paris'Topher & Trippy Gonzales… and many many more.

Press accreditation: jeroen@leatherpride.be

RESOURCES:
Press pictures (credits: Fleshblack)
Graphics + Leatherpride logo
Press release (pdf)


LEATHERPRIDE:
Leatherpride online magazine
Leatherpride website
Leatherpride Facebook
Leatherpride promo video


DARKLANDS
Darklands online gazette
Darklands website


Links:

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Vote For Sweden in the 2013 Out Traveler Awards

Sweden is a nominee in the category for Top Global Destination when it comes to offering LGBT travelers the best combination of access, entertainment, hospitality, acceptance, and affordability.


Out Traveler describes Sweden as the following:

Sweden
Open-minded and welcoming, Sweden is the center of Scandinavia. A great city best explored on foot, Stockholm is a relaxing getaway that caters more to the café culture than the clubbing lifestyle. But the capital city’s architecture and history aren’t the only draws; the rest of the vibrant country offers a host of activities from wildlife safaris to winter ski trips. Sweden is a country known for its progressive LGBT views and legislation, and its fusion of art, culture, and cuisine make it a top draw for any traveler.

Polls close around December 11, with winners announced the week of December 16. Get voting, travelers!

To read more about Sweden as a LGBT destination go here:
http://gaylesbian.visitstockholm.com/

Watch the Glorious Stockholm movie for some great inspiration:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dLJZCiGVSlA

Don’t miss the opportunity to win a trip to Stockholm including three hotel nights!
www.visitstockholm.com/pinkchristmas


Voting Link:
http://www.outtraveler.com/best-travel/out-traveler-awards-2013/2013/11/08/out-traveler-awards-time-vote