Tuesday April 15, 2014
Easily reached by a 70-minute Metro-North commuter train ride from Grand Central Station in Manhattan, and just a 45-minute drive from New Haven, the iconic Glass House in New Canaan, Connecticut, was completed in 1949 by renowned architect Philip Johnson, who spent weekends in this striking, glass-walled structure with his companion, David Whitney, until their deaths in 2005. The house is part of a complex of seven noteworthy buildings in the heart of New Canaan's tony downtown - it's across the street from the Metro-North station, and 2007, it's been open for tours under the aegis of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, whom Johnson left the property upon his death. Tours include not just the Glass House but the surrounding outbuildings and pastoral grounds.
From May 1 through November 30, 2014, an unusual exhibit - Fujiko Nakaya: Veil - will literally transform the Glass House. For about 10 to 15 minute each hour, the house will be enveloped in a dense fog, at times completely vanishing. Visitors touring the interior during these periods of mysterious mist will experience the house and the leafy grounds with a startling new perspective. Visiting the Glass House makes a fun and easy day-trip from New York City, and you'll find several excellent cafés and restaurants nearby within walking distance, making it easy to combine your adventure with brunch or an early dinner before returning to Gotham.
Tuesday April 8, 2014
Correction: A previous version of this blog post listed the PIFF dates as June 17-23, but organizers have since shortened schedule.
Since its relatively modest beginnings in 1999, the Provincetown International Film Festival (PIFF) has developed into a tremendously interesting and diverse cinema showcase with considerable national and international acclaim. Held in late June, PIFF has announced the dates this year, from June 18 through June 22, which is just as this historic town at the tip of Cape Cod launches into its festive and busy summer high season.
Provincetown has been one of the world's gay resort playgrounds for decades, and although PIFF doesn't bill itself an LGBT fest per se, there's always plenty of queer programming, and a slew of gay notables have appeared at the festival over the years, including John Waters, Gus Van Sant, and Greg Araki. This year, legendary director David Cronenberg will be on hand to receive PIFF's annual Filmmaker on the Edge Award. The festival's film schedule and a full calendar of events will be released in late May, and you'll be able to buy tickets to specific showings as of May 24. Already, you can buy festival passes now at the PIFF website.
Monday March 31, 2014
San Francisco's legendary gay neighborhood, the Castro, doesn't have a huge selection of lodging options, but there are several genuinely noteworthy and inviting places to stay, from upscale gay B&Bs to the long-running Beck's Motor Lodge, which is in the midst of an impressive room redesign. The latest guide to gay accommodations on the site, the San Francisco Castro, Mission & Hayes Valley Gay Hotels Guide, as the name suggests, actually includes several properties in other neighborhoods west of downtown (where you'll find most of the city's larger properties) and somewhat near the Castro, including the hip Mission and Hayes Valley districts.
Coming up soon are companion San Francisco gay hotel guides - one of them on SoMa (South of Market), and a much more extensive one covering the best places to stay downtown and in the Financial District. Also, be sure to take a look at the San Francisco Gay Bars guide for ideas on where to drink and nosh in the city.
Monday March 31, 2014
Since its February debut in South Beach, the nation's newest LGBT-oriented accommodation, the Hotel Gaythering has been earning raves for its cheeky and sexy decor (and a website with some quite sexy and provocative photography). Located on trendy Lincoln Road, just a couple of blocks west of section that's pedestrian-only and lined with diverting shops and restaurants, the 25-room hotel boldly styled rooms with black, gray, and red color schemes, and plenty of fun elements and amenities - 40-inch mounted HDTVs, free WiFi, sleep-sound machines. Guests have full use of a coed spa with Hamam/Mud Lounge, steam room, dry-cedar sauna, and Jacuzzi with massage jets. And there's a hip little coffeehouse on-site, serving Miami's iconic Bustelo Gourmet espresso drinks.
If you're headed to Miami, give the Gaythering a look - a search for rooms in May showed rates starting a little under $200 nightly with advance (non-refundable) purchase, and about $219 otherwise.