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David's Thoughts

by David Placher

Escaping to New York City from Baltimore for the weekend is easy. Although Amtrak tickets can be pricey, advance ticket purchase and travel during odd times can lead to cheap deals. A one-way train ticket for a 5 a.m. trip can cost as little as $40. A bus to New York can be even cheaper, with deals as low as $10. Although traveling to New York is great for seeing the beautiful green lands and waterways, once you get there, the adventure begins. New York, with its population of over 8 million, can be overwhelming if you are not used to a lot of people concentrated in a small area. New York plays a powerful role in shaping media, art, entrainment, technology, fashion, research, and education. It has the largest LGBT population in the world and that includes the largest transgender population that is estimated to be over 25,000. It’s the place where the worst terrorist attack on U.S. soil happened – in 2001, when the World Trade Center was destroyed.

Friday, March 31, 2017

Croatia • Split for Zagreb

Croatia is a hot spot for gay travelers: many European gay cruises stop in the cities of Dubrovnik and Split. Croatia is in southeastern Europe and its Adriatic Sea coast contains more than a thousand islands. Its rich history includes architectural wonders, stories of Roman and Greek times, and Ottoman Empire domination. Croatia has around four million people and it skews Roman Catholic. It’s a conservative country, so only a tiny number of cities will have residents that display rainbow flags or have gay-friendly bars. The capital, Zagreb, is home to Croatia’s largest LGBT celebration. Zagreb is also home to the first LGBT center in Croatia, and the “Queer Zagreb” organization, that among many other activities promotes equality through the Queer Zagreb festival. Croatia’s second LGBT center was opened in Split in May 2014, and there’s a third in Rijeka, opened in October 2014. When visiting Croatia, there are three very popular cities: Dubrovnik, Hvar, and Split.

Key West, Florida, is the southernmost point in the U.S. – and is known as one of its gayest places. It’s a small island surrounded by other islands about 160 miles south of Miami and 100 miles north of Havana, Cuba. You can fly to Key West, but driving from Miami is better because you can enjoy the picturesque scenes. Key West has a tropical climate with fresh easterly winds and sea breezes that – especially coming from winter in Baltimore – can make you feel like you’re in utopia. Bicycles are favored for getting around, but free-roaming chickens and beautiful sunsets can be distractions. With Key West’s awesome role in American history, its thriving gay culture, and its annual festivities, visiting this tiny island often helps you recharge your spirit.

Friday, February 03, 2017

Arizona • Sun, Snow & Fun

Arizona, the home to the Grand Canyon, became a state on February 14th, 1912, and it was the last of the 48 coterminous United States to be admitted to the union. Originally it was part of New Mexico, but the land was ceded to the U.S. in 1848, and became a separate territory in 1863.

Remember the Boston Tea Party? The “Shot Heard ’Round the World”? Or “One if by land, two if by sea”? Many of Massachusetts’s cities and towns played an oversize role in U.S. history, and their dates of founding show they’ve seen a lot: Concord (1635), Hingham (1633), Ipswich (1630), Watertown (1630), Medford (1630), Boston (1630), Lynn (1629), Salem (1626), Gloucester (1623), and Plymouth (1620).

The same can be said for Massachusetts’s ole LGBT rights. The Commonwealth’s (that’s how it deems itself) polices and laws also play an important role in the development of the LGBT rights in the U.S.

All reasons to consider a visit to this forward-thinking, LGBT-friendly state. Traveling to Boston from Baltimore is cheap. Southwest, JetBlue, and Spirit airlines offer roundtrip airfares for as little as $80. From there, traveling to any of Massachusetts other historic cities is just a short drive.

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