Category Archives: Food + Drink
Fresh from Cancun, I had the pleasure in attending the third edition of the Cancún-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival. Over the course of four days across seven different resorts, attendees could partake in events such as the conference series (which featured renowned New York-based, French chef Daniel Boulud who talked about his inspiring career path and about the future of cuisine), tastings of wine and spirits from California, Argentina and of course Mexico, and countless delicious and beautifully displayed bites from all over the world to fill everyone’s culinary curiosity.
The Gourmet Tasting Village at Moon Palace was the place to be for two days of Mexican cuisine from local restaurants (such as La Casa del Agua, Cocina de Autor and Alquimia), resorts (such as Palace Resorts, Le Blanc, ME and Nizuc), the local culinary school (El Instituto Culinario de Cancún) and food and drink brands. While I couldn’t bring back the food with me (if only!), I was able to snap hundreds of photos. Get a food porn photo sampling below of the tasty goodies at this year’s CRM Wine & Food Festival:
Travel like a local with Vee Travels’ My City features, which highlights the must-dos in a major city or neighborhood from men all over the world. In this edition, we explore the Paris with Matthieu Jost and Marc Dedonder, the founders of Misterbnb (the gay men’s Airbnb-like website) and MyGayTrip (popular gay lifestyle resource in Europe), who share their favorite places to dine, relax, shop and go out.
France natives currently live in different neighborhoods in Paris, Matthieu and Marc launched Misterbnb earlier this year, now with offerings from London to Tel Aviv and Valencia to New York.
The apartment rental website, for short stays to vacation or long-term, was created to help gay men find stays with other members of the community to make sure they’ll be staying with open minded people and city (plus gay scene) insiders who’ll know where to go. While we shouldn’t live in a bubble where we communicate or socialize with only members of the community, when traveling and opting to stay in a stranger’s apartment (or if you’re the one hosting), knowing that one another is gay can help build some confidence in a way. Also, in case you are wondering who the fellow above is, it’s French model Johan Akan (a Misterbnb brand ambassador).
Paris of course if one of the top cities on Misterbnb. See Matthieu and Marc’s selections to visit below:
Following last week’s Travel Inspiration photo series with Cartagena de Indias, be inspired to hop on the next flight to venture down to Colombia to experience the metropolitan life of Bogota (four hours from LAN Airlines‘ Miami hub). Below, enjoy a set of over 30 images of Bogota’s oldest district, La Candelaria, and the surreal mountain escape of Monserrate (pictured above)—just a cable car away.
Picture yourself in place of my accompanying travel bag on this journey, the Bleecker Legacy Weekend Tote, shown in a couple of the photos below, and make sure to check out my story on luxury travel in Colombia for Latina.com.
As the oldest part of Bogota, La Candelaria is full of history and character. The architecture of the old houses, churches and buildings has Spanish Colonial and Baroque styles, and the neighborhood is home to hostels, universities, libraries and museums. Among the museums, I got to visit the Botero Museum (containing the full-figure works by painter/sculptor Fernando Botero, and works by Monet and Picasso from Botero’s private collection) and the Gold Museum (housing 36,000 pieces in gold, wood, shell and stone organized in its three floors).
But before venturing to these and the streets of La Candelaria, the first stop in your journey should be Monserrate, a mountain part of the Andes Mountains at over 10,000 feet above sea level. Monserrate is both a pilgrim destination and tourist attraction where you’ll find a 17th-century church, restaurants and countless souvenir stands with native crafts, herbal remedies, food, drinks and more. You can climb to the mountain top, but a quicker (and more restful) way is by a cable car or cliff railway.
Model Colby Melvin is best known for his popular work with Andrew Christian, which included video segments such as the Road Trip series and a photo session that had him drenched in paint in a collaboration with The Underwear Expert. A self proclaimed goofball, his fandom grew quickly on the web, and he’s been working on developing his own entertainment group, Colbra, with his fiancée and fellow Andrew Christian model, Brandon Brown (below). As an LGBT activist, Colby is also always sharing news and entertainment reads on his social media accounts and website, and partaking in events to raise money for gay causes.
He’s originally from the Deep South, but has made Los Angeles his new home the past year. If you find yourself in Colby’s neighborhood, the gay mecca of West Hollywood, he’s provides us some of his favorite spots and musts dos throughout LA:
In the final days of August and into the Labor Day holiday weekend, we can start to think about the final days we’ll be sporting our favorite swimwear and certain seasonally garbs.
However, since we’re still likely going to have a few hot days thrown our way before summer is officially over, one thing we don’t have to say goodbye to just yet is our summer cocktails. Technically we never have to, but certain drinks only taste better after a hot day or lounging out by a pool during that last minute getaway.
Enjoy five different cocktails below: Read the rest of this entry
In The Castro
Old and new places to try when visiting the gay Mecca and its surrounding areas:
Located in the heart of The Castro, Hi Tops (pictured above), which opened last fall and is the city’s first gay sports bar, if you can believe it, serves up the classics (Buffalo Wings, et al.) you’d expect from a sports-centric watering hole,though with a decidedly fancy twist—including a four cheese grilled sandwich (smoked gouda, cheddar, gruyere, and jarlsberg) with dried fruit chutney. One note, this place is poppin and can at times be pretty full.
While Hi Tops of course has burgers, they’re taken a bit more seriously a few buildings southwest at SliderBar. This mini California chain (the original opened in Palo Alto) offers a variety of pint-sized sandwiches made of beef, pork, chicken, shrimp, and veggies and many comes with sassy names, such as the Double Trouble (double grass-fed beef patties based sliders), the Hot Chick (fresh ground chicken with various spicy ingredients and add ons), and Italian Stallion (pork patty with Italy’s finest added).
Continuing southwest, you’ll find long-standing favorite Catch, a cozy seafood spot where Harvey Milk’s first camera shop once stood (not to be confused with his later camera shop, which is now an HRC shop). Though most of the dishes are delicious, we recommend the seared halibut, sauteed blue talapia, and linguine with clams. Eat inside or out on the heated, screened patio.
Forget what comes to mind right away when you think about this coastal Mexicana retreat off the Caribbean Sea. For years MTV—back when shows did not focus on teenage pregnancies and music video ruled the tube—portrayed Cancun as party central 24/7, showcasing the flocks of spring breakers. While that ‘party like there’s no tomorrow’ mindset does exist at the end of February and March during peak season of college visitors, they are not everywhere.
My recent journey to the tropical destination proved that the spring break scene only exists if you go looking for it. If you’re partying leans toward that of the gay variety, you’re in the clear, as the gay downtown scene was filled with locals and various traveling gays who are were not as rambunctious as your typical college boys and girls.
While downtown Cancun has most of the gay clubs, many come for fun in the sun at oceanfront stays. Leading a new gay hotel revolution of the sorts is the freshly renovated and rebranded Oasis Sens from the Oasis Hotels family, a chain of ten hotels and resorts in Cancun.