New York City Love Letters: Photos from Bike Rides Around A City in Perpetual Early Sunday Morning (1)

New York City has become the opposite of what it’s known for: quiet, empty and pretty much shut down. It feels like a perpetual Sunday morning especially in these gorgeous first weeks of spring. But there’s an undeniable beauty to this city which I’ve attempted to capture during my socially-distant exercise bike rides.

Of course too many people are dying and we are taking quarantining seriously to keep ourselves, loved ones and fellow New Yorkers safe. We have bottomless gratitude to those incredible first-responders, hospital staff, front-line workers, grocery store clerks, public transportation and others who risk their help to keep us all safe, healthy and fed.

Which ones do you recognize here? Comment below! I’ll publish more here as I get the time and inspiration.

"The Great Empty" — A Virtual Tour of Beautiful Spaces in the Coronavirus Era

Paris, March 18 from the NY TImes

New York is very quiet. As are Paris, London and other great cities

Most of us are stuck at home self isolating in this time of fear and uncertainty with a possibly deadly virus lurking everywhere we breathe and on every surface we touch. For those of us who travel for a living, it’s been not only a devastating blow to our incomes but a whack at the core of who we are as curious wanderers. But at least this article from the March 23 New York Times, The Great Empty allows us to view some of our favorite spots around the world like we rarely get to see them: quiet and still. They’re also waiting for us to come back. They’ll be patient. So we have to as well. We’ll get back there soon.

For now, enjoy this gorgeous photo journey. I’ve included one of their photos above and one of mine below during a recent (socially distant) bike ride around an empty Manhattan. The Statue of Liberty stands socially isolated with no visitors but she’s guarding us in this foggy time and will be there when New York welcomes visitors again. And that’s me on my bike riding along a very empty Fifth Avenue.

What’s your next trip?

How are you coping with this forced home isolation? And what’s the first trip you’ll take when this is over? I’m planning on heading to Paris! (Comment below!)

The fog-shrouded Statue of Liberty will be there when visitors return
Me on my socially distant bike ride on an eerily empty Fifth Ave

Disinfecting your space on an airplane (reposted from the NYT)

If you have to fly in this ear of COVID-19/Coronavirus (or anytime), here are a few tips from an expert writing in the New York Times for how to disinfect your space on an airplane.

This is an excerpt. Here’s the full article.

And check out the fabulous Naomi Campbell’s much mocked but super appropriate-at-this-time airport routine including products she purchases and her cleansing her airplane space.

“Wiping down surfaces on a plane won’t hurt, as long as it doesn’t give you a false sense of security,” Andrew Mehle, associate professor of medical microbiology and immunology at the University of Wisconsin Madison, said, stressing that sanitizing your space on a plane should be done in conjunction with washing hands and following other best practices. …

study from Emory University found that during flu season, the safest place to sit on a plane is by a window. Researchers studied passengers and crew members on 10 three- to five-hour flights and observed that people sitting in window seats had less contact with potentially sick people. …

When you get to your seat and your hands are clean, use disinfecting wipes to clean the hard surfaces at your seat like the head and arm rest, the seatbelt buckle, the remote, screen, seat back pocket and the tray table. If the seat is hard and nonporous or leather or pleather, you can wipe that down too. Using wipes on upholstered seats could lead to a wet seat and spreading of germs rather than killing them. …

More >>

Is it safe to travel in the era of the Coronavirus?

The NY Times published a timely article answering travelers’ questions about the Coronavirus. Here’s an excerpt. Visit their site for the complete article.

Arriving passengers wear masks at Singapore’s Changi Airport. Anyone who has been to mainland China within 14 days of arrival is not allowed to enter Singapore.  Credit…Adam Dean for The New York Times

The coronavirus outbreak that has sickened almost 75,000 in China and killed more than 2,000 worldwide, has upended travel and commerce across the world. In light of the spread of the disease, which has been named COVID-19, would-be travelers to Asia and even parts of the world with few or no cases are wondering what to do.

The Times asked readers for their most pressing questions and got a flurry of queries: Should I cancel my trip to Asia, despite the financial penalties? Or go ahead? What about going to other parts of the world? How hard is it to disinfect an airplane, anyway, and is a mask enough to protect from the virus?

For anyone planning to travel, the website of the World Health Organization is a good starting point. (W.H.O. has been issuing daily updates about the spread of COVID-19 and the status of cases.) The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which has advised Americans to cancel all nonessential travel to China, also offers information and guides for travelers. The Times has a map of the number of cases reported in each country.

In addition to those agencies, travelers should consult the websites of their home country and their intended destination to see what policies have been put in place.

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“You should also be double careful to do the things we say everyone should always do like hand washing with soap and water, especially after touching surfaces or coming in contact with someone who has been coughing,” said David Eisenman, director of University of California, Los Angeles’s Center for Public Health and Disasters, and professor of community health sciences at the university’s Fielding School of Public Health. “You should be avoiding close contact with others if you’re sick and you should have your flu shot.”

Click here for of the most common questions and the current advice from health and travel experts. Questions have been combined and condensed for clarity.

This event has passed. Come Meet us at the LGBTQ Pavilion at the NY Times Travel Show Jan 24-26!

All travelers are welcome at The New York Times Travel Show’s third annual L.G.B.T.Q. Travel Pavilion — the biggest in the show’s history! Register here and use code LGBTQIA for complimentary one-day ticket.

The pavilion gathers 28 tourism brands offering trip-planning inspiration, experiences, tours, cruises, travel packages, hotels, luggage, travel insurance, free apps and special pavilion-only offers for the enjoyment and safety of L.G.B.T.Q. travelers and their allies, friends and loved ones. Open to the public on Saturday, January 25, and Sunday, January 26, and to trade on Friday, January 24.

For the first time ever the pavilion includes its very own stage:

  • Hear from the world’s leading L.G.B.T.Q. travel experts.
  • Enjoy original music by an award-winning Fort Worth-based queer singer.
  • Bring your little ones (or just yourselves) to Drag Queen Story Hour designed for the kid in all of us.
  • Win prizes!

Whether you’re a member of the L.G.B.T.Q. community or know someone who is, find information and travel products tailored to

HospitableMe in the news

your interests and needs. Snap a selfie with famous drag performers who’ll sashay around the pavilion during the weekend festivities.

Be inspired, informed and entertained. And bring a credit card: Take advantage of many pavilion-only offers on cruises, tours and more.

Follow the giant, historic, 25-foot Gilbert Baker-designed rainbow flag proudly hanging above the L.G.B.T.Q. Pavilion on the northwest side of the show floor.

These are the travel brands that you’ll meet:
  • AIG Travel Insurance
  • Atlantis Cruises, Tours and Events
  • Blue Walk European Walking Vacations
  • Choose Chicago
  • Collier County, Fla. (Naples, Marco Island, Everglades)
  • Cunard Luxury Cruises
  • DavidTravel
  • Discover Puerto Rico
  • Fluide Beauty
  • Gaybnb, Gay-Friendly B&B, Australia
  • GeoSure Global
  • HE Travel, Gay Travel and Tours
  • HOMOCO Queer Swim Brand
  • IGLTA, the International L.G.B.T.Q.+ Travel Association
  • Keihan Hotels and Resorts, Kyoto
  • NY State Tourism (I LOVE NY)
  • Out Adventures, Gay and Lesbian Tours and Holidays
  • Out in the Vineyard
  • OutRight Action International
  • Pride Japan
  • Pride of the Americas, Fort Lauderdale
  • Provincetown
  • ROAM Luggage
  • Sikeleli Travel L.G.B.T.Q.-friendly African Safaris
  • Quiiky L.G.B.T.Q Italy Travel
  • VACAYA: All-LGBT+ Cruises & Resorts
  • Visit Fort Lauderdale, Florida
  • Visit Fort Worth, Texas
L.G.B.T.Q. STAGE
Friday, January 24

2–2:45 p.m.
L.G.B.T.Q.+ Travel Safety and Empowerment
L.G.B.T.Q.+ consumers face unique challenges when traveling. Experts discuss the resources available for them to travel with greater confidence.

2:50–3:50 p.m.
Everyone Welcome
HospitableMe’s signature hospitality inclusion training program.

4:15–4:50 p.m.
Straight to the Bottom Line
L.G.B.T.Q.+ allies discuss how to generate business in the queer travel segment in an authentic, respectful and sustainable way.

Saturday, January 25

11–11:30 a.m.
Travel Safety and Confidence
L.G.B.T.Q.+ consumers face unique challenges when traveling. Our experts discuss the resources available for them to travel with greater confidence.

Noon–12:45 p.m.
L.G.B.T.Q. Travel: Tours, Cruises, Events and Destinations for 2020
Moderator Ed Salvato leads a lively discussion of new cruises and tours, not-to-miss events and up-and-coming hot spots around the world. Bring your travel questions!

Noon–1 p.m.
Live From the World’s Largest Gay Cruise
We’re patched in LIVE to the Atlantis Oasis 2020 Cruise — check out the fun happening now on the Caribbean Sea.

1:30–2 p.m.
Fort Worth Presents Rachel Gollay
Feel the vibe with the city’s most fascinating songwriter, the award-winning and openly queer artist Rachel Gollay.

3–3:30 p.m.
So You Think You Know New York?
Test your knowledge and win prizes at the I Love New York State Quiz Show.

4–4:30 p.m.
Puerto Rico Presents
Puerto Rico is sunny, ringed by beaches and bathed by the warm waves of the Caribbean.

Sunday, January 26

Noon–12:30 p.m.
Drag Queen Story Hour
The library sensation comes to the L.G.B.T.Q. Pavilion. Officially for kids, but fun for kids of all ages!

1–1:30 p.m.
It’s a Queer, Queer World
Inspirational stories from real L.G.B.T.Q. travelers.

2–2:30 p.m.
Hack Your Trip!
From getting in the right headspace, to packing your suitcase, our experts share the best travel tips, including how to take the #BestSeflie.

3–3:30 p.m.
Spend It HERE (Not THERE)
Representatives from our L.G.B.T.Q.+ friendly travel providers and destinations tell you why you should travel with the people and places that love you back.

CheckOut: Moxy Boston Downtown

Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineA welcoming option located in a choice area of the city, the Moxy Boston Downtown offers terrific value and plenty of inviting spaces including their small but well-equipped rooms with staff that’s super friendly but also incredibly responsive and professional. 

Location

The location is truly central. You’re located smack dab in the middle of Boston’s small but well-regarded and popular theater district with live performances of all genres available all year long. You’re steps away from other key Boston treasures including the Boston Common and Public Garden; the financial district; Downtown Crossing (retail); the New England Medical Center; and a 10- to 15-minute walk to Boston’s South End, the historical LGBTQ+ neighborhood. There are Bluebike stations (shared bike system) nearby as well as several T (subway line) stations; and if you pack light, South Station Train Terminal (served by Amtrak; bus lines; Silver Line free transport from Logan International Airport); is a mere 10-minute walk. 

Room/Bathroom

Marriott’s millennial-focused brand Moxy is a vibrant, friendly hotel concept with a youthful and fresh atmosphereMoxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine and an emphasis on the experiential aspects of lodging rather than the room. While the accommodations are small they have a bed, outlets, a TV, a clean well-lit bathroom and bath amenities (though oddly lacking body lotion and shelves for bath products). Most of the rooms have 149 square feet of space (including the one we stayed in recently). The Wicked Awesome View corner rooms have 174. The all have nearly floor-to-ceiling windows with great views of the city which allow in lots of light making the room feel much bigger. Request a higher room if you like views. They are pretty much unobstructed the higher you go. And with four elevators in service you’re never waiting long even during peak periods.

Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineAmenities

The focus of the Moxy brand is on the shared spaces which are playful and inviting. At the Boston property, which opened in late 2019, the ground level includes a photo booth — with very flattering theatrical lighting — encouraging guests to share their pictures on their social media platforms. The second floor “Living Room” includes most of the width of the tall, slender modern tower and offers grab-and-go options, a snack-and-light-bites oriented restaurant (in partnership with a local restaurateur), a full bar and cafe. Upon check in you’ll receive a  voucher for a Moxy cocktail.  

Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineThere’s plenty of space in the Living Room to spread out and work. There’s also a foosball table and nostalgic board games available to patrons. This area is open to the public. The rooftop Mezz, which is only open to hotel guests, is an unfinished space with seating and an outdoor balcony with stunning views of the city. Grab a cocktail on the second floor and head up here to soak in the views.

The hotel also offers a small gym which has several cardio machines, a good selection of free weights and other machines, mats and medicine and Bosu balls. You can also fill your refillable water bottle at the fountain.

A note on service: The staff here is young but very professional and super friendly. If you wish to be addressed with your honorific, perhaps try the Ritz Carlton. If you want to engage in friendly banter with a truly hospitable staff, the Moxy is the better choice.

Gay Factor

The brand’s friendly, anything-goes vibe encourages self expression and uniqueness, both of which make LGBTQ guests Moxy Boston Downtown in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazinefeel comfortable and welcome. Showing up with your same-sex partner at check in for example doesn’t raise an eye. You’ll almost always find other queer guests as well as staff. If anything, guests older than millennials may wonder whether they’ll be welcome but we’ve found in our many Moxy stays that it’s not about age as a number but rather as an outlook. If you’re an app-based person of any age, you’ll like it here. If you like the idea of spending less time in the room and more just and out exploring or chilling with a Chai tea or cocktail among other travelers in a common area, you’ll like it here. If you want more upscale experience or more services, you may want to just go across the street to the W Boston; but you will be welcome here no matter what your age. 

Rates

Like most properties in Boston the rate here can really vary especially depending on events including theatrical and other performances in the nearby cultural venues. During a recent holiday stay we found rates of around $100 per night, which is extraordinary given the amenities as well as the Bonvoy points you can accumulate. At peak times including graduation season (there are many institutions of higher learning throughout the region), rates throughout the city can be exorbitant. Those periods may be a good time to cash in those Bonvoy loyalty points but reserve as far in advance as the system allows.  

Ready to go

Tape here for rates and reservations at the Moxy Boston Downtown

About the CheckOut

ManAboutWorld highlights properties we have recently and personally stayed at, and is editorial, not advertorial. Like virtually all travel publications, we sometimes accept discounted and sponsored travel, but ManAboutWorld is beholden to no one but you. Our recommendations are based solely on the experience and opinions of our editorial team and trusted network, putting our readers’ interests above all. If you ever have an issue with anything we recommend, please  let us know. We always have your back, and your travel satisfaction in mind. Read our full disclosure here.

Inclusive Hospitality via AIG Travel, Skift and … me!

Ed Salvato in Aig travel report and skift AIG Travel partnered with Skift on the trend report The Business Imperative for ‘Inclusive Hospitality’ which examines why vulnerable travelers matter spr.ly/60121Du1k with insights from yours truly (the even included me in my own Q&A page!!) and Depart Smart. LGBTQ travel safety is important topic that we focus on at HospitableMe.Ed Salvato in Aig travel report and skift

To learn more about what we do at HospitableMevisit us online.

Providence, Rhode Island: A hidden delight for queer travelers 😃🏳️‍🌈

Rhode Island Pride in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineWhile I’d heard some nice things about Providence, Rhode Island’s state capital and largest city, over the years, I’ll admit that I didn’t know a whole lot about it. I mostly thought of it as a cheap alternative airport to often-overpriced Boston Logan International.

Story by Paul J. Heney, MAW correspondent

But a recent weekend there, coinciding with Rhode Island Pride, completely sold me on this East Coast gem as an excellent getaway for LGBTQ travelers. Here are four reasons why you should put Providence on your list as a destination to check out.

  1. A thriving queer scene.

Walking around Providence was like being in a gay Disneyland at times. I was genuinely surprised at the number of out queer couples in the city —walking the streets holding hands, eating in restaurants, wandering the stores, chilling in cafes. I chatted with numerous locals, from restaurant servers to Uber drivers, hotel staff and people in clubs, and they all had positive things to say about how accepting the city and community is.

We hung out in several clubs, such as The Dark Lady, EGO Providence, and the Eagle, and they were crowded and lively. At a time when many smaller and mid-sized cities have gay club scenes that are dried up or gone entirely, it was refreshing to see such a thriving group of bars.

Check out Options magazine, published bimonthly, for the latest calendar of queer events. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the number of listings, from drag brunches to queer book clubs, as well as tea dances, happy hours and networking meetings.

  1. Arts to die for.

Providence has christened itself “The Creative Capital,” a cute nod to the city’s artistic side as well as its being the center of state government. And the moniker is well earned, with a wealth of art museums, galleries, performing arts spaces and urban murals.

From March through November each year, 27 of the city’s hottest art spots open their doors on the third Thursday of the month as part of Gallery Night Providence. And WaterFire Providence, a unique local arts celebration, revolves around the city’s downtown rivers, with more than 80 sparkling bonfires lit on the waterways.

Not to be missed is PVD Fest, an annual arts celebration in the city. It selects local artists to design and create arts installations, many of which remain in perpetuity, adding to the city’s cool urban vibe each year. Many of downtown’s mesmerizing murals are the result of previous years’ PVD Fest installations.

  1. It’s easy to get to and easy to get around.

Getting to Providence is fairly easy for much of the country. In addition to the aforementioned cheap flights to the city’s T. F. Rhode Island Pride in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineGreen Airport, Providence is an hour’s drive from Boston, as well as about three hours from most of the New York metro area. It’s within two hours by plane from much of the East Coast and Midwest, making it an easy weekend trip.

Providence is connected to Boston’s South Station via the Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority commuter service, and within the city, grabbing a rideshare service is simple — or visitors can check out the local Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), which provides busing as far away as Newport or Kingston. But I found downtown Providence, including its lovely Arts District, to be very walkable and pedestrian friendly.

  1. Its annual Pride festival is simply incredible.

Providence’s annual Rhode Island Pride completely exceeded my expectations. Attracting well over 100,000 attendees, I was blown away by how many Boston-area celebrants were there. I’d have thought the big city folks would have turned up their collective noses at smaller Providence, but that wasn’t the case at all! In fact, I heard story after story about how much they loved attending both Pride celebrations, a week apart.

RIPride has a laundry list of pre-celebration events, from VIP parties to game nights to interfaith services. The PrideFest itself takes place downtown along the Providence River, with a long narrow outline that provides great water views at every turn. There are countless vendors, a huge main stage, a beer garden, and more.

But the highlight of the weekend for me was the Illuminated Night Parade. RIPride is one of only a few pride celebrations anywhere that features an evening parade. Floats and marchers are encouraged to dress up their displays with lights, glowsticks, fluorescent paints and the like. The result is really spectacular, with 100,000 attendees watching the festivities. At the conclusion of the parade, multiple areas of downtown were cordoned off for huge block parties, as music roared into the night until the wee hours.

And for those who managed to get some sleep, the post-Pride Drag Brunch was a great top off to the weekend, with this year’s event featuring Jasmine Masters from RuPaul’s Drag Race, as well as a half dozen very talented local performers.

Go Now✈ Go Later✈: Don’t miss these gay getaways 🌈🍸

Some gays plan their gay getaways far in advance. Some plan last minute. Some go both ways. We’re those gays. But no matter which you are, we’ve got awesome recommendations for gay getaways to go to now. Next year. Or both!

Gay Getaways: GO NOW!

Atlantis Events takes on Europe with the Oasis of the Seas for the biggest European gay cruise ever. Meet guys from all over the world as this gorgeous Royal Caribbean ship sets sail for a trip of a lifetime. Amazing parties by night, and incredible ports by day. Enjoy bike rides in Mallorca, snorkeling in Capri, wine tasting in Provence and art walks in Florence. The ship departs on Saturday, August 25 and returns September 1.

Don’t miss this epic European journey. Book now and GO!

Join ManAboutWorld’s Billy Kolber (and up to 2,000 of our closest friends!) for the first full-ship LGBTQ+ charter with VACAYA aboard the five-star Celebrity Summit.

The ship will depart NYC on Sunday, August 11 and sail to Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada. Then, it’s a day in quaint Bar Harbor, Maine, and then two full days in fabulous Provincetown.

Kristin Chenoweth kicks off the departure from Cape Liberty, with lots of entertainment onboard and off — including an overnight call in Ptown to kick off their crazy Carnival week. Vacaya’s maiden voyage, promises a new kind of LGBT+ experience. Book now and GO!
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Morocco should be at the top of any queer travelers bucket list! Take the journey with OUT Adventures from Casablanca to Marrakech.

The epic experience kicks off September 13 and lasts for 10 unforgettable days. Travel with a pack of gay travelers through desert landscapes and moody villages. Sleep in a hotel made of Saharan sand, picnic in mountain gorges, cook classic North African cuisine, and share memories that will last a lifetime. Book now and GO!

GAY GETAWAYS: GO LATER

Two continents. 35 countries. Five languages. One love. No matter who you who are, Greater Fort Lauderdale invites you to celebrate LGBT+ advocacy on the beach at the first-ever Pride of the Americas in 2020. All are welcome to fly their flag high, make an impact and radiate life. Join the ManAboutWorld team for this first ever Pride uniting our community from Arctic Canada down to Tierra del Fuego! Book your flights and accommodations today! 

Atlantis and Virgin Voyages will make history in 2020 when they embark on the first gay charter of the Scarlet Lady. The ship will set sail on May 31 – June 7, 2020 from Miami and traverse the Mexican Caribbean. Be one of the first to discover Virgin Voyages adult-only by design experience that will transform the cruise industry.

The Atlantis charter isn’t on sale yet – it’s not even listed on the Atlantis website. But trust us, you’ll want to be on this first gay charter of the Scarlet Lady, the revolutionary new cruising experience from Virgin. Mark your calendar and reserve your vacation days now.

Gay Wine Weekend 2019 just happened, and it was epic. If you missed it, mark your calendar now for next year. Called “One of the best events of the summer season,” Gay Wine Weekend takes over Sonoma Valley from July 18-21 for a 3+ day celebration of food and wine in Northern California’s Sonoma Valley!

Check out the 2019 details, and mark your calendar now.

The hosts of this super fun event look forward to meeting you Out In The Vineyard of “our” Wine Country!

The boys at OUT Adventures have an incredible safari planned for 2020! Their brand new gay tour of Kenya kicks off outside Nairobi – Safari Capital of the World – before venturing into the savannah. Here, authentic yet luxurious tents and lodges will provide shelter in Amboseli National Park and Masai Mara National Reserve. All meals are included on this excursion, including a fab Bush Barbecue. OUT Adventure trips sell out far in advance … so Book now and GO! 

Our very own Kenny Porpora will experience this fabulous OUT Adventures Kenya safari this August 2019. Follow his safari on Instagram at @wozels1102 and get a sneak peek at everything that awaits you in 2020.

Travel Expert

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 2.57.38 PMEd Salvato is an LGBTQ+ travel expert, published author, instructor at NYT Tisch School and Temple and chief content officer of ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine and HospitableMe (strategy, content marketing & LGBTQ education & training). Read his bio. Post comments below or send email. SCROLL DOWN FOR THE LATEST POSTS, STORIES & PIX. 

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