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Exclusive | Escape to New Haven Part Two

Exclusive | Escape to New Haven Part Two

Discover the best places to eat well, see a play, or tie the knot in Connecticut's cultural axis.

Museums, Art, and Culture
Yale contributes the most by injecting great art, architecture, and performances into New Haven's high-class culture. The brilliant and very manageable Yale University Art Gallery (1111 Chapel St) is a pleasant and classy overview of art history. Important and iconic works from all time periods and every corner of the globe appear; modern art is well represented with works by Jackson Pollack, Andy Warhol, and Vincent Van Gogh, to name a few. Best of all, it's free to the public. The Yale Center for British Art (1080 Chapel St) is decidedly less exciting but still has some great works, and most recently featured some paintings by famous British ceramicist and transvestite Grayson Perry.

New Haven also has a long history of theater, especially the Long Wharf Theatre (222 Sargent Dr), and the Shubert Theater (247 College St.), both providing stages for directors to fine-tune their productions before they head off to Broadway (the Long Wharf's first production in 1965 was Arthur Miller's The Crucible, while the Shubert premiered Tennessee Williams classic A Streetcar Named Desire). The Yale Repertory Theater (1120 Chapel St.) also produces fine productions in its own right.

On the Town
Despite New Haven's small size, there are quite a few gay nightspots to check out. Most of the bars lean towards gay men but many are mixed and lesbians will feel at home frequenting most places.

168 York is one of the two full-time gay bars, the other being two-level Partner's Caf? (365 Crown St.). 168 is a comfortable place for a beer with your 40-something pals (it's a low-brow "gay Irish pub,"), while the latter which include a dance floor and lounge-y area. For the younger at heart and with some cute Yalies frequenting the place, Partner's features fabulously gregarious tranny Mizz Monika holding weekly shows on Fridays. Other gay nights include BAR (254 Crown St.) gay Tuesdays and Gotham Citi Caf?'s (130 Crown St.) long-running Saturday night youth fest. True to its name, the snarky crowd tries its hardest to emulate a NYC club, with skinny twinks prancing in tight jeans, drag queens testing their heels, and gogo boys balancing trays of shots.

Where to Stay
The classic good service stay can be expected at the four-star Omni New Haven Hotel at Yale (155 Temple St.), which has high end accommodations and great views of the city or the Long Island Sound. Probably the best choice is centrally located The Study at Yale (1157 Chapel St.) is a brand new boutique hotel close to almost every bar, restaurant, and museum in New Haven. It has great service service and comfortable rooms, all of which has bookshelves stocked with interesting hardcovers from the Strand bookstore in NYC. The rest of the d?cor is stylish and warm, internet connections and an iPod-ready clock radio. Part of a new hotel chain aiming to open in various college towns, the Study provides a chic and comfortable space for the intellectually-minded to relax without the stuffiness of a highbrow hotel.

Part One | Part Two

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Joseph Alexiou