63, and my partner’s 64. We’re fit, active, and don’t like to
sit in our hotel room at night. Are there any European destinations with gay
life open to sexy seniors like us?
X. Colletti, Providence, R.I.
A. You bet! In fact, Europeans are generally much more advanced in this regard.
Madrid beckons with bars, cafés, and bathhouses that cater to older guys;
and in any Munich kneipe (traditional German bar) you’ll see men
of all ages lifting a stein. The very best? Amsterdam’s vast array of bars
and clubs includes many catering to mature men; you could easily spend several
engaging evenings exploring these. But if nightlife’s your niche, we recommend
saying non to Paris, where youth culture reigns supreme.
Q.I’m a city slicker, but my girlfriend’s a cowpoke. Are separate
vacations (sigh) in our future, or is there a destination that can fit us both?
Solomon, Washington, D.C.
Go west, young woman! Denver is diverse enough to satisfy even the most urbane
tastes while also offering outdoor treats galore. GayRockyMountains.com is a
super site that will clue you in to local goings-on; if you’re a rough
rider, mosey on over to www.igra.com, where the International Gay Rodeo Association
(yes! It exists) tells all. Extra added bonus: Denver lets gay and lesbian couples
register as domestic partners. Happy trails!
Q.I’ve been to Copenhagen, and now I want to see more of Scandinavia.
But I only have the time and money to visit one city right now. Which has the
best gay scene?
O’Shea, San Francisco
For funn, the Finns rule. They’ve really put the hell back into Helsinki—especially
in the red-hot gay scene. Our faves: DTM for hot younguns (www.dtm.fi) and Hercules
(www.herculesgayclub.com) for an all-ages dance palace. How wired is Finland?
Consider this: Both Con Hombres, a bodacious back-room bar (www.conhombres.fi/hombres.html),
and Vogue, the country’s only gay sauna (www.conhombres.fi/vogue.html),
have their own Web sites.
Q.Are there any lesbian bars in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of the
McPharland, Albuquerque, N.M.
Sorry to say, no, but there are lots of women who look like the basketball star
Lisa Leslie, if that’s any consolation.
Q.I’m planning a major trip before I start my new job, but I’m confused.
When the AIDS epidemic first hit, there were lots of reports about countries
that barred people with HIV from even visiting. What’s the status now?
R. P., Tallahassee, Fla.
A. Many countries have relaxed their policies regarding visitors with HIV or
AIDS, but it’s still a case-by-case affair. We recommend you visit www.aegis.com/topics/travel.html
and www.travel.state.gov/foreignentryreqs.html; the latter lets you check entry
news for virtually every country on the globe. And for future reference, most
of the feature stories in The Out Traveler will include information in
the Ratings Box about HIV care. In the meantime, we wish you happy travels and
Q.My “best friend with benefits” and I are planning a major road
trip when we graduate this December. Call me a scaredy-cat, but the recent news
about conservative legislators wanting to reinstate sodomy laws give me the
heebie-jeebies. Are there certain American states we’d be best to avoid?
Triccoli, Independence, Mo.
We make it our general rule to avoid all states in which marrying your sister
is legal but performing fellatio is not. Seriously, dude: We’re not yet
living in a police state, so no single place is off-limits per se. But do remember
that Slug Hollow, Ark., is not West Hollywood or Chelsea; strongly resisting
the urge to ape Barbra or Cher at a truck stop might not be a bad idea. Otherwise,
Woody Guthrie had it right: “This land is your land.”
Q.I’m psyched for my upcoming junior-year semester in New York City. But
I live in—and go to college in—a small town in Oregon and am used
to the great outdoors. Where can I go for some peace and quiet in the Big Apple?
A. Start with Central Park, all 843 acres of it. Perhaps the quietest spot in
it is also the gayest, the “Rambles,” a densely forested patch as
famous for bird-watching as for, well, just be careful. As for tamer locales,
we suggest you go to the garden at St. Luke’s in the Village, perhaps the
most gay-friendly congregation in town; the roof garden of the Metropolitan
Museum of Art (open May to October) where you can see the city glowing all around
you; and a pocket park on East 51st Street (between Second and Third avenues)
with a roaring waterfall that sends visitors into a Zen-like trance.
finally saved enough money to visit Mykonos, but now I have cold feet. My friend
told me about high winds called meltemis that can cause ferries and flights to and from Mykonos to be canceled. I’m
on a strict budget, so how can I prevent getting stranded and having to buy
a new ticket home?
Lee Caputo, Jackson Heights, N.Y.
Good question, and we’ve got the answer. Have the Port Authority stamp
your airline or ferry ticket or provide other written proof that you couldn’t
get off Mykonos. That way, you won’t be charged for the flight from Athens
Q.Some people might call me shallow. When it comes to restaurants, I don’t
necessarily need a gay scene, but what I am after is the trendiest, hottest,
most fashionista place in town. What’s your top pick for Dublin, Ireland?
Terrell, Coral Gables, Fla.
Be an angel and visit Haló in the Morrison Hotel at Ormond Quai. It’s
Dublin’s sexiest spot. Fabulous fusion cooking and au courant d?cor make
this the place to be.
Q.Leather is my life, and I plan to take my gear along on a trip to Palm Springs.
Is there anywhere to stay where I’ll feel comfortable?
A. At the Chaps Inn (760-327-8222), you can have design (mid-century cool) and
decadence in one clean, centrally located place.