December 03, 2007
GNW 5: Gay travel pro's and con's
Posted by: Chris
Here are the Top Five most popular stories over the last 24 hours on Gay News Watch, along with an Editor's Pick from me at the end:
- Four more men tell of sex with Larry 'I'm not gay' Craig: QUICK LOOK: David Phillips. Mike Jones. Greg Ruth. Tom Russell. Four gay men, willing to put their names in print and whose allegations can't be disproved, have come forward since... (MORE)
- Pa. library refuses parents' demand to pull gay book: QUICK LOOK: Storytime ceased abruptly when the picture book Eileen Issa was reading her 2 1/2-year-old son surprisingly ended with two men marrying and smooching. The tale about... (MORE)
- N.J. sperm donor ordered to pay child support to lesbians: QUICK LOOK: A Nassau County man who said he donated sperm to a lesbian co-worker as a friendly gesture -- and then sent presents and cards to the child over the years -- is legally considered the father and may... (MORE)
- NYT: In progressive N.J., gays find danger in Newark: QUICK LOOK: To live in Newark often means grappling with unrelenting poverty, the anesthetizing lure of drugs, murderous gangs, a lack of decent jobs. But for gay men, lesbians and... (MORE)
- Grenada may ban gay cruises from island: reports: QUICK LOOK: Grenada is questioning whether to allow entry to ship passengers on all-gay cruises, news reports from the Caribbean island say. "We have not taken a policy as to whether... (MORE)
- Macho Argentina warms to gay dollars and euros: QUICK LOOK: Home to the sexy tango dance and swarthy meat-eaters, this South American capital has long been thought of as a bastion of macho attitudes. But a new hotel here is adding... (MORE)
My boyfriend and I finally made it downtown to visit the new Axel Hotel in Buenos Aires, the first five-star hotel for gays in Latin America. The occasion was the first-ever pool party in the hotel's chic three-level pool deck.
The party and the hotel were first-rate and live up to the reputation set by the hotel's big sister, the original Axel Hotel in Barcelona, with its expansive use of glass floors and lighting to create a very open and minimal, yet opulent, feel. Surprisingly, the price range for a room at the Axel here is roughly the same (US$200-400) as the original in Barcelona. That runs contrary to the much lower cost generally of life down here, including hotel rooms.
Gay life here in Buenos Aires is still something of a mystery to me, even after five weeks in the city. There are relatively few gay-only spaces, and the Argentine gays seem particularly proud of the fact that the mix comfortably with straight folks, whether in restaurants, bars, gyms or dance clubs. And yet they do so by avoiding almost any sign of affection toward one another, so it's not clear whether their achievement is one of progress or of rationalization of the closet.
I've also been a bit disappointed by the infrastructure here, since Argentines proudly compare themselves to "backwards Brazil." But sitting in an apartment that still lacks air conditioning and Internet service -- after weeks of ISP bureaucracy I'm still stuck poaching a neighbor's WiFi from the balcony -- I'm less than convinced.
And the men. Don't get me started on the men.
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