Celebrate Southern Decadence in Style at The Windsor Court Hotel

July 30th, 2014 Joseph Pedro

Image via Passport

Image via Passport


Southern Decadence is the perfect word for this late summer bacchanal. The parties rage all day on the streets of New Orleans from August 27-September 1—think Mardi Gras, but gayer. Each day offers a fun and sexy event. The weekend’s kickoff event is a contest that puts the “big” in “Big Easy”. The rest of the festival features all the “decadence” you could hope for: parades, extravaganzas, and contests. Luckily, you don’t need to sign up for specific events: these happenings are free! Be aware though: if you want a glimpse at exclusive parties, a weekend pass will get you into some special events. The highlight of the weekend is a parade complete with outrageous costumes and drum lines all in an oh-so-New Orleans environment.

Deciding where to book? The Windsor Court Hotel is offering a generous Anniversary Rate that happens to coincide with Decadence. Special prices begin at $195 per night and can be booked with the code “1984” now through September 22, 2014.

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Gay Travel: The Fairmont Monte Carlo

July 30th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Fairmont

Image via Fairmont

It’s one thing to enjoy Nobu Matsuhisa’s game-changing food in urban environments around the world, but it’s another to savor his innovative Japanese cuisine while overlooking the vast Mediterranean Sea. This is just one of the many high-end experiences you can expect to have at one of Monaco’s most exclusive and luxurious properties—The Fairmont Monte Carlo.

Keep reading out Dreamscape section over at Passport magazine online…

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‘Girls’ Star Allison Williams to Star as Peter Pan in the TV Special ‘Peter Pan Live’

July 30th, 2014 Joseph Pedro

Images via Allison Williams Online and Peter Pan Facebook

The Girls star and daughter of TV anchor Brian Williams, Allison Williams, is set to strap on those green tights and fly off to Neverland on the live NBC special Peter Pan Live!  “We couldn’t be happier that Allison Williams is our Peter Pan,” said Robert Greenblatt, Chairman, NBC Entertainment. “She’s a lovely rising star on the award-winning show ‘Girls’ — where she occasionally shows off her incredible vocal talent — and we think she will bring the perfect blend of ‘boyish’ vulnerability and bravado to save the day against Christopher Walken’s powerful Captain Hook.” “Allison Williams is a major find,” said Executive Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron. “She will reinvent the iconic role of Peter Pan with her wit, her warmth, her dynamic flying and her wonderful musical abilities. The score will be sung beautifully and introduced to a whole new generation of families.” [BW]

The Girls star has proven she’s able to carry a tune on the HBO show, and we can totally see her sporting the red feather, but is she as big of a draw as Carrie Underwood was for The Sound of Music?

 

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Countdown Begins for Gay Marriage Vote in Ireland, Huge Rally Planned

July 30th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via

Noise March for Marriage Equality. Image via

While there has been no official date set for a vote for the same-sex marriage referendum, only mumblings that it will be held during spring 2015, the Irish people are making sure their government officials hear them. With well over half the country now supporting marriage equality (with 67% supporting a referendum allowing civil marriage), the LGBT Noise March for Marriage 2014 is hoping to break records when they take to the streets this August 24th at 3 P.M. in front of City Hall in Dublin. With the LGBTIQQT population in attendance as well as family and friends, the rally will finish outside the Department of Justice. Planners hope that officials will hear a united voice from the people demanding equal rights. Click here for more info. 

Be sure to check out our Dublin coverage in our September issue of Passport magazine.

 

 

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‘Anything Goes’ with Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Single Drops on iTunes and Album Release Date Revealed

July 30th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via PR.

Image via PR.

The long-awaited collaborative jazz album from Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Cheek To Cheek, will be released on Streamline/Columbia/Interscope Records on Tuesday, September 23.  The first taste of this new music is the classic Cole Porter song, “Anything Goes”, available on iTunes (iTunes.com/CheekToCheek) and other digital retailers.  An accompanying studio video featuring “Anything Goes” and footage from the recording sessions and moments during the making of Cheek to Cheek is currently available on YouTube and VEVO.

Watch video after the jump…

Read more…

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Say Goodbye to Key Cards, Hilton Worldwide to Replace Room Keys with Smartphones

July 29th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

Misplaced key cards will be a thing of the past soon for guests staying at one of Hilton Worldwide’s hotels, as the company has announced that key cards are going the way of the metal key. Hilton hopes to replace the credit card-style keys with smartphones. This will not be the only major upgrade. Using a special Hilton app, guests will also be able to not only check-in on their phones, but also select which room they want using a digital floor plan—this technology will be rolled out in over 4,000 hotels by the end of the year. Technology for smart phone key cards are expected to be installed by 2015. We have spent the past few years testing a number of different options to make this vision a reality, and we are developing proprietary technology that is safe and reliable for our guests to use, and cost-effective for our hotels to install,” says Christopher J. Nassetta, president and chief executive officer of Hilton Worldwide.

Now let’s hope smartphone makers can figure out how to make their batteries last for more than four hours, or Hilton Hotels’ lobbies are going to look like an airport waiting area.

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‘The Bridge’ ‘Breaking Bad’ Star Emily Rios Comes Out

July 29th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Imag via FX's 'The Bridge' Facebook.

Imag via FX’s ‘The Bridge’ Facebook.

She may play a lesbian on the hit FX drama, The Bridge, but star Emily Rios has never publicly commented on her sexuality, until now. The star, who is also known for playing Andrew Cantillo on Breaking Bad, said last week about her role playing a reporter investigated a murderer along the Mexican-American boarder: “‘I’m gay, personally, so being Mexican and a lesbian – this is why I love the character because I deal with the same type of things with my own family.”

 

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Gay Travel: What’s New in Gran Canaria

July 29th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

vacation mecca off the sun-scorched coast of Africa, Gran Canaria is favored by gay and straight tourists looking for a budget break in the sun, but this Spanish island is steadily becoming more sleek and seductive with new five-star resorts, international restaurants, private gay yacht charters, and other fancy ambitions.

Located in the Atlantic Ocean, 1,800 miles south of mainland Spain, Gran Canaria and the other six Canary Islands are located outside the European tax zone, meaning goods such as alcohol, tobacco, perfumes, and electronics are generally cheaper here than in mainland Europe. The third largest of these islands, Gran Canaria has year-round sunshine, a popular gay nude beach, clothing-optional gay complexes, and dozens of gay bars in the twin resort areas of Playa del Ingles and Maspalomas. These factors altogether affirm Gran Canaria’s status as an affordable gay hotspot, attracting gay men and lesbians from places including the UK, Germany, and Scandinavia with the promise of cheap fun and sun.

Keep reading at Passport magazine online…

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St. Petersburg, Russia Holds Unpermitted Pride and Goes Off Without Violence

July 29th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via QueerRussia

Image via QueerRussia

Despite the city denying the city of St. Petersburg, Russia from hosting a pride rally, nearly 150 people gathered anyway in a public park, and the more-political-than-celebratory pride went off without a hitch. Russian authorities jokingly told the organizers, Ravnopraviye (Equality), to hold the pride in a landfill. Despite not being allowed to use public spaces or march because of the federal anti-gay propaganda law, organizers held the rally. Websites reported that the day’s affairs went off without any major incident, and the area was even secured by local police. Only one person was detained throughout the day. According to QueerRussia: “One of the protesters, Eugene Pirozhkov, was holding a placard ‘Sodomy is sweeter than honey’ and was detained by police after refusing to roll the poster and so he was taken to the police bus. The poster graphics included some Christian symbols.”

 

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US Court Affirms Strike Down of Gay Marriage Ban in Virginia

July 28th, 2014 Joseph Pedro
Image via Passport

Image via Passport

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit today affirmed a district court ruling striking down Virginia’s ban on marriage for same-sex couples. The decision will not take effect immediately, but will go into effect in 21 days, unless the defendants file a motion to stay the ruling. The ruling will also be stayed if the defendants ask the full court of appeals to review the case. The case, Bostic v. Schaefer, included a certified class made up of approximately 14,000 same-sex couples in the commonwealth.

In his opinion, Judge Henry F. Floyd wrote: “Civil marriage is one of the cornerstones of our way of life. It allows individuals to celebrate and publicly declare their intentions to form lifelong partnerships, which provide unparalleled intimacy, companionship, emotional support, and security. The choice of whether and whom to marry is an intensely personal decision that alters the course of an individual’s life. Denying same-sex couples this choice prohibits them from participating fully in our society, which is precisely the type of segregation that the Fourteenth Amendment cannot countenance.”

“The historic Supreme Court case that allowed for people of different races to marry, so providentially named Loving v. Virginia, started here,” said James Esseks, director of the ACLU Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender Project, who argued the case for the class before the federal appeals court. “In the 47 years since, committed same-sex couples in the commonwealth have been patiently waiting for the freedom to marry the person they love. Today’s decision sends a message that everyone deserves the dignity and protection that only comes with marriage.”

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