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Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Summer Break

I have been blogging for ten years with this blog (and my old blog). And I need a break. I will blog again after some time off. Promise. Thanks for the emails.

Monday, July 13, 2015

Shelf Pack

http://shelfpack.com/

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

Photos

As seen around the zone. A car accident across from Parque Duarte. And yesterday, there were free guitar lessons given out on El Conde.

And there is a musician (Camilo Flores) who plays the guitar on El Conde. And he plays beautifully. There is a short documentary featuring him on YouTube. Saw this on a site I frequent, http://www.imagenesdominicanas.com.

Monday, July 06, 2015

Pride


Pride was a big success yesterday. The U.S. Ambassador to the D.R., and his husband, addressed the crowd yesterday. As I find more photos and videos, I will put the links here. And it seemed like a couple thousand people came out for the show and music.


Photos: https://www.facebook.com/revasa14

Photos: https://www.facebook.com/lorena.espinoza.pena/media_set?set=a.10153491907822650.1073741891.771367649&type=3

The evanglicals were out yesterday, as well. They were protesting against the caravan and gay marriage.


Sunday, July 05, 2015

Party

G Lounge was closed by the authorities on Friday afternoon. There was a big party planned for gay pride. It is now taking place at the house of the owners, Manuel and Gary, in Gazcue. Below are some photos of them getting ready. And last night, someone set-off pepper spray in Fogoo. Took over 30 minutes to get things back together. Hopefully, everything will run smoothly tonight.



Tonight's Party:
Calle Enriques Henriquez #73
Gazcue, Santo Domingo
Behind Centu College

Sunday, July 05, 2015

Pride Celebrations

Putting the final touches on the stage for tonight's party. I was up on the roof doing laundry, and I could see the caravan passing. And hearing the music. All the neighbors were out on their balconies. Some taking photos.



Monday, June 29, 2015

Pride

There were gay pride celebrations yesterday in Santiago. Next Sunday, the celebrations take place in Santo Domingo. And with the Supreme Court of the U.S. ruling in favor of gay marriage. I wonder how many U.S. citizens will be getting married to their significant others in the Dominican Republic? Will be very interesting to see. I've been told to keep my calendar clear for a wedding to take place in Punta Cana in December.  And for all those Americans who are soooo in love with their significant others on the island. But, don't really want to bring them to the states, and use the argument that they can't get visas. How will you get around the fact of how much you 'love' your partner. But, don't want to marry them. Hmmmm, very interesting, indeed. Happy Pride!



Friday, June 26, 2015

Interview

The gay United States Ambassador to the Dominican Republic, has given an interview to the Washington Blade:

SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic — U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic James “Wally” Brewster was looking out over the driveway of his official residence shortly after 6 p.m. on June 19 when he noticed the Pride flag flying over it had become caught around the flagpole.

The decision to also hang it from the facade of the U.S. Embassy in Santo Domingo, the Dominican capital, sparked controversy among some religious leaders in the predominantly Roman Catholic country. Brewster said the fact that other foreign governments decided to fly it over their respective embassies in the Dominican Republic for Pride month shows the LGBT rights movement continues to gain traction in the country and around the world.

“I see it progressing and it gives me great hope,” Brewster told the Washington Blade during an interview at his home with his husband, Bob Satawake. “You can see it happening here in the Dominican Republic.”

Dominican advocates with whom the Blade has spoken since President Obama nominated Brewster two years ago credit the former Human Rights Campaign board member and his husband with making the country’s LGBT rights movement more visible.

Brewster and Satawake — who frequently appear in the Dominican press — have met with local LGBT rights advocates several times since they formally assumed the post in late 2013.

Special U.S. Envoy to Promote Global LGBT Rights Randy Berry earlier this month keynoted a Pride month reception that Brewster and Satawake hosted at their official residence. Dennis and Judy Shepard, Miss Dominican Republic World 2008 Geisha Montes and two prominent Dominican lawmakers — Minou Mirabal Tavárez and Victor Gómez Casanova — were among those who attended the “Breakfast for Equality with Ambassador Brewster” event.

Brewster and Satawake last month spoke to 1,100 women who were in Punta Cana on an Olivia Cruises vacation. The company, which caters to lesbians and their families, had rented out an entire Club Med resort in the resort city.

“I see it progressing and it gives me great hope,” Brewster told the Washington Blade during an interview at his home with his husband, Bob Satawake. “You can see it happening here in the Dominican Republic.”

Click here for the rest of the artcile.

http://www.washingtonblade.com/2015/06/23/gay-u-s-ambassador-husband-prioritize-human-rights/

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Gay Pride

The 8th annual gay pride celebrations are coming soon. Getting bigger every year. And now in Santiago, and even La Vega.

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Orgullo-GLBT-Dominicano/148215628581975

Monday, June 22, 2015

Sunday

Yesterday was a beautiful day. Overcast and cloudy. Drove up to Bonao with some friends. They had heard me talk about it many times. I told them Sunday was not the best time to go, if you were looking for a relaxing day. But they insisted. And it was packed! But nice and beautiful and the eye candy was amazing.


Wednesday, June 17, 2015

D.R.'s Haitian Problem

The photo above is of Haitians in line trying to register before the deportations are to begin at 7 pm this evening. Today is the last day to regularize your status. The regularization plan is supposed to be for all foreigners. But in truth, it is really about the Haitians. If you entered the Dominican Republic legally, you can stay for years, and then you just pay the fine when you leave. The majority of the Haitians that are here, are here illegally. But the issues are so complex. There are many Haitians who were born here, and have been here for decades. Have never been to Haiti. But never had a bank account, lease for housing, or anything that can show they are, and have been productive members of society.

And for those who say this is ONLY about race. It is not. Though for many, it does play a major part. It is upwards of 85% of the Dominican public who believe there are too many Haitians in the country. And they use too many of the resources of this poor country. The Dominican Republic can't afford to take care of its own people. But many in the international community seem to only want to blame the Dominican Republic. Five years after the earthquake, not much has been built with all the money raised in Haiti. The Red Cross raised over $500.000.000 dollars. And has built only six homes. Many other Caribbean countries are deporting Haitians, including Jamaica, and especially the Bahamas. There have been dozens of protests by Haitians at the Haitian Embassy. Because they have been no help, in getting their citizens the documents they need. A deplorable situation all arouind.

I wish there was some type of humane solution. I agree, that people that were born in this counrty should be allowed to stay. And it is horrible to think you will be deported to a country you don't know and have never visited. And as this link shows, there is a crisis with migrants all over the world.


Protests today in New York. This is not over.

http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/politics/2015/06/17/official-dominican-republic-ready-to-resume-deportation-those-without-legal/

Friday, June 12, 2015

Hotels

The Hotel Jaragua opened 73 years ago. And after being closed for over a year for $40 million dollars of extensive renovations. It has now re-opened. Will have to stop by and see it in person.








Another beautiful botique hotel has opened in the colonial zone. I will get photos soon.

Tuesday, June 02, 2015

Video

Israel Fortuna

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Video

From La Vega

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Rumor

Could Bar Friends be headed for closure? Last night, as the place was packed with tourists from the U.S. on their Memorial Day holiday. Could this be the last holiday they enjoy there? Rumors are swirling around about its future. It seems the real owner, Dr. Leon's old maid, has returned to claim her property. But, no so fast.

When Dr. Leon purchased the old Bar Phoenix from the late, legendary British raconteur, Lawrence Goldsby, it was purchased in the name of his maid. Or, at some point it was transferred to her. When the unfortunate occurrence of Dr. Leon's arrest and deportation happened. All the people who worked for him didn't know what to do.

But, one person did. George (or is it spelled Jorge?). It is rumored that he threatened the the former maid and her family. Causing her to disappear for years. No one had heard from her, and the rumor was that she may have been killed. In any case, George was able to take over the bar and building, without any resistance.

And it was all rumor and conjecture. That is, until George got extremely ill. After his death and he was buried and not yet cold in the ground, the the maid miraculously re-appeared with lawyers and served papers stating she had come to take her property back. There are SO MANY questions. Where has she been all these years? Why she never tried to reclaim her property while George was alive? Is she still in touch with the reclusive Dr. Leon? Inquiring minds want to know.

But, what is true is that she is back and wants what is rightly hers. And, more than likely, she will get it. But there  are squatters rights in this country. But the right lawyer, and knowing the right people will know how to take care of that situtaion. In any case, there are rumors that there are already suitors lined up to purchase the entire building. Rumor has it, that the person most likely to get the building is NOT interested in running a gay hustler bar for tourists. But, instead wants to turn it into an apartment buidling, after some remodeling.

Remember, readers, this is all rumor. I'm sure some of you reading this will have some facts that you don't mind sharing. I will be watching to see how this all plays out.

Now, if someone could just have Dr. Leon contact me. I would love to hear his side. Could he be behind the maids return?

Hmmmm, we shall see.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Men

Yesterday was the Mr. Republica Dominicana contest. You can see some of the Lee Studios photos on Facebook.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Darkness

Just when you think the electricity situation in the country is getting better. The lights for the entire country went out last night, just as it started raining (for 15 minutes). And didn't return until this morning. 

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Video

Puerto Ricans vs. Dominicans

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Men

My new favorite! From: http://blog.leestudiosnyc.com/

Monday, May 04, 2015

News

Today is a holiday (May Day).  I went up to Las Terrenas for a couple of days. Only to return and find out that a hotel, Hotel Francés, has partially collapsed. They don't know what happened. It's located in the area of the colonial zone where they are digging up the streets and lots of construction taking place.
 

Friday, May 01, 2015

Gay Pride 2015

Gay Pride celebrations in Santo Domingo are happening on Sunday, July 5. Also, there seems to be a celebration taking place in Santiago, too. But on a different date.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Men


Dominican stripper from NYC.

Tags: Men Photos Video

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Retail

Seems just like yesterday, that I was talking about the Johnny Rockets opening in Santo Domingo. Well, they are no more. Well, they have a small space in the food court of Sambil mall. In its place is the first Nike Factory Store in Santo Domingo. I wonder if the prices are competitive with the states? Something tells me no.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

JetBlue

JetBlue two day sale that ends tonight at Midnight.

  • Fares include government taxes and fees.
  • Book April 28 - 29, 2015 (the earlier of 11:59 PM ET or local time).
  • Travel May 12 - June 17, 2015. Tuesday and Wednesday travel. Blackout dates: 5/20 - 5/26/15.
  • Different or additional day of week restrictions, travel windows, and blackout dates may apply and vary by route. Click on a fare for details.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Movie Theater

A new movie theater has opened, or is opening, in the colonial zone. I haven't passed by as yet. I think it will be geared to tourism. The first movie to show is called the Battle of Santo Domingo. More information as I confirm it.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Love?

I was reading this story today. And it made me think about how this is desperately needed on this island. Someone I know of, who has been 'dating' a bugarron for five years, was here recently. He came down when the American Embassy approved the visa for his 'boyfriend.' But while here, the boyfriend's mother, implored him not to take away (for good) her son from his children. Children? Yes, he has six kids, said his mother. The foreigner had no idea. And if that wasn't enough, his mother started talking about another 'friend' of his from the states who has been helping her and sending him money. The foreigner thought it was woman. But it was another gay man who also lived in Tampa, which is where the foreigner is from. He started doing some digging, and checked the 'boyfriend's' phone. Only to discover conversations on whatsapp letting the other man know that he will be in the states soon, and they can be together forever. Needless to say he hightailed it to the American Embassy to have the visa cancelled. The whole thing had been a lie. This 23 year-old bugarron wasn't actually in love with this overweight, balding, 55 year-old man, who walks with a cane. I was shocked, I tell 'ya. SHOCKED!

U.S. Private Eye Helps Clients Figure Out If Cuban Love is Real

The Canadian man fell in love with a beautiful Cuban woman on one of his trips to the island.

He lavished her with gifts and plenty of cash – sending anywhere from $400 to $2,000 a month.

One day, she shared exciting news. There was a bundle of joy on the way.

He sent more money, enough for her to buy a home.

Something, though, didn’t feel quite right.

A California-based private investigation agency with sleuths in Cuba confirmed the man’s suspicions. The Cuban woman lived with her real boyfriend – a Cuban man – in the home her Canadian paramour had financed, and the baby she was expecting was actually the Cuban man’s, not his.

“There are many people – men but also some women – who travel to Cuba, fall in love, but then they get suspicious,” said Fernando Alvarez, a licensed private investigator whose firm, Drakonx Investigations, gets plenty of requests from mainly Canadians, Americans and Spaniards to dig up information about the love interests they met while visiting Cuba who remained on the island.

“When I receive an infidelity case, 90 percent of the time the person [in Cuba] turns out to be cheating,” said Alvarez, who is 34 and came from Cuba about 10 years ago. “The reason they have a relationship with the foreigner is [either] immigration – they want to get out of Cuba – or money. They plan to stay in Cuba, but want to have a better life.”

Alvarez has sleuths working for him on the island, at their own peril, since private eye work is not legal in Cuba.

The investigators conduct surveillance of suspected cheaters and liars, following them and recording conversations when possible.

Canadians, whose nation has relations with Cuba and who long have accounted for a large chunk of tourists to the island – a million annually – are particularly vulnerable to the love trap.

The problem has reached such a critical point that Canada even launched a campaign in 2013 to warn its citizens about it, according to the Washington Post, which noted that a government study concluded that about 25 percent of the 700 fianceé visas issued each year to Cubans in Havana were based on scams.

The marriage fraud campaign featured a seven-minute video posted on the website of the Citizenship and Immigration Canada agency that shared the real-life stories of three Canadians who were dumped by foreign spouses – including a Cuban – after they obtained residence in Canada.

Privately run U.S. websites on travel to Cuba often also include warnings about untrue lovers.

Canada tightened immigration laws concerning marriages to foreigners “in part because of the high proportion of sham marriages emanating from Cuba, as well as the Dominican Republic,” noted the immigration guidelines website Immigroup.com.

The changes include requiring sponsored spouses to remain in a marriage for two years before they can acquire permanent resident status. If the couple breaks up before that, the migrant faces deportation. Canadians who have sponsored one spouse are prohibited from sponsoring a new one for five years.

Alvarez told Fox News Latino that other clients who seek a Cuba-related investigation include Cuban-Americans who send relatives money to start a business, and turn to Alvarez to make sure the funds are really being used for that purpose. There are also married people in Canada, the United States or Spain who want to know if a spouse traveling to Cuba for business or tourism is also partaking in extramarital activity.

“There was a Canadian male who went to Cuba, sometimes without his wife,” said Alvarez, whose firm was hired by the man’s wife. “We watched him and saw that he spent a week in a hotel with two Cuban females. He had a very good week.”

Alvarez stresses that desperation among Cubans is at the core of many of the scams.

“It doesn’t mean the people who do this are bad,” he said. “They’re hungry, they might make $20 a month, and they do what they can to survive.”

Alvarez cautions people traveling to the Caribbean nation to use common sense.

“There are many people who have met people in Cuba, fallen in love, gotten married and are very happy,” he said. “But you have to be very careful – not just in Cuba, but anywhere. Be very careful about requests to send money. If you want to help someone, that’s fine, but sending $100 a month is more than enough for a decent life [in Cuba]. Sending $500 means that person lives like a queen or king.”

“Use due diligence,” he told FNL. “Always check people out.”

Source: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/lifestyle/2015/04/24/us-private-eye-helps-clients-figure-out-if-cuban-love-is-for-real/

Friday, April 24, 2015

History

Fifty years ago, on the 28th of April, the United States invaded the Dominican Republic. Coming ashore in Santo Domingo. Unfortunately, the U.S. has a habit of using its might for all the wrong reasons. In my opinion, this was again one of those times when they should have stayed home and minded their own business. They supposedly came to help restore democracy, but the real reason they came is because they were scared to death of having another Cuba off its shores.


Today, the the Dominican state has been commemorating those events.

The president and the first lady.

Tags: History

Friday, April 24, 2015

Beer

Presidente has a new beer. Same great taste, but now with 6% alcohol.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Nightlife

I have a friend visiting who is known to like a nice bar and have a drink or two, when on vacation. I keep telling him that during the week it is dead. With most places closing by 1 a.m. He then goes on the nightlife page and sees that I put up a listing for Pure Disco Club, which is located in the Sheraton Hotel on the malecon. Well, last night there was a nice crowd there, and they had a great bartender who makes a nice drink. It is NOT a gay club, but if you're looking for something to do and there are no other options, check them out.

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Smart

Congressman David Collado Morales submitted today to Congress a bill that has the return of the Tax on the Transfer of Industrialized Goods and Services (ITBIS) on purchases and consumption of processed products in the Dominican Republic.

The legislator said that more than a dozen countries in the world have a drawback of this type of tax to tourists, allowing to increase the purchasing power and increasing the consumption of visitors in stores and products made locally.

Purchases made must have a value greater than seventy and five US dollars.

Click here to read the full article (translated by Google).

This has to be one of the best ideas I have ever heard coming out of the Dominican congress. Now, if someone could see how lowering the taxes on airline tickets would significantly increase tourism to the country. That maybe asking for too much.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Thank God It's Friday

Tags: Men Photos
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About Me

Monaga

Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic

Former New Yorker (Harlem!) living in Santo Domingo since January 2004. The person I was when I arrived is a totally different person today. I still love living in the D.R. Even with all its obvious contradictions. This blog is where I write about things I find interesting with the gay community, news, gossip, culture, and of course, men. Strictly from my point-of-view.


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