Hours: 7am – 4pm
Wednesday, May 25, 2016
If you need a reliable driver on your next trip to the Dominican Republic, lookup Jose Ramon. He speaks several languages, and is honest and trustworthy.
Tuesday, May 17, 2016
History has been made. There is now an openly gay deputy in the congress of the Dominican Republic. The times really are changing. Congratulations to Deivis Ventura!
Thursday, May 12, 2016
It's that time of year again. Election rally today. And that means that I have to leave my home because the noise is soooooo fucking incredibly loud. It is so loud that the glasses in the cabinet are vibrating. For the last few weeks, the weather has been crazy. It has been raining a lot. Especially over the last couple of days. I mean sky-opening rain. I wish it would rain now! Thank God the election is on Sunday.
Thursday, May 05, 2016
For the last several weeks the weather has been overcast, and ranging between cool and humid. I've been walking around and looking at some of the new buildings and spaces. A lot of buildings have been renovated in the zone, or at least the facades have. This one above has always peaked my interest. I would always pass it, and comment on what a beautiful job that was done with with the restoration. And then I find out it is a museum. It is owned by a local Dominican artist, who lives in Jarabacoa. And the museum is dedicated to his art.
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
A local desingn store where you can find things to purchase from local artisans. From fashion, jewelry and art. They have events where you can meet local artists. They also have live music. Very bohemian/artistic vibe with a creative clientele. If you're looking for a unique gift, this is the place to check out.
Monday, April 25, 2016
Mercado Colón calls themselves a fusion restaurant. I see it more as a tapas restaurant. Can be pretty busy on the weekends, but very nice during the week. Have only had the pizza and the sliders, and it was very good. Offers a really great wine selection. Here is their menu: http://www.menu.com.do/#!/n/mercado_colon/
Sunday, April 24, 2016
Friday, April 22, 2016
I have been meaning to write about this for a long time. Deivis Ventura, is the first openly gay candidate for congress in the Dominican Republic. There is also an openly gay candidate for mayor of La Romana.
42-year-old Deivis Ventura is the first openly gay man running for a seat as a diputado, or representative in the Dominican Republic's equivalent of the House of Representatives. His candidacy comes with the support of Ciudadanos Más, an initiative to position leaders from traditionally excluded minorities in the political field.
Ventura says he suffered bullying in school and was also fired for being gay. He can relate to the initial distrust of many Dominicans in his circle who felt alienated from the political process, but he believes that only through participation can true changes come to the country. Although he faced rejection when he came out, his family now stands beside him and is supporting his campaign.
"I've traveled a long path that has brought me to affirm and love myself fully as I am: a black man, a gay man, a son of a poor family, a person of deep faith and above all a being who believes that a better world is possible when the basis for peaceful co-existence is built on the premise of respecting differences and accepting human diversity."
According to Hope Will Prevail Advancing the Human Rights of LGBT People in the Dominican Republic, a report that Human Rights First released last year on the state of LGBT rights in the Dominican Republic,
"LGBT Dominicans face a range of human rights concerns including violence, discrimination, hate crimes, lack of access to justice, impunity for perpetrators, and societal homophobia and transphobia."
The report goes on to detail some of the challenges which include reports of police harassment and complicity with violence, lack of anti-discrimination laws and some outspoken religious leaders that regularly make homophobic comments.
The hopeful tone of the report is based on the activists working for change in the country (Ventura is a member of REVASA, a network of gay and lesbian activists. They have a sister organization called TRANSSA for trans women and men. These are two of the groups active amongst others). Ventura says the press has been respectful in covering his candidacy, and the opposition comes mostly from people from the conservative religious groups.
Throughout the region both in the US and internationally LGBT candidates have sought to address issues of equality by running for the chance to make the laws themselves. There have been victories in Peru, Colombia and most recently Venezuela in the past. In May we will be able to report whether we can add Ventura to the list of successful LGBT candidates.
Ventura champions the environment, poor workers, and women. He hopes to pass a gender identity law, a non-discrimination law and a hate crimes law amongst other priorities.
Friday, April 15, 2016
Monday, April 11, 2016
Several new places have opened in the colonial zone. The biggest just had their grand-opening. It is called Buche' Perico, and is owned by the people behind El Conuco. It is on El Conde, down the street from Denny's and across from SegaZona Cafe. It had a soft-opening for the last couple of weeks. And I stopped by to have a look-see. The space is absolutely amazing. They have been renovating this building for the last 9 months, and I have to say they have done a spectacular job. It is really beautiful. Don't know about the food as yet. When I stopped by, they just had a buffet setup for lunch. But if the food at El Conuco is any guide, it should be very good.
Will put up some of the other places soon.
Friday, April 08, 2016
I have been lazy lately about posting. And soooo much is going on. For the longest I have been complaining about the state of affairs in the colonial zone. Well, I am starting to think that things may be looking up. And being a die-hard pessimistic New Yorker, that's saying something. I'm starting to see some signs of progress. And there are definitely people who are putting their money into projects who obviously have some faith. So many new restaurants have opened lately in the colonial zone. Along with some new galleries and other little out of the way spots. And another luxury hotel is near completion. That's not to say there aren't still problems. Many of the commercial spaces on El Conde are vacant. And at night most of the side streets are dark. But many building facades are being rehabbed. And it helps the area take on a new "shine." So I'm a hopefully optimistic.
This past weekend I checked out the gay nightlife in the colonial zone. It's been about 6 months since I went to the Fogoo/G Lounge. Started off the night by having a drink (or I should say a couple of drinks) at Esedeku. And fell in love with their Sangria (good and strong!) and the doorman!. Then went over to Fogoo/G Lounge. And it's me, I'm old. The music is too loud and I don't like the hookah smoke. But honestly, I could put up with all that if there was some beautiful MASCULINE men about. Nothing wrong with drag queens, or skinny feminine gay men who appear to be in half-drag. They just don't entice me to want to come out. But as I was reminded, the music has ALWAYS been loud, and they used to smoke cigarettes in the clubs. And that's true. I just know where to go now to see beautiful men. I just wish it were in a gay setting.
Promise to post again tonight or tomorrow with some of the new stuff happening in the zone.
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Nineteen families were forcibly removed from their homes in the colonial zone. The space in question is across the street from the Hodelpa Caribe Colonial. According to news reports, the property is owned by the owner of the Hodelpa hotel chain. And they want it back. As can be imagined. The evictions did not go well.
Wednesday, March 09, 2016
The last couple of days have not been too good for James “Wally” Brewster, the U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic. He visited a school last week with his husband. And the uproar has been loud and furious. And today, the president of the teachers association came out and said the Ministry of Education should forbid the ambassador from visiting schools with his husband. And the conservative and religious leaders are continuing the onslaught. There is now a petition asking the White House/President Obama to remove the ambassador. You can read it here: https://petitions.whitehouse.gov//petition/remove-ambassador-usa-dominican-republic-promoting-lgbt-agenda-inconsistent-countrys-values-1.
The ambassador was also at the launching of the new LGBT Chamber of Commerce, here in Santo Domingo a few days ago. Coupled with the visit to the school with his husband, well, to say that he has worn out his welcome would be putting it mildly. Many in the gay community here are speaking out in support of the ambassador. A counter petition has been launched at the White House website (see below). You can click on the photo below to sign.
Friday, March 04, 2016
Gay Bar in Punta Cana
Mares Punta Cana Lounge Club Bar
Avenida Alemania, Plaza Nautico
El Cortecito, Bavaro/Punta Cana
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.