Been lazy about posting. The weather has been cloudy with off and on rain showers. But compared to winter weather in many parts of the world right now, I guess we can't complain. Going to the mall now to run some errands, and then out to dinner tonight. Will snap some photos. Have some great friends arriving tomorrow, so I am hoping to convince them on taking a road trip. I have a special friend to visit. ;)
Was walking around the colonial zone today and saw that there were a couple of projects nearing completion. The one above (click here for information) is a grand, and will be interesting to see it once it is complete.
And then, there is another place (below) that has a sign up and once finished will be called Billini Hotel. Just looking at the floors and workmanship, it is going to be very nice. Now, if they could just do something about the rest of the colonial zone.
Another thing from the U.S. is rubbing off on the Dominicans. There are now 'Black Friday' sales in the D.R. But they are not the type where you can get a flat-screen television for $99 dollars. This is the first time I have seen it at this level. There are entire malls who have gotten in on the hoopla. The retail sectors complains about how people are not shopping. Well, if the prices were reasonable and they had actual sales and deals, more people would shop. Here's hoping.
The latest part of the highway going to the east of the country, from Santo Domingo, is opening on Wednesday. Just a couple of years ago it took almost 4 hours to drive from Santo Domingo to Punta Cana. With the opening of this new section of highway, it will shorten the time to less than two hours. A new toll of 100 pesos will be added. But when reducing two hours of driving (and gasoline) it is well worth it.
And the new United States ambassador released a video introducing himself, AND his spouse, to the Dominican People. I.LOVE.IT!
The new Boys Bar is open on the first floor at the Adam Suites Hotel. The clothing store has been changed into a small bar for hotel clients, or anyone who wants to stop by and have a drink. There are 2x1 drink specials everyday. Stop by and check it out.
Yesterday the United States Senate unanimously confirmed HRC board member James “Wally” Brewster, Jr. to be Ambassador to the Dominican Republic.
When nominated for the ambassadorship, Wally Brewster served as Senior Executive for SB&K Global, a global consumer dynamics strategy consulting firm, where he worked with clients on global expansion and growth. Through his professional and personal activities, he has shown an unparalleled commitment to human rights and democracy around the world.
Prior to this year, three openly gay people had served as U.S. Ambassadors (Jim Hormel, Michael Guest and David Huebner). Just this year, five openly gay people have been confirmed as Ambassadors (Brewster, along with John Berry in Australia, James Costos in Spain, Rufus Gifford in Denmark, and Daniel Baer as ambassador to the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe).
It is a testament to President Obama and the U.S. Senate that the sexual orientation of these ambassadors is irrelevant to their qualifications for their posts. All Americans should be proud to have these fine public servants representing the interests of the United States.
Casas del XVI, a new luxury experience in a collection of restored colonial homes right in the heart of historic Ciudad Colonial, Santo Domingo.
Opening in March 2014, Casas del XVI will offer guests a unique perspective on the rich 500-year cultural history of the first city of the New World. With a number of accolades such as the first cathedral, hospital and university in the Americas, Ciudad Colonial can now boast a hotel experience that can match its stature and heritage.
We have ignored convention and created something surprising and original. Capitalizing on the inherited elegance of the striking colonial architecture, we have painstakingly restored three sixteenth-century homes, giving each a contemporary twist with the addition of local art and fittings. The stylish interiors are designed to allow our guests to reach effortlessly into the past yet enjoy the latest comforts of today. Our passion is to deliver a quality that reflects and even redefines the surrounding neighborhood.
Each home has retained its individual character and personality which we have enhanced by adding special features that will make the experience feel like home, such as outdoor swimming pools, outdoor dining areas, library and cigar room. Each of these special features has been located in the most appropriate house based on a desire to retain their original floor plans.
To ensure the highest service standards each house will have its own butler. From preparing breakfast, organizing a day of sightseeing or finding that special gift, they see it as their role to make our guests’ stay both wonderfully memorable and completely relaxed. The only decision to make is how to explore and enjoy the locality, day or night.
Casas del XVI will offer an intimate experience that cannot be duplicated - as unique and interesting as the city that surrounds it. If you would like to know more or be kept informed of our journey to the opening in March please let us know using the form below. In the meantime happy travelling and we look forward to seeing you in the near future.
Visitors to Santo Domingo will be able to visit the city’s main attractions aboard a famous Gray Line tour bus. This international company is currently operating in 700 destinations, bringing with its rock-solid reputation for providing excellent tourism services.
The Dominican capital will be the first Caribbean destination to offer Gray Line sightseeing tour buses. The tours are scheduled to begin on November 1.
The tour will include visits to the Spanish Plaza and the city’s historic Colonial Section. Also, Santo Domingo’s beautiful seaside boulevard, the Palace of Fine Arts and the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, the first university in the New World.
The tour will also take the visitor to some of Santo Domingo’s modern and trendy shopping malls, such as Blue Mall – which features high-end boutiques and international chain stores – the Botanical Garden, the Quisqueya Stadium, the city’s largest sports arena, the Olympic Stadium, the “Plaza de la Cultura” and the National Palace.
Also included in the tour: Independence Park where the country’s forefathers are buried, the city’s marketplace (the Mercado Modelo), the Cathedral of the Americas, the first built in the Americas, and the Colonial Section’s most important shopping street, El Conde, as well as the Ozama Fortress.
The two-hour tour will begin at the Cathedral of the America, situated in the very heart of the Colonial Section.
For more information on the city tour, please visit http://graylinedr.com/. Tickets will be available in local hotels and travel agencies.
Gray Line Dominican Republic, affiliated to the Gray Line Worldwide, a company that runs over 400 double-decker buses that also offer city tours in New York City, Paris, Madrid, London, Rome, Barcelona, Lisbon, and Las Vegas, to name just a few of the cities where the company operates.
Gray Line Dominican Republic will operate three 19-passenger vehicles, and will run every 30 minutes covering 40 kilometers. Passengers will receive audio information, or multilingual tour guides.
The iconic Santo Domingo hotel, Hotel Jaragua, is closing next April, for a 40 million dolar one-year renovation. It will re-open in 2015. And it is overdue. The casino underwent a nice renovation, but the hotel was worn down, and the public areas are in serious need of some updating.
This is a video about two great people, Lewis Duckett & Dr. Billy Jones. They have been together for 46 years, and now they have gotten married legally in New York. Not only is Dr. Billy Jones a well-respected psychiatrist, but he has been on the front lines of the fight for LGBT equality for many decades. His professional accomplishments are too numerous to mention. Both Billy and Lewis have always been extremely kind to me. Just want to add my congratulations!
Justin Bieber arrived today for his concert on Tuesday, at the Olympic Stadium. Next week Rihanna and Snoop Dogg will be performing in Punta Cana. Many more A-list musicians are putting the D.R., and its money, on their performing lists.
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.