Happening in Kansas City
Trending around OUTvoices
The cultural and commercial capital of the Southeast, Atlanta (www.atlanta.net) has rapidly become one of the nation’s true A-list gay destinations, with its hugely visible and dynamic GLBT scene and a wealth of accommodations, nightspots, restaurants and shops with strong ties to the community. Atlanta’s considerable sprawl and sometimes dizzyingly intense traffic can feel a little overwhelming at times, but if you venture away from the freeways and beyond the skyscrapers of downtown, you’ll discover a number of engaging, vibrant neighborhoods rife with gay-popular bars, restaurants, inns and boutiques. Here’s a look at some of the best Atlanta areas for exploring.
Inman Park and Little Five Points
2.5 miles east of downtown
Inman Park (http://www.inmanpark.org), which is considered to have been Atlanta’s first suburb, had become run-down and derelict before gay and African-American gentrification took hold in the early ‘80s, leading to the restoration of many of its elaborate Victorian houses. The mix of interesting architecture extends south to neighborhoods like Cabbagetown and Grant Park (http://grantpark.org), and the cool, eclectic shopping and dining pushes east into Little Five Points (http://littlefivepoints.net).
Highlights for hanging out and eating well in Inman Park include Shaun’s (http://www.shaunsrestaurant.com), a chic contemporary eatery known for stellar regional American cooking; and Wisteria (http://www.wisteria-atlanta.com), which presents a creative take on classic Southern fare — the fried chicken with bacon-braised collard green is among the best in the city. In the more dressed-down Little Five Points - where piercings and tattoos have been in style for years - check out famed emporia like kitschy Junkman’s Daughter and Psycho Sisters vintage clothing, before snacking on hefty burritos at El Myr (http://www.elmyr.com) or a spicy Cajun pie at Savage Pizza (http://savagepizza.com).
East Atlanta Village
3 miles southeast of downtown
One of the most diverse and independent-spirited enclaves in the city, East Atlanta Village (http://www.eastatlantavillage.net) is a great area for walking, with a number of decidedly offbeat, arty and affordable businesses and restaurants set along two main streets: Greenwood Avenue and Flat Shoals Avenue. Highlights include a pair of gay bars, the fun-loving and quirky lounge Mary’s (http://www.marysatlanta.com), and the friendly lesbian bar My Sisters Room (http://www.mysistersroom.com), which relocated here from Decatur a few years ago. Stop by Joe’s Coffee (http://www.eastatlantavillage.net/joes_coffee.phtml) for strong java and a chance to mingle with a cross-section of neighborhood locals.
2 miles east of downtown
Just beyond Piedmont Park and the heart of Midtown’s well-established gay scene, and with arguably the city’s best all-around window-shopping, Virginia-Highland (http://www.virginiahighland.com) has been a fashionable place to live and explore since the neighborhood was developed roughly a century ago.
Rather than possessing one definitive center, Virginia-Highland comprises several small but lively commercial hubs. At Amsterdam Walk you’ll find lively gay nightspots like Amsterdam sports bar (http://www.myspace.com/amsterdamatlanta) and Bellissima lesbian lounge (http://www.myspace.com/bellissima_lounge). Drive south along Highland Avenue through Morningside, and past the intersections of Amsterdam, Virginia, and Ponce de Leon and you’ll discover many more cool places to dine, drink, and shop. The old-school Majestic Diner (http://www.majesticdiner.com), whose neon sign proudly proclaims “food that pleases — since 1929”, can be counted on for late-night pancakes after the bars close — it’s a short drive from several gay clubs.
3 miles north of downtown
With its central location just off the interstate and skyline of modern apartment, office and hotel towers, Midtown may not leap out as a particularly notable neighborhood for walking around. Indeed, valet parking is commonplace at Midtown’s many fine eateries. But this is the heart of Atlanta’s GLBT community, and it’s unquestionably trendy and fun.
The neighborhood has a few cultural highlights, including the High Museum of Art and Margaret Mitchell House & Museum. And if the weather’s cooperating, do not miss the 15-acre Atlanta Botanical Garden, which adjoins leafy Piedmont Park (a favorite haunt of the city’s gay sun-worshipers and outdoorsy types). Here you’ll find one of the world’s most important displays of tropical orchids.
Midtown contains the lion’s share of Atlanta’s gay bars, including such popular haunts as Burkhart’s (www.burkharts.com) video bar; Bulldog’s, a one of the South’s GLBT African-American hangouts; and Blake’s on the Park (www.blakesontheparkatlanta.com), a classic bar with a young, pretty crowd. There’s also Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse (www.outwritebooks.com), the city’s highly successful source of GLBT books and literature that doubles as a cozy java joint.
Definitive gay brunch spots include festive Babs (www.babsmidtown.com); Einstein’s (www.einsteinsatlanta.com), also fun later in the evening for drinks or dinner, and the Flying Biscuit Midtown (www.flyingbiscuit.com), the original of which is in yet another cool part of town, Candler Park). Atlanta’s branch of the upscale chain Ra Sushi (www.rasushi.com) is spacious, trendy, and enjoyable both for colorful cocktails and tasty Japanese food, while Ecco (www.ecco-atlanta.com) is reliable for first-rate southern European cuisine, including a dazzling selection of cheeses and cured meats.
Other stylish and sophisticated dining options of note include One Midtown Kitchen (www.onemidtownkitchen.com), a bustling restaurant just northeast of Piedmont Park that serves some of the city’s most memorable regional American fare, and Pacci (http://pacciatlanta.com), which is set inside the hip Hotel Palomar and turns out sensational rustic Italian cuisine, including some of the best steaks in town.
3 miles northwest of downtown
Known variously as West Midtown and Home Park (www.homepark.org), the very eclectic neighborhood that broadly takes in Atlanta’s Westside is most interesting these days along Howell Mill Road, south for several blocks from about 14th Street. Large warehouses and shiny new structures contain condos, lofts, and a smattering of galleries and restaurants, some of them superb. This part of the neighborhood is known as the Westside Arts District (http://wadatlanta.org), and its culinary stars include Bacchnalia and its adjacent lunch room and gourmet-food shop Star Provisions (www.starprovisions.com), the see-and-be-seen contemporary American restaurant Bocado (www.bocadoatlanta.com), and the colorful coffeehouse Octane (www.octanecoffee.com).
1 mile west of downtown
Rapidly up-and-coming Castleberry Hill (www.castleberryhill.org) comprises a patch of handsome warehouses and industrial buildings that have been collectively rehabbed into a notable arts district. Along bustling Walker and Peter streets, you’ll find several provocative galleries. You might begin your explorations with lunch at the superb (and gay-owned) No Mas Cantina (www.nomascantina.com), a festive Mexican restaurant that serves tantalizingly good tortilla soup and fish tacos. It’s attached to a dramatic home-furnishings store filled with stunning, handcrafted furniture and decorative arts from Mexico.
6 miles northeast of Atlanta
An entirely separate city of about 20,000 that’s a 10 to 15-minute drive from Midtown, Decatur is far more than a mere Atlanta neighborhood. This liberal-leaning community with a vibrant downtown does in some ways feel like an extension of Atlanta’s GLBT scene. It’s home to the gay and lesbian nightclub Traxx (www.traxxatlanta.com) as well as the seminal mod-Southern-food restaurant Watershed (www.watershedrestaurant.com), which is owned by one-half of the Indigo Girls duo, Emily Saliers, and serves absolutely fantastic food. Don’t miss the Sunday brunch, which features creamy chicken hash, corn griddle cakes and poached eggs. Cafe Lily (www.cafelily.com), with its delicious pan-Mediterranean cuisine, is another great option for a meal.
Where to Stay in Atlanta
The Hotel Palomar (www.hotelpalomar-atlantamidtown.com) was opened by the favorite GLBT-friendly brand Kimpton in 2009 and has quickly become a favorite lodging choice for the design-minded, with its contemporary, understatedly elegant rooms. Try to get one facing south on a high floor, as views of the downtown skyline are impressive. It’s an easy walk from Piedmont Park, gay nightlife and Midtown museums, as is the cushy Four Seasons (www.fourseasons.com), a striking, 20-story hotel with a stunning 12,000-square-foot spa.
For a reasonably priced Midtown option that’s strong on personality and ambience, try the gay-popular Artmore Hotel (www.artmorehotel.com), which occupies a 1920s Spanish-Mediterranean-influenced building that’s just steps from the High Museum. Also well-priced and with a sleek, smart design, the whimsically decorated Hotel Indigo (www.hotelindigo.com) has artful rooms with Nantucket-inspired blue-and-white furniture. There’s also a 24-hour gym and a dapper little coffeehouse with comfy seating off the lobby.
In a city with relatively few historic inns, the gay-owned Gaslight Inn (www.gaslightinn.com) in Virginia-Highland stands out for its regal accommodations. In charming Inman Park, the King- King-Keith House B&B (www.kingkeith.com) occupies a dramatic 1890s “painted lady” Victorian with four period-style guest rooms plus a charming detached cottage. And just down the street from Piedmont Park and several gay bars and eateries, the eco-conscious and pet-friendly Stonehurst Place (www.stonehurstplace.com) is one of the city’s most romantic small inns. The five spacious suites are exquisitely decorated and contain such plush amenities as iPod docks, flat-screen TVs with DVD players, and — in the top suites — fireplaces, heated bathroom floors, and two-person walk-in showers and spa tubs.
Andrew Collins covers gay travel for the New York Times-owned website About.com and is the author of Fodor’s Gay Guide to the USA. He can be reached at OutofTown@qsyndicate.com.
After the last 2 years of dealing with the pandemic and packing on those COVID pounds here are some motivational quotes that can be the spark plugs to our wellness engines. You can have a full tank of gas, a clean carburetor, all the fluids topped off, and 300 horsepower of Detroit’s finest under the hood, but you’re going nowhere without that initial spark. In your quest for well-being, you need a catalyst to move you from idle to ideal. Here are some motivational jolts to inspire you to get your health and fitness vehicle moving.
Make time for exercise each dayPhoto by Victor Freitas on Unsplash
Thomas Paine said, “The harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” You will have conflicts with making time for exercise each day. The treadmill will conflict with your enjoyment of the living-room couch and its fluffy pillows. Your body will engage in conflict with dumbbells and exercise balls as it seeks better health. Embrace these conflicts with excitement, and walk through the smoke and fire. Triumph is waiting on the other side.
Marathon runnersPhoto by Miguel A. Amutio on Unsplash
John F. Kennedy said, “Things do not happen. Things are made to happen.” The firefighter’s 55-pound weight loss did not just happen one day on a call. The computer programmer’s success in the Chicago Marathon did not just happen on a Sunday in October. The 4th grade teacher’s significant drop in cholesterol level did not just happen the day before spring break. These people made things happen…and it took time.
Ralph Marston of The Daily Motivator website, wrote, “What you do today can improve all your tomorrows.” Let today be the first day in 28 years without a cigarette. Stay an extra five minutes on the recumbent bike at the gym today. Start training today for the three-day breast cancer walk that is scheduled for the fall. Tomorrow is always waiting to see what you put in your piggy bank today. Invest wisely and watch the dividends grow.
Full MoonPhoto by CHUTTERSNAP on Unsplash
Jill McLemore once said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you will land amongst the stars.” Set that goal to trim 75 pounds from your body. Only losing 42 pounds puts you way out there with the North Star. Aim to run 750 miles this year. Coming up 68 miles short will still put you past that former planet Pluto and on your way to the Orion constellation. Dropping eight waist sizes by Christmas instead of the projected 10 will let you glow with the luminescence of several brilliant wonders in the sky. By the way, I think there’s a full moon tonight!
Zig Ziglar stated, “You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great.” Tom Cruise was another aspiring pretty face in Hollywood about 30 years ago before starting to audition for parts in TV shows. Jared Fogle was a morbidly obese college student at Indiana University in the 1990s before beginning his Subway diet. Mark Zuckerberg was just another starry-eyed Ivy Leaguer until he began to implement a social network idea. They all have that common bond: They started something.
These motivational quotes should help get your wellness engine running and once your car is started there’s no telling where your health and fitness can go. Don't forget to end me a postcard when you get there!
This health and fitness article is brought to you by that guy who’s sneaky like a black hole and bright like a nebula. My name is Ron Blake and I can be found playing with my telescope at email@example.com.
Curative has announced that it is currently providing COVID-19 no-cost testing in your area at Metropolitan Community College.
Stay safe and get tested!
You can schedule COVID-19 Test at curative.com, and receive results in 24-48 hours.
Curative is the leading provider of COVID-19 testing in the United States. Curative’s mission is to end the COVID-19 pandemic by providing simple-to-use and painless testing at scale to produce reliable data for patients and health officials. We know that broad access to testing, robust contact tracing, and a vaccine are necessary to end the pandemic.
Is there any cost?
Regarding the tests, there is no out of pocket cost to the individual. Through the CARES act, all individuals with health insurance will be covered for a COVID-19 test. No one is ever charged a copay or deductible.
For uninsured individuals, they are covered under the HRSA fund under the CARES act. Curative will never send a bill to any individual getting a COVID-19 test through any of our testing sites.
How soon do I get the results?
Curative provides results within 24 hours of arrival at our lab (if not sooner). We pride ourselves on our ability to distribute tests rapidly, test patients easily, and send them their results quickly. Other highlights include:
· Non-invasive cheek swab (video) that is more accurate (~90%) than a nasopharyngeal test (~80%)
· Can be self-collected under supervision by lightly-trained individuals (so no onsite medical professional required)
· Results within 24 hours of receipt at our lab
· Lab capacity to process tens of thousands of additional tests
· Manufacturing capacity to meet any order size
· Minimal PPE requirement due to the test’s self-collected method
Please visit curative.com to schedule your no-cost appointment TODAY at a site nearest to you. Together we can end this pandemic!
Curative believes that communal well-being is fundamental to individual health.
Curative is building infrastructure to make essential health services easier to access for everyone. Their infrastructure is designed to change as the world does—offering nearby access, affordable services, and science-based guidance.
Their efforts are supported by the optimism and ambition we share with communities across the US, and together we’re imagining new ways to help more people stay safe, healthy, and informed wherever they are.
“I wish I could work out, too, but I just don’t have the motivation!”
Give me a dollar for every time I’ve heard that and I’d be in Cabo San Lucas with an umbrella drink right now. Let’s identify a few of your motivations to get you on the right path. They are there … you just need to realize them so you can make it a great 2022.
How about getting healthy so you can be at that Christmas celebration in 30 years with all the family gathered around and exchanging presents? There will be nieces, nephews, brothers, sisters, children and maybe some grandchildren, all enjoying the sounds and sights of the season. That would be amazing!
How about being healthy so you can watch the first man land on Mars in 2030? You hear all the talk about preparing for a mission to Mars, but it will be a long time in coming. Just think if you were alive and well to see it happen!
How about being healthy so you can attend that 60-year class reunion? It might even be nice to walk into the function with a spring in your step and a glow of health about you! Many of your classmates will have walked past St. Peter and those pearly gates by that time, but you can give yourself a chance to stay here with some proactive measures.
How about being healthy so you can spend more time being relaxed and retired? It would be awesome to just not have to do anything you didn’t want to do! Get up every day and use that watch they gave you as a fashion accessory only. With a healthy body, you can spend ample time in the lap of leisure well into your 90s.
How about being healthy so you can walk your dog with your grandkids or great-nephews after that Thanksgiving meal many years down the road? It will be so cool to have that turkey dinner with all the relatives, but it’ll be even more fun to be able to move around without having to catch your breath between steps.
How about being healthy so you can continue to enjoy vibrant sunsets, thrilling football games, colorful leaves in the fall, summer barbecues, or birthday cards in the mail?
Everyone can find the motivation to work out! You just have to identify which motivation will get you to your starting line each day and which will help you get to your daily finish line.
There are plenty of great things to enjoy in life. Find your motivation and start earning your frequent flyer miles for your healthy life. Then soar into the future with excitement about what will be!
This article of motivation is brought to you by a guy who knows a good thing when he sees it. That guy of good vision is Ron Blake, and he can be spotted on that bright horizon at firstname.lastname@example.org.