David's Thoughts

by David Placher

Friday, October 13, 2017

Tokyo • Asia’s Hub

World’s largest metro area dazzles with calm efficiency

Traveling to Tokyo, Japan, is exhausting, but exciting. Depending on the airline, you can expect to spend at least 15 hours on a plane. When I travel abroad, I usual go with one of my best friends, who lives in New York City. For this trip, I travelled from Baltimore to New York City by Amtrak and then flew on Korea Air from New York to Seoul, South Korea, and then on to Tokyo, Japan. A total of 17 hours in the air. The round-trip ticket was around $1,400. Tokyo is 11 hours ahead of Baltimore and you can expect jet lag. Many people in Tokyo do not speak English, but many do understand it a little.

Friday, September 01, 2017

Chicago • Prarie Brash

Traveling to Chicago for a weekend trip is easy and affordable. Spirit, United, and Southwest airlines offer round-trip tickets from Baltimore to Chicago starting at $140 if your timing is right. Chicago has two airports and both offer public transport to downtown. Chicago is the third-most populous city in the US and a major business center. Its famous nickname “Windy City” comes from the frigid breezes that blow off Lake Michigan and go through the city’s streets – though some say the moniker references Chicago politicians, deemed to be “full of hot air.” Famous landmarks include the Millennium Park, Grant Park (where former President Obama gave his acceptance speech on November 4th, 2008), Navy Pier, the Willis (Sears) Tower, the Magnificent Mile, and the Art Institute of Chicago. Chicago is popular for its history, its city planning and development, and its cultural diversity – of which the city’s large gay community is a glittering jewel.

The 2016 Pulse massacre reverberates still through Orlando city politics. Councilwoman Patty Sheehan, whose district includes Pulse, talks with Baltimore OUTloud

On June 12th, 2016, a deranged gunman killed 49 people and injured 53 at Pulse, a gay bar and dance club in Orlando. “Some families lost their only child and another family lost a mother. So much pain,” said Commissioner Patty Sheehan, Orlando City Councilwoman who represents the district where Pulse was located and is herself a member of the LGBT community. “It was a hate crime against the LGBTQ people.”

Friday, August 04, 2017

Orlando • The Dark of the Sun

From 1828 to 1987, the Baltimore and Ohio railroad, commonly referred to as the B&O, was the first common carrier railroad. Today, “B&O” should mean the Baltimore-to-Orlando flight path. With several daily roundtrip flights, the convenience of sun and fun is only a couple hours away from Charm City. JetBlue, Southwest, and Spirit airlines often offer specials, as low as $140 round-trip. Orlando is nicknamed “The City Beautiful” and its symbol is the fountain at Lake Eola. It is known for its theme parks – which attracted 68 million visitors in 2016. It is also known for being very friendly to the LGBT community, offering several LGBT nightclubs and social events. But as we all remember, it’s not always sunny in Orlando.

Friday, July 07, 2017

Tampa’ll Tempt’ya

Florida with a cool, crisp edge.

The Tampa Bay Area sits on the west coast of Florida, including Hillsborough and Pinellas counties and the cities of Tampa, Saint Petersburg, and Clearwater. Its population is over three million and continues to grow. Spirit, JetBlue, Delta, Southwest, and other airlines offer nonstop service for the two-hour flight, with competitive prices. The sunny and warm city of Tampa has a beautiful downtown that’s filled with hotels, high-rises, and historic old quarters, such as Ybor City and Old Hyde Park. Check out the famous tourist attractions – and of course its thriving gay scene.


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