Archive | July, 2008

Newburgh, NY

20 Jul

Sunday morning in lovely Newburgh, day five of a suffocating heat wave. We drove here yesterday for Frank to visit the director of programming at K104. Nice guy. We had lunch on the waterfront, which is pretty much the happening area in Newburgh. It has several decent restaurants, a wine shop, and a floating bar for the local-band crowd. There’s also currently a revival going on downtown (not the happening area) and we saw groups of revival goers on several street corners holding up large signs calling us to Jesus.
We’re right across the river from Beacon, known for the Dia Museum – if you like your art large, that’s the place for you. Giant installations, lots of metal and cable. Sadly, the local travel guide lists several historic towns and villages but not Newburgh.
We stayed at the Days Inn. I’m not going to be kind. This chain barely qualifies as a hotel. It’s more of a motel (a word you don’t hear much anymore). There’s some kind of kids tournament or event going on somewhere nearby and this hotel is full of kids with parents who don’t think anything of letting them play soccer in the hallway. The room is tiny. Basically one step above an Econolodge. I reminded Frank that my favorite place to stay is the fabulous Hampton Inn. We’ve been in several, including the one in South Bend, and they’re terrific. Nice rooms, nice staff, coffee 24/7 in the lobby, a substantial breakfast. For a slightly higher room rate, I’d say always go for the Hampton. We drove past the local one last night on the way to dinner and I yearned to pull in.
Speaking of dinner, we ate at a place called Yobo, which interestingly advertises itself as an ‘Oriental restaurant’ serving food from Japan, China, Korea and . . . Indonesia. The kind of place I would normally assume wasn’t good because they can’t make up their mind, but it was fine. Packed. Tastey.
So if you’re in the area to visit one of the places that is in the travel guide, stop at Newburgh, check out the waterfront, don’t stay at the Days Inn.

Rockcliffe Episode to Air on HGTV

14 Jul

It’s official. The HGTV episode of If Walls Could Talk featuring my Missouri home, Rockcliffe Mansion, will air on Monday, July 14th, at 430PM CST (that’s for most of us). It will air at 530PM ET or PT as well. It reairs at 4PM CST and 5PM ET or PT on September 17th. The producers moved it to July because they claim it is one of the best episodes of the season.

Thanks to many of you for following the saga of when it will finally air. I hope this gives you enough time to TiVO or DVR it. I realize many of you will get this on Monday morning, so please head home at lunch and TiVO or call someone.

Here’s the website to Rockcliffe. Come visit sometime (I will get you a discount!). Enjoy!

– Rick Rose
Rockcliffe Mansion

In a Place Like This We Are the Gay Community

7 Jul

Frank and I drove to Shipshewana yesterday, in ‘the heart of Indiana’s Amish country.’ I like it, lots of shops, country kitsch and old people.

It’s sort of a Midwest version of New Hope, without homosexuals. It was noticeable to me, being one of two gay men there yesterday, that we are not everywhere, and the notion that we are is wishful thinking.

Nonetheless, if you’re in this area, check it out. I got some nice gifts for my sisters and my dad, and a few pictures I’ll put up when we’re back.

And there do appear to be gay Amish. This one’s either 89 years old or dead. Google doesn’t turn up much of substance, but I tried. It’s something I always ask in new experiences – ‘Are there any gay Amish? Are there any gay Jehovah’s Witnesses (yes)?’

One of these days I’m going to write a column for LGBT travelers that goes to places like Shipshewana and Mishawaka and Natchez and never, not once, uses the word ‘queer.’

UPDATE: It’s done! Welcome to my landscape!

Gay South Bend

7 Jul

It finally occurred to me that there might be gay people in South Bend, so I found a couple sites, here, here and here.

I haven’t lived in this area since 1977. I was out in high school, an experience unpleasant to say the least, but it toughened me up. Slowly over the years groups formed, organizations, social clubs and, since the white settlers first chased the Indians off the land, local parks for the cruise-oriented.

Times have changed. I noticed a decade ago that the local Barnes & Noble had a gay and lesbian section. And with the internet, well, the Michiana LGBT presence has practically exploded. But over the years when I’ve sent the very occasional email to someone in South Bend or Elkhart, found on some dating site I no longer visit, they never wrote back. What’s that about? We should stand in solidarity, Hoosiers past and present who, no matter how distant from this place our lives take us, remain with a bit of Indiana imbedded in us like a curious piece of glass.

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