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New York Welcomes Families this Summer for WorldPride NYC 2019

New York Welcomes Families this Summer for WorldPride NYC 2019

It’s only fitting that the site of the very first Pride Parade become the host city of WorldPride 2019, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall Riots in New York City. To celebrate this historic event and many other advancements in the LGBTQ community, the entire State of New York will be getting into the act. Millions of people from around the world are expected to attend WorldPride NYC. In typical Big Apple style, there will be plenty of family activities at WorldPride NYC.

Fifty years ago, a small group of LGBTQ leaders refused to back down in the face of discrimination taking place at the Stonewall Inn in New York City. This pivotal moment sparked an uprising that grew into the modern LGBTQ civil rights movement. The Stonewall Riots are remembered in NYC each year with an annual New York Pride March. A global symbol of equal rights, New York Pride is now colorfully celebrated with Pride Marches in every major city around the world.

Rainbow balloon arches welcome revelers at the NYC Pride March (Photo by Hunter Abrams)

Family Activities at WorldPride NYC

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, I attended the San Francisco Pride Parade many (MANY) times. With feelings of true pride, happiness for all we had gained and sadness for those friends lost. I waved my rainbow flag like the best of them.

Now with kids of our own, we’ve taken our family to San Diego Pride events a number of times. We love the pageantry of it all! I wonder what our kids would think of the fun family activities at WorldPride NYC?

I LOVE NY is organizing Pride Celebrations at destinations throughout the Empire State. I’m sure Sophia and Ava would enjoy participating in all of them.

kids at New York Pride March with rainbow flags

Kids and families get into the action at the NYC Pride March. (Photo by Christopher Gagliardi )

New York City

In New York City, the NYC Pride March takes place in Sunday, June 30 at noon. This is always a festive and celebratory event, drawing a mix of people from all walks of life to the world’s largest LGBTQ pride march. Rainbows and smiles abound, while paying honor and respect to our lives and our community in ways big and small.

rainbow flags parade route NYC Pride March

Rainbow flags line the parade route at the NYC Pride March. (Photo by Hunter Abrams)


“Sing Out, New York!” – May 28 – June 2 and June 6 – 9

The Albany Symphony will present “Sing Out, New York!”; a major national music festival and regional tour of free, outdoor concerts celebrating equal rights.

  • The five-day American Music Festival, scheduled for May 28-June 2 in Troy, will feature performances by David Del Tredici’s Pop-Pourri, as well as John Corigliano’s Symphony No. 1, “Of Rage and Remembrance,” a tribute to those lost to AIDS. Both Del Tredici and Corigliano are fierce advocates for gay rights as well as renowned composers.
  • A regional tour of free, outdoor concerts from June 6-9 will highlight events like the Stonewall uprising, World Pride 2019 and the women’s suffrage movement, showcasing New York State’s role in social justice movements. Several works will premiere at “Sing Out, New York!” including a piece by composer Viet Cuong inspired by events between the 1969 Stonewall uprising and the first Gay Pride march in New York City in 1970.
parade float NYC Pride March

Colorful parade floats, dancing boys, drag queens and dykes on bikes mingle at NYC Pride. (Photo by Zach Hilty of BFA)

Long Island

Pride on the Beach – June 21-23

  • Long Island, birthplace of Harvey Milk, will kick off New York’s Pride celebrations with Pride on the Beach. During the three-day destination weekend, more than 30,000 people will flock to Long Beach for 30+ LGBTQ events, including the festival’s 29th annual Pride Parade, the second annual Pet Pride Parade in collaboration with Animal Planet, concerts and parties.
girl with rainbow flag at PrideFest NYC

The celebration at PrideFest in NYC is full of love and rainbows. (Photo by BFA Collins Nai)

Pride on the Vines – June 25

  • Visitors to Long Island can head straight from the beach to the vineyard for Pride on the Vines. This day-long event on theNorth Fork’s picturesque wine country will include tours, tastings, receptions and parties.


Chautauqua Institution’s Conversation with Bishop Gene Robinson – July 2

  • Bishop Gene Robinson will lead a discussion about the building of America’s LGBTQ community through major events including Stonewall, the AIDS crisis and marriage equality. Robinson is the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop and Vice President of Religion at the Chautauqua Institution. The discussion, paired with a reception hosted by Chautauqua’s LGBTQ community organization, will be part of a weeklong program examining “Uncommon Ground: Communities Working Toward Solutions.”
fireworks Niagara Falls New York

The beauty of Niagara Falls is illuminated by colorful lights and the sparkle of fireworks.

Niagara Falls

Pride at the Falls – July 5

  • Celebrate WorldPride and Stonewall 50 at a natural wonder: Niagara Falls, America’s oldest state park. Pride at the Falls features a free concert by the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, along with fireworks and the Falls lit in rainbow colors.
women kissing Niagara Falls

True love in the mist at Niagara Falls.

Many other Pride events and celebrations are currently being planned at numerous LGBTQ-friendly locations across the State of New York. Events are planned in Buffalo, Fire Island, the Adirondacks, the Finger Lakes, Hudson Valley and more.

And the Bailey-Klugh Family will be celebrating there too! More on that soon….

festive man in NYC Pride Parade

Everything and everyone is just more festive at NYC Pride. (Photo by Hunter Abrams)





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8 Great Places to Eat Within Walking Distance of Midtown Manhattan

8 Great Places to Eat Within Walking Distance of Midtown Manhattan

If you travel to New York City on business like I do, you may often find yourself staying at a hotel in Midtown somewhere near Times Square. It’s happened to me more than a few times, and I’ve identified 8  great places to eat within walking distance of Midtown Manhattan that are delicious and fun. Depending on your mood, you may want to take in more than one of these drinking and dining establishments.

Recently from my hotel room at The Royalton on 44th between Fifth and Sixth, I walked just a few New York blocks to the amazing places I am sharing with you here.

8 Great Places to Eat Within Walking Distance of Midtown Manhattan

  1. Lambs Club – The Lambs Club is a great little jewel box for lunch, with some captains of industry and celeb sightings occasionally. I like it because it’s tucked away inside the luxurious Chatwal Hotel, and very private. In the evenings, the bar GOES OFF. There is often a jazz trio with a singer showcasing some of the old standards, and they make a mean dry-Belvedere-martini-up-shaken-not-stirred-with-two-olives.

    The bar at the Lambs Club on 44th and 7th is so much fun!

  2. Milos – Milos New York served up the best Greek meal I have had outside of Greece. With multiple locations around the world, Estiatorio Milos was founded by acclaimed chef Costas Spiliadis. The whole fish are flown in fresh from the Mediterranean seas, and tasted out of this world. Great decor, great vibe, great service – love love love this place.

    Milo’s featured freshly caught fish that had been flown in from Greece earlier that day.

  3. Shake Shack – I know, but it’s always soooooo good and sometimes you just need a quick burger for lunch between meetings. We got ours to go, and took our Shake Shack bags filled with fries to the hotel lobby and chowed down on delicious greasy hangover-curing burgers and vanilla shakes. Delicious and so bad it’s good.

    Sometimes you just need a good burger, and Shake Shack never disappoints.

  4. STK – If you like a good steak dinner with a hip factor, then STK is a great choice in Midtown. The interior booms with the beat of house music, celebrations are running high and the energy is fierce. Definitely a place to dress for the see-and-be-scene crowd, and the food is really delicious. The menu was so enticing, we ordered way too much and practically rolled out of there and on to the sidewalk.
  5. Michael Jordan’s The Steakhouse NYC – The namesake basketball icon has a pretty fine restaurant on the mezzanine level of Grand Central Station. I like to sit at the bar at Michael Jordan’s The Steakhouse for drinks before heading elsewhere for dinner, because the people watching is top level. And you are sitting amid understated elegance inside Grand Central Station! How many movies have been shot in this place, lovers reunited, careerists rushing to get to the office or back home to their cozy houses in Connecticut.
  6. Joe’s Shanghai – Ok this place is the best thing ever, although from the street it doesn’t look like much. Don’t worry, the food is crazy good. Dim sum is the specialty at Joe’s Shanghai, and they are known for their soup dumplings – little pods of goodness served on a spoon with insides filled with delicious soup. You bite a corner and slurp the soup first, then eat the dumpling. It’s making me crave them just writing this.

    The menu at Joe’s Shanghai is impressive, but you can always let the chef choose!

  7. Algonquin Hotel – The famous Algonquin Hotel is quintessential New York, and original home to a literary crowd including the likes of Dorothy Parker, Franklin Adams, Robert Benchley, George Kaufman and Edna Ferber to name a few. Much of the original New York charm is intact, and it’s a lovely place to order a Manhattan and sit in clubby chairs imagining yourself back in the 1920s.
    bar at Algonquin Hotel

    Sitting in the lobby bar at The Algonquin Hotel, having a Manhattan in Manhattan.

  8. Secret Burger Joint – Located behind a thick curtain inside the lobby of the Parker Meridien Hotel, the Burger Joint is a no-frills, cash-only respite in a sea of expensive meals and high fashion. The cheese burgers and fries are the perfect late night snack after the theater (or really at any time). Expect to wait on line a bit, but the food is definitely worth it. You could be sitting next to a woman in full-length fur and across from a construction worker on his break from the site. Local color!

And the best thing about all these 8 great places to eat within walking distance of Midtown Manhattan? Using The Royalton as your centerpoint, the farthest you will have to walk is 11 blocks (to Milo’s).

I’m sure you’ve got your own favorites – what places should we hit up the next time we are in NYC?


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Great Hotels Near Javits Center in New York

Great Hotels Near Javits Center in New York

When I planned a trip to New York City recently for the New York Times Travel Show, I immediately searched for great hotels near Jacob Javits Convention Center and they are hard to come by. I wanted to be in close walking distance to the convention center as possible without giving up on quality and style. I’ve stayed in so many amazing New York hotels, and didn’t want this trip to be any different.

That is how I found the Kimpton Ink 48 Hotel. By searching google, TripAdvisor and other booking sites, I narrowed my list to a just a very few great hotels near Javits Center in New York. I knew I would need to walk, since getting a cab at Javits is nearly impossible, particularly in the cold winter when exiting the building with hundreds of other conventioneers all fighting for that same cab.

Ink48 Hotel by Kimpton is located at 48th and 11th, perfect walking distance to Javits Convention Center

Location First

I chose Kimpton Ink48 for its location first. It’s a straight shot walking down 11th Avenue for 8 blocks to reach Javits, and the hotel is close enough to the activities of Midtown where I could walk to destinations in that direction North if I needed. I knew I’d be seeing friends, and there are no good places to eat in the Javits area.

Plus, I really didn’t want to stay in the crazy town of tourist central around Times Square. The Kimpton Ink48 is located at the corner of 48th Street and 11th Avenue in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of NYC.

Chic and classy, the lobby at Ink48 Hotel was comfortable (plus there was coffee so I was happy)

Impeccable Style

Kimpton Hotels always have style, and this one did not disappoint. Located at the site of an old printing press business, the Ink48 honored that past with interesting art and design features reflecting printing and type. The meeting rooms are called Courier, Garamond and Helvetica. The rooftop bar (with amazing panoramic views from the Hudson River side and the red velvet rope with doorman to prove it) is named The Press Lounge, and the lobby restaurant is aptly called Print.

The rooms are incredibly spacious by New York standards, and mine had a king bed, a couch and seating area as well as a giant tub and separate walk-in shower.

Room rates at the Ink 48 are not inexpensive, but that’s New York for you. My rate was $329 plus all the usual taxes and fees, and I felt the value was there to support it.

King room with city view at Ink48 Hotel

My room at Ink48 was huge, with a king bed, sitting area and even a soaking tub and separate shower.

Kimpton Reputation

Kimpton Hotels have always enjoyed a good reputation for style and service combined, and particularly for its combination of topnotch restaurants with beautiful accommodations. I’ve stayed in quite a few Kimpton properties, and this one I will definitely visit again if I need to be in that area of New York City.

Press Lounge at Ink48 Hotel

On the top floor of Ink48 Hotel, the press lounge has some a-mazing views

Other Choices:

If I had not wanted to stay on the north side of Javits Center to be closer to Midtown and the better restaurants, some other choices were:

The Even Hotel – Affordable and active-minded.

The Refinery Hotel – So chic and sleek, near Bryant Park.

The Archer – Because Charlie Palmer Steak!

I liked my choice, and staying at the Ink48 was a good call for me.


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8 Travel Trends from the 2018 New York Times Travel Show

8 Travel Trends from the 2018 New York Times Travel Show

There were 8 travel trends from the 2018 New York Times Travel Show that popped out for me when I attended this past weekend. A bevy of fun destinations will soon be playing out on the pages of the Times travel section, as well as others no doubt. Amid the usual suspects of gorgeous beach destinations, compelling cruises to ports around the world, and exotic cities both Eastern and Western, some interesting things stood out.

Hundreds of travel professionals flock to the New York Times Travel Show

8 Travel Trends from the 2018 New York Times Travel Show:

  1. The Bahamas are more than we thought – There are way more islands in The Bahamas than can be seen from a cruise ship, and more people are now exploring them for an extended stay. Each of the 30 inhabited islands has their own personalities and offerings (there are more than 700 islands total). Time for some island hopping to see which fits our family best.
  2. Croatia is the new “It Girl” – Everyone at the show was talking about Croatia. Everyone. We’ve wanted to go to Dubrovnik forever, but until recently didn’t know about all the other amazing parts of this beautiful country including the Dalmation Coast, Split, Zagreb and more.
  3. Slovenia is coming up next – Right behind Croatia, Slovenia is moving up the ranks. Far from remote, Slovenia is right between Croatia and Italy on the north coast of the Adriatic Sea near Trieste. We’re hoping to visit that whole area this summer.

    Rainbow over the city of Kranj in Slovenia – photo courtesy of the Slovenian Tourism Board


  4. Jamaica is underratedJamaica has always been on our bucket list, and lately some misinformed person told me it was over as a destination. Well far from it. Jamaica is coming on strong with great new resorts, spas (one even has a salt cave) and activities. Yes please!

    Ocho Rios Bay Beach in Jamaica, courtesy of the Jamaican Tourism Board


  5. Portugal is winning all the awardsPortugal is a country of deep history and enormous diversity. I’ve traveled there just once many years ago, and cannot wait to go back for their friendly beaches, delicious seafood, gorgeous countryside and oh, that wine! Portugal has been named World’s Leading Destination and World’s Leading Beach Destination among other honors.
  6. Everyone wants to go to Mexico – There are so many luxury resorts being built in Mexico, including vacation-friendly areas like sunny Cabo San Lucas, the jungles of Playa Del Carmen, and European-feeling Puerto Vallarta. So easy for us to reach from California, we’ll definitely visit Mexico this year. Mexico’s booth at the show was packed.

    Sun rises over the Hilton Los Cabos in Mexico

  7. Columbia rules South America – I’m fascinated with South America and have wanted to visit its riches for some time. Columbia’s beaches, waterfalls, jungle excursions, historic cities and delicious foods are attracting people from all around the globe.
  8. Florida is more than Orlando and Mis– With kids, we’ve always thought of visiting Florida as a trip to Disneyworld. And yes we will visit there too, but this enormous state has much more to offer. Fort Lauderdale is gorgeous and chill, Cocoa Beach and Cape Canaveral are the stuff of legends, and the western coastlines around Sarasota are just stunning.
    sailing at Sarasota Bay

    Sarasota Bay, FL is a great place for sailing, laying on the beach, collecting shells and relaxing. Photo courtesy of VISIT FLORIDA


Sounds like our passports are going to be filling up in 2018 – I hope we have enough pages to contain all these international stamps! Where are you planning to visit this year?


Some destinations really put on a show, like these dancers in traditional costume from Indonesia


About The New York Times Travel Show (

The Travel Show is the largest and longest-running trade and consumer travel show in North America, featuring the Travel Industry Conference, Consumer Seminars, and an interactive Exhibition including more than 500 exhibitors from Africa, Asia, Australia/South Pacific, Canada, the Caribbean, Europe, Latin America, Mexico and the United States. In addition to discounts and special offers, the show provides educational seminars and live entertainment for families, individuals, couples and seniors. Join the conversation and follow @NYTTravelShow for the latest Travel Show news.