New York, famous for his statue of Liberty, Times Square,… and Washington for his White House and Capitol.
Touristicogay went to the Big Apple and Washington to see the best (and sometimes special) spots and the best gaybars in town. We fly with Air Berlin from Dusseldorf Airport. It was an amazing trip!
The easiest way to reach the airport of Dusseldorf is by train: take a Thalys and the ICE and you are there in just 3h from Antwerp or Brussels. Every 20 min you have a comfortable train from the main train station in Dusseldorf.
The airport surprises you: its modern with a lot of facilities: bars, shops,…..
Everyone hates a long check-in. With Air Berlin it goes fast and friendly. It just took me 15 min. Air Berlin flies on a regional airport, but is surely not a low cost company. You have much space on the economy seats and your own entertainment programs. A screen broken? They just come replace it. The staff is very friendly and the food was one of the best catering services I had on an airplane. In just 7 hours you are in the Big Apple. But first we fly further to Washington…
You can reach the city by plane from JFK. There are different companies who fly directly to the city.
We stayed at Palomar hotel, one of the Kimpton hotels. Its central in the gay area and popular by Europeans. At the corner you have a Tube station. We stayed in a nice suite with bathroom and soft beds. The hotel has a 24 hour gym and a swimming pool. During the week you can enjoy a free winetasting and socialize with the other guests. The breakfast can be taken in the restaurant for a small extra price. You can choose between continental and American Breakfast. It was just delicious.
Washington is a green city. You can reach every part easily with the metro. Our first stop was the air and space museum. It gives you the history of the space program till the space shuttle and the history of the airplanes in US. They have many free tours. Try to catch one. We had an engineer of the past space program. He could tell us many stories.
But Washington is famous for the White House and the Capitol. Make your reservation for the White House in progress, but do not expect too much. You just see 5 rooms and no pictures allowed. After just 30 min you stay again on the street. A tour in the Capitol is very interesting. For that go to the visitors center. You will be placed in a group and get a free guide. You visit the main rooms, the library and the parliament. And its all free. But there is much more to see. If you like museums, you will find many on the mall, the green spot of Washington.
For shopping, take a free bus to the outlet shopping store outside of Washington. Its a big shopping mall with more than 200 outlet stores. Take a whole day and many credit cards, because its really cheap here.
Washington has a nice gaylife. You find discos, a Latin and black gaybar, stripper bars and a nice gay sauna. Here the bars close early, and they have many happy hours. But the sauna is open 24 hours. Just take the free magazine in one of the bars and you know where to go. And.. they serve Belgian beer!!
On Sunday, gays go brunch. You can do that at Agora restaurant. You pay 30 dollar and can choose for 2h from the map: small diches with different eggs, salads, toast and yoghurt. This all with champagne or cocktails as much as you want. Not a better way to start your Sunday! Up to New York…..
The best way to go from Washington to New York is by train: comfortable and easy… and free Wi-Fi!!!
We stayed in Colonial House Inn, in the nice neighborhood of Chelsea. Its a gay friendly B&B and Tony and his staff helps you with everything. You can book a nice room with shared bathroom or a suite with private bathroom. The breakfast is just delicious with own baked bagels, eggs, orange juice, yoghurt and fresh fruit. In the summer, you can sit on the rooftop.
You can take the Metro to reach the the different areas of New York, but its a nice walking city. We walked a whole day and saw many places that you will miss when you take the metro. Go visit Time Square, museum, statue of Liberty and the other famous buildings and attractions. But do not forget to go to the new museum of 9/11. Its a nice spot where you can think one moment of all the victims of that day. And of course on Sunday you must visit Central Park: every New Yorker does the same.
If you book a tour chose for the Harlem Gospel tour on Sunday or Wednesday or the Brooklyn tour. We took the Harlem gospel tour with a guide. She can tell you many stories about this neighborhood and ends with a Gospel church visit of 1 hour.
The gay life in New York is huge: sports bars, disco, parties, strip bars, lounges. Every bar has happy hours from 4pm till 9pm. But not forget to visit the stonewall inn. At this gay bar, our freedom started in the 60s. For the rest: take a free copy of the magazine and look to the parties (and the hot bartenders) of that week.
Conclusion: Washington is nice, green city… New York an amazing one. If you like service, quality and friendly staff… then choose for Air Berlin. I do it again next time!