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San Antonio makes great gay winter escape spot

Tex Mex food, biodiversity and thriving nightlife among features

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Alamo, gay news, Washington Blade
The Alamo is a must-see attraction in San Antonio. (Photo by Bill Malcolm)

San Antonio makes for a perfect winter get away. Temperatures stay mild, the historic city offers plenty to do complete with a great LGBTQ nightlife scene with all the bars except one located close together on Main Street. The historic city is a mix of Mexican, German, Spanish and native cultures and of course features the River Walk.

Getting there: I paid just $200 on Southwest Airlines round trip to SAT (the airport code for the city airport). Once there, catch the VIA no. 5 bus Yto downtown for just $1.30. You can take VIA all around the city and they have two cultural buses to all the attractions. An all-day pass is just $2.75. Plan your trip at viainfo.net

Where to stay: I stayed at the Grand Hyatt one night and the Marriott River Center the other four. Both were great. Bargain hunters will want to stay at the LaQuinta or TRU by Hilton. All are near the famous RiverWalk area downtown.

What to do: Make your first stop to the Alamo, site of the famous battle against Mexico which resulted in the creation of the Republic of Texas. The building was constructed in 1724.

Walk north on the RiverWalk to the Art Museum which is located in an old Brewery. The Museum is open until 8 p.m. on Fridays. 

Take the 11B VIA bus to the Botanical Gardens which features three different areas of Texas botany. The region is unusual as plants from the east meet plants from the Southwest. They also have endemic species unique to the limestone-covered Hill Country. Palms, oaks, cacti, pines and Mexican species make for an interesting biogeography.

Take the VIA 11A bus to The Witte Museum to learn about Texas culture, history and biogeography. The museum is free and open until 8 p.m. on Tuesday. Learn about the regions of the state and its colorful history. Don’t mess with Texas. It still has an independent streak.

Don’t miss the Pearl District just north of downtown. The former brewery has interesting shops and restaurants.

The food everywhere is excellent and features great Tex Mex and Mexican as well as German. 

The San Antonio Gayborhood may be found on Main Street just north of downtown. Make your fist stop Pegasus Bar (1402 Main St.) which features great drink specials and a friendly crowd. Fierce Fridays features $2 wells and $2 beers. Try the Shiner Bock or Lone Star beer.

Nearby is Heat, a dance bar at 1500 N. Main. 

You can pick up new clothes or leather gear at Ouch Apparel and Hard Core Leather. Knockout Pizza is good for a bite. 

Across the street on Main is Luther’s Café and Bar which features Wigstock Karaoke on Fridays. 

Dance the night away at the Bonham Exchange. The two-story building is located in an old German meeting hall. The mixed crowd allows minors and can be found at 411 Bonham downtown. On Saturdays, they have strippers plus a great dance area on two floors. They were having a Studio 54 birthday party the night I was there.

Travel tips: Out in San Antonio is its LGBTQ publication (outinsa.com) and has bar ads to help you plan your visit. The Current is the city’s weekly paper, which also has great ideas. 

Visitsanantonio.com is your one stop shop for information on all the attractions and upcoming events. Thanks to Eva Alvallotis for the help.

San Antonio makes for a great winter get away and is a big city with a small town feel without the attitude of Austin or the big city hassles of Dallas and Houston. Plus a great gay scene

Bill Malcolm is an Indianapolis-based traveler whose syndicated LGBTQ value travel column appears in publications around the country. He does this as a hobby.

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DC Center to host Alzheimer’s awareness event

‘Seniors & Cognition’ talk to explore warning signs, healthy brain practices

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The DC LGBTQ+ Community Center, the DC Department on Aging and Community Living, and the Alzheimer’s Association are joining forces to host “Seniors & Cognition with the Alzheimer’s Association” on Thursday, July 25 at 2 p.m. on Zoom. 

Guest speakers will walk the audience through understanding Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, their warning signs, healthy brain practices, and more. The lecture series will consist of three 1.5-hour sessions, with the others set to take place in August and September. 

To register, visit the DC Center’s website

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Sports

Brittney Griner and wife celebrate birth of their son

Cherelle Griner gave birth to healthy baby boy earlier this month

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Brittney Griner (Screen capture via Instagram)

It’s a boy for Brittney and Cherelle Griner. The Phoenix Mercury center revealed the news in interviews with CBS Sports and NBC News. 

“Every minute I feel like he’s popping into my head, said Griner. “Literally everything revolves around him. And I love it.”

The couple officially welcomed the baby boy on July 8. He weighs 7 pounds, 8 ounces.

“That’s my man. He is amazing,” Griner told CBS Sports. “They said as soon as you see them, everything that you thought mattered just goes out the window. That’s literally what happened.” 

Griner, 33, corrected the CBS News correspondent who said, “You’re about to be a mom!” She told her Cherelle, 33, had already delivered the baby and that she preferred to be called,“Pops.” 

Griner told NBC News correspondent Liz Kreutz they chose to name their newborn son, “Bash.” 

The WNBA star said she is Bash’s biggest fan and is constantly taking photos of him. “My whole phone has turned into him now,” Griner told CBS Sports.

The baby comes as Griner gets set to play in Saturday’s WNBA All-Star Game and then head to Paris with Team USA to compete for their 8th straight gold medal at the Summer Olympic Games. 

“It kind of sucks because I have to leave, but at the same time, he will understand,” said Griner. 

Her time in Paris will mark the first time since the basketball star was released from a Russian gulag, where she was held on drug charges for nearly 10 months in 2022.

“BG is locked in and ready to go,” Griner told NBC News on Friday. “I’m happy, I’m in a great place. I’m representing my country, the country that fought for me to come back. I’m gonna represent it well.”

Griner also spoke with NBC News about her hopes the U.S. can win the freedom of imprisoned Wall Street Journal reporter Evan Gershkovich, who was sentenced to 16 years in a Russian maximum security prison on Friday. 

“We have to get him back,” she said. 

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Calendar

Calendar: July 19-25

LGBTQ events in the days to come

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Friday, July 19

“Center Aging Friday Tea Time” will be at 2 p.m. on Zoom. This is a social hour for older LGBTQ+ adults. Guests are encouraged to bring a beverage of choice. For more details, email [email protected].

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Community Happy Hour” at 7 p.m. at Puro Gusto. This event is ideal for making new friends, professional networking, idea-sharing, and community building. This event is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Saturday, July 20

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Community Brunch” at 11 a.m. at Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant. This fun weekly event brings the DMV area LGBTQ+ community, including allies, together for delicious food and conversation. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

“LGBTQ People of Color Support Group” will be at 1 p.m. on Zoom. This peer support group is an outlet for LGBTQ People of Color to come together and talk about anything affecting them in a space that strives to be safe and judgment free. For more details, visit thedccenter.org/poc or facebook.com/centerpoc.

Sunday, July 21

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Dinner” at 6:30 p.m. at Federico Ristorante Italiano Freddie’s Beach Bar & Restaurant. Guests are encouraged to come enjoy an evening of Italian-style dining and conversation with other LGBTQ+ folk. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

Go Gay DC will host “LGBTQ+ Funday Social and Games” at 3 p.m. at Moxy. This event is ideal for making meaningful new connections and informal community building, or just to unwind and enjoy the group happy hour. There will be Monopoly, chess, checkers, Jenga and many other games. Attendance is free and more details are available on Eventbrite.

AfroCode DC will be at 4 p.m. at Decades DC. This event will be an experience of non-stop music, dancing, and good vibes and a crossover of genres and a fusion of cultures. Tickets cost $40 and can be purchased on Eventbrite.

Monday, July 22

Center Aging: Monday Coffee & Conversation will be at 10 a.m. on Zoom. This is a social hour for older LGBTQ adults. Guests are encouraged to bring a beverage of their choice. For more details, email [email protected].

“Queer Book Club” will be at 6:30 p.m. on Zoom. The club meets on the fourth Monday of the month to discuss queer books by queer authors. This month’s read is yet to be announced. For more details, email [email protected].

Tuesday, July 23

Pride on the Patio Events will host “LGBTQ Social Mixer” at 5:30 p.m. at Showroom. Dress is casual, fancy, or comfortable. Guests are encouraged to bring their most authentic self to chat, laugh, and get a little crazy. Admission is free and more details are on Eventbrite.

Coming Out Discussion Group will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a peer-facilitated discussion group and a safe space to share experiences about coming out and discuss topics as it relates to doing so. For more details, visit the group’s Facebook page.

“Genderqueer DC” will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a support group for people who identify outside of the gender binary, whether you’re bigender, agender, genderfluid, or just know that you’re not 100% cis. For more details, email [email protected].

Wednesday, July 24

Job Club will be at 6 p.m. on Zoom. This is a weekly job support program to help job entrants and seekers, including the long-term unemployed, improve self-confidence, motivation, resilience and productivity for effective job searches and networking — allowing participants to move away from being merely “applicants” toward being “candidates.” For more information, email [email protected] or visit thedccenter.org/careers.

“Asexual and Aromantic Group” will meet at 7 p.m. on Zoom and in person at the DC Center for the LGBT Community. This is a space where people who are questioning this aspect of their identity or those who identify as asexual and/or aromantic can come together, share stories and experiences, and discuss various topics. For more details, email [email protected].

Thursday, July 25

Virtual Yoga with Charles M. will be at 7 p.m. on Zoom. This is a free weekly class focusing on yoga, breath work, and meditation. For more details, visit the DC Center for the LGBT Community’s website.

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