Saturday, November 13, 2021

The 2021 Winter Ski Season in France

With the recent snowfalls on the local mountains in France comes the start of the new ski season.

Unfortunately, not without some rules set into place by the government of France due to the Coronavirus (that could continue to change) but still, far more relaxed and open than in the past winter season.

When it comes to travel, France’s borders are open to “green” countries, including all EU and Schengen zone countries, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand, with proof of vaccination or a recently obtained negative Covid test.

Only fully vaccinated visitors will be welcomed from those on the “orange” country list, such as the USA and the United Kingdom. No proof of vaccination means people will be denied entry. For those who’ve been double vaxxed, no test is required upon arrival.

At the resorts, there are specific guidelines laid out in early November by Prime Minister Jean Castex. Protective masks are required in ski lift lines and in gondolas, but not on open chair lifts or other open-air places on the mountain when skiing.

Currently, health passes are not mandatory to access ski lifts, but this will change, says the PM, if the country’s incidence rate climbs over 200.

Businesses at the resorts will also have to adhere to the rules, so they may also impose some limits such as extra cleaning protocols and ongoing monitoring of group sizes in their establishments.

National rules still apply for areas like public transport and all indoor public spaces where it is compulsory to wear a mask. There are no exemptions to the mask rule and those who do not wear a mask can expect to pay fines of €135.

Restaurants, bars, nightclubs and cafes do not, in general, require masks as these places require a health pass to gain entry, though owners of these establishments are free to impose whatever regulation they wish on this front, and can bar entry to anyone who refuses to comply. Hotels usually ask that masks be worn in communal areas.

Bookings through Experience The French Riviera for holiday chalet rentals have been coming in fast since the end of September so if you require a property, now is the time to book with your exact dates, the number of guests, and a budget range would expedite things and get you exactly what you require.

Overall, life in France does feel more back to normal in many ways and more optimistic, these current rules seem to be second nature at this point for many of us that live in the country and everyone seems excited to hit the slopes and celebrate the winter season.

Friday, October 15, 2021

Cruising Bars for Cocktober

Well, not for just October but anytime of year is good for cock.

Here in the Cote d’Azur in France, we tend to enjoy all things hot, and that means not only in terms of our weather but also our local men and visitors alike.

As things get ever so slightly cooler here during the Autumn months in the French Riviera, this is the time when more of the heated activities take place inside. And what better than in one of the many enticing cruising bars in Nice, the city considered central to everything LGBTQ in the region.

10 rue Bonaparte - Nice
A very well-known cruising bar in the heart of the affectionately named “le petit Marais”, a nod to the gay Marais district in Paris. Strolling by in the early evenings, you’ll see a diverse mix of people enjoying an apero or two on the outdoor terrace who usually help set the tone for the night ahead.

Generally, between 10 pm and 11 pm is when the terrace closes and the heated action inside Malabar begins. Step into the bar area, where you can enjoy more drinks, listen to a local DJ, while all kinds of porn are on various surrounding screens in the closely-knit space while your eyes wander around the crowd of men all grouped together.

Any real action though tends to happen in the adjoining large cruising room, with its cubicles, slings, blackout room, and of course never-ending porn screens.

Eagle Nice
18 rue Emmanuel Philibert - Nice

One of the oldest cruising bars in Nice but still well regarded. Situated near the port, once you step inside, you are in another world. Here, it’s mainly the locals and a few tourists, enjoying a beer at the long bar and some action in the adjoining room filled with cubicles and discreet play areas. It can get down and dirty here so come prepared for anything.

Le 7
7 rue Foncet - Nice

What was once apparently the first cruising bar/theater in Nice was only a few years ago lovingly renovated with extreme care, keeping the characteristics of the historic details throughout, just with an added clean upgrade to the whole facilities.

The newly revamped club offers a cocktail lounge bar as you walk in and numerous levels to cruise the varied clientele base of men with lounges to relax, a porn theater, expansive blackout playrooms, and an extensive number of private rooms to take care of business with that special stranger you just met.

Le Code
4 rue Papon - Nice

A sexual play space set up for those that mean direct business. Offering various themed play nights for whatever you are into, whether that be fisting or piss action or just looking for a get-off with some new buddies.

Pay a nominal fee to come in at the entrance, once buzzed inside you will be in the lounge/bar area with a wet play space at the back.

Most of the hard-core action though happens on the lower level, where it’s definitely a tight squeeze but that’s kinda the point for those who don’t want to spend a lot of time cruising.

Here, you will find a small maze, gloryholes, porn lounge, and numerous slings for whatever sex adventures you can dream up, or just jump into the mix of those already in the throngs of it all around you.

3 rue Claudia - Nice
Last but not least, the extremely popular Morgan Hot Cruising Bar. Offering a variety of themed nights to tickle everyone’s fancy and without question one of the most fun, attitude-free establishments in Nice.

The Morgan Hot Cruising Bar is the place where being nude is overall the name of the game with every body type and nationality to be found.

Once you pay the nominal entrance fee, you will be given a tagged bag (and numbered wristband to wear) to place your clothes in after you strip down in the adjoining small room. When that’s sorted, step into the wide-open lounge area with a cocktail bar to relax and enjoy a drink and/or take a few steps up towards the back where there is another cozy lounge area where you might find an impromptu sex show taking place in front of you as anything can and will happen here.

Cruise the many playrooms with the ones most men gravitate to being the cubicle area with gloryholes and a sling room or the playroom in the back far corner with its circular vinyl bed where many an orgy takes place while others surround and watch, waiting for the chance to dive in on all the action.

Honestly, this place can get so busy, you will be squeezing your way through the halls filled with what feels like a forest of hard dicks slapping against your ass and thighs.

Whatever you are after, whatever you are into, you can expect a ton of fun at any of these safe cruising bars open year-round in Nice.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

A Revamp for the Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo Monaco!

For those familiar with the famous Cafe de Paris in Monte-Carlo, you will well know that it is a major hotspot for those of us into people watching and the spotting of luxury cars as they pass by the legendary Casino de Monte-Carlo and Hôtel De Paris Monte-Carlo in Monaco.

Last week, a press conference was held at the Hotel Hermitage with deputy chairman of SBM Jean-Luc Biamonti noting a future reveal a spectacular project, although still somewhat under wraps, that would launch Cafe de Paris as a beacon hopefully leading us even more out of the “Covid era”, just in a slightly more dramatic fashion given the glamorous history of Monaco.

The exciting news, the Cafe de Paris is about to be completely revamped, though of course likely retaining much of its historical components.

The Cafe de Paris as many knows, is strategically located in Monaco and sits on a number of hidden gems that the new architectural plans will reveal as part of a splendid enhanced future for the icon.

Reportedly there will not just be the one brewing and dining facility but two new food premises. On the first floor of the current building, the terrace will be generously enlarged and enhanced to offer a panoramic view of the Place du Casino, which possibly means an even better opportunity for people watching and the chance to relax in even more beautiful surroundings.

The rear of the building, currently not frequented by customers at all, will offer shops with famous brands which means more shopping choices across from the likes of Chanel and Versace. The terraces will offer a splendid view of the garden bordered by Avenue des Spélugues, which is a true green space with spectacular potential. And the basement of the Café de Paris will be also redesigned, completing the overhaul.

The project, which has already been a year in the making at the planning stages, due to the size of this undertaking, with all the spaces being renovated at the same time, it has been suggested that it is going to take at least a year of work during which the Cafe de Paris will be closed.

The reported estimate of the newly revamped Cafe de Paris reopening is for June 2023 after 10 to 12 months of renovation, with the building permit is expected to be ready within approximately a month.

Stay tuned for more details.

Sunday, September 5, 2021

New Gay Beach at Eze-sur-Mer?!

It may be near the end of the season but here in the French Riviera, we locals milk summer for all its worth.

Of late, something curious has been happening. Gay gathering spots no matter where you travel do tend to change from time to time for whatever reason, but this summer something has been slowly taking place on the beach at Eze-sur-Mer.

For a bit of a change this season, and quite frankly, to try and find a beach without tons of people occupying it at the height of the summer months, either on my own and/or with various friends, we’ve been going to the beach in Eze-sur-Mer and over time, we began noticing, however subtly, an increase in the variety of gay men also going to this beach.

Without fail and for sure on the weekends, this new gay gathering beach spot is situated between Bono’s (of U2 fame) amber-colored villa and more so directly in front of the yellow villa to the west of his property.

Photos below taken early in the morning before the crowds...

Nothing untoward is taking place at this plage, and maybe it’s an instinctive comfort in numbers deal but it’s definitely becoming a new gay zone.

During the summer we started recognizing who we considered gay regulars to this part of the beach starting about mid-morning with the numbers increasing and then varying as the day goes on and on each visit, which was for the most part weekly for either myself or my friends.

Men of every age, body type, and nationality seem to be heading to this specific location, which also made us wonder if the more well-known St. Laurent-Eze gay nude beach has become too crowded with tourists given it is a smaller location. Or if this beach is just easier to access with the train station near the beach in the village?

Its obvious cruising is taking place - but only by knowing glances of possible interest to each other and then by an informal chat while sunbathing on the beach or swimming, or connected by Grindr or Scruff as you’ll notice men on their phones and then looking around for who’s close by, but for sure nothing sexual is taking place as the area is still very public and open.

And as with any gay gathering type spot, of course, there is no guarantee of men being around, especially during the winter months. Some days there would only be about 6 men enjoying a swim and time at the beach, some days there would easily be at least 20 men.

The nice thing too is there feels like there is no attitude, whether it’s the locals and/or visitors coming to this beach. I’ve found it easy to speak with those I’ve become familiar with and the same with friends of mine.

Next time you are in Eze-sur-Mer, check out the beach for yourself.

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

13e Festival de Cinema Queer de Nice (13th Queer Film Festival of Nice)

With the Covid19 health crisis still amongst us and in our thoughts, this year, there were questions of if the Queer Film Festival would even happen.

Thanks to vaccinations slowly on the rise, restrictions still lifted and the ever-handy TousAntiCovid App making it more possible for life to return to some sense of normalcy, the cinemas are open for everyone to enjoy.

Finally, and in full force, the 13th Queer Film Festival in Nice will take place from September 9-18, 2021!

With the diverse range of films for the festival both vast and impressive! There is certainly something for everyone with many new topics and issues available to pique the interest of many.

As always, the film festival is known for bringing the passions of the world of cinema and commitment to others to explore life’s sexuality and all it encompasses.

This year’s program has a lot of surprises in store for you with a retrospective + master class of one of our most talented filmmakers, Catherine Corsini, whose new film, La Fracture, the winner of the Queer Palm 2021, will be premiered.

There will also be a dance master class and a few photo exhibitions on "Corps (im)possibles" as seen by queer artists; along with an outstanding display of new films for everyone to appreciate.

Take advantage of this creative abundance for this year’s 13e Festival de Cinema Queer de Nice and book your tickets early.

The Queer Film Festival listings and events can be found here:

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

The Bathhouse Babylon Book

It’s been almost three months since Bathhouse Babylon was first published and it’s certainly added to an already interesting summer here in the Cote d’Azur of France.
Writing the book was extremely cathartic and one of the best projects I have ever worked on. I wasn’t nervous about releasing the book since it’s my truth, except for wanting to make sure the publishing of it was done correctly with the whole process along the way being a pleasurable task.
When the book first came out, I was and still am expecting all kinds of feedback. Overall though, it’s lead to some interesting discussions in all avenues of my life and I’d say 99% of it has been positive.
Although I feel Bathhouse Babylon isn’t necessarily the type of subject matter everyone might be interested in, people of every age and sexual orientation have reached out to tell me how the book has either opened their minds to a whole new subculture they never knew existed or brought back all kinds of memories, even if the bathhouses I wrote about were not the local venue they visit.

Something that surprised me most is when my business partners found out about the book, frankly, it could have gone either way but they have all been supportive and now see where I get a lot of my strategic work ethics from, and it’s certainly made for some entertaining conversations.
One of the questions I’ve been asked is why I didn’t name the actual bathhouses in the book I worked at or even the cities?

My thoughts were, having worked in a number of bathhouses in North America, along with my fair share of visiting these establishments both there and here in Europe, the stories I wrote about from my past experiences, I felt could belong to almost any bathhouse or gay sauna in the world.

Plus, it’s actually turned into a fun guessing game of which bathhouses might have been written about for those that read any of the comments in the online articles that Bathhouse Babylon has been published in.
I also must say, one of the most amazing things that have happened since the book was published in late May 2021 has been the media attention and support from those in the LGBTQ community.

Once I pressed the “publish” button, literally within two days, besides telling a few friends and family members who have been supportive about the book. A number of remarkable journalists  have continued to reach out to write about and help promote Bathhouse Babylon, to the point, it has taken on a life of its own and continues to take me on an incredible journey.

Besides the wonderful publicity, the book has been brought to the attention of some key people in the media world enabling me to connect with and discuss future projects with not only other writers but a few productions companies too.

It seems every time an article is published about Bathhouse Babylon, besides it automatically garnering more sales for which I am grateful, best of all, that publicity has opened more doors to more people offering more opportunities for all involved.
I have also been recently informed that a number of public libraries in major cities in North America will also be carrying Bathhouse Babylon in their LGBTQI sections, which is exactly one of the things I was hoping would happen as I think our community stories, no matter how diverse, should be available for everyone to discover.

From the bottom of my heart, I’d like to thank everyone for their ongoing support of my first book. An idea about a past life work experience has come to light and has been deeply fulfilling.
Feel free to click on any of the media images listed below that will take you to the articles featuring the Bathhouse Babylon book and expect to see a few more write-ups coming out in the future as the book is still being reviewed with interviews scheduled into the next few months at least.

By the way, due to demand, there will be a Bathhouse Babylon ll coming out next summer.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Pink Parade 2021!

It’s back! After well over a year due to the Coronavirus pandemic, the Pink Parade (Pride) will take place in Nice on the afternoon of July 24, 2021!

Everyone is to gather on Boulevard Jean Jaurès at Place Toja in Nice at 4 pm to start the parade. (see map)

*Update* New route change as of July 22, 2021.
Wearing a mask is recommended due to crowd size and this date is subject to governmental modifications. At the end of the march, everyone is invited to the Pink Party at the Théâtre des Verdures from 6:30 pm to 11:30 pm.

Access to the after-event is based on the presentation of your health pass, so bring everything required in order to attend the party.

This year, the parade is shorter due to the ongoing pandemic situation but as usual, instead of watching from the sidelines, everyone is welcome to join in the march to stand in strength, solidarity, and love with each other.

And as you know, summer in the French Riviera means it’s going to be hot, so come prepared with a refreshing liquid of choice to keep hydrated.

If it’s your first time at the Pink Parade in Nice, you’ll notice immediately this is very much an LGBTQI community-minded event. There are no corporate sponsors in attendance, only the individuals and local businesses that help make up the region.


Friday, July 9, 2021

Nightlife is Back in France!

It feels like it has been forever but as of today, July 9, 2021, the nightclubs, bars and outdoor LGBTQ events in France are back in business!

It is time to party and dance!

When the pandemic restrictions were coming into effect, quite literally by the hour in France on the evening of March 14, 2020, any public gathering place such as a nightclub or bar was at first limited to the number of people inside those establishments. Only to be told at 10 pm that night they had to close by midnight (when most nightclubs don’t even open until that time). All for legitimate safety reasons due to Covid19.

It’s been a long haul for the owners and managers of those entertainment venues but as of this evening, they are opening and just in time for summer!

There were a few nightclub and bar owners, like with those in the bathhouse world, who were testing the government rules and restrictions the past week or so by opening with limited capacity and without a lot of fanfare but now the all-clear has arrived.

Months and weeks ahead of the proposed date, owners have been posting online the updates and overall changes they have been making in anticipation of the opening date and now they will be back in force for everyone to enjoy.

The city of Nice has always been the central hot spot in the Cote d'Azur region for those in the LGBTQ community with any number of venues to enjoy. With these restrictions being lifted, because there is still some cause for concern, especially with the new variants popping up, some rules will still be set in place.

Such as, you will need to show that you have been vaccinated with your health pass (QR Code) to enter, expect to be checked with a monitor on your forehead for your temperature upon arrival, don't forget your identification no matter where you are from and all staff must wear a health mask among any other requirements an owner or manager may feel necessary to the safety of everyone, at least for the next while.
Also, don’t be surprised if you see government inspectors coming into the venues to make sure everything is up to current health standards.

So the nightlife is back, who knows for how long at this point but be safe and have fun!