Friday, September 23, 2022

The 31st Monaco Yacht Show - 2022

One of the world’s biggest luxury yacht shows takes place from Wednesday, September 28 to Saturday, October 1st, marking the 31st year of the show in the Port of Monaco. This represents yet another very busy time within the Principality when those in the yachting industry and beyond, including admirers of superyachts alike make their way to Monaco.

From its beginnings in 1991, the Monaco Yacht Show has been held over four days in late September in the Port Hercule of Monaco, with the expectation of the Covid19 pandemic.

This will be a busy four days of deals and networking with 450 chosen companies, representing only the best in innovation and excellence in yachting, showcase their work in the port alongside naval architects, yacht service providers, and suppliers, plus designers of vessel interiors, manufacturers of tenders and nautical equipment.

Even if you are not a fan of superyachts, the Monaco Yacht Show is still indeed an impressive experience where on display, from many vantage points are 100+ units on display, 40+ new models are on premiere for the world’s first look, with an average length of a vessel being 50m with mega yachts exceeding 100m.

In a strong sense, these four days are where the yachting world meets and is one of the most discussed events locally and otherwise every year. It is where you are able to meet industry experts on every level with the superyachts being available for charter or purchase while the Principality becomes even more alive with excitement.

Thursday, September 22, 2022

Monaco Grand Prix Renewed To 2025


With great anticipation over the uncertain future in regards to the Monaco Grand Prix coming to an eventual end, it has been announced that the historic race has recently signed a three-year deal to remain on the Formula 1 calendar until 2025.

On Tuesday 20th September, the FIA, Formula 1’s governing body, approved the record-breaking 24-race season, which features the Monaco Grand Prix. 

For some time there has been speculation that the race will no longer be able to continue. This, along with other classic European races such as the French and Belgian Grand Prix, the new American owners of the global sport, Liberty Media caused concern for many that the European classics may not continue, and at this time, the Belgian Grand Prix remains on the calendar, but the French Grand Prix will be no longer.

This year, the Monaco Grand Prix will take place on May 28, 2023. As stated in the press release, Formula 1 president and CEO Stefano Domenicali said, “I am pleased to confirm that we will be racing in Monaco until 2025 and excited to be back on the streets of this famous Principality for next year’s championship.”

He continued, “I want to thank everyone involved in this renewal and especially H.S.H Prince Albert II of Monaco, Michel Boeri, President of the Automobile Club of Monaco, and all his team. We look forward to being back next season to continue our partnership together.”

Wednesday, September 21, 2022

Dick Pics

Just an opinion.

I recently read an article where an individual in his twenties who is seemingly still navigating his way within the LGBTQ community while attempting to take the lead, discussed the topic of consent while referring to receiving unsolicited dick pics when on hookup apps.

In other words, he lacks social skills, which in turn may be the real answer to why he feels uncomfortable, so now he is trying to make a thing out of random dick pics.

After my initial eye roll, my thoughts were - you are using a hookup app, more so than a dating app and you don’t expect that the odd dick pic might happen to get sent your way? And yet he also claims to be sex-positive?

To me, it seemed to be more of that overly sensitive, easily offended, cancel culture shit, which is just really attention-seeking for an individual. Forget live and let live.

The writer acknowledges that he has encountered this type of activity while being on Grindr, and is demanding changes go his way by setting up an online petition. Good luck with that one, it will go nowhere.

Talk about pushing your own moral standards on others, at the ripe age of 23 years old. At least it’s good to know someone with idealistic life experiences can proudly speak for us all. *sarcasm*

If getting an unsolicited dick pic is going to ruin your world, to the point you have to set up an online petition, you probably have bigger things issues to take care of, or perhaps you need something more viable going on in your life.

Hell, stay off any social media or anything LGBTQ-related but my instincts tell me this might be a genuine concern for him but editors may perceive it as click bait, and from what I’ve seen online, it’s worked, including on me.

For myself, I don’t ask for or see the big deal in dick pics, if someone sends one, whatever. I prefer the element of surprise and wish to discover that part of the person for myself, when and if I decide to meet up with and possibly have sex with that individual, but this is only my preference and I don’t even make a note of it in my profile.

And I don’t send out dick pics unless I know the person and they ask for one and it’s part of our fun, but typically it’s not what I do. If nothing moves further without my dick pic, so be it, and really, everyone uses Grindr differently.

And consent, believe me, I get it. There are laws about it to varying degrees in every country and I’m all for it where due but in this case, it's not like air-dropping photos to someone while on an airplane.

With Grindr or any hookup app, it just goes without saying, you log into a sex app - expect explicit material written in a message, on a profile, or by the occasional dick pic coming your way. You are not being forced to use the app, and again, it’s about choice.

In the past, I managed bathhouses for over a decade, which means I’ve seen thousands of dicks in real life (personality or otherwise) and I’m still here to talk about it. 

Just looking at a man now can give me a pretty good indication of what he might be packing. At least I like to think so from time to time, out of amusement.
Usually, if someone sends me a dick pic, I never feel violated as it’s part of the Grindr game. My first thoughts are usually how they might have photoshopped the pic in some form or another in order to make it look bigger. And I leave it at that, as rarely for me has it been part of the conversation and a pic has never enticed me or expected of me to possibly meet up.

To me, in the social media, thirst-driven world we all live in, at this point, a dick pic is just another photo, part of a polluted market of sorts and more mainstream.

The dick pic has contributed to the common social dynamics of today, for better or worse, as a part of a culture, and no matter your sexuality, it’s unlikely that will change anytime soon.

If what appears to be a small number of people are offended by such a photo, will this now mean hookup apps will soon require even more agreements to click through while they already try to upsell the individual for additional services? Probably not.

Or should more people discover the block button on the app itself? Or better still, avoid hookup apps altogether! If you are looking for someone that is 100% compatible with your ideals on an app, sorry to say, it likely will not happen there or in real life. But you might find someone pretty damn close that will be a more suitable companion for you.

Although I don’t know the individual personally who wrote the article, oddly I have some concern about how grounded in reality people like him are, because if this is an issue, how do they manage going through life day-to-day? I would think in the scheme of things, an unsolicited dick pic would be the last of my worries.

I can’t imagine what it is like to try and live in such a non-offending world as life is about rough edges, it keeps you on your toes, challenges you, forms character, and helps you grow as an individual from experiences that help define the paths you take.

Does having all the freedoms we are now given by the longstanding, dedicated LGBTQ community at large, due to countless, unimaginable sacrifices, including the lives of others, for real causes, now mean that we can micro-manage ourselves to the point of dick pics on hookup apps by stating what someone can and cannot see?

Sounds a bit like censorship and that
is what we as a community have been fighting against so that we can be our true selves.

We have to be careful, as our ideas on what might be pushing us forward for the cause can easily put us all back in the closet.

There is a myriad of apps out there to discover, so find the one that works for you, but don’t try to ‘dick’tate what everyone else should do or expect because all of a sudden you are solely offended.

I wonder what happens if the writer uses a communal shower at a gym, do they have to set up specific rules based on his request there? One thing is for certain, he should definitely avoid a bathhouse.

Sunday, September 18, 2022

French Riviera LGBTQ Real Estate Options Two


When one thinks of Cannes, one of the first things that come to mind is the world-famous Cannes Film Festival, which although more than fabulous, this seaside city also has so much more to offer.

There is the miles of sandy beaches, the clear, blue Mediterranean Sea, and of course, the luxury shopping but most of all, the local French culture and the people are what make Cannes such a wonderful place to invest in real estate.

Cannes is a year-round travel destination, offering a multitude of liveable options practically at your doorstep. 
This is also why Cannes has beyond the Film Festival, a large number of conferences where people gather throughout the year from around the world based in every business imaginable such as the tech industry, yachting, media, and real estate to name a few.

This means, that investing in a property as a revenue rental investment can offer one a lot of rewards not just during the high season in the summer but throughout the year.
With that in mind, I have gathered a few options for you to consider.
To start, there is this newly renovated property in the most prime location ever in Cannes, across from the Palais des Festival.

Offering an area of 99m2, this 4-room, 3-bedroom apartment is located on one of the most prestigious streets in Cannes.

Found on the famous Cannes Croisette, with excellent and easy access to the beach, Palais des Festivals, and the port, this luxury home has magnificent views of the old port and the Esterel Hills.

This superb apartment is newly renovated to a luxurious standard, finished with high-end appliances and home comforts, and sits on the top floor of a luxury residence with an elevator.

Bright and spacious, there is an abundance of natural daylight which floods the home all day. The layout Includes an entrance hall, double living room, open kitchen, and master suite with office space and bathroom. 

These rooms all open onto a spacious 15m2 terrace with beautiful views of the port and old town. In addition, there are a further two other en-suite bedrooms at the back of the home, each with a bathroom or shower room and a balcony. These bedrooms have charming views over the city centre, Californie district, and the mountains.

An added value is the seasonal rental is guaranteed and is finished with a closed garage.

This is a rare find and a top revenue rental opportunity.

Price: 2,600,000 EUR 

Next up, is a beautiful property situated right on the famous Croisette.

A sublime home located in the dazzling heart of Cannes.

This 4-room apartment has an epic sea view and is located close to the Martinez hotel — within one of the chicest and most secure residences on the Croisette.

This ground-floor apartment is 130m2 in size with an impressive 135m2 terrace offering a beautiful open view of the sea and the Croisette. Bright and recently renovated, the apartment is finished with luxury home comforts. It includes a spacious double living room with an open plan kitchen – opening onto the terrace. In addition, there is an en-suite master bedroom with a dressing room, shower room, and toilet opening onto this same terrace.

Two additional en-suite bedrooms have their own private shower rooms.

This property also has a cellar and private parking included. The residence has a beautiful garden with private access for vehicles in front of the residence, opposite the beaches and restaurants.

An ideal opportunity as a luxury seasonal rental investment.

Price: 2,800,000 EUR

Finally, a most memorable panoramic sea view villa.

During congresses but especially the Cannes Film Festival, there is always a big demand for luxury villas that can be rented out by a celebrity or for any number of events, and this property would be perfect for both. 
In the heart of a private and secure domain, within walking distance of the beaches, you’ll discover this magnificent contemporary villa with beautiful lines mixing sophistication, design, and the latest technologies in one great package.
Designed and built by a famous Italian architect and designer, this architectural masterpiece of approximately 550 m² is built on a flat landscaped plot of 2245 m² with a mirror effect pool. 
There are private gates at the rear leading to the entrance of the villa with garage access for 4 cars.
The entrance boasts a triple reception room of over 120 m² with a living room, lounge, and dining area, followed by a fully equipped kitchen, all opening onto a huge terrace and the pool. On this level you will also find two en-suite bedrooms, each with its own shower room and dressing room, opening onto the terrace and garden. 
The first floor offers a spacious master bedroom of approximately 70 m² with a full bathroom with shower, toilet, and dressing room opening onto a large and private terrace of over 60 m². It comes furnished with an outdoor lounge and a Jacuzzi surrounding a Japanese garden.
Up another level and you will find another two en-suite bedrooms, each with a private shower room, and dressing room, opening onto a large terrace.
Back down to the lowest level and you will find a fantastic open space with a TV lounge overlooking the pool floor through a glass window, a fitness and massage room, a laundry room, and annexes.
The villa has an elevator, underfloor heating, air conditioning, and to top it all….panoramic sea views.
Price: 11,400,000 EUR 
For more property options in the region, be sure to follow:

Saturday, September 17, 2022

Coming soon! France’s latest high-speed train from Paris to the Riviera!


Faster, more spacious trains are coming to the French TGV network.

Known worldwide for having one of the best high-speed rail systems in France. Many of those living in France and visitors alike will no doubt be familiar with the expansive network of TGVs already in service offering a relaxing and quick way to get from one end of the country to the other at their leisure.

But now, France’s current TGVs are about to get a stronger edition, with the new ‘TGV-M’ trains set to launch in 2024. Which, according to the French national rail operator SNCF, these particular trains will be substantially greener in energy use, faster, and more spacious. 

TGV-Ms will be able to reach a top speed of 220 miles per hour – which is about ten percent faster than current models, and even faster than Japan’s current generation of bullet trains. For us passengers, this means much shorter journey times. For instance, trips from Paris to Saint Raphaël on the Cote d’Azur would currently take about five hours. These new trains will cut that down to four-and-a-half.

And TGV-Ms isn’t just faster than current TGVs: they’re also more energy efficient, promising a 32 percent reduction in CO2 emissions. And there is 20 percent more onboard space, with capacity increasing from 634 passengers to 740.

The new trains will also be more luxurious. Manufacturer Alstom states they will have superfast onboard Wi-Fi and real-time journey updates, as well as bigger windows – all the better to take in the varying countryside landscapes of France.

Apparently, SNCF has ordered 115 of these new, sleek trains, with 100 designated for domestic use and 15 for international routes to neighboring Belgium, Germany, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. The new trains have cost SNCF €2.7 billion ($2.7 billion).

With these new trains set to launch in 2024, this should make your travel experience in France that much more convenient, faster, and certainly memorable.

Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Falling Into Autumn

Like a breath of fresh air, September and October bring almost a sense of renewal as we move into the Autumn season.

But that doesn’t mean you can’t still come and enjoy the region and here are just a few reasons why:

The sun is still constantly shining upon us, the beaches are less crowded leaving more room for
you to spread out and enjoy yourself while taking occasional dips into the clear, blue Mediterranean Sea.

You no longer have to wait in line for your choice of the best restaurants and cafes to enjoy a wide variety of delicious food from the region, along with being able to find the perfect spot for all the people watching.

The nightclubs, as ever, continue to offer some of the best nights out, but how memorable it will be is totally up to you.

It’s not too hot to go on adventurous hikes around the region, taking in the panoramic sea views from the top of most any location while still being surrounded by lush greenery year-round.

And, what typically signals the end of yet another glorious summer season, the Monaco Yacht Show takes place from September 28th until October 1st, 2022.

The upcoming Autumn season is definitely one of the best times to come discover the French Riviera and Monaco.

Thursday, September 1, 2022

The LGBTQ+ French Riviera Hub in France

For those people who havenʼt traveled to the French Riviera just yet. A question I most
commonly get asked when people are about to plan a trip here is, “where are all the gay establishments in your region?”

The region itself has seemingly only become known more as an LGBTQ+ travel destination option in about the last 10 years.

This was done not only by the guidance of many of us locals but with the help of a strong consistent promotional push by the tourism boards such as Nice Tourism, Cannes, and Monaco.

LGBTQ groups, individuals, and businesses come together to provide updates on regional changes and activities to keep everything as fresh and interesting as possible for LGBTQ+ people intending to travel to this most beautiful part of France.

To answer the question. It depends on what your particular interests are as there are a myriad of things to do both day and night but I would say Nice is the central hub of the LGBTQ community in the region.

The city of Nice has the most gay bars, nightclubs, cruising bars, and a large bathhouse to name a few types of establishments. Nice is also where everyone gathers for the Pink Parade (Pride) every summer and has its own LGBTQ centre where more information can be found.

The region itself is very safe and although there are no dedicated gay establishments in places such as Antibes, Cannes, Saint Tropez, or even Monte-Carlo just yet.

There are many
businesses in those place that at least promote themselves as being gay-friendly through events or even if it is a rainbow flag sticker on the door of their establishment. Apps like Scruff and Grindr can also be used as a type of guide.

One of the wonderful and encouraging things I love about the Cote d’Azur is how friendly and supportive the LGBTQ+ community are with each other and in welcoming others, no matter their sexual preference.

Its not unusual to find that almost every year a new LGBTQ business will open up or an association begins that brings more people together.

Monday, August 29, 2022

Behind Gay French Riviera

To provide a bit more context for my future postings, I thought I would offer up some more information about how I first came to the French Riviera in France. I don’t usually write posts this long but for some reason, I felt like letting it all out.

In the early 1990s, I started going on more trips to Europe from my hometown of Vancouver, British Columbia in Canada.

I love my homeland dearly but I always had a gut feeling that Europe would be in the cards for me, it did take some time but I managed to get here to live full-time.

Since it was the early 1990s, there was, of course, no internet, calling was expensive and then there was the snail mail system. For myself, any information about a location in Europe I was interested in visiting usually came from something I had seen on TV, the local library, but mainly from friends that had recently been where I wanted to travel and seemed to be a fountain of

With that, and usually two jobs to save money for a trip that could last anywhere from a month to 3 months, I would plan out an itinerary the best I could.

One trip was to Greece where I stayed in Athens and the gay holy land of Mykonos which seemed to be teaming with major celebrities that year and full of outrageous parties.

To get a break, I then took the ferry to Santorini, which was stunningly beautiful, and didn’t seem to be overrun by tourists just yet. I loved it but after about a week, I was getting bored, which can be due to my nature of needing to do something constructive.

In fact, I don’t know if I would have the patience to take an actual vacation and do nothing. I
have to be learning about a location, get involved in the local lifestyle and am always planning something ahead. I’m the kind that will go to a beach and am an avid swimmer but after an hour I almost start feeling guilty and need something to do. Learning to fully relax is on my list to do.

From Santorini, it was a quick stop in Athens again before heading to France for my first visit.

I’ve always been fascinated by France, its history, culture, and language, and even to this day, I find the country to be completely intriguing.

I spent my first week staying in a fantastic apartment that a friend owned and who was out of town. It was an unusually large apartment in Paris and I knew at the time I could never afford something like it if I decided to move to the city one day, at least immediately.

Day and night I began exploring on foot every part of the city I could, absorbing as much as
possible and slowly becoming accustomed to how I saw people living and was fascinated by it all.

Not long after, relatives who had moved to the Dordogne region of France from the UK as part of their retirement a couple of years before invited me to come to visit.

While visiting them, by chance, most of the people my relatives had gotten to know were all gay men. And it was actually lesbians who built their home, so I was instantly introduced to many people from the small LGBTQ community as “the Canadian” staying with relatives in France.

I’ve always admired my relatives and thought of them as mentors in many ways and their friends seemed to go out of their way to tour me around the region and give me the inside scoop on everything that was happening.

During a weekend trip to Bordeaux with my relative's friend Jean Marie, in conversation one day, he asked where I thought of visiting next in France. I told him I had met a woman on the ferry from Santorini to Athens that told me a bit about Nice and even suggested a hotel to stay at if I go and what to see and do.

Jean Marie thought it was a great idea and since I had the time, a few days after our trip, I took the train to Nice.

I sometimes wonder how I managed back then but others obviously did as well. I knew maybe ten words of French, there was no internet, mobile phones, or apps back then. I recall just having some handwritten notes and a map of France.

Tourism at the time didn’t seem to be taken as seriously or prevalent as now, get anything, even minor done just took longer compared to now, but since I didn’t know any different back then, it was just part of the adventure of traveling, making mistakes and taking things in stride.

I arrived at the main train station in Nice in the early evening of almost the middle of September.

Everything I read or was told was to not hang around the train station at night.
When I got off the platform and was leaving the train station, there were a few homeless people but it didn’t seem that bad.

There were not many street lights and there was an edginess as
though trouble could happen at any moment. The night seemed almost steamy as though the
heat from the sun on the streets during the day was being released and there was definitely a sense of mystery in the air.

I was quickly falling in love with this place.

There was no tramline near the train station as there is now, and I wasn’t about to try and figure out the bus system, yet knowing that taxis were expensive, I didn’t care and thought it was the best and safest solution.

I told the taxi driver to take me to Rue Paradis. I could see on my map that it would be a short ride from the train station and was located by the sea in a pedestrian zone area, according to the new friend I met on the ferry in Greece who suggested the hotel there, she told me it was a safe, tourist type of location.

Thinking back, the cab driver took me the most direct route to the hotel, so although definitely
overpriced, he didn’t take advantage as much as he could and he was very polite in pointing out places to visit in his broken English.

To my surprise, my stop was outside a Louis Vuitton boutique and as he took my bags out of the trunk, he pointed to my hotel which was next door to the Louis Vuitton.

My first thought was if Louis Vuitton has a store here, the area can’t be that bad.

And I was to
find out later that the Louis Vuitton boutique has been in the same location since the early 1940s and there are still images of it there during WWll.

My hotel was what I expect for it being a 3-star at the time, but over the years it quickly went down to a 2-star, and the service and look of the hotel got worse. The hotel eventually closed completely down at least 4 years ago and is riddled with rumors of what will be happening to the building given its prime location.

Since it was almost low season, the hotel desk clerk gave me a great deal by giving me the
biggest and best room in the place that was big enough for a family and at an even lower rate than a single room also because of the length of my stay. I was exhausted from the long train ride from Bordeaux but happy about the deal.

The first morning in Nice, was the opposite of how I normally lived in Vancouver, where I felt like sleeping most of the time simply because of the bleak weather. Here in the Cote d’Azur, even to this day, there is something about the energy of the sun coming up brings to the region that I am raring to go.

I had nothing planned except for venturing around Nice that first day, and I couldn’t get ready fast enough to hit the streets and beach. Having always been good with directions, I figured out the lay of the land in no time.

Nice then as now, is a relatively small city, that to me is safe with a
downtown core that offers most anything you would need.

Although Nice is set up far better and more convenient these days, with a greater selection of shops and overall much cleaner than back then, there was still something interesting about it all.

And it seemed easy to meet people, also like now and even with my very limited French back then.

If there was something I hadn’t discovered yet on my own, I would be given advice on almost anything, such as areas to avoid and why, and also what more I can see and do.

For example, back in the early 1990s, during the day, people went into Vieux Nice (Old Town), located by the
sea to eat at the small selection of restaurants but it was also known that it might not be the best idea to explore that part of the city after 7 pm as the area was not as updated for tourists as it is now, nor as clean, but mainly because there were really no police security cameras in place and because of the maze of the narrow pedestrian streets, locals up to no good who knew the area could quickly mug you or pickpocket your wallet and take off and you wouldn’t know which direction they headed.

Now Vieux Nice is filled with visitors day and night with a melting pot of restaurants, shops, and bars to choose from, plus the varied street market on the Cours Saleya.

Since I had been checking out the LGBTQ bars and nightclubs in Greece and Paris, this had me wondering, where was the gay community in Nice?

One would see who I assumed were gay guys on the street but being gay didn’t seem to be as open LGBTQ-wise as it is welcomed now.

Again, because there was no internet, doing some searching around and word of mouth seemed to do the trick.

At one point, I was shopping at an obviously gay clothing boutique at the entrance to Vieux Nice. The store was quite large and I loved some very unique items available, it helped that the very handsome owner started offering up information about the local gay community, mentioning that it was a small group where everyone seemed to know each other and were supportive and friendly.

He gave me a couple of small flyers he had about what establishments were available, when is the best time to go, etc. In total, there were about 3 nightclubs, two that were not open as often, a couple of porn shops, and a small bar.

I tried to attend which place I could in Nice when I wasn’t busy exploring other places like Cannes and Monaco during the day but to be honest, on this first visit, I wasn’t that impressed with the nightclub experiences.

One club was way the hell out of the center of the city in a practically residential area, expensive to get in with not many people on any visit, and is now two family-sized apartments.

Another place was in the downtown core near Avenue Jean Medecin in a place that was at one time a theater/cinema but then it had these large clear glass windows in which you would literally see the neighbors next door hanging out their windows watching to see who was going in and out of the club, and what they were doing once inside the nightclub.

It’s like they never heard of blacking out the glass or even putting up curtains and again, this club was never busy. This was also a transgender escort area at the time, a very small group who were always very friendly.

As for that nightclub, it is now a Lidl.

Close to my hotel in the pedestrian zone was what could be considered a real nightclub, it was very up-to-date and quite large for the city but because there were even very few places for young straight people to go, they also went to this nightclub too simply because the music was better, so not totally gay but modern inside with great beats. This property is still a nightclub to this day but for heterosexuals and on about its seventh version of a nightclub.

I had already been spoiled by Mykonos and Paris so it could’ve been my mood back then not being so impressed, but I did realize that Nice was a small city and you could definitely tell the LGBTQ community was at least trying and growing.

Being someone that always fights for the underdog, I thought there was something I could build upon here.

I was already in love with everything about the French Riviera, even the bullshit hustler aspects of the region which I find add to its charm. That sunny place for shady people deal. I can most certainly tell you that living here is far different than just being a visitor and it’s like a game that I cannot play enough.

I was hooked and so the Cote d’Azur became a place I was obsessed with for every reason imaginable. It was my escape from Canada, where the limits seem endless, with the freedom to really develop into the person I want to be, even with its challenging times, I love it.

Over the years, I continued to do my research on the region and have slowly built up a network of connections from every career and background, and on every visit, it seemed the LGBTQ community expanded and evolved more with the times.

Seeing there was no real presence online for those wanting to visit this part of France, for fun, I made it a mission to provide as much information about not only the LGBTQ community but beyond for everyone. Living here for years now has made it all that much easier with zero regrets.