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!

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Bathhouses, Saunas and Cruising Bars in Covid19 Times

As of today, July 1, 2021, another Covid19 restriction has been lifted in France, that being where gathering spaces such as bathhouses (otherwise also known as gay saunas) and cruising bars which were closed for well over a year, are now open.


There were a couple of bathhouses in the country testing the waters and opening once or twice a week before the restriction was technically lifted but now it’s game on again.

Rules for who can come inside during these unusual times will be guided by what the government still currently dictates but also with what an owner of these establishments wants to include for their own precautionary measures for the safety of everyone at the moment.
For those that live in France and those lucky tourists visiting, it is suggested you arrive at these venues prepared so that you don’t get turned away.

France loves paperwork, so bring along your passport or other nationality identification and anything related to confirming that you are double vaxxed, that being any documents preferably with a QR Code or have the QR Code of your vaccination through the Tous AntiCovid App available

Apparently, as of today, there will be a European Health Pass app available for those traveling that might help with proving you have had your vaccination shots.

Upon entering one of these premises expect to have a fever monitor device set on your forehead to check your temperature as an added precaution and you may be asked to use some of their hand sanitizer gel also before venturing around inside.

What each owner decides to do is totally up to them, the ones I know of though here in the French Riviera will be very on top of things with added precautions in place as they will not want to risk having to close again.

Word is that on July 9th, the nightclubs will reopen, I’ll post an update as more news and information comes in.

Enjoy yourself and stay safe