Amtrak Service May Not Be Restored For a Week: Experts

Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia.

Emergency personnel work the scene of a train wreck, Tuesday, May 12, 2015, in Philadelphia. An Amtrak train headed to New York City derailed and crashed in Philadelphia.

The Amtrak train derailment has not only left at least seven people dead and many more injured and missing, it’s also stifled travel for many businesspeople along the Northeast Corridor.

Here’s what we know: Amtrak has stopped service between Philadelphia and New York. It’s offering modified service between Washington, D.C. and Philadelphia, Harrisburg and Philadelphia, and New York and Boston.

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WATCH: YouTube Documentary Chronicles Questlove’s Trip to Cuba

Philly-bred Roots drummer Questlove took a trip to Cuba earlier in the year, and the whole thing is chronicled in a new documentary by Okayplayer that you can now watch on YouTube.

The film was directed by Jauretsi and Daniel Petruzzi. A synopsis: “In addition to two nights of DJing, Questlove made good use of his time in Havana, engaging in extensive cultural research both by digging up some classic Cuban-made vinyl and by visiting the legendary EGREM studios, where most—if not all—of those classic sessions were recorded.”

Check out the 13-plus-minute video above.

New York City: A Travel Guide for Savvy Philadelphians

Photo by Susanne Kremer

Photo by Susanne Kremer

We’ve got the Pope. We’ve got the millennials. We’ve got Top Chefs. You know what all that means? We don’t need to be frenemies with the Big Apple anymore; we can truly enjoy it for what it is — one of the best cities in the world that also happens to be Philly’s most convenient urban getaway. Read more »

No Small Talk: Inside the Mind of a Philadelphian Abroad

Photo illustration | Alex Rehoric; Photo | Shutterstock

Photo illustration | Alex Rehoric; Photo | Shutterstock

I should start by saying that, by Philadelphia standards, I am perfectly nice.

When in my natural habitat, out there in the wild among you people, I’m somewhere between inconspicuous and pleasant. I have been known to save spots in grocery store lines, hold doors on the El and even, on occasion, nod good morning to the new couple in my apartment building.

Considering I grew up in the Great(est) Northeast, this makes me a downright snuggly Miss Congeniality. Read more »

Field Guide: 5 Cozy, Luxe Log Cabins For a Winter Getaway


The private cottages of Winvian resort—including Beaver Lodge (left) and Log Cabin (above)—offer earthy charm at its most posh. | Photos courtesy of Winvian.

Turn the chilling temps into something memorable by renting one of these postcard-perfect (totally luxe!) wooden cabins for a weekend this winter. Read more »

10 Gay-Friendliest Places to Travel in 2015

Just in time for your 2015 travel-planning, Lonely Planet has put together a list of 10 of the “most progressive, inclusive and accepting destinations that open their arms to the LGBTQ traveller.”

Unfortunately Philly didn’t make the cut, but there are lots of great options here, whether you want to go overseas or make a stateside sojourn. Check out the list below, and head over to Lonely Planet for a more-detailed explanation about their choices:

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark
  2. New Zealand
  3. Toronto, Canada
  4. Palm Springs, U.S.
  5. Sitges, Spain
  6. Berlin, Germany
  7. Skiathos & Mykonos, Greece
  8. New York City, U.S.
  9. Reykjavik, Iceland
  10. Montevideo, Uruguay

The Advocate Ranks Erie, PA, 7th Queerest City in America

Presque Isle Lighthouse |

Presque Isle Lighthouse |

The Advocate has put together a roundup of 15 of America’s queerest cities, and it rather surprisingly includes Erie, Pennsylvania.

Before your mouth drops too far to the floor, the purpose of the list was to point out least-expected enclaves throughout the country that champion LGBT rights in their own, sometimes groundbreaking ways.

Erie gets major points for its array of LGBT-friendly establishments, but its trans-inclusive nondiscrimination ordinance put it over the top:

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Tie-the-Knot Tuesday: You Can Get Married at a Buddhist Temple in Japan

Although gay marriage is not yet legal in Japan, it doesn’t mean that couples can’t take part in a spectacular and unique gay wedding ceremony overseas. As a matter of fact, one Buddhist temple has teamed up with a luxury hotel to offer a special same-sex-marriage experience that is utterly unique and quite beautiful.

Hotel Granvia Kyoto is offering a four-day gay wedding package that includes a Buddhist “spiritual union” at a historic temple, traditional wedding attire, accommodations, and even a pink cake. The hotel claims that “gorgeous Japanese traditional kimono wedding attire, a customized floral bouquet with that special touch of Japanese elegance, and the mystique of exchanging vows at a historical Japanese temple…will be the most memorable and romantic day of your lives together.”

Couples will take their vows at Shunkoin Temple in Kyoto, Japan, which offers English-language Buddhist spiritual unions in traditionally-appointed ceremony rooms. Of note, the Temple’s website makes it clear that they “welcome all couples regardless of faith or sexual orientation.” I just love the pictures of the ceremony rooms and how peaceful and inviting the setting is:

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