Dennis Hensley’s Los Angeles

11 01 2016
Los Angeles

Los Angeles

The times I most often find myself thinking, ‘This could only happen in LA,’ are the special film screenings that happen all year-round all over town. I’ve seen Flashdance in the company of Jennifer Beals; Saturday Night Fever with John Travolta; Singing in the Rain with Debbie Reynolds; and earlier this year, Showgirls with Nomi Malone herself. That’s right, kids; freaking Elizabeth Berkley was in the house — well, the cemetery — and touchingly thanked the gay community for embracing the movie when the rest of the world turned against it. What a moment! It was like my Stonewall.

A well-traveled friend of mine once remarked, “Truly great cities don’t have to constantly tell you how great they are.” That observation comes to mind when I think about Los Angeles, the city I’ve called home for the last 29 years. L.A. is fine if you show up thinking we’re all about shallowness and smog and silicone because then we get to blow you away with our ever-evolving array of sights, smells, tastes, sounds and yes, guy candy.

Dennis Hensley is a writer and host of the podcast Dennis Anyone? with Dennis Hensley, available on iTunes and at

Dennis Hensley writers about Los Angeles in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazine

http://www.dennisanyone.net. He’s also a ManAboutWorld global correspondent. This piece was originally published in the December 2016 issue ofManAboutWorld.

Brunch: Hedley’s
Though this intimate charmer is right in the heart of West Hollywood, it’s rarely crowded, the food is delicious (I alternate between the salmon scramble and the breakfast quesadilla) and the star-spotting ain’t bad either. There are only like 10 tables in the whole place, and there’s usually a famous face like Drew Barrymore, Jason Gould or Greg Berlanti at one of them.

Cocktails: Casita Del Campo
Delicious Mexican food, strong drinks and a sexy Silver Lake crowd make Casita Del Campo my pick for the spot tourists don’t know and locals love. After dinner, venture downstairs to the Cavern Club Theater, where irreverent gay favorites like Jackie Beat, Nadya Ginsburg, the Nellie Olesons and Chico’s Angels have been delighting crowds since the ‘90s.

Workout: GROOV3
For me, this deejay-accompanied, hip-hop workout is a cross between a dance party and church because I always leave sweaty, spent and totally uplifted. Whether you’re an experienced dancer or a beginner, you’ll feel right at home thanks to the no-attitude crowd and infectious spirit of GROOV3 founder Benjamin Allen whose motto is Dance Sweat Live.

Outdoors: Runyon Canyon
For a challenging hike and breathtaking photo ops of the Hollywood sign, downtown and on a clear day, the ocean, it’s hard to beat Runyon Canyon. It’s right in the middle of the city but you feel like you’re in the boonies and the shirtless hottie parade will have you repeatedly asking the time-honored L.A. question, ‘Is that dude a gay guy, soap star or both?’

Hidden gem: NOHO Arts District 
I’m thrilled to report that North Hollywood, my neighborhood since 1989, has gone from ‘How can you live there?’ to ‘How fabulous!’ in the last few years. Casual coffee hangouts like Tea Pop and the Republic of Pie have popped up alongside hip eateries like the barrel-shaped Idle Hour, which was restored to its 1940’s splendor earlier this year after decades of disrepair and endangerment.

Hotel: The Redbury  
Conveniently located near the Pantages Theater and the Red Line subway, this 57-room, Boho-styled boutique hotel houses my favorite restaurant in the city, the Middle-Eastern shared-plate paradise Cleo (order the brussels sprouts and thank me later). The Redbury also happens to be where they shot several scenes for the award-winning 2012 gay film “I Do.” (See photo below.)

The Redbury in Los Angeles

The Redbury

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FREE Gay Travel Guide to West Hollywood

24 06 2015

Gay West Hollywood as seen in ManAboutWorld gay travel magazineDid you miss our gay West Hollywood Twitter chat yesterday? It included a link to obtain a free Gay Travel Guide to the little city that’s the beating gay heart of Los Angeles. It’s a mere 2 square miles, a pink dot in LA’s sprawling 500 square miles but it packs a punch beyond what its surface area would suggest.

You’ll find fabulous hotels, scrumptious restaurants, a boozy, exciting array of great gay nightlife options but also outdoor space and art, very cool design (clothing as well as home), and loads of cultural options. You don’t even need a car to get around. (Thank you Uber and Lyft.)

Here’s a link to the Twitter chat, where you can find some truly insider tips from local experts (and some saucy photos! Did we mention the locals are hot?!).

Download the ManAboutWorld on the iTunes App Store or Google Play for tablet or smart phone and get the guide for free. For a free three-month subscription to the magazine, click here.

 





Departing Shots: Killer Photos Of Cemeteries

27 05 2015
La Recoleta Buenos Aires

La Recoleta Buenos Aires

Cemeteries are the subject of the Parting Shots section of this month’s issue of the magazine. Here are a few of our favorite shots. Story and photos by Jeffrey James Keyes

  1.   Why do you check out cemeteries when you travel?

I think some of the most incredible artwork can be found in cemeteries, I love seeing how some are well maintained and others have the feel of a secret garden, like you’ve stumbled into some storybook garden with trees and vines growing over the statues and graves. All cemeteries have the same peaceful vibe, it automatically grounds me and reminds me that life is fleeting. Whenever I leave a cemetery I feel slightly recharged, like I’m ready to live and tackle the world.

  1. Do you travel to places you know will have cemeteries or do you simply check out cemeteries when you find them?

Read the rest of this entry »





Hidden in Plain Sight: A New LA Favorite

19 11 2014

thebungalowJust off the ocean, The Bungalow is a part of Santa Monica’s Fairmont hotel property, but it’s a world unto itself, tucked away behind shrubs and ivy, and lit with lights and fire pits, this multi-room bar is the stylish bungalow beach house of your dreams. Monday through Thursday, it’s relatively calm, and a favorite of ours to play ping pong, pool, or hang out with friends for a drink. Come the weekend, it’s more hectic, more alive, and one of the city’s yes kept secrets. And if you have an extra $100 grand laying around, you can even rent the place out for your friends.





Los Angeles: Mid-Summer Pride Fetish Ball

21 05 2012

I haven’t been to the Pride Fetish Ball, but trust me: These are not the most scandalous costumes you’ll see.

We love the new and ever-improving downtown L.A. area. What used to be a gritty, scary, urban wasteland is now transforming into a fabulous, must-go destination in its own right.

And what to the folks at TwistMyNight.com, creators of Unusual Earth Events, do? They decide to turn part of it back into a gritty, scary, event called PRIDE FETISH BALL. Though of course the difference is you’ll really want to check this out. Halloween is one of West Hollywood and L.A.’s most exciting time to visit with folks really dressing up (this is home to Hollywood, for heaven’s sake), especially with slutty, sexy, and fetish-type costumes.

This “scandalous masquerade,” is scheduled for Friday, June 8 from 9pm-2am at Infusion Lounge at Universal City Walk in Los Angeles.

Information:

  • Tickets: $20, available in advance at 665 Leather-West Hollywood, Stockroom-Hollywood and Rough Trade-L.A.; online atwww.twistmynight.com or at the door.
  • Recommended dress:  Tasteful fantasy/fetish.   Ages 21 & over.  I.D. required.  Infusion Lounge is located at: 1000 Universal Studios Blvd, Ste 208 Universal City, CA  For more information, visit www.twistmynight.com




What’s Hot in Los Angeles and West Hollywood: Listen In

22 02 2012


Proud FM Toronto’s latest travel Tuesday segment aired last week. Find out what’s new, hot and happening in Los Angeles and West Hollywood with their “travel guru” — yours truly. Discover new restaurants, bars, a revitalized downtown and much more.

Click here to listen: http://www.proudfm.com/interactive/podcast_player/554

 





LGBT Travel Panel at the L.A. Times Travel Show

22 01 2012

Yours truly is organizing an LGBT travel panel at the upcoming L.A. Times Travel Show on Saturday, January 28, 2012 from 2:15pm to 2:45pm  in the Travel in Style Pavilion, naturally enough.

If you are anywhere near the Los Angeles Convention Center in downtown L.A., please stop in. You can find more information about the travel show by clicking here. You can obtain a 20% discount off the $10 entrance price by purchasing your ticket here and using the code EARLYBIRD.

We’ll talk about hot new destinations, events, and cruises to make your gay/lesbian travel planning just a tad easier. Come with questions. I’ll be moderating a panel that includes:

  • Shannon Wentworth, founder and CEO of Sweet, cruises and tours for lesbians and their friends;
  • Duane Wells, contributor to MoxieQ, which promises a “gay for every girl” and numerous LGBT travel publications; and
  • Andy Bender, blogger for Forbes.com and contributor to numerous mainstream and LGBT publications.

The panel is brought to you in part by the International Gay & Lesbian Travel Association, which is active in over 80 countries. Discover more about this nearly 30-year-old organization by clicking here: LGBT.Travel.








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