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Arts & Culture
A colorful architectural jumble of old clapboard houses and crumbling mansions, the captivating port town of Valparaíso comprises Chile’s cultural core. A UNESCO-protected gem of a city, the hodgepodge of hills and rickety cable cars here make for fascinating ambles, but “Valpo” may very well be South America’s most underrated locale. In the midst of a tourism renaissance, a bevy of happening little eateries, hotels, and boutiques have been cropping up about town. Recently back from a five-night stay there, I’m fresh off the ground with some of the best value recommendations for sleeping, eating, and taking it all in. Read more
For some positive antidotes to that depressing and inaccurate, yet still pervasive, stat about American travelers – that a mere 20 percent of U.S. residents hold passports – consider these figures from the U.S. Travel Association:
- U.S. residents logged 1.6 billion trips for leisure purposes in 2012
- 1 out of every 8 jobs in the U.S. depends on travel and tourism, an industry that generated $200.9 billion in payroll for those directly employed in U.S. travel
- Direct spending by resident and international travelers in the U.S. averaged $2.3 billion a day, $97.7 million an hour, $1.6 million a minute, and $27,125 a second!
The bottom line: Traveling is a powerful force that’s good for everybody, which is the underlying message of National Travel & Tourism Week, starting May 4 and running through May 12. Currently, more than 60 locations across the country, including state and local tourism boards and travel businesses, are hosting some pretty nifty events. Here, a quick rundown of highlights sure to bring out the travel bug in you. Read more
Up until recently, had you told me that longtime Italy pasta maker Giovanni Rana was serving up fresh artisanal-filled pasta in New York City (which they’ve been doing quietly in Chelsea Market since last November) my reaction would have been “so what?” as I had pretty much had my fill of artisanal-filled everything. That is, until this past Sunday, when the artisans filling some of that pasta at Giovanni Rana Pastificio & Cucina were me and my three children. Read more
Let me tell you a tale of Mexico that has little (okay, nothing) to do with what you order at Chipotle or Taco Bell. Instead let me open your eyes to pork, cheese, chocolate, and chilies (and perhaps a grasshopper, or two). This is the tale of Puebla – Mexico’s original foodie destination. Read more
Twenty-one horses will compete in the 139th Kentucky Derby on Saturday. If you can’t make it to Churchill Downs to watch the run for the roses, don’t worry. Viewing the race from any of these seven venues is the next best thing. Read more
Dismiss your foggy college memories of “gold” tequila. The Mexican national beverage is far more varied and complex than the stuff used for those tequila poppers. This distilled libation is made from only one plant – the Agave tequilana Weber, blue variety. Its lance-shaped leaves have a blue-green hue, which is why people often refer to it as “blue agave.” When harvested, those spiky leaves are cut off to get to the plant’s heart, or piña (which looks like a big pineapple). The piña is cooked to obtain the juices that form the basis for the final product. Read more
It’s no secret that there are countless unknown holidays that are celebrated around the world (Talk Like a Pirate Day, Margarita Day…you get the idea), but International Dance Day should be one that is on your radar every year. Founded over 30 years ago, the day’s message is one that transcends all barriers, “The intention of International Dance Day is to celebrate dance, to revel in the universality of this art form, to cross all political, cultural, and ethnic barriers and bring people together with a common language – Dance.” To celebrate in our own way we’re bringing you four cities to visit to experience this international language. Read more
Spring and summer seem to be festival seasons, and this time of the year, there’s plenty to celebrate. Warm weather, blossoming flowers, the ability to carry your wife long distances – wait, what? Across the globe, there are tons of strange and spectacular festivals commemorating everything from macaque monkeys to body painting. We’ve selected seven we find a little bit odd, but entirely awesome. Read more
Stonehenge, England’s famous mystical monument, is currently seeking a new general manager. The role was recently created by English Heritage, an organization that oversees over 420 historical assets of the British Crown – including Stonehenge. English Heritage’s Historical Properties Director Tim Reeve said the opportunity comes at an “exciting time to get involved in Stonehenge’s future.” Read more
There is a vast and under-appreciated tract of land on the eastern seaboard that goes by the name of New York state, and my family’s wanderlust for seeing more of it was ignited during a recent jaunt to Rochester and its magnificent Strong National Museum of Play.
I’m almost ashamed to admit that my knowledge of New York geography is so inferior that it hadn’t even dawned on me until after we left Rochester that I should have tacked a visit to Niagara Falls – a mere two hours west of Rochester by car – onto the end of our vacation. The good news is that we now have incentive to head back upstate – to see the falls, explore Albany, and pay our respects to Cooperstown’s Baseball Hall of Fame.
If you too have been contemplating why you don’t know New York state better than you do, think seriously about doing something about it this summer. Not only are many parts of the state perfectly outdoorsy and beautiful in the summertime, it’s also difficult to turn around without bumping into a festival or two that will likely yield quirky and highly memorable moments (see photo). Read more
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