Shermans Travel » Blog » Archive
Tag Results: Art & Culture
Last night I went to an event hosted by the inimitable Diane Von Furstenberg at her downtown studio. She’s teamed up with the new Red Star Line Museum, opening in Antwerp, Belgium (grand opening, spring 2013), to bring a little pizazz to a project the Belgium-born designer is passionate about. The Red Star Shipping Line transported some 2.6 million emigrants to the U.S. between 1873 and 1934, including Albert Einstein, Irving Berlin, and Arthur Murray (a few descendants inconspicuously roamed around DVF’s studio last night). The museum, which can be likened to Ellis Island, will bring the long abandoned buildings back to life with interactive exhibits and installations. (In fact, the architectural firm redesigning the complex is the same that renovated the Ellis Island Immigration Museum.) Yet the night’s focal point, aside from Diane and her exquisitely colorful space (sorry, fashionista talking), was a large poster board of an unidentified young girl sitting at the RSL station. Antwerp Vice-Mayor Philip Heylen announced the launch of a nationwide “do you know this girl?” campaign in an effort to discover her identity and arouse attention from the masses – perhaps one of your ancestors came over on the RSL? The contest winner will receive a trip for two to Antwerp and a $1,000 DVF shopping spree, which the designer added to the pot last night. Read more
Already at the helm of several of the Mile High City’s top restaurants (Mizuna, www.mizunadenver.com; Luca, www.lucadenver.com), chef Frank Bonanno recently added a trio of new spots to his repertoire: Lou’s Food Bar (www.lousfoodbar.com), an eatery serving French-American comfort food, Green Russell, a speakeasy, and Wednesday’s Pie (www.wednesdayspie.com), a pie shop open just one day a week. Juggling seven varied venues doesn’t leave Bonanno with time for much else, but he shares some tips on how a visitor can experience his city like a local.
Must-sees: First time visitors to Denver should definitely check out Larimer Square (www.larimersquare.com). It offers a bevy of great, unusual shops (such as Posh and Violet, www.violetstores.com) and a collection of restaurants with solid, interesting menus. It’s near all the theaters and events downtown and it’s just a really cool, beautiful historic block.
Realistically, Earth Day can be celebrated any day when dining out. It’s easy to find eco-friendly eateries around the country that serve sustainable food and embrace environmental business practices – online directories like the Green Restaurant Association (www.dinegreen.com) even provide state-by-state listings.
But many of these restaurants and cafés step it up a notch on Earth Day itself by offering special menu items and discounts, and producing special events and entertainment. On April 22, dine out and do good at these eight locations nationwide.
Red Stag Supper Club: Start the day with breakfast at Minneapolis’ Red Stag Supperclub (www.redstagsupperclub.com), where all money raised from 8am to 12pm benefits the Land Stewardship Project (www.landstewardshipproject.org). Minnesota’s first LEED-certified restaurant will serve up locally-produced and organic ingredients, while the LSP will give brief presentations.
Eco-Cafe: Write your pledge to go green on the chalkboard in front of New Orleans’ Eco-Café (www.ecocafeno.com) and you’ll get a free cup of organic coffee. That Friday, featured menu items – like the soup and salad combo – will be made exclusively with ingredients from Holly Grove Farm, just three miles away.
Great food, scenic Italy, and a positive message – sounds like a winning combination to us. Perillo Tours, a family-owned company operating tours to Italy since 1945, has announced new, first-of-their-kind itineraries based on the Slow Food movement, a gastronomical organization that promotes sustainable and ethical eating.
This summer, Perillo will offer two small group (10-25 people) Slow Food tours with a total of 12 departure dates from June through October. A 12-day tour of Piedmont and the Italian Riviera flies into Milan and makes stops in towns like Asti, Turin, and Portofino; a 13-day trip to Tuscany and Umbria begins in Pisa, with jaunts to Florence, Siena, and Assisi, among other cities.
Cowboys Stadium, the site of Super Bowl XLV on Sunday, presents wonders at a previously unheard-of scale: Costing $1.1 billion to build in June 2009, the stadium is the NFL’s most expensive to date and has the world’s largest dome and the biggest high-definition video display.
Yet fans who visit the stadium 20 miles west of Dallas will also notice a Texas-size art program, big in the number of pieces as well as artist reputation. Steel sculptures dangle above entranceways; intricate murals line stairwells; and vivid, geometric plaques swoop above concession-stand signs – part of 19 site-specific art installations spread throughout the 73-acre arena. This is probably the country’s only sports stadium where the art is basis for a $30 tour offered on nongame days.
To residents of bustling Sydney and artsy Melbourne, the southern island state of Tasmania is Australia’s provincial cousin. Its residents, so-called Taswegians, are often characterized as country bumpkins who live 150 miles off the coast. It’s easy to see why the natural landscape has defined the area: Tasmania is a striking mix of Tahitian-like beaches, verdant rain forests, and pointy peaks, much of it protected within 19 national parks. In the bushland, furry wallabies hop, fat wombats waddle, and Tasmanian devils howl.
Recently, however, a touch of worldly elegance has landed on these shores. High-end lodges set in isolated areas have long been considered a specialty of the Kiwis to the north. But over the past few years, choice areas of Australia and now Tasmania have started to get into the game. The 20-suite Saffire Freycinet (www.saffire-freycinet.com), a deluxe resort that opened in June on Tasmania’s sunny east coast, has brought clean-lined modernity, but not so much so as to interfere with nature.
The sleek new Salvador Dalí Museum, which opened January 11 in St. Petersburg, Florida, was designed by Yann Weymouth of Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum. Overlooking Tampa Bay, the structure marries solid concrete with twisting geodesic glass reminiscent of the Louvre’s pyramid. (Indeed, Weymouth worked with I.M. Pei on that Paris landmark.)
The structure houses some 2,140 pieces; most were acquired by A. Reynolds and Eleanor Morse, an Ohio couple who befriended Salvador and Gala Dalí in the 1940s. For decades the couple displayed hundreds of works in their Cleveland home and then in nearby Beachwood, Ohio, before donating the collection in 1982. The cache landed in a converted one-story warehouse, the first incarnation of the St. Pete museum.
When the Fifth Avenue department stores describe their annual holiday window displays as their “gift to the city,” a timeless gift-giving question comes to mind: What do you get the city that has everything? The major department stores have each developed signature please-all solutions over the course of this holiday tradition, which dates back to the 1920s. Macy’s and Lord and Taylor typically gear their windows toward the kids, featuring moving trains, mechanical dummies, and classic holiday narratives. On the high-end side, Barney’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Bergdorf Goodman take no-holds-barred approaches, competing with each other to wow pedestrian audiences and creating windows like mini-galleries that blur the line between commercial and high art.
Bergdorf Goodman on 59th Street and Fifth Avenue typically holds down the most impressive display in terms of sheer opulence. Designed by creative director, David Hoey, this year’s windows show scenes of fantastical travel rendered in a steam-punk style. A rider in Alexander McQueen is mounted on a winged horse; Aexplorers board a balloon-drawn carriage manned by wooden monkeys; a mannequin peers over antique maps at emerald turtles and diamond beetles.
On November 20, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston’s much-anticipated Art of the Americas Wing officially opened to the public, and locals and visitors can’t get enough. When I visited the museum last weekend, the galleries were packed with people and there was a line outside of those just waiting to buy tickets. The new 121,000-square-foot wing – a project five years in the making – displays 5,000 works from the MFA’s collection.
The new American galleries showcase everything from Native American crafts to Paul Revere silver to 20th-century Abstract paintings. Standout pieces include the extensive John Singer Sargent collection on level 2 and the enormous “Passage of the Delaware” by Thomas Sully. The first-floor galleries were specially designed to fit the latter painting (shown above), which measures over 12 feet in height; this is the first time the painting has been displayed in its original frame.
Take a bright, crisp décor, add some 20,000 bottles of the best Portuguese wine and fold it into a hotel with stunning views across a wide river to an ancient city on a hill, and there you have The Yeatman. Portugal’s first and only “luxury wine hotel” opened in September in Porto, the little country’s second biggest city that’s most famous, of course, for Port wine. The property so lovingly acknowledges Portuguese history while single-handedly propelling the city’s hospitality scene into the future that it’s entirely appropriate to agree with its website’s assertion that, “a great classic hotel defines a destination, providing an authentic and memorable sense of place,” and that moreover Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage City, is defined by The Yeatman.
Sign up for the Top 25 Newsletter
to get exclusive weekly deals