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India's Vana Malsi Estate Reinvents the Spa Experience

Meditating in the Bodi Tree room

A trailblazing retreat at the foot of the Himalayas is reinventing the spa experience.

Set on 21 acres of lychee and mango orchards in the forests of India’s Uttarakhand state, 150 miles north of New Delhi, Vana Malsi Estate is the opposite of a tough-love boot camp. It’s a luxury ashram with an East-meets-West treatment menu, a farm-to-table ethos, and a sleek Modernist design, softened by the sounds of birds, rhesus monkeys, and melodious flute players.

Since it opened last spring, international jet-setters have been using Vana as a one-stop rejuvenation shop. After an initial consultation with a holistic doctor, guests receive a custom-tailored program that includes sessions across various disciplines. Therapists might draw on an ancient healing practice called Sowa Rigpa, from the Dalai Lama’s Tibetan Medical & Astrological Institute; a Chinese-medicine doctor may read your tongue and face to pinpoint ailments. Flute vibrations elevate meditation classes, held in outdoor pavilions, and days end in a private Watsu pool at the spa.

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Packing Tips from a Hyatt Hotels VP

Katherine Melchior Ray's Travel Uniform

Hotel executive Katherine Melchior Ray knows how to stay stylish on the fly.

Although Katherine Melchior Ray, the vice president of luxury brands at Hyatt Hotels, is on the road at least twice a month, she never forgets to pack a touch of home. “I bring my own coffee mug. That way, I don’t feel like I’m in a hotel, especially if I’m in bed and the sun’s coming in.”

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How Can I Make the Most of an Airport Layover?

airport

Quick access to a city center via public transport makes it easy to steal away for a few hours and take in some sights—and even a meal. Here are six airports we love, all with convenient luggage storage.

Heathrow, London

Minimum layover needed for two hours in the city center: 5 hours
Travel Time to City Center: 15 to 20 minutes
How to do it: Heathrow Express to Paddington ($57 round-trip; trains every 15 minutes)
What to do: A short ride on the Tube gets you to Waterloo, where you can walk along the South Bank for views of Big Ben, St. Paul’s Cathedral, and the Shard’s glass spire. End with a tagliolini with clams at Gordon Ramsay’s Italian-inspired Union Street Café.

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Museum Day Live! Means Free Entry to 1,500-Plus Museums

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Smithsonian museums are amazing for many reasons—not least of which is the fact that entrance to all of them is free. In honor of this perk, Smithsonian Magazine sponsors the annual Museum Day Live!, when more than 1,500 museums across the country do away with admission fees for one day. This year’s event—the 10th anniversary—takes place September 27.

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4 New Northeast B&Bs

The Inn at Hastings Park, Lexington, MA

A quartet of fresh-faced openings in the Northeast is breathing new life into the B&B.

Lexington, Massachusetts
The Inn at Hastings Park (pictured) has 22 tastefully decorated rooms (handwoven blankets; Peter Fasano wallpaper) in three historic buildings just 25 minutes from downtown Boston. Chef Mathew Molloy uses produce from local farms in New England–centric dishes such as seared scallops with gnocchi, corn, and lobster stew. $$

Lewes, Delaware
The owners of the celebrated Dogfish Head brewery recently opened the eclectic, 16-room Dogfish Inn. It’s located a mile from Lewes Beach and about three from Cape Henlopen State Park, so beer lovers can swim, bike, and hike, then quench their thirst at the brewery itself, right up the road. $$

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T-Mobile Breaks All Roaming Rules With Wi-Fi Calling

This week, T-Mobile continued on its rampage to break all the rules we've ever come to know about mobile carriers, this time with a move that throws the need for a 4G network all but out the window. The big reveal? Wi-Fi calling on all new T-Mobile smartphones, a feature that will make roaming workaround apps like Viber largely irrelevant. This comes on the heels of Apple's iPhone 6 debut, which also included Wi-Fi calling as a standard feature.

The implication for travelers is huge. First and foremost, it signals an enormous change in the way we think about roaming and international phone charges (already, the carrier has made data roaming and music streaming abroad worries of the past).

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T-Mobile Now Offers In-Flight Texting

Is T-Mobile trying to be the world's best network for travelers? All signs say yes. You likely already know about T-Mobile's free international data roaming features. Earlier we reported on T-Mobile's Wi-Fi calling features. Now, there's one more feather in the carrier's cap: free in-flight texting, picture messaging, and visual voicemail on all gogo-powered flights. The service is made possible thanks to a partnership with the in-flight Wi-Fi provider; like most announcements of this kind, this is being considered a limited time promotion (no end date has been announced).

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B-Sides Video: Chef Marcus Samuelsson in San Francisco


Travel + Leisure’s new video series B-Sides follows chef (and T+L food and culture contributor) Marcus Samuelsson through emerging neighborhoods in the U.S. that most travelers don’t know about. Like the “B-side” of a record album, these places are the flip-sides to a city’s greatest hits.

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Where to Shop on London's Bermondsey Street

Bermondsey Street

One-off boutiques. Artisanal restaurants. Buzzed-about galleries. Bermondsey Street is London’s of-the-moment destination. 

Tanner & Co.: In a dining room decorated with old-school radios, model ships, and antique boxing equipment, Tanner & Co. claims to serve the best burger in Bermondsey (fried bacon, Gruyère, chutney, and pickles on a brioche roll). There’s also an expansive cocktail list; we love the Bermondsey Street Bootleg, made with Tanqueray gin, apricot brandy, Sauvignon Blanc, and rose-and-hibiscus syrup.

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How Big Can My Carry-On Bag Be These Days?

Carry-on bag

Though some airlines (JetBlue; Alaska) give you a few extra inches here and there, the major domestic carriers are all in agreement: the maximum allowable carry-on bag is 22" x 14" x 9". This standard has been in place for years, but in the past airlines were lenient about ensuring bags adhered to it. United, however, started enforcing its size limits in March. So to play it safe, invest in a suitcase that doesn’t exceed those measurements.

Amy FarleyHave a travel dilemma? Need some tips and remedies? Send your questions to news editor Amy Farley at tripdoctor@timeinc.com. Follow @tltripdoctor on Twitter.

Courtesy of Rimowa

Why Malmo is Scandinavia's Hippest Travel Destination

Old City Hall, Malmo, Sweden

This Swedish city across the Øresund strait from Copenhagen is emerging as Scandinavia’s hippest hub. Here, four reasons why.

Because some of the region’s best chefs are setting up shop. Cheap rents and a food-obsessed public have lured bright culinary talents. At B.A.R Krog & Vinbar, the tasting menus by Robert Jacobsson—a former sous-chef at Copenhagen’s Noma—push boundaries even by Nordic outside-the-box standards (think ash-and-elderflower sorbet with cucumber and vanilla). Chef Robin Eriksson recently moved from Stockholm to open Tryne Till Knorr, serving simple, refined dishes with a local emphasis. Don’t miss the stone-baked cabbage wedge topped with a hunk of 36-month-aged Comté and a perfectly pan-fried egg.

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The Plane Truth: You Don't Really Know Someone Till You've Flown Together

Writer's on Flying

The first argument I had with the woman who became my wife concerned not punctuality, past romances, who pays for what, or any of the usual early-relationship bones of contention, but the proper response to a 3-3 seat configuration on a transcontinental flight.

I’m partial to windows, meaning I need a damn window seat, while Nilou is an aisle person. This being a full flight, I’d booked us a window and a middle, stupidly assuming she’d want to sit together.

“Wait—you didn’t get me the aisle?”

“And put a stranger between us? What good is that?”

“Good for my sanity is what it is.”

“But don’t you want to cuddle?”

“Not now I don’t.”

It was our first trip together, and it seemed destined to be our last. I love my wife to pieces, and think she feels the same, but at that particular moment, on that particular plane, it’s safe to say we loved each other a little less.

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The Peninsula Paris Makes a Grand Debut

Peninsula Paris

At the newly opened Peninsula Paris, there are two entrances. The first is on Avenue Kléber, where steps lead up to a large terrace café and then into the lobby restaurant. The stairs are flanked by two imposing Chinese lion statues in white marble, among the few overt signs of the hotel group’s venerable Hong Kong heritage. The 19th-century limestone building and slate-tiled mansard roof are otherwise classically Parisian, overlooking the wide, tree-lined avenue. Indeed, the hotel is an emblem of Haussmann’s Paris—stately and confident, a block away from the Arc de Triomphe and the Champs-Élysées, in the 16th Arrondissement. The stonework façade is intricately detailed and like the entire building has been carefully restored; a glass-and-steel canopy extends origami-like over the entrance. This is the public face of the hotel, promising glamour and the cosmopolitan rush of the city, a place of coming and going, a place to see and be seen.

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Hotel Spas to Visit Now: Guerlain Spa

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There’s nothing quite like the hotel spa experience. You can book an appointment last-minute; ride the elevator wearing just a bathrobe (with no shame); bask in a beautifully designed space; and head back to your room without even glancing at a bill.

These days, hotel spas are stepping up their game, partnering with top beauty brands to bring a new level of sophistication to their treatments and products. Here, one of our favorites:

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Paris Twitter Chat on Tuesday, September 16

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Where are the best spots in the City of Light? Find out in our Paris Twitter chat on Tuesday, September 16th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Join along to ask the experts for tips and advice!

The Hosts:

T+L's Special Projects Editor, Clara Sedlak, @csedlak1

T+L's Special Correspondent and New Media Editor, @sarahspagnolo

The Panelists:

Bag Snob's Tina Craig, @BagSnob

The Peninsula Paris, @peninsulaparis

Fat Tire Paris, @FatTireParis

Alex Marshall, @AlexMAbroad

T+L's Local Expert, Kate van den Boogert, @_gogoparis

Adam Goldberg, @LifeWorthEating

The Paris Kitchen's Wendy Lyn, @TheParisKitchen

How does it work?

1. Log in to Twitter before the chat starts at 2pm ET and be sure to follow @TravlandLeisure.

2. Head over to http://twitter.com. Enter the hashtag #TL_Chat into the search bar and select the "All" search option to follow the chat in real time.

3. Remember to always add the hashtag #TL_Chat to your tweets.

4. We'll pulse out some questions for our expert panel to answer, but feel free to post your own responses. Or ask questions of your own! 

All tweets are subject to our social media terms and conditions and may be used in any and all media including editorial. See full social media terms and conditions.

Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.

Design Museum Director's Favorite London Places

Design Museum

Here, Deyan Sudjic, director of the Design Museum, reveals his favorite places around London.

The Pub: The low-key Dean Swift, near Tower Bridge, is all about nostalgia for Old London, with hearty cooking—try the rabbit, pork, and chicken liver terrine—served in simple, unpretentious surroundings.

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Are Frequent Flyer Programs Worth It Anymore?

Airline loyalty

In an upheaval of frequent-flier programs, major domestic airlines will soon be basing your benefits on the amount of money you spend with the carrier rather than on the distance you fly—a move that privileges front-of-the-plane travelers over those who are more price-sensitive.

Delta led the charge in February, saying that beginning next year it will calculate your award miles according to ticket price, rather than miles flown. United made a similar announcement in June. (They also both instituted minimum-spend requirements for elite status with their programs this year.) JetBlue, Southwest, and Virgin America already have similar models in place.

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Our New Favorite Destination-Inspired Fragrances

Perfumes

Our favorite new fragrances are inspired by destinations near and far.

1. The windswept shores of England lie at the heart of Jo Malone’s Wood Sage & Sea Salt collection: a driftwood-and-white-musk base evokes rugged cliffs and ocean breezes. From $60.

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Backstage Beauty at Tibi SS15

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Season after season, Tibi designer Amy Smilovic turns out modern, wearable pieces in bold prints and rich fabrics—and her show this past Saturday was no exception. Taking inspiration from Japan and Peru, Smilovic crafted kimonoesque blouses, raffia-accented sandals, and stiff woven hats in muted tones.

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Air France and Lufthansa Pilots Strike: What You Need to Know

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Welcome to airline strike season in Europe. Air France canceled half of its flights today as pilots expressed their opposition to the airline's plan to shift focus to a lower-cost (and lower-paying) subsidiary. Thousands of travelers across Europe have been impacted—a number that will surely increase if the strikes continue through the week as planned.

And in Frankfurt, Lufthansa pilots declared an eight-hour strike set for Tuesday, which will disrupt the airline’s long-haul flights. In negotiations regarding Lufthansa’s early retirements packages, the pilots union has led strikes (at the budget subsidiary Germanwings) and walkouts since August.

Both airlines have worked proactively to minimize the strikes’ impact on travelers, rebooking with partner carriers and offering hotel-stays in the event that no alternative flight is found.

While strikes can throw a wrench in anyone’s travel plans, there are a few ways to lower your risks, as detailed by T+L’s Trip Doctor, Amy Farley. Here's what you need to know: 

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Call for Entries: 2015 Travel + Leisure Design Awards

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We invite you to participate in the eleventh annual Travel + Leisure Design Awards. Design impacts travel in ways both small and large—shaping everything from fashion and luggage to hotel rooms and city skylines—and these awards are a tribute to both the practical and the beautiful.

The 2014 award winners, representing 18 different categories, included the Herzog & de Meuron–designed Parrish Art Museum in Watermill, New York (Best Museum); a refined first-class cabin for TAM Airlines (Best Transportation); the farmhouse-style Bhutanese Gangtey Goenpa Lodge (Best Small Hotel); a stone-and-glass cultural center in Mexico City (Best Cultural Space); and Norway’s minimalist Høse Bridge (Best Bridge), among others.

To see all of the 2014 honorees, please visit travelandleisure.com/articles/2014designawards.

The 2015 winners will be chosen by a panel of outstanding experts in their fields. The deadline for entry is Monday, October 31, 2014, and the application is available at travelandleisure.com/designawards. The winning projects will be published in our April 2015 Design Awards issue. Please contact designawards@travelandleisure.com with any questions.

- Travel + Leisure Staff

Welcome to Transylvania

Transylvania

We were haring across the countryside, to swipe a phrase from Renata Adler’s novel Pitch Dark, traveling cross-country along back roads threaded through rows of sentinel beech trees, past dromedary hillsides and fields whose freshly furrowed soil was so deliciously black and loamy you were tempted to leap out of the car and scoop up a bowl. Some friends and I were headed into Transylvania, a little-visited swath of continental Europe in the shadow of the Carpathian Mountains, terra incognita except, of course, as a fantasy place familiar to the legions of readers and moviegoers who make the obvious instant association with the invincible Prince of Darkness and box-office ka-ching!: Dracula.

Talk about the undead! Not garlic or holy water or well-aimed stake can stop this revenant’s franchises—Twilight, True Blood, the eroto-gothic Vampire Lestat. But forget Dracula. The residents of Transylvania certainly have. Except at his alleged birthplace and an unimpressive castle where the Muntenian prince who provided a historical armature for Bram Stoker’s 1897 novel occasionally sojourned, hardly anyone there spares much thought for the midnight creeper. It’s no cinch even finding the kitsch souvenir mugs depicting him with blood dripping from his ceramic fangs. I tried.

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The Moment: Hayman Island, Australia

Hayman Island, Australia

6:24 p.m.: You’re on the verge of sensory overload. It’s golden hour at the new 160-room One&Only Hayman Island, a green haven on the Great Barrier Reef, and you’re reliving the day’s adventures. It began with a seaplane flight over this, the world’s largest living structure, touching down to snorkel in a pristine lagoon that exploded with color: rainbow-hued parrot fish bobbing among forests of staghorn coral, glowing purple and pink; green turtles and manta rays commuting casually by. (And don’t forget the giant clams, whose magenta lips slowly closed into contented grins as you swam past.) Lunch was a picnic and a chilled Barossa Valley rosé on the blazing-white sands of Coconut Beach. Now you’re back in a breezy cabana, met by a server with a tray of tart passion-fruit daiquiris to cleanse your palate for the evening ahead. What next? Take a short hike to Sunset Peak to catch the day’s last light? Maybe. Book an “Ocean Dreaming” massage, performed as you float on the warm tides of the Coral Sea? That sounds more like it. Then you remember you’ve planned a kayak trip tomorrow morning to one of Hayman’s secluded coves, and decide it’s best to tuck in early. So you head back to your suite, order up a platter of Sydney rock oysters, and count the shooting stars.

Photo by Petrina Tinslay Photography

New Photo Book Chronicles Celebrity in the Caribbean

Escape: The Heyday of Caribbean Glamour

Movie stars, heiresses, tycoons— in the early to mid 20th century, they turned the Caribbean into the American Riviera. Hermes Mallea’s Escape: The Heyday of Caribbean Glamour (Rizzoli) chronicles the birth of the palm-lined playgrounds and extravagant, colonial-style resorts that fueled our country’s fascination with the tropics. Ernest Hemingway poses with the day’s catch (swordfish) in Bimini; the Duke and Duchess of Windsor play cards in their tassel-and-toile-filled Nassau living room; Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward take a straw-hatted holiday at Jamaica’s Round Hill. All of it proves that elemental truth: tans may fade, but the lure of paradise is forever.

Photo courtesy of Emory Kristof/National Geographic Creative

Unlocking the Past with a Vintage Souvenir Collection

Vintage keys

For much of the 1970’s, my father was a traveling salesman, moving across the country by car and plane. Upon returning home, he’d empty his nicked hotel keys into a green wooden crate. The box lived on the top shelf of my parents’ closet, and I used to pull out a chair and stand on my tippy-toes to reach it, then lie on the floor and sort the 200 or so keys by fob shape, destination, or hotel chain. For a little girl in a one-bedroom Brooklyn apartment, that box of keys was a window to the exciting world outside.

Each key tells a story. There’s one from the Host Motel, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where Dad found himself during the historic flood of 1972. There’s another from the scary Rodeway Inn in Little Rock, Arkansas, where he knew to put a chair under the doorknob at night. (“But they had great ribs,” he insisted.) There are the many Ramada Inns, from exotic places like Portland, Oregon, and even more Howard Johnsons and Holiday Inns, whose purloined towels hung neatly in our bathroom—I imagined the stylized star to be our family crest. One lone cast-iron key from the King David Jerusalem was pilfered during my parents’ honeymoon; the Quality Inn in Omaha was from the night I was born, Dad off to chase a deal. My father would rave about the gym at Chicago’s Hyatt Regency O’Hare because it was such a luxury—those keys signified boom times.

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Celebrity Chefs' Favorite Restaurants

Wexler's Deli

Where do culinary celebrities go on their night off? Dana Cowin, editor-in-chief of Food & Wine magazine, asked three star chefs—all of whom contributed to her new cookbook, Mastering My Mistakes in the Kitchen (Ecco)—​ to dish up their go-to spots.

Suzanne Goin
Los Angeles (Lucques; A.O.C.)

“It’s pretty cool to see downtown’s Grand Central Market revived in such a wonderful way, with a new selection of modern food shops, such as Belcampo Meat Co., Valerie Confections, Eggslut, Wexler’s Deli, and McConnell’s Fine Ice Creams.

Niki Nakayama, who spent three years cooking in Japan, has opened her latest venture, N/naka ($$$$), a kaiseki restaurant in West L.A. My husband and I go there on our nights off.

My kids are obsessed with the ice cream at Mashti Malone’s, on North La Brea Avenue. Two Iranian brothers have been making their flavors (orange blossom with pistachios; rose sorbet with sour cherry) in-house for more than 30 years.”

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How to Buy a Moroccan Rug in Marrakesh

How to buy a rug in Marrakesh

Haggling for a carpet is a lively cultural tradition in Morocco—but it takes some savvy. Local hotelier Maryam Montague, who also runs the online textile shop Red Thread Souk, shows us the ropes.

1. Head to the Souk Zrabia, in the medina, where you’ll find the largest selection of handmade carpets. Comparison-shop among the options hanging outside the interconnected storefronts.

2. Local hucksters are notorious for markups, so know your rugs: shaggy and knotted types are piles; flatweaves are flat, woven, and less expensive. No matter the style, opt for wool (the highest quality).

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Frank Gehry's Fondation Louis Vuitton Opens in Paris

Fondation Louis Vuitton

The latest must-see attraction in Paris floats like a cloud of glass above the treetops of the Bois de Boulogne. The Fondation Louis Vuitton, devoted to contemporary arts and culture from France and beyond and supported by the luxury fashion conglomerate LVMH, opens on October 27. The building, designed by Frank Gehry, has galleries for its art collection (Daniel Buren; Rineke Dijkstra; Ellsworth Kelly), spaces for site-specific works, and an auditorium for music and dance.

Gehry, who was inspired by the greenhouses and pavilions of the Haussmann era, created a dozen curved glass canopies, comprising 3,600 panes. “I imagined Albertine and Proust playing there,” Gehry says, a nod to the neighboring Jardin d’Acclimatation’s past as a 19th-century children’s park. It’s that exuberance that makes the foundation one of the architect’s most magnificent designs since the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao.

Photo courtesy of Todd Eberle for Fondation Louis Vuitton, 2014

Take a Selfie, Help Save a Rhino

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Every seven hours, a rhino in South Africa falls prey to poachers. The country is home to 83% of Africa’s rhinos and 73% of all wild rhinos worldwide. In recent years, rhino populations have dwindled dangerously, with three out of five species classified as critically endangered (the highest risk for extinction). In looking for ways to combat the decline, andBeyond’s Rhinos Without Borders project has started a social media campaign to help fund protection of the endangered animals by relocating them to safety. Helping is as simple as taking a photo.

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Artsy Postcard: Brazil

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Brazil was front and center on the world stage this summer as the host of the FIFA World Cup—now the country kicking off art fair season with DW! Design Weekend, the Bienal de São Paolo, and ArtRio. The team behind Artsy, the art collecting and education resource, has touched down in the nation of rainforests and concrete jungles, and we’re back on T+L to share our favorite gems.

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