When researching his thrilling crime novels, acclaimed author Marcus Sakey stops at nothing to get the real story—he’s learned to make nerve gas, gone shooting with Special Forces soldiers, and shadowed homicide detectives. And as the host of the Travel Channel’s new show Hidden City, the former ad man visits 12 cities, digging up the dirt on some of the most notorious events in their histories. Here, Sakey reveals his most surprising discovery, his favorite crime story, and more.
Resident big-screen tough guy Chazz Palminteri—of A Bronx Tale and The Usual Suspects fame—recently added restaurateur to his resume, bringing a slice of his New York neighborhood to Baltimore’s Harbor East area. Aptly named Chazz: A Bronx Original, the family-friendly Italian spot is a partnership between the Oscar-nominated actor and the local Vitale family. Palminteri paid a visit to the Travel + Leisure offices to talk about his latest venture.
Q: What inspired you to open a restaurant?
A: “I always wanted to open a restaurant. But we all know the story: Hollywood actor partners up with aspirational childhood friends, opens to media attention, and the restaurant fails because of management or food issues. I always knew I had to find the right partners—serious restaurateurs who knew how to put out great food consistently, but also manage the restaurant professionally. And I finally found that in the Vitale brothers, Sergio and Alessandro. They grew up in the restaurant business and run one of the best Italian restaurants I’ve ever been to, bar none—Aldo’s in Baltimore—and they shared my vision. Also, food has played an important role in my life since I was young and living in the Bronx. I would wake up and smell the sausage and peppers coming through the windows and wanted to share that experience with everyone else. When you walk into Chazz, you walk into a little piece of my life—the sights, the smells, the tastes—and I’m so happy to share that.
By the age of 11, the average kid has learned how to climb a jungle gym. But not Richard Wiese. That was the age when the former Explorers Club president climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro for the first time—and he’s done it 15 more times since. The Emmy Award-winning journalist/adventurer/field scientist has also cross-country skied to the North Pole, tagged jaguars in the Yucatan jungles, and was a member of the largest medical expedition ever conducted on Mt. Everest. But his latest undertaking is as the host of the aptly named Born to Explore, a new syndicated ABC travel program that highlights cultures from around the world, including Aboriginals in the Northern Territory of Australia, Batwa pygmies in Uganda, and Mayans in Belize.
Art lovers curious to see works that the venerable auction house Christie’s puts on the block don’t need to go to an actual auction. Thanks to a recent partnership with JW Marriott, art from upcoming Christie’s sales will be displayed in special preview exhibits at hotels around the world.
Everyone has someone they admire—a certain chef, musician, or adventurer, perhaps. Here’s the chance to get up close and personal with your hero.
For the Foodie: The new gastronomic tour from renowned French chef Guy Savoy begins with lunch at his Paris restaurant (he’ll be there to greet you), where the menu is tailored to your next destination. This month, you’ll get whisked away on a jet to an oyster farm in Brittany; in November, you can create your own Cognac in Charente. The intimate trips end back where they started, with a meal hosted by the chef. From $7,000 (all-inclusive); Oct. 26–28 and Nov. 16–18.
For the Music Lover: At Hollywood, California’s Rock ’n’ Roll Fantasy Camp, you’ll form a band, get pointers from Kiss’s Paul Stanley, and take the stage at the Gibson Showroom. Leather pants not included. From $6,000 (includes most meals, a recording session, and evening activities); Nov. 10–13.
For the Space Junkie: Buzz Aldrin—the second man to walk on the moon—will speak to starstruck guests at Soneva Kiri by Six Senses Thailand, as part of the Exploratory Talkers’ Tables series. Doubles from $3,100, including meals; April 8, 2012.
Photo by Laurence Mouton
Imagine a time when air travel included white-gloved stewardesses (flight attendants, who?) serving caviar on board, giving bottles of champagne to fliers just for being nice, and gracing the cover of TIME.
In the modern world of exorbitant fees for checked bags and extra leg room, it’s nearly impossible to believe that a period like that ever existed, but ABC’s new show Pan Am—which debuts Sept. 25 at 10 p.m. and stars Christina Ricci—brings that 1960's Jet Age era of air travel to life. (Think of it as Mad Men, 30,000 feet in the air.)
Here, T+L gets on board with the show’s creator Jack Orman (of JAG and ER fame).