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Q&A: VJ Pogo Helps You Hear the World

Nick Bertke is commonly known as Pogo, the Internet sensation whose music videos have garnered a cult following worldwide.  He was born in South Africa, raised in New Zealand, and now lives in Australia.  As a teenager, he began taking film clips from Disney movies, spliced their sound bites into distinct melodies, and then posted the remixed product onto YouTube. At first they were taken down from the website, presumably for copyright infringement, but with their viral popularity, he was soon commissioned by Disney to make them for the company.  

Now, at age 23, and after a few international tours, he is traversing the globe to work on a more personal project, called World Remix. Using film shot by his own team, he is showing us his travels with an ear for its sounds and an eye for its sights.  I had the opportunity to talk with Nick about this unique career.

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Damien Hirst Exhibit Opens Today...In a City Near You?

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The prolific YBA artist, Damien Hirst, is continuing his successful career at being…well, prolific. Today, the Gagosian Gallery opens "The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011" in all of their 11 locations. That's 3 in New York, 2 in London, 1 in Paris, Rome, Beverly Hills, Athens, Hong Kong and Geneva. If this is still not enough Damien Hirst for you, the gallery is offering people to take on "The Complete Spot Challenge." Register at their website, jet to all 11 locations, and you'll get a personally signed Spot Print from the man himself. While you're in New York, stay at Le Parker Meridien or the Gramercy Park Hotel, where you'll find his work on their walls. In London, spend the night at 45 Park Lane and eat in the lobby, at Wolfgang Puck's CUT. There, you'll be greeted by even more of his pieces. Hong Kong? No problem. W Hotel, Hong Kong often exhibits his art in their lobby as well. Just make sure you bring some extra cash. A Damien Hirst doesn't come cheap.

Where: Gagosian Gallery (Worldwide)
When: Opens January 12, 2012 (Closing dates vary)
More Information: gagosian.com

Joe Harper is a Research Assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Photo Credit: © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2011. Photography by Prudence Cuming Associates

Williamsburg, Brooklyn To Get a Green Hotel

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Oppenheim Architecture + Design recently won the bid for the Williamsburg Hotel.  Between the Williamsburg Bridge and the domed Neoclassic Williamsburg Savings Bank, a 21st-century tower is set to rise over 400 feet.

What exactly does the prospect of a LEEDS Platinum-certified green building, set in the bustling bohemian enclave of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, say about New York's ever-changing tale? We'll have to wait and see.  For now, check out these interesting photo renderings:

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Don't Miss: BottleRockIt Cali Wine and Music Fest

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Wente Vineyards
, the oldest family-owned winery in the country, is at it again.  Travel + Leisure has long celebrated Wente for its picturesque golf course, a world-class destination uniquely situated amongst the vines.  What many people do not know, however, is that they also have a gorgeous concert area, where one might hear anything from jazz to hip-hop, classical to electronica.  This Saturday, check out their latest event: BottleRockIt.  Originally called Discover the Wine Discover the Music, this 5th annual music festival pulls in heavy hitters like Dirty Vegas and GIVERS, while also providing exposure to the emerging artists of the San Francisco Bay Area.  Twenty bands will amplify three different stages on this stunning estate.  Concert-goers are given the opportunity to do some world-class wine tasting while they bop their heads to the delicious tunes.  For $20, you can't beat that for a weekend getaway!

WHAT: BottleRockIt
WHEN:
Saturday, September 10, 2011. Doors open at 10:30 AM and performances begin at 11 AM.
WHERE: The lawn at the Wente Vineyards Estate Tasting Room; 5565 Tesla Road, Livermore, CA 94550

Joe Harper is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Just Back: The New and the Old of Newport, Rhode Island

201108-b-newport-black-pearl-smalljpgOkay okay, I ate at the Black Pearl Restaurant...again.  You can stamp “tourist” onto my forehead, but their New England clam chowder is too amazing to pass up.  I stumbled out satisfied and wandered into the colorful gallery/art studio, Art on the Wharf. Perhaps it was this tourist-guilt that compelled me to ask artist-owner, Tony Gill (pictured below), for some locals’ suggestions, but it was well worth the inquiry.  He had heard the question before and quickly handed me a sheet of paper titled “Tony’s Best Bets.”  I now had my work cut out for me.

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We Want Your Job, Diego Felix, Nomad Chef

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Is ordering delivery to the office your idea of going locavore? Do your culinary travels consist of drive-thru windows after a long day of work?  If yes, then we invite you to put down the plastic fork and check out this different kind of job: meet Diego Felix, nomad chef.

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5 Great Places to See Art in the Hamptons

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Too many sun-drenched days on those pristine sand-dune beaches?  Need respite from your designer-boutique shopping spree? It's easy to forget that the Hamptons have maintained a long history of hosting world-class artists and their ever-so-generous patrons.  So, send the kids off to the beach with the nanny (or bring 'em along) and enjoy an art-filled afternoon at any one of these great spots:

1)  The Pollock-Krasner House and Study Center: If nowhere else, this is an absolute must.  Put on the museum’s little booties and walk over the paint-splattered studio floor, where most of Pollock’s famous works were produced.  Let the idyllic harbor setting help you imagine the historic artist colony that was once East Hampton. (830 Springs-Fireplace Rd., East Hampton; (631) 324-4929; $5/$10 with guided tour.)

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