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The Monocle Café Opens in London

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Monocle, the London-based magazine of global affairs and style, is as well known for its in-depth articles about far-flung destinations as for its clean, smart look. For both those things, it's a magazine meant to be read as much as be seen with—whether on the plane, or displayed on your (designer) coffee table. Now, the six-year-old publication wants to be known for the taste of its coffee. On April 15, The Monocle Café is set to open in London's Marylebone neighborhood, promising customers a very Monocle-like experience. (Read: posh, international, and very, very stylish.)

The Monocle Café occupies two stories at 18 Chiltern Street and was designed by the same team that created the sharp, classic look of the magazine. The Café features coffee from Allpress, a menu designed by chef Masayuki Hara, and a soundtrack provided by Monocle 24, the magazine's radio station. This being Monocle—where a little exclusivity goes a long ways—subscribers are invited to rent the space out for private parties.

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See a Movie in Honor of Roger Ebert

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Film critic and America's best-known movie fanatic Roger Ebert has died after a long fight with cancer that robbed him of his voice but never his smart, opinionated, and humane writing. While we'll leave it to his longtime home, The Chicago Sun-Times, and others to explain the great critic's influence on American culture, Chicago (where he lived with his wife, Chaz, and celebrated places like Old Town Ale House), and movie fandom, we'd like to offer a look at some stories we image Ebert would've enjoyed.

These are for you, Roger. We'll see you at the movies:

Best Vintage Movie Theaters

America's Best Outdoor Movie Theaters

World's Coolest Movie Theaters

Matt Haber is an editor at travelandleisure.com

Photo by ZUMA Wire Service / Alamy

Carnival Triumph Back in Alabama Port

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This week brought more bad news for Carnival Cruises when Triumph, the cruise ship that found itself stranded off the coast of Mexico following an electrical fire in February, broke loose from a dock in Mobile, Alabama yesterday. Adrift for a few hours, the boat has now been secured.

According to NBC News' Tracy Connor, the Coast Guard is currently looking for one shipyard employee who disappeared following the boat's dislodgment. Another worker was rescued from the water after falling in.

As you may recall, Carnival president Gerry Cahill said the company would be looking into its entire fleet following the Triumph incident.

Matt Haber is an editor at travelandleisure.com.

Photo by Paul Brown / Alamy

No Joke: Tiny Samoan Airline Will Charge Passengers By Weight

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We wouldn't blame your assuming that Samoa Air's recent announcement that it will be weighing customers and charging them based on their weight is a belated April Fools' Day stunt, but apparently, it's real.

Reports have been popping up everywhere since the announcement, and the tiny airline's official website confirms the new policy with a statement that reads: "We at Samoa Air are keeping airfares fair, by charging our passengers only for what they weigh. You are the master of your Air'fair', you decide how much (or little) your ticket will cost. No more exorbitant excess baggage fees, or being charged for baggage you may not carry. Your weight plus your baggage items, is what you pay for. Simple."

Is it so simple? Not everyone is pleased with this idea. The Guardian's Ally Fogg wrote that the new policy "panders to a particularly unpleasant trend in modern culture that legitimises and even celebrates fat-shaming and body fascism. At its most crude this is manifest in straightforward cruelty and discrimination."

Chris Langton, head of Samoa Air, defended the idea—and suggested it may be the start of an industry-wide trend—in an Australian radio interview quoted by the BBC: "People generally are bigger, wider and taller than they were 50 years ago… The industry will start looking at this."

Photo by iStockphoto

Camera Lost at Sea Near Maui Found on Taiwan Beach Five Years Later

Maybe there's hope for Brittania Fisher after all. Fisher, the Dallas woman who lost her wedding ring in the surf in Miami earlier this month, might be happy to read the story of Lindsay Crumbley Scallan, who lost an underwater camera while scuba diving in Maui in 2007 and has gotten it back—plus a free trip to Taiwan to retrieve it.

Last week, Hawaii News Now broadcast a story about the camera, which was found last month washed up 6,000 miles away on the shore in Taiwan. The camera, a Canon PowerShot A520, was intact despite its casing being covered with barnacles. More importantly, its memory card still worked and contained clear pictures of its owner enjoying Maui. A China Airlines employee who found it on a beach in Taiwan set up a Facebook page looking for the woman in the photos. Hawaii News Now posted a slideshow of images recovered from the camera along with an appeal to help track down the people in the photos. Since it was posted on Friday, the story of the lost-and-found camera was passed around the Internet until it was seen by a high school classmate of Scallan's who recognized her and brought it to her attention. She's planning her trip to Taiwan now.

In an interview aired on HNN, Scallan, who lives in Georgia, said the discovery of her camera and its social media-aided return is "just unbelievable… It's pretty neat."

See: Best Digital Cameras for Travel.

Watch: 'Discover the Spirit of Japan' Video Goes Viral

Not every tourism board video posted on YouTube can boast nearly 1.3 million views in less than two weeks, but then, few of them have the same gentle, openhearted feel of Visit Japan's "Discover the Spirit of Japan" clip (above). As Talking Travel Tech's Kevin May noted just after the video was posted earlier this month, one secret of the clip's success may be that it focuses on Japanese people, not their country's destinations, cuisine, or activities: "The idea is to showcase the culture, traditions and history of Japan from the perspective of its population rather than simply a fancy cascade of traditional tourism hotspots such as Mount Fuji and Tokyo skyline," May wrote.

Whatever its secret, the clip is working. It's been viewed over a million more times since May wrote that on March 17. And if you read the YouTube comments—"amazing!" "Japan is amazing country with great people and great culture"—it's clearly connecting with viewers.

Check out: T+L s Guide to Kyoto, Japan and our Tokyo Travel Guide

F.A.A. May Be Considering New 'Airplane Mode' Rules

Good news for flyers who hate putting away their e-readers or tablets while on the runway: The F.A.A. may be considering changing its rules about the use of electronics during takeoff. According to The New York Times' Nick Bilton, flyers may be allowed to put their devices into "airplane mode" and continue reading, watching videos, or playing games during takeoff as soon as next year.

As Bilton writes: "According to people who work with an industry working group that the Federal Aviation Administration set up last year to study the use of portable electronics on planes, the agency hopes to announce by the end of this year that it will relax the rules for reading devices during takeoff and landing. The change would not include cellphones."

This comes as welcome to news to some flyers, but probably none more so than Bilton, who has made "airplane mode" something of a crusade over the years. As the future-looking reporter notes, "The issue is only increasing in importance as more Americans board flights with wearable computers." Yes, it would be a shame if your seat-mate were forced to remove his or her Google Glass during takeoff.


See: The Final Say: Using Electronics on Planes

Sale of Lonely Planet Confirmed

After weeks of speculation, BBC Worldwide, the for-profit division of the U.K. media organization, confirmed the sale of Lonely Planet to semi-reclusive tobacco billionaire Brad Kelley. As The New York Times' Eric Pfanner reported, Kelley's company, NC2 Media, will acquire the Australia-based guidebook publisher for $77.8 million, a little more than half of what BBC Worldwide paid for it. (Rumors of the deal was first broken by Skift.)

In an email interview with Skift's Jason Clampet, Lonely Planet's incoming C.O.O. Daniel Houghton affirmed the company's respect for its core asset, the print editions of its guides: "Lonely Planet will continue to be committed to its roots in publishing and providing quality information to travellers around the world. We are committed to all mediums, and print will continue to be a part of the mix."

New York Post Bus Tour Brings Back Yesterday's News

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For New Yorkers, The New York Post is like a member of the family. Sure, it can be sensationalistic and vulgar. (Sometimes both at the same time.) Once and a while some critics may even find it a bit racist. But the Post is our paper, and we love it no matter what. Besides, what else are you gonna get for a dollar these days?

Now visitors can see New York City through The Post's legendary headlines. Metro Sightseeing (sister company of Circle Line Sightseeing Cruises) and the newspaper have teamed up to offer The New York Post Headlines Tour, a double-decker ride through the tabloid city.

The tour, which departs from 57th Street and 7th Avenue at 10AM and 2PM every Thursday (tickets are $49), takes you from the Helmsley Park Lane Hotel on Central Park South, former haunt of "Queen of Mean" hotelier Leona Helmsley to the Marble Collegiate Church, where Donald Trump met his second wife, Marla Maples in 1987. That marriage ended in 1997, but not before giving the Post one of its most famous headlines ever: "The Best Sex I Ever Had!"

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International Destinations for Cat Lovers

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Where should a traveler completely obsessed with cats go for a feline-themed getaway? (Asking for a friend, of course.) Check out T+L's latest must-click article, Craziest Places for Cat Lovers and find out.

Marvel at the descendants of Ernest Hemingway's six-toed cats in Key West, Florida. See a thousand-year-old mummified cat at the Kuchuing Cat Museum in Malaysia. Enjoy the rides at the Hello Kitty Theme Park in Tokyo. All of that and more, in the only cat-related slideshow ever on the internet*.

*Update: Apparently there are one or two other cat-related slideshows on the internet. But do they include a houseboat for cats in Amsterdam?

Photo by Lyndsey Matthews

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