Trendy as they may seem, I am a big fan of food joints with a singular focus: concentrate on just cupcakes, and you’re bound to have great ones. Only mac n’ cheese? Yes please. There will always be flash-in-the-pan imposters, but the greats stick out—and stick around. A visit to the February-opened, Lower East Side-situated Meatball Shop is simultaneously an exercise in control and an embarrassment of riches: with a meatball-only menu and seemingly endless ball, sauce, and cheese combos, this uni-concept resto is anything but limited.
After devouring T+L’s delectable July Food and Travel issue, I stumbled across the perfect literary accompaniment: journalist Richard C. Morais’s debut novel, The Hundred-Foot Journey (Scribner). The title is somewhat misleading—this “journey” is actually one of many thousands of miles, tracing the improbable rise of an Indian chef, Hassan Haji, from Mumbai to Paris, as we follow him from his humble roots at a ramshackle family-owned Indian restaurant to his enviable position as one of France’s most celebrated chefs, the acquirer of three coveted Michelin stars.
July may be on its way out the door, but there’s still plenty of time to book a dream getaway before the summer is up! Just hop on over to Vacationist.com, sign up for a membership, and take advantage of the fantastic values offered for luxury hotels around the world!
The Elounda Mare Hotel in Greece, overlooking Crete's turquoise Mirabello Bay, offers spectacular views of the sea and distant mountains. (If you’d like to avoid the energetic beach scene, we suggest opting for one of the roomier Deluxe Bungalows situated farther from the sand—with their own private patios and saltwater pools, it’ll be your own private paradise.)
The Huffington Post, the popular news site, today launched HuffPost Travel, their first travel section. HuffPost Travel will provide both practical information (hot deals, travel tips, hotel reviews) and inspirational blog posts from people like designer Kimberly Ovitz, chef Mario Batali, and hotelier Andre Balasz. The Huffington Post's active community will also be encouraged to contribute their travel tips, photos, and reviews.
Arianna Huffington, co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post, said, "Some of my happiest - and most enriching - moments have come through travel: my first trip out of Athens when I was 11 (to Paris); my first trip to America when I was 16; traveling around India at 17, riding third-class, but getting a first-class education."
Despite the 87-degree heat today, a line stretched around the corner
of 55th Street and 8th Avenue in Manhattan this afternoon. These people weren't
waiting for ice cream, or something to combat this muggy mid-July day. They were waiting for
Hot Soup!?! Yet this wasn't just any soup from any ol' bodega. These
people were waiting for soup at the grand re-opening of the original location of The Soup Man (immortalized in the Seinfeld episode "The Soup Nazi") which had been shuttered for six years.
It’s mid-summer and the season’s blockbusters are out (or forthcoming). While we don’t have an Inception contest, Pixar hit, Toy Story 3 is giving away a Disney cruise and the much-anticipated Eat Pray Love inspires a 3-week vacation giveaway. This Contest Watch wants to make your movie dreams a reality.
STA Travel, a student and budget travel operator, is giving away a 21-day trip to Italy, India, and Bali inspired by the novel Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. The movie adaptation starring Julia Roberts opens August 13th. To enter, simply sign up at http://eatpraylove.statravelpackages.com/win/. The grand prize includes all airfare, tours, and accommodations, movie tickets and a copy of the book, and Lonely Planet Travel guides.
Over 1,200 photos were submitted the first month of our photo contest (theme: “My Favorite Place”), but only 10 images made the cut. Whether you just want to look at some great pics or weigh in on your fave photo/photographer, you can view the slideshow of semi-finalists and cast your vote here. (Photo credit: Tamar)
New York Times | In the middle of a cool, cloudless Parisian afternoon, light was pouring into my guest room from a turn-of-the-century courtyard in the 10th Arrondissement. I clambered up to the loft bed, suspended above dark oak floors, and stared at the textiles shop sign swinging in the courtyard through the large, almost floor-to-ceiling windows.
A bottle of Bordeaux was breathing; other amenities included a pantry stocked with cereal, milk and yogurt. I also had a phone number to call if I needed dinner recommendations or, perhaps, extra shower gel. But I was happy sitting at the window, nodding at my new neighbors as they wheeled their bikes onto the street and headed into the cafe-lined Marais.
Hotel guests pay handsomely for such perks, but I wasn’t in a hotel. Nor was I in some vacation rental. I was in the home of Julien Szeps, a 26-year-old chef whom I met through a new kind of short-term rental service called AirBnB.com. And the studio apartment was only 65 euros a night, about $80 at $1.23 to the euro. Not bad for an entire apartment with a full kitchen and bathroom, less than 10 minutes by foot from the Louvre. (Image credit: AirBnB.com)
I just returned home from my 12-day honeymoon in Turkey and had to share a gorgeous vacation spot. Bodrum, on the western coast, is a lovely enclave of beach resorts and whitewashed cliff-side architecture.
After six days in Istanbul and two nights in Kusadasi (a similar resort town near the historic ruins of Ephesus – our reason for the sidetrip), we decided to rest for three days at Casa dell’Arte, a T+L It List Hotel of 2008 located in Torba (a hamlet of Bodrum) known for its vast private art collection and breathtaking Aegean views.
New York Times (PARIS) — Many people buy a pied-à-terre in Paris to use for a few weeks a year and to rent the rest of the time. Most of them don’t realize, however, that they are breaking the law. Now, the city government is trying to address the problem with a more direct approach to enforcement.
Mayor Bertrand Delanoë ordered an agency last year to warn property owners that renting out residential apartments for less than a year at a time violated French law. The move was intended to address the lack of affordable housing in the city center. Those who ignored the warning, he said, would be prosecuted. (...)
But the rental industry in this most-visited city in the world is concerned and, as more owners slowly become aware of the issue, confusion is growing. A few have pulled their properties off the market, others have deleted addresses or other identifying details from Internet listings. And dozens of rental agencies have banded together to try to save their lucrative business.
Poo poo all those grumpy naysayers who tell you that summer’s almost over and you’ll never find a deal on a hotel room. The poor things don’t know about the great deals being offered on Vacationist.com. Here’s a look at the current slate:
Got “one night in Bangkok?" You will want to stretch your stay to a few more days when you see the Vacationist offer for Lebua at State Tower. The Lebua, 67 stories tall, offers spectacular views of the busy streets of Bangkok from the serene sanctuary of its spacious guestrooms. Vacationist is offering nightly rates for up to 30% lower than other sites for suites or tower rooms, with daily breakfast.
CNN | That airfare you booked because it looked like a great deal can actually end up costing you 50 percent more because of extra airline fees, a watchdog group has found.
The Consumer Travel Alliance analyzed the base fares and extra charges for nine major airlines on four popular domestic routes.
It found that a traveler requesting extra legroom and checking two bags would have to pay an average of 54 percent more than the base price of the ticket shown on a popular online travel site at time of purchase.
For a family trying to book a trip, the fees can mean hundreds of dollars in unanticipated expenses, said Charles Leocha, director of the Consumer Travel Alliance.
Back in 1978, Congress enacted legislation that removed government regulation of airfares (and routes and timetables) while maintaining its control over airline safety. While this change stunk for labor unions and certain airlines that wobbled and collapsed in the competitive market (Alas, poor Braniff!), it’s generally paid off well for the rest of us.
There’s no denying that over at T+L lately, we’ve been flushed with auction fever. First came Vacationist (a new private hotel sale site brought to you by T+L and online auction veteran Luxury Link), then last week it was Mystery Auctions. Who doesn’t love a good deal—especially if it’s for a great cause?
There's a lot to comment about. The rules cover everything from tarmac delays to peanuts. If adopted, they could change the way Americans fly more than any single regulation since the airline industry was deregulated in 1978.
Administrative rulemaking, for those of you who snoozed through your civics class, is the process by which agencies adopt regulations that have the force of law. In this case, it's the Department of Transportation making the rules. The agency is at a critical step during which the traveling public vets these important regulations. READ MORE
Daniel Rose’s excellent Paris adventure has all the ingredients of the best-selling expat tale it may someday become: smart kid from Chicago thinks he might be an art dealer or maybe an architect, studies classical Greek in Santa Fe, winds up in Europe, becomes a cooking school rebel and a clandestine cook, spends time in Italy and Japan, gets kicked out of a three-star kitchen, cooks for royalty, finds the internship of a lifetime in Brittany, opens a restaurant in Paris to instant acclaim, becomes the hardest table in town to book, gets dumped by his wife, closes the restaurant at the peak of its popularity, finds true love and— fast forward to this week—opens a new rendition of Spring. It’s the most anticipated opening of the year—and it shows all the signs of enjoying similar success.
Lately, everyone seems to have World Cup fever. You can hardly walk by a bar without seeing a WC happy hour promo or browse the Web without coming across at least one headline. And now, with the finals upon us, that fever has spread to the Netherlands Board of Tourism and Conventions, and rightfully so: the Dutch National Team—nicknamed Oranje (orange)—are celebrating their third ever placement in the World Cup finals. (They'll be playing against Spain on Sunday.)
So what better way to celebrate this feat than by starting a contest? The tourism board is offering two round-trip tickets to Amsterdam from any international airport in the world to one grand prize winner. What do you have to do? Show your love for Oranje...by getting decked out in orange—the country's historic, national color!
We just revealed our annual World's Best Awards this morning, and we're happy to see that our winners are already celebrating! Virgin America, which was voted Best Domestic Airline for the third year in a row, is throwing a "Three-Peat" sale today. Fares start as low as $33, but hurry, because the sale ends at 5 P.M. PDT this evening.
MSNBC (AP) | PAYERNE, Switzerland — An experimental solar-powered plane landed safely Thursday after completing its first 24-hour test flight, proving that the aircraft can collect enough energy from the sun during the day to stay aloft all night.
Pilot Andre Borschberg eased the Solar Impulse onto the runway at Payerne airfield about 30 miles southwest of the Swiss capital Bern at exactly 9 a.m. (3 a.m. EDT) Thursday.
Helpers rushed to stabilize the pioneering plane as it touched down, ensuring that its massive 207-foot wingspan didn't scrape the ground and topple the craft.
The record feat completes seven years of planning and brings the Swiss-led project one step closer to its goal of circling the globe using only energy from the sun.
The British media are all atwitter about the supposed plans by Ryanair to install vertical seats—that is, standing-room-only seats—in the last 10 rows of its Boeing 737-800s. Price of airfare in one of those seats? Just 4 pounds sterling (about U.S.$6). And how, you ask, can they afford to do this? Why, by charging you to use the toilet.
Wait a minute… Didn’t they already float (and later flush) the idea of a loo fee only to be publicly remonstrated, humiliated, and pilloried? Yeah, kinda—except that Ryanair doesn’t know the meaning of the word humiliation. On the other hand, it seems not to know the meaning of a lot of words, like “safety,” “concern for our passengers,” and “common sense.”
If you happen to live along the sweltering East Coast, in any one of the Gulf states, or any place where summer has yet to kick into high gear, you are no doubt day-dreaming—about strong, cooool ocean breezes, tar-free beaches, and well, a good old-fashioned getaway designed with a little barefoot relaxation in mind. This week, Vacationist comes to the rescue with a grab bag of terrific hotel offers guaranteed to bring relief:
Terranea Resort — 30 percent off Rancho Palos Verdes, California Escape to this former Marineland theme park in Southern Cali; the 102-acre, Mediterranean-style seaside resort comes complete with a 50,000-square-foot spa.
Diamond Deluxe Hotel — 53 percent off Kos, Greece With all the water in and around it—from glass-like pools weaving through the property to the sparkling Aegean—this 110-room boutique resort on the island of Kos appears to float.
Rendezvous — 42 percent off Castries, Saint Lucia Massages, showers, chaise longues—everything short of bicycles—are built for two at this couples-only resort.
The sprawling five million square foot building was officially opened Saturday by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Congress Party President Sonia Gandhi.
Complete with imported granite floors, huge white columns fitted with expensive speakers, 63 elevators, 95 immigration counters and a state of the art security and baggage system, Terminal 3 is also home to India's first transit hotel.
Officials say the new nine-level hub will be able to handle 34 million passengers per year, making it one of the biggest in the world.
One weekend during the semester I studied abroad in Prague, my friends and I wanted to go on an adventure. Instead of debating over where to go, we went to the train station with our bags and bought tickets for the next train out of town, wherever it went. That’s how I ended up spending one of the best weekends of my semester in Dresden, Germany.
If you’re feeling equally spontaneous, Priceline.com, Hotwire.com, and LuxuryLink.com, as well as its sister site FamilyGetaway.com, have added an element of mystery to their popular flash sales and auctions recently by having travelers bid on undisclosed resorts in unknown locations for very low prices (or by helping them score deeply discounted rates on unnamed hotels in cities of their choice, in the case of Priceline.com and Hotwire.com).
Fourth of July weekend is just about here! If you waited too long to make plans—or just didn't want to deal with the high volume of travelers trekking to and fro—then head on over to Vacationist.com and book a relaxing post-holiday vaca. The four newest properties on sale are:
Zoetry Agua Punta Cana, Dominican Republic All your needs will be tended to at this all-inclusive Oceanfront beach resort, where check-in and -out times are non-existent. Spend your time taking up one of the many hotel activities—snorkeling, anyone?—or grab a beach towel and cocktail and lounge by the pool.
Topnotch Resort and Spa, Stowe, VT Vermont is not just a winter destination, and Topnotch will help you take advantage of all the area has to offer. Get a tour of the lush maple and pine trees on horseback or head into town to sample tasty Vermont cheeses.
Business Travel News | The U.S. State Department on July 13 will raise the price for visas, passports and other consular services—some by more than $300—to reflect what the department determined is the true cost to provide such services.
For an adult passport, the State Department will begin charging $110—$35 more than the current price—plus a $25 execution fee, which is not retained by the department. Meanwhile, the cost for some visas will jump by even greater amount. For example, an employment-based immigrant visa will cost $720 under the new pricing scheme, compared with the previous $355. (Photo credit: Lyndsey Matthews)
Have you ever had that sinking feeling when you're standing by the carousel at the airport, watching suitcase after suitcase pass by—none of them yours—until finally, the carousel, now empty, turns off? It's a wretched feeling, especially at the start of a vacation.
One way to avoid this situation altogether is to ship your belongings ahead of time. The UPS Store just announced its new Luggage Boxes—and the cost is pretty reasonable. Shipping between NYC and L.A. costs about $66 for the small box or about $92 for the large. Just be sure to ship far enough in advance, and give your hotel the heads up! For a price comparison, here are the checked bag fees from five major domestic airlines:
Last year, my kids invited one friend each over for a slumber party. I walked them to Economy Candy with exactly $7.50 to spend on “refreshments” for the evening, ordered a pizza, and let them stay up late for the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. By all accounts, the party was a wild success. One kid got sick from washing down Sour Patch candies with milk (Who would have guessed there was anything as natural as citrus powder in candy?) and one kid fell off the sofa laughing, both of which events have provided fodder for a million jokes. I share this party-planning success story not because I see myself as the next Colin Cowie, but to illustrate that it doesn’t take a lot to excite most kids.
With Lance Armstrong and the rest of the world's best cyclists lining up in Rotterdam this Saturday for the Tour de France's grand depart, we here at T+L have biking on the brain. But with the realities of the ol' nine-to-five standing in the way of most everyman cyclist's yellow jersey dreams, it's hard to squeeze in midweek rides. Timbuk2 CEO Mike Wallenfels found a solution to that dilemma, deciding to trade in the morning commute behind the wheel for one on top of two.
We recently caught up with Mike to talk early morning rides, city cycling culture, and the pleasures of finding those perfect European cafés when business (and the bike) takes you on the road.
Growing up in Southern California in the 1960s, my friends and I would start off each summer’s quest for a tan by heading to the beach to lay down a good “base coat”—or what doctors like to call a second-degree burn. I had so many sunburns by the time I graduated high school I can’t even count them. We didn’t use high-factor SPF sun protectants; we used cocoa butter and tanning oil to really soak up those UV rays. Then someone went and discovered that, according to the Skin Cancer Foundation, having even one severe sunburn as a child doubles your risk of developing melanoma as an adult.
Now you tell me.
I travel frequently and like to explore the outdoors wherever I go—swimming in Phuket, scuba in the Great Barrier Reef, early morning walks beside the Huangpu River on the Bund in Shanghai. At home in the States I dig biking and body surfing. I love doing the morning crossword puzzle sitting by my backyard pond. I even enjoy weeding my lawn. The point is, I’m outside a lot, and I can’t afford to get sunburned again. That’s why I was especially glad about a recent unplanned meeting with an acquaintance in the green room at CNN.
The annual Tour de France bolts out of the starting gate on Saturday for three grueling and beautiful weeks of bike racing. The TV and online coverage, on a sports channel called Versus, amounts to a vivid travelogue with sweeping helicopter shots of aqueducts built by the Romans, crumbling medieval ramparts in the Pyrenees, and green, undulating countryside.