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5 New York City Songs that are Better than Taylor Swift’s


As much as we love and respect Taylor Swift as an artist and human (so much heartbreak at such a young age, yet she perseveres), as New Yorkers we’re not entirely on board with the news that she’s been selected as NYC & Company’s new ambassador for tourism. It’s not that she’s not a great representative. She’s savvy, ambitious, and articulate—like all of us. It’s just that the song that she wrote for the campaign, “Welcome to New York,” is just so…well…bland. In NYC and Co’s new promo video she rightly describes the city as bold and bright and loud. Shouldn’t the song be the same?
 
So without being too presumptuous, we’d like to nominate a few alternative tracks for the official New York City theme song.

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New App Reserve is the Uber for Restaurant Reservations


The founders of Uber have already disrupted the taxi industry worldwide—now they’re taking on the restaurant space with standalone app Reserve. The debut product by start up studio Expa (created by Uber founder Garrett Camp), launches today with service in New York City, Los Angeles, and Boston. Here’s how it works.

The Basics:
Reserve will be the everyman’s digital concierge. Plug in basic parameters such as the time, date, and party size for your reservation, and it will offer a curated list of vetted restaurants that may fit the bill. Select the ones that interest you, and it will seek out tables on your behalf, updating you by text message along the way. 

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November Vacation Deals

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Florida: 61% off from Westin Cape Coral Resort at Marina Village

Sunset Getaway package includes:
• Two nights in a Traditional room.
• Spot dolphins on a 90-minute sunset boat tour.
• Free upgrade based on availability.

Cost: $398 ($199 per night), double. November 1–December 31.

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Holiday Travel Planning Twitter Chat on Tuesday, October 28

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Have you made holiday travel plans yet? Whether you prefer the sand or snow, we're discussing travel tips and the best holiday getaways in our Twitter chat on Tuesday, October 28th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Join along to ask the experts for advice!

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4 Ways to Save Money on Holiday Travel

Visit NBCNews.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy


Wondering how you'll save big on travel this season? Travel + Leisure's Mark Orwoll gives the details on saving money during your holiday excursions.


Also on Travel + Leisure:
Meet Our Local Experts
5 Reasons to Visit Costa Rica’s Caribbean Side
Best New Restaurants in Boston

Tips and Trends for Holiday Travel 2014

Lower oil prices means higher profits for airlines, but what does it mean for travelers? Travel + Leisure's news editor, Amy Farley, addresses price hikes for flights during the holidays, and trends for fares during the winter season.

For more travel videos, go to travelandleisure.com/video.


Also on Travel + Leisure:
Meet Our Local Experts
5 Reasons to Visit Costa Rica’s Caribbean Side
Best New Restaurants in Boston

World’s Best Islands 2014 Video

Wide, white-sand beaches? Check. Photo-worthy wildlife? Check. These three islands are some of our readers’ favorites.

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Apartment Therapy’s Maxwell Ryan’s Favorite Hotels

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This post comes from our editorial partners at Oyster.com.

Maxwell Ryan, founder of Apartment Therapy, knows a thing or two about turning up interior charm. He started out his career as an “apartment therapist,” transforming homes into beautiful, organized, and healthy-to-live-in spaces. You could say he’s a bit of a hybrid—part interior designer and part life coach. His style is about comfort, simplicity, and a lack of clutter. Today, his website has become the go-to site for design inspiration. Since our main decor interest here at Oyster.com is hotel-focused, we asked Maxwell to turn his creative eye towards hotel design. We couldn’t wait to hear of his favorite hotel spots around the globe.

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Governor Offers $500,000 to Design Better NYC Airports

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Who can fix New York City’s crumbling airports? State governor Andrew Cuomo is hoping someone will, and recently announced a $500,000 design competition for JFK and LaGuardia in tandem with an $8 billion overhaul of the region’s international airports.

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Chefs Team Up For Taste of Waldorf Astoria

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Eggs benedict, red velvet cake, Waldorf salad, Thousand Island dressing—the world is a better place thanks to these foodstuffs. Seriously, red velvet cake could end wars. And eggs benny? Sunday might just be Monday-like without it. All four were born at the Waldorf Astoria New York.

Now, thanks to a partnership with the James Beard Foundation, the hotel brand hopes to bequeath civilization with another culinary hit—or at least something super delicious. Five young James Beard-nominated chefs will be dispatched to properties around the globe, partnering with master chefs with Michelin chops to cook up a new recipe for the Taste of Waldorf Astoria.

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W Hotels and Jennifer Hudson Ask Americans to "Turn It Up For Change"

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It’s not every day you see an Academy Award-winning actress, a Top Chef, a hardcore punk singer, and a drag queen sitting at the same table watching two transgendered dancers battle it out in heels.
 
But that’s what happened at the W New York Union Square this week, when Jennifer Hudson, joined by Padma Lakshmi, Courtney Love, and Lady Bunny, among others, judged a voguing dance-off.
 
It was the city’s first look at Turn It Up For Change, a new initiative from W Hotels and the Human Rights Campaign, with Jennifer Hudson as the program’s ambassador. Each month, W hotels across the country will host concerts and DJ parties promoting marriage equality in the United States.

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The Coolest Hotel in Every State

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This post comes from our editorial partners at Thrillist.

Unless your name happens to be Arthur Fonzarelli (in which case, that's crazy!), it’s hard to define the word "cool". And even harder to apply the label to hotels, when "cool" could mean historic, or trendy, or that the place is actually a decommissioned Coast Guard helicopter with a full-service bar... in your room!

But since we're not above doing hard work, we tried to figure out just how each state would define cool, and then applied that spirit to their hotels. In the end, we came up with what we think is each state's coolest, most emblematic hotel. Or we were wildly off. You decide.

READ MORE AT THRILLIST

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Dancing on the Great Barrier Reef

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These days, it is not unusual for dance companies to perform on beautiful open-air stages, especially in the summer.  Some venues are well-established: Jacob's Pillow in the Berkshires, the Saratoga Center for the Performing Arts in upstate New York, the Vail International Dance Festival in the spectacular setting of the Vail Valley, the Avignon Festival in Provence, but there is no spot quite like the seaside setting at Qualia, the luxury resort on the northern-most point of Hamilton Island, on the Great Barrier Reef, where the Australian Ballet performs on an specially constructed stage, with the particular blue-green waters of the Whitsunday Islands as background.

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International Airlines Make a Push for the U.S. with New Nonstop Routes

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Another week, another nonstop international flight. Over the last year—and into 2015—many overseas airlines, including Etihad, Emirates, Korean Air, and Cathay Pacific, are enhancing their presence in the U.S. market, launching new routes to and from hubs around the world. One of the latest comes from Qantas, whose new nonstop between Dallas and Sydney is now the world’s longest flight, at 8,500 miles and almost 16 hours.

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Twitter Chat Recap: Family Travel

If you missed T+L's latest Twitter Chat on Family Travel, check out the day's highlights here:


Also on Travel + Leisure:
Meet Our Local Experts
5 Reasons to Visit Costa Rica’s Caribbean Side
Best New Restaurants in Boston

In Time for Picasso's Birthday, His Paris Museum Is Reborn

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Following on the heels of the re-opening of the Peninsula Paris, which recently debuted in a grandly restored 19th century manse, the Musée Picasso Paris is (finally!) set to reopen in the 17th-century Hôtel Salé. With all the delays and debate surrounding the 43 million-euro renovation, we’re thrilled to get a first look at the sleek new space that marries the building’s historic character with a clean, streamlined interior.

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Book A Hotel Directly on Yelp With Help From Hipmunk

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Think twice before visiting your stalwart trip-review site or go-to OTA for recommendations or an online booking: there’s a new—but familiar—player ready to disrupt the travel market.

Yesterday, Yelp announced a partnership with Hipmunk that is making it much more than a home for crowd-sourced restaurant reviews. Yelpers can now preview and instantly book hotels directly on Yelp.

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Google Uses a Camel to Capture Street View of Dubai's Desert

Google Street View has taken us inside cruise ships and museums, down famous boulevards and nameless alleys, and now, thanks to some surprisingly low-tech help, across the Arabian peninsula’s Liwa desert, in Dubai.

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Virgin Atlantic Crew Gets New Makeup Look from Illamasqua

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Virgin Atlantic crewmembers got a quintessentially British makeover for the brand’s 30thanniversary. In conjunction with the reveal of their new Vivienne Westwood-designed uniforms—which feature sharply tailored red skirt suits for the ladies and maroon 3-piece suits for the guys—the airline unveiled a fresh makeup look created by British beauty brand Illamasqua.

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What Gay Marriage Means for Las Vegas

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Las Vegas, Nevada, Wedding Capital of the World is now handing out marriage licenses to same-sex couples. For a city that markets itself as a free-spirited wedding destination, the change could mean big business.

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Family Travel Twitter Chat on Tuesday, October 21

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Making family travel plans? We're discussing tips and getaways in our Family Travel Twitter chat on Tuesday, October 21st from 2 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. ET. Join along to ask the experts for advice!

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October in St. Pete Beach, FL

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This post comes from our editorial partners at Oyster.com.


Sure, people are always giving props to California for its year-round perfect weather, but what about Florida? You know, the 
sunshine state. Florida may not be known for its dry heat like California, but St. Pete Beach, Florida’s humidified residents can often be seen sporting tank tops and tan lines around the Christmas tree! But to avoid the throngs of holiday-time snowbirds covering the beaches, it’s wise to hit the sand and the Gulf of Mexico’s lusciously warm waters a little early—say, like, now.

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Gucci's Packable New Makeup Line

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This fall, my must-have accessory isn’t a pair of riding boots or a bomber jacket. Nope, I am officially obsessed with a red lipstick—packaged in a minimalist black tube, marked by interlocking Gs—from Gucci. For the first time ever, the Italian fashion house is stepping into the world of beauty with a range of products including lipsticks, shadows, foundations, and high-wattage mascara. If you're planning a city getaway for this fall, add these makeup essentials to your carry-on routine.

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T+L Twitter Chat Recap: Hawaii


Also on Travel + Leisure:
Meet Our Local Experts
5 Reasons to Visit Costa Rica’s Caribbean Side
Best New Restaurants in Boston

How to Snag a Last-Minute Restaurant Reservation (Video)

It’s a common predicament: You arrive in a city and realize you don’t have a dinner reservation. Never fear, there are a couple ways to work the system in your favor. Here, some food for thought on what to do.

Tip 1: Call in the afternoon.
Around 3 p.m., restaurants start confirming that evening’s reservations and waiting list. Call in the afternoon, and you just might snag a newly canceled reservation.

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“Eataly per Duomo” Brings Centuries-Old Sculptures to NYC’s Italian Flagship

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This week, Eataly New York debuted a few new staples in their marketplace. This time, it’s not Italian fare, but Italian history. A collection of sculptures were carefully extracted from Milan’s most famous building, il Duomo di Milano, and transported to New York for display on the premises.

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New Video Announces Virgin Hotel Chicago's Perks

While we eagerly await Sir Richard Branson to take us all to space on Virgin Galactic, a more imminent expansion of the Virgin travel empire is keeping us grounded.

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10 Ways to Never Pay for Travel Again

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Traveling for free doesn't have to involve couch surfing, dumpster diving, or stowing away in the wheel well of a 747. It doesn't even have to involve credit card fraud.

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Book Review: Life Lessons, Adventure, and the True Meaning of Travel

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That travel can be a life-changing experience is no revelation, but as Bruce Northam eloquently proves in his newly released "The Directions To Happiness--A 135-Country Quest for Life Lessons," sometimes travel epiphanies can sneak up and bite you in the ass. And the closer you are to the people of your destination, the more likely are those discoveries to land in your lap. "As opposed to traveling as a tourist, I propose traveling as a poorest," he writes at one point. And it is indeed that low-impact style that leads the author to so many simple-but-true learnings.

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Where You Live Says a Lot About Where You Travel, According to Study from Hopper

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There’s a lot to love about Hopper, a data-driven fare finder that recently launched the Flight Tonight app to search for last-minute airfare. The company recently released results from an internal study, which pinpointed the most popular travel destinations for each state based on flight search data as compared to the national average (versus the most searched destinations for each state). Among the discoveries: Those in Illinois mostly search for flights to Poland, 239% more times than the national average—most likely because Chicago has one of the largest Polish populations in the world.

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