On February 1, 1913 Grand Central’s stationmaster received the first set of keys to the Terminal. One-hundred years later, New York will celebrate the beloved landmark (and one of the world's most beautiful train stations) with a full day of activities including a rededication ceremony in the morning and the opening of “Grand by Design,” a multimedia exhibit of the terminal’s history by the New York Transit Museum that runs through March 15, 2013.
Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure
Arago is a new, free-access portal to all of the photography archives in France. At launch, the site included the collections of the Direction General des Patrimoines and public establishments under the Ministry of Culture–30,000 representative images from about 20 institutions. Arago will gradually expand to incorporate private collections as well as other public ones. The site is named after French politician and astronomer François Arago, who presented the Daguerrotype process to the Academie des Sciences in 1839, ensuring photography would be France’s gift to the world. Go on, browse—and be transported.
Tina Isaac is a contributor to TravelandLeisure.com.
Photo of Georgia O'Keeffe (1887–1986) by Alfred Stieglitz
On my way to Tasmania several years ago, I spent a few days in Sydney and told people where I was headed. More than once, the response was "Be careful, it's like 'Deliverance' down there." I then flew to Tazzie's capital city, Hobart, before heading out to Freycinet National Park, on the eastern coast. "Be careful," the Hobart locals told me, "it's like 'Deliverance' out there."
Participants will be invited to visit the Baseball Hall of Fame after-hours for some private worship at the high church of America’s favorite pastime. Ken Burns will give a keynote address and then hang around to talk ball during a cocktail reception (I hope the ghost of center fielder and bar-keep Mickey Mantle will not permit any craft cocktails made with Gatorade).
Ask Chinese designer Han Feng what she loves most about her hometown, and she doesn’t hesitate: the art scene. One of her top stops is James Cohan Gallery, in the French Concession. “He’s brought international talent, such as Italy’s Francesco Clemente and New York video artist Bill Viola, to China for the first time,” she says. Feng reveals a few other favorites below.
“In the morning, I often head to the intersection of Changle and Xiangyang North Roads for a hearty meal fresh off the outdoor stoves: pan-fried breads; Chinese churros; steamed buns with different fillings.”
“The classic Shanghainese cuisine at Fu 1039($$), in the Changning neighborhood, is simply amazing. They serve delicious pork stew in a two-layer ceramic pot filled with water so the meat stays tender.”
“Hidden in a tiny basement, Old Jesse(41 Tianping Rd.; 86-21/6282-9260; $$) is the place to try home-style cooking. I always recommend the fried scallion codfish.”
More than 110,000 visitors attended the Spring 2012 exhibition "Doisneau, Paris les Halles," a collection of photographs that portray the city’s demolished wholesale food market at the Hotel de Ville. The exhibition was timely: the old structures are being torn down. But if you missed the show—or were discouraged by the lines and the weather—it’s not too late to capture an enhanced digital experience. Now, you can download the free iPad application, which includes photographs, interviews, and special reports.
Paris-based Tina Isaac is a contributor to TravelandLeisure.com.
While most people take a vacation to escape their jobs, the Reserve Channel’s new YouTube series, EX-PATS shows how an island retreat can turn into a full-time position.
In the sixth episode, former Wall Street lawyer KC Hardin is so inspired by the vibrant culture of Casco Viejo, Panama that he tosses his career to help revitalize the neighborhood. Now founder of the organization, El Conservatorio, KC’s days are spent restoring the eclectic architecture of this 350-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Host Savannah Jane Buffet follows KC and his wife, Patrizia, as they renovate music halls, plant community gardens, and pour tall glasses of wine at their home’s rooftop. Press “play” to watch the inspiring tale.
Maria Pedone is a digital editorial intern at Travel + Leisure.
Compared to Shanghai—let along Hong Kong, Singapore, and that summit of culinary summits, Tokyo—Beijing’s fine dining scene still has a long way to go. There’s a lot of mediocrity swimming in a sea of pretense and new money. At the end of the day, Beijingers are a rough-and-ready lot who prefer Sichuan hotpot in a hole-in-the-wall. We recently ate at S.T.A.Y.(pictured), three Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alleno’s outpost at the Shangri-La Beijing. The service was good, the food above average, but the room was utterly dead—we were one of four tables.
But back to the Sichuan hotpot: Beijing has a pretty comprehensive array of restaurants serving regional cuisines. Ten years ago, most Chinese food fanatics would have told you Taipei and Hong Kong were the best places for Chinese food, Beijing being littered with restaurants that served greasy gristle. (Communism plus Cultural Revolution equals abysmal food.) Since we moved here, I’ve had some solid Sichuan, Yunnan, Guizhou, Cantonese, Nanjing, Xinjiang, and even Taiwanese meals here—in nice settings, surrounded mostly by Chinese people.