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Singapore's Seedy Neighborhoods and Warehouses Now Hot Spots

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With its Art Deco style wet market and pre-War public housing, Singapore's Tiong Bahru neighborhood has been luring thirtysomething artists, architects, and other creatives in recent years, so it was only a matter of time that funky small businesses began popping up in the area.

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Montreal Musician Shows and Tells

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Over the years, I’ve found one of the best ways to know a city’s best-kept secrets is to talk to its artists. I recently connected with one of Montreal’s rising stars—award-winning filmmaker and musician Daniel Isaiah, who's signed, appropriately, with music label Secret City Records.

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Last Minute Travel: Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival

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You probably mapped out your Labor Day weekend months ago. Wait. What? You're still looking for something to do? If you're down for a little last-minute travel, I highly recommend going to the second annual Curaçao North Sea Jazz Festival in Piscadera Bay from September 2-3. With headliners like Sting, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire, and the Bradford Marsalis Quartet, it should be an amazing weekend on this beautiful island. (Located well outside of the hurricane belt, might I add?) Tickets are $185 and are still available at www.curacaonorthseajazz.com.

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A Jazzlover's Guide to Summer

jazzjpgIn the sunny homestretch of summer, I like to stay fine and mellow with jazz. And there's so many great performances to gorge on this season. With the help of a few insiders, we're on top of the music beat like a snare drum.

T+L’s Pick: Piano in Bryant Park, in New York (until Oct. 14)

For fans of the 52 keys, Piano in Bryant Park remains one of the city's best-kept secrets. The summer-long program gathers at the shady upper terrace on weekday afternoons, quietly featuring New York's most storied performers (Junior Mance was Dizzy Gillespie’s bandmate). A vibrantly eclectic crowd mixes devotees with eavesdroppers and eccentrics—next to me, a shoe-less man taps his tube-socked toes. Did I mention the shows are free? If you want to get fancy, reserve an outdoor table at Bryant Park Café, an earshot from the action. Insider Tip: Performers sometimes tinker with timeslots, call ahead.

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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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Otherworldly: Museum Show Explores Alternative Realities

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A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend the opening night of the newest exhibit at the Museum of Art and Design in New York City called “Otherworldly.” A good friend of mine—Matt Albanese—has a rather prominent display in the two-floor exhibit.

Not long after graduating from SUNY Purchase—also my alma mater…what up?—with a BFA in photography, Matt began constructing small-scale landscapes and photographing them. Though it started by accident—he spilled some paprika on the counter and decided the mess looked like a Martian surface—the end result is absolutely stunning. (And I’m not just saying this because he’s a friend of mine.) Through his photography and creativity, he’s transported people to Mars, the moon, the path of a vicious tornado, the scene of an erupting volcano, a forest set ablaze, and more.

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Machu Picchu Hullabaloo: Hundreds Barred From Entering Inca Site

201107-b-machupicchu-3jpgeTurbo NewsPeru's extravagant celebrations of the centenary of the rediscovery of Machu Picchu descended into farce this week, after a bureaucratic wrangle that saw hundreds of tourists from around the world barred from entering the Inca ruins.

Last week, the local branch of Peru's National Institute of Culture (INC) abruptly ruled that no more than 2,500 people could visit Machu Picchu per day, a move aimed at preventing damage to the site.

On Tuesday, hundreds of frustrated tourists began picketing the official ticket office in downtown Cusco, the former Inca capital that is three hours from the archaeological site....

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Photo courtesy of Lyndsey Matthews


Taiwan's Art Scene Explodes

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Taiwan might not be on the radar for a lot of travelers, but it really should be. It has incredible cuisine, a thriving arts and design scene, beautiful scenery and really friendly locals. Plus, there's a great mix of Chinese and Japanese cultures.

Here’s another reason: Since 2000, artists, developers, and government officials have been transforming abandoned warehouses, factories, etc. into art spaces, complete with studios and exhibition space. The trend has really gained momentum in recent years; for instance, there is a series of railway warehouses stretching from Taichung, near Taipei, to Taidong that have been turned into art spaces, which are especially popular among locals on the weekend.

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Editor Find: Illustrated Maps

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For those looking for engaging travel maps that provide valuable service info, but with more artistic flair, They Draw & Travel could be the treasure trove you've been looking for. The site is an eye-catching collection of illustrated maps filled with unexpected tips, discoveries, and off-the-radar spots currently covering over 110 cities from about 30 different countries. Instead of getting a guide to the typical tourist traps, you'll be treated to an insider's itinerary to, say, the best parks for an afternoon picnic, a tour through the town's annual festivals, and which neighborhood markets are worth exploring—each map style completely different from the next.

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UNESCO Names 25 New World Heritage Sites

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Is your Bucket List in need of a little inspiration?

UNESCO to the rescue! Last week, its World Heritage Committee officially inscribed 25 new World Heritage Sites, bringing the swelling number to a whopping 936 worldwide.

Joining the ranks of recognized world wonders like Stonehenge, the Statue of Liberty, and Ayers Rock are the Longobards in Italy (above), seven buildings built by the Scandi-Germanic Lombard tribe who, during their powerful 6th- to 8th-century reign, established a distinct culture and architectural style that began Europe’s evolution from Antiquity to the Middle Ages.

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