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Kansas City, Missouri, News: A Brand-New Cultural Center

Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts

As of this month, you’ll need to add one more item to your list of things to do in Kansas City with the inauguration of the $326 million Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts, in Kansas City, Missouri. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the 285,000-square-foot complex has two performance spaces—an 1,800-seat theater and a 1,600-seat concert hall—that’s home to three of the region’s leading arts organizations: Kansas City Symphony, Kansas City Ballet, and Lyric Opera of Kansas City. Look for a new production of Puccini’s Turandot (Oct. 1–9) and the world premiere of Tom Sawyer, a ballet about Missouri’s most famous, barefoot son (Oct. 14–23).

Photo by Tim Hursley

Fall Books: What to Read This Season

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Long after the meal is eaten, the china remains. Dish: 813 Colorful, Wonderful Dinner Plates (Artisan Books; $35) by Shax Riegler, a former Travel + Leisure editor, is a revealing portfolio of porcelain spanning centuries and continents.

What happened when the quintessentially Parisian photographer Brassaï turned his lens on New York and New Orleans? Brassaï in America 1957 (Flammarion; $49.95), an album of 150 photos (some unpublished) that shows the beauty and eccentricities of these cities—and the spell they continue to cast.

The colorful, annotated paintings collected in Paula Scher MAPS (Princeton Architectural Press; $50) offer a world informed by the graphic designer’s poignant and incisive commentary.

With more than 3,000 paintings from the 13th to the 19th century, the Louvre’s collection of European art is unparalleled. Each and every work is reproduced in The Louvre: All the Paintings (Black Dog & Leventhal; $75).

Jean Govoni Salvadore, a former public relations executive with TWA and Italy’s Villa d’Este, has been something of a Zelig in postwar Europe. Her photo-illustrated memoir, My Dolce Vita (Glitterati Incorporated; $30), recounts six decades of shoulders rubbed during her travels around the globe.

Photo by Lars Klove

Espresso Meets Art: Anish Kapoor Designs Illy Cups

Illy coffee cup and saucer

It’s fitting that the artist behind Chicago’s iconic bean-shaped sculpture has now created an espresso cup. But not just any cup. Available as part of a limited-edition collection by Italian coffee brand Illy ($90 a pair), Anish Kapoor’s white porcelain demitasse has a slick, platinum interior. The saucer can be placed on top to produce a mini sculpture. One masterpiece with my espresso, please!

Photo courtesy of Illy

Paris on the Seine (Before Paris Plage)

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Long before the banks of the Seine were lined with imported sand, oversized lounge chairs and ice cream stands in honor of Paris Plage, the city’s makeshift beach getaway, the river bank was the capital’s economic and social epicenter.

The “Paris on the Seine” exhibit at the Hôtel de Ville (city hall) is a photographic journey that retraces the evolution of the river banks from the Middle Ages to present day where the Seine-side holiday punctuates the urban day-to-day for one month each year. Although Paris Plage has ended for the season, this free exhibit runs through mid-September and is not to be missed.

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Don't Miss: BottleRockIt Cali Wine and Music Fest

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Wente Vineyards
, the oldest family-owned winery in the country, is at it again.  Travel + Leisure has long celebrated Wente for its picturesque golf course, a world-class destination uniquely situated amongst the vines.  What many people do not know, however, is that they also have a gorgeous concert area, where one might hear anything from jazz to hip-hop, classical to electronica.  This Saturday, check out their latest event: BottleRockIt.  Originally called Discover the Wine Discover the Music, this 5th annual music festival pulls in heavy hitters like Dirty Vegas and GIVERS, while also providing exposure to the emerging artists of the San Francisco Bay Area.  Twenty bands will amplify three different stages on this stunning estate.  Concert-goers are given the opportunity to do some world-class wine tasting while they bop their heads to the delicious tunes.  For $20, you can't beat that for a weekend getaway!

WHAT: BottleRockIt
WHEN:
Saturday, September 10, 2011. Doors open at 10:30 AM and performances begin at 11 AM.
WHERE: The lawn at the Wente Vineyards Estate Tasting Room; 5565 Tesla Road, Livermore, CA 94550

Joe Harper is a research assistant at Travel + Leisure.

Harry Potter Studios in England to Open for Behind-the-Scenes Tour

Harry Potter studio tour

If you found yourself tearing up at the end of the last Harry Potter movie this summer, fear not, Muggles! For those utterly addicted to the Harry Potter universe and those who simply want to tour a piece of movie-making history, the franchise lives on. Tickets are available beginning October 13, 2011 for the Warner Bros. Studio Tour London—The Making of Harry Potter, at Leavesden, opening in Spring 2012. Tack on an extra day to a London visit and bring your broomstick for this insider’s look.

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Pierre Cardin Unveils the “New” Château Lacoste

Chateau Lacoste

Artists and other creative types have been drawn to the Château Lacoste in Provence since the Marquis de Sade was in residence, and the notorious author’s lure held fast even as his castle and its surrounding fell into decay. Closer to our times, the Surrealists and Max Ernst gravitated to what was left of this tiny medieval village, and over the decades an artists’ community has grown up around it.

Since 2002, a cluster of homes bought and gradually restored by the American expat artist Bernard Pfriem in the Fifties was acquired by the Savannah College of Art and Design, which stepped up renovations, giving a historic boulangerie new life as a library (pictured above), and transforming forgotten cellars into exhibition spaces. In a separate but complementary effort, over the past several years nonagenarian fashion designer Pierre Cardin has been busy rehabilitating the ruined castle into a center for arts and music and recast a number of storefronts into shiny galleries.

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Moscow: Where to Go Now

Bar Strelka

Set on an island in the heart of Moscow, the once-abandoned warehouses of the old Red October chocolate factory now house some of the city’s hippest galleries, restaurants, and rooftop bars.

For classic cucina italiana, check out Bontempi, a new locanda from Lombardy-born chef Valentino Bontempi. 12 Bersenevskaya Nab.; 7-495/223-1387; dinner for two $138.

With its spacious roof deck and innovative tapas (bocconcini and chile fritters), Bar Strelka—atop the Strelka design institute—draws a mix of local artists, intellectuals, and scenesters. 14 Bersenevskaya Nab.; 7-495/771-7437; drinks for two $25.

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Editor's Pick: Late Summer Night's Theater in Hudson Valley

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Late August has been eventful along the East Coast -- the rumbling of an earthquake, hurricane Irene and the aftermath -- yet beautiful weather has returned and with it come some last opportunities for summer culture. Top of the list: the Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival that celebrates its 25th anniversary with a final performance of Hamlet and The Comedy of Errors this weekend. To this pairing, the company offers Around the World in 80 Days (Friday, Sept. 2), ingeniously staged by Christopher V. Edwards with five actors playing 39 roles! The global romp, witty and droll, brings the range of characters to England, India, China in varied modes of 19th-century transport: steamship, train, elephant.

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T+L Find: Artistic Globes

ImagineNation globes

Looking to put your stamp on the world? California-based artist Wendy Gold’s ImagineNations (from $150) are decoupaged with old hotel stickers, travel sayings, and whimsical maps studded with everything from butterflies to superheroes. And yes, she also takes custom orders.

Photo courtesy of ImagineNations

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