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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

Major D.C. Monuments Close After Quake

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NBC - Washington, D.C.
|  Cracking was found in the stones at the top of the Washington Monument Tuesday evening, the National Park Service reported.

The crack was located in one of the triangular faces at the top of the monument.  It runs at an angle, and measures approximately 4 inches. (...)

Although the grounds near the Monument reopened on Tuesday, the interior is closed to visitor until further notice.  Authorities put up a fence creating a 150-foot perimeter at the Monument's base.

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Photo credit: Washington, DC Convention & Tourism Corporation

Q&A: Director Kevin Macdonald

For his new documentary, Life in a Day, director Kevin Macdonald (The Last King of Scotland) teamed up with YouTube users to create a crowd-sourced 90-minute snapshot of 24 hours around the world. T+L checks in.

Q: Why did you make the film?
A:
To look at the nuanced details of people’s existences in different places. Instead of the Pyramids, you see a graveyard in Cairo, where people actually live.

Q: Did any of the videos make you want to travel?
A:
There’s footage from Angola of women singing as they grind corn. I would go just to hear that music.

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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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