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Bywater, New Orleans: The South's Next Great Neighborhood

Bywater New Orleans: Booty's

This area is growing by the minute, while still preserving its cultural authenticity. Chef Jonathan Lestingi’s New American gastropub, Oxalis (3162 Dauphine St.), serves up terrific whiskey cocktails and shareable plates. Order the Cajun-spiced hot buttered rum popcorn. Baskerville (3000 Royal St.; by appointment), a nonprofit center, offers letterpress printing workshops; the presses themselves are works of art. Tigermen Den (3113 Royal St.) is an ever-evolving event space that hosts everything from art exhibits to weekly Sunday brunches with a ragtime band. Try the Peruvian-style ceviche or Puerto Rican yuca mofongo at Booty’s (pictured; 800 Louisa St.), which serves a global street food menu.

Video: New Orleans Travel

Appeared as “The United States of Awesome: The Bywater, New Orleans” in T+L Magazine

Photo courtesy of Booty's

Insider's Guide to Provence From the Owner of Fig & Olive

Provence: Musée d’Art Classique

Every year, Laurent Halasz—founder and owner of the Fig & Olive restaurants in New York and California—returns to his childhood home of Mougins, on France’s Côte d’Azur, for scenic hikes and inspiration from his mother’s kitchen. Here, he takes us on a tour of the medieval hilltop village.

Eat: La Place de Mougins ($$$$), in a Provençal house, is such a pleasure. Last time I had beef consommé with foie gras and chocolate. For cocktails, don’t miss the classic Piscine, champagne on ice with strawberries, at L’Amandier ($$$). And I grew up on olive oil pressed locally at Moulin Baussy, in nearby Spéracèdes.”

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Benjamin Millepied Takes Up New Role as Director of Paris Opera Ballet

Benjamin Millepied

In the fall, Benjamin Millepied, known to many as the choreographer of Black Swan (and husband of Natalie Portman), will take up his new post: director of the Paris Opera Ballet. As a preview, on May 10 the company gave the world premiere of Millepied’s latest work, Daphnis et Chloé, on a double bill with Le Palais de Cristal, the masterpiece by George Balanchine (elsewhere called Symphony in C). The French-born Millepied, a former principal dancer at the New York City Ballet, comes to Paris via California—where he leads the L.A. Dance Project—and is sure to bring a jolt of energy to an institution that traces its beginnings to the court of Louis XIV.

Related Links:
New York City Arts Guide
Q&A: Ballet Dancers Share Favorite New York Experiences
Global Street Style

Photo by Sandrine Roudeix/Figarophoto

Mies van der Rohe's Villa Tugendhat in Brno

Brno: Villa Tugendhat

Prague is beloved for its Gothic spires, but just two hours away, in the Czech Republic’s second city of Brno, an architectural landmark of no less significance awaits. Villa Tugendhat—a private residence designed in 1928 by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe—is considered one of the first Modernist houses in Europe and a precursor to the architect’s later projects, such as the Farnsworth House in Illinois and New York City’s Seagram Building. A major reconstruction was unveiled in 2012, the better to showcase the original features that turned the Tugendhat family home into an international shrine for Mies cultists. Mies’s open plan eliminated most interior load-bearing walls, resulting in a sense of free-flowing space. He added little in the way of traditional decoration; instead, the building materials (walls of onyx and macassar ebony; a grid of stainless-steel-clad columns) act as ornaments. Retractable glass windows allow for panoramic views, and the furniture—including the cantilevered Brno and Tugendhat chairs still in production today—was all custom-designed. If you can, time your visit for sundown, when the fading light sets the entire space aglow, and the villa itself illuminates the era when less became more.

Related Links:
Europe's Most Beautiful Villages
Dream European Vacations
Discovering Brno's Architecture

Photo by David Zidlicky, courtesy of Villa Tugendhat

Q&A: Archaeologist and "The Parthenon Enigma" Author Joan Breton Connelly

Joan Breton Connelly

The New York City–based scholar, whose new book, The Parthenon Enigma (Knopf), is rewriting ancient history, spills the dirt on a few of her favorite spots.

Q: Are there any great sites in Europe that are lesser-known?
A: At his villa in Sperlonga (39-0771/548-028), 75 miles south of Rome, Emperor Tiberius created a fantasy world based on Homer’s Odyssey, filling a seaside cave with marble sculptures depicting the exploits of the Greek hero. The Neolithic outer ring of stones at Avebury, in Wiltshire, England, is the largest megalithic circle in the world—bigger than Stonehenge.

Q: Tell us about your dig on Yeronisos Island, off the coast of Cyprus.
A: Our excavations have shed light on the period of Cleopatra’s Cyprus rule (47–30 B.C.). We’ve found amulets, potsherds inscribed with Ptolemaic Egyptian script, a stone lion’s head, and more.

Q: Can anyone dig with you?
A:
I’m proud of our Exec-U-Dig program, which allows one or two donors to come out for a week of exploration each season. Bill Murray joined us in 2006.

Q: Where does a lover of ancient history go on vacation?
A:
I rarely go anywhere that is largely contemporary. I always travel with a pair of vintage Newmarket riding boots—I’ve galloped on an Arabian horse past the Pyramids in Egypt; fox-hunted in Northumberland, England; and cantered across the French countryside. There’s no better way to travel.

Illustration by Michael Hoeweler

Modern Germans Reclaim Heimat

Heimat

Berlin resident Gisela Williams explores the proud new zeitgeist taking hold in her adopted homeland.

Like so many German words, Heimat is impossible to translate. Some describe it as a “homeland” or sense of belonging—your roots, so to speak. The French might liken it to terroir. But after the Nazis hijacked it, Heimat became a loaded term—all but erased from the German lexicon. Until a few years ago, I’d barely heard it uttered. Today, however, the concept is making a comeback, thanks to a cadre of artists, chefs, and thinkers who are trying to rescue Heimat from its nationalistic undertones and bring it up-to-date.

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Film "Tracks" Follows One Woman Across Western Australia

Follow a woman’s incredible 1,700 mile, solo journey through the Australian outback in the upcoming film, Tracks.

In 1977, Robyn Davidson made a 1,700-mile trek across the deserts of Western Australian with her dog and four camels. Davidson had no intention of documenting her adventures until she eventually agreed to write about her trip in National Geographic magazine.

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Beijing Fast Forwards to the Future

Beijing

The headlong rush of Beijing’s booming scene, as seen by T+L—old-school restaurants, futuristic architecture, Internet entrepreneurs, and over-the-top nightclubs.

In Beijing, the past trembles before the future. Nowhere on earth is the fast-forward button pressed with such might and frequency. Nowhere else do the centuries disappear into the night, handed over to starchitect Zaha Hadid’s Galaxy Soho, a building that looks like four UFO’s have landed around a traditional Chinese courtyard, or to shopping malls called the Place or the Village, or to ring roads that encircle the Forbidden City carrying millions of cars, each barely inching forward through the haze of pollution that the government euphemistically likes to call “bad weather.” And yet even as you slide past the ghost buildings that line the impossibly wide boulevards, broken up only by flashing billboards of Western beauties hawking Dior, you start to think: This is where it’s at. Beijing, China’s political capital, is where the future will be partly decided and packaged and presented to large swaths of the globe. Even a few of the foreign denizens of the financial capital, Shanghai, tell me they’d rather move to Beijing, if only to better grease the palms of those who actually wield power, the functionaries of China’s Communist Party. I’ve met many Europeans who proudly announce that they’ve never in their entire lives visited New York. To participate in the 21st century and not know Beijing will require similar pride. Or foolishness. In fact, the saddest flight in the world is from America’s decrepit Newark Liberty International Airport, essentially a giant bathroom with airplanes, to the gleaming and sinuous Norman Foster–designed Beijing Capital International Airport.

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Neighborhood Guide to Istanbul

Istanbul

Where to go now—neighborhood by neighborhood in Istanbul.

On my first visit to Istanbul, in the mid 1980’s, donkey carts still trundled across the iron Galata Bridge between the historic Old City and the Europeanized Beyoğlu quarter. And right away I was hooked...on faded Byzantine frescoes and smoky kebabs and tulip-shaped glasses of tea. I’m even more smitten today, as I gaze over the Bosporus boat traffic from the window of a little apartment I bought in the leafy Cihangir quarter. Istanbul is a global megalopolis now, a place where grit and gloss, East and West, secularism and Islam all collide with a jolt—or just as often cohabit gracefully. This is my Istanbul.

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Painting from Donna Tartt's "Goldfinch" Returns to the Hague

Goldfinch painting

Fresh from touring exhibitions in Japan, the United States, and Italy—and a starring role in Donna Tartt’s best-selling novel—Carel Fabritius’s Goldfinch returns to the Hague on June 27. That’s when the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis reopens after a major renovation and expansion, doubling the exquisite museum’s floor space. Keeping the iconic bird company: Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and View of Delft as well as a peerless trove of other Dutch Golden Age paintings.

Related Links:
Best Museums for Families
World’s Most Beautiful Museums
Europe’'s Most-Visited Tourist Attractions

Photo by Michael Bodycomb/Courtesy of the Frick Collection

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