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Medical Emergency Diverts Titanic Memorial Cruise

CNN.com  |  A medical emergency Tuesday diverted the cruise ship retracing the path of the ill-fated Titanic 100 years after its sinking.

"The ship is turning around and heading approximately 20 nautical miles east to bring it nearer to the coast and within reach of a helicopter," cruise line rep Fred Olsen said in a statement.

The crew of the MS Balmoral, which is hosting the memorial cruise, is working with the Irish coast guard to assist a passenger who became ill.

iReporter Tom Byron, who is on board the Balmoral, told CNN the ship made an hours-long "huge U-turn in the ocean" to get closer to shore for the airlift….

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Annual Varli Food Festival Celebrates Indian Cuisine in NYC

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Calling all Indian cuisine aficionados: if you believe in heaven, then the Varli Food Festival just might be it. Tomorrow, April 5, the second annual food and wine extravaganza descends upon New York City's Metropolitan Pavilion, bringing with it tastings and demos from more than 60 celebrated restaurants from all over the world. The epicurean event features a culinary constellation of New York's Indian celebrity chefs—Vikas Khanna of the Michelin-starred Junoon, Suvir Saran of Devi, and Jehangir Mehta of Graffiti and Mehtaphor—as well as some global superstars like Vancouver's Vikram Vij, Kunal Kapur of New Delhi, and Ajay Chopra, formerly of Mint Leaf in London. Not enough gourmet wattage for you? The festival is hosted by Top Chef's Padma Lakshmi and Indian TV chef Sanjeev Kapoor.

Tickets won't be available at the door, so get yours ASAP online.

[Insert your own horrible "Curry up before it's too late!" joke here]

2010-hs-sarah-khan3jpg Sarah Khan is a copy editor at Travel + Leisure. You can follow her on Twitter @BySarahKhan.

Photos courtesy of Varli Magazine

Trend Alert: Spain's "Walking Gallery"

Spain's Walking Gallery: grandma

It’s an idyllic summer day along the Mediterranean Sea. You’ve nestled in your slice of earthly heaven, a small, sunny patch of sand, when a giant portrait of a cranky-looking grandma rises from the water and lurches toward you.

Is this a flash mob? An international episode of the U.S. hidden camera series: What Would You Do? What in the hell is going on?

It’s Spain’s Walking Gallery, where artists march around a city for several hours with their creations strapped to their bodies or hanging from handlebars.

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On Our Radar: Savannah Music Festival

Savannah music Savannah is one of those mysterious places that I imagined coming to life in the dusty pages of antiquarian books. Other than what I saw in Clint Eastwood’s colorful depiction of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil and some Civil War trivia, I didn’t know much about it. So when the opportunity arose to check out a new music festival, Savannah Stopover, I jumped at the chance to experience the Southern legend firsthand.

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Happy 250 Years to the Sandwich!

sandwich

I can’t think of a food that is as wholly satisfactory as a sandwich. I could start my day with an egg and biscuit combo, followed by a tomato and mozzarella panini for lunch, and curried chicken salad on baguette for dinner. The sandwich can be as comforting and easy as a peanut butter and jelly or as globally inspired as a báhn mì or cubano.

This year, 250 years of that delicious nosh is celebrated where it all began, in the town of Sandwich, Kent, England. Though he was not the first person to put food between bread, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich gave the snack its name. Legend goes that he was a gambler and demanded meat between two slices of bread so he wouldn’t have to get up from his games.

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New Cruise Trends: Paddle-Wheelers, Chef Tables, More

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Look for a new cruise ship with a dozen outdoor eateries from Norwegian Cruise Line, a chic new chef’s table concept on Princess Cruises’ next ship and a return of wheelers on U.S. rivers. Those nuggets were among news revealed at last week’s Cruise Shipping Miami, an annual cruise industry trade show held each year in March.

But the topic that drew the most attention in this year following the Costa Concordia tragedy and other incidents was safety at sea. Cruise company executives focused on safety during their annual “State of the Industry’’ presentation. Lines showed off the newest simulators used to train shipboard staff for potential emergencies; seminars focused on medical care at sea. At the week’s end the U.S. Coast Guard announced its review of each ship’s safety procedures will now include observing a passenger safety drill now that cruise ships have changed their own rules to require safety drills before a ship leaves port.

Among more upbeat developments:

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Brits Abuzz Over British Airways Pop-Up

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It’s pop-up galore these days, but this one caught our eye: From Apr. 4–17, British Airways will host FlightBA2012 in Shoreditch. The event is a culmination of last year’s airline-sponsored search to find three “Great Britons,” rising stars from different creative fields. Their mentors? Celeb chef Heston Blumenthal, YBA Tracey Emin, and actor/writer/director Richard E. Grant.

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Trip Planner: Cultural Savings in Europe

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Save a few euros on some of Europe’s best cultural offerings.

Berlin: The city (pictured above) celebrates its 775th anniversary this year with many free events: a history-themed festival transforms the Nikolai area into a medieval quarter; an open-air exhibition highlights the diversity of Berlin’s residents, past and present.

Vienna: Queue up at the Imperial Palace’s Hofburg Chapel Sunday mornings to hear the Vienna Boys’ Choir (standing room free). And in April, May, June, and September, the Vienna State Opera screens live performances on a giant LED screen in the opera house square.

Portugal: On the agenda for Guimarães, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of this year’s European Capitals of Culture: performances from avant-garde theater troupe La Fura dels Baus, free to the public.

Photo by Lyndsey Matthews

"Cosmic Opera" Opens in New York

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As a Kabuki-dressed opera singer was convoyed atop a platform through the crowd wailing in an ear-piercing pitch, a packed Hammerstein Ballroom wrestled in anticipation. The mezzo-soprano’s Italian lyrics serenaded the audience over an original Stephan Moore composition before slipping into a familiar tune.

In my mind, in my head, this is where we all came from
The dreams we had, the love we shared, this is what we’re waiting for

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Lei it On Me: World’s Largest Flower Show Opens in Philly

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If you live outside the Sun Belt, chances are you’re ready for spring—for warmth, more daylight, and let’s face it, a little color thank you.  If you live in the Northeast, there’s a fix on the horizon: The Philadelphia International Flower Show, which opens at the city’s convention center this Sunday, March 4, and runs through March 11, 2012. And this year’s theme—Hawaii: Islands of Aloha—is a sure tonic for the winter-weary craving a dose of the tropics.

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