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Affordable Oscar-Themed Getaways In the U.S.

If, like me, you’ve been rushing around before Sunday’s star-studded event to see this year’s batch of Academy Award-nominated films, then perhaps you’re craving a vacation. These five trips—all affordable and in the U.S.—are inspired by films nominated for Best Picture this year.

AMERICAN HUSTLE

The T+L Trip: Suburban Massachusetts and Boston

The real life ABSCAM sting operation took place in New York and New Jersey, but much of David O. Russell’s crime drama was actually filmed in suburban Massachusetts. That dry cleaning branch? It’s Reliable Cleaners, between Natick and Framingham; Irving Rosenfeld’s modest house that he shares with wife Rosalyn is in tiny Medford. Boston’s Fairmont Copley Plaza makes a cameo (it’s where Irving and Lady Edith Greensly celebrate their newly launched London Associates partnership), and to mark the Academy Awards, the hotel is offering the Oscar Party Package. Rates from $759 include a stay in a one bedroom suite, popcorn snack, in-room champagne, and Red Carpet Bingo—or just pop into the hotel for a drink and a self-guided tour

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Carnival Celebrations Around the Globe

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Carnival—the final soiree before Lent when people fast, avoid indulgences, and refrain from partying—culminates over the next week with vibrant costumes, wild dancing, and self-expression, found worldwide this year until March 4th. For many, Carnival is a fun way to let go, whether you're family road-tripping to Louisiana or a couple jet-setting to Italy. In case you don't have a chance to join in the revelry, here are a few colorful Carnival-inspired experience that caught our eye:

Venice

Just steps from St. Mark’s Square, the historic Luna Hotel Baglioni (above and below) will be prepping its guests for festive balls with private costume fittings—including embellished masks and cloaks—by Atelier Flavia. Traditional gowns will grace the ballroom floor during the hotel’s Grand Baglioni Party this Friday, February 28, and the Gran Carnivale Party on Saturday, March 1, where guests can sit back and enjoy the “Dance & Opera Show,” or join in on the display themselves. Housed in a Venetian palace, the hotel's stately ties to the past reach from its proximity to Piazza San Marco—where celebrations first began during the Middle Ages in 1162—to inside the Marco Polo Ballroom, where original fresco paintings of the XVIII Century of the School of Tiepolo adorn the walls.

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New Crowd-Sourced Exhibition Explores Boston's Love Affair with Impressionism

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The Museum of Fine Arts in Boston today is opening a new exhibition, “Boston Loves Impressionism,” showcasing 30 masterpieces carefully curated by…the public.

To choose the artworks for display, the MFA held an online contest that saw a staggering 41,497 votes cast over three weeks in January. And with one of the world’s largest Impressionist collections at their disposal, voters had quite the challenge. Who were the winners?

Among the top 30 scorers are perennial favorites by Cassatt, Cézanne, and Pisarro, with first-place going to Van Gogh’s Houses at Auvers. Water Lilies from Monet and Degas’s charming Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer—the only sculpture in the running—round out the top three.

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The Armory Show Celebrates 100 Years at the New York Historical Society

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The exhibition, “The Armory Show at 100: Modern Art and Revolution,” at the New York Historical Society, is a don’t-miss, by any standard. The original show was organized in 1913 by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors and represented the first large-scale exhibition of modern art in the United States. So large scale, in fact, that the 1,300 paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and decorative arts had to be displayed in an unconventional space: New York City’s 69th Regiment Armory (located on Lexington Avenue, between 25th and 26th Streets). The exhibition introduced the American public to European modernity and a clutch of stylistic “-isms,” including Fauvism, Cubism, and Futurism. It shocked and provoked. It also marked a turning point in the country’s cultural life.

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London's Street Food Heads Indoors at Hawker House Market

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Street food culture continues to reign supreme in London, but what's a girl to do to get her foodie fix during the long, wet winter months that plague The Big Smoke? Why, move the street festival indoors, of course! And that's exactly what the guys behind Street Feast have done by setting up camp in an old factory in East London. Modelled on the traditional hawker markets of Singapore, Hawker House (38-50 Pritchard’s Road, London) will provide music, booze and fantastic food every Friday and Saturday night through March 22nd. Traders hail from the who’s who roster of the city’s street food legends and will be feeding the crowds dishes like crispy wood oven pizza, pork belly steamed buns, fish tacos, octopus curry, and authentic BBQ. And it gets better! While nibbling on your taco you can boogie across the space to pick your poison at one of four bars. So why not get out of the rain and join in one of the great foodie parties London offers?

Entry to Hawker House is free before 7pm, and £3 at the door after 7pm. Find out more here.

Sally Hurst is a chef and food writer based in London. You can follow her on Twitter at @chefsallyjane

Photo courtesy of The Gaztronome

Celebrate Chinese New Year With These 5 Hotel Deals Around the World

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Today, millions of people around the world are celebrating the Year of the Wooden Horse with elaborate ceremonies, ancient rituals, and extensive traditional feasts (think tea eggs, sticky rice cakes, and whole Peking ducks).

Roosevelt Park kicked off the festivities in New York this morning with a riotous firecracker demonstration to close out the Year of the Snake, and the Annual Lunar New Year Parade and Festival will swell the streets of Chinatown on February 2.

Nothing compares to the fanfare in China, where the next two weeks are guaranteed to be bursting with dances, demonstrations, and the color red.

But no matter where you are in your travels, you can welcome this year of adventure and energy in a festive fashion. Book a room at one of these luxury hotels for an over-the-top Chinese New Year.

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10 New York Super Bowl Parties That Are Way Better Than The One You’re Going To

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Yes, the Super Bowl is being held at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, but make no mistake: the true epicenter of Super Bowl frenzy is really right across the Hudson River, in Manhattan. That’s where the city’s finest restaurants are serving prime rib to NFL legends, where the nation’s sports broadcasters are knocking back manhattans in the city’s swankiest bars, and where anyone who wants to live like a Super Bowl VIP leading up to the Broncos-Seahawks to-do has carte blanche to enjoy himself to the hilt. And probably nowhere else on the planet will you find elegant Game Day venues like you’ll find in New York City. So what are your plans for Sunday? Probably nothing like what you’ll find at these 10 only-in-New-York Super Bowl watching spots.

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Shangri-La Paris Hosts Afternoon Tea Inspired By Works of Art

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What better way to pass a Wednesday in Paris than with three of the great European passions—art, pastry, and tea?  

Since October, the Shangri-La Paris has been hosting ARTea Time, a curated experience celebrating the city’s most spectacular art exhibitions.

While enjoying a cup of Bentjeman & Barton tea with finger sandwiches and sweets at the famed La Bauhinia restaurant, guests are presented with an art-inspired pastry.  

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T+L Tech Pop-Up Store Opens in Chicago

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In our Decemeber issue, Travel + Leisure spun out a list of the top tech gadgets in 2013. Now, we’re giving our fans in Chicago a chance to test drive and buy a selection of winners, from Wi-Fi equipped cameras to super-slick laptops at the T+L Hot Spot Tech Pop-Up. Hosted by the Thompson Chicago, the shop will run this weekend, Friday, December 12th through Sunday, December 15th, in conjunction with ShopLatitude.com, where you’ll be able to make all your purchases. Gevalia coffee will fuel the holiday shopping with their tasting station, as guests listen to the likes of T+L News Editor, Amy Farley and Style Director, Mimi Lombardo during live editor chats.

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Travel Trends from Day Two of ILTM Summit in Cannes

Day Two of the International Luxury Travel Market was a busy one for the almost 3,000 exhibitors and attendees roaming the Palais des Festivals, in Cannes. We checked in with a handful of industry leaders, including A-List agent Jack Ezon of Ovation Vacations and T+L's editor-in-chief, Nancy Novogrod, for their thoughts on this year's travel trends.

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Sarah Spagnolo is special correspondent & new media editor at Travel + Leisure.

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