The waning days of the summer bring the final weeks of music and arts festivals, from the large and celebrated, the Salzburg Festival in Austria, Tanglewood in the Berkshires, to the less well-known.
One surprise and a secret to most, but not for long, is the Staunton Music Festival in Virginia. Staunton has acquired a near mythic status in farm-to-fork food circles (see the “Up On The Ridge”by Matt Lee and Ted Lee in Travel + Leisure, July 2012) and for nine days in August, the Staunton Music Festival brings together some of the most talented musicians, established professionals and emerging young artists, from throughout the United States and Europe to this quiet spot in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Step onto the Roof Garden of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Sure, bright summer skies will greet you, but so will a disturbing scene. The Roof Garden Commission: Imran Qureshi, an installation open through November 3, interprets the horrifying bomb blasts happening all across the globe. Known for blending Islamic art with contemporary techniques, Qureshi, an artist from Pakistan, gives his viewers a glimpse into the terrifying aftermath of the attacks that have become all too common in our headlines.
Yet take a closer look—there’s beauty to be found in the splattered "blood," as disturbing as that may sound. Qureshi hides ornate sketches of the flowers native to his home, Pakistan, within the red acrylic paint. The floral patterns mirror those found in the ancient walled gardens of Mughal palaces.
I’ll admit it: For years, Mexican food has seemed synonymous to me with street food. Although I mean that in the best possible way; there’s no place I’d rather spend my lunch money than on a gloriously drippy taco from a hole-in-the-wall joint or roving vendor. To my mind, a lightly charred masa tortilla, stuffed with juicy carnitas and generous dollops of salsa verde, is a thing of perfection—a dish that couldn’t possibly be improved upon. At least that’s how I felt before I traveled to Bajain early July, and got a taste of a new culinary movement underway there.
This week marks the 25th Anniversary of the Vail International Dance Festival in Colorado, renowned as a showcase for diversity: from ballet masterpieces, to new work by established and emerging choreographers, and dancers and companies from New York City to Seattle and beyond. It is also a place of experimentation: traditional dance styles can blend with novel forms of movement, often with eye-popping results. Prime example: Charles “Lil Buck” Riley, whose cross-pollination of the Memphis-born jookin' street dance and classical ballet has gained him worldwide acclaim.
Philadelphia-based chef Michael Solomonov, known for his modern Israeli restaurant Zahav, is heading to Israel on October 6 for 10 days—and a few lucky fans will get to go with him. For $6,750 per person (all inclusive), travelers will explore Jerusalem’s Old City and Machane Yehuda Market, hike to the top of Masada, sleep in a Bedouin tent, and, of course, eat and drink their way through the country where the chef was born. Guests will also share in a personal moment: a tribute dinner in an apple orchard near the Lebanese border, where Solomonov’s brother—and an Israeli soldier—was killed 10 years ago. To book, contact Donna Palmieri (215-568-6655 x260, firstname.lastname@example.org) or Mia Lehmann (215-568-6655 x257, email@example.com).
Brooke Porter is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @brookeporter1.
Baltimore has a new fish in town. Twenty blacktip reef sharks will be setting up residence at the National Aquarium by early August.
The 260,000-gallon enclosure (which opened last week) contains the newly-designed Blacktip Reef exhibit, which sustains a delicate coral reef ecosystem reflective of the real deal in the Indo-Pacific environment. Visitors can observe the marine life through a 27-foot window that curves out into the exhibit—providing a 160-degree panoramic underwater view that would even impress Jacque Cousteau. “It’s a heck-of-a room with a view,” says Jack Cover, general curator at the National Aquarium. “The custom-made acrylic panel is clearer than glass. It’s the closest thing to snorkeling off the Fiji islands.”
Santa Fe, New Mexico is known and loved for many reasons: as a hiking and ski destination, for its cultural scene, from galleries to the acclaimed Santa Fe Opera, and a range of delicious cuisines. Less well-known—but not for long—is the Santa Fe International Folk Art Market, which celebrates its tenth anniversary this weekend and is extraordinary in its breadth and mission.Why?It brings 170 artists and artisans of fine craft from more than 50 countries to New Mexico to display their creations:carved horn jewelry from Peru, felt and muslin shawls from Kyrgyzstan, paper kites from Japan, embellished leather saddles from the Republic of Tuva (Russia), woven silk scarves from Madagascar, embroidered clothing, textiles, jewelry, pottery and ceramics from every continent, except Antarctica.
In addition to being the largest folk art market in the world, it provides the opportunity for artists to sell their work (they retain 90% of the proceeds), which in many cases provides the primary support for families at home and even sustains entire communities.What’s more, as a showcase for artisans and their work, the Folk Art Market has become a catalyst for the preservation of creative tradition, some of which would surely have been lost without exposure and economic incentive. The world is a more beautiful place because of it.
Mario R. Mercado is arts editor at Travel + Leisure.
New York’s Governors Island is already one of America’s coolest city parks, and this weekend it gets even better. Fête Paradiso, a festival of vintage French carnival rides and carousels opens tomorrow, July 13, on the island just in time for Bastille Day celebrations (July 14th).
After taking a spin on a carousel or two (some date back to 1850), head to the repurposed 1900 bumper car pavilion to enjoy classic French food including croque monsieur and sweet crepes from New York’s popular French bistro Le Gamin. There will also be a beer and wine garden.
Fête Paradiso is open every weekend from 10:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m. until September 29. Admission is free and rides and games cost $3 each. For more pictures and how to get there, click through.
Nearly six million people traipse through the gardens and Hall of Mirrors at Versailles annually, braving lines and elbowing through crowds.
Let us tip you off to an alternative: before Versailles, there was Vaux le Vicomte, a lesser-known château that makes an easy day trip from Paris and offers a more blissful, intimate experience. It’s been cared for by the same family for five generations.
The much-anticipated Festival degli Scrittori (Festival of Writers) begins tomorrow in Florence, Italy. Now in its third year, the highly praised literary event is the city’s hot ticket this week—and arguably this year.
From June 12–14, 2013, the international culturatti and the intellectually curious will mingle in the heart of old Firenze with some of today’s top authors, translators, critics, and boldface names—all with the high-minded ghosts of the Rennaissance, fittingly, looking on.
Dreamed up by Baronessa Beatrice Monti della Corte, widow of the writer Gregor von Rezzori and founder of the Santa Maddalena Foundation writers’ retreat, the Festival aims to promote and celebrate international literature and the nuanced talents of translation. And this year's line-up promises to be animated—Pulitzer prize-winners Jennifer Egan and Michael Cunningham in conversation; lectures with titles like “Reading and Translating Virgil in the era of Facebook”; even a recital by Jeremy Irons.