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Beetlebung Farm: Where Seth Meyers Eats on Martha’s Vineyard

Beetlebung Farm on Martha's Vineyard

It all started with a goat, roasted over a fire and served to friends last July at the organic Beetlebung Farm on Martha’s Vineyard. Since then, bold-faced names including Saturday Night Live cast members have been spotted at chef Chris Fischer’s greenhouse dinners, where everyone sits on bales of hay as he cooks island-only ingredients on camp stoves. As SNL’s Seth Meyers puts it, “You spend the entire meal pretending to listen to the person next to you while anticipating what the next course is going to be.”

Photo by Kate Danson

Brooklyn Botanic Garden Unveils Weiss/Manfredi-Designed Visitor Center

Brooklyn Botanic Garden entrance

Opening May 16th, the Brooklyn Botanic Garden’s new entrance along Washington Avenue is no garden-variety visitors center. Nestled into a hillside in the northeast corner, the 20,000-square-foot building aims to be a seamless extension of the 52-acre landscape, which could have amounted to an empty promise in the hands of a lesser firm. But the New York–based husband-wife team of Weiss/Manfredi delivers.

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Farm-to-Table, Hawaiian Style

beets at MA'O farms

One of the highlights of my recent trip to Hawaii—reporting this month’s feature on the new wave of Hawaiian food—was a visit to MA’O Organic Farms, on Oahu’s west coast. (I’m not alone: Michelle Obama was evidently smitten with the place during her own visit to MA’O last November.)

The farm unfolds over 24 acres in the fertile Lualualei Valley, within the relatively remote community of Waianae (“WIE-a-nie”). The variety of MA’O’s bounty is impressive enough, ranging from kale, beets, and fennel to bananas, mangoes, and papaya (there’s also an experimental blueberry patch). All this is sold at Oahu farmer’s markets, and also to a handful of groceries and restaurants around the island. (As I mentioned in my article, MA’O’s ethereal salad greens play a starring role at Town restaurant in Honolulu.)

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Hawaii's Amazing Artisanal Chocolate

Madre Chocolate

This month’s T+L includes an eight-page feature on Hawaii’s new food scene, where we spotlight some of the young chefs, upstart farmers, pop-up restaurateurs, and food-truck vendors who are taking Hawaiian cuisine to the next level.

Had we more space in the print magazine, we would’ve devoted another eight pages to Madre Chocolate, a terrific new bean-to-bar chocolate operation (Oahu’s first) based in Kailua. (A tony suburb just 20 minutes from Honolulu, Kailua is where President Obama and family have stayed during their Hawaiian vacations.)

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Just Back: Arctic Circle

arctic circle

When I had the chance to take a bucket list trip to explore the pristine beauty of the Arctic Circle I jumped at the chance (after cobbling together frequent flier miles). First stop: the world famous IceHotel in Jukkasjarvi, Sweden, where the walls, tables, beds, and everything else are made of ice and snow.

While spending a night on ice in 23° F degrees is a big part of the IceHotel’s draw, a thrilling daytime excursion by snowmobile (booked through the hotel) was the main event for me.

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Russian Scientists Reach Lake Under Antarctica

Associated Press |  After more than two decades of drilling in Antarctica, Russian scientists have reached the surface of a gigantic freshwater lake hidden under miles of ice for some 20 million years—a lake that may hold life from the distant past and clues to the search for life on other planets.

Reaching Lake Vostok is a major discovery avidly anticipated by scientists around the world hoping that it may allow a glimpse into microbial life forms, not visible to the naked eye, that existed before the Ice Age. (...)

"It's like exploring another planet, except this one is ours," Columbia University glaciologist Robin Bell told The Associated Press by email. (...) "There is no other place on Earth that has been in isolation for more than 20 million years," said Lev Savatyugin, a researcher with the AARI. "It's a meeting with the unknown."

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Seeking Nominees: T+L's 2012 Global Vision Awards

global vision awards

We're looking for a few good visionaries.

Travel + Leisure is now accepting applications for our annual Global Vision Awards. Do you know of a travel company or organization that's changing the world for the better—preserving cultural heritage, saving environments, or giving back to the communities we travel through? Please drop us an email at tlglobalvision@aexp.com or encourage a representative to fill out this year's application, available here (travel companies) and here (other organizations), and return it to us by April 6, 2012.

For last year's winners, see travelandleisure.com/responsibletravel.

Illustration by Gracia Lam

Williamsburg, Brooklyn To Get a Green Hotel

201112-b-wburg-hotel-1.jpg

Oppenheim Architecture + Design recently won the bid for the Williamsburg Hotel.  Between the Williamsburg Bridge and the domed Neoclassic Williamsburg Savings Bank, a 21st-century tower is set to rise over 400 feet.

What exactly does the prospect of a LEEDS Platinum-certified green building, set in the bustling bohemian enclave of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, say about New York's ever-changing tale? We'll have to wait and see.  For now, check out these interesting photo renderings:

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Antiresorts’ New Green Hotel in Mexico

green hotels: Endemico Resguardo Silvestre

What: Encuentro Guadalupe
Where:
Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico
Opened:
December 2011

This eco-friendly retreat is set in Mexico’s emerging wine country, just 40 minutes from Ensenada. The 20 mountainside bungalows—part of a 99-acre gated development—have minimal impact on the rugged terrain, and are steps from a winery run by a Napa Valley enologist, plus a Slow Food restaurant. Doubles from $200.

Photo by Luis Garcia

Ecuador to Limit Number of Visitors to Galapagos Islands

201111-b-galapagosjpg
Travel Weekly |  New rules are to be imposed to limit the number of cruise passengers visiting The Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.

Tour operators have until February 1 to incorporate the Galapagos National Park Authority’s new regulations, which are designed to protect the local animal and plant life, into travel programmes.

The rules will allow travellers to stay for a maximum of four nights and five days per ship, with a frequency of four landings within any 14-day period.

The archipelago’s 150,000 annual visitors have been mainly concentrated on the three islands of Isabela, Santa Cruz and San Cristobal for the past 14 years. (Photo credit: T+L Photo Contest)

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