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Hotel Commonwealth Unveils Punk-Themed “Rat” Suite

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The Rat. Besides having the single best name for a nightclub ever—short for The Rathskeller, which no one ever once called it—the cramped and dingy Kenmore Square dungeon known as “The Rat” was Boston’s most celebrated and notorious rock club, in an era when Boston had one of the nation’s great rock scenes. Between 1974 and 1997—from the protean days of punk through its latter-day revival—every band that mattered passed through that scuzzy, smoky basement: The Ramones, the Talking Heads, the Police, R.E.M., Husker Du, and local heroes like the Cars, Mission of Burma, and the Pixies. The club’s former owner recalls to the Boston Globe the subzero February night when Metallica played at the Rat—for six people.

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Napa Wine Endangered After Quake

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Earlier this week, an earthquake with a 6.0 magnitude on the Richter Scale rattled Napa Valley and its much-revered wine stores and vineyards. Some numbers:

It had been 25 years since such a quake had happened in the area; nearly 200 people were injured, though luckily no one was killed.

The 800 or so Napa wineries will be the hardest hit, with a potential economic loss of up to $1 billion. Some wineries saw dozens of collapsed barrels, with certain vinyards losing as much as half of their stock.

Napa Valley draws almost 3 million visitors annually, and generates over $1.4 billion through the wine industry.

For more numbers and details, check out Food & Wine here.

Photo courtesy of Alex Farnum

Floral Design Classes in Full Bloom at Hyatt Union Square New York

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Floral design superstar Michael Gaffney has cracked “the DaVinci Code of flower design,” and he’ll be the first one to say it. If you’ve have ever marveled at professional bouquets and wondered why your own arrangements look so disorderly, book a spot at the pop-up Floral Design Classes at Hyatt Union Square New York.

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Air Passenger Fracas Serves Warning: Recline at Your Own Risk

Maybe you heard the story today from the AP. Male air passenger places a Knee Defender device on the seat back in front of him, preventing that seat from reclining. Female passenger in that seat objects. Flight attendant tells man to remove device, man refuses, woman complainant drenches the man with water. (Why oh why couldn’t it have been red wine?! Much better story that way.) Pilot diverts the Newark-Denver flight to Chicago, where the two offending parties are removed, but not arrested. We all know who is right and who is wrong in this tale. Right?

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What the Ebola Outbreak Means for Travelers—Updated

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As new cases of Ebola continue to be reported in Liberia, Sierra Leone, and Guinea—plus two each in Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of Congo (the first outside of West Africa)—travel bans are increasing through the continent, implemented by both international airlines and local African governments. Here is what you need to know now.

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5 London Cocktail Bars to Try Now

5 London Cocktail Bars to Try Now

Much like its patchwork of neighborhoods, the city’s drinking culture offers something for every taste. Here, five new haunts that define the nightlife scene right now.

The Whip, Mayfair

The Vibe: A Kentucky Derby theme sets a fanciful mood: racing-green-striped walls, equestrian knickknacks (riding crop; horse paintings), and vintage furniture upholstered with jockey silks.

Who Goes: Burberry-clad bankers and tony Mayfair residents; expat Triple Crown fans.

What to Order: A julep, of course. The Whip, made with rhubarb vodka and dry gin from the owner’s distillery, is served in a pewter tin.

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The Sleepiest City in the World Is...

Which city gets the most and least sleep? You'll be surprised to know that New York City is actually not the city that never sleeps—New Yorkers sleep an average of six hours and 47 minutes, according to a study by Jawbone, the maker of the fitness wristband Up. (Click here for the full results via the Wall Street Journal.)

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Q+A with Soccer Star Tim Howard About How #LoveTravels

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In June, Marriott International launched its #LoveTravels campaign, encouraging LGBT travelers to feel at ease while staying with Marriott brands during their travels. Today, the company announced that it is broadening the message to individuals of any orientation, with an expanded lineup of celebrity endorsements such as soccer star Tim Howard and fashion maven Angela Simmons.

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London's Tate Britain Offers After-Hours Tours with Robots

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Thousands of art lovers visit London’s Tate Britain every day to see treasures by notables such as William Blake, John Constable, and David Hockney. This week, they can visit the museum at night as well, thanks to the new website After Dark.

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DogVacay Updates App, Pet Owners Rejoice

DogVacay, whose app helping travelers find vetted and insured pet sitters in their neighborhoods launched last year, has released an update with some new tricks even old dogs (and their owners) will appreciate.

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