When Greg Vosits arrived to New York’s John F. Kennedy airport on July, 9th, he was headed to Vienna en route to the medieval city Györ, Hungary, his hometown, to spend the summer. But when the University of Connecticut doctoral student was approached by a woman clad in Heineken regalia proffering a chance to scrap his plans and play travel roulette—a game show-style contest with a far-flung destination waiting on the other end of a button—his mind raced.
“My friends will think I’m stupid if I don’t do this, I will regret it for the rest of my life,” he thought.
And so, with cameras in his face, he took his chance, Cyprus shuffled onto the board, and the Mediterranean beckoned. Now to just clear it with mom.
Like millions of Americans, I’m chomping at the bit for Sunday’s season six premier of Mad Men. So ecstatic am I for the gang at Sterling Cooper Draper (Pryce?) to forge into the late-1960’s that I had to mollify my angst in the only appropriate way I knew how: Booze.
One of the hallmarks of the AMC series has been the period-piece cocktails Don Draper, Roger Sterling, Pete Campbell (above) imbibe at bars, dinner parties, soirées, power lunches, and, yes, work. All over country, retro-tipples are chic again, from Mai Tais to Manhattans, becoming part of the show’s defining characteristics. As a proud member of the New York City cocktail tribe and avid fan of the show, I decided to teach myself to joggle a proper drink and learn my jigger from my Boston shaker.
If you haven’t made plans yet for the Season Six premiere of Mad Men on April 7th, don’t panic. Maybe you want to watch it in Connecticut?
T+L has already discussed how the TV series boosted tourism in New York City, but after last season, which saw Pete and Trudy Campbell move to the 'burbs, Connecticut is doing its part to offer some Don Draper-inspired vacations.
Citing its collection of nearly 90 architect-designed mid-century modern homes, among them Philip Johnson’s famous Glass House, the state’s tourism board is touting New Canaan, CT, as the main destination for true Mad Men aficionados. In addition to the mid-century homes, you'll find the Elm Restaurant($$$), where you can sip a "Lucky Strike" cocktail. The drink, inspired by the old fashioned that Draper drinks while working on the Lucky Strike cigarette campaign, has cherry-wood-smoked bourbon, cherry bitters, and sherry, all topped off with a garnish of, you guessed it, ash.
Anthony Melchiorri has come a long way since working as the director of front office operations for New York's iconic Plaza Hotel. Now, more than 20 years and a fair share of hotel management jobs later, the Brooklyn-born hospitality expert has taken on the role of "hotel fixer" for the Travel Channel's Hotel Impossible. And After Anthony, a one-hour special looking back on Season One, airs February 4 at 10 p.m.Here, Melchiorri reflects on the properties he visited, describes his perfect hotel room, and more.
If you’ve seen the 1998 documentary The Cruise, then you’ll recognize Timothy “Speed” Levitch, the Gray Line tour guide who would be right at home in a Woody Allen movie. The guy with a crazy mop of hair and nasally voice is now hosting Up to Speed, a six-episode travel series made exclusively for Hulu, and directed by Richard Linklater (of Dazed and Confused and School of Rock fame). In addition to illuminating the more mundane “monumentally ignored monuments” across the U.S., it sheds new light on well-known landmarks, too.
What exactly is a “monumentally ignored monument,” and why do they hold such appeal for you? When you work in tourism for a little while, you start to realize it’s a lot like high school. A lot of famous landmarks are pretty vapid—it’s the dweebs and the wallflowers, like the ignored monuments, that often have more interesting things to say. It’s the idea of finding beauty in the unexpected. History is hiding in plain sight all around us.
The idea of chucking it all and decamping to a new exotic land has surely crossed many a world traveler’s mind. This is a passing daydream for some, but for others, it’s a calling—a chance to truly immerse oneself in a foreign culture and community, and to reinvent one's life.
If you’re interested in what the experience of being an ex-patriot is all about, the risks and the rewards, we invite you to watch the new web-series EX-PATS on YouTube’s Reserve Channel. Created in cooperation with Travel + Leisure (our editors are advisors on the show), the series takes viewers around the world to profile ex-pats who’ve made the move and have some wild and wonderful stories to share.
In Bravo’s latest culinary competition show, Around the World in 80 Plates, 12 up-and-coming chefs crisscross the world, battling each other in challenges of both skill and strength. (Yes, it takes a certain type of strength to scarf down excessive amounts of kidney pie.) Here, co-host Cat Cora (the Iron Chef America star-cookbook author-restaurateur-philanthropist shares duties with Australian celeb chef Curtis Stone) dishes on the action-packed show, reveals her ideal family meal, and more.
Q: How would you define Around the World in 80 Plates?
A: The competition is very much like Top Chef, but in a fresher sense. The challenge is in the style of Amazing Race, and the elimination part is Survivor. I think someone even threw in American Idol. It’s such a new take on a competition show that also there’s nothing like it out there.
Taken by surprise, but pleased with its crisp orange-and-blue star turn on Sunday’s episode of Mad Men, Howard Johnson is looking to extend its moment in the spotlight. Several properties in the hotel chain are offering a free night this summer to anyone legally named Don Draper. (For those of us named Roger, Sally, and anything else, the hotel will lop 20% off stays of three nights or more.) For more information on participating hotels or to book, please visit Wyndham Worldwide.
(The Mad Men episode was filmed at a former Howard Johnson near L.A., which through the digital magic of television, was revived to its snappy signature colors and placed amidst upstate NY late spring greenery instead of palm trees.)
Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
The tall, dark, and handsome actor—who will always be Denny Duquette from Grey’s Anatomy to me—returns to the small screen in Starz’s latest original drama Magic City. Call it the Mad Men of Miami Beach. Set in 1958, the show (which has already been picked up for a second season) recreates a turbulent time, complete with mafia, CIA agents, and a flashy and ambitious hotelier named Ike Evans (played by Morgan). Here, the actor gives us a little history lesson, reveals why he thinks the show will be a success, and more.
Q: What made you want to get involved with the show?
A: First and foremost, as an actor, you want to go where the writing is. I read three or four episodes going into having lunch with Mitch Glazer, the writer and executive producer. Within 10 minutes of sitting down, I agreed to do it, and the rest, I hope, will be history.
The city of Dallas has been a prime time fixture—from the notorious 1980s soap of the same name to the recent Bravo reality series Most Eligible Dallas. This Sunday, ABC adds another to the list with the premiere of GCB from writer Robert Harling (Steel Magnolias) and producer Darren Star (Sex and the City). The show follows bible-toting Southern belles behaving badly and with a cast led by Kristen Chenoweth, Leslie Bibb, and Miriam Shor, GCB holds promise. T+L catches up with Shor, a bona fide globetrotter.