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In Transit Blog: Calendar: Coming Events in Paris, Scotland and New York City

Written By wartini cantika on Minggu, 31 Maret 2013 | 17.35

Paris Haute Couture, Paris There's vintage, and then there's historic couture. This show of 100 dresses is the latter. The selection from the Musée Galliera collection — from late-19th-century Worth evening gowns (a 1925 Jean Patou dress is shown right) to an intricately embroidered outfit by John Galliano for Christian Dior — is on view at Paris's City Hall through July 6.

The Style Academy, Aberdeenshire, Scotland D.I.Y.-ers take note: the Style Academy is rolling out 60 courses that teach guests kilt-making, food foraging and preparation, and other forgotten trades and skills. Classes will be at the House of Glenmuick, an estate on 14,000 acres in the Scottish Highlands, from April through June.

Plaza Hotel, New York City The hotel where Gatsby, Daisy and the gang took a suite has brought back the Roaring Twenties, using as an excuse the "Great Gatsby" film due in May. Since last month, the hotel's Champagne Bar has been transformed into a Moët Pop-Up, and the Rose Club is holding jazz concerts on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.


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Cultured Traveler : In Paris, Mixing the Contemporary With the Classics

While many world capitals feed off the energy of modernity, Paris is loved because it represents an escape from it. So when most people visit the city, their agenda involves visiting monuments like the Louvre, the Hôtel de Ville and Notre Dame. The baby of the group is the Eiffel Tower, built in 1887.

But for lovers of contemporary architecture, Paris can be a surprisingly rich place. The latest crop of French architects is producing some of the best new work the city has seen. They are an eclectic group comfortable taking large risks while still melding the work into an august context. The buildings are a far cry from past examples of modern Paris design, like the clunky Tour Montparnasse, the badly dated Opéra Bastille and the cold skyscrapers of La Défense, the Modernist business district to the city's west. These architects are producing treasures sprinkled amid the dense historic fabric. Often the contrast between old and new makes these buildings all the more striking. They are sleek diamonds in an aging rough.

Ministry of Culture

If you walk out of the Louvre and travel less than five minutes north, you can find a gem hidden in plain sight: the architect Francis Soler's Ministry of Culture and Communication, which he completed about eight years ago. To unify a 19th-century classical building with a contemporary addition, he put a latticelike metallic screen (an abstraction of a Renaissance painting) over both. On a gray day, the covering disappears into the sky. On a bright day, it glows. The only public interior space is the ultramodern lobby, with lacy filaments hanging from the ceiling. It's worth a visit, as the ministry offers free information about its cultural events here.

Ministry of Culture, 182, rue Saint-Honoré; www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/182/.

The Louvre

Some modern monuments are right under most tourists' noses, in the city's historic center. One of the newest is the Louvre's Islamic Art Wing, which opened last September. The exhibition space, designed by the French architect Rudy Ricciotti and the Italian architect Mario Bellini, sits under an undulating golden canopy in the middle of the museum's neo-Classical Visconti Courtyard.

The canopy's surface is a grid of tensile metallic mesh resembling a flying carpet, a Bedouin tent, a Middle Eastern souk or waves of water, depending on your perspective. History is still everywhere around you (catch a glimpse of the courtyard to assure you of that), but the overall sensation is quite energetic.

A dramatic cut in the floor at the far end takes you down to another level of treasures. The black surfaces fade into the background, bringing to the fore remarkable and previously unexhibited items: jewels, flasks, vases, tablets, lamps, plates, even entire tile floors.

Musée du Louvre, Palais Royal, louvre.fr/en.

Citroën

This is one of the most daring new pieces. Manuelle Gautrand (one of the few female architects in the bunch) designed this showroom, called C42, for the automaker Citroën, which bursts from the street wall of the Champs-Élysées. Unveiled in 2007, it has a glass-and-steel facade that climbs aggressively and is formed from abstracted chevrons, Citroën's symbol. Inside, a stack of revolving turntables showcases the cars. You can circle your way up, stopping to hop into a car or to catch the views.

Citroën, 42, Champs-Élysées; citroenet.org.uk/miscellaneous/champselysees/c42/c42-1.html.

Docks of Paris

Perhaps the most adventurous of these new modern monuments is the Docks of Paris. Redesigned by the architects Jakob + MacFarlane, the complex was once a turn-of-the-last-century depot for goods hauled by boats on the Seine. Now it's home to the Cité de la Mode et du Design, which includes a fashion school, a few hip shops and, on the roof, restaurants and bars.

When you see the Cité from the nearby Pont d'Austerlitz, its lime-green glass-and-steel armature, which winds and warps its way up and down the length of the old docks, resembles a giant bug perched atop the Left Bank. Climbing the stairs at the riverside edge of the building is exhilarating and disorienting, but it rewards with fantastic views, and with restaurants and bars whose walls and roofs are made of sloping berms of earth. The docks were mostly deserted when I visited them in the winter, but the roof is said to be boisterous come summer, when crowds of students and curious residents make their way onto the structure.

Docks of Paris, 34, quai d'Austerlitz; paris-docks-en-seine.fr.

Musée du Quai Branly

Just a couple of blocks from the Eiffel Tower is a museum that is literally overshadowed by Gustave Eiffel's masterwork. Jean Nouvel's Musée du Quai Branly, opened in 2006 as a repository of indigenous work from around the world, is an eclectic, nervy composition of bright colors and jutting fragments. Its riverside facade is covered with a planted wall by the French botanist Patrick Blanc. Another wall contains glass covered with forest imagery and large display boxes protruding from the building's edge like children's blocks. The offices are inside a much cooler glass cube.

The main exhibition space is raised on columns, allowing for the entire ground level to be taken up by a modern park. Inside, the traditional museum experience is replaced by a snaking path lined with leather walls that twists you here and there through exhibitions of native artwork, masks, jewelry, clothing, weapons, totems, living spaces and much more. Another interior highlight: a giant narrow window framing the entire Eiffel Tower.

Musée du Quai Branly, 37, quai Branly; quaibranly.fr/en/.

A Host of Other Gems

There are many more contemporary treasures if you're willing to travel even farther out, toward the edge of the city, where history has a much lighter grip. Essentials include the wow-inducing buildings of the aptly named Paris firm Périphériques: in the 17th Arrondissement, to the city's northeast, is Cardinet Quintessence, a residential building clad in a mesmerizing prismatic aluminum skin, and just outside the city is Banlieues Bleues, a factory complex turned music center in Pantin, a suburb.

Also in the 17th Arrondissement is Édouard François's Flower Tower, a residential building enshrouded in potted plants along its balconies. And just a few blocks south of the Boulevard Périphérique is the architect Renzo Piano's EMI Music France headquarters, a villagelike collection of buildings inspired by the area's sawtooth-roofed factories. The list goes on and on.

Cardinet Quintessence, 155, rue Cardinet.

Banlieues Bleues, 9, rue Gabrielle Josserand, Pantin; banlieuesbleues.org.

Flower Tower, 23, rue Albert Roussel.

EMI Music France, 118, rue du Mont Cenis, emimusic.fr.


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Into the Albanian Alps

For the March 31, 2013, issue of the Travel section, Tim Neville wrote about hiking through the mountainous border region separating Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo. A trail to foster tourism, the Peaks of the Balkans Trail, opened there last year.

Trekkers negotiate rocky terrain between Gusinje, Montenegro, and Theth, Albania.


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Balkan Promises: Hiking the Albanian Alps

Chad Case for The New York Times

Clockwise from far left: Leaving Theth, Albania; Gusinje, Montenegro; looking out over Kosovo and Montenegro; people encountered during the trek. More Photos »

The seasons were changing fast, and the warmth I'd taken for granted had vanished as night mustered in the hills. I gathered the blanket around my neck and listened to the dogs barking below. It was now long past midnight, with only a few hours until the morning call to prayer.

Peter Grubb, the owner of an Idaho-based outfitter called ROW Adventures, sat in the corner flipping through maps under the lone working light bulb. We were in Room 305 of Hotel Rosi, a bright yellow block of a building in Gusinje, a predominately Muslim community in the former Yugoslav republic of Montenegro. South of here, a rocky trail climbed steadily into a vampiric maw of limestone peaks. Tomorrow we would follow that trail and slip virtually unnoticed into Albania.

That would have been among the stupidest things you could do had it been the 1980s, when Albania was the North Korea of Europe. From World War II until his death in 1985, the Communist leader Enver Hoxha hammered Albania into an oppressive hermit state. He extirpated dissent, outlawed religion and lowered the age for executions to 11. The "Great Teacher" hermetically sealed the borders and distanced himself from other Communists. "We have fought empty-bellied and barefooted but have never kowtowed to anybody!" he once howled at Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader.

Hoxha's final heart attack and the eventual collapse of Communism hailed the beginning of the end of Albania's isolation, and in recent years the once-tense border region separating Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo has become the kind of place you'd want to visit. Aid money, remittances and relative stability have helped create a middle class, and tourism in the region is beginning to boom. Guides take groups kayaking under stone bridges in Montenegro, hiking around Albanian archaeological sites and even skiing in Kosovo. New hotels are pumping fresh life into stale Communist hangouts, even if the water isn't always hot.

"If you want luxury, sorry, go to Paris or New York," Kela Qendro, a 33-year-old Albanian working for a small tourism company, told me later. "You come here to see the real stuff. The shepherd. The old woman picking pomegranates. You go up to villagers and they will invite you inside their home for the joy of meeting you."

Mr. Grubb, who runs about seven trips a year to Croatia, had long been fascinated with this less-developed region of the Balkans. About a year ago he learned of an intriguing new way to explore it — on foot.

The Peaks of the Balkans Trail, a project coordinated by the German Agency for International Cooperation and involving dozens of other groups (including women's associations, tourism offices and environmental nongovernmental organizations), formally opened last year as a 120-mile trek designed to foster tourism and teamwork among historically quarrelsome neighbors. The path literally links Muslim, Catholic and Orthodox enclaves, as well as Slavs and numerous Albanian tribes in three adjoining national parks, each showcasing the border region's inestimable beauty. Towering rock walls scream for thousands of feet into an unimpeachable sky. Farmhouses gather like asters in valleys. Wolves and lynxes pad through landscapes soaked in green.

There would be no real roughing it, since locals have turned ancestral homes into rustic inns offering beds, homemade cheeses, meats and brandy. Even wandering across remote, unmanned borders is now legal, thanks to a new permit system introduced last summer. Mr. Grubb needed only some roll-with-it travelers willing to be his guinea pigs before offering the trip for real. Seven gregarious Texans and I signed up.

Now, sitting in the hotel room, Mr. Grubb put down the map and sighed. He seemed restless. We were about to head deep into the Albanian Alps, better known as the cursed mountains, some of Europe's most glaciated peaks after the Swiss Alps and the highest summits of the Dinaric Alps. The whole trail could be hiked in about 10 days, but we had just 5 to do parts of it. Even so, there were big days and taxing climbs ahead. We would be among the first American-outfitted groups to wander into the maw, and in these parts, the order of things is more mystery than fact.

"This could be more cutting-edge than I thought," Mr. Grubb said, and he switched off the light.

Tim Neville, who lives in Oregon, writes frequently about the outdoors.


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In Transit Blog: Calendar: Coming Events in Paris, Scotland and New York City

Written By wartini cantika on Sabtu, 30 Maret 2013 | 17.35

Paris Haute Couture, Paris There's vintage, and then there's historic couture. This show of 100 dresses is the latter. The selection from the Musée Galliera collection — from late-19th-century Worth evening gowns (a 1925 Jean Patou dress is shown right) to an intricately embroidered outfit by John Galliano for Christian Dior — is on view at Paris's City Hall through July 6.

The Style Academy, Aberdeenshire, Scotland D.I.Y.-ers take note: the Style Academy is rolling out 60 courses that teach guests kilt-making, food foraging and preparation, and other forgotten trades and skills. Classes will be at the House of Glenmuick, an estate on 14,000 acres in the Scottish Highlands, from April through June.

Plaza Hotel, New York City The hotel where Gatsby, Daisy and the gang took a suite has brought back the Roaring Twenties, using as an excuse the "Great Gatsby" film due in May. Since last month, the hotel's Champagne Bar has been transformed into a Moët Pop-Up, and the Rose Club is holding jazz concerts on Wednesday and Thursday evenings.


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Cultured Traveler : In Paris, Mixing the Contemporary With the Classics

While many world capitals feed off the energy of modernity, Paris is loved because it represents an escape from it. So when most people visit the city, their agenda involves visiting monuments like the Louvre, the Hôtel de Ville and Notre Dame. The baby of the group is the Eiffel Tower, built in 1887.

But for lovers of contemporary architecture, Paris can be a surprisingly rich place. The latest crop of French architects is producing some of the best new work the city has seen. They are an eclectic group comfortable taking large risks while still melding the work into an august context. The buildings are a far cry from past examples of modern Paris design, like the clunky Tour Montparnasse, the badly dated Opéra Bastille and the cold skyscrapers of La Défense, the Modernist business district to the city's west. These architects are producing treasures sprinkled amid the dense historic fabric. Often the contrast between old and new makes these buildings all the more striking. They are sleek diamonds in an aging rough.

Ministry of Culture

If you walk out of the Louvre and travel less than five minutes north, you can find a gem hidden in plain sight: the architect Francis Soler's Ministry of Culture and Communication, which he completed about eight years ago. To unify a 19th-century classical building with a contemporary addition, he put a latticelike metallic screen (an abstraction of a Renaissance painting) over both. On a gray day, the covering disappears into the sky. On a bright day, it glows. The only public interior space is the ultramodern lobby, with lacy filaments hanging from the ceiling. It's worth a visit, as the ministry offers free information about its cultural events here.

Ministry of Culture, 182, rue Saint-Honoré; www.culture.gouv.fr/culture/182/.

The Louvre

Some modern monuments are right under most tourists' noses, in the city's historic center. One of the newest is the Louvre's Islamic Art Wing, which opened last September. The exhibition space, designed by the French architect Rudy Ricciotti and the Italian architect Mario Bellini, sits under an undulating golden canopy in the middle of the museum's neo-Classical Visconti Courtyard.

The canopy's surface is a grid of tensile metallic mesh resembling a flying carpet, a Bedouin tent, a Middle Eastern souk or waves of water, depending on your perspective. History is still everywhere around you (catch a glimpse of the courtyard to assure you of that), but the overall sensation is quite energetic.

A dramatic cut in the floor at the far end takes you down to another level of treasures. The black surfaces fade into the background, bringing to the fore remarkable and previously unexhibited items: jewels, flasks, vases, tablets, lamps, plates, even entire tile floors.

Musée du Louvre, Palais Royal, louvre.fr/en.

Citroën

This is one of the most daring new pieces. Manuelle Gautrand (one of the few female architects in the bunch) designed this showroom, called C42, for the automaker Citroën, which bursts from the street wall of the Champs-Élysées. Unveiled in 2007, it has a glass-and-steel facade that climbs aggressively and is formed from abstracted chevrons, Citroën's symbol. Inside, a stack of revolving turntables showcases the cars. You can circle your way up, stopping to hop into a car or to catch the views.

Citroën, 42, Champs-Élysées; citroenet.org.uk/miscellaneous/champselysees/c42/c42-1.html.

Docks of Paris

Perhaps the most adventurous of these new modern monuments is the Docks of Paris. Redesigned by the architects Jakob + MacFarlane, the complex was once a turn-of-the-last-century depot for goods hauled by boats on the Seine. Now it's home to the Cité de la Mode et du Design, which includes a fashion school, a few hip shops and, on the roof, restaurants and bars.

When you see the Cité from the nearby Pont d'Austerlitz, its lime-green glass-and-steel armature, which winds and warps its way up and down the length of the old docks, resembles a giant bug perched atop the Left Bank. Climbing the stairs at the riverside edge of the building is exhilarating and disorienting, but it rewards with fantastic views, and with restaurants and bars whose walls and roofs are made of sloping berms of earth. The docks were mostly deserted when I visited them in the winter, but the roof is said to be boisterous come summer, when crowds of students and curious residents make their way onto the structure.

Docks of Paris, 34, quai d'Austerlitz; paris-docks-en-seine.fr.

Musée du Quai Branly

Just a couple of blocks from the Eiffel Tower is a museum that is literally overshadowed by Gustave Eiffel's masterwork. Jean Nouvel's Musée du Quai Branly, opened in 2006 as a repository of indigenous work from around the world, is an eclectic, nervy composition of bright colors and jutting fragments. Its riverside facade is covered with a planted wall by the French botanist Patrick Blanc. Another wall contains glass covered with forest imagery and large display boxes protruding from the building's edge like children's blocks. The offices are inside a much cooler glass cube.

The main exhibition space is raised on columns, allowing for the entire ground level to be taken up by a modern park. Inside, the traditional museum experience is replaced by a snaking path lined with leather walls that twists you here and there through exhibitions of native artwork, masks, jewelry, clothing, weapons, totems, living spaces and much more. Another interior highlight: a giant narrow window framing the entire Eiffel Tower.

Musée du Quai Branly, 37, quai Branly; quaibranly.fr/en/.

A Host of Other Gems

There are many more contemporary treasures if you're willing to travel even farther out, toward the edge of the city, where history has a much lighter grip. Essentials include the wow-inducing buildings of the aptly named Paris firm Périphériques: in the 17th Arrondissement, to the city's northeast, is Cardinet Quintessence, a residential building clad in a mesmerizing prismatic aluminum skin, and just outside the city is Banlieues Bleues, a factory complex turned music center in Pantin, a suburb.

Also in the 17th Arrondissement is Édouard François's Flower Tower, a residential building enshrouded in potted plants along its balconies. And just a few blocks south of the Boulevard Périphérique is the architect Renzo Piano's EMI Music France headquarters, a villagelike collection of buildings inspired by the area's sawtooth-roofed factories. The list goes on and on.

Cardinet Quintessence, 155, rue Cardinet.

Banlieues Bleues, 9, rue Gabrielle Josserand, Pantin; banlieuesbleues.org.

Flower Tower, 23, rue Albert Roussel.

EMI Music France, 118, rue du Mont Cenis, emimusic.fr.


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Into the Albanian Alps

For the March 31, 2013, issue of the Travel section, Tim Neville wrote about hiking through the mountainous border region separating Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo. A trail to foster tourism, the Peaks of the Balkans Trail, opened there last year.

Trekkers negotiate rocky terrain between Gusinje, Montenegro, and Theth, Albania.


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Balkan Promises: Hiking the Albanian Alps

Chad Case for The New York Times

Clockwise from far left: Leaving Theth, Albania; Gusinje, Montenegro; looking out over Kosovo and Montenegro; people encountered during the trek. More Photos »

The seasons were changing fast, and the warmth I'd taken for granted had vanished as night mustered in the hills. I gathered the blanket around my neck and listened to the dogs barking below. It was now long past midnight, with only a few hours until the morning call to prayer.

Peter Grubb, the owner of an Idaho-based outfitter called ROW Adventures, sat in the corner flipping through maps under the lone working light bulb. We were in Room 305 of Hotel Rosi, a bright yellow block of a building in Gusinje, a predominately Muslim community in the former Yugoslav republic of Montenegro. South of here, a rocky trail climbed steadily into a vampiric maw of limestone peaks. Tomorrow we would follow that trail and slip virtually unnoticed into Albania.

That would have been among the stupidest things you could do had it been the 1980s, when Albania was the North Korea of Europe. From World War II until his death in 1985, the Communist leader Enver Hoxha hammered Albania into an oppressive hermit state. He extirpated dissent, outlawed religion and lowered the age for executions to 11. The "Great Teacher" hermetically sealed the borders and distanced himself from other Communists. "We have fought empty-bellied and barefooted but have never kowtowed to anybody!" he once howled at Nikita Khrushchev, the Soviet leader.

Hoxha's final heart attack and the eventual collapse of Communism hailed the beginning of the end of Albania's isolation, and in recent years the once-tense border region separating Albania, Montenegro and Kosovo has become the kind of place you'd want to visit. Aid money, remittances and relative stability have helped create a middle class, and tourism in the region is beginning to boom. Guides take groups kayaking under stone bridges in Montenegro, hiking around Albanian archaeological sites and even skiing in Kosovo. New hotels are pumping fresh life into stale Communist hangouts, even if the water isn't always hot.

"If you want luxury, sorry, go to Paris or New York," Kela Qendro, a 33-year-old Albanian working for a small tourism company, told me later. "You come here to see the real stuff. The shepherd. The old woman picking pomegranates. You go up to villagers and they will invite you inside their home for the joy of meeting you."

Mr. Grubb, who runs about seven trips a year to Croatia, had long been fascinated with this less-developed region of the Balkans. About a year ago he learned of an intriguing new way to explore it — on foot.

The Peaks of the Balkans Trail, a project coordinated by the German Agency for International Cooperation and involving dozens of other groups (including women's associations, tourism offices and environmental nongovernmental organizations), formally opened last year as a 120-mile trek designed to foster tourism and teamwork among historically quarrelsome neighbors. The path literally links Muslim, Catholic and Orthodox enclaves, as well as Slavs and numerous Albanian tribes in three adjoining national parks, each showcasing the border region's inestimable beauty. Towering rock walls scream for thousands of feet into an unimpeachable sky. Farmhouses gather like asters in valleys. Wolves and lynxes pad through landscapes soaked in green.

There would be no real roughing it, since locals have turned ancestral homes into rustic inns offering beds, homemade cheeses, meats and brandy. Even wandering across remote, unmanned borders is now legal, thanks to a new permit system introduced last summer. Mr. Grubb needed only some roll-with-it travelers willing to be his guinea pigs before offering the trip for real. Seven gregarious Texans and I signed up.

Now, sitting in the hotel room, Mr. Grubb put down the map and sighed. He seemed restless. We were about to head deep into the Albanian Alps, better known as the cursed mountains, some of Europe's most glaciated peaks after the Swiss Alps and the highest summits of the Dinaric Alps. The whole trail could be hiked in about 10 days, but we had just 5 to do parts of it. Even so, there were big days and taxing climbs ahead. We would be among the first American-outfitted groups to wander into the maw, and in these parts, the order of things is more mystery than fact.

"This could be more cutting-edge than I thought," Mr. Grubb said, and he switched off the light.

Tim Neville, who lives in Oregon, writes frequently about the outdoors.


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36 Hours in Bangalore, India

Written By wartini cantika on Jumat, 29 Maret 2013 | 17.35

Namas Bhojani for The New York Times

Clockwise from top left: BluO bowling alley, New Sri Sagar, laughs at the Biere Club, flowers for sale in Malleswaram, Cubbon Park, pulling a draft at the Biere Club. More Photos »

Many tourists who find themselves in Bangalore, India's third-largest city, are merely on their way to somewhere else: Goa, for instance, or Kerala. But there is reason to linger in this lively city of some nine and a half million people. As the capital of the State of Karnataka and India's information technology hub, Bangalore has lots to offer: lush parks and gardens, a remarkably diverse restaurant scene, a raj-era palace and several beautiful churches, temples and mosques, not to mention temperatures in the 70s and 80s year round. Yes, the suffocating traffic can cause tempers to flare, but Bangaloreans are generally friendly and fun-loving. The stylish Koramangala and Indiranagar neighborhoods offer plenty of shopping, dining and night life, including dance clubs, sports bars and a jazz club. And if you like bowling, you've come to the right place.

FRIDAY

3 p.m.
1. Landmark

Dating back to the 1890s, Malleswaram, in northwest Bangalore, is one of the city's most historic neighborhoods. Shops with bright awnings line leafy streets, where food vendors sell flower garlands and spices. It's also one of the most walkable areas in town, with well-maintained sidewalks throughout. Start at Chowdiah Memorial Hall on 16th Cross Road (16th Cross, Gayathri Devi Park Extension; cmh.co.in), a red violin-shaped auditorium. The hall was built in 1980 to honor Tirumakudalu Chowdiah, one of India's most famous violinists and a Karnataka native. The building is modeled after one of Chowdiah's seven-stringed violins (replete with a giant replica of his bow). Besides being a great photo op, the hall hosts music and theater performances (check indianstage.in for listings).

4:30 p.m.
2. Dosa Time

It would be easy to spend an entire afternoon exploring the shops and temples of Malleswaram, but at some point, time must be set aside for dosas, savory crepes that south Indians enjoy at breakfast and as an afternoon snack. Sampige (pronounced som-pi-gay) Road, one of the neighborhood's main streets, is near several great dosa options. The 63-year-old New Sri Sagar (7th Cross and Margosa Road, 91-80-2331-7531), commonly known as Central Tiffin Room, the next street over from Sampige, is one of the most famous dosa places in Bangalore. The restaurant offers table service but no menus, so it's best to stick with the classic order: a benne masala dosa — a potato-stuffed crepe coated in ghee — and a cup of frothy south Indian coffee (about 40 rupees). Other locals prefer the dosas at Hotel Janatha on 8th Cross and Sampige (91-80-2334-5609), which dates from the early 1970s. Then there is Adiga's, on Sampige and 17th Cross, which, with its shiny black counters, seems modern by comparison. Here, customers pay for dosas (about 50 rupees) and juices (try the apple shake for 80 rupees, or about $1.50 at 53 rupees to the dollar) at the register then hand the various receipts to cooks at different parts of the counter, cafeteria-style. There are a few seats by the window, but most diners find a spot at the standing tables.

7:30 p.m.
3. A Taste of Persia

Persian and Indian cuisine have a shared history, but the former is still a novelty here. Persian Terrace (Sheraton Bangalore at Brigade Gateway, 26/1 Dr. Rajkumar Road, 91-80-4252-1000), an upscale outdoor restaurant at the Sheraton Bangalore Hotel at Brigade Gateway, is one of the city's first authentic Persian restaurants. Grilled meat dishes, such as the lamb chop kebabs (1,015 rupees), are the specialty, but the menu also features several vegetarian, fish and poultry dishes. Dinner for two, with a glass of wine, costs about 4,000 rupees.

9 p.m.
4. Futuristic Bowling

The flashy Orion Mall, in the same plaza as the Sheraton, may technically be part of Malleswaram, but it feels far away from the quaint shops on Sampige Road. Skip the mall stores and head straight to the ultramodern BluO bowling alley on the third level. With 27 lanes, it's one of the largest bowling alleys in India, although that could soon change given the sport's growing popularity in the country. Waiters are on hand to bring cocktails and snacks from the bar and help novice bowlers get started. There's also a karaoke lounge and henna tattoo parlor. Bowling costs about 200 rupees per game.

SATURDAY

8 a.m.
5. A Walk in the Park

Bangalore is a rapidly developing city, and its garbage disposal problem has been the subject of recent attention. But it treasures its green space (its nickname is the Garden City), and Cubbon Park, covering more than 200 acres in the center of town, is particularly beloved. The park was built by the British in the late 1800s and is surrounded by historic buildings, including the giant neo-Dravidian-style Vidhana Soudha building and an imposing red colonial-era courthouse. It's also a popular destination for nature lovers. In addition to a towering bamboo grove and banyan trees, there are numerous flowering plants, like red-orange cannas and petunias, and plenty of birds, including kingfishers and green bee eaters. Families with young children flock to the small amusement park and toy train, and there are countless spots for picnics and paths for strolling.

10:30 a.m.
6. Coffee Break

Most people associate India with tea, but India is also a major coffee producer, with farms throughout the south and northeast. Café Coffee Day ("The Square") ( 23/2, Vittal Mallya Road; cafecoffeeday.com) across the street from Cubbon Park on Vittal Mallya Road, is one of the only places in the world where you can sample several different single-origin Indian coffees. A cup of single-origin coffee costs about 150 rupees and comes with a mini chocolate cookie topped with whipped cream. The cafe also sells coffee in whole-bean or ground form.

Noon
7. Eclectic Eggs

The menu at the Egg Factory (White House, St. Mark's Road; theeggfactory.in), a short auto-rickshaw ride from Cubbon Park, starts out traditionally, with a range of omelets and frittatas. But judging by the curry combos section, which includes egg vindaloo (115 rupees), it's clear that this is not your typical breakfast joint. The menu also offers egg-focused pasta and rice dishes and several Mexican-inspired items, including a strange but satisfying egg salad quesadilla (130 rupees). Try it with a cold coffee (65 rupees), the south Indian version of a coffee milkshake, or a fresh lime soda (45).

3:30 p.m.
8. Indian Microbrew


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Sizzling in Helsinki

There was a time when Kallio, a working-class district north of central Helsinki and somewhat akin to the old, grittier iteration of the Bowery in Manhattan, was considered off-limits to visitors. But today, those who venture across the Siltasaarensalmi strait, which divides Kallio from the rest of the Finnish capital will find a sizzling sector percolating with exotic cafes, sleek restaurants and clubs serving fine cuisine, and inviting walk-in studio-boutiques — all nestled in the shadow of Lars Sonck's landmark 100-year-old church. Of course, there is still a chance of stumbling into one of the grotto-like dives for which the area is renowned, but that is part and parcel of the Kallio experience.

— GORDON F. SANDER

Pictured: Folklore, a studio-gallery


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The Getaway: Taking Some Mystery Out of Blind Booking

For travelers willing to trade certainty for savings, Priceline, Hotwire and a new site called GetGoing are taking some of the mystery out of the opaque booking process.

GetGoing.com, which was officially introduced on March 6, offers a twist on the blind-booking model popularized by Priceline, where you don't find out all the details of your itinerary until after you book. Instead of bidding, you choose two places you would like to visit (say, Miami and Los Angeles), select your travel dates and flights, then enter your credit card details. GetGoing randomly chooses one of the two trips and books your ticket, which you can't change or cancel.

The company aims to help airlines fill empty seats, which are scarce on some routes but still average nearly 20 percent of the tickets a carrier could sell. GetGoing promises savings of up to 40 percent off published airfares, but the coin flip reassures the airlines that they are giving these discounts to leisure travelers, not business travelers who would pay a higher price because they have to fly.

"What's really key to the airlines is discounting seats to the right people," said Alek Vernitsky, GetGoing's chief executive and one of its founders. "By asking people to select two places they want to go and flipping a coin, we are communicating to the airline we just found a discretionary customer."

Here is more information about how GetGoing works, and how it compares with Priceline and Hotwire, both of which have added features to make opaque booking less of a gamble.

GetGoing

WHAT'S NEW The coin-flip booking model. So far, GetGoing works with more than 10 airlines, offering flights to thousands of destinations in more than 50 countries. You can select two destinations in the same or different countries (or states), as long as they are at least 50 miles apart. Unlike Priceline, GetGoing lets you limit the options to nonstop flights, but you will generally save more if you accept a connection. Savings range from 20 to 40 percent off the lowest published fare, Mr. Vernitsky said, depending on the route and how desperate the carrier is to fill seats; you see the full price before you commit. Although you don't find out the name of the airline until after you book, GetGoing displays your departure and arrival times as a half-hour window — e.g. "takeoff 5 to 5:30 p.m." With Priceline's name-your-own-price option, all you know before booking is that your flight will depart between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. and may include a connection — too much uncertainty for some travelers.

COOL TOOLS To prove you're getting a deal, GetGoing posts links to other booking sites like Kayak next to its prices, so you can check what the competition is charging (click the blue "I" button, which is not especially obvious). If you don't have a destination in mind, you can search for places that fit a particular category, like "beaches and sun" or "adventure and outdoors." If you log in with your Facebook account, GetGoing will tell you which of your friends have been to the destination you're considering, making it easy to seek advice.

WISH LIST GetGoing doesn't offer hotel deals, but plans to add them in the next couple of months. It also hopes to persuade more airlines to participate, which would expand the number of its destinations and flight options. A flexible date search would help to avoid separate searches to find the cheapest weekend to travel.

Priceline

WHAT'S NEW To entice customers who were put off by its name-your-own-price bidding model, Priceline created a new hotel booking option called Express Deals last summer. You still don't find out the hotel's name until after you book, but Priceline displays the room rate so you don't have to bid. With Express Deals, you will see a list of amenities the hotel offers (like a pool, fitness center, free Internet access or free breakfast), and some hotels let you select a bed type (for instance, one king or two doubles). Brian Ek, Priceline's spokesman, said Express Deals have discounts up to 40 percent off the hotel's published rates, versus up to 60 percent off with the bidding option. On the airline front, Priceline now sells one-way tickets, and displays recent winning bids on a particular route to help guide bidding strategy.


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In Transit Blog: If Something Goes Wrong

Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, proposed a Cruise Ship Passenger Bill of Rights this month in response to "a string of horrifying and dangerous incidents aboard international cruise ships." (Below, the Carnival Triumph is pulled into port at the Alabama Cruise Terminal in Mobile last month, after a fire disabled the ship, stranding 4,200 people onboard.) The guidelines, for passengers on cruise ships, even ones registered in foreign countries, are modeled on those in the airline passenger bill of rights that is currently law. They include access to backup generators, staff members traed in emergency and evacuation procedures, and full refunds for cruises abruptly canceled because of mechanical failures, plus three other guidelines.


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In Transit Blog: Screening Checkpoint Delays

Written By wartini cantika on Kamis, 28 Maret 2013 | 17.35

Charter flight passengers are more likely to slow down airport screening than scheduled passengers, suggests a study of a European regional airport by Kirschenbaum Consulting, an Israel-based security firm. Among the findings: a lower percentage of scheduled passengers among those interviewed carried prohibited items compared with charter passengers, and a lower percentage of scheduled passengers than charter passengers needed to be re-examined by security employees.


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Journeys : Digging for Feasts Across the Florida Panhandle

Sara Essex Bradley for The New York Times

Oysters at Up the Creek Raw Bar.

I should've known this would happen: oyster withdrawal. More than 24 hours had passed since my last dozen. My stomach was making fearsome noises, and my mind was starting to slip. Was that a giant bottle of cocktail sauce in the distance? No, merely a water tower. Perhaps these car seat cushions were edible?

I arrived at Nick's Seafood Restaurant, a culinary miracle tucked away in the Florida Panhandle, just in time — a half-hour before closing. Frantically, I requested two dozen oysters and a beer. Moments later, I was slurping away madly, a moony grin on my face. I was going to make it.

The Florida Panhandle probably isn't the place that comes to mind when you think of culinary transcendence. In fact, gastronomically speaking, the region — sometimes referred to as the "Redneck Riviera" — is generally dismissed out of hand, despite its proximity to the Gulf of Mexico and, to a lesser degree, to the rich culinary traditions of the South.

The Panhandle — roughly 200 miles between the Alabama border to the west and Apalachee Bay (or what's called the Big Bend, where the coastline curves south toward Tampa) to the east — is a landscape known mostly for white sand beaches and blindingly turquoise surf. Drunk on a dizzying combination of gin and sea air, sun-red vacationers stumble idly along, mainlining crab balls at tourist traps like Fudpucker's and finding Jimmy Buffett suddenly tolerable.

But beyond the tourist grid lies a much gentler, far more appetizing Panhandle, largely thanks to a few old-line Florida seafood joints, beloved by a sensible, discerning local fan base. Reaching these places can require a bit of driving and navigational resolve, but your palate will thank you for it.

Those drives yield treasures: the Redneck Riviera includes some of the most stunning and untrammeled beachside expanses in America. Vast sugary carpets of beaches stretch into the horizon, uncrowded even in the thick of summer. With 9 aquatic preserves, 36 state parks and 2 major wildlife refuges, much of the coastline east of the town of Destin remains undeveloped.

Though my midwinter road trip had a culinary focus, I chose a route that promoted ample swimming and random, screeching pullovers to ogle alligators and short-billed dowitchers and giant 500-year-old saw palmettos; to hike and nap in the dunes; and to see whether the bear-crossing signs on the highways ever proved prophetic. My course took me roughly from Destin on U.S. 98 (the "Emerald Coast Parkway") to 30A and south to Grayton Beach, then down through Port St. Joe, around the horn to Apalachicola and up along St. George Sound to the leafy hamlet of Spring Creek.

Destin, located at the western tip of East Pass peninsula, bills itself as the "World's Luckiest Fishing Village." That might have been true once. Today it's the region's most overvisited city and not anywhere to stake a vacation claim, unless your thing is tattoo parlors, T-shirt emporiums and a pastel-stucco surf shop that recalls the gaudiness and grandeur of Graceland.

But one big selling point remains: Destin happens to sit across Choctawhatchee Bay from the town of Freeport, home to Nick's and its wonderful oysters. Aside from the flat-screen TV behind the bar, it feels permanently trapped in 1963, the year Frank and Hattie Nick opened it on the site of an old fish camp. There's a worn, laminate horseshoe bar and wood-paneled walls mounted with fish and ungulates. Shrimp dinners are $15.95, blue crab claws $11.95 per half-pound, and for $10.95, a "Fat Hattie Special" that will likely wind up on "Man v. Food." But oysters are the cornerstone. Plump, briny and magnificent, they came on a plastic cafeteria tray, laid out like a checkerboard, and are $10 a dozen (recently bumped up from $7).

About 90 percent of Florida oysters hail from Apalachicola Bay, which historically has been home to some of the most productive grounds in the country. But years of drought and overharvesting have devastated the stock, and until it recovers, places like Nick's have had to rely on oysters from other Gulf states, mainly Texas.

"These are a close second to Apalachicola oysters," Don Phaneuf, the barman and shucker at Nick's, assured me as he sucked down a few. "I could eat five dozen, easy."

I showed exceptional restraint by only eating two dozen, and a plate of fried green tomatoes, a bowl of excellent gumbo and two howitzers of beer.


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Pursuits : Packing the Family for a Solar Eclipse

Eric Adams for The New York Times

Kimberly Adams and her daughters, Alice and Lucy, watch the eclipse through special glasses a few minutes before totality.

A television commercial break during the Super Bowl. The world record for a woman to run a mile. The time it took to board my flight.

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Eric Adams for The New York Times

The moon slides out of alignment after a total solar eclipse over Australia last November.

These are among the many things that last longer than a total solar eclipse.

So taking a 37-hour journey from my home in Pennsylvania to north Queensland, Australia, to view such a fleeting event may not seem like a natural vacation, especially not with your family in tow. But the promise of a prime viewing spot was all it took for me, an astronomy enthusiast, to book a trip last November.

I would be joining the legions of people you could call astrotourists, who, undaunted by the prospect of a cloudy day, travel extraordinary distances for the opportunity to glimpse the latest ex-orbital phenomena. Sure, a meteor streaking across the sky is flashy, especially when it's not expected, but to us, seeing a total solar eclipse is the holy grail, an experience so priceless you wouldn't hesitate to subject yourself and your wife and your young daughters to the time and expense of a 12,000-mile trip to see one. (What's 12,000 miles when you consider the 200,000-odd miles between the Earth and the Moon?)

I'd dreamed of what it must be like to witness an eclipse for years. I'd marveled at images of them. And I knew, from the hours spent gazing through my telescopes at star clusters, galaxies and planets, that firsthand astronomical observations always trumped photos in books or on computer screens. It becomes an experience — eyepiece views of Saturn and Jupiter are imprinted in my memory in ways Hubble pictures are not. Eclipses, I had heard, were in yet another league. They feel close, powerful. They turn day to night, and reveal our star's complex, gauzy atmosphere in the space of minutes.

"It really is an amazing visual experience that can become a life-changer for some people," said Paul Maley, a retired NASA engineer who organizes eclipse trips with Ring of Fire Expeditions, one of dozens of operators that cater to astrotourists. "People get different things out of it, and even after seeing more than 40 eclipses, I'm still surprised by how people react. One guy on a trip to Indonesia was so freaked out he hyperventilated. We had to get him a paper bag."

Though I hoped it wouldn't come to that for my daughters, Lucy, 11, and Alice, 8, or my wife, Kimberly, I did want us to share a life-altering experience. This particular one was visible only in far north Queensland. And if the eclipse was a bust, there was a fail-safe: we would be within easy distance of the Great Barrier Reef, the Australian Outback and lush rain forests.

We arrived at our destination, Port Douglas, a resort town an hour north of Cairns, a few days before the eclipse. It was sunny and warm. We checked in to our boutique hotel — the Apartments at the White House — and passed time splashing in the waters of Four Mile Beach a block away, strolling a strip of upscale restaurants and stores that made up the downtown, and exploring nearby Daintree Rain Forest in our rental car. In the evenings, we walked along the beach. The town, then in the off-season, buzzed as it would amid an Australian summer. Thousands of eclipse-chasers had flooded Port Douglas — among more than 50,000 that came to northern Queensland for the event. (Maley's tour group stayed in Cairns.) The coming eclipse dominated local chatter online, on the air and on the streets.

The day before the eclipse, however, any sense of relaxation I felt vanished when I walked out to the beach before dawn. The horizon above the Coral Sea was filled with puffy clouds. I wasn't alone in my worry. Dozens of other chasers who had come from Asia, the Middle East, the United States, Europe and other points in Australia scanned the sky. Many had no backup plans. Because rental cars were scarce, Port Douglas was their only option. I suddenly felt extremely grateful that I had reserved a car six months in advance.


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In Transit Blog: Stepping Outside Manhattan

New York City this month introduced a Web guide called Neighborhood x Neighborhood, which highlights areas outside of Manhattan on the city's tourism site. The first featured guide was for Brooklyn, focusing on haunts in Bushwick, Fort Greene and Williamsburg (above) that are not on the well-worn tourist path. Fans of Fette Sau, prepare for an even longer wait.


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Frugal Traveler Blog: In a Chinese Alley, an $8 Tasting Menu

Written By wartini cantika on Rabu, 27 Maret 2013 | 17.35

Even the strictest of budget should allow for occasional splurges: a modest hotel room after a string of hostel bunks; a just-this-once late-night cab; a beer upgrade from P.B.R. to I.P.A. But some luxuries never enter the frugal equation. Take, for example, the restaurant tasting menu — those drawn-out dinners of 8 or 10 or 25 courses, exquisitely designed (and sometimes served) by the chef. Or so I've heard.

On my trip to South China this past winter, I finally found a tasting menu I could afford. It took some D.I.Y. initiative, but at a spot called Hubu Alley in Wuhan, I indulged in an eight-course meal that was a culinary tour of Hubei province. And all for just over $8 (52.5 renminbi, or $8.39 at 6.14 renminbi to the dollar, to be exact). A dollar a course? No tax, no tip? Beat that, Le Bernardin.

Hubu Alley isn't a restaurant – it's a T-shaped pedestrian area on the east side of the Yangtze, famed for the breakfast dishes sold by dozens of vendors from street carts and stalls. And designing my tasting menu could not have been more straightforward: I simply watched what other people were eating and followed suit.

So here it is: The 8-Course Hubu Alley Breakfast Tasting Menu.

Course 1: Cai lin ji (4 renminbi) – These "hot dry noodles" are the local breakfast standard, the bacon and eggs (or bagel and cream cheese) of Wuhan, and the original reason I came to the alley. My preboiled noodles were flash-dunked in hot water, then mixed with sesame paste, scallions, soy sauce and a few other dashes of vegetables and liquids I couldn't identify. They were hearty, fresh and not too spicy. I could see why millions of Wuhan residents start their day with them.

Course 2: Dou pi (5 renminbi) – The No. 2 must-try breakfast in Wuhan is sticky rice mixed with other ingredients: vegetables and beans, in this case, wrapped in sheets of bean curd, then pan-fried until golden. The bean curd was tasty, but I discarded most of the rest; I'm just not Chinese enough to have both noodles and rice for breakfast.

Course 3: Xizang qingke bing (3.5 renminbi) – It was here, watching a man pull hot round flatbread covered in sesame seeds from what looked like a tandoor oven, that the idea for a tasting menu was born. I was already full enough to make it to lunch, but who can resist bread (Tibetan barley pancakes, actually) less than five seconds out of an oven? It was crispy around the edges, soft inside, and of course hot enough to burn the tongue and delicious enough to be worth it.

Course 4: Won ton soup (5 renminbi) – Important travel rule: if you see a line, get in it first, ask questions later. But in Wuhan, questions (like "Do you speak English?") are met with blank stares, so here, the story unfolded as I waited. Customers at Jiangming Hundun Guan handed over money to a man in a cart as two women at a nearby table carefully filled thin dough with minced pork and twisted them into tortellini-size dumplings. The man, wearing an apron that read "Wuhan Flavor Street," prepared bowls of minced greens, black pepper and a dash of MSG for each prepaid customer, then waited for the dumplings to boil. In came the broth, and finally a sieve full of soft, juicy dumplings, perfect for a cold Wuhan winter morning.

Course 5: Papaya juice (8 renminbi) — Several vendors sold colorful juices, made on site and served bubble tea style, with cups sealed with foil on site and then punctured by a straw wide enough to allow passage of tapioca pearls, though there were none in mine. Call it a palate cleanser.

Course 6: Fried frog (12 renminbi) – It was time for a break, so I wandered the "alley" and its even more alleylike spur of even more tightly packed vendors, passing by others walking and munching who knows what. A teenage girl passed by, and in her case, I knew what she was carrying: a frog, decapitated and fried but still very recognizable, splayed open on two skewers. Just a few stalls down was the frog vendor, a young woman with three metal trays stacked with skewered frogs, complete with webbed toes and meaty thighs. I pointed, she fried, and, with sign language, asked if I wanted it snipped in two demi-frog popsicles. I did. There was a surprising amount of meat (poultrylike, as you have probably heard) and a wicked amount of spice (the equivalent of extra-fiery Buffalo wings). I found myself gnawing at the vertebra and wondered why the French stop at the legs.

Course 7: Doughnut holes (5 renminbi) – Thinking I was done eating, I figured it was time for dessert. I'll call these doughnut holes because I don't know the name in Chinese (feel free to comment below) but they were neither Dunkin' Donuts cakey nor Krispy Kreme yeasty; instead, the outside felt a bit like an ultrathin layer of fiberglass (in a good way) and the inside was gooey and glutinous (in a very good way).

Course 8: Oysters (3 for 10 renminbi) – The doughnut-to-oyster shift should  be done only under extreme circumstances, but these were those. Bloated, I attempted an exit, but noticed a crowd gathered around a man who was tending a narrow grill. I poked my head in, and saw he was spooning garlic onto oysters and scallops on the half-shell. (The scallops also got a bit of vermicelli.) The garlic mixed with the natural oyster juice and began to bubble. I had to make room for one last course.

Since there was no waiter to relay my message at the time, allow me to send one remotely: Gongxi chushi shouyigao! (That's Chinese for: My compliments to the chefs!)


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36 Hours in Brisbane, Australia

Patrick Hamilton for The New York Times

Clockwise from top left: Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary; Alfred & Constance; track installation at the Gallery of Modern Art; Super Whatnot; and the Mount Coot-tha lookout. More Photos »

With the Sunshine Coast to the north and the Gold Coast to the south, Brisbane has long been a natural waypoint for visitors seeking a slice of South Pacific paradise on Australia's eastern shores. But the country's third-largest city deserves to be a destination in its own right. Fans of fine art and live music will revel in the diversity of the city's offerings, and nature lovers will delight in discovering the local wildlife sanctuary filled with arguably the cutest creatures on the planet — koalas. Some new bars and restaurants have recently introduced big-city sophistication to this subtropical metropolis, but you needn't trade your flip-flops for formal footwear just yet. The warm and welcoming capital of Queensland, Australia's Sunshine State, is still as casual and easygoing as ever.

FRIDAY

3 p.m.
1. Bank on the Arts

A good introduction to the city begins in the South Bank district, which hugs the south bank of the Brisbane River. The area brims with attractions — a curious artificial beach, riverside parks, a spinning Ferris wheel — but most notable is the culture-rich complex that houses a pair of the city's finest art venues: the Queensland Art Gallery, or QAG, and the Gallery of Modern Art, or GoMA (Stanley Place; qagoma.qld.gov.au). The two galleries, separated by about 150 yards, are co-hosts of the seventh Asia Pacific Triennial of Contemporary Art, an event that highlights works by artists from across India, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea and other traditionally underrepresented nations. Later this year, the three-story GoMA will present "My Country, I Still Call Australia Home: Contemporary Art From Black Australia," which is being billed as the largest-ever exhibition of contemporary indigenous Australian art (June 1 to Oct. 7).

7 p.m.
2. Going Public

Come quitting time, office workers are quick to exit the central business district. But Public (Upper Level 1, 400 George Street; lovepublic.com.au), a restaurant that opened there last year, has been luring people back after dark. Although its location on the second floor of a nondescript office building would suggest otherwise, this attractive restaurant is a stylish spot to dine. Pendant lamps with amber-hued filament bulbs hang above the bar, and the dining room is filled with wood-topped tables and tall leather banquettes that create an intimate atmosphere despite the soaring ceilings. The restaurant's menu of sharing plates draws inspiration from around the globe, and the beautiful dishes — wagyu tataki with sake and sesame, Hawaiian potato curry with coconut and litchi — look as good as they taste. Dinner for two, about 80 Australian dollars, about the same in U.S. dollars.

10 p.m.
3. Brilliant Brewpubs

A spate of recent bar openings has dramatically improved Brisbane's drinking options. The city imported a bit of Melbourne-style cool with the 2011 opening of Super Whatnot (48 Burnett Lane; superwhatnot.com), a small, chic bar tucked on a narrow service road downtown. This bi-level spot has a gorgeous interior with exposed brick walls, polished wood floors and a cozy nook of black banquettes downstairs. Upstairs, the denlike loft overlooks a bar that boasts a fine selection of craft beers from around Australia, including Tasmanian Moo Brew Hefeweizen and Stone & Wood Pacific Ale from nearby Byron Bay. Another watering hole that opened in 2011 is the Scratch (8/1 Park Road; scratchbar.com), an unpretentious craft beer pub that rotates the brews on its four regular taps and one hand-pump tap daily. The location is a hike from downtown, but beer aficionados will find the trek worthwhile because the excellence of the tap offerings is exceeded only by the passion and knowledge of the friendly bartenders.

SATURDAY

10 a.m.
4. Down by the Riverside

The Brisbane River, which wiggles through the center of the city, is a source of both riparian delights and disasters. In 2011, flooding wreaked havoc on low-lying homes and businesses, and this past January, floods struck again. But when the river is behaving, the promenade that hugs the water's edge is a lovely location for a morning stroll. Start on the north bank near the towering Story Bridge and saunter southwest, passing bobbing boats and the botanic gardens. A mile into the walk, detour along the boardwalk that loops through the mangrove swamp for an up-close perspective of the fragile habitat's birds and trees. Along the way, you might also spy fearless rock climbers scaling the 65-foot sheer face of Kangaroo Point Cliffs on the opposite side of the river.

Noon
5. The Wheel Thing

The Bun Mobile truck (thebunmobile.com.au; Twitter: @TheBunMobile) serves some of the most satisfying food in the city — on or off wheels. Helmed by Harold Fleming, the year-old truck specializes in steamed buns overflowing with tasty fillings; the bun with twice-cooked pork, hoisin sauce, pickled cucumbers and shallots (8 Australian dollars) is particularly delicious. If the dessert bun laden with banana, drizzles of caramel sauce and salted peanut praline is a special, don't dare pass it up. After lunch, wheel around the observation deck at the top of Mount Coot-tha (Sir Samuel Griffith Drive) for sweeping views over the city and bushland beyond.

2 p.m.
6. Marsupial Madness

About seven miles from the summit of Mount Coot-tha is the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary (708 Jesmond Road; koala.net; entry, 33 Australian dollars), a zoolike haven that is home to a huge array of marsupials including kangaroos, wallabies, wombats and Tasmanian devils, as well as other unusual creatures, among them emus and a platypus. But the main attractions are, of course, the more than 130 sleepy-eyed koalas slouching in trees, nibbling eucalyptus leaves and dozing in hilarious poses. You can even cuddle one of the docile koalas in your arms. Fancy petting and feeding a kangaroo too? Visit the field where scores of kangaroos laze in the shade; many will be happy to munch pellets right from your hand before bouncing — boing, boing, boing — away.

6 p.m.
7. Cheers Two Ways

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: March 26, 2013

An earlier version of this article included outdated information about a design shop in South Bank near the Young Designers Market. The shop, (m)art, closed at the end of January (the company's other shop, Gallery Artisan, in Fortitude Valley, a suburb, is open).


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In Transit Blog: Hotel Partners, Strange Bedfellows

The parent company of the design-driven furniture maker IKEA and the untrendy Marriott International announced this month that they are teaming up to create Moxy, a chain of budget hotels across Europe, news that strikes many travelers as an odd coupling. (And inspires questions, like, will you have to put together your nightside table with an Allen wrench?)

But there are even stranger bedfellows for hotels, which use the term "partner" as liberally as people use "friend" on social networking sites.

Two hotels have forged agreements with automakers: 51 Buckingham Gate in London is home to the Jaguar Suite, designed by the automaker to include a fireplace modeled on the Jag's rear window; and the St. Regis New York recently announced that Bentley Motors will design a one-bedroom suite featuring a Champagne bar.

Speaking of Champagne, Veuve Clicquot has put its stamp on the pool deck at the Hotel ZaZa in Dallas with pillows and umbrellas in the signature orange hue of the label; it's given similar treatment to a lounge in the Algodon Mansion hotel in Buenos Aires.

The IKEA-Marriott deal is so unusual that it seems like one of these cross-promotions. But it is a true partnership in which Inter IKEA spends $500 million to build 50 hotels. Besides, the rooms aren't going to be furnished by IKEA the retailer. So no, you don't have to pack that Allen wrench.


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Q&A: A Plan of Attack for the Urban Antique Hunter

Stepping into a Jack Spade store, you might wonder who the fabulous, well-traveled gent was who lived there. The clothing store pulls off a deft, eclectic, lived-in look: classic midcentury armchairs, salvaged-wood tables, a quirky collection of salt figurines amid the clothing.

Steven Sclaroff, the New York-based interior designer who decorated many of the brand's stores, has trekked to many an antique dealer, mall and vintage shop in cities like Los Angeles, Chicago and Washington, to find these furnishings. Along the way, he has picked up a few tricks for antique-hunting as well as an item or two for his own home.

Below are edited excerpts from a conversation with Mr. Sclaroff on how to scout out antiques and good vintage deals across the country.

Q. Say you're headed to Los Angeles. How do you find vintage stores in the area?

A. Before you go, search online for antique malls, vintage shops, dealers in the city. It's as simple as Googling those words and seeing what comes up. Many businesses are still not on the Web, so Yelp is an excellent resource. In the comments, people are very specific about what they bought, what the item looks like, how much it was. I don't care necessarily whether the review is positive or negative. I just want to get a feel for what I'd likely find. And before you leave, make sure you measure the space in your house you want to furnish.

Q. Do you hit up flea markets?

A. I do, if they're going on the weekend I'm there. But many times they're not, so I check out antique malls, which often have the same dealers. The town of Orange in California had a bunch of antique malls along South Glassell Street. Muff's Hardware had loads of other stuff beyond hardware. Orange Circle Antique Mall was also great. At Antique Depot, we found some beautiful, '70s gallery posters, and we got some cool black-and-white government area maps — tacked those up on the store's wall — from Antique Mall of Treasures.

From what I heard from people locally, a lot of those dealers also show up at the Rose Bowl Flea Market, but the prices at the antique malls were cheaper.

Q. How do you navigate antique malls? They can be enormous.

A. Be open to rummaging. The upside is, you can find something great on the cheap. The downside is that you have to look through a lot stuff you can't believe has a price tag. A lot of dirty Barbie dolls.

Q. Any other cities particularly great for antiquing?

A. Chicago has a bunch of great resources. In terms of antique malls, there's Chicago Antique Centre and Broadway Antique Market, which mostly focuses on midcentury stuff.

Chicago also has a lot of big salvage places like Salvage One and Urban Remains, where you find architectural stuff like doors, hardware, lighting, as well as furniture. And weird signage that I don't know who buys, but it's really cool.

The Andersonville neighborhood had great stores — Scout, Roost, Woolly Mammoth — all within a block of each other. Not the cheapest places, but you're paying for their editing. Some dealers have an incredible sense of style.

Q. How do you get these purchases back home?

A. Dealers can give you a trucking company's name or arrange shipping for you. Otherwise, you can ship things as large as a chair from the local UPS. It's not cheap, but not crazy expensive, either. I bought an eight-foot landscape painting of men on horseback in Chicago and shipped that home for $350.

Q. An eight-foot landscape painting of men on horseback?

A. Yes. I saw it, and I was like, "I can't leave you." It's now a companion piece to another painting I have of tepees. I have a minor Western theme at the moment, subject to change.


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In Transit Blog: In Seattle, Public Art With an Interactive Twist

Written By wartini cantika on Selasa, 26 Maret 2013 | 17.35

Globespotter: Seattle

A snapshot of destinations around the globe.

A finished piece of architecture is typically thought to be immutable, and the same is true of an artwork, an object fixed to its particular moment of creation; or, in the case of video, repeating itself.

On Sunday,  however, when Doug Aitken's new permanent installation, "Mirror," illuminates the façade of the Seattle Art Museum, it will feature a video work that is always changing in response to its surroundings —  from Seattle's downtown to its notoriously fickle weather.

The installation, on an immense glass-covered screen wrapped around the museum's corner entrance, will feature  pre-shot footage from downtown, from Seattle's outskirts of Seattle and from the greater area's mountains and ocean, Mr. Aitken said. "I tried to film the landscape, surfaces, textures, really whatever I found," he said.

Programmed so that its imagery appears in a seemingly endless stream of variations, "Mirror" has been equipped with sensors that respond to weather and light conditions.

The work is also composed of columns in which light will shoot up and down, a feature that Kim Rorschach, the museum's director, said would animate structural elements of the building, designed by Allied Works Architecture.

Unlike his installation "Black Mirror," a 2011 work that addressed the itinerant existence of a lonely character played by the actress Chloe Sevigny, "Mirror" is devoid of human characters. "It's really about letting the footage come to life and reflect a psychological landscape, Mr. Aitken said.

"It may be that during a windstorm, the building becomes totally abstract, with lines of light moving across the surface," Mr. Aitken said. "And there may be other times when there aren't many people around, and the building will become one single, very slow-moving shot of a mountain range."


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T Magazine: The Hotel del Coronado’s Past Lives

As anyone who's walked the grounds of the famed Hotel del Coronado knows all too well, the past has a way of catching up with you. There's the ghost of Kate Morgan, whose dead body was found on Nov. 29, 1892, five days after she'd checked in under the alias Lottie A. Bernard. The San Diego coroner ultimately determined that the gunshot wound to her head was self-inflicted. Today, those who stay in her room (3327, previously No. 302) — the most requested one in the hotel — continue to report paranormal activity, including a television set that randomly turns on. Ms. Morgan is not the only famous name on the hotel's guest register. Previous guests have included Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, Desi Arnaz, Charlie Chaplin, Charles Lindbergh and Marilyn Monroe, whose film "Some Like It Hot," was shot here. This year, the hotel celebrates its 125th anniversary with a series of events and a new commemorative book, "Hotel del Coronado History."

Inside are extensively detailed notes and historic photographs, tracing the resort's storied past back to 1885 when then newly transplanted Elisha Babcock Jr. and Hampton Story dropped $110,000 to purchase the entire Coronado peninsula across the bay from San Diego. A year later, on Nov. 13, 1886, a land auction was held that garnered $1 million in lot sales. With this money, the duo, along with an architect, James Reid, marched ahead with their plans to build a seaside hotel that would become "the talk of the Western world." Constructed almost entirely of wood, much of which was brought over from the Northwest on massive log rafts, the scale of the hotel was so large that it necessitated the establishment of an electrical power plant to help with its construction.

For his part, Hugh Francis Griffin, one of the hotel's earliest employees, who quit his job at New York's Bartholdi Hotel to travel west and work as a $60-per-month front-office clerk at the hotel, wrote the following letter to his family on Feb. 8, 1888: "We are opened for business here now, and have quite a number of guests. There are a number of novel things to be seen at this place, in and about the hotel, all the rooms are lighted up with electric light … it seems rather odd to go to your room and turn on the light, just as you would gas, and besides it saves all the trouble and annoyance of matches, and can be turned on or off at leisure. I have one of the prettiest little rooms you ever saw, with a fine sycamore bed, dresser, washstand, rocker, two chairs, and one of the nicest carpets imaginable. From all accounts, you people back East are having a very cold winter; we here have the same warm weather, day in and day out."

Also in the mix are photos documenting the changes to the hotel's lobby and guest rooms throughout the years. The presidential suite, for one, was occupied by Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt in October 1935. That suite housed brocades and gold-framed mirrors, which the couple described as "radiating a warmth and cheerfulness … a homey atmosphere and a pleasing simplicity." Not to be missed are the chapters about the hotel's evolving culinary style. An 1897 dinner menu had oysters on shell, sweet pickled figs, and boiled leg of mutton with turnips. A 1940 cocktail menu, for example, showed that hotel revelers had their choice of good-times tonics ranging from a 40-cent Tom Collins to a pricier two-dollar French "75."


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T Magazine: Modernism at Sunset

A residence made mostly of glass and wood, surrounded by trees, tucked neatly behind a modernist building. The interior designer and writer David Netto leads a tour of the VDL Research House, the former home and studio of Richard Neutra located on Silver Lake boulevard in Los Angeles. Netto describes Neutra, the architect originally from Austria, as "the shaper of the future of California," and demonstrates how the house reflects the architect's point of view.


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In Transit Blog: Walkabout – 3/25: No Carry-on? Go to Front of the Line, Says American

Walkabout

A weekly summary of what our writers and editors are reading.

Flying Light American Airlines is testing new boarding procedures that award passengers who don't bring any carry-ons by allowing them to board before others in economy class. (Today)

Airplane Mode The Federal Aviation Administration may relax the rules for reading devices during takeoff and landing. (The New York Times)

Unsafe Renovations A 10-year-old boy was killed and other family members were injured after a flight display board fell at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport, only weeks after the renovated airport reopened. (ABC News)

Concerns in India Britain's Foreign and Commonwealth Office issued a travel advisory for women in India following recent reports of rape targeting tourists that have gained world-wide attention. (The Chicago Tribune)

Lady Liberty Still Shuttered New York City's Ellis Island Immigration Museum, which was damaged during Hurricane Sandy, is still without power and is not likely to reopen this year. (ABC News)


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T Magazine: The Reincarnation of Seoul

Written By wartini cantika on Senin, 25 Maret 2013 | 17.35

With a rush of sweeping cultural transformations, the South Korean capital is becoming the fashionable intrigue of the Far East.

It is the new can't-miss building in the heart of Seoul. Like the bandages on a plastic-surgery patient, the last of the protective fencing has been peeled away to reveal the capital's latest architectural creation. City Hall, a vintage vestige of South Korea's ruthless onetime colonial overlord Japan, has been restored. Over a cold stone shoulder, as formidable as the all-powerful mayor who works within, now rises a tsunami of glass and steel, the future poised to obliterate the past in the next 60 seconds. It took five months to build. This is the new face of Seoul.

"Pali! Pali!" everybody likes to say. Faster! Faster! South Korea has been sprinting down the road to recovery since the end of the Korean War. As fast as PSY's "Gangnam Style" anthem, mocking Seoul's Ferrari-and-furs nouveaux riches, galloped to the top of the Western music charts this year, the city has emerged as one of the most hip (and most underrated) cultural capitals in the world. Cruise-line-proportioned flagships, architecturally bombastic headquarters, museums celebrating traditional houses to handbags, haute and hot restaurants are all competing for the attention of its 10 million increasingly affluent residents.

Koreans have the reputation for being nose-to-the-grindstone, study-smarties. But looking around Seoul today, one can only conclude they're ready to enjoy themselves. It's no longer the city voted least favorite layover in the Far East. Let everyone rabbit on about how places like Shanghai are The Future: Seoul residents are smarter dressers; its restaurants feel more fussed over, more daring; and after an early force-feed of education, everyone's creative, individualist side is emerging.

South Korea never just apes the West but puts its own topspin on music, fashion, food, technology. Apple may have won its patent-infringement lawsuit against Samsung, but Samsung's Galaxy S III is neck and neck with the iPhone 5 in stores, early to the notion that people wanted smartphones with bigger screens. Samsung has overtaken Sony as the world's biggest maker of TVs." Apple takes forever to develop a jewel of a phone, but Samsung, they just throw it out there. Bam-bam-bam!," says the architect Euhlo Suh. "People don't like this feature? Let's make another one. Bam-bam-bam!"

That's just the hardware. Content has arrived, too. The cultural wave rolling from these shores already has a name — hallyu — literally, the Korean Wave, coined by awestruck Chinese who were the first to acknowledge Korea's revised profile in Asia. Its "K-pop" music and television shows have been embraced with such a Pacific Basin bear hug that money from these sectors alone buoys South Korea's economy by $4.5 billion a year. This year, Korean directors transitioned from Hallyuwood to Hollywood, and will open their first English-language films, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and Nicole Kidman.

The Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, which opened two years ago, is Seoul's bigger, badder Whitney Museum, and a hard-won $256 billion National Museum of Contemporary Art will make its debut later this year. (Like many of Seoul's prestige projects, the Leeum was designed by Western architects and was hardly issue-free: Rem Koolhaas, Jean Nouvel and Mario Botta were each commissioned for a site that shrunk after the economic crisis in the late 1990s — witness this trio of buildings now existing in near collision with each other.)

The worldliness announces itself on every street corner: a constellation of starchitect-designed headquarters is aligning in the night sky. Here a Rem Koolhaas. There a Daniel Libeskind. Perhaps not so impressive a feat as a city like Shanghai, but Seoul is well on its way, even if the candelabra of new buildings are in many instances snuffed every night by 10 p.m., as the economy-minded socialist government has encouraged.

Until now, South Korea has never really registered as a culture — or as a country — save in news reports about threats from the North, forever lumped together with places like Taiwan as an emerging industrial powerhouse. Seoul is run by a tight group of family-owned conglomerates (Samsung, Doosan, LG, et al.) called the chaebol, with every line of business in their tentacle grip. Now these families' third-generation sons and daughters, in their 30s and 40s, are leading Seoul through the most radical upgrade of its 2,000-year history. They've come of age during South Korea's growth with all the attached benefits: virtually every one of them educated abroad (America, mainly), fluent in foreign languages, buzzing with international connections.

The most graphic sign of the city's transformation is perhaps the string of fashion flagships docked on the main drag of Gangnam's Cheongdam-dong: Louis Vuitton, Hermès, Tory Burch, Prada, Gucci. It all reads very Rodeo Drive — that is, if there weren't already a street named Rodeo Drive in Gangnam's Apgujeong. The endgame for these companies has been to plant a flag early, establish the brand as quickly as possible. This explains what Dean & DeLuca is doing in the basement of Gangnam's Shinsegae department store flogging French chocolates and muesli, why Jamie Oliver is taking meetings with the "global lifestyle company" CJ Foodville and why Tory Burch entered a partnership with Samsung Chiel. "If Samsung hadn't approached us, we probably would have approached them," says Burch, whose orange-lacquer flagship and 23 shop-in-shops enjoy double-digit sales growth yearly.

Forty years ago, Gangnam ("south of the river") was farmland. Today, after hyper-development and redevelopment that made numerous property owners mega-millionaires overnight, rabid consumerism runs free.

The wives of Gangnam crowd into the months-old Gourmet 494 in the basement of the Galleria mall. To call this a food court would be an act of libel. The hottest restaurants in Seoul have branches here, like Pizzeria D'Buzza and Vatos Urban Tacos, the latter of which began with funds its California-born founding partner, Kenneth Park, raised on Kickstarter. The menu is an East-West border-mix with kimchi carnitas fries, galbi short-rib tacos, peach makgeolitas made with Korea's fermented rice wine makgeolli, and funny pictograms display the source of each meat, required by law ever since a 2008 controversy when beef from the United States was allowed back into Korea.

At Gourmet 494, customers are learning to care more and pay more for groceries. Elderly ladies wearing stewardess-y pillbox hats sell gift sets of grapefruit-size apples and pears. Tins of Spam packed with Andalucian olive oil run counter to such other dainty offerings as the "brioches haricots rouges." After the Korean War, the American base in town offloaded Spam onto the hapless starving natives who developed a taste for it. Now it is a tradition to give Spam as a thank-you to parents.

Blocks away, at a satellite outpost of the cult Italian fashion emporium 10 Corso Como, Faye Lee gives her order to the waiter. Lee, who introduced Milan's exotic-skins brand Colombo to South Korea, is outfitted in the local uniform: fur vest, leggings and wedge heels. Bought out by Samsung in 2011, she drives a yellow Ferrari 458 Italia. Upstairs at the store, where Thom Browne shirts hang next to Mercury-winged Azzedine Alaia boots, an employee tails shoppers closely — too closely. The same occurs at the Rick Owens store in Dosan Park, where a Facsimile Rick in the window resembles a Dothraki horse lord from "Game of Thrones," a wind machine buffeting his hair. In Seoul, the designer clothes may have arrived but the service — the manners — have yet to follow.

Koreans are as obsessed with image and aging as Westerners, and plastic surgery borders on national pastime. Having a "small face" is the ultimate, and the procedure of the moment is a very painful double-jaw overhaul. Also: hair implants for women to fortify a moderately thinning hairline. Koreans are decidedly more adventurous on the road to perfection. At Gangnam's Enzyme Health Spa, women soak in fermenting rice bran up to their necks to lose weight. Then there's the Dr. Fish pedicure, where for $2, carp will nibble dry skin from feet, like a thousand points of electroshock. Opening the wallet wider, for $170,000, locals can join Chaum, a Kubrickian anti-aging center in the Pie'n Polus building that will bank your endlessly renewable stem cells for the day stem-cell therapies become viable in Seoul.

Restaurant bills can feel similarly ludicrous too, as if price alone can elevate the mediocre. At Elbon the Table, this translates to gold leaf on foie gras, steak served with five colored salts, wasabi ice-cream powder steaming from a liquid-nitrogen application. Innovation feels fresher at Okitchen, where the servers are all chefs in their 20s rotating nights in the kitchen and sending out Jeju horse carpaccio and Gorgonzola ice cream.

At Goo STK, customers can call ahead to reserve their dry-aged steaks, and the kitchen stays open until 1 a.m., an exception in a city where most restaurants take their last reservation at 8 p.m. Why? To make way for the drinking that will go on afterward: in Asia, it is Korea that hits the bottle hardest, another reason you always hear people comparing the Koreans with the Irish. Jinro's branded soju, a drink much like vodka, is the world's best-selling alcohol you've never heard of.

Speakeasy Mortar looks like it might be a sauna from the outside. Instead in this swank whiskey bar, the anomalous American vice-chairman of the Doosan corporation has four men out on a hoesik, a traditional roundelay of after-work drinks. Today, one of them won an award. After a last belt of Guatemalan sipping rum, the boss is off. His team bows deeply at the waist as he vanishes into his chauffeured car.

Lee Bul, Seoul's biggest contemporary artist in residence, wears an apron as she bustles around her embassy-area studio. On the wall is a wearable Sigmund the Sea Monster sculpture reconstructed for her recent Mori Art Museum retrospective in Tokyo.

Only three Korean artists have a truly international profile and an international market commensurate with that reputation: Bul, Doh-ho Suh (who mainly resides in London) and the longtime Japan resident Lee Ufan. Though the chaebol are major collectors — particularly the wives, sisters and daughters-in-law who collectively run six Korean art museums — they mainly indulge a taste for secondary-market Western art. "Go to MoMA in New York. Three of the biggest corporate sponsors are Samsung, Hanji and Hyundai Card," says Bul's husband, James B. Lee, who represents his wife and is a consulting partner at Seoul's leading PKM gallery.

Every major museum swings through Seoul with its trustees and directors with the goal of forging future institutional partnerships. Still, international collectors are not coming, which means fewer galleries, which hurts younger local artists. "I still think Korea is very isolated," Lee admits.

It's difficult to tell who's stockpiling what because of increased secrecy: South Korea doesn't impose any taxes on transactions of art property, and artwork is exempt from transfer and inheritance taxes, too. Which makes it an ideal form of currency for some chaebol, and a way to launder money and make bribes. A number of prominent executives have found themselves accused and convicted of tax evasion, most famously Lee Kun-hee, the chairman of Samsung. Last year, the chairman and an executive at Orion Group were convicted of using embezzled funds to buy art and were sent to jail.

Architecture is more the vehicle for flaunting a company's success publicly. But too often, local business owners are consumed with creating spectacular shapes beribboned with LEDs and little else. A client can cheap out. The guts of a building are often forgotten as the zany facade takes precedence. The residents like to hate a lot of what's going up. Seoul remains the destination for "the Cloud" in Daniel Libeskind's Yongsan International Business District, which has drawn criticism for its remarkable similarity to the smoke-wreathed ruins of the Twin Towers. Some of the other starchitects are perceived to be phoning it in. The local architect Eulho Suh compares it to American movie stars quietly shooting dopey commercials in Asia for astronomical sums.

Politics can also interfere. Zaha Hadid's mercury-lobed Dongdaemun Design Plaza & Park was supposed to be a cultural complex. When the mayor who championed so many of these projects felt obliged to resign in a force play over a school-lunch referendum, his socialist replacement made a point of denouncing a number of building projects, wrenching funds. The building boom became a touchstone issue for the have-nots demonstrating in front of City Hall and citing North Korea as a model society, untainted by all this Americanism, all this mindless showing off.

It is now the year of the snake, and anything born the year of the snake is strong, sheds its skin and is reborn. Rumor has it when the bandages come off, Hadid's building will be a shopping mall.


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T Magazine: Cultural Capital

This issue starts off in America, or at least an idea of America. Brooklyn, N.Y., has, as we all know, become a bastion of handcrafted, locally sourced, small-scale-production everything, from bikes to beer. The irony is that this passion for authenticity, diversity and a longing for realness have now turned what was once just a borough into a global brand, one that is vigorously being exported around the world: France, Russia, the United Arab Emirates. The local has gone global, or in other words, anti-homogenization is itself now being homogenized: In Paris you find food trucks, in Gorky Park a snack kiosk called Williamsburg, there is a Brooklyn Diner in Dubai, and even the native beer, Brooklyn Brewery, is planning an outpost in Stockholm — how local is that? When a value system based on unscalability starts to scale, it may be time to turn to other locales for a sense of uniqueness and locally grown culture.

In this issue, we went searching for the world's new cultural capitals, places percolating with individuality. In Seoul, thanks to the newly cash-fueled economy, development is indeed happening superfast, but in a way that doesn't feel like just a mad rush to acquire Western food and fashion, but rather feels truly Korean, completely cool and still underappreciated. In Brussels, we found a powerful new art center. The city's art scene is quite unlike those in Paris, Berlin, London and New York, particularly because it is totally un-sceney. There is a thoughtful, convivial community of artists, enthusiasts and collectors devoted to young, and even somewhat difficult art. And in São Paulo, the new middle class is challenging the city's rigid social stratification and gentrifying and revitalizing formerly blighted districts and turning them into vibrant night life hubs. In Paris, French cuisine is being created from the bottom up rather than the top down. A group of young, multicultural chefs are bringing their diverse perspectives and passion for locally sourced meat and produce to their new restaurants. It is in fact a little like Brooklyn in that sense. But, in the authentic sense, in that it is a global, modern sensibility transforming and reinvigorating the age-old hegemony of la gastronomie française.

Yet for our cover, we returned home to the American desert in Utah to shoot the season's minimalist fashion against the starkly beautiful canyon surrounding the Amangiri resort — juxtaposing the architecture of the clothing and the human form against that of the landscape and the building itself. Travel is about seeing new things, and also familiar things in a new way. We hope this issue provides a similar sense of discovery.


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