Diberdayakan oleh Blogger.

Popular Posts Today

Cultured Traveler: Call It Beyrouth: Beirut With a French Accent

Written By wartini cantika on Sabtu, 31 Agustus 2013 | 17.36

Bryan Denton for The New York Times

At Villa Clara, the menu is in French.

I was finishing an aperitif on the porch at Villa Clara while other guests tossed pétanque balls in the nearby yard. The hotel's 4-year-old namesake cozied up to her papa, showing off her latest crayon creation. "Oh, c'est magnifique," said Olivier Gougeon, a French chef and an owner of the property with his wife, Marie-Hélène, an editor of a French-language home décor magazine.

The tiny boutique hotel, its restaurant and guest rooms stocked with Parisian antiques, opened last year around the corner from an Asterix chicken shack and across the street from its neighborhood boucherie. But this was not Marseille or Lyon, it was the eastern edge of Beirut.

"A Frenchman can easily live in Beirut without feeling displaced," said Mr. Gougeon, who moved to the Lebanese capital from Paris in 1999, as he sipped local wine in Villa Clara's leafy backyard after cooking a dinner of crispy-skinned duck confit and old-fashioned île flottante.

For more than a century, through all manner of turmoil, including a 15-year civil war and, more recently, ongoing conflict in neighboring Syria, a distinctly French character has pervaded the city. Much of it is the legacy of the French colonial period — the mandate that lasted from 1920 to 1943 — but a cultural kinship goes back much further than that.

I had come to Beirut to see just how much French influence remains, and discovered an East-West blend more complex and layered than ever. Having left the country for France during particularly troubled times, many affluent Beirutis have returned, bringing with them cravings for Parisian life. A younger generation, meanwhile, has embraced a new hybrid culture — a French, Anglo and Arabic stew — evident in shops and restaurants and trilingual discussions across the city.

On an immediate level, Frenchness is everywhere — and, even for a first-time visitor, awfully easy to spot. Beirutis, though, sometimes take it for granted. "I don't think there's much French influence anymore," a resident might insist, as you wander past the neighborhood bistro Goutons Voir serving "salade Nice-Beyrouth"; the jewel-box boutique of La Ferme St. Jacques, a local foie gras producer; and the retail shop of Domaine des Tourelles, a winery in the Bekaa Valley founded by a French engineer in 1868. But big international chains are increasingly replacing mom-and-pop Francophile spots, and the mandate-era buildings that house them are giving way to sky-high steel and glass condos.

Some locals are trying to protect that architectural legacy, a mix of stone mansions and low-rise Haussmannian towers. "This house is in danger," said Giorgio Tarraf, a young preservation activist, during a tour of the city's vanishing landmarks, as he pointed at the carcasses of once-magnificent homes, abandoned during the civil war that started in 1975.

For the last three years Mr. Tarraf's group, Save Beirut Heritage, has been fighting a losing battle to restore these old buildings instead of tearing them down. "At the end of the war we had a golden opportunity to have a beautiful, well-preserved city," he said. "We chose to ignore that." The group's new iPhone app features an interactive map noting the status of each site: "urgent," "saved" or "too late."

We cut past the Grand Theater, said to be modeled after the old opera house in Paris; Charles Boyer and Maurice Chevalier performed there in the 1930s. During the civil war the theater, by then a partial ruin set along the Green Line dividing East and West Beirut, began to show pornographic films to fighters on both sides. Now developers want to turn it into a boutique hotel designed by the architect Richard Rogers. Preservationists would prefer to see the site's original character retained. "We're lobbying to have a theater in there or a cinema," Mr. Tarraf said, "accessible not just to people paying $500 a night."

Driving down the Avenue de Paris, along the Corniche, the palm-tree-lined esplanade that hugs the city's Mediterranean coast, I gazed up at a defunct lighthouse, striped like a barber pole, that was built by the French in the 1920s. Our destination was the 19th-century home next door, the last of its kind in the neighborhood, known simply as the Pink House.


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: Calendar: Coming Events in Budapest; Portland, Ore.; South Dakota

Budapest International Wine Festival, Budapest Held in Budapest, above, at Buda Castle, this wine event, from Sept. 11 to 15 will salute female winemakers in interviews and special tastings amid the showcase of nearly 200 Hungarian wineries. Guided tastings cover pinots, rieslings and merlots along with the Tokaji wines. Musical programming highlights Hungarian jazz and folk bands. Dairies from 15 nations will participate in the festival's inaugural European cheese contest.

Feast, Portland, Ore. From Sept. 19 to 22, chefs, artisans and winemakers will take over downtown during this food and drink festival. Four-day passes are sold out, but plenty of tickets remain for individual events, including the Sandwich Invitational, where on Sept. 19 you can sample 15 chefs' creations ($95); a tasting panel on Sept. 20 called "Wine vs. Beer: the Rematch" ($45); and High Comfort, an event on Sept. 21 that answers the question of what grandma's home cooking would taste like if it were done by a Michelin-starred chef ($175).

Buffalo Roundup, South Dakota Driven by cowboys and pickup trucks, some 1,300 buffalo that roam Custer State Park in the Black Hills will be corralled Sept. 27 in the park's annual roundup. They are later inoculated, and up to 500 are sold at auction to control the population, but the classic Western spectacle itself draws spectators to viewing stands and to events including an art show and Dutch oven and chili cook-offs, through Sept. 29.


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: A Travel Book With a Global, and Personal, Touch

A 21-year-old artist has reinvented a cherished commodity for world travelers seeking an authentic experience in a new place: a local's recommendation.

In a limited-edition book (just 200 copies were printed) titled "For You the Traveller," New Zealand-born Nabil Sabio Azadi has collected the personal experiences of natives in destinations across five continents: a scientist, a metalworker, a musician, a political analyst among them. The storytellers reveal how they spend their days and what their city means to them; and then they provide readers a phone number to contact them.

Mr. Azadi has collected guides in cities around the world through his own travels, and those featured in "For You the Traveller" live in Tehran, Paris, Sapporo, Seattle, New York, Berlin and Antwerp. Each participant promises to be a port-of-call for those who purchase a book. "If you share yourself with them," Mr. Azadi said, "they will share their shelter, philosophy and land with you."

The book, with its hardbound cover sheathed in reclaimed rabbit fur, is part guide, part directory and part art project. The brief blocks of text, set by hand, are accompanied by simple black-and-white sketches and maps, all hand-drawn by Mr. Azadi.

"I've received several e-mails from people who've bought the book," Mr. Azadi said. "People have quit their jobs and sent me these great declarations before they set out on their adventures."

Many of the book's entries include an appeal to the tourist from the host. "Traveler," says the guide in Lotan, Israel, "We love visitors who bring part of the outside world to our remote desert community. We like to share what we do with them, and gain immensely from that ourselves. You may telephone me at –"

Editions from the small run of 200 copies are now for sale on Mr. Azadi's Web site, www.foryouthetraveller.com, for 220 euros, about $283. Proceeds from book sales are donated to the Swiss charity Nouvelle Plantète, which finances projects in Madagascar.


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

T Magazine: Travel Diary | Michael Voltaggio’s Gutsy Food Adventure in Copenhagen

Earlier this week, the brothers Michael and Bryan Voltaggio, American chefs and former "Top Chef" contestants, traveled to Copenhagen for the third MAD Symposium, an annual food festival that brings together chefs and farmers. Curated by David Chang and his Lucky Peach team, this year's two-day sold-out symposium was dedicated to guts — meaning both innards and courage. Chang introduced the theme literally, however, by bringing out the butcher Dario Cecchini, who proceeded to carve a pig on the stage. Between events, Michael, the chef and owner of Ink in Los Angeles, and Bryan, the executive chef of Volt restaurant in Maryland, caught up with fellow chefs and friends. Here, Michael shares his photos from the event.

Slide Show: Food and Friends in Denmark


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

Choice Tables: Portland, Me.: Locavore in Menu and Décor

Written By wartini cantika on Jumat, 30 Agustus 2013 | 17.36

Alexandra Daley-Clark for The New York Times

The dining room at Fore Street in Portland, Me.

It's hardly a secret that Portland, Me., is a food-lover's paradise. Stroll down the sloping streets and cobbled lanes in the heart of this small maritime city, and you can't miss the evidence: bakeries fragrant with just-baked sour cherry pies; indie coffee shops selling wood-roasted beans; bars where cocktails might be infused with local rhubarb or kale or blueberries; and, of course, restaurants of seemingly every ethnic and gastronomic stripe.

And then there is the port itself — the heart of it all — where, beyond the signs touting $4.99-a-pound lobster and whoopie pies, fishermen unload their day's haul beneath a cloud of sea gulls.

The challenge for the visitor is how to navigate Portland's prodigious dining options — no small task given that there are literally hundreds of restaurants in this city of fewer than 70,000. In surroundings that range from the clubby to the shabby, you can dine on everything from tartes aux champignons and Eritrean foul to braised rabbit ragout and lobster rolls, Vietnamese style.

One thing is certain: In a place where the local food movement got a jump start — years before the word locavore found a firm foothold in the epicurean vocabulary — you can bet that much of what you eat is likely to have been raised, foraged or caught in the surrounding fields, forests and waters.

Some restaurateurs, in fact, are taking that emphasis on "local" a step further and applying it to the design of the restaurant itself. "People in Portland have been innovating with food so long," said Anne Verrill, an owner of Grace restaurant, which occupies a restored church, "that now the next step is paying attention to design."

And not just any design, but Maine design, which implies a focus on reclaimed materials, restoration and local craftsmanship. Which is how I decided to organize my own four-day culinary journey to Portland: visiting restaurants where a passion for excellent food is combined with surroundings that won't let you forget what city you're in.

Hugo's

The streets were empty on a Monday night, but Hugo's, a sleek, lounge-like restaurant at the edge of the Old Port district, was filled — not only with diners intent on their delicate assemblages of, say, braised daikons with summer kimchi, but also with the dozen or so servers and food preparers who take center stage in the bright open kitchen that faces the bar.

You might call it food preparation as performance art, and as we sipped an exhilarating concoction of gin, cucumber shrub, basil, lime and ginger beer, we were transfixed by all the minute manipulations that go into the restaurant's three tasting menus. (The preparers are also more than happy to explain exactly what it is they are dicing, spritzing or torching.)

Hugo's, a mainstay on the Portland food scene, was sold last year to the manager and two chefs who had worked under Rob Evans, a previous owner (who is now an owner of the casual Duckfat). After undergoing a four-month top-to-bottom renovation, Hugo's has just reopened, alongside the neighboring, immensely popular, Eventide Oyster Company, which the three partners also own.

"We didn't want an architect," said Arlin Smith, who serves as general manager. "If we were going to scrounge to buy it, we wanted to put our hearts and souls into it. We wanted to feel like we were part of Portland, and let the place build itself one piece at a time."

One of those "pieces" is a 160-year-old red birch tree that had been pulled from the bottom of Moosehead Lake in central Maine and was used to construct the bar and tables, whose russet and blond tones contrast beautifully with the restaurant's black walnut flourishes. Minimalist chairs and elliptical dinnerware are the work of local designers. An eclectic collection of old china and a tin ceiling temper the overall polish.

The menu has also been tinkered with — without sacrificing the modernist flourishes that Mike Wiley and Andrew Taylor (co-owners, along with Mr. Smith) had already helped establish as a Hugo's trademark. The carrot chawan mushi was a creamy carrot-juice-and-egg custard topped with fried black quinoa, beet chips and pickled white beets. Silky swordfish belly in brown butter was adorned with a ribbon of kohlrabi and tiny pickled beets and sprinkled with marinated mustard seeds. Our favorite was udon salad, a tangle of house-made noodles flecked with peppery shaved radishes and tangy Chinese sausage and accompanied by a miniature herb salad. A cloud of intense tamarind citrus foam topped it off.

Suzanne MacNeille is an editor in the Travel Section.


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: Lufthansa Focuses on Its Younger Passengers

Lufthansa airlines recently introduced several initiatives for families with children up to age 12. For starters, the airline's Frankfurt and Munich hubs now have dedicated Family Check-In Areas.

A welcome archway with a runway-styled carpet leads to counters where kids can climb up a few steps to get a close-up view of the check-in process, and when the family receives boarding passes, the child's favorite teddy bear or doll does too. Parents also get The Family Pilot Brochure, which has information about play areas, baby changing stations, family-friendly restaurants, pharmacies, supermarkets and observation decks located throughout the airport.

Onboard, young travelers get their own menus with catchy sounding options like Aeroplanes in Pasta Heaven (macaroni with cheese and spinach), Propeller Meatballs (chicken meatballs with potato salad, garnished with cherry tomatoes) and Butterfly Waffle (a heart-shaped waffle with strawberry yogurt). They can take home recipes for any of the dishes.

Andreas Schoeniger, who created the new program, said in an e-mail interview that the new offerings are part of Lufthansa's plan to focus more on leisure travel and that 2.1 million children 12 and younger travel with the airline each year. On some flights, like the July routes to Miami, children make up 20 percent of the passengers, he said.


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

Heads Up: Bringing the Wine to Portland, Ore.

Leah Nash for The New York Times

Clockwise from top left, the Southeast Wine Collective; Sauvage at Fausse Piste; Michael Claypool and Sasha Davies of Clay Pigeon Winery; charcuterie at the Southeast Wine Collective.

Portland, Ore., has a new thing to call local, and it's wine. Vintners are moving their operations from wine country in the Willamette Valley to the city, pairing on-site facilities with tasting rooms that offer a window into winemaking. At least 10 urban wineries have opened within city limits in recent years, making up what might be called one of the country's first urban wine trails.

Among the best producers are Bow & Arrow (bowandarrowwines.com) and the Division Winemaking Company (divisionwinemakingcompany.com), both resident producers at the Southeast Wine Collective (2425 SE 35th Place; 503-208-2061; sewinecollective.com).

Visitors can sample flights of wines made inside the collective from grapes grown in the Pacific Northwest, getting a taste of the region's terroir — flavorful characteristics that geography and climate create in a wine. The bar's back wall is made from curving old oak wine barrels, and roll-up glass garage doors lead through to the production room, where, depending on the time of year, customers can witness the harvest crush, watch wines being bottled, or take a class in blending.

"For us as younger winemakers, we cherish the valley, but our audience doesn't necessarily have the time to get down there," said Kate Monroe, 31, a co-founder with her husband, Tom, 34, of the Southeast Wine Collective. It opened last September. "In order for wine to be an everyday part of their lives, we have to bring it to them a little bit."

Urban winemaking is not unique to Portland — Santa Barbara and Seattle also have such wineries. But in Portland, a city where the lines often blur between it and "Portlandia," its comically twee IFC TV counterpart, the seriousness of this craft endeavor seems fitting. Since getting the wine out and available to consumers is an early hurdle to becoming a successful winery, among other obstacles like buying expensive equipment, the collective is set up to be an incubator to help small producers. "It's an outlet for people to be able to find these wines," Ms. Monroe said. "For me, as a consumer, it's 'try before buy,' right?"

Like many of their urban winemaking peers, Sasha Davies, 39, and Michael Claypool, 41, of Clay Pigeon Winery (815 SE Oak Street; 503-206-8117; claypigeonwinery.com) began making wine out of their garage. "We licensed our garage, and in 2011, we made one barrel of syrah and one barrel of pinot noir," Ms. Davies said. Since Clay Pigeon started production in an industrial stretch of southeast Portland in 2012, output has increased tenfold; the year's red wines will be released this fall. The attached Cyril's Wine Bar and tasting room serves seasonal fare like farro and lentil salads to set off its wines. Knowledgeable, friendly staff members are on hand to make recommendations.

A few blocks away — an easy walk or bike ride — the ENSO Urban Winery and Tasting Lounge (1416 SE Stark Street; 503-683-3676; ensowinery.com) opens right onto the street. On a recent summer evening, a lively crowd spilled out, chatting and sipping from Ryan Sharp's extensive lineup of wines, which includes pinot blanc, zinfandel, a mourvèdre reserve and several blends. For fun, Mr. Sharp recently released a bagged Portland Sangria, a blend of dry rosé, berries and spices; its summertime introduction was celebrated with an electronic music dance party in ENSO's barrel room.

Every place offers a peek into production. At Sauvage at Fausse Piste (537 SE Ash Street; 971-258-5829; sauvagepdx.com), an intimate restaurant and winemaking operation that was opened last summer by Jesse Skiles, a 29-year-old chef and winemaker, customers at the elegant, salvaged-wood bar can peer through a glass door into the winery (tours by appointment) while sipping a well-balanced flight described as "We make these here." (Fausse Piste specializes in Rhone varietals.) And Mr. Skiles's beautiful small plates are a revelation: smoked, braised chicken wings with a crunchy celery-root slaw and bacon-wrapped baby octopus. Small plates are priced between $5 and $10; entrees are around $20.

Most of the wineries are members of PDX Urban Wineries, a local association that has been working to create a new culture in which people bike, bus, cab and walk between wineries that are mainly clustered in the southeast section of the city — very Portland.

The latest sign of success: Bow & Arrow is leaving the Southeast Wine Collective to open its own place, less than five miles away. The new winery, said Dana Frank, 35, its co-owner, will have a 5,000-square-foot cellar — an urban wine cave, if you will — built to specifications set by her 41-year-old husband, Scott, the winemaker.

"The live ecology that lives underground contributes so much to how a wine ages, and we really wanted that," Ms. Frank said. Portland terroir? All bets say it could be a hit.


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

Update: Tour Iran? Operators Hope So

Album/Prisma, via Newscom

The ruins of Persepolis are among Iran's Unesco World Heritage sites.

At the top of the agenda of Iran's new president, Hassan Rouhani, is fixing the country's crumbling economy, and promoting international tourism is part of his solution.

Mr. Rouhani wants the number of foreign visitors to more than double, to 10 million from 4 million, each year, according to a report last month in The Washington Post. Such an increase, The Post reported Mr. Rouhani as saying, would "create jobs for 4 million people, solving the problem of 3.5 million unemployed people in this country."

That goal is welcome news to Hamid R. Tavassoli, founder of Iranian Tours, a Tehran-based agency that runs guided trips to cities like Yazd and Shiraz.

"I believe the Iranian culture, nature, hospitality and infrastructure very well deserves a much larger number of tourists to visit the country," he said.

Mr. Tavassoli said he credits Mr. Rouhani's election in June for an increase in inquiries — double the number, he estimated, of last August — that he has received from foreign tourists, mostly from neighboring countries and from Europe.

Mr. Rouhani, a moderate cleric, has indicated that he is open to working with the outside world to lift the international economic restrictions connected to Iran's nuclear program. The Iranian parliament's recent confirmation of an American-educated diplomat as foreign minister suggested that Mr. Rouhani was moving forward in his campaign promise to engage with the United States.

The shift has led the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia, an educational organization, to resume tours to Iran, starting with a trip in April 2014. The organization had suspended such tours in 2011 after tensions between Iran and the United States escalated over the imprisonment of three American hikers who had been detained for two years on espionage charges, but who were later released that year.

Iran, once a popular stop along the overland "hippie" trail from Europe to India in the 1970s, has plenty to pique the interest of foreign tourists. It boasts 16 Unesco World Heritage sites, including the ruins of Persepolis dating to 518 B.C. and the 17th-century monumental arcades of Imam Square in Isfahan.

The renewed interest in Iran among Americans, however, is not shared by the United States State Department. When contacted last month by e-mail, the department noted its travel warning for Iran, which it updated on May 24. "Since 2009, Iranian authorities have prevented the departure, in some cases for several months, of a number of Iranian-American citizens," the warning read. "Iranian authorities also have unjustly detained or imprisoned U.S. citizens on various charges, including espionage and posing a threat to national security."

The United States government has not had diplomatic or consular relations with Iran since the hostage crisis, which began in 1979 and lasted for 14 months. The warning stated that the United States cannot provide protection or routine consular services to its citizens (the Swiss government serves as protecting power for United States interests in Iran).


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

Your Road Trip Discoveries

Written By wartini cantika on Kamis, 29 Agustus 2013 | 17.36

  • Log In
  • Register Now
  • Help
DCSIMG

17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

Frugal Traveler: What I Learned Driving Through the Heartland

Seth Kugel for The New York Times

Clockwise from top left: Becker County Fair in Minnesota; an Iowa barn; driving a tractor through downtown Pella, Iowa; a motorcyclist in South Dakota for the Sturgis Motorcyle Rally takes in Mount Rushmore; a pastoral scene in Philip, S.D.; and flowers in South Dakota.

"The udder on this cow just keeps getting better and better as the day goes on," remarked Barry Visser, Kandiyohi County Fair dairy cattle judge, over the PA system. A boy led his prizewinning Holstein away as a friendly crowd of western Minnesotans, and one out-of-place New Yorker, looked on from the modest stands. The dairy cow competition was nearing its end; the rabbits, hens and pigs had already had their days of judgment — no udders required — and were unwinding one building down. Up the hill, workers prepared rides and games and funnel cake stands to open.

Road Trip Discoveries

We asked you to send us stories of discoveries made on the road in America. Here are some highlights.

Most of the audience in the 4-H arena that morning was barely paying attention. But I was riveted by Mr. Visser's patter. He put together sentences the likes of which I had never heard, praising open ribs and clean hocks and the overall "dairyness" of animals that young people from all over the county had raised and brought to the fairgrounds in Willmar. This annual summer ritual takes place on county fairgrounds across the United States, but I had somehow never been to one. A longtime city slicker, I had decided to flip the traditional coast-to-coast journey 90 degrees, zigzagging from Baton Rouge, La., to Fargo, N.D., through a large swath of the nation that we coast dwellers often dismiss as flyover country. By that Friday in August, I was nearly a month and more than 4,000 miles into my summer road trip.

I suspected that spending most of my adult days in New York City and the rest largely outside the country had left significant gaps in my knowledge of America, not to mention unfair biases about the 10 heartland states I would be visiting, many of which I had never set foot in before.

My suspicion turned out to be true. Vague notions of the region were replaced by what I gleaned from museums and historical markers as well as from residents' stories of their great-grandparents' struggles as settlers. The simple question I asked of every farmer I met — How many acres does it take to make a family farm profitable? — launched conversations in which I learned infinitely more than you could by reading articles about farm bills. The trip suited me in another way: it was inherently frugal, even after shunning the cheap prices to be had at national fast-food and low-end motel chains. Independent motels were easy to find and always under $70 a night (sometimes way under). Plentiful farmers' markets and inexpensive local specialties — barbecued pork sandwiches in Memphis, smoked trout in the Ozarks, fried chicken in southeast Kansas — kept food costs down. And activities, like visits to some unusual museums and festivals, were always cheap and often free.

But the greatest take-away from my five weeks on the road was how much I could learn without crossing any borders. I've made my way through Latin America, the Mediterranean, Scandinavia and southern China. But a spin through the middle of my own country was every bit as, well, exotic — revealing you don't have to go abroad to experience new music, annual rites and political views far different from what you find at home. Below are some of the lessons from the road.

The Path Less Beaten

I had allotted about five days in each state — an exercise in futility. Planning turned out to consist of deciding what I could bear not to do. This was made all the more difficult after I asked readers for suggestions: they launched a mammoth tip offensive of more than a thousand comments, Twitter and Facebook posts and e-mails.

I tried to filter out the obvious and look for off-the-beaten-path ideas. But there was very little to filter out. People told me about local drive-ins, urged me to stop for services at their church, suggested gas stations that offered stellar barbecue. That shouldn't have been a surprise, I suppose. With very few and worthwhile exceptions — Mount Rushmore, for example, or the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis — a path through the central swath of the country has simply not been beaten.

For example: the stop I made in Chanute, Kan., population, 9,000. A reader had suggested the Martin and Osa Johnson Safari Museum, dedicated to a husband-and-wife team widely celebrated in the 1920s and '30s for their filmed documentation of headhunters in the South Seas and the wild beasts of Africa. Their approach to the subject was intriguing — they made little distinction between "savages" and wild animals. (One of the film's subtitles: "Adventures Among the Big Apes and Little People of Congo.")

Obviously, the world has changed and the way (most) Americans think and speak of foreign cultures has as well: part of the allure of the museum is just how simultaneously appalling and heroic the couple comes across — and what it reveals about American world views during a very specific window of time.

Seth Kugel writes the Frugal Traveler column for The Times.


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

Where the Arty Flock in Seoul (Hint: It’s Not Gangnam)

Most Western visitors to Seoul head right for the Gangnam neighborhood, whose glossy shops and well-heeled clientele were immortalized in the monster pop hit "Gangnam Style." But the city's arty crowd is flocking to Hapjeong, which until recently was merely an unexciting residential extension of Hongdae, the bustling commercial district surrounding the renowned arts school Hongik University. A marker of this area's ascent was last fall's opening of Mecenatpolis, a complex that includes luxury apartments, office buildings, an arts center and a shopping mall. But the neighborhood's charm lies in its narrow streets full of cafes, global restaurants, underground music spaces and galleries.
— JULIE ALVIN

Pictured: Mudaeruk, a hangout for Seoul's creative class.


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

T Magazine: Travel Diary | Irene Neuwirth’s Eight Great Days in Greece

Irene Neuwirth, the fine jewelry designer whose colorful statement pieces are red carpet regulars and top sellers at Barneys New York, calls herself a seasoned traveler. Yet after her long flight from Los Angeles to London to Athens, and then her eight-hour overnight boat ride from Athens to Patmos, she said, "I was proud of myself for making the trip. The cabin was disgusting, and people were drunk and sleeping on the stairs. I got there and was like, 'Maybe I made a mistake coming here.' And then you drag your bags down, and you're waiting in the bottom of the boat where they let the cars out, and it opens out into paradise. It's so gorgeous."

Neuwirth traveled to the small Greek island, her first vacation in years, to visit her friend Ileana Makri, a fellow jewelry designer she met a few years ago at the Couture Las Vegas jewelry show. Here, she shares personal photos from her time in Patmos, the highlights of which she said were meeting her new best friends — Siddhartha Shukla, Reed Krakoff's vice president of marketing and communications, and Shukla's boyfriend, the footwear and accessory designer Paul Andrew — and eating fried cheese ("saganaki").

Slide Show: A Patmos Paradise


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: A Scottish Resort Has a Beef List

Written By wartini cantika on Selasa, 27 Agustus 2013 | 17.35

Make way, wagyu. Gleneagles resort in Scotland offers diners up to a half-dozen options of cattle breeds to choose from when selecting their steaks.

The 850-acre Perthshire golf resort recently launched a "Breed Book" at its Mediterranean-style restaurant Deseo detailing the characteristics of four Scottish breeds – Aberdeen-Angus, Highland, Luing and Belted Galloway – and two Continental imports, Simmental and Limousin. Scottish wagyu occasional makes the menu too.

"We wanted to give guests the option to pick as they pick wine from a wine list," said Willie Jones, food and beverage services manager at Gleneagles. "We wanted staff to talk about meat with the same depth as they would a good Burgundy or Bordeaux or grand cru."

As on wine lists, options range across the price spectrum from £28 to £95 (roughly $45 to $150) per standard cut, with the more plentiful Continental breeds at the lower end. But customers can easily spend more; management offers diners the option of cutting their own steak, and those who do tend to, yes, beef up their portions.

"Sometimes people eat with their eyes, you know," Mr. Jones said.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: On Tiny Fogo Island, a Hotel Puts a Focus on Design

Fogo Island, a windswept fleck of land off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, has in the last several years been the site of an exciting project in economic renewal and avant-garde architecture.

Disused saltbox houses that once belonged to fishermen have been transformed into a colony of artists' residences. There are now new restaurants, an ambitious art gallery curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen, a cinema and a number of initiatives designed to support local industry and ecology.

A cornerstone of the revitalization project is the newly opened Fogo Island Inn, a high-design hotel on stilts that was built, like many of the new buildings on Fogo, by the Canadian architect Todd Saunders.

The 27 suites, furnished by local craftspeople, all have wood-burning fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling views of the North Atlantic. The menu at the hotel's fine-dining restaurant changes often, in tune with the island's unusual "seven seasons." On the rooftop is a collection of Finnish saunas and hot tubs, designed with stargazing in mind. Nightly room rates start at $550 during low season.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: Calendar: Coming Events in Hawaii; Kentucky; Munich

Aloha Festivals, Oahu, Hawaii A celebration of Hawaiian culture and history through music, dance, cuisine and art will take place at various locations on Oahu during the 2013 Aloha Festivals from Sept. 12 to 28. Highlights include an opening ceremony featuring traditional chants and hula dancing, concerts, demonstrations, activities, displays of crafts, food booths, block parties and a parade with marching bands, floats with cascades of Hawaiian flowers, and pa'u riders (women on horseback), above. Many of this year's events pay tribute to the ocean-voyaging culture of the islands' ancestors. All events are free and open to the public.

Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Bardstown, Ky. From Sept. 17 to 22, bourbon aficionados can gather at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival to celebrate the state's signature product with distillery tours, bourbon tastings and demonstrations about the secrets of making, aging, mixing and imbibing. There will also be some old-fashioned fun for families: live country and western, jazz and blues music and dance events; horseshoe pitching; bourbon-barrel relays; scavenger hunts; themed train and carriage rides; food booths featuring local specialties; a Balloon Glow, with hot-air balloons illuminating the night sky; and historic tours of Bardstown, which has made bourbon since 1776.

Oktoberfest, Munich Don't think the some six million visitors to Oktoberfest every year come just for the beer. Munich's most famous beer fest, which runs this year from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6, also has plenty of attractions to entertain children, including rides, fair games and prizes. Also, families receive discounts on admission on Sept. 24 and Oct. 1. For those who are going to sample Oktoberfest-approved brews like Löwenbräu and Paulaner, the tapping of the first barrel will take place in the Schottenhamel Tent on Sept. 21.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: Walkabout: Cleanup of Costa Concordia, Finally; Rim Fire Threatens Yosemite’s Resevoir

Walkabout

A weekly capsule of travel news curated by our writers and editors.

Concordia Cleanup Costa Concordia, the luxury cruiser that capsized off the Italian coast last year, will be salvaged next month in a maneuver that is expected to cost about $623 million. (Bloomberg, via Skift)

Fire vs. Water  The sprawling Rim Fire that swept its way into Yosemite this weekend now threatens the national park's Hetch Hetchy reservoir, which supplies water to millions of Californians. (San Jose Mercury News)

Pop-Up Art A number of Japanese airports are using their baggage carousels as art displays. (PSFK)

Brooklyn Sleepover "Our retreat from the grid began with a last-minute e-mail: meet on a rooftop at the edge of Williamsburg, half an hour before sunset. Bring a sleeping bag and some food to share. It was signed: Thomas, Ranger at Bivouac NY." (New York Times)


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: A New Benjamin Franklin Museum

Written By wartini cantika on Senin, 26 Agustus 2013 | 17.35

The new Benjamin Franklin Museum opens on Saturday in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, with 21st-century hands-on exhibits and computer simulations designed to animate the character and wisdom of the 18th-century sage.

In an underground space originally built for the 1976 bicentennial, the 9,500-square-foot museum covers the life and times of the founding father, including his contributions to science, diplomacy and politics. It is next to Franklin's original home, indicated by a skeletal "ghost house."

Extensive computer animation covers Franklin in aspects from active to reflective; for example, flying a rooftop kite to test electrical conductivity and writing his autobiography. Personal artifacts include a chess piece and the hand-carried "sedan chair" he used during the 1787 Constitutional Convention when he was too ill to walk. Matching games, touch objects and flip books encourage interaction.

Franklin "was wealthy enough to retire at age 42 so that he could pursue his goal of being 'useful,' " Cynthia MacLeod, superintendent of Independence National Historical Park, wrote in an e-mail. "Although never president of the United States, his accomplishments and advice probably have had more widespread and long-lasting impact than any other figure in our country."


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: A Scottish Resort Has a Beef List

Make way, wagyu. Gleneagles resort in Scotland offers diners up to a half-dozen options of cattle breeds to choose from when selecting their steaks.

The 850-acre Perthshire golf resort recently launched a "Breed Book" at its Mediterranean-style restaurant Deseo detailing the characteristics of four Scottish breeds – Aberdeen-Angus, Highland, Luing and Belted Galloway – and two Continental imports, Simmental and Limousin. Scottish wagyu occasional makes the menu too.

"We wanted to give guests the option to pick as they pick wine from a wine list," said Willie Jones, food and beverage services manager at Gleneagles. "We wanted staff to talk about meat with the same depth as they would a good Burgundy or Bordeaux or grand cru."

As on wine lists, options range across the price spectrum from £28 to £95 (roughly $45 to $150) per standard cut, with the more plentiful Continental breeds at the lower end. But customers can easily spend more; management offers diners the option of cutting their own steak, and those who do tend to, yes, beef up their portions.

"Sometimes people eat with their eyes, you know," Mr. Jones said.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: On Tiny Fogo Island, a Hotel Puts a Focus on Design

Fogo Island, a windswept fleck of land off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, has in the last several years been the site of an exciting project in economic renewal and avant-garde architecture.

Disused saltbox houses that once belonged to fishermen have been transformed into a colony of artists' residences. There are now new restaurants, an ambitious art gallery curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen, a cinema and a number of initiatives designed to support local industry and ecology.

A cornerstone of the revitalization project is the newly opened Fogo Island Inn, a high-design hotel on stilts that was built, like many of the new buildings on Fogo, by the Canadian architect Todd Saunders.

The 27 suites, furnished by local craftspeople, all have wood-burning fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling views of the North Atlantic. The menu at the hotel's fine-dining restaurant changes often, in tune with the island's unusual "seven seasons." On the rooftop is a collection of Finnish saunas and hot tubs, designed with stargazing in mind. Nightly room rates start at $550 during low season.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: Calendar: Coming Events in Hawaii; Kentucky; Munich

Aloha Festivals, Oahu, Hawaii A celebration of Hawaiian culture and history through music, dance, cuisine and art will take place at various locations on Oahu during the 2013 Aloha Festivals from Sept. 12 to 28. Highlights include an opening ceremony featuring traditional chants and hula dancing, concerts, demonstrations, activities, displays of crafts, food booths, block parties and a parade with marching bands, floats with cascades of Hawaiian flowers, and pa'u riders (women on horseback), above. Many of this year's events pay tribute to the ocean-voyaging culture of the islands' ancestors. All events are free and open to the public.

Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Bardstown, Ky. From Sept. 17 to 22, bourbon aficionados can gather at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival to celebrate the state's signature product with distillery tours, bourbon tastings and demonstrations about the secrets of making, aging, mixing and imbibing. There will also be some old-fashioned fun for families: live country and western, jazz and blues music and dance events; horseshoe pitching; bourbon-barrel relays; scavenger hunts; themed train and carriage rides; food booths featuring local specialties; a Balloon Glow, with hot-air balloons illuminating the night sky; and historic tours of Bardstown, which has made bourbon since 1776.

Oktoberfest, Munich Don't think the some six million visitors to Oktoberfest every year come just for the beer. Munich's most famous beer fest, which runs this year from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6, also has plenty of attractions to entertain children, including rides, fair games and prizes. Also, families receive discounts on admission on Sept. 24 and Oct. 1. For those who are going to sample Oktoberfest-approved brews like Löwenbräu and Paulaner, the tapping of the first barrel will take place in the Schottenhamel Tent on Sept. 21.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: A New Benjamin Franklin Museum

Written By wartini cantika on Minggu, 25 Agustus 2013 | 17.35

The new Benjamin Franklin Museum opens on Saturday in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, with 21st-century hands-on exhibits and computer simulations designed to animate the character and wisdom of the 18th-century sage.

In an underground space originally built for the 1976 bicentennial, the 9,500-square-foot museum covers the life and times of the founding father, including his contributions to science, diplomacy and politics. It is next to Franklin's original home, indicated by a skeletal "ghost house."

Extensive computer animation covers Franklin in aspects from active to reflective; for example, flying a rooftop kite to test electrical conductivity and writing his autobiography. Personal artifacts include a chess piece and the hand-carried "sedan chair" he used during the 1787 Constitutional Convention when he was too ill to walk. Matching games, touch objects and flip books encourage interaction.

Franklin "was wealthy enough to retire at age 42 so that he could pursue his goal of being 'useful,' " Cynthia MacLeod, superintendent of Independence National Historical Park, wrote in an e-mail. "Although never president of the United States, his accomplishments and advice probably have had more widespread and long-lasting impact than any other figure in our country."


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: A Scottish Resort Has a Beef List

Make way, wagyu. Gleneagles resort in Scotland offers diners up to a half-dozen options of cattle breeds to choose from when selecting their steaks.

The 850-acre Perthshire golf resort recently launched a "Breed Book" at its Mediterranean-style restaurant Deseo detailing the characteristics of four Scottish breeds – Aberdeen-Angus, Highland, Luing and Belted Galloway – and two Continental imports, Simmental and Limousin. Scottish wagyu occasional makes the menu too.

"We wanted to give guests the option to pick as they pick wine from a wine list," said Willie Jones, food and beverage services manager at Gleneagles. "We wanted staff to talk about meat with the same depth as they would a good Burgundy or Bordeaux or grand cru."

As on wine lists, options range across the price spectrum from £28 to £95 (roughly $45 to $150) per standard cut, with the more plentiful Continental breeds at the lower end. But customers can easily spend more; management offers diners the option of cutting their own steak, and those who do tend to, yes, beef up their portions.

"Sometimes people eat with their eyes, you know," Mr. Jones said.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: On Tiny Fogo Island, a Hotel Puts a Focus on Design

Fogo Island, a windswept fleck of land off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, has in the last several years been the site of an exciting project in economic renewal and avant-garde architecture.

Disused saltbox houses that once belonged to fishermen have been transformed into a colony of artists' residences. There are now new restaurants, an ambitious art gallery curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen, a cinema and a number of initiatives designed to support local industry and ecology.

A cornerstone of the revitalization project is the newly opened Fogo Island Inn, a high-design hotel on stilts that was built, like many of the new buildings on Fogo, by the Canadian architect Todd Saunders.

The 27 suites, furnished by local craftspeople, all have wood-burning fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling views of the North Atlantic. The menu at the hotel's fine-dining restaurant changes often, in tune with the island's unusual "seven seasons." On the rooftop is a collection of Finnish saunas and hot tubs, designed with stargazing in mind. Nightly room rates start at $550 during low season.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: Calendar: Coming Events in Hawaii; Kentucky; Munich

Aloha Festivals, Oahu, Hawaii A celebration of Hawaiian culture and history through music, dance, cuisine and art will take place at various locations on Oahu during the 2013 Aloha Festivals from Sept. 12 to 28. Highlights include an opening ceremony featuring traditional chants and hula dancing, concerts, demonstrations, activities, displays of crafts, food booths, block parties and a parade with marching bands, floats with cascades of Hawaiian flowers, and pa'u riders (women on horseback), above. Many of this year's events pay tribute to the ocean-voyaging culture of the islands' ancestors. All events are free and open to the public.

Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Bardstown, Ky. From Sept. 17 to 22, bourbon aficionados can gather at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival to celebrate the state's signature product with distillery tours, bourbon tastings and demonstrations about the secrets of making, aging, mixing and imbibing. There will also be some old-fashioned fun for families: live country and western, jazz and blues music and dance events; horseshoe pitching; bourbon-barrel relays; scavenger hunts; themed train and carriage rides; food booths featuring local specialties; a Balloon Glow, with hot-air balloons illuminating the night sky; and historic tours of Bardstown, which has made bourbon since 1776.

Oktoberfest, Munich Don't think the some six million visitors to Oktoberfest every year come just for the beer. Munich's most famous beer fest, which runs this year from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6, also has plenty of attractions to entertain children, including rides, fair games and prizes. Also, families receive discounts on admission on Sept. 24 and Oct. 1. For those who are going to sample Oktoberfest-approved brews like Löwenbräu and Paulaner, the tapping of the first barrel will take place in the Schottenhamel Tent on Sept. 21.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: A New Benjamin Franklin Museum

Written By wartini cantika on Sabtu, 24 Agustus 2013 | 17.36

The new Benjamin Franklin Museum opens on Saturday in Independence National Historical Park in Philadelphia, with 21st-century hands-on exhibits and computer simulations designed to animate the character and wisdom of the 18th-century sage.

In an underground space originally built for the 1976 bicentennial, the 9,500-square-foot museum covers the life and times of the founding father, including his contributions to science, diplomacy and politics. It is next to Franklin's original home, indicated by a skeletal "ghost house."

Extensive computer animation covers Franklin in aspects from active to reflective; for example, flying a rooftop kite to test electrical conductivity and writing his autobiography. Personal artifacts include a chess piece and the hand-carried "sedan chair" he used during the 1787 Constitutional Convention when he was too ill to walk. Matching games, touch objects and flip books encourage interaction.

Franklin "was wealthy enough to retire at age 42 so that he could pursue his goal of being 'useful,' " Cynthia MacLeod, superintendent of Independence National Historical Park, wrote in an e-mail. "Although never president of the United States, his accomplishments and advice probably have had more widespread and long-lasting impact than any other figure in our country."


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: A Scottish Resort Has a Beef List

Make way, wagyu. Gleneagles resort in Scotland offers diners up to a half-dozen options of cattle breeds to choose from when selecting their steaks.

The 850-acre Perthshire golf resort recently launched a "Breed Book" at its Mediterranean-style restaurant Deseo detailing the characteristics of four Scottish breeds – Aberdeen-Angus, Highland, Luing and Belted Galloway – and two Continental imports, Simmental and Limousin. Scottish wagyu occasional makes the menu too.

"We wanted to give guests the option to pick as they pick wine from a wine list," said Willie Jones, food and beverage services manager at Gleneagles. "We wanted staff to talk about meat with the same depth as they would a good Burgundy or Bordeaux or grand cru."

As on wine lists, options range across the price spectrum from £28 to £95 (roughly $45 to $150) per standard cut, with the more plentiful Continental breeds at the lower end. But customers can easily spend more; management offers diners the option of cutting their own steak, and those who do tend to, yes, beef up their portions.

"Sometimes people eat with their eyes, you know," Mr. Jones said.


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: On Tiny Fogo Island, a Hotel Puts a Focus on Design

Fogo Island, a windswept fleck of land off the northeast coast of Newfoundland, has in the last several years been the site of an exciting project in economic renewal and avant-garde architecture.

Disused saltbox houses that once belonged to fishermen have been transformed into a colony of artists' residences. There are now new restaurants, an ambitious art gallery curated by Nicolaus Schafhausen, a cinema and a number of initiatives designed to support local industry and ecology.

A cornerstone of the revitalization project is the newly opened Fogo Island Inn, a high-design hotel on stilts that was built, like many of the new buildings on Fogo, by the Canadian architect Todd Saunders.

The 27 suites, furnished by local craftspeople, all have wood-burning fireplaces and floor-to-ceiling views of the North Atlantic. The menu at the hotel's fine-dining restaurant changes often, in tune with the island's unusual "seven seasons." On the rooftop is a collection of Finnish saunas and hot tubs, designed with stargazing in mind. Nightly room rates start at $550 during low season.


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

In Transit Blog: Calendar: Coming Events in Hawaii; Kentucky; Munich

Aloha Festivals, Oahu, Hawaii A celebration of Hawaiian culture and history through music, dance, cuisine and art will take place at various locations on Oahu during the 2013 Aloha Festivals from Sept. 12 to 28. Highlights include an opening ceremony featuring traditional chants and hula dancing, concerts, demonstrations, activities, displays of crafts, food booths, block parties and a parade with marching bands, floats with cascades of Hawaiian flowers, and pa'u riders (women on horseback), above. Many of this year's events pay tribute to the ocean-voyaging culture of the islands' ancestors. All events are free and open to the public.

Kentucky Bourbon Festival, Bardstown, Ky. From Sept. 17 to 22, bourbon aficionados can gather at the Kentucky Bourbon Festival to celebrate the state's signature product with distillery tours, bourbon tastings and demonstrations about the secrets of making, aging, mixing and imbibing. There will also be some old-fashioned fun for families: live country and western, jazz and blues music and dance events; horseshoe pitching; bourbon-barrel relays; scavenger hunts; themed train and carriage rides; food booths featuring local specialties; a Balloon Glow, with hot-air balloons illuminating the night sky; and historic tours of Bardstown, which has made bourbon since 1776.

Oktoberfest, Munich Don't think the some six million visitors to Oktoberfest every year come just for the beer. Munich's most famous beer fest, which runs this year from Sept. 21 to Oct. 6, also has plenty of attractions to entertain children, including rides, fair games and prizes. Also, families receive discounts on admission on Sept. 24 and Oct. 1. For those who are going to sample Oktoberfest-approved brews like Löwenbräu and Paulaner, the tapping of the first barrel will take place in the Schottenhamel Tent on Sept. 21.


17.36 | 0 komentar | Read More

The Getaway: Private Flying for (Some of) the Rest of Us

Written By wartini cantika on Jumat, 23 Agustus 2013 | 17.35

Joshua Bright for The New York Times

The author boards an XOJet craft at Teterboro Airport, in New Jersey.

In less time than it takes to undergo a body scan, I breezed through the terminal and onto the tarmac.

No one at Teterboro Airport, in low-slung industrial New Jersey, asked for my driver's license. No one rifled through my bag. There were no screaming children or grown-ups in pajama bottoms wheeling luggage the size of fat steamer trunks. It was strangely serene: only the sound of the wind and the tap of my heels on the runway as I walked toward two pilots at the foot of a Challenger 300, a gleaming private jet with seating for nine. I stepped onto a swatch of blue carpet beneath the air stair and, steadied by a pilot's hand, at long last boarded a plane like a human being, not a pack mule.

Inside, the pilot in command, Rob Martin of XOJet, a private jet company based in San Francisco, went over the essentials: the iPod dock; the touch screen to control the lights and movies; the leather swivel seats that I was told (while treating mine like a Tilt-a-Whirl) cost $30,000 to replace; the satellite phone; the Nespresso machine; the cabinet with the Oreo cookies and Kistler chardonnay.

"One thing I forgot to mention," Mr. Martin said before we took off, "the couch will fold out into a bed."

At a time when industry surveys show that travelers are fed up with epic lines at commercial airports, when lounges are overflowing with airline-branded credit card holders, and first class is but a shadow of what it was in the golden age of air travel, companies are making private jets easier to come by. What had been an industry that relied on full or partial ownership of planes is opening up, with jet operators and owners like XOJet offering more flexible programs, and brokers who don't own planes working in tandem with them to offer seats — in some cases through apps — within striking distance of the price of a first class ticket.

"The industry has literally changed 180 degrees in the last five years," said Bill Papariella, an aviation executive who worked at NetJets, Marquis Jet, and Sentient before becoming a founder and president of the operator Jet Edge International. Companies that survived the recession have made pricing simpler and now offer more membership options, based on where, when and how often you fly. And a handful of new industry players are making booking a private jet as easy as ordering up a private car on Uber.

"It's much easier and much cheaper than it's ever been before," said Bradley Stewart, chief executive of XOJet.

Even so, can you afford to travel like James Bond? The answer depends on what type of flier you are. (How often do you fly? Where do you fly? How rigid is your schedule?) Different companies have different pricing structures, but one of the most common models is a yearly or monthly membership fee plus the cost of your flights. That can run you anywhere from several thousand dollars a year to several hundred thousand dollars a year.

At one end of the spectrum are operators like Jet Edge International, who say their private jets are the purview of those with net worth in excess of $50 million. "We specialize in the 1 percent of the 1 percent," Mr. Papariella said.

At the other end of the spectrum are a handful of start-ups that want to change that, like BlackJet, which is enabling first-class fliers to graduate to private travel by selling individual seats to its members, who currently pay a $2,500 annual fee. The company, which began putting clients on flights late last year, finds jet owners or operators that will transport 6 to 14 travelers at a time in markets like New York, South Florida, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas (and next up, Chicago and Washington, D.C.).

"Our client is the mass affluent as opposed to the 1 percent of the population," said Dean Rotchin, founder and chief executive of BlackJet. "It's bringing it from the rock star level down to a practical tool for the mass affluent."

For instance, a recent search for a last-minute, one-way first-class ticket on a commercial airline from New York to Los Angeles was about $1,400 to $2,000. On BlackJet, Mr. Rotchin said that trip would be about $3,600, in addition to the membership fee. (There are no TSA lines but passengers' names are checked against no-fly lists.)

You must be flexible, though. When you book a flight on BlackJet (which can sell individual seats because as a broker it does not need an FAA operating license), you choose either a departure in the a.m. (between 7 and 10) or p.m. (between 4 and 7). Also, the amenities on the jets vary.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

Heads Up: A Food Scene With Local Roots Sprouts in Maryland

Vanessa Vick for The New York Times

Bryan Voltaggio opened Family Meal in Frederick, Md., his hometown.

For a city once nicknamed "Fredneck" because of its reputation as an unsophisticated working-class town, Frederick, Maryland's second largest city after Baltimore, has had an impressive makeover. The flourishing culinary scene is undoubtedly the biggest change. Natives of this metropolis of 65,000 are transforming the city, one hour from Washington, by opening restaurants and food shops.

Long a destination for its Civil War heritage, Frederick has seen most of the changes in its 50-block historic district. At least 13 restaurants and artisanal culinary spots have opened in the last two years, according to the Downtown Frederick Partnership, which tracks business openings. The turnaround began in 2008, when Bryan Voltaggio opened Volt, featuring entrees prepared with local ingredients in a 19th-century town house. The chef, 37, returned to his hometown after serving as the head chef at Charlie Palmer Steak in Washington.

"A lot of our customers were coming from Frederick because there weren't any good places to eat here," he said. "It was the perfect time to come back and bring in that quality dining."

Mr. Voltaggio and Volt rose to fame after his 2009 appearance on "Top Chef," and he is currently competing in "Top Chef Masters" on Bravo. He has opened two more casual spots in the last two years. The latest is Family Meal (880 North East Street, 301-378-2895; voltfamilymeal.com), a bustling restaurant in what was an abandoned car dealership. "I wanted to create an affordable place where my kids and I would both be happy eating," he said. Familiar dishes like burgers and steaks are the highlights.

The Wine Kitchen (50 Carroll Creek Way, Suite 160; 301-663-6968; thewinekitchen.com) arrived on the scene early last year. The restaurant showcases locally sourced seasonal American dishes like an eggplant steak with bulgur wheat salad and barbecued Chesapeake oysters with a bacon jam. It has more than 30 wines available by the glass. "The point of coming here is to have really great food and wine in a fun atmosphere without any fanciness," said Jason Miller, an owner.

Frederick's homegrown gastronomic culture has snared the attention of nonlocals, said Kyle Rees, a spokesman for the Restaurant Association Metropolitan Washington. "The boutique food shops and restaurants there are certainly attracting D.C. residents more and more," he said.

Two of the newest food destinations are owned by Phil Bowers, whose family has lived in the area for six generations.

"I saw potential in the city because it's walkable and has Civil War history, so there's already an attraction which I wanted to build on," he said.

Mr. Bowers's Ayse Meze Lounge (6 North East Street, 240-651-5155; aysemeze.com) offers small plates of Middle Eastern food in a light-filled space. His Monocacy Brewing Company (1781 North Market Street, 240-457-4232; monocacybrewing.com) is a microbrewery where visitors can take a tour that ends with a tasting of the five beers on tap.

Stores with a singular focus also have become attractions. Zoë's Chocolate (121A North Market Street, 301-694-5882; zoeschocolate.com) sells handmade pralines and bars. The owner, Zoë Tsoukatos, has created flavors like dark chocolate baklava. Nearby is Lebherz Oil & Vinegar Emporium (214 North Market Street, 301-228-3996; loveoliveoilvinegar.com), which sells 50 kinds of vinegars and olive oils from around the world. The owner, Maggie Lebherz, who comes from one of Frederick's oldest families, said she fell in love with olive oil while studying as a college senior in Salamanca, Spain. "When I got back home, I couldn't find the good oils that I'd had abroad so I decided to source them myself," she said.

Dublin Roasters Coffee (1780 North Market Street, 240-575-9929; dublinroasterscoffee.com) is run by Serina Roy, a former Frederick police officer. Her store has 80 varieties. Ms. Roy looks for raw coffee beans from small farms in countries like Vietnam, Brazil and Honduras. The rear of the converted motorcycle warehouse is the roasting facility, which is open to visitors. The front is a cafe adorned with brightly colored art from the countries from which she imports her beans.

As proprietor of a trendy coffee establishment, Ms. Roy knows some customers are surprised to learn that she was a police officer. Her interest in coffee came while working the overnight police shift and needing to stay awake.

"I was always searching for a decent cup and could never find it," she said.

This article has been revised to reflect the following correction:

Correction: August 22, 2013

An earlier version of this article misstated the population of Frederick, Md. It is 65,000, according to the latest Census figures, not 55,000.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

Sipping the Pleasures of Istria

Filip Horvat for The New York Times

A waiter carries a glass of malvasia wine at a bar in Rovinj.

On a recent afternoon, I found myself having lunch on a shaded patio about 20 feet from the banks of a placid river that empties out into the Adriatic Sea. The restaurant, Martin Pescador — named for the bird that skims the water's surface in search of food — is in Trget, a fishing village in the region of northern Croatia known as Istria. I'd arrived there after a rough drive down a 10-mile road that hugs the Rasa River and then traverses railroad tracks and freight depots and lumberyards before dead-ending in Trget. Docked nearby were about 20 boats, the same number as residents of the village.

Most of the other lunch patrons were locals with shaggy eyebrows and barnacled hands. At one point, the chef announced that more mussels were needed. A fisherman pushed himself out of his chair, strolled to the dock, hauled up two yellow nets full of the shellfish, and brought them into the kitchen.

The waiter presented me with a bucket of the day's catch. I selected the sarago, a sweet, fleshy white fish. It arrived perfectly grilled, following a chilled cuttlefish and squid salad and a bowl of tagliatelle with mussels, generously splashed with a brilliant local olive oil.

Oh, and he also brought out a carafe of white wine known as malvasia istriana, produced by a local winemaker named Frank Arman. Its color was limpid gold, and it possessed a subtle saltiness that rippled down my throat. In the sparkling little postcard world I found myself inhabiting that afternoon, the wine blended into the background — and that was its beauty: it was a peerless, understated accompaniment to the seafood, and it bound everything together. It was why I was in Istria in the first place.

Though I'd never been to this 267-mile-long coastal stretch of northern Croatia before, I had been drinking its most famous varietal for years, in the neighboring countries of Slovenia and Italy, where malvasia istriana is also grown. (The malvasia wine family is a large and varied one, including red, dessert, Spanish and Brazilian wines that don't look or taste anything like the Istrian version.) Originally it hails from the Greek island of Monemasia, for which the grape is named, and how it got here is a source of vigorous debate. Shakespeare celebrated "malmsey" in Richard III; Venetian merchants dubbed their wine shops malvasie. What's undisputed is that malvasia took hold in Istria like nowhere else: here and here alone, if you ask for a glass of white wine, malvasia is what they'll bring you.

Like the grape, Istria has seen its share of coveters. The small, isosceles-shaped peninsula, 1,200 square miles, named after the Illyrian tribe known as Histrians who first settled there during the early Iron Age, bears the thumbprints of Greek, Roman, Venetian, Austrian and Titoist rulers. The Serbs — who like Croatians had been part of the former Yugoslavia before Croatia declared its independence in early 1991 — bombed Istria later that year. But peace came to Croatia in 1995 and Istria's status as a much-visited destination returned shortly thereafter.

Still, Istria's fame does not approach that of Dubrovnik at the southern endpoint of Croatia or of Trieste to the north. "Let's not get ahead of ourselves — Istria is not St.-Tropez," one of its winemakers told me, with characteristic modesty.

Fair enough: the coin of the realm here isn't decadent seaside resorts or wallet-hemorrhaging restaurants. Much like the grape that dominates its landscape, Istria is content with its own neon-free deliciousness.

From the Trieste airport, where I landed on a Saturday morning, I drove my rental car down smooth and uncluttered tollways, first traversing the rugged karst limestone corridor of northeastern Italy, then through a sliver of Slovenia. A half-hour into my journey, I could see the Adriatic shimmering off to the west and, from the opposite side of the road, valleys lush with well-tended vines. Forty-five minutes after that, I was in Porec and receiving my first glass of malvasia istriana.

Robert Draper is a contributing writer for The New York Times Magazine and National Geographic and a correspondent for GQ.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

Frugal Traveler: Motorcycles, Memorials and the Middle of Nowhere

By John Woo

Sturgis Biker Reunion: Seth Kugel's summer road trip takes him to Sturgis, S.D., during an annual gathering of thousands of motorcyclists.

It turns out I've been using the phrase "in the middle of nowhere" incorrectly my whole life. I used to mean it as a put-down, but I've discovered that it's actually a good thing. And now that I've found the middle of nowhere, it turns out to be more remote than I could have imagined: on a rural mail route way outside of Philip, S.D., population 750.

Road Trip Discoveries

Send us a photo and story of a special discovery you made during a road trip, and you could join our summer Frugal Traveler coverage.

Connect With Us on Twitter

Follow @nytimestravel for tips, features and photography from all over the globe.

Seth Kugel

Bikers in South Dakota for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in front of Mount Rushmore.

That is where you'll find the Triangle Ranch Bed and Breakfast, eight miles down a gravel road from a spot between two exits on Interstate 90, and if you see a soul during that bumpy stretch, you either got quite lucky or believe that cows have souls. Just rolling plains of pasture and already rolled bales of hay line the route there — beautiful, spare land, a sort of fantasy Dakota that would be hard for outsiders to imagine living in permanently and (I imagine) hard for anyone who grew up there to leave. Eventually the road leads to a house, and not any old house: a Sears prefab from the catalog, a Mission Revival model, with all its original wood and barely altered since it was completed in 1923.

I rarely find a full-on bed-and-breakfast I can afford, and this one was particularly miraculous. For most of my monthlong trip, I've been spending the night in $50 or $60 motel rooms, all of which have been perfectly acceptable, but also (and this is almost part of their charm) lonely. But I had come to South Dakota just as the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally began, bringing in something like 400,000 bikers on twice as many wheels. If you're at all familiar with the laws of supply and demand, you can imagine what happens to motel prices.

Yet when I made a reservation about two weeks in advance at Triangle Ranch, the price was still the regular $89 a night for a single. I was assigned Mathilda's room, which had twin beds, a rocking chair and a handmade China doll laid out on the beds — and exclusive access to the original, wood-paneled second-floor bathroom with claw-foot tub. The place, run by Lyndy Ireland and her rancher husband, Kenny, was built on land Ms. Ireland's great-grandfather had first settled in 1904 when he bribed a squatter with a team of horses and a carriage to clear out.

The room was still available because the gravel road approach is not very popular among bikers, Ms. Ireland told me. It's also about two hours from Sturgis — though some bikers stay even farther away — but it is only 30 minutes from the entrance to Badlands National Park ($15 for a week pass), with its stark buttes and pinnacles that look like a giant kid built a sand castle 500,000 years ago and it stuck.

In case you haven't guessed, I am not a motorcycle enthusiast; the closest I've come to riding on a Harley-Davidson is clinging on the back of sputtering moto-taxis in Latin America. I'm guessing that would impress the Sturgis crowd about as much as tales of miniature golf experience impresses the PGA leader board.

But I had come to be an outsider, to spend a few days in a culture easily more foreign to me than many foreign countries. The organized mayhem of Sturgis, once I made it through miles of two-wheeled traffic jams and found a rare four-wheel parking place, was vaguely like Mardi Gras, though, with leather and much more engine-revving. Mammoth venues like the Knuckle Saloon filled with Bud Light drinkers comparing notes on their bikes, eating beef tips and watching live bands. When I stopped by, the concert area had been converted into an Extreme Sport Fighting ring that was featuring what the announcer billed a "chick fight!" the day that I was there.

Booths throughout the town showcased every possible accessory, from helmets adorned with Viking horns to custom-designed console inserts. There were a few political signs mounted on bikes, including one belonging to a woman wearing an "I feel a sin coming on" tank top; it is unprintable here but used the same curse word to denigrate both the president and anyone who put their bikes in trailers to come to Sturgis instead of riding the open road. Still, the most common activity for us all was admiring the endless rows of bikes, from the custom specials to the simply well shined.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

In a Montreal Neighborhood, Barbershops and Bars

Written By wartini cantika on Kamis, 22 Agustus 2013 | 17.35

The semi-industrial no man's land between Montreal's Mile End and Parc Extension neighborhoods is home to abandoned, graffitied textile factories, food processing plants and repair shops. With the garment workers gone, it's been largely neglected except by studio-seeking artists.

But recently, this outpost of the city's manufacturing past has begun to stir with new life. Architects drawn by the industrial zoning are conceiving hundreds of residential and LEED-certified commercial spaces. Restaurateurs, barkeeps and even a couple of hip barbers have followed. And to the vexation of longtime residents, the enclave has with these changes gained a new nickname: Mile-Ex.

— HILLARY BRENHOUSE

Pictured: Diners enjoy a meal from Dinette Triple Crown in a neighborhood park.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

Personal Journeys: Would a Gay Man Be Welcomed Home in Montana?

A few years ago, the band Little Big Town had a hit song called "Boondocks." It was a twangy, boot-stompin' ditty about the raptures of rural living: "I feel no shame. I'm proud of where I came from. I was born and raised in the boondocks."

If only I felt that way about my home state, Montana.

When you live in Los Angeles as I do and people learn that you grew up in Montana, the reaction is always the same. "Absolutely gorgeous, right?" I always widen my eyes and nod yes. "Jaw dropping," I sometimes add.

It's a lie, or at least partly a lie. For me, a gay man with a longtime partner, Montana has long been an ugly place. Gilded wheat fields? Snaggletoothed mountain peaks? Rivers running through it? Absolutely. But to see the natural splendor you have to look past the bumper stickers: "Real Men Marry Women," "It's Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve," "Marriage = 1 Man + 1 Woman."

What a view.

Homophobia happens everywhere, of course, including New York, where gay bashing has been alarmingly prevalent of late. And, ahem, holding a whole state accountable for a few jerks is not especially big-minded of me. Times also change. I may have been tortured by certain classmates at Billings Senior High School, but my mother, now a teacher there, recently helped start its first gay and lesbian student group. "It's not the same state," she told me.

An opportunity to prove her right — or wrong — arose in late June. My younger brother, Brit, was getting married in Big Sky, the resort town outside Yellowstone National Park. Instead of our usual dash-in-and-dash-out approach to Montana visits, my partner, Joe, and I decided to precede the wedding with a seven-day driving tour of the state. We would either arrive in Big Sky with newly open minds about Montana or we would be sporting a bumper sticker of our own: "Paddle Faster. I Hear Banjo Music."

How would anyone in Montana know we were a couple? After 13 years together, we aren't in the habit of being overly demonstrative with our affection, but you would have to be blind not to notice our orientation. I'm basically a walking stereotype (yes, I packed my hot pink Lacoste polo). There is a lot of whispering in ears and standing close and giving little love pats. That kind of thing.

In a rented sport utility vehicle, we set out from Bozeman in an afternoon rainstorm and drove north, stopping overnight in the hillside capital of Helena, where the governor in April signed a bill decriminalizing "deviant" gay sex. (Cheers to him, but it took until 2013?) Our ultimate destination was Glacier National Park, but we took a detour through Great Falls to my birthplace: Conrad, a one-stoplight prairie town near the Canadian border.

Conrad is a Podunk place, not much more than a gas station and a few agricultural businesses. But it also seemed like a good spot to take Montana's inhabitants and their allegedly new live-and-let-live spirit for a test drive. We stopped for lunch at the Home Cafe, a quintessential greasy spoon with quilts decorating the walls and rhubarb pie under Saran wrap in a display case.

Taking two open counter seats, we ordered $6 cheeseburgers, each topped with a fat spatula slap of mayonnaise. The dozen or so locals were friendly, especially the waitress ("You betcha!"), and Joe and I were soon enjoying the small-town quaintness of a voluminous article in the local newspaper: garden club members had been grappling with the best way to comply with a "hot and spicy" theme at this year's fair.

Our carriage and demeanor, as usual, left nothing to the imagination. Picture Jack from "Will & Grace" and his slightly more masculine boyfriend amid a group of farmers. Still, nobody gave us so much as a raised eyebrow. "Maybe I'm less flamboyant than I used to be," I whispered to Joe. He responded with an eye roll.

"You boys want a piece of pie?" our waitress asked with a wink.

Hmm.

We arrived at the 100-year-old Glacier Park Lodge to find a tour group from Japan oohing and aahing at the atrium lobby, the roof of which is held up by dozens of Douglas firs, each standing 40 feet tall and retaining its bark. So much for locals. But in the lush meadows on the eastern side of the park we encountered a great many welcoming Montanans — visitors from Fort Benton checking out the purple lupines, a family from Bigfork chattering about spotting a moose. We made fools of ourselves, or at least caricatures, by taking 10,000 close-up pictures of wildflowers, in particular the rust-colored patches of Indian paintbrush.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

36 Hours in Izmir, Turkey

Ayman Oghanna for The New York Times

Fishing along the waterfront in Izmir.

"Infidel Izmir." That's the nickname that was long ago bestowed on Turkey's third-largest metropolis. Known for most of its history as Smyrna, this port city was, in Ottoman times, a melting pot that included Greeks, Armenians, Jews, French and Italians. Today's Izmir is largely Turkish, but the moniker lingers. For religious Turks, the label seems appropriate for this sunny, palm-fringed seaside city, with its relaxed attitudes and many nonobservant Muslims. For most residents, though, the nickname is proof of Izmir's progressiveness. Reverential images of Ataturk, the founder of modern secular Turkey, are everywhere, and in June many in the city protested against Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan after his Islamist-inspired government cracked down on peaceful demonstrators in Istanbul who had mobilized to save a city park from developers. Izmir — which is among four international cities that are vying to hold the World Expo in 2020 — has much to offer visitors: a renovated waterfront, an ever-evolving night-life district and slick new design hotels. Meanwhile, a vast traditional bazaar and the spectacular nearby ruins of Ephesus bear witness to a rich past.

Connect With Us on Twitter

Follow @nytimestravel for tips, features and photography from all over the globe.

Ayman Oghanna for The New York Times

Shopping for coats at Kemeralti, the city's crowded bazaar.

FRIDAY

4 p.m.
1. Bay City Strollers

Hugging the Aegean, the popular seaside promenade known as the Kordon is a fascinating window into Izmir's proudly nationalist history, laid-back mores and unique religious character. Under buildings draped with Turkish flags and Ataturk banners, women in miniskirts stroll alongside matrons in head scarves as businessmen quaff Efes beer in open-air restaurants. Heading south from Alsancak Ferry Terminal, you'll amble past the white neo-Classical stone facade of the Ataturk Museum, the grand battlefield statue of Ataturk in Cumhuriyet Square, the Ottoman-era buildings along Pasaport Ferry Terminal, and countless seaside cafes.

6 p.m.
2. Pier Review

None other than Gustave Eiffel designed the original Konak Pier, a long wharf of low stone buildings and glass and steel coverings. Erected in 1890, the former customs house had gone to seed before a 2003 restoration project saved it. Now it shelters boutiques like Taris Zeytin, a shrine to every form of olive oil (body lotion, for example, 13 Turkish lira, or $7 at 1.85 lira to the dollar) and olive leaf (tea, 3.75 lira, or $2, a box). The outdoor terrace of %100 Rest Cafe & More is a scenic spot to sip a local Angora red wine (13 lira) and absorb the city's much-admired sunsets.

8 p.m.
3. Ship to Shore

Pay tribute to Izmir's seafaring past by hopping the ferry from Konak Ferry Terminal and crossing Homer's "wine-dark sea" to the Bostanli landing, on the north side of Izmir's bay. The ride affords sublime views of the twinkling jagged hills and illuminated skyscrapers and mosques — as well as the hilltop ruins of Kadifekale, a stone fortress that dates back to the reign of Alexander the Great. A three-ride fare card is 6.50 lira.

9 p.m.
4. A Meal Aquatic

If you catch it with a hook, net or trap, they serve it at Mavra Restaurant, a 10-minute walk from the Bostanli ferry landing. With its white stone walls and hanging lanterns, the indoor-outdoor space evokes a rustic Aegean village. But the convivial crowd is urbane, as Polo shirts and Chanel handbags testify. There's no menu. Waiters just show up, first with an enormous tray of mezze from which you might choose dips like saksuka (a zesty purée of eggplant and tomato). Next comes the seafood course, which has been known to include grilled octopus tentacles, skewered calamari and curried sea bass fillets. For dessert, mastic gum sometimes arrives as an ice cream-like mound soaked in chocolate sauce. A meal for two with drinks is 150 lira.

SATURDAY

10 a.m.
5. The Two Towers

Rio has Christ the Redeemer, Rome has the Colosseum and Paris has the Arc de Triomphe. In Izmir, the most photographed stone masterwork is the Clock Tower in Konak Square, a tall, slender, intricately chiseled minaret-like white structure atop a two-tiered base ringed with arches, columns and fountains. Designed by a French citizen of the Ottoman Empire, the 1901 tower is another symbol of Izmir's longstanding ties with the West. Across the pigeon-packed square soars another tower, the minaret of Yali Mosque. A small octagonal stone and brick building surrounded by horseshoe-shaped windows and ornately painted blue porcelain tiles, the 18th-century mosque is another impressive relic of Ottoman glory.

11 a.m.
6. Bazaar Sensations


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More

Explorer: Near Qingdao, Hiking a Magical Mountain

Jeffrey Lau for The New York Times

Pools of water collect all over the Laoshan Scenic District.

The sun was low and the air still hot when I swallowed the last drops from my canteen. My companion and I were hiking up the southern pass of Laoshan, a mountain of sun-bleached granite and hidden oases, rising over the Yellow Sea on China's eastern shore.

The trail began at Dahedong, a village in the shadow of a great dam, and climbed up steep terraces of tea fields before winding along a dry creek, a tumble of boulders suspended in mid-flow down the slope. When I touched them to steady myself, they seemed to pull the dampness from my skin and stow it away. There had been no rain for two months, and even the stones were thirsty.

Along the path, lilies bloomed like orange flares, and hikers before us had marked the way by knotting red ribbons to the tree branches as is done in Chinese temples. The forest directed us with the soft rustle of a thousand prayers. Still, somehow we had gotten lost.

The Laoshan Scenic District is an easy drive along the coast from the city of Qingdao, 19 miles or so to the west. About two million visitors come each year to ascend Laoshan's peaks, which are strewed with oddly shaped moraines resembling stacks of books and curving horns. Around the mountain's pale stones, cedar, elm and pine sprout in lush green tufts, fed by rainfall-charged aquifers deep underground. The water filters through the strata and then courses up from crevices in the granite before collecting in clear, azure pools that are scattered all over the mountain.

This otherworldly beauty was not lost on the Taoists, who some 3,000 years ago deemed the mountain a home of the Immortals, elevated beings so removed from worldly concerns that their skin is unlined by worry. Though most of the temples here have been lost to revolutions and time, monks in blue and white still tend the sprawling grounds of Taiqing Palace, a Taoist temple that has stood at the mountain's base for the two millenniums since the Western Han dynasty. For about as long, the monks have credited their good health to drinking from the Shenshui Quan, the Spring of the Immortals, a slow-moving seep that still feeds the temple grounds.

There is a story here of a time when the mountain had no water, and the villagers were starving. A kind spirit gave a peasant a magical vessel that multiplied whatever was put into it, and the villagers were saved. When greedy officials came to seize the treasure, the peasant leapt from the summit, and where his body and shards of the vessel fell, freshwater springs appeared.

By the Qin dynasty and for centuries after that, emperors made pilgrimages here, hoping to meet the beings who controlled the wind and the rain and bore such gifts.

The mountain regularly appeared as a backdrop in stories and songs about unexplained happenings. In the 17th century, the author known in writing circles as the Last of the Immortals, Pu Songling, lived on the Taiqing Palace's grounds and wrote tales of entanglements with magic on the mountain. In one, a lonely poet befriends two sisters whose lives are tied to the fates of flowers. In another, a Taoist priest grants a boastful disciple the gift of walking through walls — only to take it back at the worst time.

I had spent the days before my hike wandering in the city of Qingdao, which is so close to Laoshan that on a clear morning, Laoshan's peaks appear like a golden mirage, wavering in the distance. To most in the city, Laoshan is no longer a physical place but a symbol of everything that is not urban. That makes the mountain a very marketable brand. In the old part of town, street vendors along the steps of Huangdao sell fragrant mushrooms and sweet cherries grown in the foothills of Laoshan. In the central business district, waiters in upscale restaurants recommend the tuji — chickens that are free to scratch on the mountainside — at double the price of a regular chicken. In five-star hotels, the bottled water is always Laoshan Mineral Water brand.


17.35 | 0 komentar | Read More
techieblogger.com Techie Blogger Techie Blogger