Pet owners had high hopes for the Pets On Trains bill currently before Congress. Miranda Green explains why even that non-controversial legislation can’t gain passage
It may be a long wait at the station for animal lovers hoping to hop a train with their favorite pet.
Amtrak won’t permit pets to board the way commercial airlines do. Congress wanted to change that with the Pets on Trains Act, introduced in May. The bill, which would require Amtrak to allow domesticated cats and dogs aboard trains for a fee, has few critics and the support of pet owners everywhere, as well as significant pet lobbies, including the Humane Society.
Still, the legislation has little chance of passage within the next year. “In a normal setting, something like this that doesn’t have a strong variant opposition, you could just put in [the transportation reauthorization bill], and it’s going to pass because it’s a reauthorization and it just sails through and everything is fine,” says California Republican Rep. John Campbell, the bill’s co-sponsor.
This unassuming, 39-seat spot in Los Angeles went from the minor leagues one year to the best restaurant of the year the next. Andrew Knowlton on its savory success story.
by Andrew Knowlton
Ari Taymor has a knack for knocking on doors, and a talent for showing up unannounced at a restaurant’s service entrance. He’s not afraid to call a chef every day for a month to ask if he can come work for free.
In other words, he can be a royal pain in the butt. But it’s that won’t-take-no-for-an-answer attitude that led him, at just 26 years old, to open Alma. The story of how this unassuming, 39-seat restaurant in Los Angeles became the restaurant of the year is, to put it in sports terms, like that of a minor-league baseball player who goes from batting .200 one year to hitting a grand slam in the bottom of the ninth with two outs to win the World Series the next. Yes, it’s that unexpected.
In a remote area of North Dakota, one town discovered an ingenious way to keep from going under: entice tourists to town along a road lined with stunning scrap-metal sculptures. Nina Strochlic reports.
The Dakotas are known more for their abundance of empty space than their inhabited areas. But one local artist has turned a vast expanse along an isolated road into a surprising, enchanted art gallery that seduces travelers into visiting one of North Dakota’s tiny, off-the-trail towns.
Along a 32-mile stretch of Highway 21, giant geese fly in a frozen circle around the sun, massive fish swim among plant life, and Teddy Roosevelt waves from a bucking horse. At the end lies the 162-person town of Regent, a modest cluster of homes and shops, which can now boast that it has hosted visitors from all 50 states and countries around the globe.
The stretch of seven (soon to be eight) sculptures known as the "Enchanted Highway" was built to attract drivers from the busier I-94 onto the two-lane Highway 21 which connects the 103-year-old town of Regent to the main interstate. In 1990, Regent was on the brink of adding its name to North Dakota’s roster of ghost towns, when retired teacher Gary Greff came up with an idea to lure in tourists and keep the town above water.
A small Croatian island has built itself into the newest Ibiza—a hot spot for music-loving revelers to drink and dance the summer away—to the chagrin of the locals. Kristin Vuković on the pastoral island struggling to attract a different kind of tourist.
Scantily-clad girls in bikinis and boys who don’t look old enough to shave pulse to the relentless electronic beat spun by rotating DJs. The nearly naked undulate and grind. To cool off, they wade through Club Papaya’s waist-deep pools. They clutch bong-shaped, jewel-toned plastic vessels containing a couple pints of various alcoholic concoctions consumed through jumbo straws. Some smoke cigarettes, some roll joints. Drugs are snorted or shot inconspicuously, but their users’ glazed and bulging eyes are a dead giveaway.
It’s 5 o’clock on a Friday afternoon in July and the after party at the Hideout Festival, a hub for electronic music lovers, is in full swing on Zrće, pronounced zer-che, the world-famous party beach on the island of Pag in Croatia. The 24-hour scene mostly congregates at Zrće’s largest club, Papaya, which hosts multiple festivals during the summer. It could be a Tuesday or a Thursday. The continuous string of revelries makes the days blur together.
For most of the year, pastoral Pag is home to roughly eight thousand residents and thirty thousand indigenous sheep. This rocky, skinny island—thirty-six miles long and about six miles at its widest point—is unique among Croatia’s islands because of its bald, moonscape appearance. It is known for its sheep’s milk cheese, Paški Sir, which has a unique flavor produced by the herbs on which the sheep graze. But the Zrće partiers don’t come to sample Pag’s cheese, admire its legendary needlework lace (Paška Čipka), visit the centuries-old Lun olive groves, or learn about the island’s once-famous salt production. Some barely leave the clubs, pausing only to catch a few hours of shut-eye in their rented rooms or to pass out on the still pristine beach.
The rock formations of Cappadocia are more than a natural wonder—they’ve been a refuge to countless communities over the centuries. Nina Strochlic on the thriving life and history inside the peaks.
In the center of Turkey, a sprawling 35,000 square-mile jungle of natural rock formations has served as a hideout for hundreds of years of civilizations.
This otherworldly region of Turkey, Cappadocia, is peppered with thousands of what the locals call “fairy chimneys”: towering formations of soft rock which began as volcanic ash that rained down on the region millions of years ago, and, after being battered by wind and water for millennia, took on the conical shapes they are today. The stark expanse of narrow, earth-toned peaks appear uninhabitable from afar. But the area is actually one of the world’s biggest cave-dwelling complexes, complete with with ancient churches, modern restaurants, and tons of history.
Cave dwellings found in Cappadocia, Turkey. (Creative Commons)
For centuries, people have been tunneling into the landscape, which proved especially adept at hiding those fleeing persecution. The region was first settled by the Hittites in 1800 B.C. By the fourth century A.D., the landscape’s unique features were beginning to be inhabited by hermetic communities, apparently ordered there by Basil the Great, the bishop of Caesarea. Later, Christians seeking sanctuary from the Romans, and, later still, Muslim raiders, found refuge in the rock shelters and began to connect the chimney formations with subterranean villages. When invaders did arrive, Christians are believed to have slipped down through holes in the ground and remained there until the danger passed. Within the layers of structures, both above and below ground, they had constructed churches, storehouses, homes, and passageways.
For centuries, Slane Castle has been home to Irish nobility. But in the past few decades, a following of a different sort has flocked to its hallowed halls. Michael Daly on seeing Eminem perform at this Irish castle turned music venue.
What Lord Henry termed a “very weird week” began with the return of the portrait of an illustrious ancestor that had been badly damaged when a fire gutted part of Slane Castle in 1991.
Eminem rises onto the stage through a cloud of smoke during a concert featuring Jay-Z at Yankee Stadium on September 13, 2010. Henry William Paget, marquis of Anglesey, was lord lieutenant-general and general governor of Ireland. (Chad Batka/The New York Times, via Redux; Michael Nicholson/Corbis)
The week was now ending with Eminem becoming the latest music megastar to play on the sloping grounds of this historic site outside of Dublin, Ireland.
Some 80,000 partying fans were waiting for Eminem’s imminent arrival as the present lord of the castle, Lord Henry, took a moment to show a reporter the 18th-century painting of his great-great-great-great-grandfather Henry Paget that was finally back home.
There’s a new buzz in Nepal's Kathmandu Valley as some of the world’s most magnificent temples and palaces are fixed up. Isabella Tree on the monuments, the towering Himalayas, and a million-plus deities—three of them very much alive—of Nepal’s buzzing Kathmandu Valley.
by Isabella Tree
A hush descended on the tiny stone courtyard, an expectant lull in which every footfall, every cough, the beating of a pigeon’s wings resounded like a thunderclap. Outside, Kathmandu’s diurnal jangling of rickshaw bells and motorbike horns seemed part of another world. At a nod from their guide, a group of Japanese tourists put away their cameras.
Without warning, a child appeared at the window. No more than eight or nine years old, she gazed sternly down on the assembled foreigners, pouting slightly, looking mildly inconvenienced. Her eyes were exaggerated with thick lines of kohl reaching all the way to her temples. She had bright-red lips and her hair was bound up tightly in a topknot. Dressed entirely in red, she had gold ornaments around her neck and bangles on her wrists. Her tiny hands, with red-painted fingernails, clasped a wooden rail across the bottom of the window, as if she were a captain at a ship’s helm.
Just as suddenly she was gone, leaving a flutter of red curtains.
From a submerged Bar Refaeli to a Mediterranean idyll, a voyeur’s look at the stars’ sun-soaked scenes.
Wildlife, storytelling, dung, and other things I encountered on my Zambian safari.
The bouillabaisse is just as tasty, but Europe’s 2013 Capital of Culture now has a lot more to offer. Anna Watson Carl reports.
More than a natural wonder, Cappadocia's formations have been a safe haven to many. Nina Strochlic reports.
Tony Wheeler, co-founder of Lonely Planet Publications, remembers the fun early days of travel guide writing, but says they're not over yet.
Miley Cyrus’ fav new haunt is Beacher’s Madhouse, the craziest club in Los Angeles.
Take the vacation of a lifetime—in beautiful North Korea? That’s Uri Tours’ pitch. Lloyd Grove reports.
In ‘Mapping Manhattan,’ explore the city via 75 New Yorkers’ personal geographies. By Allison McNearney.