Exhausted from all that shopping and site-seeing during the holidays? Nothing a little tea and dessert can’t fix. Here are some of the best spots—and best pairings—to keep you going.Grant Harder/Getty
An artist in New Mexico has spent decades chiseling out fantastical caves from the mountains, one pickaxe swing at a time.Courtesy of CaveDigger
One of the world’s best beautiful and charming cities is also the new home of novelist Taiye Selasi. She talks to Henry C. Krempels about her favourite haunts, why the city insipires her, and new writers not to be missed.
One hundred pages into her career as a novelist, Taiye Sleasi had signed a two-book contract and could count Nobel winner Toni Morrison as a fan. Perhaps it’s understandable then, that the next hundred or so pages that completed her debut took much longer to write, with an agonizing six-month block and two different emigrations in between. Now living in Rome (via Paris) the part Ghanaian, part Nigerian, British-born, American-educated author of the widely admired Ghana Must Go, is writing the second book set in the city she now lives.
Here the 33-year-old speaks about how she ended up in Rome, the significance of beauty in her work, and why, in a place which displays such rich cultural history on almost every corner, she spends a lot of time on her own in an empty bar.
Could you describe the area of the Rome you live in?
I live in Trastevere, which is just opposite the centro storico and is one of the most atmospheric and quintessentially Roman parts of the city. It’s incredible. It sort of like, I don’t know how to describe it, I remember once talking about it and saying it was like the Brooklyn of Rome but that’s not quite right. It really has its own particular charm.
At which point it hurts to breathe.
This should stop your complaining about the current snowy forecast. Scientists announced on Monday findings from NASA satellite data that showed East Antarctica set the record for coldest temperature ever measured in August 2010. The frigid tundra reached 135.8 degrees Fahrenheit below zero, and this past July almost hit that low again, reaching -135.3 degrees. At that temperature, scientists say, it's painful to breathe.
Some of the Dutch Golden Era’s best works, including ‘Girl with the Pearl Earring,’ are making the final stop in their American tour at The Frick Collection. See them while you can.
The Yayoi Kusama exhibit isn’t the only show in New York that people are willing to wait in long, cold lines to experience. At the Frick Collection on the Upper East Side, droves of visitors are turning out daily to see, Vermeer, Rembrandt, and Hals: Masterpieces of Dutch Painting From the Mauritshuis.
The collection, normally based at the Royal Picture Gallery Mauritshuis in The Hague, has been on a world tour while the prominent Dutch museum it calls home undergoes renovations. The Frick Collection is the final American stop for the exhibit, which includes fifteen works from the Dutch Golden Age, some of which have not travelled in decades.
Mauritshuis Exibition October 22, 2013 to January 19, 2014 At The Frick Collection (Michael Bodycomb/The Frick Collection)
Roughly occurring in the 17th century, the Dutch Golden Age saw a rapid expansion in the Netherland’s wealth and power, both domestically after the Thirty Year’s War and internationally with the growth of the Dutch East India Company. Much of the increased wealth was spent cultivating one of the most significant levels of art production in history. Despite the plethora of Dutch works from this period that fill museums worldwide, some experts believe that only one to ten percent of the total art produced during this time survives.
Gianfranco Soldera makes one of the world’s most coveted Italian wines—and was the target of a break-in that sent $25 million in vino down the drain. Why does he have so many enemies?
It’s just past the one-year anniversary when Gianfranco Soldera, a complex 76-year-old man who makes some of the most coveted Brunello di Montalcino in the world, slumbered in his Tuscan home, unaware of the carnage about to take place. It was a few weeks before Christmas but not all creatures were snug in bed. A few yards away, under protective darkness, a vandal shattered the bulletproof window of Soldera’s Case Basse winery and opened the spigots on ten botti—huge oak casks used for aging the precious liquid. In a matter of minutes, 61,000 liters of wine spanning five vintages and worth upwards of $25 million went down the winery floors’ drains. As the world woke up on December 3, 2012, so did the rumors and speculation: Mafia attack. Retribution. Disgruntled employee.
Gianfranco Soldera in his wine cellar in Montalcino, Tuscany, Italy. (Manfred Klimek/ASAblanca via Getty)
Any number of people could have committed the painful crime. “Let’s face it,” wrote Jeremy Parzen on his Italian-wine—centric blog, dobianchi.com, when the news broke, “many observers of the Italian wine world (myself included) couldn’t help but think, to borrow a phrase from Lennon, instant karma’s gonna get you.” He concisely summed up what is often unsaid about the man some have described as Montalcino’s most iconic and difficult producer.
For all of his bravado, Soldera’s home at Case Basse is no palazzo, but a humble, sweet stone house at the end of a long cypress-spiked and vine-bordered road. The gentleman himself walks briskly, with a slight stoop. He had a pleasantly jowly face, punctuated by a brushy mustache under his fleshy nose, his pants always fastened to suspenders. When I paid him a visit recently, it was clear that he’d rather be having a root canal than answering questions.
Just when you thought the most competitive sport in Dubai couldn’t get any more exciting, the owners of purebred racing camels have gone and invented remote-control jockeys to whip their dromedaries to victory.
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates
A late-afternoon sandstorm had descended on the Al Marmoom racetrack, some 40 kilometers outside of Dubai, and dust swirled everywhere. But even with the harsh desert weather, the races went ahead as planned.
The camels—many of them owned by the royal families of the United Arab Emirates—galloped along a five-kilometer track, with the fastest ones zipping past the finish line, like clockwork, on or near the 7:40 mark. Stamped with electronic chips for identification, the animals are presented by their owners, along with parentage certificates specifying their breed and age, before every race. Afterwards, the top three finishers are taken to a nearby center to test for doping—routine fare for Dubai’s multimillion-dollar camel racing industry.
A Greenwich Village historian tells us how the bohemian paradise dramatized in the Coen Brothers’ new film ‘Inside Llewyn Davis’ became what it is today—one of the squarest, priciest neighborhoods in New York.
The Coen Brothers’ new movie, Inside Llewyn Davis, is hardly a sunny, soft-focus nostalgia-fest. It depicts a hardscrabble week in the life of the titular folksinger—a period, sometime in the winter of 1961, during which Davis gets punched in the face by a stranger, nearly freezes, coatless, in the bitter New York cold, and has to beg everyone he knows for a sofa to sleep on. The low winter light captured by cinematographer Bruno Delbonnel is lovely, but it’s also as bleak and grey as Davis’s prospects for musical stardom.
And yet, watching the film—a terrific, often hilarious meditation on the desperate sadness of being a nearly great artist—you can’t help wishing that you too were bumming around Greenwich Village in 1961, when the cafes were full of cigarette smoke and folk songs.
Especially when you compare Llewyn Davis’s Greenwich Village to Greenwich Village today—a place where Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs seem to be competing to open the most stores on Bleecker Street and where no one who makes less than $200,000 a year can afford to live.
What happened? For more than a century, Greenwich Village was a bohemian enclave—a cheap, artistic neighborhood where Hart Crane, Willem de Kooning, Isamu Noguchi, Frank O’Hara, Odetta, Jackson Pollock, James Baldwin, and, of course, Bob Dylan, could all live and work. Then, sometime after 1980 or so, everything changed.
The three teams attempting to walk to the South Pole as part of the Virgin Money Allied Challenge battle fatigue in brutal conditions.
The teams of wounded servicemen racing to the South Pole - including one headed by Prince Harry - are suffering 'exhaustion and mental weariness' the organisers of the Virgin Money South Pole Allied Challenge said today.
Guide Eric Philips, who was pulled out of the contest suffering altitude sickness, has now been given the all clear to rejoin the Commonwealth team.
Today is the last full day of ski-ing before an enforced 24 hour rest stop at Checkpoint 1.
A spokesperson for the expedition said, "It goes without saying that the teams are feeling the strain as the extreme cold, elevation, dry air and mental weariness start to make even the simplest tasks a mammoth effort. It has been a steep learning curve for the teams, as the slightest mistake in looking after themselves can lead to disastrous consequences.
There aren’t many places left in the world that are both truly off the beaten path and extraordinary. One town in Burma has over 2,000 stunning ancient temples…and barely any tourists.
In central Burma, a picturesque landscape is the stuff of a photographer's dreams: thousands of peaks spiral upward from 26 miles of flat greenery, framed by the Irrawaddy river and a wall of distant mountains. The ancient city of Bagan stretches as far as the eye can see, with pyramid-stacked red stones, gold domes, and reaching spires of more than 2,200 scattered temples and pagodas comprising the largest collection of Buddhist structures in the world.
After half a century of rule by a military junta that shunned the outside world, Burma’s elections in 2012, plus a recent lifting of international sanctions, have paved the way for long-sought democracy and begun to open up the country. Previously host to only the most intrepid of travelers, Bagan is beginning to attract a new wave of tourists who are taking note of the untouched Asian nation rife with unbeatable scenery—arguably the most beautiful being the mystical, temple-studded region of Bagan.
Originally the capital of the Kingdom of Pagan, the area was once host to between 4,000 and 10,000 temples built between the 11th and 13th centuries. A smitten Marco Polo described it as “a gilded city, alive with tinkling bells and the swishing sounds of monks’ robes,” and declared it “one of the finest sights in the world.” The gild has faded and the metropolis is gone, but monks’ robes still swish through the thousands of structures that remain in one of the world’s greatest archeological sites.
South Beach may host the main Art Basel events, but artists are flocking to Miami’s up-and-coming Wynwood neighborhood, with its galleries, street art, and people watching.
In the neon Day-Glo 1980s—when Miami’s South Beach patios were cluttered with grandmas in rockers, not models with slamming bodies, and the only place to eat on Ocean Drive was the cheerful but not at all chic News Café—Wynwood, north of downtown, was where you’d go to buy a cutting-edge Miami Vice white sofa. And you’d do it fast. No amount of shoulder pad heft could protect you in this less-than-safe place.
Paintings of children are seen on the wall of a building in the Wynwood Walls art project on December 6, 2012 in Miami, Florida. (Joe Raedle/Getty)
One of the first art dealers in the neighborhood at the time, Barbara Gillman, recalls not just dealing in objets d’art, but with real objects, thrown as projectiles through her gallery windows. (She left.)
Although from the outside, parts of Wynwood still resemble Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks”—darkness surrounding a lonely, low-slung diner, a corner wedge of light the only proof of life—inside, instead of cheap barstools and a soda jerk, you might find a waiter delivering tapas or a bearded barista serving organic coffee. And instead of world-weary businessmen, you’ll find late 20-somethings electrified by the latest mural they just snapped on their iPhones, planning their next foray.
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.