Finally. Technology became my friend again today. At least for the time being. I’ll be slow-rolling multiples posts over the next week or so to get caught up on the backlog. Hopefully you’ll agree a little binge viewing beats them coming at you in one fell swoop. If you’re a subscriber, you’ll get them via email as they’re published; if you’re not, just remember to scroll down and go back in time. And thanks for hanging in there, everyone – I can’t wait to get you up to date with my hike along the Inka Trail. But first … it’s back to Mexico.
I’ve been having technical difficulties. And then I got sick. And then I had to travel. And then I got sick again. Meanwhile, my coding issues started to pile up and up and up. Needless to say, it’s been a difficult month. Please stand by – and thanks for your patience. I’ll be back in business by the weekend, fingers crossed!
The former TWA Terminal at John F. Kennedy Airport is a significant example of 20th-Century modern architecture and engineering. A masterpiece of sinuous lines actualized out of poured concrete, it was designed by the mid-century modernist Eero Saarinen. Opened in 1962 it was the final terminal built at what was then called New York International Airport, as well as one of Saarinen’s last projects. Revolutionary and influential, it was Saarinen’s intention that the terminal express the excitement of travel and “reveal the terminal as a place of movement and transition.” Fifty years after the fact it remains as exciting and forward-looking as ever. And dare I say it, soignee. When was the last time an airport – or any public building for that matter – made you feel sexy? Saarinen’s building does just that, while sweeping you up in the promise and possibility of a future that, unfortunately, never quite came to pass. After laying dormant for over a decade, it was recently announced that the terminal would be developed into a luxury hotel. Thanks to Open House New York, yesterday was one of those last-chance opportunities to experience the building in full – before getting caught up in the inevitable tide of transition.
Hall is one of those small-scale wineries that make tasting your way through the Napa Valley so enjoyable: intimate, artisanal, organic, they produce fourteen-odd varietals each season, two of which you might find in your local liquor store – if you’re lucky. Because they’re such a diminutive producer, the majority of their wines sell out via subscription. Which means to taste the breadth of their fabulous Cabernet, you really need to visit theÂ St. Helena estate vineyards. Though currently in the throes of constructing a major new guest experience facility – of which I’ll tell you more later – I still got the chance to relax in the dappled sunlight of the tasting garden and sip my way through a handful of choice bottles. Cabernet is like the Chardonnay of reds: people either love it or loathe it. If your palate falls into the latter camp you might be surprised, however,Â by the pure and vivid flavors Hall achieves. Unfined and unfiltered, these wines are layered, expressive, and totally delicious.
Observe the brave sons of Minnesota, marching off to die in the battle of Big Round Top. This band of Civil War re-enactors took over a field above Castle Williams this weekend on Governor’s Island. In head-to-toe wool they made their Gettysburg encampment, demonstrating firearms, answering questions, and generally reminding everyone who paused to take notice just how primitive and punishing the act of making war once was.
A rose is a rose is a rose, but a mango in any hands other than those of Empellon Cocina chef Alex Stupak wouldn’t taste nearly as sweet. The popular combo of mango, chili and fresh lime so often found hawked on street corners by machete-wielding Latin American women is upended by this chef into an ethereal, yet composed, plate of paper-thin ripe mango mounded into a pillow of sorts, dusted with chili powder, and accompanied by a bracing lime foam and dollops of chili sauce. But that’s not all: hidden beneath the fruity pillow – like a gift from the tooth fairy – is a peeky toe crab salad, which manages to elevate an elegant fruit plate into a savory-sweet appetizer that tickles every part of the tongue.
Fed up with violent passengers, Hong Kong Airlines recently announced that it’s cabin crew will now be required to learn Win Chun, a form of Kung Fu, to fight off aggressive flyers. Apparently in Asia, it is not too unusual to encounter disruptive passengers. The Hong Kong based carrier claims that such incidents occur at least three times a week and bosses at the airline have had enough of flyers hitting out at their staff when flights are delayed or canceled. The short, sharp martial arts techniques are ideal for close combat in the confined spaces of an aircraft cabin, and will be applied to dealing with unruly passengers whose reasoning have been impaired by too many drinks. Itâ€™s all part of the carrier’s new marketing campaign designed to appeal to Asian business travelers, who enjoy the mystique of attractive women defending their honor. No word on whether or not staff will have license to engage in a full-on takedown, but it still sounds pretty badass, if you ask me.
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