Archive for July, 2013
These colored pencil sculptures by Jennifer Maestre are inspired by the form of the sea urchin. They are made from hundreds of pencils which are cut, drilled, sharpened and sewn together with a beading technique.
The Moselle Valley, or “D’Musel” as it is affectionately known as in Luxembourg, is one of Europe’s most celebrated wine regions. It’s also a great jumping off point for a multi-country wine tour since the Moselle Valley spans 3 countries: Luxembourg, Germany, and France. Within Luxembourg, the Moselle Valley makes up the heart of the country’s wine industry. Connoisseurs of white wines will find bliss in the string of tiny towns that make up the Moselle Valley, where small family vineyards specialize in whites like Crémant, Riesling, Auxerrois, and Pinot Gris.
The Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is a microcosm of European culture. Wedged in a small space between Belgium, France, and Germany, Luxembourg has an international feel to it. Home to 150 different nationalities, the country is trilingual, with Luxembourgish, French, and German all serving as official languages. It’s also one of the world’s leading banking headquarters, and it’s home to many branches of the EU as well, contributing to the country’s multinational flavor. Best of all, Luxembourg is clean, modern, and brimming with history and culture.
The heartbeat and capital of the country is Luxembourg City, located in the southern center of the country with all other cities radiating outwards from there, usually within just a 30 minute drive of the capital. In fact, the entire country measures just under 1,000 square miles—roughly 35 miles wide by 50 miles tall—making it one of the smallest countries in Europe, as well as the world. It’s easy to get here by train, with Paris only a couple of hours away, but the best way to get around Luxembourg itself is by car, due to the short distances. Combining a visit to cosmopolitan Luxembourg City with a stopover in one of the country’s outlying regions is a great way to get to know the country. For that perfect mix of city and country, our top choice is the sleepy Moselle Valley wine region near the German and French borders.
The Swiss love their taxidermy, and so do we! While wandering the streets of the Swiss capital of Bern, we came across numerous quirky stuffed critters in store windows that just made us laugh. Deer with wigs in front of hair salons. Bunnies with guns in clothing stores. Bambi and unicorns. Have a look…
Hotel De L’Europe, owned by the Heineken family, is located right in the heart of Amsterdam, with amazing canal views and a vintage euro-chic flare. You enter this hotel through a splendid lobby decked out in red carpets and white sofas and lined from one end to the other with artwork and elegant chandeliers. At the end of the room beyond the bar is one of Amsterdam’s most picturesque views of the Amstel River.
England’s culinary scene has never been hotter. A handful of chefs in the nation’s capital are challenging the very idea of classic British cuisine. What has emerged is a celebration of English roots with a delightfully modern twist.
Leading the revolution in innovative British cuisine are a scattering of talented chefs, one being celebrity chef Marcus Wareing. His namesake restaurant, located inside the Berkeley hotel in London’s Knightsbridge district, serves up nouveau british cuisine accented by rich flavors and creative presentation. He also recently opened his second restaurant in St. Pancras: The Gilbert Scott.
Dresden, Germany has reinvented itself over the years. In the past, the name Dresden may have conjured up memories of war—specifically the firebombing that took place here during World War II. Some locals refer to the bombings as the “deconstruction” of Dresden, which seems appropriate since Dresden has gracefully “reconstructed” itself back to its former splendor, painstakingly piecing itself back together over time based on historical documentation and detailed photographs.
Mermaids, mermen, sea creatures, sea gods and goddesses—oh my! Fabulous glitter infused costumes were everywhere as revelers payed tribute to the sea this year for the 30th anniversary of the Coney Island Mermaid Parade. Although the parade was originally cancelled due to lack of funds, a successful Kickstarter fundraising campaign fixed all that, and mermaid lovers the world over rejoiced.