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5 Fun Miami Events For Your 2017 Calendar List

October 21, 2016 by  

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Art Basel in Miami Image via Flickr user Ines Hegedes-Garcia Every day — and night — in Miami is a party, which can make it difficult to remember the city is one of the top event destinations in the United States. In fact, nearly 1 in 10 of the 8 million visitors who came to Miami in 2015 came for an event, according to a recent report by the Convention and Visitor’s Bureau. No matter which time of the year you plan a trip to Miami — and indeed, whether or not you plan to host your own special event after night falls — here are five Miami events you probably haven’t heard of. South Beach Comedy Festival Miami’s funny in a roundabout way, such as how you probably dance after a few too many drinks off Collins Avenue. The city’s comedy takes a more official form each March, however, when the South Beach Comedy Festival rolls into town. The South Beach Comedy Festival boasts a mix of up-and-coming local comedians and established national acts, allowing you to enjoy both familiar

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5 Places to Celebrate & Pick Pumpkins in New York This October

October 20, 2016 by  

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Photo credit: 123RF.com Iced coffee has turned into hot coffee.  Jackets are back.  And I’ve officially stopped wearing peep toe heels to work.  These are all signs that fall is in full swing here in New York. It’s an amazing time to be in the city.  And even though yes, New York is a city, and one with a lot of concrete at that—it in no way means there aren’t plenty of places to enjoy all the great stuff that nature has to offer this time of year.  You want to leaf peep, for example?  Go to Central Park….or Prospect Park.  Or take a fall foliage cruise on the Hudson.  The possibilities are endless.  Or maybe leaf peeping isn’t your thing—you’d rather go fall wine tasting.  No problem.  Take the Ikea ferry to Red Hook Winery, which offers tastings every day from 11 am-5 pm. And then there’s pumpkin picking, the classic fall activity.  Full disclosure—a year ago I probably would have directed you to Whole Foods, because that’s sadly where I bought my own pumpkin.  This year though, I went for the full fall experience at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, and I can tell…

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Why Head to Beautiful Sarajevo

October 15, 2016 by  

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When the owners of my guest house in Mostar, Bosnia picked me up, they seemed genuinely endeared by my interest in their country—and adamant that theirs wouldn’t be the only Bosnian city I visited. “You must go to Sarajevo,” they insisted. “It’s incredible, but in a very different way than Mostar.” At the time, I smiled and nodded, not wanting to explain to them that my two weeks in the Balkans were packed as it was. The more research I did on Sarajevo, however, the more visiting the city seemed like a good idea.

1. Sarajevo is kind of a hot mess—the best kind

An amalgam of buildings old and new, huge and tiny, gorgeous and hideous, Sarajevo kind of doesn’t make sense, from a visual perspective, a fact that mirrors its cultural schizophrenia. It’s the sort of over-the-top eclecticism that Berlin markets itself as having, but has almost completely lost 25 years after the wall fell. Sarajevo, to be sure, bears few scars of war—a sense of triumph rises from the city like its dozens of minarets.

2. It’s a living museum

In fact, it’s just a few minutes’ walk from the minaret of the magnificent King Fayd Mosque that you…

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Walks Through New York City’s Tribeca

October 12, 2016 by  

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For the last four years, Tribeca has been my home—or maybe half my home, since I am right on the border of the Financial District.   And it really feels like home to me, more so than any other place I’ve ever lived so I’m delighted to take you on a walking tour of my favorite spots and under-the-radar gems. Photo credit: Sheraton Tribeca New York Hotel

Starting Point

Take the 4/5/6 to Brooklyn Bridge or the 2/3 to Park Place.  Once you get above ground, head toward the Brooklyn Bridge for one of the best walks the city has to offer.  Since I promised under-the-radar gems, I should acknowledge that this is obviously not one of them—but it is one of my favorite things to do in the neighborhood, and probably the one that makes me feel the luckiest to live where I do.  Make sure you stop to take pictures of both the Lower and Upper Manhattan skylines when you get closer to the Brooklyn side—they are quite stunning. bkbridge1 bkbridge3 On any other day I’d tell you to follow the bridge all the way into…

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Lightroom Tutorial For Editing Your Wildlife Travel Photos

October 12, 2016 by  

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I’m no philosopher but I can deeply relate to Buber’s sentiment, they don’t call our eyes the windows to the soul for no reason. When editing in Lightroom, specifically wildlife photographs, I’m always immediately drawn to the eyes of which ever animal I’m looking at and my gut instinct is always to enhance them. Without doing another single thing to the photo this immediately gives it more of an impact. The example that I’ll be looking at is this image of the Tamboti female; the light was quite dim and there is a bit of grain so it is an image that will demonstrate quite nicely the impact of simply enhancing the eyes. blog-1-copy In order to bring out the best in an eye there are a couple of fairly easy steps that you can take. Firstly, I always lift the shadows off. The structure of an animal’s face can often create shadows that dull the colour and the shine, especially if it is not looking into direct light. The best way to lift shadows in a specific area, rather than doing it to the whole image, is to


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The SAND Conference Hits San Jose/Silicon This Month

October 11, 2016 by  

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The SAND Conference (aka Science and Non Duality for those new to the event or concept) is one of my favorite events of the year. The event weaves in dialogue around consciousness, mind/body balance and meditation with science, art and technology all in one place — you are bound to think about the world in a new way by the end of the weekend. From experiential classes on sound, art, meditation, Qigong, yoga, breathing, and tantra, to lectures on Quantum Physics and everything in between, SAND brings together an incredible group of smart and caring thinkers that will leave you more than just a little transformed. Held every year in San Jose California, be sure to read up my recap of SAND 2015, SAND 2014 and SAND 2012. Speakers range from Middle East-born Hameed Ali (A. H. Almaas) who is an author and founder of the Diamond Approach, a spiritual teaching that utilizes a unique kind of inquiry into realization, where the practice is the expression of realization, world renowned guru Deepak Chopra who has published more than 70 books on consciousness and spirituality, Matthew Fox, an internationally…

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The Travel Guide to Karlovy Vary Beyond Thermal Springs & Storybook-Like Walks

October 9, 2016 by  

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Since the Medieval Era, Karlovy Vary has been renowned for the healing properties of its thermal spring waters in removing toxins and purifying the body. Rich in minerals, potassium, calcium and magnesium, the water has been referred to by Europeans as ‘The miracle mineral water’ since as far back as the 18th century. An added benefit of Karlovy Vary (also known as Karlsbad), is that the town and surrounding area is remarkably beautiful with its storybook-like promenade and houses that run along the river. It makes for a great side trip from Prague since its easy to get to and is relatively close by bus or car. Additionally, this western Bohemian picturesque town is surrounded by both cultural and nature activities in addition to its positive wellness benefits. Stunning, right? Join me on a journey through Karlovy Vary where I’ll recommend fun things to do, see, eat and drink there, the latter being the main reason people go and I don’t mean alcohol. The architecture is another thing about Karlovy Vary; see the uniformed yet beautiful row of houses that run along the river and well, me…hamming it up in the foreground. We stayed…

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Behind the Scenes at the Moser Glassworks Factory in Bohemia

October 7, 2016 by  

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If you’ve traveled long enough or are an art or glass lover, you’re bound to know about the world famous Bohemian glass. Truth be told, I’ve always been more of a pottery and ceramic lover than glass, but when you’re in Bohemia, you can’t not marvel at the artistry, especially since it’s a cut above other glass works you’ll likely see on your journeys. It’s such a cut above the rest, that I even bought myself a little bowl before leaving the Czech Republic. Where to go and how to find the best? There are no shortage of glass shops throughout the city, a large volume of them being in old town Prague, but the prices there tend to be a little pricier than if you find an out of the way glass shop or travel to nearby Moser Glass Museum and Glassworks Factory. You can take day trips out to the museum however I’d suggest at least an overnight in the area since Moser is located in Karlovy Vary after all, the oldest and most traditional spa town in the Czech Republic. I can’t marvel enough about the picturesque town along a storybook-like river and you can stay…

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