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The Majestic-ness of India’s Aina Mahal

September 19, 2016 by  

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For a man of his artistic genius and versatility to nearly fade from the narrative within three centuries of his existence is a tad baffling. But for one-line references and the odd paragraph in numerable writings, travel guides, and coffee table books themed around Kutch arts and crafts, little is known of Ram Singh Malam, an incredibly multi-faceted craftsman, today. Were it not for the Aina Mahal (Palace of Mirrors), his greatly diminished but still abiding pièce de résistance, Malam could well have been an easily missed footnote in the history of the arts. If you’re not familiar with Aina Mahal or where it is, this incredible structure is an 18th-century palace next to the Prag Mahal in Bhuj, Gujarat, India that was built by Rao Lakhpatji in 1761. It was constructed with marble walls adorned with gold lace and glass and the walls of the palace are of white marble covered with mirrors separated by gilded ornaments with shades of Venetian glass. It has a whole lotta wow throughout!!  Above, Aina Mahal, Hall of Mirrors, Palace Hamirsar Lake — Photo credit: www.gujarattourism.com. If anything has endured, it is the prolific accounts of how he arrived on 18th century European shores…

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Top 10 Travel Guide to Upstate New York’s Finger Lakes Region

September 11, 2016 by  

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The Finger Lakes Region in Upstate New York boasts so many things to do, it’s hard to know where to begin. I’d imagine most guides might start with wine, so I’ll start with what I love about this region the most: NATURE which includes the incredibly beautiful lakes in the region. Here, you have an opportunity to tap all the fun things you can do ON the lake, as well as around it, such as hiking and biking. Since I grew up on an Adirondack lake, I spent more time ON the lake, largely driving a boat or being dragged in some capacity behind one. Below are top ten fun things to explore in the Finger Lakes Region, from water sports, boating and nature to food, wine, arts and culture.

Water Sports

From kayaking and canoeing to paddle boarding, tubing and waterskiing, there are plenty of options with so many lakes at your disposal. While we spent most of our time on Keuka Lake and Seneca Lake, there are activities on all of them if you have enough time to make your way around the whole Finger Lakes circuit. Below is taken of Keuka while a storm was a’ brewing…

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Ten Great End of Summer Books to Read

September 2, 2016 by  

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end of summer travel books Flipping the calendar to September may signal a change in seasons, but it doesn’t mean the summer’s dead yet. With a bit of optimism and a last-minute trip – or a travel book that’s just as adventurous – you can stretch things out a little bit longer. These ten books, both old and new, feature summer and fall jaunts — each one shows how to turn those sunshine moments into a year-round affair. The Loose Ends List 1. The Loose Ends List, Carrie Firestone – “The end” seems faster when it’s not just the season that’s passing away, but your own grandmother. Maddie’s fun summer disappears when she finds out Gram has cancer, and wants the family to join her on a “death with dignity” cruise. Foreign destinations can’t distract Maddie from the tender lesson that goodbye is never a simple word. (Young Adult genre at it’s lovable, laughable best). Free Air 2. Free Air, Sinclair Lewis  – 1920s America isn’t ready for a feisty heroine like Claire Boltwood. The East Coast socialite drives her dad West for relaxing scenery and…

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Venice Italy: 5 Classically Known Romantic Spots

August 21, 2016 by  

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Here are five classic romantic stops for your Venice bucket list. Truth be told friends, this is not off the beaten path, but they are traditional sites in Venice that you must experience, particularly if it’s your first time. For second and third times and beyond, it’s a bit like Paris that way – who doesn’t love a gondola ride and the architecture of St. Mark’s Church? For romantic moments, take in the experience very deeply in each and every spot.

 Grand Canal

Getting a gondola will remain a highlight from my time in Venice — it is for a lot of people as it has such a long lasting memory. It’s beautiful, romantic and unique — imagine sailing down the fantastic grand canal, a must do regardless of how touristy it is to do. This is the famous one, though admittedly some of the smaller canals also have their charm. The Canal Grande snakes through the city of Venice in a large S shape, traveling from the Saint Mark Basin on one end to a lagoon near the Santa Lucia rail station on the other. This ancient waterway measures 2.36 long and ranges from 100-300 feet wide. In most places,…

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5 Top Awe-Inspiring Attractions to See in New Delhi

August 13, 2016 by  

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Let’s face it — India can be overwhelming and chaotic as much as it can be beautiful and awe-inspiring. India is a test of your travel adrenalin and at the same time, one of the most beautiful destinations to visit in Asia.  New Delhi is one of its massive cities that you can’t miss and is full of significant  history. There is so much to see and do, that it can be daunting to choose if you have a short period of time.  Here are five top places to hit when you’re in New Delhi, all of which will be a marvel for the architecture, historical buffs, photography lovers and culture enthusiast readers.

 Chandni Chowk & Other Market Gems

To really get the feel of what old India would have been like, then put some time aside to visit the historic Chandi Chowk market located in the heart of old Delhi. The Chandi Chowk is till today one of the busiest open air markets in New Delhi and is close to a lot of beautiful temples and monuments, making it a great place to start your journey through New Delhi. If you’re feeling really adventurous then you should try some…

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Pompie’s Place NYC Pop-Up, for 1930th’s Out-on-the-Town Energy

August 9, 2016 by  

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From the outside, it looked like any ordinary Second Avenue club. Of course, the raves from The New York Times in the windows betokened otherwise. IMG_4073 IMG_4046 And the tough guy out front looked, auspiciously, like he might be called Max. IMG_4038 So we went in. IMG_4041 Presto!  Instant coolness.  The space waslively, elegant, everyone chattering whichway, and filling up fast.  It was, it turned out, downtown’s hippest alternative supper-club: Pangea, at 178 Second Avenue. Then this unreconstructed rogue named Pompie took the spotlight in his fine-lookin’ tux. IMG_4056 Talking about how he owns this joint we’re in, Pompie’s Place, “this little den of iniquities,” and it’s actually not in New York but Chicago, and it’s actually not 2016 but the depth of the Depression, and he’s got some smuggled hooch to wet our palates.  “Smells like a woman,” he leered, slapping some on his cheeks like aftershave.  Finally, to clinch the deal, he introduced us to his bouncer, and of course it was the tough from outside, and his name, indeed, was Max.

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3 Off-the-Beaten Path Theater Acts in San Francisco

August 3, 2016 by  

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If you’er a music lover, you’ll want to take note of three theaters doing some creative work in San Francisco. I’m a huge fan of Broadway, jazzy tunes and Cabaret and while New York might “own” that world, it doesn’t mean you can’t find some compelling performances elsewhere in the country. Recently, I took in three different acts all of which has great talent behind the productions. Let’s start with Cabaret vocalist Sandra McKnight who has an act she calls Get Happy Now, which is centered around happiness. She sang at Society Cabaret, an organization that is churning out some great performances in the heart of San Francisco. On piano was David Austin who is also Musical Director. An uninhibited celebration of Happiness, Love and Joy! Sandra brought her warmth, spirit and humor from Santa Fe, NM to perform her musical adventure of Broadway songs, Standards and Light-hearted Anecdotes. Tunes by Gershwin, Harold Arlen, Kander & Ebb, Carole King, James Taylor, Sophie Tucker.  All things Cabaret, she chooses very sensitive and emotional ballads on love, joy, relationships, including with yourself, and happiness. As part of her act, she also does a sexy red-hot tribute to Sophie Tucker.  

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Interested in Astrology? Check Out Mobile App Time Passages!

July 27, 2016 by  

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While it’s still hard for me to understand astrology on an intellectual level, I’ve had enough mystical experiences with both top astrologists and everyday people who’ve looked me in the eye just to say “you’re definitely a Scorpio.” At this point I’ve accepted that astrology is a part of our lives and has, in my opinion, some sort of imprinting on our personality, countenance, and our relationship with both ourselves and the world at large. While nothing is written in stone, I’ve found that is can serve as a good compass to explain things that otherwise seem much more confusing than they need to be. Time Passages has, for me, been a very entertaining and enlightening app on my iPhone that I use sometime as a powerful tool and other times simply as a form of entertainment. The app provides detailed information about your birth-chart and any other cohorts you may decide to program in – the best part is the chart comparison – chart compatibility is rated from 1 to 10 in different arenas such as relationship longevity, sexual attraction, money, and communication. While I may not always want to agree…

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