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Celebrate Pride in Taipei at Largest LGBT Pride Parade in Asia

October 23, 2014 by  

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PRIDE Asia’s largest and most colorful Gay Pride Parade is held on the last Saturday in October in Taipei each year. This year, Taipei’s annual Pride Parade is happening on October 25, 2014. The parade attracts tens of thousands of local supporters and visitors from abroad each year. Over 65,000 people participated in the 2012 Pride Parade. Last year Taipei’s Pride Parade attracted more than 67,000 supporters. Parade organizers are expecting even more visitors to show their support for the LGBT community this year! Taiwan is one of the most progressive countries in Asia, and it has long been known for being gay-friendly. Equal rights is a huge issue in Taiwan, and Taipei’s Pride Parade serves as a colorful reminder that showing respect for sexual diversity and equal rights is important to everyone. The parade starts at the Presidential Building at Ketagalan Boulevard, and typically follows the same route each year. The whole event takes around two hours, so wear comfortable shoes and bring water with you. You can expect plenty of entertainment with elaborate floats, bubble machines, marching groups, drag queens, giant rainbow colored flags and banners, and music. This year, please show your support for Taiwan’s LGBT community and say no to discrimination and…

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UBUNTU Music & Arts Festival at Carnegie Hall This Month

October 21, 2014 by  

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The Ubuntu Festival, which is a tribute to Nelson Mandela and South Africa’s rich musical heritage, launched on October 8, 2014 and runs through November 5 at Carnegie Hall in New York City. South Africa is a dizzying patchwork of cultures and languages with 11 official tongues, including isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho, Afrikaans, and English. From this diversity emerges a dynamic and impassioned cultural life like none other on earth. Carnegie Hall salutes this vibrant nation with a festival called UBUNTU: Music and Arts of South Africa. Roughly translating to mean “I am because you are,” ubuntu is a philosophy from Southern Africa that emphasizes the importance of community, influencing recent moves of reconciliation and inclusion in South Africa that were fostered by the late Nelson Mandela. Dedicated to Mandela’s legacy, Carnegie Hall’s UBUNTU festival celebrates the many threads that make up South Africa’s vibrant musical culture. The festival also extends throughout New York City with events at leading cultural institutions, crossing arts disciplines to include music, film, art exhibitions, and more. “In creating the Ubuntu festival, we were inspired by the cultural life of this incredibly diverse country,” said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall’s Executive and Artistic Director in a South Africa media…

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Over a Million Flood Toronto’s Streets For The Nuit Blanche Art Festival

October 21, 2014 by  

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Nuit Blanche is an annual art festival that takes place in various cities around the world, including Toronto.  It starts at sunset and finishes up at sunrise. Over one million people flood the streets and take in the various exhibits scattered throughout the downtown. This is what it looked like on Queen Street West this year.   Queen Street West closed to traffic and open to thousands
  Queen Street West closed to traffic and open to thousands   Over the years, the festival itself has been great and other years, boring. Last year, dry. This year, fun and inspiring. People enjoyed themselves and the energy was great.One of the exhibits that really made it for me was the Global Rainbow. Created by Yvette Mattern, it consists of a ‘high specification laser light projection beaming in parallel horizontal lines creating a natural perspective horizon arc simulating a natural rainbow arc with a trajectory of up to 60 km’. Impressive. It wasn’t projecting that far but it can be seen from virtually any point in downtown Toronto. Three people supervise the installation from the top of a parking lot in Kensington Market, about 2km NNW of…

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Idea Festival 2014 For Those Who Are Forever Curious

October 19, 2014 by  

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Imagine an eclectic conference in the heart of bourbon country that brings together thought leaders, big thinkers, educators, scientists, politicians, urban planners, technologists, authors, artists, students and musicians under one roof? And…that is not by all means an exhaustive list. Idea Festival is the one event that I’ve jumped on an airplane for every year, bound for Louisville Kentucky to make the time for a four day discussion on creativity and innovation. Last year’s event coverage will give you a taste of who they attract and while the focus may change slightly depending on who’s on the main stage, the mission remains the same: to Stay Curious. Hear from founder and the force behind Idea Festival Kris Kimel; a snippet from a video I shot a couple of years ago will demonstrate his passion for the event and why he started it.  Think of it as an intellectual playground in one of America’s most interesting southern cities where people celebrate ideas, creativity and transformational learning across multiple disciplines, including science, technology, design, education, philosophy, business and the arts. While not in any of these categories, Walgreen’s Chief Diversity Officer Steve

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Hrönn Marinósdóttir Chats About The Reykjavik International Film Festival

October 17, 2014 by  

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I recently sat down with Hrönn Marinósdóttir, the very busy Festival Director for the Reykjavik International Film Festival (RIFF). We talked about film in Iceland, the humble beginnings of RIFF, the obstacles the festival has faced, the unique ways film goers can watch a film here (it involves swimming pools and caves)and of course, where the festival goes from here. I thank Hrönn for taking time out of our day to spend some time. If you love venturing to off-the-beaten-path adventures sprinkled with culture, then RIFF is for you.


6 Places to Lap Up Luxury, Culture & Spa Treatments in Zurich

October 16, 2014 by  

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Lap up the luxury at The Dolder Grand in Zurich Switzerland. The 5 star luxury property touts 176 luxurious rooms and suites, exquisite cuisine, a spa covering 4,000 square metres, generous banqueting and seminar facilities and a remarkable art collection. The original “Curhaus” dating from 1899 presents itself as the luxury-class City Resort. The hotel’s elevated location, between the pulsating life of the city and a refreshingly natural green zone, provides a magnificent view of the city of Zurich, the lake and the Alps. The rooms are oh tres modern and have stunning views of the rest of the property as well as the city. Details: www.thedoldergrand.com.  For the chic and healthy among you, check out the B2B Boutique Hotel & Spa which is located inside Zurich’s old Hurlimann Brewery. The rooms are quaint but funky and two key reasons to stay include the on-site spa which touts all things wellness and the historical 36 foot ceiling library lounge which has an astonishing number of books, 33,000 last we checked. Details: www.b2boutiquehotels.com If you have an artsy and creative bent to you, try

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Albuquerque Has Tons To Offer From Breweries to Rattlesnakes

October 13, 2014 by  

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When I arrived in Albuquerque New Mexico, I first headed over to Sadie’s of New Mexico for dinner. What started out as one tiny Mexican restaurant with room for 35 people has grown into a chain with four different locations. Besides the tasty food [I tried the salsa, cheese con case, guacamole, the "Amanda" salad (with nuts, raisins and avocado, served with a chili dressing) and the Sopaipillas (after my host Jim pointed out that I'm probably the first person to ever eat at Sadie's who didn't actually know what a Sopaipilla was)], Jim also took me to their back outdoor area to actually teach me how to properly cook a chili pepper. Allow me to demonstrate via photos: _DSC6661 Jim used his restaurant-grade oven to grill the peppers, but you can use your broiler, taking care to turn the chili’s every couple minutes so that every side gets even attention. _DSC6664 _DSC6668 _DSC6679 When they’re done, you can place them in a restaurant-grade plastic bag (which won’t melt) to let them cool (or to freeze them if you don’t want…

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A Chat With Oakland Musician Michele Kappel-Stone

October 11, 2014 by  

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Oakland musician Michele Kappel-Stone is one of those rare hybrids of cool, talented and nice. The Baltimore native is always playing somewhere and she’s a seemingly tireless advocate of her fellow artists. When she’s not working on her own projects, she can often be found sitting in with another band, helping book a show or organizing an event for The California Roots Union.
I’ve been catching  Kappel-Stone on various stages in various guises — playing as Tippy Canoe, putting together shows at The Starry Plough — around the Bay for years, but one of my favorite of her artistic incarnations is her recent collaboration with Laura Benitez, Heartache Sisters.  The duo project is a winning spin-off of Laura Benitez & The Heartache in which Kappel-Stone plays drums and sings backup. The duo’s voices blend well, they can play multiple instruments, they exude fun and look great doing it. Think Shovels & Rope crossed with Loretta Lynn and you start to get an idea of what the Heartache Sisters have going on.
After meeting up for coffee in the burgeoning Grand Lake District of Oakland, which she now calls home, Kappel-Stone answered some questions


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