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The Ultimate Culture & Adventure Guide to Sedona Arizona

May 27, 2015 by  

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Sedona Arizona isn’t an unknown destination for Americans who are seeking a combination of luxury, wellness and spirituality — in fact, despite the fact that it’s become more commercialized over the years, it remains a romantic and spiritual-seeking getaway for people who love the outdoors. My most recent trip in February certainly wasn’t my first, but each and every time I’ve taken the time to relax in Sedona over the years, I’ve had a positive experience. Could it be the magical red rocks that surround the entire town? Could it be the quirky things you can do there in nature, like hikes on trails that are known to have vortexes, exploring the mystical red rocks in a pink jeep, the outstanding spas and healing centers, the fabulous restaurants or the outrageous views? Anthony had never been to Sedona before, and so I tried to prepare him for what to expect, not just when we arrived, but the views you suddenly get out of nowhere as you make your way south on the Flagstaff road. The road winds its way around passes and if you’re driving you might just miss the steep rocks that spike straight up from the…

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The San Francisco International Arts Festival Kick-Off

May 23, 2015 by  

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I’ve been a fan of the San Francisco International Arts Festival ever since I learned about it, roughly 5 years ago. Andrew Wood and his team do an incredible job bringing together a global community of artists and audiences for performances every Spring. The organization presents innovative projects that are focused on increasing human awareness and understanding. SFIAF’s curatorial priorities include developing collaborative projects led by Bay Area artists working with their national and international peers and presenting world-class international artists who often do not have US representation and whose work is rarely (or never previously) seen in the United States. For well over ten years, they have had over 100 presenting partners involved and produced performances by over 150 arts ensembles from the Bay Area and 50 countries, as well as conducting numerous educational and outreach activities. How cool is that? I also love the fact that the organization’s core values are based on principals of cultural and economic equity. I went to the kick off of their 2015 season which along with a preview of a variety of performances, had a reception at San Francisco’s Fort Mason, and a surprise “performance,” which was more more of…

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Serenity & Crafts in Asia on Myanmar’s Inle Lake

May 17, 2015 by  

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Early morning on Inle Lake, Myanmar Inle Lake lies in the center of Myanmar (formerly, Burma) in the hills and heart of the Shan State. While only the second largest fresh-water lake in Myanmar with a surface area of about 45 sq. miles, Inle is unique: many of its native flora and fauna are not found anywhere else in the world. However, as the recently “opened” Myanmar attracts increasing numbers of tourists, Inle’s fame rests these days more on its indigenous people and their crafts than on the rarity of certain fish species. During our recent visit to Inle Lake we were continually amazed at some of the indigenous crafts of the lake’s denizens, as well as the sheer beauty of the lake. Lotus blossom. Lotus blossom. Lotus Weavers A visit to a local lotus fabric work shop absolutely stunned us. We’d never known you can make actual thread and cloth from the fibrous threads of a lotus plant. With Inle so shallow (7-12 ft. depending on the season) lotus plants abound. The long interior fibers of the stalk are stripped from the tougher husk, worked together into a thread,…

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The Must See & Do Guide to Santa Fe New Mexico

May 16, 2015 by  

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We recently went on a lovely cultural trip to Santa Fe New Mexico, which included stops to a myriad of restaurants, historical landmarks, art galleries, restaurants, spas, hotels, artisan shops and cafes. For a summary and overview, I’ve organized some recommendations below about what to see and do for cultural aficiondos. Below, is all things adobe a couple of short blocks from the main Plaza. Historical and cultural attractions in this area include St. Francis Cathedral, Palace of the Governors, Loretto Chapel, San Miguel Mission and the New Mexico State Capital. There’s also a great History Museum, the Spiegelberg Museum, the New Mexico Museum of Art Shop, and to the north on Kearney Avenue, a stone’s throw from Gonzales Drive, lies the Cross of the Martyrs. Overlooking Santa Fe, this reinforced concrete cross stands 25 feet tall and weighs 76 tons, and commemorates the death of 21 Franciscan friars and numerous Spanish colonists during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680. It was dedicated during Santa Fe Fiesta of 1920 and was the site of candlelight processions for many years. In 1925 the fiesta procession attracted about 3,000 people, and…

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Taking a Tour of the Bronx Just May Surprise You…

May 16, 2015 by  

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I first learned about Bronx Tours on social media, when the founder and the brains behind the operation Alexandra Maruri commented on one of my earlier Bronx posts. Given her in-depth knowledge of the Bronx, she asserted that perhaps I could be exposed to a few diamonds in the rough. She was absolutely right and that was before I had the pleasure of visiting the Bronx Zoo and the Botanical Gardens for the first time. Intrigued, we started a dialogue which led to us following each other’s worlds on Instagram and Twitter. It then led to conversations about foodie tours, cultural excursions and restaurants, which is when I learned about the her tours of the Bronx, which range from cultural, artistic and educational to nature, historical and food. It was Alex who recommended many of the restaurants we reviewed here on We Blog the World. Crikey, I even wrote about Fourth of July fireworks in the Bronx last July. We had quite an eye opening time as we sampled delicious food across a number of neighborhoods over the course of six months — from the bowels of the South

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La Posada Hotel, Where Art & Comfort Meet Fun and Creativity in Winslow Arizona

May 13, 2015 by  

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I discovered La Posada by accident while I was online doing some research on Arizona’s Petrified Forest and the Painted Desert. I couldn’t find the kind of resort or hotel I was looking for at first, something that exuded a combination of luxury, nature and adventure. In a little place called Winslow Arizona along the infamous Route 66 that runs across America, La Posada finally came onto the screen and after one glance at its incredibly funky, creative and dreamy rooms, I knew I had to visit. It’s currently owned by Allan Affeldt, however the architect behind it is Mary Elizabeth Jane Colter. The property has quite a history, starting with Fred Harvey, who “civilized the west” by introducing linen, silverware, china, crystal, and impeccable service to railroad travel. He was so legendary that MGM made a movie called The Harvey Girls starring Judy Garland. Harvey developed and ran all the hotels and restaurants of the Santa Fe Railway, eventually controlling a hospitality empire that spanned the continent. In the 1920′s, Harvey built a hotel in the center of northern Arizona and called it “La Posada” aka the Resting Place, which was slated to be the finest…

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Jamming with Memphis Music Legend Barbara Blue at Lafayette’s Music Room

May 3, 2015 by  

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Lafayette’s Music Room is a historical venue in Memphis Tennessee but apparently had gone “dark” for years. Today, it stands strong in Memphis Midtown’s revitalized Overton Square, a fun and funky area that boasts a number of great shops, restaurants and bars. It is also home to some of the best live music in town, seven nights a week. The original Lafayette’s was a small but influential venue rooted in in the most happening corridor of Memphis, and the venue played host to many stars before they were famous such as Billy Joel and KISS. This is where we were introduced to the ever so electric and intoxicating energy and sound of Barbara Blue, a bit of a music legend in Memphis. While she mostly plays at a regular venue on Beale Street, she managed to get everyone in Lafayette’s clicking their heals and clapping their hands all night long. Man, what a sound. Man, what an energy! Born and raised in Pittsburgh, Barbara has had the blues since the day she was born. She’s had her own band since 1989 and with them and solo, she is progressing right up blues alley.

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Diving Deep into the Future at an Arc Fusion Jeffersonian Dinner

April 30, 2015 by  

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Ever heard of a Jeffersonian Dinner? I’ve been invited to one or two over the last few years, one of which was being held in Washington DC, where it was birthed in the 1800′s by none other than Thomas Jefferson himself. Because of those invitations, I had some vague idea of what they were, but never actually participated in one until the Arc Fusion folks hosted one recently in San Francisco. Thomas Jefferson Photo credit: www.smithsonianmag.com   Rewind the clock to 1819 and visualize yourself at a long and decadently adorned table with Thomas Jefferson at Monticello, his elegant Virginia home. Around the table, you’re seated with a group of people steeped deep in culture, philosophy, education, history, politics, art, literature, science and theology. The idea behind a Jeffersonian Dinner is to bring people together from different disciplines, creating a new cause-centered community around a topic of importance or significance you might want to discuss for whatever reason. This can be done to tap into new resources, raise funds for a non profit or important issue, or simply to expand the group’s thinking about a variety of topics. It’s important that it be somewhat intimate so…

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