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Taking In The Ballet & All Things Summer in Boston

July 20, 2014 by  

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  Recently I went to the Boston Ballet. A childhood ballerina myself, I had no doubt I was going to adore the dances going in, but had little hope for the hubby.  ”Please just stay awake, and I promise we’ll go to The Smith afterwards and order all your favorite things!”, I pleaded. unnamed-14 Come to find out, the Boston Ballet at Lincoln Center was a game changer.  He LOVED it*.  And honestly, I had never seen a ballet quite like it, it reminded me of the edgier troupe at the end of Center Stage that stole the audiences heart…a little less ballet that we think of in the traditional pink tutus and toe shoes, double pirouettes sense, and more theatrical performance art accompanied by techno rock music that keeps you on the edge of your seat wondering, “What’s next?”  We saw the performances The Second Detail (my fave), New Work, and Cacti (the hubby was completely enchanted by this one!) As promised, we did stop by the UWS’s Smith for a dinner of all his favorite things: cheesy grits, french fries, gnocchi, and baguettes.  Carb-loading for a full night’s sleep, darlings! unnamed-15

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The Story of Aladdin on Broadway for a Taste of Arabian Times

June 27, 2014 by  

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The very first movie my mom ever took me to see in theaters as a kid was The Jungle Book, setting the stage for my love of all things Disney and musical.  In 1992, the Disney version of Aladdin came to the screen, and my siblings and I must have watched that VHS copy, oh, a proper 1,572 times over the years. Flash forward to 2014 when Aladdin comes to the biggest off-screen of NYC, Broadway!  My hopes were high, and only to be exceeded by the brilliant directing and choreography (Casey Nicholaw, Tony award winner for directing The Book of Mormon), music (by composer Alan Menken), design of the massive sets, glittery costumes, and other worldly-lighting (Bob Crowley, Gregg Barnes, and Natasha Katz) and the crazy-talented cast (seriously, James Monroe Iglehart who played the Genie just blew the performance out of the park!   He also took home the Tony for Best Performance by an Actor in a Featured Role in a Musical, just FYI.)  A special shout out to the special effect team (led by illusion master Jim Steinmeyer) who was charged with everything from creating magical books to materializing Genies to creating flying carpets

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Learning the Word Surrender at the Fes Festival of Sacred Music

June 24, 2014 by  

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Ever since I heard about the Fes Festival of Sacred Music, I wanted to go. I love devotional music of all kinds, the less I understand the words, the better. I coincided my trip with the festival so I could experience it for a few days. I knew I couldn’t hit up everything I wanted to see but even if I saw a few shows and was just in the atmosphere, I would be satisfied. The Fes Festival of World Sacred Music is one of the signature events of the Spirit of Fes Foundation. The aim of this Festival is to harness the arts and spirituality in the service of human and social development, and the relationship between peoples and cultures. The 20th edition of the Festival ran from June 13 to 21 2014, with: The Conference of the Birds, “Journey of Cultures…” as its theme. I had heard many stories from other travelers about Fes: the hassles, hustles, and fake guides were legend. I arrived by bus from Chefchauen and promptly hopped in a taxi. Wandering around the labyrinthine medina was my favorite. I never got hassled the entire time I was there. The concerts were mostly

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South African Dancers and Singers, Magic for the Soul

June 23, 2014 by  

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For those of you have visited South Africa, you know that the music, dancers and the singers, are as much of the experience as the nature and wildlife is regardless of what time of year you’re visiting the area. Have a look at the warmth and energy you can experience. yy A leader, a warrior and protector. A leader, a warrior and protector. Entertaining our guests in the boma during dinner. Dinner. A spirit of Africa, rich in culture and heritage. A spirit of Africa, rich in culture and heritage. yy One of thousands of stories told around the fire over the years.  The choir in full swing. yy The charm of the choir around the fire. yy A matriarch, Lina Lamula shows her talent. yy A rhythm felt by dancers and guests alike. Simon Smit yy A profile in the low light of the fire. Photographed by: Mike Sutherland and Simon Smit. First photo of fire dance Simon Smit, Photos 2-5 photos: Mike Sutherland. Charm of the Choir and Matriarch photo: Mike Sutherland. Last shot/profile in the low light of the fire – Simon Smit.


7 Top Places for Great Music in the Big Apple

June 22, 2014 by  

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I’m back today with a guide to fun (and somewhat funky) places to listen to music in New York City. Of course there are plenty of concert halls and traditional places to catch your favorite band, however I’ve gone for a bit of the unconventional here. Some of these places offer live music as a backdrop, for others it’s the main event, but either way, listening to music at any of these “venues” will definitely give you something to talk about the next day. 
  1. The Subways: One of the most amazing things about this place is that music is absolutely everywhere. You don’t always have to pay for it — you don’t even always have to want it! — but it’s there, all the same. The subways here are seriously alive with the sounds of music. From solo singers to Mariachi to 10-piece bands, you might be surprised with the talent you’ll be subjected to just when trying to get from one place to another. If you’re seeking out the music, try some of the big stops like Grand Central, Union Square and Times Square. Those are always happening.
  2. Terminal 5: This place is also somewhat


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The 15th Annual Rocky Mountain Tea Festival in Boulder Colorado

June 21, 2014 by  

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  colorado_boulder_tea-festThe 15th annual Rocky Mountain Tea Festival is set for August 2 and 3, 2014, in the Dushanbe Teahouse, 1770 13th Street, Boulder, Colorado. First up is a workshop “The Art of Blending Tea” with Sara Martinelli, teahouse owner, at noon August 2, 2014. Following a discussion of blending fundamentals, each participant will create a personal blend and take home a tin of their own tea. Others include “Cooking with Tea”, “A Journey Through India”, “Tea Leaf Reading”, “A Japanese Tea Ceremony”, “The Tao of Tea”, a “Taiwanese Oolong Tasting” and “Rare Teas of China”. There’s a Tea Bazaar from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. August 2, 2014; a Tea Dinner August 2, and a Children’s Teddy Bear Tea Party August 3, 2014. (Photo courtesy of Dushanbe Teahouse)


Jam Audio Wireless Speakers, Where Fun & Hip Colors Meet Convenience

June 20, 2014 by  

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The Jam Audio Speakers are a great line of speakers that are ideal for travelers. Unlike so many wireless speaker lines that simply offer white, black and gray, the Jam guys offer a wide range of speakers in fun, creative colors. They’re also convenient, and by convenient, I mean, they’re compact, easy to carry around and one is even waterproof so you can bring it in the shower or to the beach with you. The Plus Bluetooth Speakers let you pair two for true stereo sound, allowing you to connect wirelessly, up to 30 feet away from your Bluetooth friendly device without the need for cords to tie you down. Battery life is decent also, with rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that deliver up to six hours of wireless play before you need to charge them up again. They are $59.99 and come in a variety of really run colors, including purple, pink, blue, yellow and silver. I have them in purple and silver, silver ideal for putting somewhere in the living room or bedroom, purple, more fun for on-the-go or to use with kids. At the same price point, Jam XT

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Le Marais for Architecture, Music, Culture & the Best Kosher Food

June 18, 2014 by  

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Le Marais (or The Marais in English) is one of my favorite places to meander through….only thing is that for the past decade, every trip to Paris has been in December for a conference I attend there every year. I just returned from a couple of weeks in this fabulous city, one of my favorites in Europe, and was able to spend time once again in the Marais but on warm nights at the beginning of summer, from late May through early June, a perfect time to be there. See some of my photos of the Marais from a December stroll which also include the Latin Quarter. It has long been known as the aristocratic district, housing many of the outstanding buildings of historic and architectural importance in Paris. Spread across parts of the 3rd and 4th arrondissements in Paris on the Right Bank of the Seine, it’s a magical place to walk through anytime of year. The  name means  “swamp” which once upon a time, it was. It is now one of the major shopping areas as well as boutiques, top end designers and cafes line its well preserved narrow streets. Amidst the shops, art galleries, restaurants, cafes and bars, you’ll find a…

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