Category Archive: United States

20 Spots for Shopping Las Vegas-Style

Las Vegas is one of the most frequently visited cities in the United States, whether for business, a music or theater performance, dining, or recreational activity.  It’s also one of the top cities for shopping, an activity becoming increasingly popular with travelers.  In fact, Las Vegas is one of the top fashion cities in the world, meaning that you’ll find some good shopping spots in the city. When you get a break in your conference schedule, want to relax after a day full of meetings, or just want to get away from the hubbub that is often Las Vegas, here are 20 choices for your Las Vegas shopping pleasure: Appian Way at Caesars Palace – Quiet shopping arcade with a life-size replica of David. Bally’s Avenue Shoppes – Over 20 stores and boutiques at Bally’s Hotel. Bridge Avenue at California […]

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Celebrate Our Love Affair with the Car

The Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles is one of the largest museums in the world dedicated to  chronicling the evolution of the car and exploring our love affair with them.  The museum was founded by Robert E. and Margie Petersen in 1994, and was originally located within the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.  It is now in its own permanent location along museum row in the Miracle Mile neighborhood. You’ll find over 100 vehicles on display, covering topics that include the history of the automobile and its impact on popular culture globally as well as on Los Angeles. Here’s a little bit about what you’ll find at at the museum: The first floor is an interactive presentation of the history of the car and its impact and influence on our popular culture. The second floor has permanent […]

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192 Countries in New York City: Visiting the United Nations Headquarters

Visiting the United Nations Headquarters is a little like visiting 192 countries all in one locations.  Located along the East River, at 760 United Nations Plaza, on First Avenue between 42nd & 48th in New York City, the  complex consists of the Secretariat Building, the domed General Assembly Building, the Conference Building and the Hammarskjold Library.  Although located well with the city limits, the complex is considered international territory, and, exception by agreement, is subject to the laws and jurisdiction of the United States, the state of New York, and local laws. Guided public tours of the complex are offered.  Visitors enter the headquarters building at First Avenue & 46th, and start the tour with a brief familiarization of the Organization and its structure.  A guide then takes you through a visit to the chambers of the Security Council, the Trusteeship Council, and […]

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Making Money: Bureau of Engraving & Printing

It’s all about the money.  Always has been.  Apparently always will be. At least it is at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP). The BEP prints all the Federal Reserve notes (translation:  Money) at facilities in Washington DC and Ft Worth, Texas.  Coins are produced by the US Mint.  The BEP also prints other specialty items, including engraved White House invitations, and other security documents for various governmental agencies. Free tours are offered at both facilities, and provide an overview of the steps in the money making process.  I toured the Washington DC facility on a rainy mid-week afternoon.  There were no lines, and even though the tour group dawdled a bit, it still only took about an hour to watch stacks and stacks of large pieces of paper become ready-to-be-spent hundred dollar bills.  There is also a short […]

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The Holocaust Memorial: Love & Anguish in Miami Beach

When you hear the destination Miami Beach, what do you think of?  If you’re like me, you probably think about sun and sand, the beaches and swimming pools, lazy days and wild parties at night, and a pretty laid back, carefree attitude.  You aren’t far wrong if that’s what comes to mind. Situated among all the frivolity, however, is the Holocaust Memorial, a dramatic tribute to the six million Jewish Victims of World War II.  The site was designed by architect and sculptor Kenneth Treister, who was charged with interpreting the events of the Holocaust into a memorial that would honor the dead, comfort the survivors, and inform the world of this dark period of history. The Memorial opened to the public in February 1990, with a dedication by Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor, Elie Wiesel. It is hard to […]

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Choosing the Right Hawaiian Island

A trip to Hawaii is a dream vacation for many, but choosing the islands for a vacation is only the beginning.  Although the Hawaiian Islands are made up of many islands and atolls, along with smaller islets, when it comes to vacation, you’re probably talking about visiting one of the six main islands. Depending on what you want out of your vacation, frenetic levels of activity, rocking nightlife, or peaceful sandy beaches, you’ll want to choose an island that fits your personal preferences.  While sharing the basics of beautiful sun, sand, and surf, each island has its own special ambiance, so be sure to make the right matchup and have a perfect vacation in paradise. Here’s a brief rundown to help with your preliminary research. Hawaii, the Big Island:  This is the largest of the islands, and also the youngest […]

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Green Architecture Before its Time: Frank Lloyd Wright & Taliesin West

Frank Lloyd Wright is probably the best known American architect, with a body of work that has influenced and shaped the course of building in this country.  His former home, Taliesin West (pronounced Tally-ehssen) in Scottsdale, Arizona, has become the international headquarters for the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation, and is also open for public tours. Taliesin West was built in the mid-1930’s, and is an example of Wright’s concept of organic architecture — building that evolves naturally out of it’s location.  He design and built ecological sound, sustainable architecture long before it’s current popularity.  It’s no surprise then, that Wright, along with some architectural apprentices, gathered desert rocks and sand to build this showcase home that is both in the desert and of the desert. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is just another museum.  Part home, part museum, […]

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Pez Museum Puts Candy on Display

I enjoy museums, and try to get to one on a fairly frequent basis.  Art, history, science, culture — it all has appeal to me.  The the thirst for knowledge, information, or just seeing and experiencing something new is always a good time for me. And then there are other kinds of museums.  The quirky ones, the ones with all sorts of odd collections and exhibits, the ones that you secretly want to check out even if everyone else laughs at you. The Burlingame Museum of Pez Memorabilia may very well fall into this latter category. Created by an Austrian candy executive in 1927, Pez is an abbreviation of the German word for peppermint (Pfefferminz), the original Pez flavor.  Originally the candy was sold in small tins, and marketed as an adult mint for people who were trying to quit […]

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Julia Child’s Paris

During the holiday season it seems like I watch lots of movies.  Whether it’s catching up on television, renting videos, or indulging in pay-per-view, it’s an enjoyable way to spend some lazy winter days.  Assuming you like the movie, of course. I like a variety of movies, but the ones at the top of my list are those that give me a sense of time and place.  Movies that make me want to be where the movie is, and sometimes even when the movie takes place. Earlier this week I watched Julie & Julia, a great movie, and one that made me long for a return trip to Paris soon. Julie & Julia was written and directed by Nora Ephron, and stars Meryl Streep as the famous chef Julia Child and Amy Adams as Julie Powell, a young, and somewhat […]

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