Close
Conde Nast Traveler Concierge.com
Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Ireland Hunting Dogs

Ireland-hunt-dogsWanwisa Posner, the winner of last year's Dream Trip Contest, has just gotten back from her $25,000 adventure. Read what Wanwisa has to say about her travels in her blog entries over at the Perrin Post, and take a shot at winning your own vacation of a lifetime by enrolling in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You have until July 31 to enter. For inspiration, here's a highlighted recent submission from our Dream Trip Gallery.

Photo of the Day has gone to the dogs, thanks to this canine submission from Dream Trip entrant jgrimm723, who captured this image during a stay at Craig Country House, a B&B in County Galway, Ireland.

"Tom, the proprietor, was also master of hounds for the Galway Blazers hunt club, and gave my husband and me a tour of the foxhound kennels," writes jgrimm723 in the Dream Trip entry "The Hounds of the Galway Blazers." "All the hounds were very friendly, and this particular dog was very interested in my camera. What a wonderful insight we got into the horse and hunt culture so very much still alive in Ireland."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

JUST IN

What to Do if an Airline Loses Your Luggage

Condé Nast Traveler senior assistant editor Beata "Boldface" Santora stops by New York's Channel 11 evening news to tell viewers what to do if an airline loses their luggage. The most important thing? "Don't panic," she says. Watch the segment above for more of Beata's tips.

RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER

Win a Beach Vacation (and Earn Your Keep)

HarryPotter
Your new office.
Photo: Digital Vision, Getty Images

by Brook Wilkinson

If you didn't make the cut for that dream job as caretaker of the islands of the Great Barrier Reef, you've got a second chance. This time, Malibu (yes, that Malibu, of coconut-flavored rum) is offering up ten internships to conduct surveys of the coral reefs around Thailand, the Maldives, and the Philippines. Your employer will be Reef Check, a well-regarded nonprofit dedicated to monitoring, protecting, and rehabilitating coral reefs. During your ten-day, all-expenses-paid internship, you'll learn about the local reef ecosystem, snorkel, and scuba dive (you'll get certified if you aren't already) to inspect its health.

To apply, you'll need to write a 500-word essay explaining why Malibu should choose you, plus answer questions like "What are you passionate about?" and "How do you get your island on?" They say that videos are "not required but highly encouraged," which means you'd be crazy to apply without one. (The winner of the Great Barrier Reef job produced a video full of images of his travel highlights, from bungee jumping to running a marathon in Africa.) You'll need to submit your application by the end of August and be available to travel between October 15 and November 15. (Oh, and you must be 21--they probably want lots of shots of you drinking Malibu rum after your reef checks.)

So get busy and figure out how to get your island on!

Further reading:
* How can we open the joys and benefits of travel to more people? Enter your idea and you could be featured in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler.
* Responsible Traveler: Making a difference.

CATCH OF THE DAY

Favorite U.S. Diners?

JoeJr
Photo: 12th St David on Flickr
using Creative Commons

by Julia Bainbridge

Just last week, I learned too late that my favorite New York diner, Joe Jr.'s, on the corner of 6th Avenue and 12th Street, had closed in early July. (I was out of the country when it happened; no closure nibble of griddle cakes for me.) Restaurant doors are shutting all over my neighborhood--all over the country--but it seemed that they belonged more to the $15-slice-of-raw-fatty-tuna-belly variety than the homey, bottomless-coffee spots like Joe Jr.'s. On a rainy day like today, it was the perfect spot to sidle up to the counter and order breakfast for dinner--corned beef hash and an egg, say, or a "Belgian Waffle Matinee."

Menupages.com user-reviews of the place say things like "the cream of the crop when it comes to NYC diners" and "I was in there one night when the Yankees won and it was free dessert for all!" that speak to the spirit of Joe. Excuse me if I sound a bit melodramatic, but this place was truly great. New York magazine's Joe DeLessio hit the nail on the head as to why:

"In many ways, Joe Jr.'s Restaurant is your prototypical greasy spoon. The brown leather seats of the eight booths don't match the padded purple backs, the brushstroke-patterned wallpaper is peeling, and the floor tiles look as though they've crawled out from the men's room. But there's a camaraderie between customers at the counter and the line cook and the cashier that can make this space feel like a sports bar where small burgers and shoestring fries stand in for screwdrivers and beer."

So, where to go now? Readers, what are your favorite hometown diners? I'm in the market for a new love.

Further reading:
* James Beard honors five classic American restaurants
* Catch of the Day: International noshables

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Hong Kong Temple

Hong-Kong-Man-Mo-Temple

Wanwisa Posner, the winner of last year's Dream Trip Contest, has just gotten back from her $25,000 adventure. Read what Wanwisa has to say about her travels in her blog entries over at the Perrin Post, and take a shot at winning your own vacation of a lifetime by enrolling our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You have until July 31 to enter.

For inspiration, here's a highlighted submission from our Dream Trip Gallery taken in one of Wanwisa's dream destinations, Hong Kong.

Dream Trip entrant mjcourchane shot this image of Hong Kong's Man Mo Temple on a family trip before a daughter entered college as a student of poetry.

"We were particularly interested in scenery and restaurants and fun markets," writes mjcourchane in "The Smoking Temple in Hong Kong." "But for my daughter, Man Mo was the most amazing site we visited, as it honors the god of literature and was filled with a smoky mystery."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

CATCH OF THE DAY

3CUPS, Another Reason to Check Out the Triangle's Food Scene

3CUPS-Photos-Feb-09-002
3CUPS owner Lex Alexander is borderline fanatical about maintaining transparent relationships with his producers--and he has photos of them on the walls to prove it.

by Mollie Chen

A couple years ago I spent a long weekend in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, area, and I've been scheming to get back ever since. It had everything--friendly people, fantastic food, bountiful farmers' markets, fun shopping--and the town's culinary scene only seemed to be getting better. I'm not the only one with Carolina on my mind: Bon Appétit rated Durham the country's foodiest small town last year.

Since my visit, lots has happened to the area. I just learned about 3CUPS, a highly curated coffee, tea, and wine shop in Chapel Hill, when owner Lex Alexander stopped by the office to give me the rundown on his business. A longtime champion of Triangle-area farmers, Alexander started one of the first natural food stores there in 1981 and then went on to work for Whole Foods during the 1990s. Soon after that, the idea for 3CUPS was born. He opened in 2004 with a small, well-edited selection of products sourced directly from farmers, vintners, co-ops, and small-batch producers. "No blends," he says, "just pure roasted beans, loose-leaf teas, high-quality wines."

Stop in on a Tuesday night and you'll likely mix with local farmers. Although Alexander doesn't sell at the farmer's market, he does hang out with a lot of people who do, and he throws a mean party at the store to bring them together. One event that caught my eye: August's "Beer Drinkin', Pink Wine, and Pig Pickin,'" complete with live ukulele music and slow-cooked ribs.

Further reading:
* For those of us who can't make it down to Chapel Hill in August, there are plenty of crisp rosés, Ethiopian coffees, and Japanese green teas available on the 3CUPS Web site.
* Catch of the Day: International noshables.

In This Issue

The World's Top Travel Specialists

Specialists_dt
Dream Trip winner Wanwisa Posner enjoying Hong Kong's "Symphony of Lights" show between appetizers at Spoon by Alain Ducasse and entrées at Nobu, thanks to Lindsey Wallace of Linara Travel.

by Blessing Waung

For ten years in a row, Condé Nast Traveler has been publishing Wendy Perrin's list of the world's top travel specialists. There's a reason she suggests these people. Take, for example, 2008 Dream Trip winner Wanwisa Posner. A meticulous planner (real-life Wanwisa is a wedding planner and event producer) and a serious foodie, Posner knew exactly where she wanted to go: Hong Kong for dim sum, then on to the Maldives for scuba diving. She even knew where she wanted to stay. However, it took one of "Perrin's People" to ensure the trip was everything Wanwisa and her husband, Jason, dreamed of.

Check out Wendy's Perrin Post blog, where Wanwisa will be writing about her adventures from abroad for the next two weeks. Seems like Wendy and the experts she handpicked for the task definitely made Wanwisa happy, so what are you waiting for? Start by picking up the August 2009 issue of Condé Nast Traveler and choosing your specialist today.

Further reading:
* Wanwisa blogs her Dream Trip on the Perrin Post
* 126 Top Travel Specialists
* Tips on Hiring a Specialist
* When to Use a Travel Specialist

In This Issue

How Do We Encourage People to Travel?

Challenge

The clock is ticking down on the second Condé Nast Traveler Challenge--only 11 days left!--and we still want to hear from you.

In our first challenge, we asked readers how travelers can contribute meaningfully to the lives of local people, and how travel companies can encourage guests to engage with communities. Our winners came up with solutions such as fighting children's malnutrition in Colombia and partnering students in San Francisco with students in Uganda.

This time around, we want to know: 1.) How to encourage citizens to travel beyond their borders, and 2.) For those who are discouraged from travel because of cost or other barriers, how travel companies and other organizations can best extend opportunities to them.

So what do you think? How can we open the joys and benefits of travel to more people? Enter your idea and you could be featured in the November issue of Condé Nast Traveler.

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: The Maldives

Conrad-Maldives-Rangali-Island

Wanwisa Posner, the winner of last year's Dream Trip Contest, has just gotten back from her $25,000 adventure. Read what Wanwisa has to say about her travels in her blog entries over at the Perrin Post, and take a shot at winning your own vacation of a lifetime by enrolling our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You have until July 31 to enter.

For inspiration, here's a highlighted submission to this year's contest taken in one of Wanwisa's dream destinations, the Maldives.

Dream Trip entrant lovetravel shot this image of a placid infinity-edge pool and slanting palm soon after arriving at the Conrad Maldives Rangali Island.

"On our first morning in the Maldives we were greeted with this view from our breakfast table area," writes lovetravel in the Dream Trip entry Paradise Found. "We knew we had found paradise."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

WORD OF MOUTH

No More Cargo Seats: Pet Airways Launches


Pet Airways: What Bo would choose if he didn't have Air Force One.

by Ondine Cohane

I want a dog. A small dog with a big dog personality. But is it responsible for a writer who goes on the road at least every two weeks--New York, Miami, Hawaii, Mexico, Colombia, etc. etc.--to procure a pup?

It is still far from clear, but I must admit that I was heartened to read about the launch of the five-airplane fleet of Pet Airways this week. The brainchild of Dan Wiesel and Alysa Binder, whose Jack Russell had simply had it with traumatic cargo experiences, this new service shuttles Fido and Whiskers from New York to Washington, D.C., Chicago, Denver, and Los Angeles in the main cabin (one might say first class). Fares aren't necessarily cheap--$199 one way from New York to Chicago and $299 from New York to Los Angeles (animal transport fees at most major airlines run about $150)--but for peace of mind it seems a no-brainer. (I've read plenty of horror stories about someone's beloved canine escaping from cargo handlers never to be seen again, or suffocating en route.) With pick-up and drop-off lounges, complimentary pre-boarding walks, attendants on hand to check air temperature and food every 15 minutes, and special lodges for overnight stays, this airline is fit for the most well-pawed of pooches.

Despite it seeming to be a risky economic venture in these times, the carrier is already booked for the next two months. Now I will just have to wait for them to add international routes.

Further reading:
* Kitty Goes to Memphis, and Other Tales of Flying Fur
* Word of Mouth: The buzz worldwide

JUST IN

The Hotel Bombings in Indonesia

Dinda_Indonesia_dt
Deputy Editor Dinda Elliott on assignment in Indonesia for Newsweek, 1998.

by Dinda Elliott

The bombings at the Jakarta JW Marriott and Ritz-Carlton hotels are a heartbreaking reminder of the damage terrorists can do. Eight innocent people were killed, and at least 50 more were wounded. My heart breaks for the victims and their families--but also more broadly for Indonesia. The consequences of these suicide bomber attacks come just as the country was finally getting its props.

In recent months, Western leaders have praised Indonesia as one of Asia's brightest success stories. The economy is one of the fastest growing in the region, and the country just held a fair democratic election in which the incumbent, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and his running mate, the pro-Western former central bank governor, won in a landslide--underscoring the country's successful transition to democracy after decades of authoritarian rule. Jakarta had successfully cracked down on Jemayah Islamiyah, the Muslim terrorist group that carried out a nightclub bombing in Bali in 2002, killing 202 people, and bombed the Marriott and the Australian embassy in Jakarta in 2004. Prospects for tourism were looking up again.

It's important to remember that Islamic extremists are in the extreme minority in Indonesia, where a syncretic form of Islam--combining aspects of Hinduism, Buddhism, and mysticism--has seemingly modern politicians going to mountaintops to meditate and villagers worshiping volcano spirits even as they pray at the mosque.

It's also worth remembering that Indonesia is a beautiful, exotic, and peaceful country with fabulous beaches, romantic Dutch colonial hotels, great food, rain forests and orangutans, luxurious spas, and a fascinating mix of modernity and tradition. (I'll never forget the young hipster at a club in Jakarta who, a few years back, told me that she has to approach her grandmother in Yokjakarta as a supplicant, walking in a traditional squat like a duck.) This is a fascinating, vibrant country that is fighting off the vicious extremist forces as hard as it can.

BOLDFACE

Harry Potter and the Traveling Muggles

HarryPotter
Have broom, will travel.
Photo: weekbeforenext on Flickr
using Creative Commons

by Beata Loyfman-Santora

This past week was a biggie for J. K. Rowling. The sixth installment of her Harry Potter series hit theaters on Wednesday, shattering box office records to the tune of $58 million and change. Shh, if you listen carefully, you can hear the clanking of loot falling into Rowling's already sizable bank account.

The film takes place in a multitude of destinations, following Harry through London, Bulgaria, Norway, Ireland, and even Wollongong, Australia. If your portkey is rusty or your broomstick outdated, you may have to catch a plane with the rest of the Muggles to visit these sites. Thankfully, the good folks at the Telegraph have put together a dandy list of destinations from the film (both real and fictional).

Meanwhile, here's what happens when a bunch of college students attempt Quidditch in a Brooklyn park.

Further reading:
* Celeb Brits get down and dirty
* Boldface: Celebrity travels

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Chinese Lanterns

Chinese-lanterns

You have until July 31 to enter our 2009 Dream Trip Contest for a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose. So far, we've had nearly 15,000 contenders. For inspiration for your own entry, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

Red alert! Today's highlighted image comes from Dream Trip entrant jessicamelanieg, who snapped this picture of scarlet paper lanterns at the open market near Shanghai Old Street around Chinese New Year in early 2009.

"My sister and I were overwhelmed by the red lanterns, cow memorabilia marking the Year of the Ox, and lucky New Year's knots," writes jessicamelanieg in the Dream Trip entry "Seeing Red." "I snapped this photograph through one of dozens of hanging rows of lanterns while shopping alongside the locals. I love how the hurry of the moment is stilled, the vivid color is prominent, and the energy of the holiday is portrayed."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

ON THE FLY

The Latest Survivable Air Mishap Gets No Miracle Treatment

Alohaairlinesdisaster
After 89,090 flight cycles, an Aloha Airlines plane lets go of its top in the 1980s.
Photo: Hawai'i State Archives, Aloha Airlines Disaster

by Barbara S. Peterson

A couple of days ago, a Southwest plane suddenly lost cabin pressure when a hole the size of a basketball ripped open in the ceiling of the fuselage. What followed was a textbook case of quick response:  the pilot descended to below 10,000 feet to stabilize the pressure (passengers had already donned oxygen masks) and swiftly landed the Baltimore-bound jet at the nearest  airport in Charleston, W. Virginia;  all 131 people board got off without injury.

So why is no one calling this one a miracle?

First, no birds were involved. I'm serious: the Hudson River splashdown of US Airways flight 1549, which made a hero of Captain "Sully" Sullenberger, was occasioned by a freak occurrence.  It's hard to fault the airline, the pilots, air traffic control or any other of the usual suspects for a flock of gargantuan geese taking out two engines at once.  This recent one was different and more problematic.

The Southwest plane was an older model 737, having logged some 42,000 cycles (takeoffs and landings). The airline said the craft was checked frequently for cracks, as required.  But it was all too recently that Southwest was dinged for $10.2 million by the FAA  for failing to check some 40-odd planes in its all-737 fleet for wear and tear.  The airline fought that initial penalty and the two sides settled for $7.5 mil.  Southwest insiders have told me they feel they've been unfairly treated because the FAA was trying to overcome cynicism about its coziness with the industry. But the incident raised memories of a truly horrific incident in the late 1980s when part of the ceiling peeled off an Aloha Airlines plane, and a flight attendant was sucked through the hole to her death.

As they age, planes are subject to stress cracks, which are hard to spot when they first appear--that's why airlines are supposed to subject older models to increasingly rigorous scrutiny.

But with more than 5,000 planes in the US commercial airline fleet the feds can't be there for each inspection, so airline maintenance is largely self-regulated.

Continue reading "The Latest Survivable Air Mishap Gets No Miracle Treatment" »

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Vietnam Bicycle

Vietnam-bicycle .

You have until July 31 to enter our
2009 Dream Trip Contest for a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose. So far, we've had more than 14,000 contenders. For inspiration for your own entry, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

You can't visit a Vietnamese city without noticing how everyone who lives there seems to get around by motorcycle or scooter. No less an authority than Wikipedia puts the stats of the largest city, Saigon, as nearly two motorbikes (or "moto") for every three people. But as Dream Trip entrant Ajleifer discovered in the capital of Hanoi, not everyone has jumped on the fossil-fuel bandwagon.

"The woman behind the bike appears to be waiting for someone in the middle of a busy street," writes Ajleifer in the Dream Trip entry "Just an Average Day." "The photograph captures the patience of a woman against the traffic. She has not given in to the new way of doing things but instead sticks with her ways of daily shopping for fresh produce and her traditional bicycle."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

BOOM BOX

The Shin: Georgia's Eclectic Jams

by John Oseid

Sometimes you hear an entire album and have absolutely no clue where the music is from. You could listen to the Shin's album EgAri a hundred times--with its polyphonic, multi-string, multi-percussion, sometimes jazzy flamenco-ish Middle Eastern ecclesiastical sound--and be no closer to figuring out where the group originated. And I mean that as a testament to the fact that the Shin comes from Georgia, as in the Republic of . . .

I've had Georgia on my mind ever since I read about the quirky, multifarious country in Gully Wells's December 2007 Condé Nast Traveler story, "Georgia Uncorked." So perhaps I shouldn't have been surprised that the music was equally compelling. "Take This Morning" alternates between vigorous and down-tempo strings, with various group members lending vocal gymnastics. (Look for one of the string players' impromptu dances in the video above.) "Born in the Saddle" is another robust number, one in which Asian steppes seem to meet Scandinavian folk, with jazz scatting thrown in. Then it's South Indian meets klezmer in "On Tiptoes." And so it goes.

You can catch the Shin playing throughout Europe over the next several months. The band's name, incidentally, means "Home," the album title, "That's It." Whatever their sound is, it's fascinating stuff . . . and most important, it's just damn fun.

More music:
* In Brentwood, Los Angeles, the Skirball Cultural Center's free Sunset Concerts series runs through mid-August. Tonight's performer is Malian n'goni string player Issa Bagayogo, whom I highlighted last fall.
* Boom Box: An unabashed gusto for music of the world.


Photo of the Day: Amalfi Coast

Positano-coast

You have until July 31 to enter our
2009 Dream Trip Contest for a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose. So far, we've had more than 14,000 contenders. For inspiration for your own entry, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

Some locations are so picture-perfect that it's nearly impossible to take bad photographs of them. Near (if not at) the top of the list: The Amalfi Coast, where Dream Trip entrant hayston snapped this shot during a stay in Positano before taking a Mediterranean cruise.

"Look closely: In the bottom right of the picture there is a hotel with one door open," writes hayston in the Dream Trip entry "Romantic Positano." "That was our suite. This picture is my screen saver and will remain so until we find a place that exceeds this spot."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

ON THE FLY

Iran Air Crash: The Russian Factor

Tupolov_dt
A Tupolov TU-154M.
Photo: pastobert on Flickr.com using Creative Commons

by Clive Irving

If you are shopping for the best airliners in the world, there are four places to go: the United States, Europe, Brazil, and Canada. If you are operating an airline in Iran, too bad. The combination of international sanctions against Iran and the xenophobia of Iran's ruling thugs rules out dealing with Western suppliers.

Today's crash in Iran of a Russian-built Tupolev 154, killing 168 people, points to the risks involved in flying in Iran. The 154 was once a sturdy workhorse for the internal routes of Soviet Russia, similar to the Boeing 727, and the first Russian airliner to have avionics up to Western standards. Other countries in the Soviet bloc used it, and as long as it was well maintained it was--by the standards of 1960s technology--dependable.

By today's standards, though, the 154 is a relic. Its weakest point was always its engines. Adapted from engines designed for military use, they were powerful but guzzled gas and left a smoky trail. Keeping those engines serviced, and finding the spare parts for them, would require the search and bargaining skills of the bazaar, which is probably how it worked in Iran for the airline involved in today's crash, Caspian Airlines. Engine failure is a prime suspect in this case.

The sad truth is that Russia once had some of the finest airplane designers in the world. Even today, their best aeronautical minds are hired by other nations' plane makers, including Boeing. And there is a nascent Russian airliner industry, cross-fertilizing their skills with those of Europe and the United States. Like the Chinese, they want to get into the big world markets.

But for now, "Russian-built" is a warning that all flyers should heed--and another reason to check out not just an airline that you could encounter but the provenance of the airplanes they fly.

Further reading:
* On the Fly: Condé Nast Traveler on the airline industry

RESPONSIBLE TRAVELER

Bidding for Sustainable Travel

Journeys Within
The Journeys Within B&B.

by Brook Wilkinson

Sustainable Travel International is in the middle of its second annual Green Travel Auction, in which you can buy earth-friendly trips, hotel stays, and travel accessories for prices considerably below the retail value. Several packages are still available at the opening bid--often less than half the retail price. Some of my favorites:
* A 3-night stay at Journeys Within's B&B in Siem Reap, and a tour of their projects with founder Brandon Ross, $220.
* A 3-night all-inclusive program at the Inkaterra Reserva Amazonica in Peru for two, $700.
* A 7-night Galapagos cruise by Ecoventura, $3,000.
* A 2-night stay at Ecuador's Black Sheep Inn, $150.
* A 3-night all-inclusive stay at the Yachana Lodge in the Ecuadorian rain forest, $250.
* A 4-person rafting trip on Idaho's Clearwater River, plus 2 nights at ROW Adventures' River Dance Lodge, $400.

The bidding ends at 8 p.m. EDT on Sunday, July 19. Since all auction items were donated by members of Sustainable Travel International, every dollar you spend goes to STI, a not-for-profit dedicated to promoting responsible tourism.

Further reading:
* Responsible Traveler: Making a difference
* Connecting for Good: Join Condé Nast Traveler and Ashoka in this international competition for the best ideas on how to encourage citizens everywhere to travel more

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Laotian Girl

Laos-girl We're in the final three weeks of our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You have until July 31 to enter for a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose. So far, we've had more than 14,000 contenders. For inspiration for your own entry, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

Today's highlighted Dream Trip entry comes from entrant jmaceda, who snapped this image at a Lao New Year parade in Luang Prabang.

"Most other children I saw that day were celebrating by taking part in the traditional citywide water fight," writes jmaceda in the Dream Trip entry "Laotian Girl." "This girl was so serious and beautiful in her costume that she appeared to me both young and innocent, and wise beyond her years."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

In This Issue

Hokkaido: The Dictionary of Snow

It may be summertime, but if you need a break from the sunshine, check out "A Winter's Tale" in our July issue. And here's something extra to keep you cool: The Dictionary of Snow.

So powder-rich is Hokkaido that there's a whole snow-specific vocabulary. Below, some words you might hear tossed about in wintry northern Japan--and their meanings.
* Botan yuki = peony-flake snow
* Hisetsu = flying snow
* Kona yuki = powder snow
* Miyukibare = beautiful morning after a heavy snow
* Neyuki = snow at the foot of a tree
* Sasame yuki = a light sprinkling of snow
* Watayuki = cotton snow

WORD OF MOUTH

Brooklyn's Own Little Italian Empire

Frankies 457
Frankies' famous pork braciola marinara.
Photo: Michael Harlan Turkell for Frankies Spuntino

by Ondine Cohane

On my recent trip back to New York, I couldn't miss a pilgrimage to Frankies 457, one of my favorite haunts in Carroll Gardens. The restaurant enjoyed a buzzy opening a few years back; it was the perfect spot for dinner with friends or a lunch getaway in an area that was short on great restaurants. Although Carroll Gardens has become hipster central, Frankies is still a go-to spot for great salads like escarole with sliced red onion, walnuts, and pecorino; homemade gnocchi marinara with fresh ricotta; and crostini with avocado and pesto. It's the way I most like to eat--simple dishes made with seasonal ingredients.

The owners--they are both named Frank--have been busy building a foodie empire since I left the city. Their excellent new coffee shop in Cobble Hill, Café Pedlar, has some of the best brews in the hood (I went with an iced café latte, which was good enough to make me forget my Italian espresso--just for a minute). The menu at Prime Meats, right next door to Frankies, emphasizes locally sourced produce and meat (eventually the duo would like to have their own farm upstate); and this fall, a café in Red Hook called Delightful Coffee Shop is set to open on the corner of Commerce and Van Brunt streets. If you're heading to Brooklyn, check out one of the boys' establishments--you'll get a taste of why people from the Upper West Side to Wall Street are trekking to this borough.

Further reading:
* More from Ondine's New York trip: The Standard, not so standard
* Word of Mouth: The buzz worldwide

Photo of the Day

Photo of the Day: Japanese Maple Trees

Japan_lady_raking_leaves

We're entering the final three weeks of our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You have until July 31 to enter for a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose. So far, we've had nearly 14,000 contenders. For inspiration for your own entry, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

Last week, Dream Trip entrant FosiBear sent us on a mental tropical vacation with a shot of a palm tree leaning over Cook's Bay, on the French Polynesian isle of Moorea. Today, the peripatetic FosiBear gets us with another transporting arboreal image, this one in the Dream Trip entry "Temple Matron," which features a lone woman raking autumn leaves at Kyoto's Silver Pavilion.

"What I love about Japan are the pockets of simplicity, grace, and ease of life, the moments suspended in time," writes FosiBear. "Here an elderly temple matron is quietly and gently raking scarlet maple leaves from the moss-covered grounds: an ode to a simpler life surrounded by exquisite natural beauty."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

BOLDFACE

Celeb Brits Get Down and Dirty

Dt_kkdowning
Blonds are in season on Brit farms
Photos: RunCiTer and EmesiS on Flickr.com

by Beata Loyfman-Santora

Ah those Brits, always finding new ways to amuse themselves (and us). They've crowned kooky royals, sailed the seas, and produced designer sausage. And all of them seem to own castles with rolling hills (what luck!). But can they ever leave well enough alone? Nope. Now they're all refashioning these castles to suit new hobbies.

Who would have thought that adopted Brit Claudia Schiffer liked shoveling grain? With her bikini days behind her, the German supermodel has taken up animal farming at her Suffolk estate. According to Starpulse, she has three dogs, two sheep, four chickens, a pregnant pig, two black swans, four ducks, three tortoises, and a parrot. Not sure how the parrot fits into the retinue but we won't judge.

Judas Priest guitarist K.K. Downing is putting aside his Gibson Flying V in favor of a nine-iron. Did you know that he wanted to be a dairy farmer when he purchased Astbury Hall in 1985? Well, those dairy dreams are over and instead he's turning his estate into a golf course. Apparently 30 years of head banging hasn't affected his balance. Maybe he can give JT some pointers.

Now that his missus has flown the roost, film director Guy Ritchie is investing $13 million in his Wiltshire estate to make it more green and self-sufficient. You know what they say, out with the Madge, in with the veg!

What's next, barn raising in Wembley?

Further reading:
* Boldface: Celebrity travels


Photo of the Day: Prague's Old Town Square

Old-Town-Square-Prague

Our 2009 Dream Trip Contest is reaching the homestretch, with just three more weeks to enter for a chance to win a $25,000 vacation to wherever you choose. In some two and a half months, we've had more than 13,000 entries. For inspiration for your own entry, read our take on a submission that caught our eye:

Today's highlighted Dream Trip entry, from cindyc1695, reminds us that although globalism has made some things (such as iced venti decaf skinny lattes) universal, travel still serves up plenty of unforgettable experiences we'd never have at home.

"I was in search of coffee and happened upon Starbucks after walking through a narrow street," writes cindyc1695 in the Dream Trip entry "Old Town Square, Prague." "After a warm cup, I stepped out and turned right past the outdoor café and immediately saw the square. In a state of awe and with a hint of jealousy, I wished my hometown Starbucks neighbored the likes of this."

Share your travel photos and memories in our 2009 Dream Trip Contest. You could be just a few clicks away from a $25,000 trip to anywhere you choose.

previous | next

About this blog
The editors at Conde Nast Traveler answer questions and share travel secrets, tips, and dispatches

Twitter: CNTraveler
RSS: RSS Feed
Email: Daily updates

WEEKLY TOPICS
RECENT COMMENTS


UPDATES ON TWITTER

TRAVEL BLOGS
Featured in Alltop

Prices and other information were accurate at press time, but are subject to change. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

EXPRESS SIGN-UP Sign up for one of our exciting panels and receive the latest news, travel offers, and event invitations from Condé Nast Traveler and our valued advertising partners.

http://www.cntpromo.com/ex.asp
Traveler Magazine

My Concierge.com

Advertisement

Advertisement

I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its User Agreement, Privacy Policy, and Mobile Terms and Conditions.

 
iPhone App:

Create personalized postcards out of your favorite travel photos!

Learn More ›
Subscribe to our free RSS feeds:

Get the latest destinations picks, hot hotel lists, travel deals and blog posts automatically added to your newsreader or your personalized homepage.

Learn More ›

Special Advertisement

Contests, Sweepstakes & Promotions