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Archive for April, 2010

The Triple Crown in Chicago

By Linda Tancs

In the race toward enlightenment, Chicago wins the triple crown thanks to Artropolis, a celebration of art, antiques and culture at The Merchandise Mart beginning on 30 April. Art Chicago will assemble a collection of exhibits in various media such as painting, photography, drawings, prints, sculpture, video and special installations. Highlights this year include special exhibits for top MFA students from across the country, social and political-inspired art, an array of American artworks and nomadic sculptures of Swiss born artist Florian Graf, presented by the Consulate General of Switzerland in Chicago. Other artistic nuggets are waiting for you at the International Antiques Fair, like a coral and gold sea urchin brooch. Now that you don’t see everyday. Next is NEXT, an arts fair presenting contemporary works in all their eye-popping splendor. Tickets are $20 per day or $25 for a multi-day pass through the event’s conclusion on 3 May. The weather will be cookin’ in Cook County this year, so get your tickets while it’s hot.

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The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

A Golden Week in Japan

By Linda Tancs

May 1 is typically a public holiday in many parts of Europe, a time to celebrate the advent of spring and enjoy a bit of conviviality in the process. In Japan, however, they needn’t settle for a day of celebration. Golden Week, beginning on 29 April, marks the start of over a week of spirited activity and travel. In fact, many Japanese travel widely during the holiday as many businesses shut down. The festivities begin in April with Showa Day, marking the birthday of the emperor Showa. May 3 marks Constitution Day, so called for the new Constitution put into effect on that day in 1947. Nature is revered on May 4 during Greenery Day. The festival season concludes on May 5 with Children’s Day, a time when carp streamers decorate the thresholds of many homes to symbolize children’s success in life. If you want to be a part of the action, there’s plenty to see, like the 1300th anniversary celebration at Nara. This is prime time for cherry blossoms, too. Visit Hirosaki Park Cherry Blossom Festival. Maybe you’ll find a hanami (viewing party) to get happy with. Hana yori dango, as they say.

<DISCLOSURE OF NO MATERIAL CONNECTION

The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

Body and Soul Unite at Castle Chaumont

By Linda Tancs

The international garden festival in France is once again gracing the landscape of Castle Chaumont in the Loire Valley, just 185 km from Paris. This year’s theme, Body and Soul, suggests the restorative properties of gardens and gardening, both spiritually and physically. The jury has selected 20 gardens from over 300 proposals, representing works from Great Britain, Germany, Italy, Japan and the Netherlands. Opening on 29 April, a general entrance ticket covers the festival, castle, stables and the landscaped parkgrounds, all for 15 euros. Take a train to Onzain, and beat a path to the door.

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The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

Riding in Style in India

By Linda Tancs

If train travel in India conjures a (shall we say) palpable ride to the tea capital of Darjeeling, then your salvation is at hand. Debuting in March, the Maharajas’ Express is the first luxury train to cover the entire country. Although lacking the historical significance and affection of a line like the Himalayan Railway, the newbie promises to make up in comfort what it may lack in charm. As in air conditioning, roomy cabins and luxe suites. For the royal treatment, you’ll pay a princely sum of $800 per day per person for a seven or eight-day package. Destination airfare is not included, but they’ll assist with the bookings. Stay tuned for special air/land arrangements in the near future.

DISCLOSURE OF NO MATERIAL CONNECTION

The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

Japan Celebrates 1300th Anniversary

By Linda Tancs

Lest you forget that Japan had a capital city long before Tokyo, Nara celebrates its status as the birthplace of Japan with a series of exhibits and events throughout Nara Prefecture this year. The anniversary celebration will include exhibitions of hidden treasures and rarely-viewed Buddhist statues. The main venue, Heijo Palace, will commemorate the restoration of the audience hall where state ceremonies were held before the emperor on 23 April. Later in the summer the palace grounds will be awash in light as night falls with a tremendous display of candles and LED technology. The party continues until 7 November.

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The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

Racing Through California

By Linda Tancs

If the thrill of the chase like Monte Carlo’s Grand Prix or the memory of Italy’s Mille Miglia gets your adrenaline rushing, then no doubt you’ll enjoy California’s vintage version beginning on 25 April.  Northern California’s Mille, now in its 20th year, follows classic cruisers on a 4-day journey through 1000 miles of northern wine country, open roads and quaint hotels.  Pick your favorite at the Fairmont in San Francisco before the race.  With all the natural beauty lining the route, let’s hope the drivers can keep their eyes on the road.

DISCLOSURE OF NO MATERIAL CONNECTION

The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

Ireland’s West Celebrates 25 Years of Literature

By Linda Tancs

Dublin has its fair share of authors, poets and playwrights, but Ireland’s literary tradition is equally strong along the western coast.  This year marks the 25th anniversary of Galway’s Cúirt Festival, a celebration of verse that has been previously described as a banquet of writing.  Quite a banquet, indeed, as the event this week welcomes such luminaries as Fread D’Aguair, Naomi Shihab Nye and Dionne Brand.  A highlight will be Colum McCann’s first reading in Ireland since his National Book Award win for Let the Great World Spin.  Budget conscious travelers should look into the sponsoring hotel’s midweek cost cutting offer–that is, if the recent volcanic activity in Iceland doesn’t ruin your plans.

DISCLOSURE OF NO MATERIAL CONNECTION

The author has not received any compensation for writing this content and has no material connection to the brands, topics, products and/or services that are mentioned herein.

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