Like many patriotic first amendment fans, I screened The Interview over the holidays.
As a travel journalist specializing in films, I have to say my favorite line of the whole film was when Seth Rogan screams "I packed terribly for this trip!" as he stands in the middle of no where without a jacket or even a bottle of Fiji Water.
This Christmas HBO was airing the Leo/Baz version of Gatsby. Although it's not exactly
a holiday film, all that color, glamour and booze just feels--well, festive!
For those of us who can't rent an East or West Egg Mansion across the bay from the object of our desire, there's one mansion on the famed Long Island Gold Coast that you can spend New Year's Eve in.
Glen Cove Mansion, one of the few remaining jazz age beauties remaining on the Island is a hotel and conference center that retains a lot of the glitz and panache of the "Golden Age" of excess and bathtub gin from the 1920's. The hotel's facade looks exactly as it did back in Gatsby's day when the hotel was the former Pratt family mansion (parts of the surroundings were also used in the two Sabrina films--you remember, the one with Audrey Hepburn as the chauffeur's daughter? Couldn't you just see Jay and Daisy saying goodbye on the front porch while Joel Edgerton sulks in the doorway?
The Glen Cove Mansion will be toasting the New Year and New Beginnings with a lavish New Year’s Eve Dinner & Dance Gala that includes a Premium Open Bar till 1:00 am, hors d’ oeuvres and appetizers, a three-course dinner, champagne toast at midnight, party favors and dancing – all for just $165 per person, including tax and gratuities. Gatsby-ites can stay the night with a New Year’s Eve Overnight Package, including the New Year’s Dinner & Dance Gala, for $479 per couple, plus taxes.
Will you still love me when I have nothing left but my aching soul...of course you will Jay!
A very happy birthday today to Vogue's Editor-in-Chief, Anna Wintour, who is even as we speak redefining Conde Nast Traveler through her new helmsmanship of the Conde Nast enterprise.
We, here at TravelHushHush.com sat next to her (and Si Newhouse) in the cafeteria at Conde Nast midtown. She really did have a salad and a Diet Coke. And she didn't eat a bite of it.
Here's hoping that Grace Coddington serves her up a big piece of birthday cake and makes her eat it, too.
We're all waiting to see what direction Traveler takes under its new sails.
Travelers in love with Britain (and trains) MUST put Mr. Turner on their watch lists.
The film, directed by veteran indie master Mike Leigh, stars the always fascinating Timothy Spall. The rotund and charmingly hedgehoglike character actor who plays Scabbers in Harry Potter, here takes on J.M.W. Turner, arguably Britain's finest---and most modern--painter. Reviews during its premiere at the NY Film Festival were uniformly great.
What makes this film a great escape for film fans who travel is scenes of the National Gallery and other recognizable sites in London dressed up as their former selves. (The scene in the trailer shows the old method of showing paintings--hung up to the rafters. An unpopular painting would be "skyed" which meant stuck up in "heaven" near the ceiling.)
Yesterday, TravelHushHush heard that there may be some rare Turner watercolors for sale at the annual BADA Antiques and Fine Art Fair in London next March.
See the movie, then plan a trip to London to view the originals and if you're as rich as Lord and Lady Grantham (yes, it's almost Downton Abbey time again) you can take home one of your own.
OK, everyone, you can let out a big, collective, "awwwwwah!"
This cutie was one of the winners of a recent Queensland, Australia Instagram-fest.
On Saturday, Oct. 4th, 1,000 Instagrammers were let loose in 89 locations in Queensland, Australia for what their PR people say is the "biggest Instameet ever."
The hashtag is #thisqueensland if you want to see more.
But for us, this so-cute-and-soft-it-hurts piece of squee is the moneyshot!
This week, Gretchen Kelly, TravelHushHush's Editor and Publisher, will be moderating a panel on "Building Your Film Tourism" for AFCI's Cineposium at New York's Crowne Plaza Hotel. Prior to the panel, the group was treated to a TCM Classic Movies Tour of NY courtesy of panelist, Georgette Blau's OnLocation Tours.
We found out that the Upper East Side townhouse that starred as Audrey Hepburn's home in Breakfast at Tiffany's is for sale!
Asking price is about 10 Million! But you get to have Breakfast chez Audrey every day.
Shangri La Hotels has announced that they're rebranding their "Traders" properties as "Hotel Jen." "Jen" is a fictional persona, "who loves life, travel and the adventure of discovering new places.”
Traders Hotels in Manila, Beijing, Brisbane, Hong Kong, Johor Bahru, Maldives, Penange, Shenyang and Singapore are going to get the re-brand first.
We think Shangri La should approach Jen Aniston as its real life counterpart to "Jen" the fictional travel lover.
With that punim slapped on their advertising, who wouldn't want to book a stay at a "Jen" hotel?
A recent outing to the Finger Lakes took us to the Seward House, a treasure-trove of Lincoln-era history dedicated to the Secretary of State under Abraham Lincoln, William Seward. Seward is also known as the "Seward's Folly" Seward for buying Alaska (not seen as such a folly now!).
Seward was a central character in the Spielberg film, Lincoln. Played by David Strathairn, he is very much part of the "Team of Rivals" that formed the basis of the Doris Kearns Goodwin book that Spielberg and screenwriter, Tony Kushner used to craft the film's narrative.
We found out on our visit to the Seward House Museum in Auburn, New York that Strathairn came here to research his character. What he found was a completely intact American Civil War-era home, including a basement which Seward and his family used as a stop on the underground railway. Seward was also a friend of Harriet Tubman and helped her get funds for her own Finger Lakes-area home, which is also now a museum.
Although the moral center of the film is very much Tommy Lee Jones' character Thaddeus Stevens, we found out that Strathairn's Seward was a major part of abolitionist history (he even had a portrait of John Brown on his wall).
The Museum also includes treasures like flowers pressed by Seward that were in Lincoln's coffin, given to him by Mary Todd Lincoln and the bloody sheets that Seward was lying on when he suffered a knife attack at the hands of one of the Lincoln conspirators.
Spielberg and history fans will want to spend at least a few hours pouring over the objects and documents here and soaking in the atmosphere that inspired Strathairn's great ensemble performance amidst his other Team of Rivals team-mates.
Plan your Spielberg-inspired trip back in time at www.Iloveny.com
(Section Sponsored by MedjetAssist)
As the Ebola crisis has more and more travelers aware of health concerns during international flights, we asked John F. Gobbels, VP and transport expert of MedjetAssist (the premier global air-medical transport membership program for travelers; a supplement to travel insurance) to address a lesser (but equally critical) issue that has been on the front pages recently.
Newly released studies on airline seats, seat backs, and tray tables show that alarming amounts of potentially illness-bearing pathogens can live for a long time in flight.
The study, conducted by Auburn University on behalf of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), found that MRSA germs can survive for up to 168 hours on cloth seatback pouches. E. coli (which can cause urinary tract infections and food poisoning) lives up to 96 hours on armrests, 72 hours on tray tables, and for two whole days on airline toilets.
Gobbels says that Medjet has found this first-line of infection to be a critical one to stop before it gets started.
“You’d be surprised at how many of our members have started out with simple issues like diarrhea or stomach flu, which may have initially come from contact with germs like this in flight,” he says.
“Once they landed and got sicker, the issue escalated and they required our service (air-medical transport to a home hospital) but their illnesses may have been preventable with some simple steps.”
Gobbels advises travelers to use antiseptic wipes. “Open up those individual packages and wipe down everything you can in front of you,” he says. “The tray table, the seat arms and even the seat belt.”
Gobbels says that this simple step can make the difference between a healthy trip and a costly—and potentially life-threatening—detour.
Two new films are showing two very different side of La Belle France. As Above, So Below looks like it's going to give Hostel a run for its money for movies-that-make-you-not-want-to-go-to-Europe. The other is the cute and comfy, Hundred-Foot Journey that qualifies as travelandfoodporn of the Lasse Hallström variety (you remember Chocolat?). So which would you choose? Ghouls and gremlins in the catacombs or a mouthful of sweeter-than-stevia South of France?
Giving a whole new meaning to the Britishism "twee" (meaning so cute you want to throw up), British Airways is debuting a new puppies and kittens entertainment channel onboard called "Paws & Relax." Have you thrown up yet? Excited?
Execs in their YouTube video say the images will quell the racing heartbeats of stressed out passengers.
If they really want to send flyers into a coma state of bliss, why not show them episodes of "Kipper"? Kipper, if you're not already a fan, is a Brit animated comedy with the most heart-grinding-to-a-stop low key puppy ever.
Kipper is like the Vicodin of cute. BA execs, how about adopting him as your mascot?
As Outlander fans know, Claire Randall sterilizes the wound of young Jaime, a Jacobite fighter in the first episode of the show (and in the books, of course).
On Saturday on my ongoing Outlander field trip with VisitScotland we paid a call to Roddy MacRae a historical interpreter at the Highland Folk Museum.
Roddy told me that the Highlanders would indeed not have known what "germs" were, but they might have known enough to douse their wounds with whiskey. Water sources were often not to be trusted and people drank milk, whiskey, heather beer and other beverages but hardly ever plain water.
Stay tuned for more Highlander trivia along the Outlander trail.
On VisitScotland's Outlander press trip, day two.
Yesterday we went to the Innerpeffray Library at the edge of the Highlands: one of the oldest libraries in the world.
There we met Lara Haggarty, a slender gamine-like lady with a huge passion for books. She is one of a long line of Keepers of the Books in one of the oldest lending libraries in the world.
Lara opened up volumes for me to look at that dealt with witchcraft and demonology. One was a treatise that said, in essence, "You people have to get real, there are no witches." Another was a book by King James himself that he wrote as a reply to the first called "Demonologie," basically saying, "Hell yeah, there are witches. And demons too!"
Then Lara took down a book with an illustration of MacBeth's witches--written about 100 years before Shakespeare. A book lover's dream. Diana Galbaldon take note!
All this week I will be posting field notes from Visit Scotland's Outlander media trip. We're just arising on a beautiful Friday morning in Edinburgh at the Malmaison Hotel. Out my window I can see green hills, the Firth of Forth and the ancient buildings of the city in that marvelous honey-grey granite color.
We'll be traveling to the magic standing stones that took Claire to Jaime and unravelling other mysteries of the Highlands and more for fans of the series and the books so stay tuned!
We also hear that Visit Scotland is unveiling its own Outlander travel page today so visit the website above for a preview of what people say is going to be the Game of Thrones of Scotland.
Sydney papers are reporting that Jetstar flight attendants warned passengers just before landing that dog were on hand at the Sydney airport to sniff out their portable packages of bliss after attending a Gold Coast area "Splendour in the Grass" music festival.
The flight attendants reportedly told flyers to flush whatever they had down the aircraft's toilets rather than face the music at airport arrivals.
The announcement was confirmed and apologized for by the airline but some passengers who availed themselves of the warning told press they were happy the airline cared enough to keep them from going to the dogs.