Archive for March, 2012

SEE GLITZ AND GLAMOR AT THE SANTA MONICA GEM & JEWELRY SHOW

March 30-April 1, 2012

During the Golden Age of Hollywood, when starlets glittered and “matinee idol” meant true smolder, the redoubtable Mae West declared, “I never worry about diets. The only carrots that interest me are the number of carats in a diamond.”

Mae West certainly had a way with words. Carrots may be healthy for you but what child of Aphrodite is indifferent to diamonds? “Big girls need big diamonds,” Elizabeth Taylor once quipped, evoking Rubenesques weighted down in brilliants. Jean Harlow, Lana Turner, Marilyn Monroe all famously wore diamonds. But small girls like diamonds, too. Even men are being drawn to their sparkle. And despite modern synthetics and changing tastes and fashions, diamonds maintain their magical allure. Don’t they last forever? Aren’t they a girl’s best friend?

Hollywood stars today still show off their favorite designer diamond rings, necklaces, earrings and bracelets. Diamonds and other precious stones still warm the eye. If you’re on the look for THE ROCK, or are just passing through, The International Gem & Jewelry Show at the Santa Monica Civic Auditorium will give you an excellent opportunity to shop for your dream. With prices ranging from $5.00 to $500,000, no one should go away empty-handed.

The International Gem & Jewelry Show is one of the largest exhibitions of gems, minerals and jewelry in the world. Over 250 exhibitors offer convenience, selection and value, all in one place. For brides-to-be the show also features a fantastic array of engagement rings, wedding bands & sets and loose GIA certified diamonds.

HOURS: Fri. 12 p.m.-6 p.m. | Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. | Sun. 11 a.m.-5 p.m. 
TICKETS: One ticket price good for all three days [$8.00] or purchase advance discounted tickets   [$6.00] at  http://www.ticketderby.com

SANTA MONICA CIVIC AUDITORIUM
1855 Main Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401

WHERE TO STAY
Transcending the ordinary iconic Los Angeles hotel, The Huntley Santa Monica Beach welcomes its guests into a lobby that is truly something special. A dramatic design statement, a wall of piranhas, is lacquered white and lit by spotlights, and beckons guests of all ages to extend their arms and touch them. Book with us for a complimentary upgrade.

Aptly named, Shutters on the Beach is situated directly on the sands of Santa Monica Beach. Guests are instantly welcomed with the warm, coastal feeling of a summer home at this stunning beachfront property. For an unforgettable dining experience, guests need not look any further than the award-winning One Pico Restaurant.  A culinary adventure for all the senses, One Pic offers a modern American menu, a soothing fireplace and breathtaking ocean views. Enjoy great rates during the Spring season.

Close to the Jewelry Show, relax and rejuvenate at a stunning luxury hotel overlooking Santa Monica Bay, Loews Santa Monica. Exceptional service, contemporary elegance and a prime beachside location make Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel one of the most sought after hotels on the West Coast. Guests enjoy step-out balconies or a full patio, 300 thread count linens and unique extras including Keurig coffee makers and a10 inch LCD TV in the bathroom.

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BEST THEMED SUITES IN CHICAGO

Customer demand from the business class and upscale clientele, along with fierce competition, has forced hotels to adapt and customize their accommodations and services to satisfy this niche market. A number of Chicago boutique hotels have taken these measures to detailed and wonderful extremes, offering creatively-themed and fully accessorized stays in their luxury suites.

Relax Zen-like in the heart of Chicago at Dana Hotel & Spa. The Nirvana Suite features Italian rainfall fixtures, highest quality bath and beauty products, imported Italian linens, and in-room Kinesis Heritage fitness equipment. A spacious lounge area, hardwood floors and urban vantages capture the feel of genuine city residency. Located in Chicago’s River North, the largest concentration of art galleries in the US outside of Manhattan, and near the Magnificent Mile. 660 North State Street  Chicago, IL

After a $25+ million renovation, Sax Hotel Chicago unveiled a fresh Presidential Suite last month. As well as being revamped in rich colours and fabrics, the suites are wired to the max: flat-screens, surround sound audio, X Box 360 Elite gaming, Microsoft Zune MP3 and laptops. The 16th floor Presidential Suite boasts 65’ plasma screens, and a LifeWare home-automation system—connected through a Windows Vista Media Center PC. Steps away from the Chicago River in Marina City with access to six choice restaurants, a 25,000 square foot fitness facility, the 10 Pin upscale bowling lounge, and the House of Blues music venue. 333 North Dearborn Street  Chicago, IL

Hard Rock Hotel Chicago offers uniquely themed rooms in the heart of downtown Chicago. Stretching 40 stories tall near the Magnificent Mile, guests enjoy a music-rich vibe within the walls of the iconic Carbide & Carbon building, a Burnham masterpiece of green terra cotta and black granite. Spice up your stay with the Kandi Koated Nights Room Package. Choose from a list of intimate items from Kandi Burruss’s pleasure line, Bedroom Kandi. 230 N Michigan Ave  Chicago, IL 60601

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SOUTH BEACH: YOUR ART DECO DESTINATION

Swirls and curves, trapezoids and rectangles, steps and mirrors, sharp-edged black and white: sounds like a Fred Astaire movie set. Indeed, the style known as art deco combined the geometric motifs of the Machine Age with the high-gloss finishes and glamorous black-and-white color palette of the silver screen. Considered ultramodern at the height of its popularity, some of the first art deco designs came from the cutting edge Bauhaus School in Germany. In the 1930s, the architectural revolution arrived with panache and whimsy to South Beach, Miami.

At its best, art deco represented elegance, functionality and modernity. Its linear symmetry departed from the organic curves of its predecessor style art nouveau, and embraced influences from many different 20th century styles, including neoclassical, constructivism, cubism, futurism, and drew inspiration from ancient Egyptian and Aztec forms. Unlike many design movements with political or philosophical foundations, art deco was purely decorative, distinguished by features like flat roofs, smooth walls and bold exterior decorations—zigzags, swans, lilies and sunrise motifs—and the use of materials such as glass block, neon, chrome, and opaque glass panels.

Art deco’s appeal began to fade in the 1940s, as did South Beach. It resurged in the 1980s, when South Beach arose from the ashes to become an art deco vacation paradise. Today, its collection of more than 800 (the world’s largest of Streamline Moderne Art Deco) buildings from the 1930s and 40s have been transformed into an ultrachic destination of celebrities and a neighborhood of eccentric residents. It’s hard to believe the area once looked like a slum.

The renaissance into a wonderland has garnered global fame for the Art Deco District, now home to a mix of luxury resorts, chic hotels, hostels and national chain hotels. Ocean Drive is renowned for its trendy cafés, bikini-clad rollerbladers and beaches packed with sun-worshippers. Lincoln Road has emerged as a cultural, entertainment and retail magnet. But South Beach’s heart is its Art Deco Historic District, from 18th St. and south along Ocean Dr and Collins Ave—one of the largest areas in the USA on the National Register of Historic Places.

The Art Deco Welcome Center (1001 Ocean Dr) offers an informative permanent exhibit in the gallery, walking tours of the area’s best in 1920’s architecture, and a gift shop for that extra special souvenir.

 Our Top Art Deco Hotel Picks:

At a glance, the King & Grove Tides Hotel is somewhat reminiscent of a ship, but inside you’l find an all suites luxury hotel that occupies an ideal Ocean Drive location, just moments from the turquoise waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Its 1930’s Art Deco period-inspired exterior stands poised in the historic Art Deco District, walking distance to Collins Avenue, Lincoln Road Mall and some of South Florida’s most acclaimed dining, nightclubs and shopping. This 4.5 star 1936 landmark hotel offers an intimate setting in one of the most vibrant beach locations in North America.

The Sagamore Hotel is called ‘The Art Hotel’ for a reason. It’s lobby is reminiscent of an art gallery with art works adorning the pristine white walls and various sculptural elements thoughtfully displayed throughout. Since The Sagamore’s opening in 2001, numerous works of art and photography, murals, sculptures and installations have been on exhibit for guests and visitors to enjoy. Book with us to stay at this Art Deco hotel with an artistic twist!

A classic Art Deco landmark, right in the Art Deco district lies The National Hotel, which has been on Collins Avenue since 1939.  This beachfront hotel is amidst pulsating nightlife, exclusive shopping and a world of dining options, ensuring guests are just steps from must-see destinations including Lincoln Road Mall, Ocean Drive, Miami Beach Convention Center and Espanola Way. Book with us and receive waived resort fees, which gives you access to wifi, use of the fitness center, 2 lounge chairs and more!

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SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AT ROCKEFELLER CENTER

 The Rockefeller Center in Midtown Manhattan, an Art Deco landmark, continues to be one of New York City’s premier attractions.  Spanning 22 acres and featuring 19 commercial buildings, it’s home to numerous NYC events, including the lighting of the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree. Built in 1939, Rockefeller Center was the vision of famous NY businessman and philanthropist, John D. Rockefeller Jr. The Center has been featured in dozens of films and TV shows over the past century, many of which are still on today.

 With its striking statues and ornate art nouveau murals, Rockefeller Center also draws art enthusiasts from all over the world.  It’s stunning architecture is art itself, but it is one of the last buildings to incorporate a program of integrated public art. The most recognizable statue, is the bronze gilded statue of the Greek legend of the Tiatan Prometheusus, that sits at the bottom of the plaza at the front of the building, where the ice rink is put in during the winter.

The Center is a combination of two building complexes: the older and original 14 Art Deco office buildings from the 1930s, and a set of four International-style towers built along the west side of Avenue of the Americas during the 1960s and 1970s. The Time-Life Building and Fox News Channel headquarters are part of the Rockefeller Center extension now owned/managed by the private real estate firm, Rockefeller Group.

John D. Rockefeller Jr.’s resolve to make the Center bearing his name contemporary and innovative can be felt in every nook. A look through the Gallery reveals a singular collection of treasures, themed “New Frontiers”, charting man’s spiritual, scientific, and industrial advancement. Learn about the Center’s famous structures and outdoor spaces—and how Rockefeller’s vision was finally realized. Visit the gardens and historic buildings that give the Center its distinctly dynamic flavour. From the soaring views of Top of the Rock to a backstage pass tour at NBC Studios, every tour at Rockefeller Center brings you inside and behind-the-scenes of some of New York City’s treasures.

The skyscraper is the headquarters of NBC and houses most of the network’s New York studios, including 6A, former home of Late Night with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O’Brien and current home of The Dr. Oz Show; 6B, home of Late Night with Jimmy Fallon; 8H, home of the famous sketch show Saturday Night Live; as well as the operations of NBC News, and MSNBC.

So whether you want to see unparalled views of The Big Apple, be part of a late night talk show and see celebrity sightings, or go behind the scenes at NBC, this NYC landmark has something for everyone.

30 Rockefeller Plaza  New York, NY 10112

Luxury New York City Stays
The Plaza: If you plan on visiting a NYC landmark, why not stay in one as well?! For over a century, this has been the New York address for discerning travelers, dignitaries, and celebrities; the grandeur and opulence of this incredible 5 star hotel is recognized around the world. From sparkling chandeliers to gold plated fixtures, treat yourself to exquisite luxury. Book with us for fantastic rates and have a true New York experience.

The Waldorf Towers: Only a few blocks away from the iconic Rockefeller Center, this hotel takes you back to that old world elegance. Prominently located on 50th Street at Park Avenue and occupying an entire city block, Waldorf Towers is the place to be for shopping on Fifth Avenue, fine dining and the best that Midtown East has to offer. Guests are within walking distance of fast-paced Times Square, Broadway theaters, Central Park, and bustling Grand Central Station. Book with us for complimentary upgrades starting April 1st, 2012.

The Crowne Plaza Times Square: Conveniently located to both Rockefeller Center and Times Square, this 4 star hotel is especially convenient for first-time visitors to the Big Apple, Crowne Plaza Times Square provides a perfect home-base for exploring the city. The hotel itself is modern in design, with each room offering awe-inspiring views and a quiet respite at day’s end. Book with us for great rates this spring!

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NEW YORK: TAKE THE FAMILY TO THE THEATRE

The theatre offers something you simply can’t find in any other medium. For young and old alike, watching live actors emote and project on a stage in a communal setting puts the detached, electronic experience of viewing television and film, web-browsing or playing video games, into perspective. Theatre is a very human endeavour, tangible and cathartic, whether tragic or rollicking, and perhaps something all children should be exposed to at a young age. And where else but in New York City, that perennial hotbed of theatre, would you find a more sparkling variety of child-friendly theatre choices?

 Tumble down the rabbit hole in the world premiere of the new musical ALICE IN WONDERLAND. 60 minutes of magic suitable for all ages. In addition to the musical, an interactive arts workshop is held prior to every performance. The Players Theatre, 115 MacDougal Street. $25.00 – $40.00 (212 352-3101). Closes: May 20, 2012.

Join ANGELINA BALLERINA THE MUSICAL, as dancer Angelina and her friends perform hip-hop, modern jazz, the Irish jig and, of course, ballet, for a famous visitor. Geared for families with children, ages 3-12. McGinn/Cazale Theatre 2162 Broadway, 4th floor at 76th Street. $29.50 – $49.50 Closes: April 22, 2012.

Who would have thought that a show about three bald mutes with blue skin would fly in New York? Well, The BLUE MAN GROUP opened in 1991 and has been going strong ever since, offering a wide audience accessible performance art. Featuring blue acrobatics and flying food, dripping paint, and wads of paper. Fun for the whole family. Astor Place Theatre 434 Lafayette Street. $85.00 – $99.00.

FRECKLEFACE STRAWBERRY, based on a children’s book by actress Julianne Moore, opens for a return NYC engagement. Freckleface Strawberry hates her freckles so much she dons a ski mask, in this jumpy musical for all ages. Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, 248 W. 60th Street. $45.00 (212 239-6200). Closes: July 2, 2012.

For a distinct change of pace, THE SWEDISH COTTAGE MARIONETTE THEATRE stages puppet plays six days a week at 10:30 a.m. The hour-long shows revive favorite fairy tales. 9 West Street (212 988-9093). Adults $6; kids $5.

THE LION KING, now a decade old, continues to delight and draw mass crowds with its astonishing puppets and sets. The film score has become iconic, including songs like “Circle of Life” and “Can You Feel the Love Tonight?” A must experience for all generations. Minskoff Theatre 1515 Broadway. $51.25 – $121.25 (212 307-4100).

 BEST FAMILY HOTELS IN NYC:

Near the Manhattan Movement & Arts Center, sits the Loews Regency Hotel. To fit in with your theatre-filled holiday, enjoy caberet-style entertainment and fine dining at the renowned Feinstein’s, one of New York’s best.  Take advantage of our deeply discounted rates during this spring season.

The 5 star Trump SoHo hotel, known for its spacious rooms, is close to a few of the listed theaters and is surrounded by quirky galleries, upscale boutiques, giving the whole family something to see and do. Relax in the infamous Trump Spa, featuring massages, facials, Hammam and Spa Attache. Book now to take advantage of a complimentary upgrade for stays until March 31, 2012.

The Chatwal 5 star hotel has become quite the rising star in New York’s Theatre District. A true boutique hotel, with only 76 perfectly-designed rooms and suites, guests can enjoy an attention to detail and unparalleled service. Enjoy complimentary upgrades and breakfast on us!

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THE HIGH LINE IN NYC

Just when you think you’ve combed every inch of New York City something unexplored and wonderful crops up. Such is the case with the under-publicized High Line, a fascinating stretch of reclaimed industrial space. The High Line is a public park built on an historic freight rail line elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side. It runs from Gansevoort Street in the Meatpacking District to West 34th Street. Founded in 1999 by community residents, it is owned by the City of New York, and maintained and operated by Friends of the High Line.

 Much of the first section of the High Line lies in the Meatpacking District, home to more than 250 slaughterhouses and meatpacking plants in the early 20th century. Trains, as well as barges and ships from the Hudson River, brought goods to the district for processing. When the High Line was built in the 1930s, it carried freight trains full of goods directly to the upper floors of these meatpacking plants and factories.

As its industrial efficacy declined mid-20th century, the Meatpacking District changed with the times. Its historic cobblestone streets and low-lying industrial buildings now house museums, restaurants, nightclubs, photography and design studios, salons, and fashion boutiques. The corner of Gansevoort Street and Washington Street will be the site of new Whitney Museum of American Art facility, projected to open in 2012.

To the north of the Meatpacking District sits the neighborhood of West Chelsea, where the majority of the High Line is located. West Chelsea shares the industrial past of the Meatpacking District, with large factories and warehouses lining its streets and avenues. In addition to the de rigueur boutiques and restaurants, West Chelsea now boasts the world’s largest concentration of art galleries.

The High Line’s northernmost section, perhaps the least developed, runs through the Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. Large-scale development and infrastructure improvements are underway, as well as plans to complete the final section of the High Line, and permanently secure it as public open space. The High Line is open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM daily.

WHERE TO STAY NEARBY:

Hotel Gansevoort: Just near the High Line, this 4 star hotel is for people who want to see and be seen. Book this Meatpacking District hotel with us and receive a complimentary upgrade, special amenities for suite reservations, and a complimentary bottle of red wine for reservations made in the month of March (regardless of dates of stay).

The Standard New York: Hovering above the High Line on concrete pillars, this one-of-a-kind Meatpacking District hotel offers light-flooded, ultra-mod rooms with panoramic views of the city; one restaurant, several popular bars; and excellent service. The hotel is a stylish base for exploring the Chelsea art scene and the excellent shopping and nightlife of the surrounding neighborhood. Book with us for a complimentary upgrade.

The Eventi: Occupying an entire city block on Sixth Avenue from 29th to 30th, Eventi New York is both easy to find and hard to miss. Eventi NY has a great location near Madison Square Garden, Penn Station, Times Square and Bryant Park. Situated in the Chelsea neighborhood, near the High Line, has recently been revitalized with the development of new luxury hotels, shops and dining destinations.

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FASHION WEEK IN MIAMI BEACH

March 21 – 24, 2012
For a fashion experience with a decidedly Latino flavour, book your tickets now for the Miami Beach International Fashion Week 2012. From March 21-24 more than 50 of the world’s top fashion designers present their latest collections on the catwalks of the Miami Beach Convention Center in the largest international and Hispanic fashion event in the USA. Experience the best of Latin fashion, beauty, music, cuisine and art in this all-encompassing event.

The week kicks off with a seminar presentation and cocktail reception on Tuesday March 20th. The Opening Night Press Conference will take place on March 21st, followed by a Swimwear Designer Showcase that should give some sizzle to the evening. Florida’s Fashion Stars will then lend some local pizzaz to the Emerging Designers Prelude & Miami Style Showcase. In addition there will be exhibitions of jewelry and accessories from designers such as Bagghy Miami, Paola Peres and Sharon Piligra Rooks.

One of the highlights of the week will be the Prêt-A-Porter Designer Showcase on March 22, which will feature the winner of the prestigious Mission Moda/Bolivia award. Other highlights will include Banja Luka Fashion Fair Designer Showcase featuring designers from Bosnia & Herzegovina and Montenegro.

But of course, everyone will eagerly be anticipating Latin Fashion Weeks Council Designer Showcase, showcasing the top emerging and established designers from throughoutLatin America. Let’s hope that some of last year’s stars, like Venezuelan Giovanni Scutaro, Colombian Eduardo Gonzalez, and Brazilian Marcelo Quadros (who brought a whole new meaning to Little Black Dress), dazzle us again with their sexy and inspired designs.

Festivities will close on the evening of March 24 with the Miami Moda & Music Awards & Special Guest Designer, including live performances from international performers.

WHERE TO STAY:
Inspiring and imaginative, the Dream Hotel South Beach is a true escape, a retreat to a world of fantasy where every desire is satisfied and every whim is catered to. Connecting two previously separate Art Deco buildings using an entry courtyard with wall fountains and bamboo plants, and a rooftop walkway, emerged a sophisticated boutique 4 star property. Stay with us for fantastic rates.

For a more luxurious retreat, the 4.5 star Delano beachfront hotel offers a stay that leaves an impression long after the tan lines have faded. The heated infinity pool at The Delano features underwater music and private cabanas for a truly indulgent experience. Serenity beckons at Agua Spa. Guests are invited to this rooftop bathhouse and solarium offering numerous treatments, 360-degree views and an enormous private terrace to enjoy. Check out their new nightlife hotspot, FDR Lounge, now open.

A prime beachfront location with tropical foliage extending from the hotel to the beach and ocean creates the feel akin to a secluded island paradise. A popular choice for families, The Palms Hotel Miami Beach features an array of amenities including an oceanfront heated swimming pool, The Palms Spa by AVEDA, state-of-the-art fitness center, golf and tennis courts nearby and beach service with lounges, umbrellas, towels and drink service.

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