March 2011

Six Flags Magic Mountain

Six Flags Magic Mountain

If you love roller coasters, you’ll love Six Flags Magic Mountain. Many people think of theme parks when they come to Los Angeles: Disneyland, Universal Studios, Knott’s Berry Farm– but Magic Mountain is the place not to miss.

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Recently, we asked whether you’d rather jump off a waterfall in the D.R. or soak up some rays in beautiful Jamaica, and were excited to read all of your opinions on our Facebook page. This week, we have a new query to test what type of traveler you are: Which of the following would you rather do? Let us know in the comments section, or weigh in on Facebook.

Chill in the pool in Miami

Chill in the pool in Miami

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Show Dogs Field Roast Vegetarian

Show Dogs Field Roast Vegetarian

Heinz ketchup and Grey Poupon work in a pinch. But to really jazz up your backyard burgers and dogs, pick up some housemade condiments from Show Dogs, the gourmet sausage emporium on Market Street, just a stroll from the Holiday Inn Civic Center San Francisco.

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A few weeks ago, we spent the night at Mondrian SoHo. This brand new hotel from Morgans Hotel Group was generating so much buzz that we just had to check it out first-hand for ourselves (especially because we love its sister properties, Mondrian South Beach and Mondrian LA, so darn much).

And while we (okay, I) sadly don’t have a future as an iPhone videographer, we took these short videos so that you could get a sense of the trendy, purple-and-white lobby. They’re pretty much the same, except the second one focuses on the funky silver detailing on the ceiling. Enjoy!

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Theater at the Museum of the Moving Image

Theater at the Museum of the Moving Image

New York is a movie town. Celebrities live and walk among us; nobody minds too much when a block is closed off to accommodate a shooting schedule, especially because you can sometimes sneak treats off the crafts services table. Most importantly, practically every movie released in the United States plays here, so there’s always something to see: from Bollywood imports to mainstream bromances to a way-past-our-bedtime screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. For us, the best movie theaters have some combination of history, architectural impressiveness, comfy seats, excellent programming, and really good popcorn.

Gone are the famous theaters of yore like the Bleeker Street Cinema. But gritty realism hasn’t disappeared from the West Village’s Angelika, where the rumble of the F train next door occasionally obstructs the sound, a reminder of the days when the city was bankrupt and auteurs like Scorsese and Schrader ruled. The selection skews arthouse, with films like Restrepo and Blue Valentine opening. Frequently, writers, directors, or actors will pop in unannounced to introduce the very first showing and stay for a short Q&A. Excellent baked goods for sale in the cafe. Read More »

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The Meatball Shop's Spicy Pork Ball

The Meatball Shop's Spicy Pork Ball

People have always had debates about what is just BETTER in a given issue.

Up versus down.

Left versus right.

ESPN vs. Bravo…well, that’s a no brainer. Bravo OBVIOUSLY wins.

But a big issue for foodies is big versus small.  A huge yeast doughnut, or a diminutive doughnut hole? A meatball the size of your head or one only as big as a toddler’s fist?

That is the issue at hand.

ROUND 1: Doughnuts

Doughnut Plant’s Tres Leches Doughnut vs. Momofuku Milk Bar’s Birthday Cake Truffles (both located near the Hotel on Rivington New York City). Read More »

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Valley of Fire State Park

Valley of Fire State Park

There are plenty of light shows in and around Las Vegas but the ones I prefer have nothing to do with the Strip. Surprisingly, this overdeveloped city has some pristine patches of wilderness just a short drive from the erupting volcanoes and Egyptian pyramids that capture tourist attention along the Strip. Sure, when I’m in town I hit the craps table for one to two hours, making sure I quit while I’m ahead. But I prefer to stay off the Strip — at the lower-key boutique Rumor Las Vegas, that is thankfully free of a casino.

These are three venues where I spend a lot of my time when I’m in Vegas:

1. Just 45 minutes from the spinning roulette wheels is a wilderness area with almost blinding colors, so intense you may wonder if you’ve stepped on the surface of the sun. At Valley of Fire State Park, light explodes off the red, mauve, vermilion and white-colored sandstone in Nevada’s oldest park in stark contrast to the surrounding drab brown foothills. With names like the Beehives, Elephant Rock, Balancing Rock and the Limestone Hoodoos, these otherworldly formations, resembling their names, are arranged almost like a unique sculpture garden. And scattered about are petroglyphs, Indian drawings and geometric symbols, probably from 225 million years ago. Hiking this park is almost like a treasure hunt. On a short trail to Petrified Logs, you’ll find wood from ancient forests that had washed down and transformed to glassy stone millions of years ago.

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Everyone’s travel style is different. In our new series, “What would you rather do?” we’re going to let you weigh in on what gets you excited about travel. Take a look at the photos below — what do you think looks more fun? Let us know in the comment section!

Jump off of one of the 27 waterfalls of the Damajagua River in the Dominican Republic

Jump off of one of the 27 waterfalls of the Damajagua River in the Dominican Republic

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Boston Museum of Science

Boston Museum of Science

On Sunday, February 13, 2011, the Boston Museum of Science reopened the Charles Hayden Planetarium — after a $9 million, one year renovation — with the original show Undiscovered Worlds: The Search Beyond Our Sun.

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Sake Blue Asian Kitchen and Bar

Sake Blue Asian Kitchen and Bar

The team behind Town Kitchen & Bar has done it again. First it was with the opening of Smoke’t in South Miami where they put a funky twist on favorite southern favorites (how about some their creative selection of Red Neck Rolls?), and now they’ve brought progressive global Asian fusion to The Collection building behind Village of Merrick Park.

This high-energy, neighborhood hangout was inspired by the partners’ trips to New York, Las Vegas and San Francisco where sake joints combined with talented chefs caught their attention, and they wanted to bring the concept back to Miami. The result — a hip hangout complete with a modern take on Asian dishes, a roomy bar area, a chef’s table, a private sake room and the option of dining inside in the midst of all the energy or at a more secluded table al fresco.

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