Filmmakers, Fans, Foodies Come Together for Long Island’s Biggest Beach Party Opening the Long Beach International Film Festival

July 24, 2015
The Long Beach International Film Festival gets underway August 7 with a free event of music, food, and film shorts on the beach.

The Long Beach International Film Festival gets underway August 7 with a free event of music, food, and film shorts on the beach.

Long Beach, NY – This year, the Long Beach International Film Festival is taking the concept of “Dinner and a Movie” to a whole new level. On August 7th (RAIN DATE: August 8th) beginning at 5pm,  be “on the beach” between National Boulevard and Edwards Boulevard in Long Beach NY for the biggest beach party of the summer, with films, live musical performances, food, wine, craft beers – and even a red carpet.

First, experience Taste On The Beach presented by Infiniti of Lynbrook – where foodies and music lovers alike can indulge in local Long Beach fare and other top regionally based restaurants’ finest foods, wine, craft beer & cocktails while rubbing elbows with celebrities such as Liza Huber of “Passions” and Sage Spoonfuls fame as well as renowned Culinary masterminds and personalities like Chef Nicole Roarke of Heneghan’s Tavern, Rob Petrone from Verizon Fios1 TV’s Restaurant Hunter and Danny Gagnon from Top Chef (tickets are required, and can be purchased HERE). While dining, you can enjoy live musical performances from international recording artist Connell Cruise and local reggae stars Oogee Wawa along with a host of other acts (these performances can be enjoyed for free and are open to the public.)

For a sneak-peek, some of our feature restaurants and breweries can be viewed: HERE

Then, join in the 4th Annual “Shorts on the Beach” – an annual FREE, open to the public event (tickets are required, and can be reserved HERE). Among the many interesting titles being featured include Director Brooke Wagstaff’s animated film and Award-winning Vimeo Staff Pick “Missing U”; an animated tale about the letter “I” and her perilous adventure in search of her missing “U”. As a Long Island highlight, Director Peter Frizalone’s HBO Project Greenlight Top 200 “Mommy” will be making its World Premiere and begging the question “Do you know who is in your house?”.

Other films include Director Chris Jordan-Bloch’s documentary on an ever-growing world issue “Dryden – The Small Town That Changed the Fracking Game” where the power of community takes on the power of fracking; Director/Producer Stephanie Donnelly’s narrative/comedy “The Cannoli” where a Long Island family dinner turns tragic and a choice must be made between dessert and family; Director Sarah Menzies’ San Diego Surf Film Festival Best Short winning documentary “Catch It”, which follows Léa Brassy as her nomadic lifestyle takes a pause and she finds serenity in the Arctic surf of Northern Norway; and Croatian Director Antoneta Alamat Kusijanović’s World Premiere of  “Eye for an Eye”, in which child’s play turns into a showdown of imagination and discipline.

Schedule of Events

5:00PM: Red Carpet opens. Live Music kicks off with Benoir, Michelle Medoff, Mark Newman, Oogee Wawa and more.

6:00PM Taste On The Beach opens with restaurants, wineries and craft breweries coming together to give a sampling of their favorite dish/bottle/brew.

9:00PM Taste on the Beach ends. Shorts On The Beach begins with such shorts as NYC director Cindy Allen’s “Trust Design” and Peter Frizalone’s “Mommy”.

“The Shorts on the Beach program is a wonderful representation of what is in store for the Long Beach International Film Festival in September,” Long Beach International Film Festival Programmer Steve Shor said. “The program will open with the Oscar winning short Feast from Walt Disney Animation. Additional animated shorts include Deep End by Oscar nominee Bill Plympton and Bear Story- a Chilean computer animated short (considered one of the best this year).  In the short documentary arena, we have Trust Design by Interior Design Magazine and Dryden by EarthJustice. Finally, the program includes some wonderful Narrative submissions from New York based directors and Universities”.

The Long Beach International Film Festival celebrates the art of storytelling through cinema. Presenting shorts, fiction and documentary formats, the festival is committed to exhibiting films that convey a fresh voice and differing perspectives. The goal of these programs is to captivate, engage and enlighten audiences, provide invaluable exposure for filmmakers and present inspired entertainment (www.longbeachfilm.com).

Twitter: @LBIFFNY

Instagram: @LBIFFNY

Facebook: www.Facebook.com/LongBeachInternationalFilmFestival

Festival Hotel Discounts and accommodations: http://www.longbeachfilm.com/plan-your-stay/

Newly Launched Triller App for i-Phone Lets You Turn Vacation Travel into Music Video

July 23, 2015
Triller™, a game-changing music video maker app for iPhone®, can be downloaded today for free on the App Store℠.

Triller™, a game-changing music video maker app for iPhone®, can be downloaded today for free on the App Store℠.

Just in time for the family vacation season, what a way to engage children in their experience, creating their own music video on their i-Phone! Launching today, Triller™, a game-changing music video maker app for iPhone®, can be downloaded today for free on the App Store℠.

(PRESS HERE to download today for free on the App Store℠)

Triller is the first of its kind, allowing users to create lip sync videos for their favorite songs with an editing algorithm that uses intelligent audio and facial analysis to decide when to cut. Music fans simply pick a song, choose a section of the song, and shoot a few video takes. Then with the push of a button, Triller edits the takes together to create a stunning music video.

PRESS HERE to watch a preview of the app.

Triller is the creation of award-winning music video director Colin Tilley (Kendrick Lamar, Justin Bieber, Nicki Minaj, Jason Derulo and more) and app developers David Leiberman and Sammy Rubin (creators of Mibblio®, the first interactive musical storybook, and the chart-topping Disney Frozen: Karaoke).

“With Triller, you don’t have to be Colin Tilley to make a music video that looks like it was shot by Colin Tilley,” said Leiberman. “The app truly democratizes the music video creation process. Whether you’re hanging in the park with friends or an artist on tour, Triller makes it easy and fun to create great-looking music videos.”

Not only is Triller easy to use, but it offers infinite creative possibilities with stylish filters, zooming capability, and even the power to tweak the video’s edit to the individual’s liking. Once users create their videos, they can either share publicly to social networks like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube, share privately to their friends via text message or WhatsApp, or just save to their camera roll.

“My editing friends and I always knew the iPhone was gonna lead to some kind of game-changer in video editing,” said Tilley. “Triller is it, and I’m really excited to be involved.”

Triller is available for free on the App Store. For more information, visit www.triller.co.

Follow Triller on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Vine to stay up to date on new versions, featured videos and the latest contests.

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White House Lifts Camera Ban on Public Tours, Encourages Posting Pix

July 3, 2015
Visitors to The White House, Washington DC are now encouraged to post their photos © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Visitors to The White House, Washington DC are now encouraged to post their photos © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

After 40 years, the White House is lifting its longstanding camera and photo ban on public tours.  Guests are now welcome to take photos throughout the White House tour route and keep those memories for a lifetime. Visitors are also encouraged to share their experience using the hashtag #WhiteHouseTour.

To announce the change in policy, the First Lady posted THIS video on her Instagram account.

Permitted Items: Phones and compact still cameras with a lens no longer than 3 inches are allowed inside the White House.  Photography is permitted but may not interfere with the enjoyment of other guests on the tour.  

Prohibited Items: Video cameras, including any action camcorders, cameras with detachable lenses, tablets, tripods, monopods, and camera sticks are not permitted on White House Tours.  Flash photography and livestreaming are not permitted while on the tour.

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Orbitz.com Spotlights Last-Minute Deals for Memorial Day; Promo Code ‘TRAVELHAPPY’ Saves Additional 20%

May 21, 2015
Orbitz.com has hotel deals in San Francisco for Memorial Day weekend © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Orbitz.com has hotel deals in San Francisco for Memorial Day weekend © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Last-minute travelers and procrastinators alike can still find deals for Memorial Day weekend. The latest Orbitz Insider Index spotlights the most popular destinations for the holiday weekend along with nearby alternatives that can save travelers up to 35 percent. Consumers can save even more by using promotion code TRAVELHAPPY, which gives travelers an additional 20 percent off of hotel stays of one night or more when booking travel on Orbitz.com or the mobile apps through May 24.1

“Memorial Day marks the beginning of the summer season and Americans are traveling in record numbers this year,” said Jeanenne Tornatore, senior editor for Orbitz.com. “It’s not too late to get away without breaking the bank. By booking accommodations just outside of major tourist hubs or by staying in neighboring suburbs, travelers can stretch their budgets even further.”

Memorial Day Orbitz Insider Index

The Memorial Day Orbitz Insider Index rounds up the 10 most popular destinations, based on hotel bookings, for the holiday weekend along with cheaper locations in nearby suburbs or neighboring cities. Las Vegas takes the top spot this year as the most popular destination among travelers, with Cancun and New York rounding out the top three.

Orbitz Top 10 Memorial Day Destinations2
Rank Top 10 Destinations
Memorial Day
Weekend 2015
Average
Daily Rate
(ADR)
Alternative
Accommodations
Neighborhoods/Suburbs
Average
Daily Rate
(ADR)
Savings
1 Las Vegas, Nev. $139 Downtown (off-strip) Las Vegas, Nev. $105 24%
2 Cancun, Mexico $238 Playa Del Carmen, Mexico $217 9%
3 New York, N.Y. $288 Jersey City, N.J. $237 18%
4 Chicago, Ill. $211 Lakeview, Ill. $192 9%
5 Punta Cana, Dominican Republic $237 La Romana, Dominican Republic $154 35%
6 San Diego, Calif. $183 Carlsbad, Calif. $152 17%
7 Orlando, Fla. $123 Kissimmee, Fla. $88 28%
8 London, UK $250 Paddington, UK $170 32%
9 Miami Beach, Fla. $232 Downtown Miami, Fla. $176 24%
10 San Francisco, Calif. $238 San Mateo, Calif. $166 30%

The Clymb Mounts Nepal Relief ‘Voluntourism’ Trek

May 7, 2015

Nepal trek-lasso e2

Kathmandu, Nepal –  May 7, 2015 – Help rebuild earthquake-stricken Nepal on this “voluntourism” adventure. 100% of proceeds go to a local NGO dedicated to rebuilding villages decimated by this tragic natural disaster. Plus, travelers will experience trekking in the spectacular Annapurna region of the Himalaya Mountains.

This 13 day itinerary featured on The Clymb for $1199 includes 4 days of rebuilding the hard hit Gorkha region and then 9 days bringing valuable tourism dollars to the region’s highlights like Poon Hill, Pokhara and Ghorepani.

The Clymb is exclusively promoting this tour that is operated by long term partner Ace the Himalaya. Ace has been working in these communities for years and the founder and many of the porters/guides are from the region.

As of now over 35 of Ace’s employees have completely lost their houses in the Earthquake – this trip is dedicated to rebuilding lives. 100% of proceeds go to a local NGO dedicated to rebuilding villages decimated by this tragic natural disaster.

Departures will start in late September, to avoid monsoon season, and to be sure the help travelers bring is genuinely useful.

To learn more, visit: http://www.theclymb.com/adventures/15742/project-rebuild-nepal-annapurna-trek/show-product/187362

 

San Francisco’s Arts & Culture Scene is Bustling

April 16, 2015
The Palace of Fine Arts is one of the unexpected cultural treasures of San Francisco © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Palace of Fine Arts is one of the unexpected cultural treasures of San Francisco © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Creative people have always been attracted to San Francisco, from the inventor of Levi’s blue jeans to the wizards of the latest tech startups to the creators of Burning Man.  Artists find the city’s atmosphere of innovation and freedom of expression irresistible, resulting in a diverse collection of remarkable museums, exhibitions and events that are equally irresistible to those who love the arts.

Here are some recent and upcoming developments in San Francisco’s arts and culture scene.

@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz

Art lovers (anyone interested in human rights) have only seven weeks left to see the works of world renowned artist Ai Weiwei at Alcatraz, the notorious prison turned national park in San Francisco Bay. @Large: Ai Weiwei on  Alcatraz, a site-specific exhibition of works, is on view through April 26, 2015.

The Chinese artist is internationally recognized both as a maker of potent and provocative art and as a passionate advocate for human rights and freedom of expression. His art and ideas find a compelling new context in this exhibition of large-scale sculpture, sound and mixed media created specifically for Alcatraz.

Ai’s sculpture, sound and mixed-media works occupy four locations in the former prison: the New Industries Building, A Block, the Hospital and the Dining Hall. With the exception of the Dining Hall, these spaces are usually off limits to the public, but all will be open throughout the run of this unprecedented exhibition.

The exhibition is included in the regular Alcatraz ticket prices.  Special guided @Large Night Tours will be offered on Thursday through Monday nights.  Tickets can be purchased at http://www.alcatrazcruises.com/website/ai-weiwei.aspx. In anticipation of high demand for @Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz tickets, a limited number of seats on the Early Bird boat (departing Pier 33 at 8:45 a.m. seven days a week) will be set aside each day to accommodate exhibition visitors. These Early Bird tickets and tours may be reserved by contacting the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy at 415-561-3021 or aiweiweialcatraz@parksconservancy.org,

For more information on ticket options, see http://www.parksconservancy.org/events/park-interp/ai-weiwei-alcatraz.html.

@Large: Ai Weiwei on Alcatraz is organized by the FOR-SITE Foundation in partnership with the National Park Service and the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy.

Art Along the Waterfront

San Francisco has long been a city committed to accessible art.  After experiencing Ai Weiwei’s work on Alcatraz, people will be ready to discover more public art and they will be in exactly the right place.  The Embarcadero is home to more than a dozen public art installations.  It’s hard to miss Cupid’s Span, the gigantic bow and arrow by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen in Rincon Park.

On the south side of the Bay Bridge, on the Embarcadero at Second and Townsend streets, is Mark DiSuvero’s Sea Change.   Seventy feet tall and weighing 10 tons, this elegant and kinetic sculpture serves as a gateway to the newly refurbished South Waterfront.

Some installations blend history and culture.  Between Piers 35 and 39, Roger Barr’s Skygate, a 26-foot-high mirror-polished stainless steel sculpture, is dedicated to the memory of Eric Hoffer (1903-1983), a longshoreman, poet and philosopher.

Many of the public art installations along the waterfront and throughout the city are part of the city’s civic art collection.  For a map of public art, visit www.sfartscommission.org/pubartcollection/pubart-projects/2008/10/21/public-art-projects-map.

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) More Than Doubling in Size

A major expansion is underway at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA), which has embodied bold vision and innovation from its founding in 1935 to the 1995 opening of its Mario Botta-designed building.

With more than 30,000 works, SFMOMA has built definitive collections in painting and  sculpture, photography, architecture and design, and media arts, including significant examples of the art of the Bay Area and California. The SFMOMA collection is internationally recognized and continues to grow.

In 2016, SFMOMA will reinvent itself yet again by more than doubling its current capacity for the presentation of art, providing almost six times as much public space as the current building.

The centerpiece of SFMOMA’s expansion is the remarkable building design developed in collaboration with the architectural firm Snøhetta. The approximately 235,000-square-foot expansion will seamlessly join the existing building.

One of the catalysts for the expansion is the addition of the Doris and Donald Fisher Collection, one of the greatest private collections of contemporary art in the world.  Learn more at www.sfmoma.org.

Museum of the African Diaspora Reopens after $1.3 Million Renovation

The Museum of the African Diaspora (MoAD) is one of the few museums in the world focused on African Diaspora culture and on presenting the rich cultural art works of the people of Africa and of African descendant cultures around the world.  The Museum is currently featuring “The Art of Elizabeth Catlett” through April 5, 2015.

MoAD reopened in December, 2014, after a $1.3 million renovation with added gallery space, a more open layout for the ground floor and lobby, a redesigned Museum store, and an upgrade to all of its technology including interactive iPad kiosks in the lobby and a new website.

MoAD recently was chosen as a Smithsonian Affiliate and now has access to the Smithsonian Institution’s collection of 136 million artifacts for research, exhibits and programming.

Situated in the heart of the Yerba Buena Arts District, home of the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, MoAD is actively engaged in building a community that inspires, educates and connects people of all ages and backgrounds. MoAD seeks to build a deeper understanding of the African Diaspora through art, programs and events that cultivate wonder and excitement about the ways in which personal histories are connected. As a nonprofit organization, the museum’s operations and programs are supported by grants and contributions from public and private sources.  To learn more, visit www.moadsf.org.

SFMOMA Partners with MoAD and the Oakland Museum of California

As part of SFMOMA’s On the Go series showcasing the museum’s collection at other cultural venues in the region, the Oakland Museum of California features “Fertile Ground: Art and Community in California” through April 12, 2015 and MoAD presents Portraits and Other Likenesses from SFMOMA, opening May 8.

Organized in partnership with the Museum of the African Diaspora, “Portraits and Other Likenesses from SFMOMA” considers how artists from the early 20th century to the present have negotiated a vast array of European, African and American visual-cultural forms to redefine what it means to make a portrait. Together, the works suggest that as people move between geographies, meanings drift, too.

“Fertile Ground” illuminates local histories and social forces that changed the face of art in — and beyond — the Golden State. Weaving together art and ephemera from the collections of the Oakland Museum of California and SFMOMA, the exhibition tells the stories of four creative communities at decisive moments in the history of California art: the circle of artists and influences from Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in San Francisco in the 1930s to the streetwise, uncompromisingly idealistic artists at the center of a vibrant new Mission scene that took root in the 1990s through the present.

For more information, visit http://www.sfmoma.org/exhib_events

The Bay Lights to Become Permanent in Time for Super Bowl 50 in 2016

San Francisco has become a national leader in light art.  No recent development underscores this more strongly than the news that The Bay Lights, the world’s largest LED light sculpture, will become a permanent icon on the city’s landscape.   Illuminate the Arts has successfully raised $4 million in private funds to pay for new equipment and re-installation.

Since its debut on March 5, 2013, the vertical cables of the Bay Bridge’s western span (also known as the Willie L. Brown Jr. Bridge) have come to life nightly with 25,000 LED lights “performing” in patterns created by light artist Leo Villareal.

The originally planned two-year installation of The Bay Lights by artist Leo Villareal will end on March 6, 2015 and the sculpture will be removed to allow Caltrans to perform maintenance on the bridge cables.

The Bay Lights will be re-installed in time to shine for Super Bowl 50 in February 2016.   Learn more at http://thebaylights.org/about/.

San Francisco Illuminated by Light Art

Two other temporary light art installations are drawing crowds:

Soma by the Flaming Lotus Girls at Pier 14 on the Embarcadero debuted at Burning Man in 2009 and has been organized by the Black Rock Arts Foundation.   It will be illuminated at 10 minutes after sunset until 2 a.m. nightly through July 2015.

On Treasure Island, Bliss Dance by Marco Cochrane (2011) is on display on the Avenue of the Palms at the Great Lawn.  Though no end date has been announced, the installation is considered “temporary, until further notice.”  The 40-foot-tall sculpture’s lighting effects are on from 8:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. nightly.

Permanent light art pieces within the city’s 49 square miles include:

  •  Three Gems, by James Turrell (2005), de Young Museum, Osher Sculpture Garden, Golden Gate Park
  •  Skygarden, by James Turrell (2007), San Francisco Federal Building, 90 Seventh St. at Mission Street
  •  Ocean Mirror with Fragments, by Jim Campbell (2007), Saunders Court, University of California, San Francisco, Koret Way
  •  Constellation, by Nayland W. Blake (1996), San Francisco Main Library, 100 Larkin St., Civic Center
  •  Firefly, by Ned Kahn (2012), 525 Golden Gate Ave. at Polk Street, Civic Center
  •  Language of the Birds, by Brian Goggin and Dorka Keehn (2008), Intersection of Broadway and Columbus Avenues, North Beach
  •  …and my room still rocks like a boat on the sea…(Caruso’s Dream), by Brian Gogginwith Dorka Keehn  (2014), 55 Ninth St., south of Market Street
  •  Bayview Rise, by Haddad-Drugan (2014), Pier 92, Bayview near Third Street and Cargo Way

At San Francisco International Airport, permanent light art installations include:

  •  Wind Portal, by Ned Kahn (2000), International Terminal between BART Station and AirTrain
  •  Four Sculptural Light Reflectors, by James Carpenter (2000), International Terminal, Main Hall, Level 3, Pre-Security
  •  Spirogyrate, by Eric Staller (2014), Terminal 3, Boarding Area E, Level 2, Post-Security
  •  Sky, by Merge Conceptual Design (2014), Terminal 3, Boarding Area E, Level 2, Post-Security
  •  Light Beams for the Sky of a Transfer Corridor, by Vito Acconci (2000), International Terminal, A-G, Level 2, Pre-Security
  •  Ceiling Flood, by Keith Sonnier (1999), International Terminal, Boarding Area G, Level 2, Post-Security

Light-centric events and tours are currently being scheduled around the summer solstice, on June 21, 2015.  San Francisco Travel,  the city’s tourism marketing organization, is also planning the third annual IlluminateSF festival to celebrate these eclectic, electric installations in December 2015 and January 2016.

For more information on the light art installations and related events, visit www.illuminatesf.com

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) offers non-stop flights to more than 34 international cities on 29 international carriers. The Bay Area’s largest airport connects non-stop with 78 cities in the U.S. on 15 domestic airlines. SFO offers upgraded free Wi-Fi with no advertising. For up-to-the-minute departure and arrival information, airport maps and details on shopping, dining, cultural exhibitions, ground transportation and more, visit www.flysfo.com. Follow on www.twitter.com/flysfo and  www.facebook.com/flysfo.

The San Francisco Travel Association is the official tourism marketing organization for the City and County of San Francisco. For information on reservations, activities and more, visit www.sanfrancisco.travel or call 415-391-2000.  The Visitor Information Center is located at 900 Market St. in Hallidie Plaza, lower level, near the Powell Street cable car turnaround. 

 

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New York State Pays Homage on 150th Anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s Death

April 15, 2015
An 1889 map illustrates the journey of Lincoln's funeral cortege; the National Park Service is replicating the "Lincoln Journey Home," starting April 18 in Washington DC and ending May 3 in Springfield, Illinois (National Park Service).

An 1889 map illustrates the journey of Lincoln’s funeral cortege; the National Park Service is replicating the “Lincoln Journey Home,” starting April 18 in Washington DC and ending May 3 in Springfield, Illinois (National Park Service).

by Karen Rubin

New York State is commemorating the 150th anniversary of the death of President Abraham Lincoln starting this month with numerous special events statewide, including a full day of free activities on Saturday, April 25 at the New York State Capitol. This is the date the Lincoln Funeral Train arrived in Albany in 1865 carrying the slain President’s body that then laid in state at the old Capitol on April 26.

But before the funeral cortege arrives in Albany, it will come to New York City, on Friday, April 24, where programs will be held at Federal Hall National Memorial11 a.m. & 1 pm

(Federal Hall National Memorial is at 26 Wall Street, near the corner of Wall Street and Nassau Street. (Called the Birthplace of American Government, it was here on Wall Street, where George Washington took the oath of office as the first President, and this site was home to the first Congress, Supreme Court, and Executive Branch offices. The current structure, a Customs House, later served as part of the US Sub-Treasury. Now, the building serves as a museum and memorial to the first President and the beginnings of the United States of America.)

A mask of Abraham Lincoln's visage was made just before his death © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

A mask of Abraham Lincoln’s visage was made just before his death © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Lincoln guided our nation through one of its darkest times, and his commitment to unity and equality continues to inspire,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “As we recognize the 150th anniversary of his death, I encourage all New Yorkers to learn more about his life, his enduring legacy and his profound impact on our nation.”

The next day, the funeral train will come into Albany.

The East Gallery of the Capitol will feature an exhibit dedicated to Lincoln’s memory and the contributions New York made to the Union effort in the Civil War. Central to the exhibit is the flag that laid on the President’s coffin. In addition, numerous Lincoln-themed activities will take place at the Capitol including re-enactors, period music and more. To cap off the day, the National Parks Service is sponsoring a presentation by a noted actor who will portray Lincoln in the War Room of the Capitol at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. However, because of limited seating, reservations are required for the Lincoln portrayal and can be made at www.governor.ny.gov/lincolntribute.

Saturday, April 25 1 pm – 7 pm, New York State Capitol

1 p.m. – Civil War reenactors representing the 123rd New York Volunteers, the 125th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, the 26th USCT, the 7th New York Heavy Artillery, and several other recreated Civil War units will gather in West Capitol Park near Swan Street and begin a ceremonial march down Washington Avenue to East Capitol Park where they will conduct a memorial service honoring President Lincoln.

Following the service, reenactors will remain outside taking questions, and conduct marching drills and Civil War military demonstrations. A period 12-pound Mountain Howitzer replica cannon that is part of the 7 th New York Heavy Artillery will also be on display throughout the day in East Capitol Park.

Hourly, from 2-6 p.m. – Free Capitol tours start at the base of the Senate staircase on the first floor.

Lincoln impersonator at the Smithsonian's Museum of American History The National Park Service program features accomplished Lincoln actor, Fritz Klein who will give voice Abraham Lincoln's commitment to the idea that the United States was "conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal." © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

Lincoln impersonator at the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History The National Park Service program features accomplished Lincoln actor, Fritz Klein who will give voice Abraham Lincoln’s commitment to the idea that the United States was “conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.” © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

3:30 pm and 6:30 p.m. (Online reservations required) – Musicians Anne and Ridley Enslow, dressed in 1860s costumes, will recapture the drama and pathos of the great American Civil War through songs and tunes. This will be followed by a first person interpretative program presented by noted Lincoln impersonator Fritz Klein that focuses on Lincoln’s hopes and dreams for the country during his tenure as president. Seating is limited. The presentation will be approximately 90 minutes. Reservations can be made at www.governor.ny.gov/lincolntribute .

The train then continues on to Buffalo, and programs will be held on Sunday, April 26, at the Buffalo History Museum at 3 p.m. and then Monday, April 27, at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural National Historic Site, at 9:30 a.m. and at the Central Library Auditorium12 p.m.

Visitors will be able to experience the Lincoln exhibit at the Capitol throughout the summer. In addition, New York’s Path Through History program will feature sites and events statewide that explore President Lincoln, the Civil War and their connection to the Empire State. Information is available at www.iloveny.com/Lincoln. More information on the National Parks Funeral Train events can be found here.

“Over the last four years, the National Park Service has commemorated the 150th anniversary of this country’s greatest national crisis, while exploring its enduring relevance in the 21st century using the guiding theme of Civil War to Civil Rights,” National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis said. “As the sesquicentennial events come to a close, our commemorations of Abraham Lincoln’s funeral train highlight the major cities, including three in New York State, that held funeral ceremonies along the route to Springfield, Illinois. These events in New York, Albany and Buffalo recognize the Empire State’s significant role in the Union war effort, both on the battlefields and on the home front.”

Harold Holzer, Senior Vice President for Public Affairs at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, said, “No state contributed more soldiers, more money, or more innovation to Lincoln’s war to preserve the Union and destroy slavery than did New York. And no state grieved at his assassination more publicly and more passionately. Lincoln earned unforgettably grand farewells in Manhattan, Albany, and Buffalo. But as this exhibit reveals, small tributes occurred in many towns and villages in between, from the Hudson Valley to the Southern Tier—and all along the tracks where his funeral train rode in its journey back to Springfield, Illinois. This is an amazing, virtually untold story of which all New Yorkers should be proud. And they should be equally proud of the successful effort to preserve the flag that once covered his coffin in Albany—and was supplied in 1865 by the Albany woman who helped our state obtain the priceless Preliminary Emancipation Proclamation in Lincoln’s hand. As chair of the Lincoln Bicentennial Foundation, I’m proud to have supported the flag preservation effort. As a Lincoln historian, I’m honored to have worked with Mark Schaming and the New York State Museum on its interpretation. And as a New Yorker, I’m grateful to Governor Cuomo for all he has done to encourage history education and exhibitions in the Capitol and throughout the state.”

For example, New York helped propel Abraham Lincoln onto the national stage, and his presidency and legacy have deep ties to the state. His speech at New York City’s Cooper Union transformed him into a compelling candidate for president. New Yorkers were leaders in America’s anti-slavery movement that set the stage for the Civil War, and the state provided more money and soldiers to the war than any other, including Lincoln’s General-in-Chief. The 1865 funeral train carrying Lincoln’s slain body brought out tens of thousands of mourners both for public viewings in New York City, Albany and Buffalo, and all along the train route as well.

150 years later, New York’s Path Through History takes visitors to sites pivotal to Lincoln and his times:

In addition, The New York-Historical Society has opened a new exhibit, Lincoln and the Jews, on view through June 7, 2015 (170 Central Park West (77th Street), New York, NY 10024, 212-873-3400, nyhistory.org).

A Flag for the Ages Exhibit Highlights

President Abraham Lincoln's stovepipe hat © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

President Abraham Lincoln’s stovepipe hat © 2015 Karen Rubin/news-photos-features.com

The Lincoln funeral train and Civil War exhibition will showcase the national flag placed around the bier, or platform, upon which the slain president’s casket rested as he laid in state in the Capitol in Albany, New York, on April 26, 1865. It also features additional funeral-related artifacts, chronicles Lincoln’s last day, tragic death, and the many ceremonies honoring Lincoln along the funeral train route that carried his body from Washington, D.C., through New York, to Springfield, Illinois. The exhibit will also highlight New York State’s contribution to the Civil War and related historical figures and artifacts.

The flag that draped the coffin was reportedly presented in 1861 by William H. Seward, Secretary of State and former New York State Governor and United States Senator, to Emily Weed Barnes, daughter of Thurlow Weed, a political adviser and close friend to Seward. When the casket bearing Lincoln’s body arrived at the Capitol, Mrs. Barnes wrapped the flag around the bier. The flag remained in the Barnes family and was donated to New York State Battle Flag Collection and accepted by Governor Franklin Roosevelt in 1930.

Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn M. Destito said, “As the caretaker of the New York State Capitol, OGS is pleased that Governor Cuomo has transformed this building into a place where citizens can not only see government at work, but also learn about our state. The Lincoln exhibit is a wonderful opportunity to go back in time and experience the rich history associated with Lincoln and his legacy.”

Empire State Development Division of Tourism Executive Director Gavin Landry said, “New York State helped propel Abraham Lincoln onto the national stage, and his presidency and legacy have deep ties to the Empire State. From the homes and final resting places of New Yorkers key to the Civil War and its lead up, like Underground Railroad conductor Harriet Tubman; abolitionist John Brown; Lincoln’s Secretary of State and confidant William H. Seward; and Union Army General Ulysses S. Grant, to sites whose industry and technology played a vital role in the Civil War, like the Burden Iron Works, Brooklyn Navy Yard and West Point Foundry, New York’s Path Through History is ready to take visitors one hundred and fifty years back in time.”

State Parks Commissioner Rose Harvey said, “Lincoln’s contribution to our country’s history and his connection to our great state will come to life this month as we commemorate the anniversary of his death. Through the numerous presentations and exhibits, New Yorkers will get a true sense of the Civil War era and understand better the events that framed our state’s storied past and how New York impacted the times. Lincoln was a monumental figure of his time and we look forward to seeing his legacy shared with thousands across our state.”

Path Through History highlights historically and culturally significant sites and events throughout New York State. The program, introduced by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, builds on New York’s already robust heritage tourism attractions. The initiative, which is overseen by Empire State Development’s Division of Tourism/I LOVE NEW YORK, is currently focused on 13 themes including: Arts & Culture, Natural History, U.S. Presidents, Women’s Rights, Canals & Transportation, Civil Rights, Colonial History, Immigration, Innovation & Commerce, The Revolutionary War, Native American Heritage, Sports History and the War of 1812. Important heritage sites and events across the state were selected with input from leading historians. For more information, visit www.iloveny.com/paththroughhistory .

In an effort to raise the profile of historic destinations, New York State hosts Path Through History Weekends, utilizing live events to celebrate New York’s history and highlight the tremendous efforts of the people and organizations committed to its preservation and promotion. In 2014, 383 events were held in 55 of New York State’s 62 counties, a 43 percent increase from the prior year. This year, Path Through History Weekend will take place June 20 – 21, 2015.

Follow I LOVE NEW YORK on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram or use #LoveNYHistory to join us on the journey down New York’s Path Through History.
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Vail Resorts Receives Approvals for $50 Million Plan to Connect Park City with Canyons Resort

April 10, 2015
Park City Mountain Resort, Utah. Vail Resorts' $50 million capital plan will connect Park City with Canyons Resort, creating the largest mountain resort in the US.

Park City Mountain Resort, Utah. Vail Resorts’ $50 million capital plan will connect Park City with Canyons Resort, creating the largest mountain resort in the US.

PARK CITY, Utah – Vail Resorts, Inc. has received unanimous approval from the Park City Planning Commission to implement one of the most ambitious and impactful capital plans in the history of the U.S. ski industry for the 2015-16 season. The plan would connect Park City Mountain Resort and Canyons Resort, creating the largest single ski area in the country with more than 7,300 acres of skiable terrain, and complete a number of critical upgrades to the infrastructure of both resorts.

Park City’s approvals follow approvals from Summit County, Utah’s Synderville Basin Planning Commission in February.

“This plan for Park City and Canyons will completely transform the experience at both resorts and throughout this world-class community,” said Bill Rock, Park City Mountain Resorts chief operating officer.

Components of the $50-million capital plan include:

  • The Interconnect Gondola. An eight-passenger, high-speed two-way gondola from the base of the existing Silverlode Lift at Park City to the Flatiron Lift at Canyons. The gondola will also have an unload at the top of Pine Cone Ridge to allow skiers and riders the opportunity to ski into Thaynes Canyons at Park City via gated ski access or to the Iron Mountain area at Canyons through new trails that will be created from Pine Cone Ridge. This will mark the first gondola at Park City Mountain Resort since “The Gondola” was dismantled in 1997.
  • Upgrade of King Con and Motherlode Lifts at Park City. The King Con Lift will be upgraded from a four-person to a six-person, high-speed detachable chairlift and will increase lift capacity to this very popular ski pod. The Motherlode Lift will be upgraded from a fixed-grip triple to a four-person, high-speed detachable chairlift, also increasing lift capacity. Both upgrades will reduce crowding, lift lines and improve the guest experience.
  • New Snow Hut Restaurant, upgrades to Summit House Restaurant at Park City and expansion of Red Pine Lodge Restaurant at Canyons. The plan calls for building a completely new Snow Hut restaurant at the base of the Silverlode Lift and next to the Park City terminal for the Interconnect Gondola, with 500 indoor seats and a top-of-the-line kitchen and culinary experience. The plan also includes an upgrade to the “scramble” area inside the Summit House restaurant to improve the flow of diners and increase seats. At Canyons, the Red Pine Restaurant will be renovated to accommodate an additional 250 indoor seats. This upgrade follows the recent renovation and increase of 150 seats to the Cloud Dine restaurant at Canyons.
  • Snowmaking and other improvements. The plan features additional snowmaking on two trails in the Iron Mountain area of Canyons which will become increasingly central ski terrain given its proximity to the Interconnect Gondola. The plan also includes almost $5 million of “catch up” maintenance and upgrades at Park City, given the lack of spending at the resort over the past few years. This “catch up” maintenance spending is in addition to the normal annual maintenance capital for the two resorts of $5 million, which will be undertaken this year as well.

Vail Resorts, Inc., through its subsidiaries, operate the mountain resorts of Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge and Keystone in Colorado; Heavenly, Northstar and Kirkwood in the Lake Tahoe area of California and Nevada; Park City and Canyons in Utah; Afton Alps in Minnesota and Mt. Brighton in Michigan; and the Grand Teton Lodge Company in Jackson Hole, Wyoming. The Company’s subsidiary, RockResorts, a luxury resort hotel company, manages casually elegant properties. Vail Resorts Development Company is the real estate planning, development and construction subsidiary of Vail Resorts, Inc. Vail Resorts is a publicly held company traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: MTN). The Vail Resorts company website is www.vailresorts.com and consumer website is www.snow.com.

 

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Norwegian Air Moves to Institute New Cockpit Policy, in Wake of Germanwings Tragedy

April 2, 2015

In the wake of the Germanwings tragedy, Norwegian has decided to change its cockpit procedures so that two crew members always are present in the cockpit.

“Norwegian has been looking into changing its cockpit procedures for a while,” the company said. “However, in light of the tragic Germanwings accident, we are speeding up the process so that two crew members always are present in the cockpit. This means that if one of the pilots leaves the cockpit, one crew member must replace him/her during this time. Our passengers’ and crew’s safety always comes first, which is why we have decided to change our procedures, in line with US regulations.”
Today, there are no European regulatory requirements stating that two crew members must be in the cockpit at all times.

The new procedures will be implemented as soon as Norwegian has received an approval from the Norwegian Civil Aviation Authority.

Norwegian Air Shuttle ASA, commercially branded “Norwegian”, is a low-cost airline listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange. Norwegian is the second largest airline in Scandinavia and third largest low cost carrier in Europe. The company reported its highest ever passenger figures in a single year with almost 24 million passengers in 2014.

Norwegian has a route portfolio that stretches across Europe into North Africa and the Middle East, as well as long-haul flights to the US and Southeast Asia. The company has a total of 424 routes to 130 destinations and employs approximately 4,500 people in Norway, Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Estonia, UK, Spain and Thailand.

The company has 258 undelivered aircraft on firm order. Norwegian was founded in 1993 and its headquarter is in Fornebu, Norway.

Norwegian offers better leg room than most competitors, in-flight WiFi on short haul, world-class punctuality and a fleet of 96 aircraft with an average age of only four years. In 2013 and 2014, Norwegian was voted Europe’s best low-cost carrier of the year by the renowned SkyTrax World Airline Awards. In 2014, Norwegian also won three prizes at the prestigious Passenger Choice Awards for Best Airline in Europe, Best Inflight Connectivity & Communications and Best Single Achievement in Passenger Experience for its moving map on the 787 Dreamliners. In addition, Norwegian was awarded Europe’s best low-cost airline by AirlineRatings.com for the second year running.

 

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JetBlue to Offer ‘Mint Experience’ Flying from JFK to Barbados

March 19, 2015

Beginning November 7, JetBlue will offer its popular “Mint experience” from New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) to Barbados (BGI), one of the top Caribbean routes for the airline. Travelers from the Eastern region of the U.S. will have a premium travel option at an affordable fare with Mint, giving jetsetters a new reason to head to the sun-drenched island.

Between November 7, 2015 and April 30, 2016, JetBlue will operate one roundtrip on Saturdays to Bridgetown, Barbados. And between December 19, 2015 and January 4, 2016 the airline will operate one roundtrip flight daily for the busy holiday travel season.

“This is an amazing win for the island of Barbados,” said Petra Roach BTMI, Director, USA. “Barbados has a long history with luxury airline offerings.  We were the only leisure destination to host Concorde service from London for many years and now to be the first home of JetBlue’s Mint service outside of the US is a reflection of the strength of our burgeoning partnership and JetBlue’s continued support of Barbados as a destination. We are thrilled to be a part of this new way to fly with JetBlue where the customers’ premium vacation experience starts the moment they step onto the plane.

Available for booking on JetBlue.com today, roundtrip flights from JFK to Bridgetown are:

 

JFK-BGI                                9:20 a.m. departure, 3:02 p.m. arrival

BGI-JFK                                4:15 p.m. departure, 8:30 p.m. arrival

Since launching on transcontinental routes in June 2014, Mint has quickly become recognized for its whole new take on flying, which includes private suites, the widest seat and longest fully-flat bed in the U.S. domestic market, tapas-style dining, custom amenity kits and 15-inch flat screen televisions with free entertainment. With Mint service to the Caribbean, JetBlue will become the only U.S. carrier to operate regularly scheduled service with lie-flat seating to the region.

Barbados is one of the most popular Caribbean travel routes on JetBlue’s growing route map, and one of more than 80 destinations throughout the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America. With incredible on-island musical performances, epicurean driven festivals, and motor sport tournaments, 2015 marks the perfect year to travel to Barbados immerse oneself in the distinctive culture and one-of-a-kind events the island has to offer.

JetBlue’s Mint experience to the islands will add a Caribbean twist to some customer favorites, including the tapas-style menu curated by New York City restaurant Saxon+Parole, organic desserts by Blue Marble Ice Cream, a sweet treat from Mah-ze-Dahr Bakery, and customized amenity kits from Birchbox.

“Ever since we launched Mint, customers have been asking us where we will take it next,” said Marty St George, executive vice president commercial and planning, JetBlue. “We re-invented transcontinental flying with Mint, and we anticipate demand for an enhanced product will be equally strong for these Caribbean destinations.”

The A321 Customer Experience

JetBlue offers Mint on its new Airbus A321 aircraft, which features a completely redesigned onboard experience throughout the entire cabin.

“Mint is a remarkable new way to fly, but true to our mission of inspiring humanity, we’ve also taken the same thoughtful approach throughout the aircraft,” said Joanna Geraghty, executive vice president customer experience, JetBlue. “Our completely redesigned A321 interior offers the best experience to Caribbean-bound customers no matter where you’re seated.”

While the Mint experience has set new premium standards, the core experience leads other airlines’ offerings as well. Features of the A321 core interior include 10-inch television screens offering free entertainment, comfortable seats with the most legroom in coach** and power outlets accessible to all customers. JetBlue’s popular marketplace, a self-serve station full of snacks, sodas and water for customers to enjoy at their convenience, is also available throughout the flight.

Extend the Experience With a JetBlue Getaways Vacation Package: Customers looking for the complete package can book Mint seats in conjunction with hotel, car rental and other amenities and activities through JetBlue Getaways. JetBlue Getaways packages to both Barbados  offer access to the very best resorts and island experiences with the convenience of one booking process. Call 1-800-JETBLUE to book.

Barbados, an Authentic Caribbean Experience

The island of Barbados an authentic Caribbean experience with its exceptionally rich culture and history rooted in remarkable landscapes.  Rated as one of the world’s sexiest beaches in 2008 by Concierge.com; Barbados’ Crane Beach in St. Philip stands as a premier destination for travelers.  Barbados is also the first Zagat-rated Caribbean island and is known as the culinary capital of the Caribbean.

Accommodations range from picturesque plantation houses and villas, to quaint bed and breakfasts and award-winning, five-star resorts. Grantley Adams International Airport offers even more non-stop and direct service from a growing number of U.S., making Barbados the true gateway to the Eastern Caribbean.

Barbados was voted eighth in the World by Trip Advisor’s “2008 Travelers’ Choice Destination Awards” in its Top 100 Destinations category.

For more information on travel to Barbados, visit http://www.visitbarbados.org, follow on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/VisitBarbados, via Twitter @Barbados.

Jetblue: New York’s Hometown Airline

JetBlue is New York’s “Hometown Airline” and a leading carrier in Boston, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood, Los Angeles (Long Beach), Orlando, and San Juan. JetBlue carries more than 30 million customers a year to 87 cities in the U.S., Caribbean, and Latin America with an average of 825 daily flights. Upcoming destinations include: Cleveland on April 30; Reno-Tahoe, Nev. on May 28; and Grenada on June 11, 2015 (subject to receipt of government operating authority). For more information visit JetBlue.com.

 

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