Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Broadway Theater Tickets Back on Sale for Performances Beginning Sept 14

May 7, 2021
Broadway theater, New York City’s Great White Way, will fully reopen its doors this September, in accordance with the New York State’s health and safety guidance. Beginning May 6, and throughout May, tickets for Broadway shows – which begin September 14, 2021 – are already on sale at 100 percent of theater capacity © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

Broadway theater, New York City’s Great White Way, will fully reopen its doors this September, in accordance with the New York State’s health and safety guidance. Beginning May 6, and throughout May, tickets for Broadway shows – which begin September 14, 2021 – are already on sale at 100 percent of theater capacity.

The announcement builds upon the reopening of performing arts and live entertainment venues at limited capacities last month and further sets the stage for Broadway shows to return to theaters throughout the fall. 

“Broadway is at the core of our New York identity, and a big part of our economy which employees countless performers and show creators, and beginning this September, the show will go on,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said.”Visitors from all around the world have come to New York to experience the arts and culture and see iconic performances on Broadway, and sadly, the pandemic put this unique New York experience on pause. Thankfully, as we continue to monitor the data and reopen our economy, we are now on track to allow full capacity performances on Broadway to resume beginning this September, bringing back this beloved world-famous attraction.”

Broadway League President Charlotte St. Martin said, “On behalf of the nearly 100,000 people who make their living on Broadway – on stage, backstage, and throughout the city and state – we are immensely gratified by the support of Governor Cuomo today. Restarting Broadway is a complex endeavor, requiring long lead times for productions the need to reconnect with a sustaining audience from across the country and around the world. Today’s green light by the Governor to put our shows on sale now for the fall is vital to our success. Broadway is the beating heart of NYC tourism and we can’t wait for the day soon when our hearts will beat before a live joyful audience.”

The State will continue to work closely with Broadway industry partners to plan for the safe, successful return of this world-class cultural experience.  As public health conditions and the State’s guidance for performing arts and live entertainment changes, Broadway stakeholders will remain flexible and adapt to applicable health protocols, such as face coverings, health screening, enhanced air filtration and ventilation, and rigorous cleaning and disinfection. 

The availability of advance sale tickets and marketing for shows begins the months-long process of reopening to full capacity, building momentum to sustain many long and successful Broadway runs.  The Governor, Department of Health, Empire State Development, and State agency partners join with the industry in their commitment to creating safe and heathy environments for audiences, performers, and employees to enjoy, perform, and work.  If performances need to be postponed due to the public health conditions, theaters have planned to offer customer-friendly refunds and exchange policies. 

To support the performance industry in New York City, the FY 2022 enacted budget included $1 billion in Small Business and Arts Relief and Recovery Assistance, which includes the New York City Musical and Theatrical Production Tax Credit Program which provides up to $100 million in tax credits to jump start the industry and revitalize tourism in New York City. Under this program, productions which have their first performance scheduled through December 2022 are eligible for a 25 percent credit on eligible costs. 

Prior to the pandemic, almost 250,000 people were seeing a Broadway show every week.  Broadway supports nearly 97,000 local jobs and contributes about $14.7 billion every year to the New York City economy.

For more information, visit the Broadway League, the industry’s trade association: www.broadway.org/

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

US Tour Operators Launch Global Bucket List Travel Bracket Sweepstakes for Chance to Win Trip for Two

March 11, 2021
Paris. France. Enter the US Tour Operators Association Bucket List Travel Bracket Sweepstakes for a chance to win a vacation for two, valued up to $10,000 (c) Eric Leiberman/goingplacesfarandnear.com

NEW YORK (March 11, 2021) – The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) today launched the USTOA Bucket List Travel Bracket Sweepstakes for consumers to vote on the most inspiring experiences in destinations around the globe. Participants will be entered to win a vacation for two, valued up to $10,000, to the destination that champions the bracket with a USTOA tour operator member.

US residents ages 21 or older can enter the USTOA Bucket List Travel Bracket Sweepstakes at https://ustoa.com/bucket-list-sweepstakes by voting on 64 featured travel experiences among 32 match-ups that span nearly 40 destinations across six continents. A new round of voting starts every Monday and Thursday through March 31, culminating in a champion bucket list travel experience named on April 1.

Consumers can cast votes once per day as the brackets advance. Every vote is an entry to win a trip for two to the bracket champion destination with a USTOA tour operator member of their choice. The vacation prize value is up to $10,000.

“USTOA is launching this bracket challenge as a fun and engaging way to inspire consumers to start vacation planning again,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. “The bucket list worthy experiences featured in the bracket are merely a sampling of the exhaustive collection of travel, adventure, and cultural experiences that our 142 different tour operator brands offer to a wide variety of destinations across all seven continents.”

The sweepstakes opens today for the first round of voting which closes at 11:59pm ET on Sunday, March 14, as the brackets advance to a new round of 32 destination travel experiences across 16 match-ups. Winning destination experiences advance every Monday and Thursday until the final two destination experiences are revealed on March 29. The destination experience that champions the bracket will be unveiled on April 1, and the grand prize entry winner will be selected on April 5, 2021.

For eligibility and sweepstakes rules, click here

Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.  As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.

For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email information@ustoa.com.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn offers Special Elopement Wedding Packages

January 23, 2021
Proving that an elopement can be synonymous with a “destination wedding”. Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn offers special wedding and elopement packages that keep intimacy and romance in mind.

CARMEL, Calif., — First used in the 14th century, the word elope came from aloper, which meant to leap. While origins of elopement paint the term as something last-minute or secret, modern couples now see it a bit differently and favor less stress and less urgency, with more focus on a true celebration of love. Proving that an elopement can be synonymous with a “destination wedding”. Hyatt Carmel Highlands Inn offers special wedding and elopement packages that keep intimacy and romance in mind.

Designed for 2 to 20 people, the Highlands Elopement Package allows couples to exchange vows on a romantic gazebo overlooking the Pacific Ocean. This package includes:

  • Wedding Changing Room (Makeup, Hair and First Look)
  • White Folding Chairs and Cocktail Tables for your ceremony
  • Site Fee (Monday-Thursdays) starting at $1,500, limited to 1.5 hours of event time
  • Site Fee (Weekends) starting at $3,000, service charge and tax not included.

The special package is available to book for a weekend elopement (Fridays-Sundays) within 60 days of saying “I do.” There is not a restriction in booking a midweek elopement (Mondays-Thursdays).

Couples can elect to add the following:

  • Additional Event Time: $500 per hour
  • Officiant: $300 for Elopement Ceremonies
  • Photographer: $650/1 hour, $1,200/2 hours
  • Florals: $500 allowance, with choice of bouquet, boutonniere, or other floral decorations

Believing a Carmel Highlands wedding should be an extraordinary, once-in-a-lifetime event, the Events Team takes great pride in handling the special details so couples can spend time on what’s most important — creating memories in a magnificent and romantic environment. Prospective guests may schedule a site or a virtual tour with Hyatt events specialists by calling 831-622-5461. More information on weddings and elopement packages are available here.

Perched on the hillside of the Carmel Highlands with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean, Hyatt Carmel Highlands combines true Carmel luxury with an approachable and sophisticated spirit. A haven for artists and discerning travelers since its opening in 1917, the property also offers spectacular dining at the award-winning California Market at Pacific’s Edge, 4,800 square feet of meeting space, heated outdoor swimming pool, three spa tubs and a StayFit fitness facility. Situated only four miles from downtown Carmel, Hyatt Carmel Highlands’ idyllic setting and personalized service has attracted families, weddings, honeymooners and privileged travelers for nearly a century.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Gold Coast Film Festival Goes On With Virtual & Drive-In Films, Free Opening Night Virtual Gala to Celebrate 10th Anniversary

October 8, 2020
Actor Bruce Dern, in 2011, was honored as the first recipient of the Gold Coast International Film Festival’s Legend award. This year’s film festival features Dern starring with Lena Olin in The Artist’s Wife © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

LONG ISLAND, NY — The 2020 Gold Coast International Virtual Film Festival and Drive-In Series will celebrate its 10th anniversary from October 13 – 20 with a host of unique offerings that will appeal to a wide range of audiences throughout the Long Island, New York, region and beyond.  The Virtual Film Festival, powered by CineSend, will be available via mobile and desktop web browsers as well as Apple TV and Roku apps. This special digital platform will allow you to customize your Film Festival experience either through an All-Access pass or single-ticket option, and special discounts will be offered to Gold Coast Film Society members. Films offered as part of the Virtual Festival will be available to view throughout the Festival week. The Festival will also feature four Drive-In events that will take place at various venues across the Town of North Hempstead including in Great Neck and Port Washington.

This year’s lineup showcases more than 70 feature-length and short films, many with pre-recorded filmmaker Q&As, including documentaries, foreign films, narratives, dramas, comedies and more.

The Festival will launch on October 13 with a free Opening Night Virtual Gala to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Gold Coast Arts Center, the non-profit organization that produces the Festival. Included in this year’s virtual film screening lineup are several new films saluting the visual and performing arts including BILLIE, a documentary about the life and music of iconic jazz singer Billie Holiday; MATISSE, From MoMA and Tate Modern, an intimate behind-the-scenes documentary celebrating the giant of modern art; a 10th anniversary screening of the NAACP Image Award-winning film Thunder Soul, a heartwarming documentary showcasing the Kashmere High School Stage Band and word-class funk powerhouse; and Beyond Moving, which tells the inspirational story of a South African ballet prodigy on his ‘Billy Elliot’-like journey to become a professional dancer, followed by a special conversation with the film’s director Vikram Dasgupta and ballet dancer and star Siphe November.

Other highlights include the Sundance Grand Jury Award-winning film YALDA: A Night for Forgiveness, a provocative new film from Iran about a woman who accidentally kills her husband and must plead forgiveness from his family on a reality TV show; The Artist’s Wife, starring Lena Olin and Bruce Dern (GCIFF 2011 Legend Award winner); SXSW winner for Best Documentary The Donut King, about an immigrant achieving the American Dream by baking one of America’s favorite desserts; and Thou Shalt Not Hate, a tense drama about an Italian doctor and son of a Holocaust survivor, who comes across a traffic accident victim with a Nazi tattoo on his chest. In honor of National Emergency Room Nurse’s Month, and as a tribute to all essential workers, the Festival will also present a free online screening of the new documentary In Case of Emergency which profiles the life and work of several emergency room nurses around the United States. This screening is being presented in partnership with Northwell Health’s Katz Institute for Women’s Health.

In addition to its Virtual Festival, GCIFF will present several films as part of a new Drive-In Series including The Beatles in their feature film debut A Hard Day’s Night, one of the “most deliriously entertaining movies of all time”; a fabulously fun program of Family Short Films appropriate for children of all ages and the award-winning classic suspense film North by Northwest by Alfred Hitchcock, best viewed on the big screen.

For more information regarding the complete schedule of virtual film screenings and filmmaker Q&As and drive-in events, and to purchase passes and tickets, visit www.goldcoastfilmfestival.org

To RSVP for the free Opening Night Virtual Gala celebrating Gold Coast Arts 25th Anniversary, and for ways to help sponsor or support this important event, visit www.goldcoastarts.org/gala25.

Gold Coast International Film Festival

Since 2011, the festival has brought the latest Hollywood hits and Indie favorites to standing room only audiences throughout the fabled Gold Coast of Long Island. Add A-list celebrities and unforgettable events to the mix, and it’s easy to see why the Gold Coast International Film Festival has become the “go to” festival for film buffs and the public. The Gold Coast International Film Festival is produced by the not-for-profit Gold Coast Arts Center.

Previous honorees and special guests of the festival and the Gold Coast Arts Center include film industry VIPs Francis Ford Coppola, Hugh Grant, Baz Luhrmann, Brian Dennehy, Paul Sorvino, Ed Burns, Bruce Dern, Isabella Rossellini, Lou Diamond Phillips, Morgan Spurlock, Eli Wallach, Gabriel Byrne, Jacques Pepin, Bill Plympton, Phil Donahue, Phylicia Rashad, Joan Allen, Jay McInerney and Michael Cuesta, as well as composer Morton Gould, artists James Rosenquist, Oleg Cassini, Edwina Sandys and Bob Gruen, comedian Susie Essman, Broadway stars Kelli O’Hara, Melissa Errico and Savion Glover, and 4-time Oscar winner for production and costume design Catherine Martin

Sponsors and partners of this year’s Festival include: founding partner, the Town of North Hempstead; Nassau County Industrial Development Agency; Warner Media; AT&T; AARP Long Island; A.L. Sarroff Fund; TD Charitable Foundation; Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP; The Katz Institute for Women’s Health at Northwell Health; Unitarian Universalist Congregation at Shelter Rock; The Bristal Assisted Living; Liman Video Rental; Sid Jacobson JCC; Great Neck Parks District; Landmark on Main Street; The Inn at Great Neck; WLIW21; Altice; Blank Slate Media; and many local businesses.

Gold Coast Arts is a 501(c)(3) multi-arts organization dedicated to promoting the arts through education, exhibition, performance, and outreach. For a quarter-century, it has brought the arts to tens of thousands of people throughout the Long Island region. Among the Center’s offerings are its School for the Arts, which holds year-round classes in visual and performing arts for students of all ages and abilities; a free public art gallery; a concert and lecture series; film screenings and discussions; the annual Gold Coast International Film Festival; and initiatives that focus on senior citizens and underserved communities. These initiatives include artist residencies, after-school programs, school assemblies, teacher-training workshops, and parent-child workshops. The Gold Coast Arts Center’s programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature. The Gold Coast Arts Center is an affiliate of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts “Partners in Education” program and the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C.

For more information, visit www.goldcoastarts.org.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

NY Gilbert & Sullivan Players Mount First-Ever, Free Virtual Gala, Oct. 20, Kicking Off Virtual Season

October 7, 2020
New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players taking bows at the end of “Mikado” last season. The 2020 season will be virtual, starting off with its first-ever virtual gala Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7PM, which can be enjoyed free © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com 

(New York, NY) New York Gilbert & Sullivan Players has postponed their traditional NYC season of live performance full productions until 2021-2022. But in its place, an exciting and creative virtual season is underway as the company toasts the best of Gilbert & Sullivan at NYGASP’s first ever Virtual Gala, Tuesday, October 20, 2020 at 7PM. 

NYGASP will be celebrating “With Unusual Revelry,” like those famous Pirates of Penzance, and deliver the company’s signature brand of musical merriment in an entirely new way. NYGASP is honored to feature exclusive performances by Broadway stars and Honorary Board members, Victoria Clark and Robert Cuccioli, as well as appearances by NYGASP’s unrivaled roster of artists. Grab the best seat in (your) house, as the beauty and wit of this repertoire is served up sofa-side. Connect with the NYGASP community via live chat during the show and stick around for the official After-Party on Zoom, hosted by some of your company favorites. 

The event is free and registration is at www.nygasp.org 

Victoria Clark is equally at home in plays, musicals, film, television, and the concert stage, she maintains a wonderfully diverse acting career, including Broadway’s The Light in the Piazza (TONY award), Gigi, Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella, and Sister Act (TONY nominations). She is also an accomplished stage director with work spanning from original musicals to opera to educational programming. She fostered a love of G&S at Yale University, appearing as some of the duo’s most beloved heroines.

Robert Cuccioli isknown by many for his critically acclaimed TONY nominated performance as the title role in the Broadway hit musical Jekyll & Hyde (earning Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle, and FANY Awards for Outstanding Actor in a Musical), he began his career starring in Gilbert & Sullivan comic operas with The Light Opera of Manhattan. Broadway: Les Miserables (Javert); Spider-Man: Turn Off The Dark (Dr. Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin). Robert is also a sought-after director and concert performer.

On Sunday, November 15th at 3:00 PM, NYGASP will present The Heroines of Gilbert & Sullivan: We Really Know Our Worth.  Laurelyn Watson Chase hosts a musical exploration and discussion of women in G&S works from their premieres to modern day.  How do today’s women interpret and feel about the heroines of Gilbert & Sullivan? Get the opinions that really matter! Featuring Claire Leyden, soprano; Amy Maude Helfer, mezzo-soprano; Angela Christine Smith, contralto; Alena Gerst Daily LCSW, RYT, Dr. Jamé Heskett, and Lauren Wenegrat, Esq. Registration is at: www.nygasp.org

NYGASP’s grand finale for 2020 will feature David Macaluso, Matthew Wages and Daniel Greenwood reprising their roles in Cox and BoxSullivan and Bernand’s comic operetta, Cox and Box, is now a premiere cinematic stage performance adapted especially for NYGASP. In this one act farce, Mr. Cox and Mr. Box dig in their heels, and Victorian formality is thrown to the wind, when they discover the mischievous scheme of their landlord Sgt. Bouncer. The premiere will be streamed at 7PM on Sunday, December 27, 2020, and includes a virtual meet and greet afterwards with the cast and producers. Tickets will be available soon on www.nygasp.org.

NYGASP on social media: 

            -Twitter: @NYGASP 

            -Facebook: @NYGASP

            -Instagram: @NYGASP 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Can’t Get to Martha’s Vineyard for Springtime Getaway? Bring the Vineyard Home

April 2, 2020

Martha's Vineyard, MA

Picturesque Martha’s Vineyard is an easy drive when the all-clear signal comes for a well-deserved getaway © Karen Rubin/ goingplacesfarandnear.com

Can’t get to Martha’s Vineyard for springtime getaway? Bring the Vineyard to your loved ones. With much of America confined at home under stay at home or shelter-in-place orders and travel to just about everywhere disrupted, many people have cancelled planned holidays and getaways. But the renowned merchants and artisans of the enchanted Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard have merchandise evocative of the island to bring the cheer of the island right to Vineyard lovers’ doorsteps.

The merchandise and other offerings run the gamut from handmade jewelry; handmade chocolates; Vineyard sea salt; alpaca fleece merchandise from ultra-soft, warm socks to blankets; to renowned photographer Alison Shaw’s Vineyard photos books; hand-blown art glass, bowls, pitchers and vases; Aquinnah jewelry; and Menemsha Blues line of casual wear.

A loving gift can lift the spirits and bring much-needed smiles to the faces of weary friends and family at this difficult time. Also, the new Martha’s Vineyard Visitor guide has just released and can be viewed here. And with Easter a little more than one week away, gifts to grace Easter baskets would be most welcome.

Be cheered by having a Martha’s Vineyard experience delivered to your doorstep. Local Vineyard retailers offer a wide variety of Island made and inspired products. Peruse their websites, shop til you drop, and in a few days time, a part of Martha’s Vineyard will come home to you:

Additionally, New England lovers might like this great campaign, called “Rally for Retail.” It allows lovers of Martha’s Vineyard, Cape Cod, Nantucket, Newport and more, to support the areas they love by visiting their favorite retailers on-line. It’s a win/win, and you get to have a reminder of your special place delivered to you to enjoy until we can travel well and safely again.

Alison Shaw Gallery

Support local photographer Alison Shaw and shop online for a few of the books she has photographed over time. Includes local cookbooks and more.

CB Stark Jewelers

The classic Martha’s Vineyard jewelers are online for your shopping pleasure – order a significant piece that represents the island.

Enchanted Chocolates

Craving locally made chocolates? You can order these tasty treats online but if you’re on island, they will also deliver to your front door.

Faherty Brand

Faherty is a family business working tirelessly to create great products that last a lifetime. They make thoughtful decisions for our community, customers and planet and you can find their shop in Edgartown, but can also order their full line, online.

Island Alpaca Co. of Martha’s Vineyard

Why not bring the softest items, made from alpaca wool, into your life right now? We all need that comfort and you can purchase socks, sweaters, and so much more on their website.

Katama General Store

Shop for gift cards and locally made items here – Katama General Store is a favorite in Katama.

Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt

We are all cooking and baking more at home these days, so make sure to sprinkle and finish your food with locally harvested Martha’s Vineyard Sea Salt.

Martha’s Vineyard Glassworks

Looking for a piece of glass art that’s hand-blown right here on Martha’s Vineyard? MV Glassworks offers a few gorgeous pieces on their website.

Morrice Florist of Martha’s Vineyard

Order books online and, if you’re local, floral arrangements to brighten your home during these times.

Menemsha Blues

We are all living in sweats lately – and there’s nothing comfier than those Menemsha Blues sweatshirts.

Nell MV

A small boutique shop in Edgartown, with an online shop that currently has sales of up to 70% off, so make sure to check them out.

Not Your Sugar Mamas Chocolate

Craving chocolate? Why not have the healthiest kind – dairy-free, refined sugar-free, vegan chocolate made on Martha’s Vineyard. Plus, they’ve come out with a cookbook, so get baking with chocolate at home!

Rainy Day MV

Not only does this Vineyard Haven shop have online shopping but if you follow them on Instagram, you can shop through their social media as well.

Stefanie Wolf Designs

Ocean inspired jewelry handmade in Edgartown, and you’ll find everything from stud earrings to bracelets, necklaces, and much more.

Soft As A Grape

Another cozy clothing option, this time from the classic shop, Soft As A Grape.

Third World Trading Co.

Shop your favorite eclectic boutique at the end of Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs.

The Boneyard Surf Shop

Looking for surf goods, shirts, and more? This surf shop in Edgartown offers great items online.

Vineyard Vines

The classic New England brand and a Vineyard favorite, you can order online with 30% off and 50% off their sale section (limited time).

Aquinnah Jewelry

Nothing like a locally made, made to order piece of jewelry that you can carry with you and remind yourself of your favorite place in the world.

Bibi’s MV

Luxury bedding, furniture, decor, and more can be found in this online shop. You can even personalize items for a fun and unique gift idea.

Bunch of Grapes Bookstore

At home and not enough books to read? Instead of purchasing books from the big online retailers, support our local Vineyard Haven bookstore by ordering books from them.

Citrine X Trust

Everything from this Martha’s Vineyard boutique shop uplifts your spirit – or protects it! Find clean beauty and wellness products, as well as trendy yet sustainable clothing and locally made jewelry.

Driftwood Jewelry

This Oak Bluffs jewelry shop carries a variety of local artists and jewelers – from wampum bracelets, sea glass necklaces, and much more.

Kenworthy

A mother-daughter collaboration that spun into being after countless trips throughout Asia, Central America, and the Middle East. Inspired by the textiles from their travels, more than what’s leading the current trend, they look to personify the laid back island lifestyle that their home practically breathes. Each piece is hand sewn at their studio on Martha’s Vineyard and purposely designed to outlive fashion cycles.

Salte

Looking for thoughtfully curated home goods? Everything from candles, blankets, and much more available here. Unique items!

Slate

Do some spring shopping at this boutique shop in Edgartown, offering a 20% discount with a special code.

Sea Legs MV

A new boutique in Edgartown, Sea Legs has a variety of goods you can pre-order online.

Slip77

Known for their beach to bonfire clothing line, this Oak Bluffs shop is definitely a favorite.

Martha’s Vineyard is an easy drive of most places in the Northeast and, once we get the “all clear”, its fans can start making their pilgrimages once again. From Aquinnah to Edgartown, there is no shortage of seasonal happenings and many of the Vineyard inns are offer special rates to incentivize booking.

Get your copy of the 2020 Martha’s Vineyard Travel Guide.

Whether an armchair traveler or planning your visit, see our feature: Cruising into Martha’s Vineyard’s Warm Embrace

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

National Comedy Center, Jamestown NY, Named Best New Museum in the Country by USA Today

February 29, 2020

National Comedy Museum e2

The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and state-of-the-art museum dedicated to comedy as an art form, was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today as part of the 2020 USA Today’s 10Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

Jamestown,  NY — The National Comedy Center, the nation’s official cultural institution and state-of-the-art museum dedicated to comedy as an art form, was named the “Best New Museum” in the country by USA Today as part of the 2020 USA Today’s 10 Best Readers’ Choice Travel Awards.

The National Comedy Center was one of 20 new museums nominated for the award by a panel of nationally-recognized travel journalists, tourism experts and USA Today editors for this USA Today travel award series, which celebrates outstanding destinations, attractions and experiences. All of the nominees were museums that opened over the past two years, including art galleries, science museums and children’s museums in cities across the United States and Canada, including Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, Seattle, New York City, St. Petersburg, FL , St. Paul, MN and Edmonton, Alberta. The Comedy Center was selected as the #1 museum in the “Best New Museum” category by popular vote after a four-week voting period from January 20 through February 17, 2020.

“We are tremendously proud to be named the Best New Museum in the United States and Canada,” said Journey Gunderson, National Comedy Center Executive Director. “We have reimagined the museum experience with immersive exhibit design and unprecedented personalization. This distinction is a testament to the significance of comedy, and talented comedic artists, to our culture and our daily lives.”

“Our visitors — from all 50 states and 18 countries — already know what a must-see destination the Comedy Center is,” added Gunderson. “We look forward to welcoming thousands more comedy fans from across the country and around the world to the Best New Museum, here in Jamestown, New York.”

“The National Comedy Center team is grateful for the incredible support from our local community, the entire Western New York region, and from comedy fans across the country, all of whom voted for the Comedy Center to receive this national recognition and high honor” said Tom Benson, National Comedy Center project chairman. “It’s tremendous validation of the hard work and vision of our staff and board, our partner organizations, and our community, who believed in this project and worked tirelessly to make it happen.”

“The National Comedy Center is one of my favorite places in the world, and I am thrilled that everyone will now know what I already knew —  it is absolutely the best new museum in the country. It’s an extraordinary showplace for all things comedic –- and interactive from the moment you walk in. I promise you will smile from beginning to end. Now that the Comedy Center is officially the country’s Best New Museum, you need to make plans to visit. You won’t be disappointed,” said Lewis Black, comedian, actor, author and National Comedy Center Advisory Board member.

New York State Executive Director of Tourism Ross D. Levi said, “We are very excited that USA Today readers chose the National Comedy Center as the best new museum in the US and Canada. Anyone who loves comedy should plan a pilgrimage to this world-class, one-of-a-kind attraction as part of a New York State vacation that includes nearby destinations like the Lucy Desi Museum, the Chautauqua Institution, Panama Rocks and Niagara Falls.”

Last summer the National Comedy Center was named by TIME magazine as one of the “World’s Greatest Places” and People magazine selected it as one of its “100 Reasons to Love America.”

In early 2019, the National Comedy Center was nominated for the USA Today Readers’ Choice “Best New Attraction” award, where it was voted #2 out of 20 new attractions by USA Today readers and chosen as the #1 museum and #1 ticketed attraction in the USA Today poll.

The National Comedy Center is the United States’ official cultural institution and museum dedicated to presenting the vital story of comedy and preserving its heritage for future generations, as formally designated by the U.S. Congress in 2019. Opened in August 2018 in Jamestown, New York, the museum complex offers an unprecedented visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st Century museum environment.

Comedy industry authority The Interrobang named the design team second on its list of “Innovators Who Changed Comedy” in 2018. Visitors from all 50 states and eighteen countries have given the Center a rare 5/5 raring on TripAdvisor, ranking among the highest in the attraction and tourism industry.

Based on the vision of Jamestown native Lucille Ball for her hometown to become a destination for comedy, the National Comedy Center showcases comedy’s great minds and unique voices in ways that engage, inspire, educate and entertain. As a non-profit institution, the National Comedy Center was funded by a mix of federal, state and private philanthropic support, including partnerships with I LOVE NY, Governor Andrew Cuomo and New York State’s Empire State Development.

Design for the National Comedy Center was led by the most prominent cultural and interactive design firms in the world, whose portfolios collectively include the award-winning 9/11 Memorial Museum, The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, The College Football Hall of Fame, SNL: The Experience, and more.

The National Comedy Center has been embraced by the entertainment industry, with props, costumes and archival material provided by many of the most revered names in comedy. The Comedy Center recently announced a major initiative to preserve Carl Reiner’s personal “Dick Van Dyke Show” script archive. Exhibition partners include the Kelly Carlin and the George Carlin estate, George Shapiro and Jerry Seinfeld, Dan Aykroyd, Alan and Robin Zweibel, Joan Dangerfield, The Lenny Bruce Memorial Foundation, Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner, The Harold Ramis Family, The Garry Shandling Estate, George Schlatter, Bill Marx and the Harpo Marx Family, the Ernie Kovacs and Edie Adams estate, Desilu Too, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures, Warner Bros. Corporate Archive, and many more.

The National Comedy Center operates the Lucille Ball Desi Arnaz Museum, which explores the lives, careers and legacy of the “First Couple of Comedy,” and the incredible impact they had on the world.

Now in its 30th year, the Lucille Ball Comedy Festival in Jamestown has showcased comedy’s greatest stars and rising young comedians, including Jerry Seinfeld, Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah, Lily Tomlin, Jay Leno, Amy Schumer, Brian Regan, Lewis Black, W. Kamau Bell, Jim Gaffigan, Paula Poundstone, Dan Aykroyd, Joan Rivers, Bob Newhart, the Smothers Brothers and more than one hundred other comedic artists. The 2019 Lucille Ball Comedy Festival, presented by the National Comedy Center last August, was headlined by Sebastian Maniscalco and John Mulaney. The 2020 festival will feature Jeff Foxworthy and Legends of SNL David Spade, Rob Schneider and Kevin Nealon.

Stay connected to the National Comedy Center:

Website: www.comedycenter.org

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nationalcomedycenter/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LucilleBallComedyFestival/

Follow on Twitter and Instagram at @ntlcomedycenter

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Comedian Harrison Greenbaum explains REAL ID in 60 Seconds

February 25, 2020

USTOA-RealID-Harrison Greenbaum e2

USTOA partnered with comedian Harrison Greenbaum, who hilariously attempts to explain REAL ID in a 60 second video. Travelers can watch (and learn) by visiting youtube.com/USTOA.

NEW YORK –With an October 1, 2020 deadline looming for travelers to possess a REAL ID compliant travel document, the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) has compiled a simple tool kit for travelers and travel advisors.

Many states in the U.S. have only recently began issuing compliant licenses and state identification cards, which means that travelers may still hold a non-REAL ID compliant license that will not suffice for domestic air travel. Most recently, the Department of Homeland Security has made the decision to allow electronic submissions of the documents that are required to obtain a REAL ID, a positive step ahead of the deadline.

To lighten the mood and creatively share this information, USTOA partnered with comedian Harrison Greenbaum, who hilariously attempts to explain REAL ID in a 60 second video. Travelers can watch (and learn) by visiting youtube.com/USTOA.

“Travelers can also learn more about REAL ID by visiting the USTOA Travel Blog, which is constantly being updated with stories and tips from industry professionals,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO of USTOA. “Plus, with everything from passport and visa advice, to packing secrets and trip inspiration, it’s a helpful resource to stay up to date and continue learning.”

Read the USTOA Travel Blog at ustoa.com/blog.

Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.  As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.

For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email information@ustoa.com.

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Top 25 ‘Extraordinary Minds’ in Hospitality Sales, Marketing, Revenue Optimization to be Honored at HSMAI Adrian Awards, Jan 21

January 17, 2020

HSMAI Adrian_012219_026e2(c) Karen Rubin-Top 25

HSMAI’s Top 25 for 2018. This year’s honorees will be presented at the Adrian Awards gala on Jan. 21 at the Marriott Marquis Hotel, New York City (c) Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

HSMAI’s Adrian Awards Dinner Reception and Gala, January 21, 2020, at the New York Marriott Marquis, recognizes inspiring best practices in sales and marketing for the hospitality industry. This multifaceted-event celebrates lifetime achievement; award-winning approaches to advertising, public relations, and digital marketing; and the teams that make it all happen. This black-tie networking extravaganza allows key constituents within the hospitality industry to connect with one another. With a crowd of nearly 1,000, it is a networking and celebratory event unlike any other.

The HSMAI Adrian Awards competition is comprised of multiple categories in three entry divisions: advertising, public relations, and digital marketing. Gold winners are celebrated at the Adrian Awards Gala Dinner Reception, which is co-sponsored by HSMAI, a leading hospitality and travel industry sales and marketing association, Google and TravelClick, and their work is showcased on-screen as part of the Gala opening. All winning entries are showcased in the online winner’s gallery.

One of the events of the evening is honoring the HSMAI Top 25 leaders in sales, marketing, and revenue optimization of hospitality, travel, and tourism organizations for their accomplishments in the preceding 18 months. Selected by a panel of senior industry executives, “Top 25” awardees are high achievers who stand out through their creativity and innovation, cutting-edge campaigns and programs, triumph in challenging situations and efforts that resulted in dramatic gains.

The HSMAI Top 25 Extraordinary Minds 2019 are as follows:

  • Tammie Carlisle, Head of Hospitality, Milestone Inc.
  • Leah Chandler, Chief Marketing Officer, Discover Puerto Rico
  • Alex Ferdinand, Senior Director, Worldwide Sales, Best Western Hotels & Resorts
  • Christen Garb, Vice President, Revenue Management-Americas, Hyatt Hotels & Resorts
  • Thomas Garzilli, Chief Marketing Officer, Brand USA
  • Valerie Gavin, Vice President, Hotel Sales & Marketing, North & Central America, Accor
  • Lisa Giaimo, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, OTO Development
  • Kristie Goshow, Chief Marketing Officer, Preferred Hotels & Resorts
  • Lauren Grech, CEO & Co-Founder of LLG Agency & LLG Events, and Adjunct Professor at New York University
  • Linda Gulrajani, Vice President, Revenue Strategy & Distribution, Marcus Hotels & Resorts
  • Patrick Harrison, Chief Marketing Officer, Visit Tampa Bay
  • Matt Jones, Head of Analytics, Travel, Google
  • Jonathan Kaplan, Vice President, Global Sales Strategy, IHG Hotels & Resorts
  • Nancy Kern, Vice President of Marketing, Coral Tree Hospitality
  • Jayna Leach, Vice President of Marketing, Visit Panama City Beach
  • Caroline MacDonald, Vice President, Global Sales & Marketing, Rosewood Hotel Group
  • Rene Mack, President, Percepture
  • Starla Middlebrooks, Director, eCommerce Services, Marriott International
  • Frank Passanante, Senior Vice President, Hilton Worldwide Sales Americas, Hilton Worldwide
  • Derek Price, Director of Business Development, North America, Expedia Group Media Solutions
  • Karin Salinas, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Baha Mar
  • Monica Salter, Vice President of Corporate Communications, Outrigger Hospitality Group
  • Phil Yi, Vice President, Marketing, Omni Hotels & Resorts
  • Tony Yousfi, Vice President, Sales, MGM Resorts International
  • Lou Zameryka, Director, Global Chains, Booking.com

Nominations for the Top 25 are reviewed by a panel of industry experts selected by HSMAI from among its membership and/or Board of Directors. HSMAI selects judges who have demonstrated exceptional leadership ability and have outstanding knowledge of the hospitality industry. Judges are held to the highest standards of integrity and commitment to honoring those individuals that have shown extraordinary leadership in our industry over the last 18 months. The entire judging process adheres firmly to these guiding principles and judges must recuse themselves from scoring any nomination that may present a conflict of interest. Nominations are scored on a scale of 1-10 for the results of their leadership for specific sales, marketing, and revenue management initiatives.

The evening celebration also includes:

» Gold Dinner Reception co-sponsored by HSMAI, Google and TravelClick, an Amadeus company, celebrating the Gold, Silver, and Bronze award winners
» Adrian Awards Platinum & Best of Show
» Corporate Social Responsibility Awards
» The Facebook Mobile Video Award
» Lifetime Achievement Awards: Lee Pillsbury, Bjorn Hanson
NEW! – The HSMAI Foundation Awards for Outstanding Efforts in Attracting, Developing & Engaging Hospitality Talent

Join the celebration honoring this year’s Top 25 by attending the HSMAI Adrian Awards Dinner Reception & Gala, January 21, 2020, at the New York Marriott Marquis.

Learn more and register.

The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) is committed to growing business for hotels and their partners, and is the industry’s leading advocate for intelligent, sustainable hotel revenue growth. The association provides hotel professionals and their partners with tools, insights, and expertise to fuel sales, inspire marketing, and optimize revenue through programs such as HSMAI Digital Marketing Strategy ConferenceAdrian Awards, and Revenue Optimization Conference. Founded in 1927, HSMAI is a membership organization with more than 5,000 members worldwide and 40 chapters in the Americas Region. Connect with HSMAI at www.hsmai.org, HSMAI Facebook, HSMAI Twitter, HSMAI YouTube.

See also:

HSMAI 2018 Adrian Awards Honor State-of-Art Travel Marketing Techniques that Get Back to People-to-People Basics

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures

Where To Go In 2020: US Tour Operators Reveal Top Travel Trends For 2020

January 2, 2020

Eric2018-Ven-Tri-Ist Bike_083118_1480e2(c) Karen Rubin-Porec.jpg

Arriving in Porec, Croatia, the end-point of Biketours.com’s 8-day self-guided bike tour that started in Venice, Italy. US tour operators see Croatia as a top emerging destination; Italy as the most popular destination for 2020 © Karen Rubin/goingplacesfarandnear.com

The United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA) released results of its annual travel trend and forecast survey of the association’s active tour operator members naming Italy the most popular destination for travelers in 2020.

The top five “hot” destinations for next year also included France, which ranked second; followed by Spain, Greece and the United Kingdom (tied for third); Ireland and Japan (tied for fourth), Germany tying South Africa for fifth.

“Europe has a very strong presence, which we saw in last year’s survey reinforcing continued interest and growth in European travel among US consumers, driven by both more product and more demand,” cited Terry Dale, President and CEO of USTOA.

USTOA tour operator members also identified their top five off-the-beaten path or emerging destinations that they see gaining popularity in 2020: Egypt, Croatia and Colombia tied for first. “Egypt topping the list is the epitome of a destination comeback story,” added Dale. “It reinforces a strong return in popularity and demand among travelers, after several challenging years.”  Making the list for the first time, Slovenia was named second, followed by Thailand, Vietnam, and Morocco and Ethiopia (tied for fifth).

On the domestic front, USTOA members forecast California as the most popular U.S. destination for clients in 2020. New York came in second, with Florida and Nevada tied for third, followed by Arizona, and Alaska and Hawaii (tied for fifth).

Arts and culture was cited by survey participants as the top travel category driving sales in 2019, wildlife and nature followed in a close second.  Local immersion, small groups/small ships and uncharted destinations were named by Active Members as the top three travel trends projected to grow the most over the next five years.

Members were also asked to name the destinations/sites that travelers should see now, with some sense of urgency before overcrowding, climate change or other factors impact the experience.

Antarctica was named first, followed by Machu Picchu in Peru, and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef and Venice, Italy (tied for third).

Who is Traveling?

Just shy of two thirds (60%) of members’ customer base are 51 years of age and older. The next largest age group is 35 to 50 years old, representing 20% of customers. Almost half (44%) of members named multigenerational family as their top growing passenger category in 2019.

Growth Ahead

Roughly 82% of USTOA tour operator members anticipate growth in sales for the year ending in 2020 with nearly half (45%) “optimistic” and forecasting a “boom year” with growth anywhere from seven to 10% or higher.

“Member confidence levels for the year ahead are high with roughly three quarters of our tour operator members ‘confident’ or ‘highly confident’ that revenues will increase in the coming year,” said Terry Dale, president and CEO for USTOA.  “This is particularly encouraging especially as we approach a election year, when, historically, consumer spending is more conservative.”

“In fact, when asked about potential threats to traveler confidence in the year ahead, the presidential election year topped the list,” Dale continued. Recession was named the second global risk that could impact potential growth in 2020, followed by global financial instability in third.

Research from the new member survey was revealed at USTOA’s Annual Conference & Marketplace, December 2 to December 6 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate in Orlando, FL.

For more information on USTOA, visit www.ustoa.com, call 212-599-6599, or email information@ustoa.com.

Representing nearly $19 billion in revenue, the member companies of U.S. Tour Operators Association provide tours, packages and custom arrangements that allow 9.8 million travelers annually unparalleled access, insider knowledge, peace-of-mind, value and freedom to enjoy destinations and experiences across the entire globe. Each member company has met the travel industry’s highest standards, including participation in the USTOA’s Travelers Assistance Program, which protects consumer payments up to $1 million if the company goes out of business.  As a voice for the tour operator industry for more than 40 years, USTOA also provides education and assistance for consumers and travel agents.

 

For more travel features, visit:

goingplacesfarandnear.com

goingplacesnearandfar.wordpress.com

moralcompasstravel.info

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/author/karen-rubin

travelwritersmagazine.com/TravelFeaturesSyndicate/

goingplacesfarandnear.tumblr.com/

instagram.com/going_places_far_and_near/

‘Like’ us on facebook.com/NewsPhotoFeatures

Twitter: @TravelFeatures