Crazy at Coco de Ville

Coco de Ville at STK standardizes swanky in the Picture 16Hollywood scene. Coco adheres to the strictest form of nightclub etiquette on par with its top sister clubs- like NYC’s Tenjune and Kiss & Fly- across the country under The ONE Group umbrella. Bottle service or promoters, it is best to have a card to play at the door. Dress to impress is like a key in the lock, and makes people watching inside so much fun.

Coco boasts an eclectic mix of pattern and color, but half a bottle in and that couch is just another thing for glamazons to dance on. Privacy is never really private. DJs pump music hits and innovative mixes, exploding the dance floor to any available surface…laps included. For those that eat, the STK kitchen caters the party from next door. Celeb spotting here is more in the B-C range, but the party reigns at Coco de Ville and tons of bottles flow in every banquet. Most entertaining, however, are the messes and HOT they are.

Kimmel Center: All-Star on Avenue of the Arts

Picture 15To witness the finer side of performing arts, the Kimmel Center is the place to be in Center City. The Kimmel is operating multiple venues (the Academy of Music and Merriam Theater, along with its namesake venue The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts) on the Avenue of the Arts. There are not many places in the area where you could witness everything from Neko Case to Lyle Lovett to The Vienna Philharmonic.

The Academy of Music, one of Philadelphia’s oldest and most prestigious theaters, showcases one of the most robust Broadway series outside of New York City. With offerings like Dream Girls and the revival of South Pacific, there is a show for every taste. The Kimmel Center’s in-house presenter hosts a variety of programming every year with some of the most respected and revered musicians, dancers and performers in the world. And for those who don’t like the commitment, there are informal free performances in the beautiful, expansive lobby every Friday night.

If you enjoy the art of a building as opposed to a performance, the Kimmel Center is one of the most famous designs from architectural designer Rafael Viñoly. The building is an entire city block of vaulted glass roof and makes any first-time visitor gasp in amazement.

Paddle Your Way Around the City with Charles River Canoe & Kayak

Picture 27Every New Englander loves to be outdoors once the weather turns nice and visitors alike love the region’s best coastline. For a unique view of Boston and Cambridge, there’s no better option than renting a kayak or canoe to set off on day of exploration of either Boston Harbor or the picturesque Charles River. Here, you will paddle past some of the city’s best sights, including the Esplanade, Hancock and Prudential buildings, Zakim Bunker Hill Bridge, Museum of Science, M.I.T., and Boston University.

Charles River Canoe & Kayak offers rental options from their newest location in Cambridge at Kendall Square. You can rent by the hour or for a full day with rates for children available. For the less adventurous, book a guided tour, where one of the most popular is the barbecue kayak tour, which ends with a catered lunch from Redbones in Somerville. Best of all, you can head over to the Harbor Islands, pitch a tent and stay the night, returning the following day.

Sofitel Hotel is Synonymous with Luxury

Sofitel is a name synonymous in the hotel industry with prestige, luxuPicture 18ry and elegance. The Sofitel in Philadelphia is right off of ritzy Rittenhouse, and carries the company’s signature blend of French and American styles.

The Sofitel notoriously houses some of Philadelphia’s most high profile visitors, including politicians and famous musicians (have you heard of the New York Philharmonic? I thought so). It is no surprise that the cream of the crop is staying here because the service is impeccable, having won Travel & Leisure’s Best Hotels of 2010 award.

The basic run-down of amenities is quite more than basic. Sofitel is pet friendly, and by that we mean the front of house staff will learn Fido’s name before they learn yours, and the hotel’s charming brasserie Chez Colette has received accolades over its lifetime for its French cuisine and stylish 1920s atmosphere.

Transport Yourself to France with Lavendou

Picture 9North Dallas might not be known for its fine French cuisine, but Lavendou provides the French fix that you may be craving.  Though it’s located in a simple shopping center off Preston road, once you walk through the doors you feel as if you have been transported back to your vacation days in  France. Large armoires, bookshelves, wall sconces and French prints create a warm, inviting atmosphere reminiscent of the days when high tea was commonplace.

Scrumptious dishes like Saumon au Cavier Daubergine Sauce Verte are best bets to try. You won’t be able to forget the eggplant and basil cream sauce, seasoned and scintillating.  If you love Gyuere cheese, trying the onion soup (Gratinee a l’Oignon) will make your head spin with delight.  And when it comes time to celebrate Mom, a bridal or baby shower, or simply culture yourself a bit, high tea at Lavendou is just the ticket.  While you can’t always jet off to Europe to sample fine cuisine, this provides a taste of what you’re missing across the pond.

Martinis & Manicures at Beauty Bar Chi-Town

Finally. From New York to L.A., the Beauty Bar phenom has taken over the Windy City with a splash… of manicured nails, big bouffantes and poreless faces. Combining the loves of women (and thus men searching for women) everywhere, Beauty Bar fuses cocktails and spa services. Add a dose of dance-inspiring beats, superb people-watching and a new set of glossy red nails, and you’ve got: Beauty Bar.Picture 8

With celeb DJs and special guest performers like Vampire Weekend, Beauty Bar Chicago makes sure to play homage to its host city by bringing back “Spandexx,” once a popular event at the now-closed lounge, Sonotheque, with DJ Moneypenny, Sadie White and Team Bayside (holler to Saved by the Bell). True to form, the bar is retro deliciousness with mod mirrors, vintage posters, a disco ball and fun retro bar chairs.With a changing list of relevant DJs pumping out inspiring beats, and a disco-ball room inspired for dancing only, this manicure lounge slash bar, also doubles as a fab dance club.

With a fresh coat of paint on your paws, a tasty cocktail in your belly and happy memories swirling in your head, consider this: Beauty Bar is available for private parties and you can shop the look at its store (online too) for fun shirts and kitchy gifts.

Grill 23 Offers Serious Steaks

Step into the bustling steakhouse known as Grill 23 and you will be greeted with impeccable service and first rate steaks. Located across the street from the old John Hancock building and in what was once the commodities trading floor of the old Salada Tea Company, this award-winning and Picture 30nationally recognized Back Bay steakhouse has emerged as one of the city’s standouts.

The two-floored dining room focuses on an open-air kitchen where guests can watch Executive Chef Jay Murray prepare each signature dish. The a la carte menu at Grill 23 features quality steaks with even higher price tags ($40 to $50) such as a dry aged New York strip, Kobe cap steak, bone-in filet and ribeye, but returning diners believe it’s worth every penny. The wine list, which reads more like a book, is truly amazing featuring red reserves like a 1998 Screaming Eagle cabernet that goes for a handsome $1,400 per bottle. When the restaurant fills in on the weekends, expect the noise level to rise tremendously, so depending on your mood book a reservation early for a quiet celebration or later for a more lively atmosphere. Visit for more information.

Get Courtside Seats at the Supreme Court

Picture 3Ever wanted to sit in the Supreme Court and see what goes on? Come early to the Front Plaza and there might just be a seat available. Watch attorneys argue their case in front of the Supreme Court justices. If the oral argument portion of the Term is over, there is still a chance to hear the justices when they release their opinions and orders for earlier cases in mid-May. If you’re in town on a day the court isn’t here, don’t worry, there are plenty of exhibits, lectures and movies in the justice’s place every day.

The building itself is quite a sight. Highlights include a statue of John Marshall, marble and bronze spiral staircases, the Court Chamber, and the famous phrase “Equal Justice Under Law” scribed on the architrave in the front entrance.

Robertson: A Trend to Do and Take Home

Move over Rodeo Drive, whether preparing to be seen or shopping the scene, Robertson is the place. Here, find every look from trendy high fashion to casual daily staples that stand out… as well as plenty of paparazzi catching a glimpse of today’s hottest stars.

It’s easy to kill a day on the few Robertson blocks between Beverly and 3rd Street. Start with lunch at The Ivy or Newsroom Cafe for plenty of shopping fuel, though both Starbucks and LA fave Coffee Bean are readily available if the need for a mid-spree upper arises. The strip is packed with both boutiques and bigger names. Jeans are the thing at Paige, AG, and True Religion, or pop into Kitson and Intermix for LA trendsetter staples.  But remember, for late night in Hollywood, the short skirt reigns. Couture, cosmetics, bed and beach wear, Robertson has something for everyone…well everyone with cash to burn.

Twelve Reasons to Love TWELVE Atlantic Station

Behind the sleek glass doors of TWELVE Atlantic Station lies urban sophistication, as the stylish décor and modern furnishings take this boutique hotel beyond drab to fab. It’s all about location, as this preferred luxury boutique hotel sits in the heart of the bustling midtown district.

Standing 26-stories high, these chic one and two bedroom suites offer skyline views, contemporary designs, luxurious linens and 24-hour room service. The simplicity of GHOST in-room technology is indeed paranormal as guests can access the internet to check e-mail, Picture 26the latest news and weather updates, or reach concierge and housekeeping with the click of a mouse. Amenities such as complimentary Wi-Fi, fitness center, outdoor pool and fully-equipped kitchenette with stainless steel appliances and granite countertops are parallel to your dream condo in the city – making you feel right at home.

If urban cool describes you, commune with the movers and shakers and young professionals at the onsite bar, Lobby at TWELVE, which is open to the public. Watch as the chef prepares your favorite traditional American dish with a modern twist in the open-style kitchen where a wood-burning grill and pizza oven serve as the backdrop.

Situated at the forefront of one of Atlanta’s vigorous live/play communities – access to trendy bars, upscale restaurants and prime retail shops is right at your footsteps – within walking distance to each other. Of course, they didn’t forget about those kid-friendly trips, offering Georgia Aquarium, World of Coca-Cola and Family Date-Night packages.

Loews Santa Monica Screams California Dreamin’

It does not get much more California than this! Loews Santa Monica is upscale comfort on par with the standards of Loews’ luxurious collection of hotels. The pool’s view overlooking the beach and the Santa Monica Pier is reason enough to stay, but it’s pure bliss to cozy up to santamonica_fun_03the fire pit and enjoy the sunset as the pier’s bright carnival lights shine against the changing sky, all with an unbelievable soundtrack of live crashing waves.

Spacious rooms have beds that you melt right into with 300 thread count linens. Brilliantly bright, clean bathrooms come with plush robes perfect for post beaching. And all rooms are complete with a comfortable corner for reading the paper while enjoying the ocean breeze from your balcony.

The Loews is walking distance from all of Santa Monica’s highlights, including the 3rd Street Promenade, Main Street, the beach and Santa Monica Pier. Capitalize on the great location by riding along the beach boardwalk on a rented bike or by running the famous Santa Monica stairs. Santa Monica’s abundant delicacies and shopping adventures are endless- and conveniently nearby.

Livin’ la Vie Belle at Bistro Vendôme

bistro vendomeTucked into a downtown courtyard across Larimer Street from her celebrated flagship, Rioja, Jennifer Jasinski’s Bistro Vendôme fits the standard Parisian model—cozy yet lively, simple yet sophisticated—from the breezeway two-tops to the shady patio. The kitchen smartly concentrates on the classics: steak tartare and salade Niçoise, roast chicken and croques monsieur, crêpes du jour and crème brûlée. Likewise, beloved quaffs like kir royale and brunchtime hot chocolate round out the all-French wine list.

And then there are the weeknight specials: Monday means discounts on champagne and oysters, while wine and cheese samplers make for wonderful Wednesdays. No wonder the tiny bar is lined night after night with industry insiders.

Shake It Down Dog at Maha Yoga

Picture 7The L.A. lifestyle is all about the body and how you get it. The secret to the city’s high percentage of stellar bodies? Steve Ross at Maha Yoga leads some of the most popular classes in Los Angeles, combining a challenging practice with music that makes your booty shake.

The goal seems simple: walking out with a stronger sense of happiness. The task, however, is less so: a deepened body connection and a major extension of the body’s limits. Maha is a spiritual haven, frequented by mind and body notables (feminine sexuality guru Deborah Kagan) and the occasional celeb (Jeremy Piven), alike.

With over 20 years practice and four years as a Vendic monk, Steve unites a deep-rooted spiritual tradition with a playlist that makes the body bounce. Each lighthearted, high energy, 90-minute class keeps the focus physical and the mind off day-to-day worries. Shake it downward dog, but do not be fooled, the dance music does not deter serious yogis. Newbies and regulars alike walk out rejuvenated, but be prepared to feel it all over the next day!

The Nation’s First Zoo in Philadelphia

Located just outside the city limits in West Fairmount Park is a Victorian Garden filled with rare, unusual and exotic creatures from all corners of the Earth. This may sound Picture 8like the beginning of a fairy tale, but we’re really talking about The Zoo. The Philadelphia Zoo is the nation’s first zoo, opened in 1874, and remains a touchstone of Philadelphia culture and tourism. The Zoo is easy to navigate and great fun for children – especially the Treehouse, which showcases larger-than-life habitats for kids to roam and explore (like the gigantic honeycomb to hang out in). The Children’s Zoo has a baby zoo for the tots and farm animals that like a little more interaction.

New exhibits include the PECO Primate Reserve with 11 different species, and the Carnivore Kingdom that houses the rare white lions, snow leopards and jaguars. The Reptile House and Jungle Bird Walk are both newly renovated and give up close and personal experiences.

Insider’s Tip: Parking is a hot commodity, so either get there early or choose a more overcast day to hang with the furry friends.

Party Central at Thrive Dallas

Thrive Dallas takes the standard nightclub atmosphere and turns it into an event. This establishment claims the Playboy Intimates Model Search, DJ’s Tek-Neek and Joe Vega, and a line of impressive twenty-something outside each week clamoringPicture 23 to get inside. Thrive is an ideal location to throw a raging private party or have a fun girl/guy’s night out.

Connected to the Crown Plaza Hotel downtown, this club makes it easy to commit to a fun, safe weekend when adding a hotel room into your plans. The restaurant section serves up fine dining and provides the perfect opportunity to eat well before a long night of partying.

Though a nightclub connected to a hotel might not sound as rocking as a stand alone club, Thrive continues to draw large crowds week after week with its good tunes and array of drinks. Be prepared to wait in line from time to time and adhere to the strict dress code-it is always enforced. Thrive is doing just that, and adding to the nightlife that keeps Dallas dancing until dawn.

Free Concerts at New England Conservatory

The New England Conservatory, which was founded in 1867, offers more than 600 concerts and ePicture 18vents throughout the year, most being held in the historic Jordan Hall. Recognized nationally and internationally as a leader among music schools, New England Conservatory has trained some of the best musicians in town, including nearly half of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.

Programs here range from solo recitals and chamber music to orchestral programs and jazz and opera scenes. Most of the concerts are free, and no tickets are required. Those events which require tickets are noted in the concert calendar so be sure to check out the schedule in advance.

Each year, the opera studies department also presents two fully staged opera productions at the Cutler Majestic Theatre in Boston. Both the New England Conservatory and Jordan Hall are National Historic Landmarks.

Japonais: Come Hungry & Dressed to Kill

Dig if you will, a picture: hot valet drivers busy themselves parking Ferraris and Jags; inside chic, heavy doors open to a beautiful hostess who awaits your arrival with a smile; a full 360 degrees around you (and below on the lower level in its bar and terrace) are gorgeous people, JaponaisChicagosmiling, mingling and gushing over delectable sushi rolls and fusion plates. This is Japonais, Conde Nast’s pick for one of the “Top 66 Restaurants in the World.

Having opened its doors in 2003, this place still lives in the past – only meaning that one would have assumed it opened just last month as the wait, long reservation list, and packed crowds every day of the week would elude to it being a hot new number. In 2005, Chicago Magazine named it “Best Restaurant” and soon after New York and Las Vegas claimed their own versions of the restaurant. Today, it still rocks to those beats.

From exotic cocktails (and a whole lot of sake and wine choices), signature sushi rolls and the to-die-for steaks, the menu reads part French and part Japanese, which in the culinary world, is a match made in heaven.

Find Your Spot in Bishop Arts District

Picture 18A stone’s throw from downtown Dallas is an eclectic neighborhood that will make you feel as if you have stepped into a new wonderland.  The Bishop Arts District is a town square of sorts that combines art galleries, boutiques, fine dining and casual bistros, as well as special events like wine walks and gathering for cyclists.

Set up with free parking, tree-lined sidewalks and a myriad of windows to shop from, Bishop Arts draws the young, the old, and the fabulously funky.  Enjoy drinks at the quaint bar inside Eno’s Pizza, a famous Frito Pie at Tillman’s Roadhouse, and a hard-to-find soda pop from your childhood at the Soda Gallery.  Unique t-shirts and trendy styles abound at Epiphany, all natural pet foods for your furry friend are sold at the Green Pet, and when your favorite first edition is in need, take it to The Book Doctor; they specialize in repairing books.

With this incredible mix of things to do and see, it’s no wonder that Bishop Arts is one of the fastest growing gems in Dallas.  Take an afternoon or evening to explore and experience, and you just might find that you have a new favorite hang out.

UCB is Cheap Comedy- That Doesn’t Mean the Jokes

Upright Citizen’s Brigade is LA’s staple stop for comedy talent scouts. Robin Williams, Mike Myers, Will Ferrell, Alec Baldwin, Tina Fey and Conan O’Brien have all performed here. Upright Citizen’s Brigade churns out countless alumni performing and writing the uprightcitizensbest comedy, sketch comedy, late night, political and daytime talk on TV as well as major box office movies.

Improvisation teams compete with intelligence, speed and intensity that have made it a stand out among other comedy clubs. With four shows a night ranging in improvisation form and theme, there’s one for everyone and the price maxes out at a whopping $8.

While most famous for the ASSCAT production, Facebook tears audience profiles into long form improvisation gold and has become a Wednesday night highlight. Soundtrack has a mix master DJ improvising the track to color scenes with whatever is available on audience iPods. And in Cagematch, watch as the challenging team tries to overthrow the previous week’s reigning champion. Every show UCB has to offer is uniquely playful and the excitement explodes as students morph into comedians grounded in their own styles and voices.

Island Rhythms Pulsate from Hoy Como Ayer

Once this place gets going, and since it’s Miami hoy como ayerthat means LATE, the island rhythms and heavy percussion that emanate from this tiny place in the heart of Calle Ocho in Little Havana are intoxicating. Hoy Como Ayer is a trip to the Cuban Havana of old with a blend of sounds from the present day hot Latin acts that have made a name for themselves in the Magic City.

Hoy Como Ayer (which means “Today Like Yesterday”) is consistently ranked by most local publications as the best place to catch Latin performers, because the best play here. Cuban-born singer Albita performs here regularly, the Latin-funk-fusion band DJ Le Spam, and the All Stars (they’re local faves and always pack the house), along with Luis Bofil and David Bisbal all grace the stage. It’s one giant jamfest here from Wednesday to Sunday and the drinks are, of course, the best, from refreshing Mojitos to the rum and cokes, better known in Miami as “Cuba Libre.”

From Mummies to Meteors: Denver Museum of Nature and Science

Founded by Colorado pioneer Edwin Carter to house his natural history collection- and growing ever since- the venerable, solar-powered Denver Museum of Nature and Science is as major a find Denver Museum Nature Scienceas the million-plus artifacts and specimens it displays (including the original Folsom point).

Located at the same City Park address since 1908, it has expanded over the decades to include a planetarium and an IMAX theater among its exhibitions of Native American culture, dinosaurs, gems and minerals, Egyptian mummies, and more (to ensure you’ve got the energy for it all, there’s a café on site as well).

And just as the Discovery Zone provides an interactive wonderland for the kiddies, the Science Lounge caters strictly to adults with a monthly series of lectures and happy-hour cocktails.

Vegas-Style Club Atmosphere at Plush Dallas

Picture 18Plush is exactly like it sounds: extravagant, easy on the eyes and glamorous. This Vegas-style nightclub scoops up the going-out crowd each week by featuring events like the All-White Party, hot spinners like DJ Sno White, excessive decor and a one of a kind two-story long video screen.

World-renowned DJs drop their beats every night at Plush, giving clubbers a reason to keep coming back for more. Conveniently located in the heart of downtown Dallas and within walking distance of other pubs and bars, Plush is the epitome of club-style “dress to impress.” Plenty of hard bodies and hard liquor abound, and the music ranges from popular favorites to hardcore hip-hop. If this is your scene, Plush is more than just a dance club or bar to order a cocktail, it’s a place to show off and make your mark.

Nan Thai: Discover The Food Golfer Vijay Singh Loves

Thai dining- at its highest level- is easily found at Nan Thai Fine Dining. Outside, the tone is set with an eye-catching gold statue right at the corner of Spring and 17th Street, minutes from Atlantic Station and the Woodruff Arts Center. Inside, it doesn’t stop. Elegantly appointed sculptures and art compliment the sleek and sophisticated room full of bamboo touches; even the bathroom is a calming oasis.

Equally impressive is the distinctive and flavorful food by Chef Nan Niyomkul, who co-owns Nan with her husband Charlie. The Pla Muk Thod, affectionately known as “fire calamari,” is an appetizer must. Pla Sahm Lod, the Chilean sea bass done in a three-flavor chili sauce, is a satisfying entrée. It’s not cheap like most Thai places, but it’s very well worth the expense.

Business is fine, but Nan works even better for romance. Its many admirers include Tiger Woods and family friends Vijay Singh and his wife Ardena. Singh is such a devotee that his love prompted a 2005 Sports Illustrated article about the Niyomkuls and their food, so it’s certainly cuisine worthy of any Master.

Top Chef’s Ryan Scott Dines at Tommy’s Joynt

San Francisco’s “Top Private Chef” Ryan Scott, whom may look familiar from the Top Chef: Chicago season, has strong opinions on what’s at the top of the Bay Area’s must-sees. “The Golden Gate Bridge, Lombard Street and Tommy’s Joynt should be on everyone’s list when visiting San Francisco,” Chef Ryan Scott told citybuzz.

Tommy’s Joynt may seem likePicture 12 the odd man out, but it’s got a legend to go along with its legendary following: Tommy’s Joynt is the place where Metallica met and first came together. Even as one of San Francisco’s older restaurants, lines are generally out the door for the simple, mouth-watering American favorites that even the most sophisticated chefs can’t resist. “They let you build your own plate with ingredients from roast beef, turkey, corned beef, braised lamb shank and spaghetti, with sides that remind you of Thanksgiving all year long,” Chef Ryan Scott says. And if that weren’t enough, there’s a bonus to this humble diner joynt: “Did I mention they have over 125  beers to choose from?” So whether it’s a liquid diet or a hearty holiday meal you’re looking for, Tommy’s Joynt has it covered.

*** Chef Ryan Scott is a San Francisco-based private chef who has honed his skills at some of San Francisco’s best restaurants: Gary Danko, Myth Cafe and Mission Beach Cafe. Chef Ryan Scott was featured on Bravo’s Top Chef: Chicago and makes frequent television appearances on The Today Show and Fox & Friends.

WWII Memorial is DC’s Newest for the World’s Greatest War

When you think of the word “memorial” in Washington D.C., the first thing that comes to mind is probably the Lincoln or Jefferson Memorial. Well, it’s time to add the brand new World War II Memorial to the must-see list. With 56 granite columns split between two half-circles framing the Rainbow Pool and its fountains, this beautiful memorial honors the service of 16 million members of the Armed Forces and the 405,399 American casualties during WWII.

Picture 12As the only 20th century war honored on the National Mall, it has plenty of interesting things to see, many of which are full of symbolism and beauty. The granite columns symbolize the unity of the 48 states (at the time of the war), seven federal territories and Washington D.C. during WWII. Two 43-foot tall pavilions honor American victory on the Atlantic and Pacific fronts.

Away from the bright and bustling area and around the Rainbow Pool is a solemn wall of 4,048 Gold Stars, where each star pays tribute to 100 soldiers who sacrificed their lives for their country. There are also areas where dozens of battle names and military campaign designations are carved into stone. The memorial also offers several hidden treasures, such as the famous “Kilroy was here” graffiti.

Visitors can search the WWII Registry, a computerized database that honors Americans from the war. There are also daily tours, as well as more in-depth walking and bicycle tours that visit other areas as well.

Amazing Views and Seafood at Barking Crab

If you’re visiting Boston, a must-see, albeit touristy, attraction is The Barking Crab located directly on the water in Fort Point Channel. Not your average clam shack, this casual seafood year-round hotspot boasts a funky nautical themed interior with wood burning stove. Fresh seafood is the focal point with items like Blue Point oysters Picture 12on the half shell, lobster and crab dip, steamers, shrimp cocktails and Old Bay crawfish.

In the warmer months, the restaurant opens the back deck complete with picnic tables, but closes the area in the winter. The interior section offers private tables and a small bar, but the restaurant is anything but formal. Don a lobster bib and your server will present you with a plastic bucket to deposit the shells from the gargantuan legendary and signature Neptune platter, which comes complete with a two-pound lobster and a four-pound mixed crab bowl, corn on the cob and coleslaw. The lobster ravioli here just may be the best in the city. The Boston cream pie is the perfect ending here.

Kids love to come here for the fun atmosphere and parents love the $7 kids menu, which even includes desserts for tots under eight. Check out the website at

Chic Club Fun at Vango

As the warmer months are fast approaching, everyone starts talking about Vango and its uber-sexy Skybar roof deck lounge. Vango offers several different atmospheres throughout the club and lounge. If you’re in for a night of high-rolling and sophisticated fun, oPicture 16rder the bottle service and receive top-notch attention in the reserved area. Or if you’re looking for an evening filled with house music and calorie-burning grooving, the dance floors inside will not fail you. The DJs always keep the mood going all through the night – be sure to check out the color-coded calendar on the website so you can choose the tunes you’ll be dancing to.

Vango is more than just a club and killer roof deck (although with 8,000 square feet, it’s a whole lot of club), it also offers an enviable menu. The styles of chef Michael Fee (from Nobu) and owner Dia Sawan (from the family who gave us Philadelphia’s Mediterranean gems Byblos and Fez) meld Japanese and Mediterranean classics wonderfully; there aren’t many places you can begin with hummus for an appetizer, eat a main course of yellowtail jalapeño and spider rolls, then finish off with an order of baklava.

Rock It Out at House of Blues

You’ve probably been to one before – Vegas, Boston, New Orleans – or another great city for live shows.  House of Blues has been established in Dallas for just a few short years, but the experience is just as amazing in your hometown.  Filled with eclectic décor and music memorabilia that will make your head spin, HOB has more to offer than you might realize at first glance.

Picture 19Concerts like Vampire Weekend and Aqua Teen Hunger Force draw the hipster crowd, and events like the famed Gospel Brunch entice groups of all ages to groove to soulful hymns and indulge in one of the most comprehensive buffets in the city.  Private parties can be arranged for groups of any size, and the ultra cool Foundation Room gives a VIP vibe to any special occasion.

If you’re just in the mood for a hot meal and laid-back atmosphere, the HOB restaurant serves up mouth-watering entrees like Blues Burgers and Salmon Jambalaya.  The next time you’re itching for hot music, traditional food and a happening spot to get your party on, forget about cutting loose at the House of Blues in any other city until you’ve given the Dallas location a try.

Royal Treatment at the Ritz-Carlton Denver

Opening in 2008, the Ritz-Carlton Denver is the newest kid on the block—and boy, is he rich. Befitting one of the world’s most celebrated luxury hotel chains, this downtown accommodation lavishes its guests with every amenity imaginable. Nearly half of the 200 rooms are suites, but even the “basic”Picture 11 accommodations—purportedly the largest in the city—boast featherbeds and Frette robes, flat-screen TVs and iPod docking stations.

Meanwhile, if you need to whip your body back into shape after an extravagant meal at Elway’s Steakhouse, the health club is equipped with everything from a basketball court to a climbing wall, while the spa offers such specialized treatments as a Thai herbal poultice and a four-hand massage.

Decadestwo’s Christos Garkinos Eats at Tere’s Mexican Grill

Decadestwo co-owner Christos Garkinos, who is the self-proclaimed “Robin Hood of Fashion,” has access to some of Hollywood’s best closets, like Charlize Theron, Rachel Zoe and Selma Blair. When he’s not shmoozing with the rich and fabulous and filling his store with high-end consignment items at killer prices, Christos is at Tere’s Mexican Grill.

“It’s the best Mexican food in the city,” ChristosPicture 15 told citybuzz. At Melrose and Cahuenga, this popular and humble Mexican joint is just steps from his home, which as he explains is “a huge LA bonus.” The easy-to-miss restaurant may have tennis ball-footed chairs and orders are only taken at the bar, but who needs pizazz when the food does all the talking? Delicious handmade tortillas wrap the overflowing burritos and tasty enchiladas. A favorite meal is the Carne Asada Nachos that’s washed down with a fresh, traditional Horchata drink. The sunny, earthy interior as well as sidewalk seating make this a perfect spot to enjoy the LA sunshine, while chowing down on some of the best Mexican food North of the Border.

*** Christos Garkinos is the co-owner of the popular LA consignment boutique, Decadestwo, that has been featured on Bravo’s The Rachel Zoe Project. Decadestwo has high-end designer clothing, shoes and accessories from some of Hollywood’s most fashionable closets. Christos is also owner of LA’s Alpha, an all-encompassing men’s store, which GQ named as one of the top 100 men’s stores in the country.

1. Christie’s Goes Green for Earth Day Auction April 22

Picture 12Every April, we remember to celebrate the amazing planet we live on, and Christie’s celebrates the green month with a celeb-filled Green Auction. This inaugural event, in conjunction with NBC Universal, is going to be huge. Hosts include Salma Hayek, Leonardo DiCaprio, Cameron Diaz, Vera Wang, and co-chaired by members of the Rockefeller family.

Guests will be bidding on coveted artworks, like ones from Damien Hirst, and incredible experiences, like trips to Bali and Antarctica or dinner with Eli Manning, that will benefit four non-profit organizations: Central Park Conservatory, Conservation International, Natural Resources Defense Council and Oceana. For those who can’t make it to the star-studded evening event, don’t worry, as participants are encouraged to bid online, in real time, with Christie’s LIVE.

Christie’s proves that “a bid to save the earth” is definitely glamorous.

Dallas Black Dance Theatre’s Artistic Excellence for All Ages

Founded in 1976, Dallas Black Dance Theatre has been wowing the metroplex with contemporary modern dance for audiences spanning all generations. Twelve professional, full-time dancers perform modern, jazz, ethnic and spiritual works by some of the country’s best choreographers.

Currently, jaws drop as audiences watch the troupe performPicture 8 new works from New York based choreographer and Broadway based Lion King performer, Ray Mercer.  Now located in the up and coming Dallas Arts District, performances can been enjoyed at the Dee and Charles Wyly Theatre in the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts.

When contemplating exploring the arts, the Dallas Black Dance Theatre provides not only consistently fresh entertainment, but offers classes (three levels each) in ballet, jazz, tap and Liturgical disciplines for ages 4 and up. Nearly 400 students per week enjoy learning in the year-round classes and develop a new appreciation for what they see up on stage.

With general admission tickets at $15,  it’s more than worth your while to check out a performance or learn one for your own personal repertoire.

1 OAK is One of a Kind

1OAK, which stands for One Of A Kind, is the true Manhattanite hotspot. Hidden at the crossroads of the Meatpacking and Chelsea party districts, it brings together the best of both of these worlds: a strict door policy (read: better, hotter clientele) and music that keeps people dancing until daylight.

1OAK has all the elements that makePicture 15 for a hot NYC nightclub. It’s small and elegant, so the doormen are super choosy at the tight door. Celebrities come here like no other club in Manhattan: it’s the place where Lindsay Lohan infamously tweeted about Justin Timberlake’s supposed “indiscretions.” 1OAK hosts some of the most VIP parties in Manhattan, from Fashion Week after-parties to Robin Thicke’s birthday party, with guests like Jay-Z and Beyonce, to name but a few. The DJs are some of the best around, the cocktail waitresses are some of the hottest around, and the prices are, well, astronomical.

So what makes it one of a kind? 1OAK is the place for after hours clubbing. When true parties get sick of the first club at, let’s say, 2am or 3am, they head over to 1OAK where the party is just getting hot. The door technically closes at 4am, but that’s only when they stop serving alcohol, as this party goes much later and gets much crazier. For those staying late with a table, 1OAK is rumored to bolt the door and serve its patrons breakfast.

Now that’s 1 Of a Kind.

Get Your Body and Mind Aligned at In-Symmetry

San Francisco is inundated with salon and spa storefronts- some pricey, some alternative and some for the gentleman traveler.  Yet who wants another mediocre massage when there’s In-Symmetry?  Hidden on the south side of Potrero Hill, this high quality day spa has a “members only” atmosphere and an “everyone’s welcome” price- just like Trader Joe’s.

Picture 20In-Symmetry Spa is as proud of its history of service for Ron Howard and Brian Grazer, K.D. Lang, Ashton Kutcher, Pink, and Natalie Merchant as it is its deep-tissue massage services for the masses of locals who frequent here every week.  No matter who you are, this laid-back spa will treat you with the indulgence and respect you deserve after your long week at work.

Aside from a Zen Hot Stone Massage that will make your body melt on the table, and a healing Sports Massage, In-Symmetry provides specialized Pre-Natal massages that pamper mama-to-be and Facials that will tone and tighten your face without the surgery.  But be prepared, every service here will leave you floating on air with your head in the clouds, so planning your payment ahead of time might be wise.

John Varvatos: Rock ‘n Roll Never Looked Finer

One of the most popular and innovative male fashion designers of our time, John Varvatos, is rock ‘n roll meets high fashion. Taking over the infamous CBGB’s music club- that launched the careers of Blondie and The Ramones- John Varvatos is one of very few that could do the legendary music venue justice.

Most may know John Varvatos for his killer take on Converses, with the madly popular Jack Purcell and One Star styles, but his clothing makes men look effortlessly stylish. Every man can’t help but look two notches cooler in one of the distressed blazers, edgy leather jackets or skull cufflinks. All these cool clothes are hanging next to vintage album covers in a store where punk-rock music is always playing.

Known to throw concerts there from time to time- with free admission and free drinks- it’s no wonder John Varvatos is known as the rock star of fashion.

Wild & Wonderful at the W Hotel in Westwood

The W Hotel in Westwood is the perfect hideaway for a Los Angeles vacationer. Hidden in a residential neighborhood, you can forget about the hustle and bustle of foot traffic, but are minutes away by car. This perfectly situated hotel has everything you could every want: from an amazing spa to beautiful rooms, a perfect place to grab a cocktail and an even better place to sweat it all off.

With great rooms and even better service, the Picture 20W Hotel is home to Bliss Spa, one of the most prestigious and well known spas in LA. Over-the-top treatments and indulgences are waiting behind the blue signage and it’s a perfect perk for the hotel guest.

Along with a great spa, the W Hotel features an amazing pool area called “WET” and fitness facility titled “SWEAT.” Both “WET” and “SWEAT” are two reasons people choose the W, from the newly redesigned heated pool to a state-of-the-art workout room that any gym enthusiast could dream of.

The W Hotel also features some great dining experiences, from NineThirty, a great place to experience American cuisine, to The Backyard, located poolside and also recently redesigned.
If all of this sounds intriguing and you are ready to make plans, make sure to check the website before you do. The Starwood Hotels are always offering amazing deals and packages to make sure your stay is as perfect as what the hotel can offer you.

Open House – Gifting at its Finest

Open House, located in Washington Square West, is a one-stop shop for endless gift-giving possibilities! We’re not the only ones convinced Open House is the placePicture 4 to go for something special – Philadelphia Magazine voted this lovely shop Best of Philly 2009 for hostess gifts.

The shop features eye candy for the home plus much more, like specialty stationary, artisan jewelry, quirky maternity clothing and children’s toys. There are treasures to find in every nook of the store, chock-full of stylish, fresh and unique merchandise that caters to a variety of tastes. Highlights of the goodies: quirky greeting cards and stationary, an enormous candle selection, unique furniture, awesome earrings, and cool yet functional serving utensils. If you chat with the staff, they are always friendly and give great recommendations.

Domo: A Country Japanese Jewel

Picture 8Domo hasn’t won Westword’s reader’s choice award for Best Japanese Restaurant fourteen years in a row for nothing. On the contrary, it’s a Denver treasure all the way around.

To open the heavy wooden door is to enter a rustic cottage in the feudal-era countryside, scattered with fascinating knickknacks like jars of viper wine and three-million-year-old chunks of rock salt; to exit out the other side is to discover a lush garden retreat, complete with a drum-bridged koi pond and a traditional shrine.

The menu is equally uncommon: chef-owner Gaku Homma’s so-called Japanese country fare comprises one-pot specialties such as donburi, nabemono, teriyaki, and the signature, chirashi-like Wanko sushi—all served with an array of sides and the fruity house sauce. Meanwhile, if there’s one thing Domo’s not known for, it’s efficient service—prepare to linger for a spell.

Pirouettes & Prima Donnas at the Ellie Caulkins Opera House

Don’t be fooled by the downhome nickname: Picture 11the Ellie, as Denverites call the home of Opera Colorado and the Colorado Ballet, is a world-class venue through and through. The crown jewel in the Denver Performing Arts Complex spans four levels from orchestra to balcony, ringed by a soaring foyer spangled with modern art (including a spectacular Dale Chihuly chandelier). And while the main attractions occur inside the lyric auditorium—from Tosca and La Bohème to Romeo and Juliet and the annual run of The Nutcracker—pre-theater dining at Kevin Taylor’s downstairs makes for a sumptuous sideshow.

Terroni is Terrific for Pizza and Pasta

This hot little Hollywood Italian spot will win your taste buds like it has won the locals. Terroni is the perfect weeknight place when craving some good carbs. Named after the region of the Picture 8restaurant’s imported olive oil and hot peppers, Terroni is the real Southern Italy where simplicity reigns as much as the ingredients.

At Terroni, it’s best to always prepare for a little wait as the restaurant doesn’t take reservations, but there’s no better place than to start at the bar! A glass of the Montepulciano is the perfect pairing for all authentic antipasti, pizza or pasta fare. The pizza has that thin crust, burnt richness that can only be had when right out of the brick oven.  If you can take the heat, ask for the hot peppers. You’ll leave carrying out jars of the stuff!

Besides the amazing pizza, Terroni is the perfect spot for a first or blind date; its sweet decor is just romantic enough, but the tables are close enough to spark up a conversation to your left or right if your date is a dud.

Let It Rain, Because There’s Shine

What Shine nightclub thoughtfully lacks in seating, it makes up for it in getting clubbers moving.  In San Francisco, there’s no hotter up-and-coming locale to put on a great dance Picture 7party than SOMA, the “South of Market” district.  Once home to the sea before the great earthquake filled in the landscape, this part of town is now home to a bit of the old, a lot of the modern, and many open spaces to get the diversity of the area mingling.

And that’s what Shine nightclub is all about, being in the perfect on-everyone’s-commute-home location and making sure everyone gets friendly once they’re here.  With no VIP sections or $400 bottle service, Shine has figured out how to personalize the party within the party for everyone who enters – call ahead and they’ll stock your own booth with a customized mini-fridge.  For $200, Shine provides you and your crew a choice of liquor and mixers, so you can have it your way and any way you like, while dancing the night away.

Miami Art Museum Draws In Art Lovers

Picture 7Innovative and thought-provoking art is what the Miami Art Museum strives to present to art lovers. With contemporary greats, like photographer Chuck Close, icon Robert Rauschenberg, and artists Wilfredo Lam and Jose Bedia featured, there’s no doubt the envelope is being pushed to the max.

The rule of admiring works of art from afar does not apply here, the installations, paintings, and sculptures beg for the viewer to become engrossed in the work, examine it and in essence become affected by it.

Besides the permanent collection and traveling exhibits that are presented, the MAM offers the monthly happy hour, Jam at MAM, featuring varying jazz performers, nibbles, and cocktails, as well as regular lectures to coincide with the show schedule.

Putting the TRUE in The Troubadour

Picture 19The Troubadour in West Hollywood is the truest definition of a LA live music venue. New bands, old bands and whatever falls in between seem to flock to The Troubadour for weekly performances that keep the tickets sold out and the lines long. With multiple acts and set lists, The Troubadour has seen some pretty impressive faces, from Neil Young to James Taylor. If you have made it in the music industry, you have most likely played here.

When it opened its doors in 1957, it probably wasn’t expecting to be the locale for a spontaneous performance seven years later by Bob Dylan himself. Thanks to people like Young and Dylan who have once taken the stage, the weekends are packed with bands hoping that this is the first day to the rest of their thriving careers.

Insider Tip: Due to the selection of up and coming bands with Los Angeles favorites, ticket prices tend to vary. The other bummer is the parking situation, whether it is parking in the structure across the street or valet parking. Situated in between clubs and bars, parking is nearly impossible so it may pay to walk or take whatever you saved on the ticket and hand it over to valet.

Spice Market Spices Up the Meatpacking

Few places command the same opening buzz and packed seats six years down the road, but Spice Market has become a mainstay destination in the ever-evolving Meatpacking district. A mega-restaurant – two floors of carved wood canopies and Southeast Asian inspired decor with a perfect people-watching patio- delivers food that’s as delicious and consistent as one would expect from celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.Picture 19

Spice Market is technically inspired from the street food of Southeast Asia, but the cuisine, which taps the flavors of Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam and India, is delivered with luxurious style. For a perfect meal, start off with the Chicken Samosas- a perfect blend of crispy outer shell and moist meat inside; favorite entrees include Steamed Red Snapper with Shitake Mushrooms, Ginger, Scallions and Tarragon or the Red Curried Duck, where a side of the sweet Coconut Sticky Rice Steamed in Banana Leaf takes the spicy curry to another level; finish off the meal with the Thai Jewels and Fruits with Crushed Coconut Ice for a cool dessert. Meals are meant to be shared, so don’t be afraid to order plenty for the table.

Reservations are highly recommended as Spice Market is one of the hottest dining options in its trendy downtown neighborhood, but if all else fails, make sure to grab a seat at the bar where mixologists whip up unique spins on cocktail favorites like the Saigon Cosmo, Ginger Margarita and Pineapple Mojito.

Dance Party Downtown at K Street Lounge

Late night partiers and Washingtonians looking to dance revel at one of downtown’s most notorious nightclubs, K Street Lounge.  Regarded by Market Watch Magazinkstreet4e as one of the top lounges in DC, K Street’s ultra mod interior with sky-high ceilings and futuristic furnishings is definitely a stray from the typical DC nightspot.

Featuring guest DJ’s from around the world, K Street is known for its exclusive events with guest celebrities and serious beats (think House and Top 40).  Sign up for the guest list online and dress to the nines for a dance party like no other.

Insider Tip: Although K Street Lounge usually has a hefty cover for males or those not on the guest list, ladies on the list usually receive Open Bar from 10-11 PM on Saturday nights.  Go online and take advantage of a few drinks on the house!

Crossing the Pond Not Needed for London Elegance

The London Hotel in West Hollywood is homey comfort with a lot more glitz. A gem in the LXR hotel collection, the London is home away from home for many out of town celebrities, some British, but most A-list. The gorgeous marble lobby is the first clue that guests are in for a very elegant stay. The staff amazingly not only knows most guests by name, but also by day two, they know their schedule and anticipate guests’ needs before they ask. Picture 11

Rooms are plush with a fabulous modern flair, but without the modern stiffness. The rooftop pool feels like a fantasy faux grass backyard in the sky, complete with cabanas, a fire pit lounge area and plenty of chaises to go around.

Serving up Gordon Ramsay delights from the Boxcar downstairs, it is easy to blow a full day just at the hotel. Dogs are welcome and even have their own terrace park for running around, while owners watch or play a game of life size chess. Walking distance from the Sunset strip and easy access to Robertson, The London is in the middle of everything and perfect for a West Hollywood getaway.

Let Studio Bini Dress Your Child in Style

There’sPicture 15 a saying that if you want something done right you have to do it yourself. Voila- Studio Bini was born! Frustrated with the lack of cute kids clothes, new mom Linde Schlumbom began stitching and sewing unique, sophisticated children’s clothes in her basement. After partnering with artist Sandy Brudos, Studio Bini went from a basement boutique brand to a main street boutique showcasing their own clothes and the work of local designers like themselves.

No hokey teddy bears or big-eyed bunnies will be found here- this kiddy boutique is not only for kids to have unique, sophisticated clothes, shoes, and accessories, but for adults to have a fun experience buying them. With adorable designs like the “Marilyn” dress for the girls and a WWII styled bomber jacket for the boys, you may (secretly) wish they came in adult sizes too!

Studio Bini also offers private label clothing, toys, books and infant equipment. Sizes are from newborn to 4T.

Get Inside the Ultimate Mansion- The White House

From the beginning with the Adams to the glamorous Kennedys to the cool Obamas, the White House has been anything but the humble home for the most powerful families in the U.S.- if not the world.

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If you’re lucky enough to get a spot in the exclusive tour, you’ll be able to walk the same steps as the most powerful figurehead in the world. You can go through the state dining room that can host up to 140 heads of states for formal dinners. Then you can make your way through the iconic red, blue, and green rooms, where Obama himself sits to prep for press conferences. Also included in the tour is the party place, The East Room, the Vermeil Room, and the Library that holds 2700 books from American authors or about American history.

Getting this kind of access comes with a few hoops. To visit the White House you have to have a request submitted through your Member of Congress (!) up to six months in advance. The upside, is that all the hard work comes with no price, the tour is free!

You know what they say, the early bird gets the worm, or in this case, the careful planners get an all access pass to the most enviable address in America.

The Philadelphia Museum’s Got Art – And Rocky Balboa

Sure, the Philadelphia Museum of Art has over 225,000 works in 200 galleries and 450 pieces of Presidential China, the finest collection outside the White House, but it also has Rocky Balboa.

Picture 8Stepping up to this incredible museum gives you the desire to put your headphones in, race up the stairs, throw your arms in the air in triumph, and quickly showcase some boxer moves. At least, that’s what Rocky did. Yes, this is the legendary landmark where Rocky trained for the ring. For the filming of Rocky III, Sylvester Stallone himself commissioned the famous Rocky Sculpture that is now posed for photo ops with film fans in its new location at the foot of Eakins Oval, next to the museum.

Of course, let’s not forget. The Art Museum, as it’s appropriately called, hosts traveling art shows of all mediums, from Images of Eastern Art, featuring Chinese Ceramics from the Ming Dynasty that date back as early as 1368, all the way to Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein’s Pop Art movement. Anything goes- above the belt- at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Gift Woes? Fête-ish Is the Gifting Doctor

When faced with the challenge of buying a gift for the person who has Picture 15everything, there is one shop that has become the go-to for exactly this type of crisis.  Fête-ish features unique and anything-but-typical merchandise that will guarantee a successful find.  Decorative accessories, furniture, art and handmade works from local artisans gives you an array of choices at every price point.

Since everyone loves a pleasant smelling abode, check out the home fragrances like Trapp Private Gardens, Tyler, Voluspa and La-Tee-Da. If you’re searching for uncommon wedding gifts and trinkets, don’t worry- Fête-ish carries products from celebrity wedding planner Mindy Weiss’s wedding collection.

And holidays? You won’t want to miss the vast collection of Christmas trees, fabulous ornaments, and creative gift ideas that will light up even the most sour Scrooge.  So, when struggling to find that perfect gift, take the short drive to Fête-ish and pick up something fresh, fun and festive that will cure what ails you.

This Martini’s Not Dirty, it’s Blue!

A little tamer than say South Beach and the Design District, but making a name for itself regardless, is the new party spot: Brickell Avenue. When the lawyers, blue martiniaccountants and bankers put their briefcases away and leave what’s known as Miami’s Financial District the area comes alive, and leading the nightlife pack is Blue Martini.

Blue Martini is a cool place to see and be seen after the 9-5, whether it’s for happy hour or late-night. Located inside Mary Brickell Village, it’s easy to start or end the night at Martini thanks to the surrounding restaurants and shops. It’s a seven-day affair when it comes to specials here, with a daily happy hour 4-8 p.m. featuring 1/2 off drinks, live jazz Tuesdays, Latin live entertainment on Thursdays and Three Olives Ladies Night on Wednesdays. Check it out to find out what that means!

Prime Dining at BLT Steak

blt steakPower diners and wanna-be politicos are in for a treat with Chef Laurent Tourondel’s Washingtonian edition of his well-known BLT Steak – the self-proclaimed “Modern American Steakhouse” with locations in culinary hotspots such as New York, LA, Miami and Hong Kong.

Located near the District’s most celebrated residence, BLT Steak exudes Washingtonian sophistication at its finest with its nod to a traditional French bistro combined with an updated, urban American finesse.  With rich hardwood accents, an intimate glow, and an all-around sleek appeal, BLT Steak is the restaurant of choice for Washington’s movers and shakers.

Like most conventional steakhouses, BLT offers a variety of prime steaks (USDA Prime, Certified Black Angus, American and Japanese Kobe Beef), paired with decadent condiments and sauces, as well as rich, tempting side dishes, served in Staub cast iron cocottes, that are intended to share.  The chef’s warm, fluffy popovers are an inviting start to a filling meal at one of the best spots in town.  BLT is also known for a great raw bar, as well as other main courses including lamb, chicken and fresh fish options.

Pig Iron Theatre Company, As Unusual as Its Name

The Pig Iron Theatre Company is a self- proclaimed “dance-clown-theatre ensemble,” proving that this group is as unique as its name. Pig Iron is dedicated to the creation of new and daring performance works that defy easy categorization. Since its creation 12 years ago, the Company has successfully created 22 works and toured all over the world. Philadelphia is lucky that Pig Iron has Picture 15decided to premiere all of their works at home…how sweet!

One of the most intriguing acts is Miss Martha Graham Cracker, Philadelphia’s most beloved drag queen and alter ego of Pig Iron’s co-creator Dito van Reigersberg. Martha makes appearances all over the city on the cabaret circuit, most frequently at Philly’s cabaret/creperie L’Etage.

With highly-anticipated events like Making Faces: A Deep Dive into Masked Performance with Pig Iron, Pig Iron carries on a conversation that it  has been having for over 15 years about masked theatre and how it helps reveal the true actor’s self.

Five Courses of French Heaven at Les Nomades

Picture 11Ask a Frenchie in Chicago where he or she loves to go for la cuisine francaise authentique and you’re most likely to hear “Les Nomades.” Pourquoi? It’s simple, with amazing array of plats premiers like herb roasted Maine lobster, Chantenay carrot purée, sugar snap peas, Madras curry natural jus; main courses like Duo of Squab Breast and Crispy Veal Sweetbreads with mustard greens, quinoa, sauce d’épice;  fromage plates and desserts like chesnut bon bon mousse coffee ganache and Guanaja chocolate cremeux. After all this, you’ll wish the five hour, five course meal would never end.

Inside a chic brownstone just steps off of Michigan Avenue, Les Nomades is zee perfect place to rest your shopper’s feet while sipping back wine from the award winning list. From Forbes, AAA Four Diamond, Zagat to Wine Spectator, this place has won all the awards that count. The service alone speaks for its status.

Insider’s Tip: Pay the $130/person for the five course meal, you won’t regret it.

NYLO Dallas/Las Colinas a New Kid on the Block

Picture 6If you are a regular Dallasite or someone just passing through, staying in Las Colinas is a gateway to fun nightlife and no pressure atmosphere.  The NYLO Dallas/Las Colinas hotel offers some of the spark you expect in Dallas, but without all the drama. With little fuss over parking, safety, and convenience, guests can relax in “urban loft-style accommodations,” just nine miles from Dallas Fort Worth International Airport.

A heated outdoor swimming pool and happening bar/restaurant/club scene keeps the hotel a social hotspot.  At The Loft restaurant, which is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, you will find talented DJ’s, live music, and special events year-round.  Known as one of the more “green” boutique hotels in the city, you can feel good about reducing your carbon footprint during your stay, while resting in an allergy-free and pet friendly abode.  NYLO Dallas/Las Colinas may be a new kid on the block, but well worth making your new friend.

Screamers Among the Skyscrapers: Elitch Gardens

Picture 9Not many city skylines boast a Ferris wheel and roller coaster amid the spires and office towers. Thanks to Elitch Gardens, downtown Denver does. Moving to its current site alongside the Platte River basin from its original location in 1995, the 120-year-old theme park presents a kaleidoscope of classic thrill rides—from the Mind Eraser with its double corkscrew turns to the Tower of Doom, which drops daredevils groundward from 200 feet in the air. For the tots, old-time favorites abound: there’s a carousel, tilt-a-whirl, and teacup ride, as well as the Island Kingdom Water Park with a high dive, wave pool, and array of slides. Kicking off in May, the season ends with a spooky bang during October’s Fright Fest—a boo-filled blast of haunted houses and trick-or-treat trails.

PBR Debauchery at The Barbary

l_fbfdcbe368bd87ee8d8e75d05b2717d9If you need to forget about your work week and that creep ex-boy/girlfriend that won’t stop calling you, The Barbary is your place for all night dancing, drinking and debauchery. The Barbary has some of the cheapest drinks in town ($2 PBRs are the Philly Special) and 6-nights a week it hosts some of the craziest dance parties you have ever experienced.

Monthly calendars are released on its MySpace page with events happening every night of the week. Sundays are Karaoke nights, Wednesdays are the Bouffant Bangouts featuring 50s and 60s music, and Mondays are the Indie Dance parties. The rest of the month is filled in with a satisfying variety of top-notch dance music. If you’re lucky to be in town, the DJ DeeJay “Madonna Michael Price” shows are a must.

And if you just can’t get in the mood without the disco ball, they have that covered, too.

Rest Like A President at the Willard Intercontinental

For traditionalists looking for true Washingtonian elegance, reserve a stunning room at the celebrated Willard Intercontinental Hotel.  Known as the “Crown Jewel of Pennsylvania Avenue,” it’s no wonder this hotel has nabbed such a compliment. With its distinctive grandeur and record of hosting nearly every U.S. President since Franklin Pierce in 1853, the Willard is much more than just another historic hotel.

The stunning landmark hotel exudes traditional American charm with its warm, Picture 7inviting guest rooms, and a hint of European opulence with its ornate dining facilities.  For those looking for a home away from home, indulge in one of the Willard’s stylish suites, each echoing the comforts of a true private residence (along with two bathrooms, luxurious sitting rooms, and gorgeous custom upholstery).  Grab the 3,000 square foot Thomas Jefferson suite for a no holds barred stay at one of the finest hotels in Washington.

Aside from around-the-clock laundry, valet and room services, the Willard Intercontinental boasts incredible eco-chic hospitality as the only hotel in DC completely supported by wind power.  Aside from eco-friendly power travelers, Conde Nast Traveler took notice by awarding the Willard a 2008 World Savers Award (the Willard is the only Urban Historic hotel yet to receive this distinction).

With an ideal downtown location, a seriously VIP guest book and a touch of Washingtonian charm, this Intercontinental is more than just a pretty façade.

Delano is an Icon of Deco South Beach

Others may come and go, but the Delano is the hotel that set the tone for what has become hip and happening in the South Beach scene. That pool, ohhh that pool, sets the standard for the rest of what represents “livin’ it up” in Miami. Sitting beachfront and a stone’s throw away from Lincoln Road and its thriving nightlife, Delano is simply where it’s at.

Picture 11Inside, the place is decorated by room so that each area provides a different experience. White is by far the predominant color with guest rooms awash in the crisp, clean hue, from the luxurious penthouse to the more subdued, but still uber cool, rooms and suites. A rooftop spa offers a 360 degree view of nothing but turquoise ocean as far as the eye can see.

And of course, stay for some great nightlife and dining. After all, there’s the classic Blue Door, the hotel’s original and award-winning restaurant, along with Plat Bleu, and for cocktails and people watching (ahem, celeb spotting), there’s the elegant Rose Bar.

Cutting Edge Fashion at Cusp

cuspAs Yves Saint Laurent once reflected, “fashion fades; style is eternal.”  At the chic Georgetown boutique, Cusp, both fashion and style are ever present with a perfect selection from edgy, yet sophisticated designers such as Elizabeth and James, Alice & Olivia, Diane von Furstenberg and Marc Jacobs.  Created as a younger, edgier boutique by infamous fashion giant, Neiman Marcus, style mavens can rest assured that Cusp will definitely have what’s in vogue.

Fashionistas will drool over flirty Milly dresses, sky-high Loeffler Randall stilettos, and a variety of the best accessories and beauty products available. Treat yourself to a day of shopping in quaint Georgetown and heat things up later with a hot new addition to your travel wardrobe – one trip to this trendy shop and you’ll be on the cusp on what’s hot in no time!

Business & Pleasure at InterContinental Buckhead

Picture 6New neighbors haven’t disturbed the InterContinental Buckhead’s groove. Still a top choice for many, the InterContinental is contemporary in feel, but traditional in service. “Space, space, space” is a welcoming theme as there’s plenty to be had from conference rooms to guest rooms. Relaxed and elegant is the general verve. While guests at the club level do enjoy the added amenities of a private fitness center and lounge, great service is a perk available to all.

Dining at Au Pied de Cochon, the InterContinental’s very own outpost of the famous Paris eatery, is a first class, 24-hour affair. Few places serve fresher oysters. Staying at just the hotel isn’t mandatory either, not with Lenox Mall and Phipps Plaza on the same street along with the many restaurants and handful of clubs in the area. It’s not just fun and games; at the InterContinental Buckhead, business and pleasure are great bedfellows.

NOKIA Live & It Will Thrive

From Lady Gaga’s Monster Ball to Mo’nique’s Spread the Love Comedy Tour, NOKIA Live in Downtown Los Angeles is the premier venue for every concert, performance or comedic throw down the City of Angels has to offer.

Breaking all the rules in 2007, NOKIA LivePicture 18 opened its doors to fans so they would get to experience an intimate performance from their favorite performers without paying the price. The indoor theater, which can seat close to 7,000, is conveniently located near Staples Center where an extreme portion of L.A. action is generally taking place on any given night.

Though the NOKIA Theater is worth visiting, those craving an even more intimate experience should pay close attention to Club NOKIA, a state-of-the-art theater that can seat a little over 2,000 people. This “club” is home to emerging and new artists, bands and shows that are looking to launch their careers but may already have a decent following.

Thanks to Club NOKIA and NOKIA live, Angelinos don’t have to venture far to witness their favorite up and coming band or sold out superstar. They can enjoy the benefits of being in the heart of downtown with an experience that feels too personal to put a price tag on.

House: Not Your Average Hole in the Wall

Fail to pay attention and you’ll walk right by, but for those who know House it stands out like the TransAmerica building amidst the cliché dim sum depots that define Chinatown.  For over a decade, House has finely presented the best in East-meets-West cuisine for its loyal patrons.

Picture 7Always dramatic, Chef Larry Tse’s perfectly balanced towers of food are known to awe.  Set against a sleek neutral atmosphere with slate tiles and simply framed art, his presentations really stand out.  Don’t expect dumplings in a bamboo steamer, they’ll come out arranged around a delicate sauce on a paper-thin layer of beets, and it’s as pleasing to look at as it is to eat.

Of course, every restaurant has its signature.  For House, the miso-glazed black sea bass ($24) has a long-standing following; it’s a caramelized slab of perfect white fish draped with a long-biased cut of California roll.  House also performs every operation with military efficiency and precision so you can get in, get out, and enjoy your evening on the town.

Jonathan Adler Practically Shops for You

Ah! It’s just so delightful when one little boutique makes gift-giving totally effortless. Such is the case at Jonathan Adler where one visit intended to be “quick” could stretch into an easy hour and plenty of bags of goodness (of gifts … and a few for you too of course).

The bright colors pr_int_05practically sing “Come In!” from the windows of the Jonathan Adler boutique on N. Wabash Street in Chicago’s River North neighborhood. Inside it only gets brighter, happier and more inspiring to shop!

Hot items you’ll find – and which you’ll have a hard time parting with unless you buy one for yourself-  include: the ever-famous Muse Votive candles available in two sizes (go on, get the bigger one for yourself), the funky Queen Anne mirror, and of course, the too-cool throw pillows featuring sayings, designs of all sorts, and engraved letters.

If you need something smaller, you’ll find it here, too. The boutique makes shopping easy with incremented suggestions starting at $50 and under as well as suggestions for the host/hostess, Hanukkah and young ones.

Thinking you’re in a pinch for shopping is no longer an excuse – thank you Jonathan.

Fratelli Lyon Takes Fresh to Another Level

Stroll along the heart of Miami’s Design District and discover a place where the decor is modern and the food is prepared with a heart. At Fratelli Lyon, the dishes are not only great tasting but made in the freshest way possible, with ingredients like grass-fed beef, sustainable seafood and organically grown produce. Even the water filtration system is special here, producing triple filtered still and sparkling waters that are used in the homemade sodas, beverages and bottled waters.

Picture 20Now that the standard’s been set, don’t think for one minute it’s all boring food here. The menus – both lunch and dinner – are full of Italian favorites. The extensive list of antipastos is impressive all on its own with three categories: cheese, meats, or greens and fish. Even the wide range of pastas have two categories: handmade fresh or artisanal imported dry. The wine list is beyond extensive with something for any taste and price range.

Pizzas, paninis, salads, house specials, and specialty Italian coffees round out the menu and for lunch there’s an irresistible $24 fixed price that includes a choice of an appetizer, entree, and dessert or house wine.

Updated Classics at The Shakespeare Theatre

Picture 8Theatre lovers are in for a treat with the imaginative Shakespeare Theatre Company – DC’s national destination theatre that brings award-winning Shakespearean and other classic plays to the stages of downtown Washington’s Harman Center for the Arts, as well as several other performance centers across the country.

Founded in 1985, The Shakespeare Theatre Company’s mission to creatively preserve traditional theatre is reflected in the modern reinterpretations of stage masterpieces such as William Shakespeare’s Richard II, As You Like It and Henry V.

The Company also showcases a unique annual presentation, Will On The Hill, in which distinguished Washingtonians, such as Senators and Members of Congress star in Shakespearean performances, bringing a true Washingtonian cast to the stage.

Insider Tip: Plan ahead and book one of the Shakespeare Theatre/Harman Center for the Arts hotel packages.  Found on the website, visitors can choose from a variety of the Harman Center’s partner hotel options and purchase a room and theatre tickets with one simple phone call.  Grab a great deal and cross off two things at once from that travel checklist!

Parisian Sculptures in the Heart of Philly at Rodin

Picture 14Auguste Rodin (1840-1917) changed the face of figurative sculpture and ushered in a whole new era of artistic expression, and Philadelphia is lucky to hold the namesake museum and the lush gardens that surround it. Based on the collections of Philadelphia’s great movie theater magnate and philanthropist Jules E. Mastbaum, the Rodin holds most of the sculptor’s works and strives to preserve and restore his art. It’s one of the only places outside of France that you can experience his work!

Perhaps the most exciting part of the Rodin is the collaboration between the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Fairmount Park Commission, and Pennsylvania Horticultural Society to renew and exhibit this urban oasis. These Philadelphia big wigs are making the Rodin into the flowering utopia it was meant to be, showcasing both the artwork and the nature that inspires it. Sometimes trying to pay a visit to a national museum in one stop can be overwhelming, but the conciseness of the Rodin makes it perfect for an afternoon stop.

2. Star Studded TriBeCa Film Festival April 21-30

Picture 18Tribeca Film Festival invades lower Manhattan once a year and it’s always a star studded, must-see red carpet event, after all it was created by Robert DeNiro. One of the most important and popular independent film festivals, this year the parties and controversy have started early.

Shrek Forever After will open the festival, and other films like My Trip to Al Qaeda, Last Play at Shea, and Edward Burns’ Nice Guy Johnny are sure to bring out the stars. One film, though, that is getting a lot of publicity, protests and defense (even a write up in the New York Times) is the transgender comedy Ticked-Off Trannies with Knives. With titles like these, this year’s Tribeca Film Festival will not disappoint.

1. Premier Dallas Wine & Food Fest April 21-25

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 12.44.12 PMCome and taste the best wine that Dallas has to offer at the 26th annual Dallas Wine & Food Festival. This is the premier food and wine event in Dallas, taking place over five days at landmark settings in and around the city. The festival showcases local and national talent and is the only festival in Dallas to feature award-winning wines from the Dallas Morning News Wine Competition, the largest national wine competition outside of California. There are various events throughout the festival, from a movie & dinner ticket to cooking seminars to an over-the-top five-course winemaker’s dinner featuring the top winners of the annual Rising Stars Chefs’ Contest.

1. Spring Flowers at Macy’s Flower Show April 1-11

Spring Is In The Air as the Flower Show Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 1.35.41 PMreturns to Macy’s Center City! This year’s show is staged in the Grand Court, the same site of the legendary Wanamaker’s Flower Shows from the 1930s through the early 1970s. Center City will be transformed into a wonderland of spectacular gardens, where magic reaches to new heights and floral fantasies take flight! This year’s show will feature varieties of exotic trees, flowering plants, and brilliant color as far as the eye can see. Take a guided tour or stroll through the beautiful gardens at your own pace. And, don’t miss the hot air balloon centerpiece, that’s overflowing with beautiful flowers, making it the perfect photo-op!

1. Star Studded LA Antique Market April 21-25

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 12.03.42 PMThe exquisite invitation-only Opening Night Preview Party for the LA Antique Market will host some of Los Angeles’ most prominent architects, designers, artists and actors. Some of the guests include Courtney Cox and Spiderman Toby Maguire who will be admiring the world’s finest art and antiques at this elegant cocktail party kick-off.
Don’t’ worry if you can’t score an invite, as the main event is open to the public and will be attended by more than 1,000 of the communities most influential professionals and the weekend long event attended by more than 2,500 patrons of the art and antique world. This year’s host committee includes Maria Bell, Courtney Cox, Dita von Teese, and Tobey Maguire.

1. Spring’s Arrived at Cherry Blossom Fest April 10-18

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 3.58.14 PMMusic and dance performances, martial arts demonstrations, tea ceremonies, flower arranging demonstrations, a food bazaar, and a spectacular Japanese-style parade are among the many events presented at The Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival.
Now celebrating its 43rd year, the Cherry Blossom Festival is one of California’s most prominent celebrations of Asian traditions. Each year, over 150,000 people attend this dazzling display showcasing the color and grace of the Japanese culture and the diversity of the Japanese American Community. All are welcome to join in the festivities and celebrate Japanese and Japanese American culture in San Francisco’s Japantown!

1. The Prestigious 114th Boston Marathon April 19

Picture 8The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest and most prestigious annual marathon and part of the World Marathon Majors. A maximum field size of 25,000 participants begin in the rural town of Hopkinton and run the legendary course through eight cities and towns before finishing in Boston’s Back Bay area. The 2010 edition will mark John Hancock Financial’s 25th year as principal sponsor.

Truly a competition amongst the elite of marathon runners, to qualify for entrance all men under 35 years of age must prove they have finished a race in under 3 hours and 10 minutes. Wow!

1. Miami Wine & Food Festival April 22-24

Picture 9Ranked as one of the top ten wine events in the nation, the 15th Annual Miami Wine and Food Festival is an event for connoisseurs and simple wine fans alike. Last year’s festival boasted wines from over 60 different wineries, including Moet Hennessy USA and Napa Ridge. The three day festival features an array of culinary and wine events including fine wine tastings, champagne tastings, an interactive dinner with celebrity chef Todd English, and some of the highest quality wine lots in South Florida.

1. Int’l Stars at Filmfest DC April 15-25

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 3.02.18 PMRepresenting cinema from over 30 countries, the 11-day Filmfest DC showcases a wide range of extraordinary new films from around the world. The festival’s geographical focus for this year is Eastern Europe and Japan. Each year, the festival hosts over 35 guest film directors and stars. There are discussions with directors, movie premieres, cine cafes, panels, workshops, Q&A sessions after the screenings, and free programs for children and senior citizens. Be sure to check out the opening night gala, where there will be live music, dancing, food, and champagne, as well as the closing night party for an impressive 1,000 guests.

1. Concepts & Hot Rods at Denver Int’l Auto Show April 7-11

Screen shot 2010-03-26 at 2.44.19 PMFeaturing more than 500 of the newest vehicles from 30 manufacturers, this auto show is the largest new car display between the Mississippi River and Los Angeles. There are a variety of cars put on display, including muscle cars, concept cars, luxury cars, SUVs, vintage racers, hot rods, and much more. This year, the exhibiting manufacturers include Aston Martin, BMW, Jaguar, Lotus, Mercedes-Benz, and Tesla. There are factory and dealer representatives at the show to answer any questions.

For those who want to do more than just look, there are the “Ride & Drive” programs to test drive select new GM and Kia models. There are plenty of other events as well, like a custom styling and accessories area and the Kids Stop Pit Stop.

2. Federer & Williams at 2010 Sony Ericson Open April 1-4

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 11.08.28 AMWith $9 million in prize money, the Sony Ericsson Open is currently the largest tennis tournament in the world for Title Sponsorship. But the main fact drawing tennis fans to this year’s tournament is that the top 15 men and top 50 women as ranked by ATP will be in attendance; this includes both Williams sisters and perennial champ Roger Federer.

The Sony Ericsson Open, considered one of the most prestigious titles in professional tennis, has been awarded “Tournament of the Year” by the ATP in eight of the last 10 years. The tournament grounds hold 18 different courts, and together with Stadium Court, which seats 13,800 spectators, there will be no shortage of excitement.

2. National Easter Egg Hunt April 5

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 3.13.09 PMDating back to 1878 when President Rutherford B. Hayes opened the White House grounds to local children for egg rolling on Easter, the annual White House Easter Egg Roll is a tradition that takes place on the White House Lawn. Families can come to hunt for and race Easter Eggs, while listening to stories and getting a visit from the Easter Bunny. Opened to children twelve and under, families can also enjoy sports, cooking classes, and live musical performances.

The theme for this year is “Ready, Set, Go!” promoting health and wellness. There are also wooden souvenir eggs available for online purchase, with each one expertly crafted and painted, as well as signed by the President and First Lady.

2. Opening Day at Coors Field April 9

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Every spring, tens of thousands of cheering fans gather together to watch their favorite baseball team on Opening Day. Regardless of how well the team did last year or is projected to do this year, Opening Day is a new start for every team and every fan. This year, the Colorado Rockies will be playing the Opening Day game against the San Diego Padres. All fans will receive a free 2010 Colorado Rockies Magnet Schedule.

For those who aren’t die-hard fans, Opening Day is still a great experience, as the atmosphere of a filled stadium is always exciting. If anything, just seeing Coors Field makes the trip worth it, since it is one of the best stadiums that baseball has to offer.

2. Eclectic Deep Ellum Arts Fest April 2-4

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 12.50.48 PMWith over 75 national, regional, and local original bands, the free-to-attend outdoor “street party,” also known as the Deep Ellum Arts Festival, is what makes Deep Ellum one of Dallas’ most progressive and eclectic neighborhoods. With four separate outdoor stages, the festival presents a mix of music genres, including Dallas’ favorite fusion rock, southern soul, and “genre-breaking” bands. This year, the featured headliners include Shuttle, Moosehound, and Hendrick.

Other than music, there are more than 100 top-notch juried decorative and visual artists displaying and selling original works. There’s also the Pet Parade, where hundreds of pet owners and their pets can stroll down Main Street and take part in the various pet related activities and competitions. Throughout the weekend, there will be plenty of food, including Mexican, Caribbean, Mediterranean, Asian, and American.

2. Contemporary Art Chicago April 30-May 3

Picture 31This annual international fair of contemporary and modern art brings together the world’s leading emerging and established art galleries. There are plenty of current and historic works in a wide variety of media, including painting, photography, drawings, prints, sculpture, video and special installations. Programming highlights include Perspective Texas, which will have art from Texas’ top collectors and curators, and Survey America, a floor-wide exhibit that highlights works by artists living and working in the US. There will also be speaker programs that feature international artists, writers, curators and critics discussing trends and issues in the contemporary art market.

2. Prized San Fran Int’l Film Fest April 23-30

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 4.03.54 PMHighly anticipated by its loyal and passionate audiences, championed by civic and community leaders, admired and adored by filmmakers, and closely watched by industry professionals, SFIFF is one of the most important stops on the international festival circuit.

The San Francisco International Film Festival features a bonanza of narrative feature films, live action and animated shorts, television and theatrical documentaries, experimental work and a variety of new digital media, as well as a smart lineup of industry panels and seminars, awards events, onstage tributes, retrospectives and the highly acclaimed Schools at the Festival program, which brings 4,200 students in grades 1–12 into the film festival.

2. Toast of the Town Wine Enthusiast Gala April 8

Picture 26This evening could very well change the way you think about a wine tasting forever. After all, that is the goal of Wine Enthusiast’s Toast of the Town. Several factors make this annual gala much more than a sampling of reds and whites: the global range of delicious beverages, the food, the music, the setting, and the way they all go together. Sip with the Fishes at a spectacular evening of wines, spirits and music, paired with culinary creations from Atlanta’s top restaurants, all in the spectacular Georgia Aquarium!

2. Popular Romeo + Juliet Extended April 1-11

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 1.42.58 PMCritically acclaimed by The Philadelphia Inquirer, KYW News Radio, and Broadway, rediscover the world’s most enduring romance. Rome + Juliet is the tale of pure passion between star crossed lovers, the children of sworn enemies and has been extended by popular demand for a limited time on the F. Otto Haas Stage. This visceral production celebrates the language and characters of the Shakespearian masterpiece, on a simple stage with minimal sets. As this popular play is about to close, don’t miss what promises to be a performance for the ages.

2. Charles River Canoe & Kayak Race April 25

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 4.43.45 PM The Charles River Watershed Association celebrates 28 years of canoe & kayak races on the Charles River at the ‘Run of the Charles’ on Sunday, April 25. Professional, amateur and recreational canoe and kayak races include international, national and local racers. New England’s largest canoe and kayak race includes 6, 9, and 19-mile races, a 24-mile, five-leg canoe relay race, and a 26-mile professional marathon. The Charles River is one of the most spectacular places in Boston and adding a competition just makes it sure to be fun for all participants, volunteers, and spectators.

3. Hottest Debuts at NY Auto Show April 2-11

Picture 19There will be 32 highly anticipated debuts- 18 world introductions and 14 North American- at this year’s New York Auto Show. It is the new crop of hybrids that has the blogosphere and motor heads buzzing. Hyundai is set to debut its first ever hybrid, the 2011 Hyundai Sonata, along with Porsche’s Cayenne hybrid and Lexus’ sporty compact hybrid, just to name a few. Other highly anticipated debuts include the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG with Gullwing doors, Ford Shelby GT500, Audi A8 and more . The New York Auto Show is only for 10 days, but you’ll definitely be hearing about what’s on display for months- or years- to come.

2. Glamorous Newport Beach Film Festival April 22-29

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 12.14.19 PMSet against the backdrop of beautiful Newport Beach, just a few blocks away from the spectacular Pacific coastline, the Newport Beach Film Festival annually hosts several premieres, galas, and yacht parties creating a film festival that is truly one of a kind.
And don’t forget that the Newport Film Festival offers attendees a rare opportunity to meet the directors, screenwriters, and cinematographers of some of the films.; they will share their work and provide a unique look from inside the industry during post-screenings Q&A sessions. Featuring over 350 international independent and studio film screenings, actor showcases, music and arts events, fashion shows, red carpet events and galas, this is a film festival that is not to be missed.

3. Macy’s Spring Flower in Union Square April 1-11

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Spring Is In The Air as Macy’s Union Square is transformed into a colorful, vibrant dreamscape, featuring spectacular garden environments with different varieties of exotic trees, flowering plants, and brilliant color as far as the eye can see! Take a guided tour or stroll through the enchanting gardens at your own pace. And don’t miss the gateway garden, overflowing with lush spring flowers and anchored by a massive hot air balloon centerpiece!

3. Angels Home Opener April 5

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 12.18.59 PMAfter a disappointing loss to the eventual world champions, the New York Yankees, in the American League Championship game last year, the Angels will return to Angel Stadium. For the first time since the road to World Series, the Angels are due to start their 2010 campaign for another AL Western Division Championship of April 5. With the return of Kendry Morales, Erick Aybar, Jered Weaver, and the addition of slugger (and former Yankee) Hideki Matsui, this might be the year for championship number three.

3. Highly Respected USA Film Festival April 28-30

Picture 11Now in its third decade, the 40th Annual USA Film Festival is one of the oldest, most respected festivals in the United States. The festival features the best in American and foreign film. Preview films prior to wide release or discover ones that aren’t scheduled for commercial distribution, meaning you won’t be able to see it anywhere else! There are plenty of discussions and encounters with dozens of filmmakers, directors, actors, screenwriters and composers. One of the two most important competitions, the National Short Film and Video Competition, will be held during this week.

3. Unique Architecture at Doors Open Denver April 17-18

Screen shot 2010-03-26 at 3.15.16 PMFor those interested in the unique architecture of Denver, Doors Open Denver is the event to go to. This free event lets residents and visitors see various buildings around Denver.

Participants can either do self-guided tours, urban adventures, or expert tours. Urban adventures are self-guided tours based on a neighborhood or special theme, such as romantic sites or award-winning architecture. Expert Tours are led by architects, historians and volunteer guides.

This year, the sites available for visit include the Civic Center Park, 16th Street Mall, Skyline Park, and the Sugar Building. There are places geared towards families too, such as the Denver Museum of Miniatures, Dolls & Toys and the Denver Society of Model Railroaders in Union Station.

3. Dogwood Art Festival April 16-18

Picture 27Spring is just around the corner and that can only mean one thing in Atlanta: the Atlanta Dogwood Festival is back. The Dogwoods will be in full bloom, and hundreds of artists from around the country will set up their tents for the 74th Annual Atlanta Dogwood Festival. Virtually every kind of art imaginable will be represented, with a nationally renowned-juried Fine Artist Market that includes sculpture, paintings, pottery, jewelry, and photography.

In addition to the fine art, there is a Kids Village featuring huge inflatables, arts & crafts, and face painting for all ages, as well as the ever-popular 24-foot rock-climbing wall.  Not to mention the wide array of musical offerings will fill the spring air throughout the weekend. When you get hungry, just follow the smells of funnel cakes, gyros, crab cakes, onion rings, kettle corn and much, much more. And don’t forget the free screening of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho on the meadow, on Saturday at 9 p.m.

3. E!’s Chelsea Handler Live! April 17

Picture 12TV’s favorite late night lady is coming to Philadelphia with her unique style and sense of humor for a one night only show.Sure to be a night of dry wit and pop culture commentary, Chelsea Handler will have you clutching your sides and rolling in the aisles.

And don’t worry guys, her charms are sure to work on you as well as everyone else, and if not, at least she’s nice to look at!

3. Earth Day Events in DC April 22-25

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 3.26.20 PMWashington, DC will hold one of the largest Earth Day gatherings in America on the National Mall to rally support for national action on global warming. The Earth Day Network, which hosts the events, is organizing this massive rally to demand Congress pass a comprehensive climate bill in 2010. Earth Day, which is in its 40th year, emphasizes environmental service, advocacy and education.

The Climate Rally on April 25th will act as the flagship for the mission of Earth Day. The event will include a free festival with music, entertainment, speakers and environmental activities. Last year, 100,000 people came and participated, and rockers The Flaming Lips headlined the event.

3. Spring Comes Early at Macy’s Flower Show April 1-11

Picture 20Macy’s is already a must-see when visiting New York City, but this month there’s more of a reason to visit the iconic store. The Macy’s Flower Show, this year titled Spring Is In The Air, is invading the 8 floors of the gigantic department store. Highlights include 10 different garden environments, 30,000 different exotic trees, flowers, and plants, and a hot air balloon centerpiece. But, this is a store after all, and many of the retailers are offering discounts, promotions and specialized gardens on nearly every single floor. This is one of the most beautiful flower displays, and it’s all in the heart of Manhattan.

3. Early Blooming at Spring Flower Shows April 1-30

Picture 32April showers bring May flowers, but they bloom early with these conservatory flower shows. Enjoy gorgeous flowers long before they are blooming naturally outside. The shows take place at Garfield Park Conservatory and Lincoln Park Conservatory.

At Garfield Park, flowers include hydrangeas, spring flowering annuals, spring flowering perennials, and plenty of vibrant colors that will get you ready for the warm weather. There will even be azaleas that are descendents of azaleas on display at the 1893 Columbian Exposition. At Lincoln Park, the show has an impressive collection of palms, ferns, tropical plants and a show house under its Victorian-style glass house.

3. Miami Earth Day Celebrations April 19-24

Picture 15Miami will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day with a crossing from the Bahamas to Miami with a solar powered boat and  a week full of environmental events that will be fun- and good for the environment- for the entire family. Events include:

Fashion Forward: A hip clothes swap that makes the most out of unwanted clothes. Just bring your items down to the event and start swapping. And an added bonus? It’s free.

MiaSci Mad Lab: Children can enjoy interactive experiments at the Miami Science Museum’s Mad Lab. They’ll learn green concepts for the future, while having fun.

Secure Shredding: We all know that work can be very environmentally wasteful, so bring in your documents for free secure shredding by the premier recycling and shredding service in South Florida.

Miami Goin’ Green: A day long festival at BayFront park where there will be live performances, seminars, and eWaste recycling. The best part is it’s all free.

3. 12th Annual Boston College Arts Festival April 29

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 4.47.23 PMEvery year, the Boston College Arts Festival brings the community together to celebrate the arts.  This annual spring event, now in its 12th year, showcases over 1,000 student and faculty artists in the performing, visual, and literary arts. Join the over 16,000 art enthusiasts expected to attend the festival and participate in art demonstrations, enjoy music, dance and theater performances, browse through art exhibitions, listen to literary readings and view films. A staple of the festival every year, this year’s children’s activities include interactive arts and crafts, a story hour, and an instrument petting zoo with the Boston College band.

4. Discover Secret Gardens at VA Garden Week April 17-25

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 3.40.40 PMIn its 77th season, the Virginia Historic Garden Week showcases more than 250 of Virginia’s most beautiful gardens, homes and historical landmarks. Three dozen tours visit some of the nation’s most beautiful properties during the peak of Virginia’s springtime color. Highlights for this year include the countryside in the Albemarle County/Charlottesville region that Thomas Jefferson called “Little Eden,” the Morven Estate Gardens and House, historic properties linked to George Washington and Robert E. Lee, a number of historic James River plantations, and Monticello.

Get a taste of history as you explore various architectures and gardens, from water gardens to cottage gardens to even secret gardens.

4. Tattoo Artist Dr. Lakra’s ICA Exhibit Begins April 14-30

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 4.53.50 PMDiscover the playful and provocative works of the artist Jerónimo López Ramírez, also known as Dr. Lakra, who is a renowned tattoo artist that lives and works in Oaxaca, Mexico. Under his pseudonym, loosely translating as “Dr. Delinquent,” he draws over vintage printed materials and found objects rather than skin, manipulating images of pin-up girls, 1940s Mexican businessmen, luchadores, and Japanese sumo wrestlers.

Referencing diverse body art traditions from Chicano, Maori, Thai, and Philippine cultures, Dr. Lakra layers spiders, skulls, crosses, serpents, and devils over these existing images. Playful, naughty, and often intentionally vulgar, his work challenges social norms by blurring cultural identities. This exhibit at the ICA is Dr. Lakra’s first solo exhibition in the U.S., and he will present works from a variety of series as well as a newly commissioned mural.

4. 7 Premieres, 7 Parties at Gen Art Film Fest April 7-13

Picture 23April is the month for film festivals in New York and Gen Art is a great place for cool, cutting edge people and films. Now in its 15th year, the Gen Art Film Festival is a week-long festival showcasing 14 films (7 shorts, 7 features) from some of North America’s most talented emerging filmmakers. In the past it has introduced cutting edge filmmakers like Alan Cumming, Cary Fukunaga and the late Adrienne Shelly. A unique feature of this festival is that regular people can get tickets to the highly coveted and star studded after-parties.

4. Sweet Water 420 Earth Day Festival April 17-18

Picture 28Two full days of music, food and plenty of tasty SweetWater beer from Atlanta’s favorite brewery. Join other earth enthusiasts in beautiful Candler Park in support of Mother Earth. Events include yoga in park, diesel to grease demonstrations, eco art, sustainable living forums, solar energy exploration, activism through music, alternate transportation in ATL, round table discussions for Georgia’s Energy Future, youth climate activism, eco book building, water conservation measure and much more. And best of all, it’s free to go!

4. Denton Arts & Jazz Festival April 23-25

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 1.06.03 PMCome experience jazz in the heart of Dallas in beautiful Quakertown Park. With over 2,200 performers on seven stages, this free festival takes place over two and a half days. This year, the headliners are Chick Corea Trio, Jimmie Vaughan with Lou Ann Barton, and Brave Combo. There are also 175 artists showing and selling their original art. Be sure to eat some great food in one of the five food courts and check out the various games and activities.

For kids, there is the Children’s Art Tent, where the 12 and under can mold, draw, sculpt, and create. Attracting over 200,000 annually, this festival is the place to be for enjoying the culturally diverse music and art.

4. Plenty of Laughs at Chicago Improv Fest April 19-25

Screen shot 2010-03-26 at 5.12.34 PMChicago’s best improv can be found at the 13th Annual Chicago Improv Festival. There will be 65 acts, including Improvised Shakespeare Company, Pimprov, Children of a Lesser God and Improvised Tween Erotica, with 38 of those from Chicago. The rest of the acts come from 24 different cities and eight countries. The events take place throughout 12 locations, from the Apollo Theatre to the Second City. Lifetime Achievement Awards will be handed out during the festival to improv legends Harold Ramis, Dick Schaal and Severn Darden. Dick Schaal will also be teaching a 5 hour-long Master Class geared for improv teachers.

4. 300 Different Beers SF Beer Fest April 25

Sample over 300 incredible beers from some of the best Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 4.13.26 PMcraft brewers from around the world as well as taste a delicious variety of offerings from some of San Francisco’s best restaurants. Admission includes unlimited beer tasting and food, basically a dream come true.
And, you can get your fill without a lot of guilt. The money raised from the admissions tickets will go entirely to fund the teaching and learning programs at the Telegraph Hill Cooperative Nursery School for an entire year!

4. New Getty Exhibit: Leonardo da Vinci’s Sculptures April 1-30

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 12.24.27 PMLeonardo da Vinci was a painter, sculptor, architect, engineer (military, civil, and aeronautical), inventor, anatomist, cartographer, musician and undoubtedly one of the greatest minds of the last thousand years. That’s definitely quite a list!

To celebrate one of this incredible person, the Getty Center is putting on “Leonardo da Vinci and the Art of Sculpture: Inspiration and Invention,” where the focus is on one of his many talents, his achievements as a sculptor. Though no sculptures can securely be attributed to Leonardo himself, the exhibit features the work of da Vinci’s inspiration, Donatello, and his trusted associate, Rustici, whom he closely worked with on many sculptures.

These works, some of which have never left Italy until now, along with Leonardo’s many surviving drawings, give us a glimpse into his artistic accomplishments.

4. Last Chance to Check Out PHILAGRAfiKA April 1-11

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If you love graphic tees then you’ll definitely love PHILAGRAfiKA, an international festival that celebrates the pivotal role of print in contemporary art. The culmination of five years of planning, PHILAGRAfiKA is one of the largest events in the United States with over 300 artists from around the world and 80 cultural institutions participating. As the first-ever PHILAGRAfiKA comes to a close, make sure to check it out in its last month this year!

Variety is an understatement where the exhibits are divided into three categories: The Graphic Unconscious explores printed matter in our visual culture, Out of Print pairs five artists with five historic institutions, and Independent Projects includes a huge variety of exhibitions where the printed image plays a central role.

4. Great Wine at DAM Uncorked April 16-17

Screen shot 2010-03-26 at 3.22.14 PMThis is the event to go to for all wine lovers. Taking place in the Denver Art Museum, this is Denver’s premier wine festival. DAM Uncorked offers more than 350 wines from vintners around the world. There are also tasting guides and hors d’oeuvres being served during the wine tasting.

The first day of the festival is the main wine tasting, while the second day is a dinner and auction. The dinner is paired with exceptional wines, while the live and silent auctions feature travel packages, rare bottles of wine, exclusive access to private art collections, and other various items.

4. The Fair Miami is Florida’s Largest April 1-14

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 11.46.46 AMRanked as the largest fair in Florida, The Fair celebrates its 59th year in the spring of 2010. The Fair is an 18-day event that includes Pig Races, a Petting Zoo, Pony Rides, and a European style circus. Not to mention, there are the fair’s two live music shows: Everything Fitz, a family band featuring fiery fiddling and percussive step dancing; as well as Street Beat, a high energy explosion of urban rhythm, hip hop moves, and astonishing break dance acrobatics.

The fair is put on by The Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition, Inc. a private, not-for-profit organization dedicated to enriching their community by promoting education and South Florida agriculture while showcasing and rewarding youth achievement. In its nearly six decade history, The Fair has donated over $8 Million in scholarships, awards and premiums.

5. DC’s Design Best at Design House 2010 April 10-30

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 3.51.27 PMThe annual DC Design Home brings together Washington, DC’s top interior designers to use the best in today’s home renovation and design in order to transform a house for people to see. This year’s house is the famous Beaux Arts home, once home to Ambassadors of Mauritius and Uruguay and the site of President Truman’s inauguration party.

With over 10,000 square-feet, nine bedrooms, and ten bathrooms, there is plenty of room for each designer to showcase their talents. In fact, each designer redesigns a specific area of the house, so each area will be unique. The house will definitely be interesting to walk through.

Participating designers for this year include Andrew Law, Barry Dixon, and Victoria Sanchez. All proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Children’s Hospital of the Children’s National Medical Center.

5. Unique Snuggie Pub Crawl April 10

Screen shot 2010-03-26 at 5.20.48 PMChicago is known for its unique pub crawls, from the Pug Crawl to the Zombie Pub Crawl. The Snuggie Pub Crawl does not disappoint, as participants go out in their comfy Snuggies to drink and have fun. For a $22 registration fee, Snuggie enthusiasts can roam around Lincoln Park to drink beer and play classic drinking games. There are prizes given to the most outrageously decorated Snuggies as well. For Snuggie lovers or those who want to have some fun at the comfy Snuggie’s expense, this pub crawl is definitely not one to miss out on.

5. Spring Celebration & Easter Parade April 4

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 4.23.28 PMThe Union Street Spring Celebration and Easter Parade is not your average Street Fair or holiday parade. With everything from roller-blading, cows, and creative self-propelled mini-floats to garden areas, sophisticated fashions, and beautiful classic and art cars, it’s a special event for the entire family.

The 19th annual event celebrates and showcases the diverse community of San Francisco and features some of Union Street’s best restaurants serving attendees in an outdoor bistro setting. A variety of children’s and family activities are the focus of the event and include: large inflatable bounces, kids’ rides and games, a climbing wall, a hands-on children’s activities area, costumed characters, a petting zoo, pony ride and entertainment from some of the Bay Area’s best musicians.

5. Coral Gables Wine & Food Fest April 10

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 5.33.07 PMWhat do Grey Goose vodka, Martini vermouth, Premier Beverage Company, and Mercedes-Benz of Coral Gables all have in common? They are all sponsors for the 7th Annual Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida Coral Gables Wine & Food Festival; a one-day street festival where you can enjoy world class cuisine, exquisite wines, and live entertainment. At a $50 ticket price, don’t let that turn you away, because all proceeds benefit The American Lung Association in Florida-South Area’s lung research, education and patient assistance programs and The International Bronchitis Center at The University of Miami Miller School of Medicine.

5. Endless Entertainment at Starfest 2010 April 16-18

Screen shot 2010-03-26 at 3.39.40 PMStarted in 1977 as a science fiction convention, this event has become a celebration of media entertainment, focusing on all aspects of popular media, film and television. There are over a hundred activities that anyone can enjoy, such as film studio presentations, onstage Q&A with actors, producers and directors, autograph and photo sessions, costume and talent contests, film festivals, model and art shows, collectible merchandise, educational seminars, discussion panels, kids events and fan club presentations. Past actors who have come to the event include Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Tobey Maguire, and William Shatner. This year, specific events include a Klingon bop, Pirates vs. Ninja Olympics, Zombie Survival 101 and Iron Man 2 Balcony Challenge.

5. Premier Arts & Crafts at CraftBoston April 9-11

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 4.57.59 PMCraftBoston is New England’s premier exhibition and sale of contemporary art, craft and design. This year’s show will feature 200 of the most outstanding artists of our time, showcasing one-of-a-kind and limited edition pieces. Additionally, CraftBoston features work by emerging artists from leading schools and universities, an artist mentor program, an educational lecture series, and informational booths promoting non-profit craft organizations.

Or you could be a VIP and shop CraftBoston before we open to the public. Follow the yellow brick road to a celebration with delightful cocktails, sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, and a field of creative CraftBoston artists featuring the newest and finest in contemporary craft. Glide through the show to the sounds of jazz with a cocktail in hand and bring home some fine craft.

5. SoCal’s Largest Carnaval Primavera Celebration April 9-11

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 5.35.42 PMFor the last 17 years, the Carnaval Primavera has been one of the largest Mardi Gras festival celebrations in Southern California. Spanning nine (!) full city blocks and lasting for three days, Carnaval Primavera will feature food from around the globe, as well as arts, crafts and commercial booths. As for entertainment, there will be live family entertainment on two stages, special exhibits, rides, and games. And don’t worry; the rides are for all ages. With upwards of 350,000 people expected to attend, the Carnaval Primavera is free to the public and a guaranteed good time for all.

5. Zoo Atlanta’s Gorilla Egg Hunt April 3

Picture 29Step aside White House Egg Roll, because Down South gorillas hunt the eggs. There are no baskets and no rules at this egg hunt at the Zoo Atlanta. Instead of little kiddies running around a lawn, the big Zoo gorillas hunt for the Jell-O easter “eggs” as part of this annual celebration. Cheer for your favorite gentle giants at one of the favorite spring traditions at the Zoo Atlanta.

5. Picasso & the Avant-Garde Exhibit Ends April 1-25

Picture 28The talent of Pablo Picasso cannot be disputed, but the word in art circles is it that his creativity was at its most fertile between 1905 and 1945. Picasso and the Avant-Garde exhibit at the Philadelphia Museum of Art celebrates these inspired decades with some of Picasso’s most important works on display including Three Musicians. You’ll witness the evolution of his work from abstraction to Cubism and then to Surrealism. And since the city of Paris played a pivotal role in bringing imagination to artists from around the globe, the exhibit will also include works from Chagall, Jacque Lipchitz, Patrick Henry Bruce, and Man Ray.

Sit Back, Relax and Enjoy a Shave at Tweed Barbers

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Sometimes in life you just need a little indulgence. When that time comes, Tweed Barbers comes to the rescue with a good old-fashioned shave.

Tweed Barbers, formerly State Street Barbers, has provided award-winning men’s haircuts and hot lather shaves to discerning Boston-area clients since 2006. They take tremendous pride in their work and perpetuating the fine art of classic barbering. Their strength and differentiation is manifest in the details: how intently they listen to what you want, how well the hair is tapered, how straight the neckline is, how even the sideburns are. Tweed Barbers would love the opportunity to be your Boston barber of choice. Check out the website at

5. New Vintage Wine & Gallery Weekend April 16-17

Screen shot 2010-03-24 at 5.36.51 PMWith an abundance of activities and some of the best wine, the 18th Annual Blessing of the Vines and New Vintage Wine & Gallery Trail is the place to go for a fun and relaxing weekend. To start off, there’s the free Annual Blessing of the Vines, where hundreds of wine enthusiasts gather to take part in a centuries-old European ceremony to ensure robust vines and savory grapes.

Then there is the New Vintage Jazz Wine Train, a two-and-a-half hour ride that happens in the evenings and features several Grapevine wines, dinner, and live jazz entertainment in each passenger car. The New Vintage Art Show features more than a dozen local artists displaying watercolors, photographs, pottery, and much more.

Finally, there’s the New Vintage Wine Trail, a memorable journey that visits the many unique winery-tasting rooms of Grapevine. It’ll definitely be a jam-packed and wine-filled weekend at this event.

5. Celebrate World Champion Yankees in SoHo April 17

Picture 24Right on the heels of the New York Yankees home opener on April 13th, the Pop International Galleries in SoHo will be celebrating reigning the World Series winners, New York Yankees, with the unveiling of the Official World Series Victory Piece. Famed sports artists Stephen Holland will be on hand to present another three works of art featuring the Yankee’s most beloved and feared players: A-Rod, Mariano Rivera, and, of course, Derek Jeter. If you can’t get the opportunity to see them play ball, this event is open to the public to allow everyone to enjoy at least a beautiful representation of the famed players.