Waxy O’Connors: Limericks and ales are genuine here

The dark and heavy wood bar that commands Waxy O’Connor’s and is its centerpiece was placed at the heart of the bar and eatery to remind patrons they’re in an Irish pub and the 7,000-square-foot unit is authentic, it was built entirely in Ireland and shipped over to the United States.

The 20 brews and ales on tap and plenty more by the bottle are another dead giveaway that this is a place for drinking, eating, hanging with friends and especially catching just about any sporting event. They’ve got seventeen 50″ flat screen televisions so everyone can be watching their favorite sport or team at any given time.

Offering live music is another plus here. When the deejay’s not mixing up tunes, there’s someone playing it live at Waxy’s. The amazing view of Miami’s Downtown skyline and historic Miami River make for great waterfront drinking and gazing.

Waxy O’Connor’s is located at 690 SW 1st Court, Miami, FL

Katsuya Hollywood: A Sushi Kraze

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The Katsuya kraze has officially taken over Hollywood.

Celebrities such as Kim Kardashian and Miley Cyrus are frequent visitors along with anyone else who appreciates good quality sushi. With sushi favorites such as spicy albacore over crispy onion as well as spicy tuna over crispy rice, the Hollywood location is the perfect place to order off the menu or indulge in a chef’s tasting. Along with perfectly concocted dishes, Katsuya has a large list of specialty cocktails with restaurant favorites such as the Watermelon Cucumber Mojito or the Lychee Lovely with vanilla infused vodka and fresh squeezed grapefruit.

Though the beautifully decorated red and white restaurant is the perfect place for dinner or a special occasion, Katsuya has recently come up with new ways for foodies to enjoy on a budget. The Lucky Seven features seven tastings, such as tuna tacos and Kobe beef sliders, for seven dollars. Other deals include Sake Specials on Monday or Garlic Shrimp paired with a pitcher of beer for twenty bucks on select days and locations.

Reservations are recommended and valet parking is sometimes your only parking option on busy nights.

The Norton Simon Museum: Picture Perfect in Pasadena

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The Norton Simon Museum in Pasadena is truly noteworthy when it comes to its artwork and exhibits.

Featuring Asian Art, European Art, and anything that is remotely Modern or contemporary, is featured in this hideaway. Current exhibitions at the Norton Simon include Hiroshige: Visions of Japan, while future exhibitions will be Raphael’s “The Small Cowper”.

The vast amount of exhibitions and collections keeps tours and memberships alive. The Norton Simon, known for relatively inexpensive admission rates, has multiple levels of membership for active visitors as well as same-day admission for $8.00.

Tours are also encouraged from those at Norton Simon who administer guided tours as well as spotlight talks featuring twenty minute discussions free to visitors.

Along with guided tours and visits to the Museum, Norton Simon frequently features adult drawing and art history classes as well as lectures and dance performances.

With multiple ways to enjoy the exhibits and collections, Norton Simon makes it easy for anyone to become fascinated by the works around them.

The Cloisters: Medieval Art at the Summit of Manhattan

Looking for a European getaway for the price of a Metrocard? There are five Medieval French Cloisters connected by galleries full of period art sitting on four acres of land that overlook the Hudson River in Fort Tyron Park. This extension of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, know as the Cloisters, has been called “the crowning achievement of American museology” by the former director of the Louvre in Paris – and he would know. Here atop grassy peaks at the top of Manhattan are all forms of European Medieval art, from paintings to tapestries to sculptures and stained glass and even parts of the structure itself. The indoors spaces flow seamlessly into the outdoor cloisters and gardens and the breathtaking views of the Hudson River valley are always there peaking out between the columns and archways. The Cloisters is a beautiful and enchanting glimpse into history and well worth the trek uptown.


Tracks: For the Rest of Us

Gay oriented but straight inclusive, Tracks sends out good vibes to any and all who sport open minds and boogie shoes, hosting a horde of theme nights. Gaga for Goth? Fulfill your dreams at Deathwish. Dig drag? Then don’t forgo Drama Drag (complete with sightings of Nina Flowers, a hit on RuPaul’s Drag Race). Love ladies’ nights? Babes Around Denver hosts a First Friday that scored Westword’s reader’s choice award for Best Club Night 2010. Located northeast of downtown, Tracks is just this side of paradise for partiers.

Insider Tip: Just a cheerful cheapskate? Show up before 11pm on Thursdays or 10pm on Saturdays and you’ll be ushered in for free, in time to guzzle drink specials galore.


Vital Spa: Maximum Luxury for Mind and Body

Luxury’s a given around Cherry Creek. But Vital Spa, located in exclusive health club Pura Vida Fitness, takes it to the max. A single treatment gets you a full-day pass to the club, complete with a complimentary yoga class; buy five treatments, and you get a sixth free, be it a hot stone massage, a customized facial, or a firming body wrap. Acupuncture sessions, manicures and pedicures, and holistic nutrition consultations are also available, and so are “enhancements” like scalp rubs and dry body brushing. Add to all that interior design that combines the elegance of an art gallery with the peacefulness of a nature sanctuary, and you’ve got yourself a blissful urban escape.

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Venice Beach: Down By the Boardwalk

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Whether you are looking for snow cones, inexpensive sunglasses or guys flexing at Muscle Beach, just about anything and everything can be found at the Venice Beach boardwalk.

Known for its sidewalk art displays and t-shirt shops, the energy at the boardwalk never lets up. With endless dining options and street cafes such as James Beach or Hash at Hotel Erwin, visitors can choose to dine in or on the go from endless street vendors and walk-in locations.

Along with endless dining options, the Venice Beach boardwalk is known for its shopping, from t-shirt shops to stands filled with sunglasses as well as a plethora of vintage clothing stores.

Not only is the boardwalk known for dining and shopping, but it has become famous for street performers and art displays. Whether it’s a palm reader, henna tattoo artist or someone painting portraits on the spot, all artists alike come to Venice beach to display their talents for all that travel the boardwalk to witness.

Crowds and parking to even access the boardwalk can be a nightmare on the weekends. Many private parking lots will grant you all day access for a fee. As far as visiting hours, most will tell you to visit when it is light out because the boardwalk can take on a different vibe at night.

ACME Comedy Theatre: Any Celebrity May Enter

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The ACME Comedy Theatre has become a Los Angeles staple for those looking for a little comedy training or those looking for some entertainment.

The famous theatre is home to a long list of celebrity guests such as Lea Thompson, Joel McHale, and Adam Corolla. Friday and Saturday nights are big nights at the theater where ACME Radio Hour has their Liquid Radio Players perform completely improvised as though they were on old-time radio.

The 99-seat theatre is not only a place to watch shows but a place to learn from the best. The comedy school gives students the chance to learn the ins and outs of sketch, improv and stand-up comedy.

Though the theatre is the perfect place to spend a Friday or Saturday night, the theatre doesn’t have a concession stand and prohibits bringing food or drinks into the theatre.

If you are questioning whether or not to visit the theatre, just remember that Nia Vardalos was discovered by Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks when she was performing. Whether you are looking to discover or be discovered, ACME is the place to be.

O Ya Puts Boston on the Culinary Map

If you have been on every “best of” list like Boston’s O Ya restaurant, can things get any better? From being named the number one restaurant in the country by the New York Times to receiving accolades for being one of the world’s 10 best new restaurants by Food & Wine Magazine, the praise is well deserved. This cozy little gem serves up contemporary Japanese fare, including nigiri, sashimi and Wagyu beef. Don’t miss the chilled homemade soba noodles, which can be perfectly paired with some sake. Be sure to call ahead and make a reservation as this Leather District hot spot fills up easily and waits can be long at the intimately lit O Ya tavern, which is located in a former firehouse. Valet parking is available at the corner of South and East Streets in Les Zygomates.

Insider’s Tip: O Ya is expensive, with some entrees running up to $60, but nearly all diners leave happy, saying every bite was worth every penny. Visit oyarestaurantboston.com for more information.

Update Your Closet at Beacon’s Closet

For the most sought-after trends and vintage pieces look no further then Beacon’s Closet in where else but hipster-ville Williamsburg. This warehouse converted into a consignment shop can’t really be called a shop; it is three huge rooms full of men’s and women’s clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, and home goods that run the gambit from retro-chic to sleek and sexy to straight-up street wear. There are not many places that you can get La Rock striped booty shorts, Levis in every wash imaginable and Nike’s in every color imaginable, a white Calvin Klein rouched mini dress – for under twenty-five bucks! – silver Costume National pumps, light blue boat shoes, and an Andy Warhol look book; but, at Beacon’s Closet you can. All the goods are lightly used and formerly loved, with price tags that may shock you, in a good way. And if you are looking to unload your old duds they do that for you here too, but remember, only bring in the fabulous pieces as this is not your average Salvation Army type thrift shop – this place is hip and caters to that crowd.3018558507_9f1914bea4_o

Sara Jane’s No Plain Jane

Goodbye to Plain Jane. Sayonara, Farewell, Au revoir! Now say hello to Sara Jane.

It was the fall of 2002 when Sara Jane opened a store bearing her own name in hopes of providing a true boutique experience amongst the slew of chains just blocks nearby on the Magnificent Mile. Nestled in perhaps Chicago’s most charming neighborhood, Old Town, Sara Jane has made her humble splash on the scene. Although a regular in Lucky Magazine and Chicago Magazine, ask your average Chicagoan and they probably have never heard of the place.

But local fashionistas and Old Towners know to turn to Sara Jane for unique finds on adorable dresses, cocktail wear, jeans and accessories. The quick turnover allows for more variety and the small space often times conjures up new friendships and gab sessions (lucky thing there are plenty of pubs and bistros nearby!) A visit when “Sara Jane” herself (a.k.a. Sara Plocker) is there will only prove this neighborhood-gal-pal feel all the more.

Lincoln Park Zoo and its Mighty Fine Views

Some people think Millennium Park is the Windy City’s version of Central Park, but they’re mistaken. Lincoln Park is Chi-town’s Central Park with its grassy knolls. sporting fields and spectacular skyscraper views. In addition to the views and paths, Lincoln Park also offers a top notch zoo – for free! That’s right the Lincoln Park Zoo is one of the nation’s last offerings of a free zoo experience. Day in and day out, the zoo and the park serve as a meeting place for friends, a place to bring kids for families (and nannies, let’s be honest) and the perfect place to work out. Don’t forget to visit the Lincoln Park Conservatory as well to take in exotic plant life.

Just because it’s a free zoo doesn’t mean they skimp on the diversity of animals! Over 1200 animals call LPZ their home. Lions and tigers and bears,oh my- and more! They live at LPZ amongst rhinos, hippos, pumas, gorillas, African monkeys, meerkats, Mongolian camels, giraffes and much more. There are plenty of reptiles and birds (penguins to pretty flamingos) to view as well. And about those views, up the hill in the park adjacent to the zoo, take in awe-inspiring views of the skyline with the John Hancock leading the way along the sparkling and enormous Lake Michigan.

Insider’s Tip: Stroll past the park and wander into the residential streets of Lincoln Park to ooh and aah over the beautiful mansions: from the park go west on W. Wrightwood Avenue until you hit Orchard, from there zig-zag about on other streets and enjoy!

Hot for Haute Nightclub

If you are hot for exciting nightlife Picture 11and fashion inspired décor, you might want to make your way over to Haute nightclub, the newest edition to the West Hollywood clubbing scene. The reason everyone is buzzing about this new nightclub isn’t just its perfect location and stylish feel; it’s because Haute is the new epicenter for Hollywood events and will soon become the home to many celebs.

Located on Robertson Boulevard, Haute features drinks, dining, dancing and an unbelievable patio. This place caters to everyone, from the clubber to the lounger, and is making a big splash in the Los Angeles nightlife scene. If you are in the mood to bring a little class to your night out on the town, you might as well make it haute.

Wardrobe Inspiration at Ahab Bowen Vintage Store

This location is truly the place to go to for vintage shopping in Dallas. Besides it’s fabulous location (a greenhouse), Ahab Bowen offers something from every period in fashion. Whether you are looking for something fashionable to wear for your next Bowling tournament, want to spice up your current wardrobe with hot hip accessories, or just stack up on your 70’s disco outfits, Ahab Bowen is a wonderful source of inspiration.

Flip Burger Boutique

Flip Burger Boutique is bringing fine dining…to burgers! Conceived by Top Chef alum Richard Blais, he’s offering up the beloved classics but also elevating the concept to a whole new level. Set inside a playful yet modern atmosphere, his unique spin on the traditional burger includes soon-to-be new faves like the pork belly and cheese. Sides range from good ‘ol fries to beer and cheddar soup! And be sure to wash it all down with the truly unique milkshakes – the burnt marshmallow is a keeper! Check out flipburgerboutique.com for more information.

Luna Park: Recreational Dining

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Luna Park is what you think of when you think of Los Angeles restaurants: relaxed, good food, and fun.

Whether its groups of friends huddling around a table or a business lunch, the overall attitude at Luna Park is both inviting and exciting. Though the menus are packed with typical California finds, most people come to Luna Park to drink or order dessert.

The dessert menu features fun, D-I-Y options such as making your own caramel apples or s’mores as well as deep fried apples and coconut cream pie.

The popularity of Luna Park also falls in their drink menu and cocktail selection. The Kick A** Mai Tai is definitely the most popular as well as the Luna Park Mini Bar featuring three flights of the restaurant’s signature drinks.

Since the drinks at Luna Park keep the tables and outdoor patio filled, Luna Park created happy hour weekdays from 4-7pm as well as bottomless mimosas and sangria on Saturdays and Sundays.

Beware though: Miracle Mile locals and those living adjacent to Melrose might ask you to find another park to eat at.

10 Pin Puts a New Spin on Bowling

When you think of bowling, often times the images that conjure are disgusting shoes, stale air and beer bellied men. Well say good bye, to that image when stepping in to 10 Pin who offers “bowling with a twist.” It’s a twist in deed; cocktails shaken, stirred or straight up – whatever your fancy. A wide array of colorful and tasty cocktails are met by a menu featuring typical faves- also with a twist. Instead of greasy bar food expect chips with fresh guacamole, hummus plates, upgraded cheeseburgers, pulled pork sandwiches, pizzas and of course, Chicago hot dogs.

As for the lanes you’ll be bowling on, they’re so colorful and cool they look more like a nightclub’s installation than bowling lanes! Serious players or those looking for serious fun, line the lanes for plenty of laughs, mingling and flirting. And with the nightclub-worthy stereo system you just may want to ditch your bowling shoes and break out your dancing shoes.

Insider’s Tip: 10 Pin is available for private parties and runs plenty of its own events (faves coincide with Chicago sporting events), so check their calendar for specials.

Bowling Gets Classy at Bowlmor Lanes

Bowling has received a makeover thanks to Bowlmor Lanes. The bowling lanes that look more like a chic nightclub will change your perceptions of the old sport, where you can just as easily sip a martini and chat up the high-scorers as you can get down and dirty and watch a game.  300 Dallas offers all the technology and amenities you wouldn’t expect from a night out at the bowl-o-rama: state-of-the-art lanes, extra-large video screens, restaurants, billiards tables and an arcade will make sure you don’t strike-out no matter how bad your game. And if you’re not the best bowler, no worries, you can hit the gutter ball without anyone knowing at the semi-private lanes.

Arts on N Street Festival

August 7-8 and 14-15, 2010. Washington Convention Center. The Arts on N Festival is a new summer event in Washington DC sponsored by the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities and the Walter E. Washington Convention Center to provide a free affordable art festival featuring work by District artists, organizations and local businesses.

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Prison Break Weekend Aug. 7 & 8

Prison Break Weekend Aug. 7 & 8 Eastern State Penitentiary
Two actors—one portraying tunnel mastermind Clarence Klinedinst and one portraying bank robber “Slick Willie” Sutton— give their conflicting accounts of who designed the 1945 tunnel, how it was built, and why the escapees got caught. Meet each inmate in his cell, and see how their accounts vary. Based on actual conflicts in the accounts of Willie Sutton and Clarence Klinedinst. Family events all day!


Distrito Serves Modern & Creative Mexican

13533_194338173155_178371218155_3869631_1576475_nDistrito serves modern Mexican food in a fun and quirky environment – Pepto-Bismol pink walls and VW bugs as booths to be exact. Located in University City among three of Philadelphia’s major universities, Distrito is always packed with the young and young at heart that are ready to have a good time. And Chef Jose Garces (of Top Chef and Philadelphia restaurant fame) is ready all the time for the taco-loving crowds: Distrito is open for brunch on Saturdays and Sundays, lunch 5 days a week and dinner 7 nights a week.

The first floor bar and tequila lounge serves a fun cantina menu, full of all different types of tacos, enchiladas and especialidades, then when served alongside a house specialty margarita, you are good to go. For the heavier appetite or a night out with friends, it’s best to get a table and be prepared to share. All of the dishes are based on traditional Mexican ingredients but modernized – like the Fish Tacos with yellowtail, chipotle remoulade, avocado, red cabbage and lime juice, or the Skirt Steak Nachos with refried beans and queso mixto.

Tasting menus are also always available, with tequila pairings, which are not recommended for the faint of heart.

Milk Boutique: Got Clothing?

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Though Milk Boutique on 3rd Street is jammed in the middle of other high end and fashionable boutiques, Milk opened their doors in 2005 with hopes to create a fashionable and artistic space for shoppers looking to fill their homes and closets with unique and expensive finds.

The founders of Milk opened the fairly large store and filled racks and tables with European designers and apparel for women as well as baby and men’s clothing. Not only are the clothing and accessories to die for, but the store is cleverly decorated with pieces such as vintage suitcases and milk cartons.

Not only is Milk a favorite for fashionistas, celebrities such as Whitney Port and Amy Smart have been spotted wearing items from the boutique.

Though the store on 3rd should absolutely be visited, the website alone is an amazing online shopping find. The site features online and in store sales as well as a blog spotlighting different months and trends for those looking for a particular piece of clothing or look.

Even though the name is simple, their clothing, shoes and accessories are anything but.

Body Factory: Smoothies That Do a Body Good

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Thanks to celebrity followers such as Kim Kardashian, Halle Berry, and Playboy’s Jayde Nicole, the smoothies at Body Factory have become an after-workout essential and tasty treat for those looking to refuel.

The store, with locations in Hollywood, West Hollywood and Los Angeles, all feature endless amounts of health and nutritional products for at home cleansing and dieting. As for the smoothies, favorites remain The Body Fuel (The Hulk) and The Peanut Butter Vanilla (PBV) and contain heavy amounts of protein and antioxidants with a lower calorie count than most popular smoothie places in Los Angeles.

Though the one-stop-shop is perfect for grabbing a smoothie and loading up on goodies for your home, the smoothies are on the more expensive side which leads many people to buying the heavy bulk of protein powder to purchase and take home.

If the endless smoothie options and nutritional supplements don’t make you want to run to the gym, a glance at the Body Factory employees will most likely make you crave a six pack more than you crave a smoothie.

Little Ireland, Cinatown and Little Italy Tasting Tour, Aug 2nd

A walk through these ethnic enclaves exploring the trials and triumphs of the American immigrant. Along the way, we will sample ethnic specialties from pizza and cannolli to spring rolls and dumpling. Stops include the Church of the Transfiguration; the site Five Points, made famous in Gangs of New York; Banco Stablile, Confucius Plaza, the residence of Dr. Sun-Yat-sen.

Instruments of Torture Throughout the Ages

On loan from the Museo Medieval in Italy, these instruments of torture have been gathered from all over Europe and have been traveling throughout the world. Some of them possess an exceptional dating back to the 16th and 17th centuries. First opened to the public in Florence, in 1983, this undertaking exhibition, internationally famous almost overnight, continues in Miami in 2010 after being shown in many cities of Spain, Portugal, Mexico, USA and Japan.

Optic Nerve Film Festival

The Museum of Contemporary Art will celebrate the 10th anniversary of Optic Nerve, its annual festival of short films and videos by artists from South Florida, with a screening of its 12th rendition on Friday, August 6th at 7:00 and 9:00 p.m. Optic Nerve XII will feature 22 films by 21 artists, all less than five minutes in length, selected from an open call for submissions. The festival is part of MOCA’s ongoing effort to provide new opportunities for South Florida artists. Since the inception of Optic Nerve in 2000, over 150 artists have been featured; many of whom publicly presented their work for the first time in this MOCA program.

Matt Von Roderick – August 2nd

Critically-acclaimed and award-winning singer/trumpeter Matt Von Roderick will debut new music and a fully-produced concert stage show, A Technicolor Experience, at King King in Hollywood on Monday, August 2 at 7pm. This unique combination of aural and visual delights is helmed by Kristin Hanggi, who developed and directed the lauded musical, Rock of Ages.

Henna Tattoo Workshop, Aug 7th

Enjoy a summer afternoon at this sidewalk canopy for a free and fabulous workshop exploring Henna. For thousands of years, people have applied henna designs on their skin to gain love, prosperity, health, and protection. Learn how to design beautiful temporary tattoos that will bring you good fortune and look great!
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Summer Art Night August 7th

On Saturday August 7, 2010, 18th Street Arts Center throws its annual Summer ArtNight with opening receptions for its newest exhibitions: Martin Durazo’s Pain Management 100 in the 18th Street Gallery and Ana Guajardo’s Tianguis in the Project Room. Visitors to ArtNight can experience the electrifying tunes of sound artist and master guitarist, Massaro on 18th Street’s Outdoor Stage.


Revolution Brewery: We all Want to Change the World

Micro-breweries are so hot right now. Chicagoans said they want a revolution (from dull beer) and they got one with  Revolution Brewery.

Managing Partner, Josh Deth is just the man to bring on the revolution as his long history with beer (working with, not only drinking) began with iconic Chicago’s Goose Island Brewery.

All draft beers at the bar appear as arms and fists, a slew of revolution hungry revelers. And the brews that pour from them? Salivate over the sounds of the Iron Fist Pale Ale: dry-hopped American ale featuring centennial, cascade, chinook and amarillo hop or the summer special, Rosie: tart summer ale infused with 12lbs of hibiscus flowers and  orange peel with a sexy pink hue.

And though beer technically is a food source (right?), they do serve chewable food as well – and darn good grub at that. A hearty brunch, tasty pizzas and the classic Iron Fist Fish & Chips.

Benevento’s Brick Oven: Great North End Pizza


Located in the Italian North End section, Benevento’s is a welcome addition to the city. The restaurant focuses on specialty pizzas such as the Victoria (sautéed shrimp scampi with diced tomatoes, garlic, white wine, basil and light mozzarella cheese) or make-your-own by choosing from a variety of toppings (think homemade meatball and prosciutto) and sauces such as garlic and extra virgin olive oil or vodka sauce. There is a good selection of homemade pastas cooked to order as well as seafood and chicken dishes and even a kid’s menu for the youngsters in the group. Visit beneventosboston.com for more information.

2. Beethoven’s 9th at Grant Park Music Fest – August 14

To close the seventy-fifth season, Carlos Kalmar and the GPO take back the outdoors and are joined by Christopher Bell’s vastly under-appreciated Grant Park Chorus and soprano Amber Wagner, mezzo-soprano Kathryn Leemhuis, tenor John McVeigh and bass Jason Grant in the monumental Beethoven Ninth Symphony. Those quiet sections will give traffic a chance to compete but by the time of the glorious finale, street noise won’t have a prayer against all of those forces blaring away and singing out about the brotherhood of man.


High Museum

With its renowned collection of classic and contemporary art and award-winning architecture by Richard Meier and Renzo Piano, the High Museum of Art has grown from its origins in a stately home on Peachtree Street to become the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. The High Museum of Art is the leading art museum in the southeastern United States. Located in Midtown Atlanta’s arts and business district, the High has more than 12,000 works of art in its permanent collection. The Museum has an extensive anthology of 19th- and 20th-century American art; significant holdings of European paintings and decorative art; a growing collection of African American art; and burgeoning collections of modern and contemporary art, photography and African art. The High is also dedicated to supporting and collecting works by Southern artists and is distinguished as the only major museum in North America to have a curatorial department specifically devoted to the field of folk and self-taught art. Visit high.org for schedule and information.

La Chaumiere: Relaxed, French Country Dining in the Heart of Georgetown


Take a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, and enjoy a warm, rich meal at Georgetown’s, La Chaumiere, a hallmark of unpretentious French cuisine with a country inn atmosphere.  Cozy up at a table near the central stone fireplace and make yourself at home within the rustic, stucco-covered walls of this authentic French gem.  With a knack for seasonal ingredients, consistently delicious French specialties and an inviting atmosphere, La Chaumiere is the perfect spot for a romantic evening out. 

Start off with a delectable pate or refreshing salad niçoise for a truly French beginning, then opt for an order of the authentic Moules Mariniere, or mussels steamed in white wine.  La Chaumiere also offers a variety of house specialties, including the Quenelles de Brochet (Pike dumpling in lobster sauce), or traditional cassoulets prepared with rabbit and lamb. On Tuesdays only, the chef prepares the rich Crabe en Chemise – French crepes filled with Jumbo Lump Crab, mushrooms and a champagne cream sauce. Whatever dish you choose, La Chaumiere will certainly transport you to France with one simple bite. 

Insider Tip:  It’s no secret that the French know how to please a sweet tooth. Don’t request your bill until you’ve ordered the chef’s special soufflé for dessert.  Offered in both Grand Marnier and Chocolate flavors, this light and fluffy treat will definitely end your fabulously French evening on the right note!

Red Bar: At center of Downtown’s red hot nightlife

Miami’s Brickell Avenue area was once known as a residential area with not much nightlife but things have certainly changed. The thriving nightspots have been popping up everywhere over the last few years and Red Bar is one that attracts plenty of attention for its eye-grabbing wall art, local beautiful people and great mingling and dancing.

Located in the heart of the district, this place has everything a great night out on the town requires. Dance the night away to the sounds of either a live band or a smokin’ hot deejay, different ones are featured each month. They’ve also got Ladies Night where ladies get to drink for free every Wednesday from 8-12. And to add a little culture to the mix, there’s also a gallery with new artworks featured monthly, along with a meet the artist opening reception with drinks and hors d’oeuvres.

Red Bar is located at 52 SW 10 Street, Miami, FLRed bar 2

The Ever Expanding California Science Center

The California Science Center is the West Coast’s largest hands-on science center- and is only growing- with additions being scheduled for 2010 and beyond. From daredevil activities like bicycling a nearly 50 foot tight rope to playing with cuddly chicks, the ScienCenter, as it’s creatively spelled, has a myriad of exhibits for every age and personality. Permanent exhibits include the Air and Space Gallery that has artifacts and hands-on activities on the exploration of the final frontier, World of Life, which explores all things living- from single cell amoeba to elephants and Creative World that’s about all things technology. If you get tired from running around all day, sit back and relax at an entertaining film at the Center’s IMAX Theater.

Kingston Mines: Authentic Chicago Blues

kafel_ampRockin’ since 1968, mention Kingston Mines to most Windy City residents and they’ll most likely have a story for you, a memory or simply just a smile. This is why Chicago is known for the blues. It’s the oldest. It’s the biggest. It’s the winner of “Best Chicago Blues Bar” by the Chicago Music Awards for 13 running years.

Open 7 nights a week, Kingston Mines presents two stages of live music with killer sounds run from Kafel Amps, custom made amplifiers – a design of former Polish rock star, Jacek Kafel, who now resides in Chi-town.

Wear what you want, this isn’t a time to get fancy, you’ll probably spill rib sauce from Doc Rib’s amazing eats on your shirt anyway (and if you don’t you’re probably not enjoying them as you should).

As for the crowd, it is eclectic as is the place and ranges from 21 to 100. So come one, call all: eat, drink and be blue.

Keste is Neapolitan for “This Is It”

San Marzano tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella flash-frozen in Campagna, Italy before shipping to New York, sea salt, volcanic stone heated to one thousand degrees: these are just some of the necessary ingredients for a true Italian pie at Keste Pizza & Vino. And this attention to authentic detail is working, as the newest contender for the best slice in New York, it has already ranked #1 on NY Mag’s list of NYC’s Top Pie.

Keste Pizza & Vino offers over twenty pizza pies ranging in price from $9 to $19 with striking toppings such as imported cooked ham, butternut squash cream and truffle spread. Once the order is placed and the toppings are spread over the dough, pizzas cook in just one minute thanks to the thousand degree oven.

Chef-owner Roberto Caporuscio is a traditionalist when it comes to making his twelve-inch Neapolitan pies. With an oven that was made by artisans flown in from Naples, Keste Pizza & Vino is the newest contender for the legendary New York slice status, even if it is through and through Italian. The name sake pie has tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto di parma, arugola, gran cru and extra virgin olive oil. And for the purist there is always the simple elegance and perfection that is the equally popular Margherita.