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Showing posts from January, 2011

New York: NYC Restaurant Week Report: L'Ecole at the French Culinary Institute

Pan Am Gets a Pilot...an ABC TV Show Pilot

Conversations With a Child Monk in Bodh Gaya

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All photos by author Robert Hirschfield gives his account of an unexpected interaction in India. SEEING MY FIRST child monk in Bodh Gaya, I think, Way to go! Start early and you will have a mind like clear space before puberty. Not like the mind that wobbles before you, willing to pick any cherry from the spirit tree, hoping it will taste of deliverance. A word thats too big for you. For me too. But I am not convinced of that, though I like to pretend otherwise. Some inner something alerts you to my presence. You bow low, a small saffron fruit scraping the warm ground. You wave me over. You from?America, I say. And you?Bangladesh. A stubbled monk in a saffron sweatshirt is watching us closely from the opposite end of the ledge. A gaudy father bird keeping an eye on things. My teacher, you say. Teacher smiles. You tell me your name: Atish. There is also another boy who is monk: Siddharta.Tell me about your meditation practice?I follow the breath. That is my practice. Breathe in, I know. B…

Can We Get an 'Amen' for Private Jets?

Bergamo: Foreign Grocery Friday: The Sweet Treat of 'Polenta e Osei' in Bergamo, Italy

Los Angeles: Inside Delta's Revamped and Remodeled SkyClub at LAX

Miami: Miami's Hottest Piece of Public Art is a Derelict Piano

Photo Essay: Meditation and Words of Inspiration

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Across countries and cultures, meditation is an opportunity for a mindful escape from endless, competing demands for attention. A chance to still the mind for a period, regain perspective, and move forward with presence once more. With roots in many religions and cultures, meditation has become a growing refuge a response to a world pushing for more to be done faster. 1. We could say that meditation doesnt have a reason or doesnt have a purpose. In this respect its unlike almost all other things we do except perhaps making music and dancing. When we make music we dont do it in order to reach a certain point, such as the end of the composition. If that were the purpose of music then obviously the fastest players would be the best. Also, when we are dancing we are not aiming to arrive at a particular place on the floor as in a journey. When we dance, the journey itself is the point, as when we play music the playing itself is the point. And exactly the same thing is true in meditation. …

Tokyo: In the Battle for Tokyo's Haneda Airport, Who's Got the Cheapest Flight for Spring?

Happy First Annual Concierge Day (in Chicago)!

Travel is an Exercise in Perception

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Photo: lilivanili Mariellen Ward discusses how travel can teach us that we are not the center of the universe. WHEN I TRAVEL, especially in India, I feel like Alice in Wonderland; I feel like Ive fallen into the rabbit hole, or stepped through the looking glass. I lose my bearings and everything is challenged, including my sense of self in the world and my ideas about how life and people should be.And the experience of being in the alternate universe of a foreign country has helped me become more aware of myself and of the role perception plays in shaping reality.In India, I meet other foreigners who tell me they think Pahar Ganj in Delhi is the real India, and who say the only way to travel in India is by staying in 150-rupee-a-night hovels. I also meet Delhi-born Indians who tell me they think Pahar Ganj is a ghetto and wouldnt go near it. They prefer Delhis five star hotels and the shopping malls of Gurgaon.Photo: author When I live with my partners Indian family in Delhi, I am accept…

Tweet of the Week: In-Flight WiFi Has It All. Almost.

Newark: Free Cupcakes at Newark Airport This Friday, January 28!

How to Follow the Pittsburgh Steelers Off to Super Bowl XLV

Why Are We So Afraid of Death?

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Photo: rochelle, et. al. This months Blast From the Past talks about what many dont want to talk about. SHORTLY AFTER MY split with my wife last year, I found myself on a plane headed for Halifax, Nova Scotia. I remember, as it was in its descent, my feeling of not caring if the plane crashed. It wasnt that I wanted to die, I just didnt really care. Thats probably understandable given the situation, but my view on death changed at that point and I still feel the same way. I am not as afraid of death as I used to be. I am, however, quite fearful of the suffering that might accompany it.In August 2008, we published A Travelers Guide to the History of Death. The author, J. Raimund Pfarrkirchner, wrote:Many Westerners consider death a taboo subject and [it's] considered a social faux pas when broached in conversation, especially when it refers to someone who has recently died. The irony is that everyone currently alivewill eventually die despite the fact that so few people seem to actua…

Just Another Week on Planes, Trains, and Ginormous Ocean Liners

Experiencing the Peyote Way Church in the Arizona Desert

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Matt, Anne, and Emanuel (the founder) / All photos by author Most of my waking life my mind has been racing with the rest of me, chasing behind, trying to catch up. But at the end of a dirt road far out in the Arizona desert, I stopped one night and caught up with myself. [Editor's note: This post was first published in its original form here.]ON THAT NIGHT, it was me alone under an infinite night sky. Stripped naked without emails, TV, chatter, and static all the clutter and distractions that normally mask me from myself and the world around me. The peyote juice I drank before the sun melted away had seeped into my body and shed the skin between my soul and the universe around and within me. At this remote solitary place in the desert, I had come home to myself.For the previous two years, I had zig-zagged through North America in my motor home. I had completely looped the United States from Key West to Maine, over to Seattle, down to San Diego, through the Rockies, up into the hea…

CA: A Five-Step Guide on How Not to Take The Train in California

CA: A Five-Step Guide on How Not to Take The Train in California

Major Time-Waster: The Website That Logs Airport Carpeting from Around the World

Tweet of the Week: Disney's Security is a Doozy

We'll Be Waiting a Bit Longer to See Richard Branson in Flight Attendant Drag

Photo Essay: Journey Through Spiritual Bavaria

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Karin Leperi makes a trip to a region called home by a current pope as well as where one million pilgrims make an annual mass departure to Altoetting to revisit a Black Madonna.[All photos credit to writer solely where noted]1. St. Peters Cathedral in Regensburg Once deliberate to be a richest locale in all of southern Germany because of a preponderance of buildings crafted in stone; today, Regensburg a UNESCO World Heritage Site is arguably one of a best-preserved Gothic towns in Germany. St. Peters Cathedral is a devout core of town, with gothic rib-vaulted ceilings as well as full of color stained potion windows dating behind to a 13th as well as 14th centuries. Pope Benedict XVI was a highbrow of theology during a University of Regensburg from 1969 1977, as well as remains an honorary highbrow to this day. He is quoted as saying, I unequivocally feel during home here.2. Historical Sausage Kitchen Regensburg lays explain to having a oldest recorded mill overpass in Germany as we…