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Uber is on Fire in Paris — and Not in a Good Way

June 25, 2015 at 1:34 PM | by | Comment (1)

The strike du jour in Paris is being put on by the city's taxi drivers who are infuriated by the presence of Uber, especially the service UberPOP — which is akin to America's UberX function.

But taxi drivers didn't just not show up for work today: they were actively protesting by blocking roads to airports and train stations in the city. And a few of them got violent, as evidenced by this photo on WSJ.com. According to Gawker, even Courtney Love was caught up in the protests at the airport. The hot mess rock star tweeted that she needed to pay men on motorcycles to sneak her out of the airport after her car and driver were attacked.

Incidentally, we used Uber in Paris this morning completely unaware that the taxi strike was even about Uber. Oui, américain stupide.

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Lincoln Road in South Beach to Get The High Line Treatment

June 25, 2015 at 11:55 AM | by | Comments (0)

The High Line is bringing its talents to Miami. Okay, well, the landscape architect firm who created it is.

Lincoln Road on South Beach has seen a lot of changes lately, with glossy new retail stores pushing out local eateries. (RIP Van Dyke Cafe and Pasha's.) The tourists who come to shop up a storm are no doubt happy, but locals have long lamented the loss of Lincoln Road's character. Perhaps the revitalization plans, as reported by Racked Miami and The Next Miami, will lift their spirits.

The most striking feature in the master plan proposed by James Corner Field Operations (they of The High Line) is the stretch of green running from one side of the South Beach island to the other. With temperatures in the 90s and little shade, Lincoln Road is a sunburn death trap in the middle of the day and this plan should make it a much more pleasant place to stroll. And isn't that the point of Lincoln Road in the first place?

As Racked reports, the proposal calls for more easy access to the cool MiMo water features that already exist in the middle of the Lincoln Road strip, as well as more stylish seating, an outdoor art and sculpture gallery and an outdoor market.

With much cooler spaces like Wynwood and the Perez Art Museum Miami around town, it sounds like South Beach has put itself on notice. Fingers crossed this plan gets approved and goes ahead.

[Image: Master plan rendering via The Next Miami]

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Four Seasons Seattle Sparkles With New Goldfinch Tavern

Where: 99 Union Street [map], Seattle, WA, United States, 98101
June 25, 2015 at 10:35 AM | by | Comments (0)

Last weekend, we got a look at Chef Ethan Stowell’s new restaurant at Four Seasons Seattle, Goldfinch Tavern, and it’s a stone cold fox. Seriously, the space is a stunner.

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This Is the World's First Airport to Use Apple Watch Behind the Scenes

June 25, 2015 at 1:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Once the Apple Watch made its debut on the wrists of travelers, it was inevitable that things like gate information, flight updates, and other flight-related frills would all make an appearance via one airline app or another. But now it’s an airport that is going all-in with Apple's latest tech toy.

Per Airport World, this month Québec City Jean Lesage International Airport (YQB) became the first airport in the world to start using the Apple Watch behind the scenes. The airport has connected the watch to its existing operations and information system, so now the watch can immediately offer duty managers real-time updates . Push notifications and alerts to staff are designed to keep everything on schedule and running according to plan: whether it comes to flight delays or airplanes fighting over a gate, every need-to-know issue will be delivered to a wrist so that it can be dealt with. Hopefully this will keep decision-makers in the know — and benefit all travelers as a result.

SITA, the airport management system that pushes these updates through an app it developed specially for YQB, is also in use at 150 airports in almost 50 countries. So it might not be long before other staffers in other airports are using Apple Watch like walkie-talkies. The next time you see an airport worker bee busily checking his or her wrist, know that they might be sending instructions — not emojis.

[Photo: Apple]

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The World's First Underwater Nightclub Just Got A Makeover — and a Menu

June 24, 2015 at 3:43 PM | by | Comments (0)

What is this nautical bewitchment?!

Welcome to the Maldives, one of the most selfie-friendly places on earth (#paradise #vacation #tropical #beachflow). It’s a nation in the Indian Ocean made up of hundreds of different islands. There are expansive beaches, vibrant coral reefs all around, and blue lagoons that are even prettier than Christopher Atkins circa 1980.

But if you dig (swim?) a little deeper behind all this rapture, you’ll find yet another utopia hidden below the ocean’s surface. We’re talking about Subsix.

First, a video. Behold.

Impressive, right? Located at the Per Aquum Niyama resort, the nightclub Subsix opened in October 2012 with a special guest performance by rapper Tinie Tempah, followed quickly by another celebrity party hosted by DJ Poet of the Black Eyed Peas just a few days later. After such an explosive debut, we were surprised to see the venue go a bit quiet on us — but we just figured they were playing hard to get. After all, an underwater club in the Maldives probably doesn’t have issues attracting business.

But now, Subsix is resurfacing. (Not literally resurfacing, just like, making news again… it’s an expression…) No longer merely a club, it has received renovations that turn this unique space into a multi-purpose playground.

Guests can now wine and dine at Subsix. The lunch menu is nothing to take lightly at $165 per person, but the dishes look downright divine. While you gawk at the aquatic life all around you, you’ll be dining on some of their friends: including a crab dish with crab cake custard, a lobster medallion with blackberry balsamic “essence,” sea bass filets, Jaffna prawns and more.

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Montreal Like a Local: Where to Rent Bikes

Where: Montreal, QC, Canada
June 24, 2015 at 2:05 PM | by | Comments (0)

If you want to get around Montreal like a local, all you'll need is a bicycle. It's surprising to find such a thriving bike culture in a city that averages more than 80 inches of snow per year, but Montreal caters to its cyclists with 400 miles of bike lanes, many of which are closed to vehicular traffic, and bike racks outside most businesses.

For visitors, the easiest way to join in on Montreal's bike craze is to rent one of the 5000 Bixi Bikes around the city. Like NYC's Citi Bikes, many are centrally located near tourist spots and can be rented for as little as $5 a day.

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Like a Virgin Voyage: C.S. Air Debuts Direct Flights Between Southern China and America's East Coast

June 24, 2015 at 11:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Usually, if someone hands you a flower unsolicited in the middle of a city square, you can rest assured that either a) a document of religious literature will soon follow, or b) somebody else is grabbing your iPhone out of your back pocket.

On Thursday, feel free to disregard this otherwise infallible rule of thumb.

Because on June 25 at 3 PM, expect to see reps from China Southern Airlines (C.S. Air) hanging out in NYC's Herald Square, handing out hundreds of Red Silk Cotton Tree flowers to passerby. Why? Because that's the official flower of Guangzhou, and Asia's largest airline announced this week the launch of daily direct flights to that South China city from JFK.

It's true! Yesterday was the kick-off to the new nonstop flights, offered 10 times weekly through September 11. Every day flights leave JFK's Terminal 4 at 11:15 AM, arriving in Guangzhou at 3 PM the following day; in addition, Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays have second flights that leave JFK at 1:45 AM and arrive in Guangzhou at 5:45 the next day. Do the math: That's 10 per week.

And it's ground (air?) breaking service, too. These are the first ever daily flights from Southern China to America's east cost.

We're glad to hear that this has bloomed. OHHH! THANKS, HERE ALL WEEK!

[Photo: ZK-NGJ/Flickr]

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Around the World in 9 Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

June 24, 2015 at 10:00 AM | by | Comments (2)

The gooey, creamy sandwich that all kids grew up with (and most of us continued to eat religiously into adulthood) has a scrumptious legacy all over the world.

Grilled cheese is one of the simplest, yet most universally delicious dishes in existence. But the days of making grilled cheese sandwiches with cautiously white, airy bread and neon-orange processed cheese of questionable origin is a thing of the past. At least, we think it should be in your past — because there are so many other options.

Put down the Kraft singles and join us for a trip around the world to see how this iconic, lovable sandwich manifests in other parts of the globe.

We take full responsibility for your looming hunger.

AUSTRALIA

Down Unda, grilled cheese often comes in the form of a jaffle, which is a traditional toasted sandwich made in an enclosed metal skillet (often called a jaffle iron). After inserting the sandwich into the jaffle iron, it becomes sealed around all edges; the excess crust is cut away once the iron is sealed. The result is sort of like an Aussie hot pocket. If you’re in Melbourne, pay close attention to Jafflechutes; they basically send you grilled cheese/jaffles via parachutes magically dropped from the sky. No really, that's what they do. [Photo via Flickr]

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GOL and Gogo (Finally) Bring Brazil In-Flight WiFi

Where: Brazil
June 24, 2015 at 9:00 AM | by | Comments (0)

Good news from the folks at Gogo: They’re taking their in-flight WiFi technology south of the border — like, way south.

Gogo is teaming up with GOL, a budget Brazilian airline, to install its next generation service — known as 2Ku — across the entire fleet. This is the first time in-flight broadband has been made available aboard a Brazilian airline, so we can only imagine this news will be very well received. In fact, not only will this bring in-flight WiFi, but there will also be the ability to access Gogo Vision and Gogo TV from each and every seat.

The only bummer? Things aren’t quite ready for launch, and the current timetable suggests this partnership will be up (in the air) and running in mid-2016. But while GOL guests are about a year away from in-flight web surfing, they can definitely start dreaming about the speeds: Gogo is promising peak speeds of more than 70 Mbps to the aircraft, which is about 20 times the bandwidth offered through its first-generation technology in the United States. Vroom!

[Photo: Gogo]

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Genius Air Traveler Hid Marijuana In 'Mary Jane' Candy Wrappers, Because Of Course

June 23, 2015 at 4:15 PM | by | Comments (0)

Forty-nine year old Gregory Murphy of Toms River, New Jersey was just chilling in Newark International last Friday, hanging around Gate 85 and waiting to board a 5:00pm flight. Then someone called out his name over the loudspeaker, and that someone soon turned out to be a member of the local Port Authority police. The police wanted to know whether the pot that airport security had found in his checked luggage was indeed his.

The answer to that question was yes, and so Mr. Murphy is going to be involved in several legal proceedings in the near future. It won't be that bad - he didn't have more than 50 grams on him - but he'll have spend some time in a court room. Normally a drugs-at-the-airport story would end here.

What makes this story particularly entertaining is that he had wrapped the drug in candy wrappers labeled "Mary Jane." Come on. That's not even trying.

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Hologram Helper Still at Miami Airport, Still Slightly Creepy

June 23, 2015 at 1:40 PM | by | Comments (0)

Speaking of Miami today

It's been a few years since we checked in on the airport hologram helpers that have popped up in several U.S. airports but the trend is still going strong at Miami International Airport.

We spotted a creepy lovely hologram helper speaking Spanish and English just after we went through security at the airport's South Terminal. Of course, we had to stop and take a picture. Technically, the official name for the hologram helper is called a "Virtual Reality Passenger Assistant". And she also has a "human" name, Leticia. She may not be the hardest working airport employee but she does "work" seven days a week, 24 hours a day. (Cue the movie about a man who falls in love with the hologram helper and decides to move into the airport to be closer to her.)

Unfortunately, Leticia can't help you get an upgrade or put you on a different flight as her main goal is to give passengers tips on where to shop within the terminal. #hologramfail. Well, at least she looks pretty?

[Photo: Jaunted]

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Virgin Cruises to Set Sail in 2020 from Miami

June 23, 2015 at 12:04 PM | by | Comments (0)

We knew it was coming but today, Captain Sir Richard Branson and Virgin Cruises have announced Port Miami as the home for their very first Virgin Cruise Ship, which will set sail in 2020. Yeah, you'll have to wait five years before you can take this Virgin out to the high seas.

Straight from the Virgin.com blog, here's what Virgin Cruises is planning:

Virgin Cruises has selected PortMiami as the home port for its first cruise ship that will set sail in 2020 and has signed a binding letter of intent with Italian shipbuilding company Fincantieri for three new mid-size ships.

Virgin Cruises’ three new mid-size ships, of about 110,000 gross tons each, are slated for delivery in 2020, 2021 and 2022. Each ship will feature 1,430 guest cabins to host more than 2,800 guests. There will also be 1,150 crew on board to look after the guests and deliver the Virgin service. Embarking from PortMiami, Virgin Cruises plans to offer a range of seven-day Caribbean itineraries, with a Sunday sail date.

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