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Ah, hotels. If you’re reading this, chances are that you’re already a believer in the power of hotels for good. In them, a conversation can be started between strangers from opposite ends of the world; an idea can be sparked over breakfast and a changing streetscape; a restless soul can be momentarily at peace during a detoxifying herbal wrap; and more visceral needs can be sated with a special someone in the privacy of a room of one’s own.
Happily, we’re not the only ones who think this way. The Vancouver Art Gallery has opened their Grand Hotel: Redesigning Modern Life exhibition and you have until September 15 to check it out. It explores the hotel from the beginning –- when it was simply a utilitarian place to rest your head –- to what it is today: a center of design, a social hub and, sometimes, a destination unto itself.
The Grand Hotel exhibit is broken down into four themes: Travel, Social, Design, and Culture. Here’s our take on what these themes mean. It’s a bit esoteric but that’s art, right? (If you’d like to see how these themes play out in real life, check out our sister site HotelChatter.)
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We hope you’re familiar with the story of Nathan Sawaya, the lawyer-turned-artist who ditched his legal career for his true passion: playing with LEGOs. Nathan has taken the humble building block we all know from when we were little and used it to create pieces of art to delight all ages, making his exhibit The Art Of The Brick a runaway success.
As part of its global tour, The Art Of The Brick will be hitting New York next month, opening on June 14 at Discovery Times Square. Tickets are already on sale, but first we have a preview for you today, having had a chance to check it out in Singapore, where it’s on its current run in the Art Science Museum at the giant Marina Bay Sands complex.
The new enclosure, in progress
It opened to the public on July 19, 2012. It closed only a few months after, in late October, when Hurricane Sandy swept through New York City and, well, huffed and puffed and blew its house down. We're speaking of the Space Shuttle Enterprise on the Intrepid aircraft carrier, of course, and the latest image showing progress on the reconstruction of the exhibit hints at exciting things to come.
Compare the construction of the new structure (above) to the old tent-like one (below). First observation? It's not a tent! Hallelujah, break out the champagne because now the exhibit may actually have a chance of surviving the next huge storm to hit NYC (knock on wood). Secondly, we notice increased space. Perhaps the single staircase to view the nose of the shuttle (through scratched plexi glass, mind you) will mercifully be replaced by an actual viewing platform? And perhaps it won't all feel like some temproary, low-budget exhibition, which is definitely is not.
Phnom Penh Travel / Historical Travel / Political Travel / Death / Cambodia Travel / Museum Travel / Thanatourism / → All Tags
Usually we're pretty light-hearted when we travel because we simply love to explore new and exciting things. Eventually something does comes along, however, which shakes our soul and moves us in way that few other things have. Our recent exploration of Phnom Penh came with one of those moments while visiting the Genocide Museum. Vacations are supposed to full of good memories and a museum visit like this one doesn't sound too fun, but please stay with us; it's worth it.
Here's a little background before we get into our take on the grounds: back in April of 1975, Cambodia was in the thick of a government run by the political party of Democratic Kampuchea, led by the infamous Pol Pot. During this time, the security office S21 was created from a former primary school campus of four buildings, with the purpose of detaining Cambodian citizens considered a threat to the Communist movement, primarily those with education.
If you're thinking, "this can't end well," you're right.
If you’re tying to figure out how the world moved around prior to Google Maps, then now’s a good time head down to the museums of the Smithsonian. The Air and Space Museum is holding a new exhibit all about getting from here to there—and back again—so set your GPS to Gallery 213 on the second floor of the east wing.
The exhibit–Time and Navigation–aims to transport visitors back hundreds of years, for a sneak a peek into the tools of the trade from the past. Clocks, compasses, and other navigation devices will be on display, basically anything which deals with keeping accurate time. In total there’s around 144 different objects on display, and they’ve got things broken down into five sections: Navigation for Everyone; Navigating at Sea; Navigating in the Air; Navigating in Space; and Inventing Satellite Navigation. No word on if they have a special place to discuss the bummer that is Apple Maps.
Take a break from checking out the tulips if you’re heading to Amsterdam this month, as it’s finally time for one of the city’s most famous museums to reopen to both travelers and locals. It’s been under the knife for around ten years—at a cost of nearly $500 million–so we’ll assume all the upgrades and updates are totally worth it. That being said, if the Rijksmuseum wasn’t on your Netherlands itinerary before, it certainly should be now.
Not surprisingly the museum is home to all kinds of Dutch masterpieces, and they now all look better than ever in their recently refreshed home. Rembrandt van Rijn's The Night Watch is probably one of the museum’s most famous pieces, and it’s one of few paintings to hold onto its original spot in the museum. Sounds like a lot of the other paintings and pieces have been shuffled around to new spots during the Rijksmuseum renovation, as they have been displayed alongside related items—like furniture and ceramics as well.
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United just opened up the airline archive, as they’re looking to make room for some new stuff. They’ve got decades of uniforms that they’re looking to show off to the public, so they just sent a whole bunch of them over to San Francisco International Airport for a new display.
In total there are flight attendants uniforms from like the very first flights back in the 1930s through the current styles of today. Green capes, blue suits, and everything in between are now available to check out in person between April 8 and September 15. Unfortunately there isn’t a sneak peek of United’s new uniforms, as it sounds like those are still on backorder—ha.
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There’s nothing about Concorde that we don’t like, except the fact that it no longer flies high in the supersonic skies. From trip reports, photographs, and even souvenirs we’re all about the world’s greatest commercial airliner, so of course we’d be all about a museum dedicated to Concorde this and Concorde that. Unfortunately it seems like not everyone is down with scoring some t-shirts at the gift shop.
The Save Concorde Group put the original plan forth for a museum, because just like us they thought a £2 million Concorde home was a pretty sweet idea. They were going to construct something in Filton, UK but unfortunately British Airways isn’t cool with the purposed plan.
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It’s already April, and that means it is officially time to start thinking about warm weather vacations. If you’re thinking about taking the family—or just the friends—down to the Outer Banks of North Carolina this summer we’ve got some good news for you. One of the area’s iconic lighthouses just kind of finished a pretty lengthy rehab and renovation, and it’s getting ready to show itself off once again to both tourists and locals.
A couple years ago the Bodie Island Lighthouse at Cape Hatteras National Seashore was already going under the knife for a nip and tuck, but the engineers discovered that it was in worse shape than originally thought. Fast-forward to the present and it’s just finishing up some aesthetic improvements, as well as some structural upgrades to ensure that it’s good-to-go for years to come.
HBO is gearing up for the season 3 premiere of Game of Thrones with a new interactive exhibition, opening today in midtown Manhattan.
The exhibit includes costumes and weapons from the show, as well as an interactive archery experience.
Warsaw Travel / Museum Travel / Poland Travel / Religious Travel / Jewish Travel / History Travel / → All Tags
If Warsaw's been on your bucket list for a while now, be sure to line up your visit with the opening of the Museum of the History of Polish Jews. Easily one of the most hyped-up museum openings in Europe right now, the box-shaped structure has been in the works since the early 90s, and is said to contain eight multimedia exhibitions and galleries spanning the entire Jewish-Polish history (1,000 years), plus a concert hall and educational facilities—not to mention the reconstructed roof of a 17th century synagogue.
The TImes of Israel recently reported on the ornate frescoed roof, which was unveiled on Tuesday to a very enthusiastic response:
"The ceiling is a rich panoply in milky blues and brownish reds of zodiac signs and animal symbols, along with inscriptions in Hebrew…The animals include a red bull and a leviathan — a serpent-like sea monster — wrapped around Jerusalem."
And if sea monsters and ceiling frescoes don't get you excited, then keep this in mind: the museum's opening (no date has officially been announced, but certainly within the next few months) this year is timed to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, a historic act of rebellion by the Jews against the Nazis in 1943. In one of many such commemorative events taking place all throughout April, hundreds of volunteers will take to the streets and hand out paper daffodils to passersby.
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Just last week we were all excited about the arrival of marshmallow Peeps at the Racine Art Museum over in Wisconsin. Not to worry—they’re still putting on their Peep exhibit—but there’s actually a few more places where you can see candy turned into art during the spring season. We just wonder when the chocolate bunnies are getting their own gallery space.
There must be something about the sugary candies and Wisconsin, as another seasonal selection of Peeps is now doing its thing at the Riverfront Arts Center in Stevens Point. Things here run through April 7, and last year there were around 1,300 or so peeple—ha—that came to check things out. This year there’s around 30 entries from both little kids and big kids, and they illustrate every thing from superheroes to a candy version of the Papal Conclave.