For the last 6 months I have been working with Ariel Cohen from the MSL Group in NYC trying to get three journalists tickets on Emirates Airlines for their Dubai route. I have jumped through many hoops, submitted forms along with clips and PDF’s of the journalists articles. And, for what………to be told continuously by the MSL Group that Emirates is “busy” and they take their time in vetting who will ride on their airplanes. Emirates and MSL Group are the most unprofessional people I have ever worked with.
To honor the community spirit of the city of Boston the Museum of Fine Arts is waving admission fees for Memorial Day weekend May 25th, 26th & 27th.
In an outpouring of support for Boston and the tragedy of the Marathon events New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art is lending the MFA three exquisit paintings. Visitors can view “Northeaster” by Winslow Homer, “Lachrymae” by Frederic, Lord Leighton and Edouard Manet’s “The Manet Family in Their Garden at Argenteuil” on the second floor of the MFA’s Art of the Americans Wing.
Also on view will be hundreds of quilt squares from around the world that make up the exhibit “To Boston with Love”. These will be strung across the Shapiro Family Courtyard. Staff members will be on hand to encourage visitors to create their own works of art in the Linde Family Wing. These will become parts of a growing collage that will be on display all weekend.
It’s hard to believe that half a century has gone by since President John F. Kennedy gave his “Ich bin ein Berliner” speech.
The Cold War was raging at President Kennedy’s visit. The year before Russia had erected the Berlin Wall dividing Germany into two sections.The East came under Communist control while the West remained a democracy.
Thousands waited for hours on at Berlin’s Rathaus Schoneberg that day, June 26, 1963, to hear our young President.speak words of solidarity Four simple words, “Ich bin ein Berliner” would become the most famous words ever spoken by a U.S. President in Germany.
To celebrate this momentous anniversary Berlin will be vibrant with exhibitions and events. Starting in June the museum THE KENNEDYS will have an exhibition Ich bin ein Berliner Kennedy’s visit to Germany in June 1963 (June to September) made up of photographs, documents and rare film footage of his visit.
The photo exhibit Kennedy in Berlin is part of a city wide exhibition of photographs that starts at the Berlin Wall Memorial (April to November). This program will include special exhibits and events at the Allied Museum, the Checkpoint Charlie Foundation and the U.S. Embassy.
The events highlighting President Kennedy’s anniversary lead up to the 25th anniversary of the taking down of the Berlin Wall.
Dresden is the most beautiful city in Germany’s eastern state of Saxony. On a recent visit there I enjoyed everything the city had to offer; museums, cafes, palaces, cruises on the Elbe River and festivals. My favorite museum is the stunning Royal Palace.
The original Royal Palace was built in the 1530 for George the Bearded, Duke of Saxony. Like most of Dresden it was destroyed in in the bombings of 1945. After standing in ruins for over 40 years re-construction was started in 1985 and still continues today. Now it is home to numerous art museums the most famous of which are the Green Vault with 3,000 works of art, the Coin Cabinet with thousands of German coins dating back to the 13 century, and the Turkish Room hosting displays of oriental weapons.
The recently opened Hall of Giants Armory displays the collection of August the Strong (1670 – 1733) who amassed a vast collection of treasures of the Ottoman Empire in the way of ornate bridles and saddles, horses, camels, and a huge gold and silk three masted tent filled with Turkish textiles. All of these, including a solid gold suit or armor for a rider and horse and eight life sized carved wooden Arabian horses decked out in ceremonial armors and tapestries are now on display in the new Hall of Giants,
Baden-Wuerttemberg has some of southwest Germany’s most luxurious hotels and restaurants.
Hotel Erbprinz in Ettlingen dates to 1788. It’s 200 year old wine tavern is the perfect place for a before or after dinner appertive. The area surrounding the hotel is rich in culture; the Castle of Karlsruhe is filled with beautiful art and antiques, the Albagamuseum traces 2,000 years of Ettlingen’s history while the Karlsruhe State Gallery is home to 800 works of art from the late Middle Ages to the present.
With its prime location on the shores of Lake Konstanz Hotel Riva is ideal for families. All of its 50 rooms face the lake, are sleekly styled and kid friendly.
Spend your days golfing on the Wald-und Schlosshotel Friedrichsruhe’s 18-hole course. Choose from a myriad of spa treatments, relax by the outdoor pool, or take a cooking class and learn how to prepare regional foods.
You won’t starve in Baden-Wuerttemberg the area is sprinkled with many award winning, think Michelin star, restaurants. In the tiny town of Baiersbronn there are three to-die-for restaurants; at Traube Tonbach chef Harald Wohlfahrt serves his famous truffled oxtail and grilled squab. At Hotel Bareiss chef Claus-Peter Lumpp prepares fresh seasonal dishes using local meats and produce. Hotel Sackmann offers three elegantly appointed restaurants the Schlossberg, Anitastube and Silberberg all serving expertly prepared regional dishes.
Today I finished my 6th Zumba Gold class wearing my comfortable LL Bean stretch capri pants. They felt wonderful. So long LuLu Lemon. I’m an “ample” woman who is tired of going into LuLu Lemon stores and finding nothing about a size 10.
Even your TaTa Tamer goes only up to size 34 B.
This morning I was rummaging around in my fridge looking for something different for breakfast. I came up with nothing. So, I took a walk to one of my favorite places, Flour Bakery in Central Sq. Cambridge. It’s a really cool place and the staff is friendly and, since I’m a “regular” everybody knows my name.
Sitting outside I enjoyed their classic breakfast sandwich; egg with sorono ham and cheddar cheese topped with field greens and Dijon mayonnaise served on chewy ciabatta bread. I washed it down with a large latte and went home a happy person.
Things are really hopping this summer at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. Along with viewing the world famous Ware Collection of Blaschka designed glass flowers there are tons of other things to see and do that are included in your admission price.
Daily, June 16th – September 3rd Spider Sense! Scavenger Hunt is where visitors can learn about spiders from around the world on a self-guided tour around the museum.
Saturday, August 4th – 12 noon – participate in an author talk and book signing with Kim Todd whose book Sparrow delves into the history of birds.
Sunday, August 12 – 12 noon – there is a family program with Emma Romeu, environmental journalist and geographer. Romeu is known for her articles in National Geographic and her books Gregory of the Sea and her Animals of the Americas series.
Free and open to the public
Thursday, August 16th, 6:00 pm – author talk with Emily Monosson to learn about Evolution in a Toxic World: How Life Responds to Chemical Threats.
On Tuesdays, June 19th – October 30th – 12 noon to 6:00pm the Farmer’s Market at Harvard will be held in front of the Harvard Museum of Natural History. This takes place every Tuesday, rain or shine, offering city dwellers an opportunity to purchase fresh produce and other food stuffs from local farmers, participate in children’s activities, cooking demonstrations and films on human health, sustainability and the environment.
Next week I’ll be having lunch at one of the best restaurants in Boston, the Fairmont Copley Plaza’s Oak Room. I’ll have a tough time deciding between the Chateaubriand sandwich, the Kobe beef burger (the best in the city) or the Maine lobster salad. It’s a rough job but someone has to do it.
Being at the hotel will give me a chance to see first-hand some of the restorations going on for this grand dame who turns 100 years old in 2012.
The Fairmont’s owners, FelCor Lodging Trust, are planning a huge restoration of the property to celebrate its centennial.
This won’t be a simple nip ‘n tuck or chemical peel or mini face lift. What it will be is a $20 million dollar restoration of the hotels 300+ guest rooms and its already chic Fairmont Gold Lounge.
FelCor is pulling out all the stops with new furniture, fixtures, air-conditioning, heating, and the addition of fresh, sophisticated designer colors. They have contracted with Massachusetts based Parker Torres Design LLC famous for their use of dramatic, sumptuous colors which they will blend with the Fairmont Copley’s elegant marble interior walls. To get a glimpse at what Parker Torres designers and architects can do check out the Hilton Back Bay, Cambridge Marriott or the Buckminster hotels.
Something that’s already underway is the new state-of-the-art fitness center on the hotel’s roof. The center, scheduled to open in this August, will have a 2,400 square foot space loaded with machines and free weights. As if that’s not enough, before or after your workout you can relax and socialize at the 700 square foot deck equipped with lounges, chairs and tables.
And, the restorations for the centennial do not stop inside the hotel. Parker Torres will also be re-designing the sidewalk on the St. James Avenue front side of the hotel. Who knows, maybe they will even design a new doghouse for the Fairmont’s famous black Labrador ambassador, Catie Copley.
The best thing I make for any meal is reservations. I love going out to eat, but, like a lot of other people I’m feeling the economy crunch. Here are a few of my favorite restaurants that won’t break your wallet, just put a little ding in it.
12 Farnsworth St., 1594 Washington St. Boston and 190 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge
You can’t beat Flour Bakery for great food. Joanna Chang is a wizard in the kitchens. At either location she makes sure that everything is made fresh in-house. The salads are wonderful, the breads divine, the sandwiches terrific (try the turkey with cranberry chutney) and the pastries are heavenly. Her homemade Oreo cookies, layers of dark chocolate cake stuffed with crème fraiche are to die for. But, the show stopper has to be her decadent, butter laden sticky buns. How popular are they, if you’re going on a Saturday or Sunday call ahead to reserve how many you want. Now you can make all these sweet creations at home Chang’s new cookbook Flour is available at her three locations.
Petite Robert Bistro
480 Columbus Ave., 468 Commonwealth Ave., Petite Robert Central, 101 Arch St. Boston, 45 Chapel St., Needham
Jacky Robert is a master of French cuisine. Robert started his apprenticeship in his native France at the age of 15, working his way up to executive chef at such famous restaurants as Maxim’s in Paris and Ernie’s in San Francisco. Forty years later he owns two bistros in Boston. In each he specializes in wonderful French cuisine such as chicken crepe basquaise or tripe Provençale and his pan seared sweetbreads in a creamy leek mustard sauce.
Garden at the Cellar
991 Massachusetts Ave.
Chef/owner Will Gilson learned about herbs and food growing up on his family’s herb farm and restaurant the Herb Lyceum in Groton Massachusetts. In his tiny kitchen he puts all that he learned into his cooking whether it is his crispy chicken with sweet potatoes and kale or his grilled skirt steak with rosemary truffle fries or his steamed mussels with fresh tomatoes, saffron and yogurt.
Craigie on Main,
853 Main St
Tony Maws, with many awards under his belt, two for excellence from Wine Spectator, and he was named Best New Chef of the Year for 2006 by the James Beard Foundation, is a master chef whose food is sublime. His menu changes daily depending on what looked good at the fish and meat markets he visits each day at 5:00am. Maws does wonders with anything from octopus to Vermont organic lamb to sweetbreads and short ribs. Have no fear, whatever is on the menu when you go there is sure to be fantastic.