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10 Boston Restaurants Where You Can Carbo-Load Before The Marathon

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bottega fiorentina pasta boston marathon

The Boston Marathon, which will take place on Monday, is one of the most famous distance races in the world.

Runners train for months to compete in the 26.2-mile journey through the city.

But no matter how much you have trained, you will need a lot of fuel to make it all the way.

Here are 10 restaurants in Boston where you can get a carb-laden meal before the big race.

The Official Pre-Race Dinner

City Hall Plaza

This is the official carb party before the race.  

Last year they served over 11,000 pounds of pasta and more than 3,000 pounds of fresh vegetables.



Anthem Kitchen and Bar

South Market Building, Faneuil Hall

Anthem has a marathon special the night before and the day of the marathon: for $10, you can have as much pasta as you want.

That's a good pretty good deal.



Avila Modern Mediterranean

One Charles Street South

Nothing is more synonymous with "carbs" than pasta. Avila Modern Mediterranean has Bottomless Pasta Bowls for $12.

You can get the homemade fettuccine with broccoli rabe, organic baby mushrooms, garlic, olive oil, and shaved parmigiana, or the fusilli bolognese with braised veal, beef, pork, and tomato sauce.



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10 Of The World's Best Burgers

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Hamburger

From In-N-Out Burger’s devoted fan base on the West Coast to the stampedes that greet the unveiling of a new Shake Shack, well, anywhere, it is no secret that the hamburger is a beloved part of the American diet.

See the world's favorite burgers >

No matter the state or city, visitors are guaranteed to find a delicious, local iteration of this national culinary treasure. And though the United States has been making—and enjoying—burgers for decades, other nations are getting in on the act.

Grabbing a burger abroad can be a perfect introduction to the flavors and ingredients of a foreign culinary scene in a way that is familiarly delicious. After all, most international burger restaurants are fabulously committed to putting their own stamp on the American delicacy—whether by adopting homemade cooking techniques, sourcing fresh meat from nearby farms, using indigenous ingredients or developing creative flavor partnerships that make for an unexpected result.

In Santiago, Chile, for example, head to La Burguesía and spring for any of the options listed on the menu’s gourmet section. (The avant-garde between-the-bun combinations include the Blue Pear, a crowd-pleaser featuring a topping of bacon, blue cheese and pear.) At the Holyrood 9A in Edinburgh, Scotland, adventurous diners can take a stab at its haggis version for a true Scottish experience. And Flippin’ Burgers in Stockholm, Sweden, takes its local approach seriously while weaving American-burger-joint paraphernalia into its decor.

A good burger—whether traditional, vegetarian or experimental—is a beautiful thing. Chow down on one at these far-flung burger joints that are making their marks on a classic.

See the world's favorite burgers >


More from Departures:

Agadir Burger: Tel Aviv, Israel

This popular national chain started as a stand in Tel Aviv nearly 15 years ago. Today there are nine freestanding restaurants all over Israel. Agadir serves only four kinds of burger—a testament to its quality-over-quantity approach. Choose from plain (available in four sizes, starting with a slider-sized portion), mushroom-based veggie, chichi entrecôte and the Diana, a beef-and-lamb combo dressed up with aioli, tomato, spring onion and pickled lemon.

Signature Burger: The Agadir, a plain burger weighing in at three-quarters of a pound. At that size, adding toppings would only make it harder to eat. 

agadir.co.il



Fergburger: Queenstown, New Zealand

This New Zealand eatery opened way back in February 2001 in a tucked-away alley called Cow Lane, but its popularity among Kiwis propelled a move to a bigger space on Queenstown’s busiest thoroughfare four years later.

It expanded again in 2011 with an adjacent bakery (Fergbaker), which turns out handmade buns. Fergburger adopts an evocative naming strategy. Little Lamby, for instance, is a prime New Zealand lamb burger with a tomato relish and mint jelly. The falafel-based vegetarian burger received a more controversial moniker: Bun Laden.

Signature Burger: Hungry visitors gravitate to the Big Al and its two beef patties, bacon, cheese, two fried eggs and aioli. Tomato, relish, lettuce and beetroot are there, too, but you might not notice.

fergburger.com



Flippin’ Burgers: Stockholm, Sweden

Jon Widegren’s burger hot spot celebrated its one-year anniversary in March, and the Swedes are still lining up to get a taste. The six burgers here (one is a veggie) are as plain as they come except for the Cricket, which is topped with cream cheese, pickled onion, caramelized onion and pickled jalapeño.

But Widegren’s less-is-more style is firmly rooted in quality. The restaurant grinds its own meat (grass-fed if possible), which comes from small-scale local producers, a Stockholm bakery bakes the bread and the pickling is done in-house. His goal was to add some American burger tradition to the local food landscape, so don’t be surprised to find In-N-Out and Five Guys paraphernalia decorating the interior.

Signature Burger: The Flippin’ is Widegren’s take on the double cheeseburger, which he prefers to eat with no condiments or add-ons. But you can have it however you want.

flippinburgers.se



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PSY 'Gentleman M/V' Video Hits Youtube, Continues The Ridiculousness

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Psy Gentleman M/V videoThe new PSY "Gentleman M/V" video has just released today on the official PSY Youtube channel.

(VIDEO BELOW)

PSY, who's "Gangnam Style" video reached a billion views, instead chose to release "Gentleman M/V" without the video, which has raised some eyebrows, considering it was the video that really hooked in viewers the first time around with Gangnam. 

Gangnam Style currently has over 1.5 billion views on Youtube. 

Say that out loud. One point five BILLION views on Youtube. 

That is just ridiculous, and sets up PSY for possibly the biggest letdown ever when it comes to the second release of what could be the biggest one hit wonder of all history. 

One thing that remains the same is that in "Gentleman M/V" Psy is most definitely back up to his goofy antics, even adding in butt scratching and whiping his hand across a girls nose. Really. Elevator guy and the man in the yellow suit are back as well. 

Reddit currently has a thread going with some varied reactions. 

Jump right to our breakdown of the PSY Gentleman M/V video >

Check out the video. 

He's back.



Back in dance form.



With some crazy hip gyrating action again.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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An Ad Agency Had To Fight For The Right To Serve Booze

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spring studios ad agency tribeca office

TRIBECA — High-end ad agency Spring Studios finally won local support to serve alcohol at its massive TriBeCa production space, after a third appearance before Community Board 1 members Wednesday night.

The London-based company —  which is in the midst of transforming the Verizon Building at 50 Varick St. into a glamorous, multi-level advertising center with a rooftop — spent nearly two hours persuading locals, once again, that company's focus was on the business and being a respectful neighbor, not having huge, wild parties that would run late into the night.

A liquor license, executives said, would allow Spring Studios to serve alcohol in their dining area, as well as during events and parties for the high-profile clientele.

Company representative David Hemphill, who brought along a security expert and several engineers, detailed plans to handle security for events, increased traffic and rooftop noise and parties — a major sticking point that’s led neighbor and banking bigwig Richard Handler to file suit, claiming the proposed rooftop event space would mar his view from his $24 million penthouse nearby.

As part of the overhauled liquor license proposal, Spring Studios said the company would only allow 300 guests on the roof for events, despite its 650-person capacity.

The company also agreed to limit the number of evening rooftop soirees, which will end by 11 p.m. on weekends and 10 p.m. on weeknights, to about 30 a year. And those roof parties, which won’t play any music, would stop serving alcohol about an hour before the final close, to make sure 11 p.m. and 10 p.m. are a “hard close.”

“No one is going to stick around if alcohol isn’t being served,” Hemphill said. The latest events held inside would end by midnight, Hemphill added.

Despite some continued concerns from surrounding residents, several neighbors praised Spring Studios for their extended outreach to the community.

The company — which will take up four floors of the overhauled building, with several studios for photo shoots and digital editing, a 60-person theater and a gallery — had several long meetings with CB1 members and locals to hash out the details presented on Wednesday.

"They've really been more than reasonable with the community," said CB1 member Adam Malitz. "I think its time we get on with this," he added, echoing the sentiments of many in the room.

CB1’s Tribeca Committee eventually voted 6 in favor of the advisory approval for a liquor license, with 2 opposed and 1 abstention.

CB1's full board will vote on the license later this month, and then it will go to the State Liquor Authority for final approval.

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Peru Moves To Protect The Most Heavily Exploited Fish In The World

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peru anchovy fishermen

LIMA, Peru — Growing to about 5 inches on average, the Peruvian anchovy might seem an unlikely candidate for the title of the world’s mightiest fish.

Yet thriving in the Humboldt Current, the plankton-rich upwelling of Antarctic waters off South America’s Pacific coast, this diminutive, bright-silver forager gathers in vast shoals that have become the fishing industry's easiest pickings.

According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the Peruvian anchovy is “the most heavily exploited fish in world history,” with annual catches in Chile and Peru sometimes totaling more than 9 million tons, two or three times the United States' catch of all fish species.

Most of that haul is caught in Peru, making the country the world’s top exporter of fish meal — the lucrative industry churns out feed to fatten up livestock from the US Midwest to China and, increasingly, to supply the rapidly expanding global fish-farming business.

Yet widespread corruption here means quotas and other safeguards intended to preserve what ought to be one of Peru’s greatest renewable resources are routinely flouted.

No wonder, then, that anchovy stocks appear to be on the decline. According to an official Peruvian report, there were 4.85 million tons of anchovies in Peru's waters in 2012 — a 28 percent drop from the average of the last 12 years.

The minimum population needed to ensure the species’ long-term survival, the report says, is 5.4 million tons.

More from GlobalPost: Sharks pushed to the edge of extinction by global overfishing

Because anchovies are a key part of the food chain, their decline is affecting many other, larger species in the Humboldt’s teeming waters.

Marcelo Perez, 57, fishes daily to supply his small restaurant in the surf resort of Punta Hermosa, just south of Peru's capital city of Lima. He says catches of species such as sole and bass have declined dramatically over his 35 years in the business.

In the 1980s, when Perez checked his 250-foot driftnets after leaving them out overnight, he would usually discover between 100 and 200 pounds of fish. Now he finds 20 to 100 pounds — or often nothing. “The sea is different now,” he says. “You have to work harder to get less.”

Now, however, the government has decided enough is enough.

The Production Ministry has launched a crackdown on rampant corruption in the anchovy industry aimed at ensuring the long-term sustainability of the species over short-term profit.

First, it slashed the annual anchovy quota to just 734,000 tons.

Subsequent measures have included a ban on industrial fishing within 10 miles of the coast in northern and central Peru, and 7 miles in southern Peru, to protect the anchovies’ breeding grounds. Authorities have given permits to just 600 midsize boats to fish anchovy within 5 to 10 miles. Fines can amount to $3 million for some of the country’s largest fishing companies for catching baby anchovies.

“The Peruvian anchovy is in danger of disappearing,” warned President Ollanta Humala, as he justified the measures. “We recognize the irresponsibility and corruption of large companies that have pillaged the anchovy.”

Both the measures and the new combative tone from the government have received qualified support from environmentalists.

Carlos Yaipen-Llanos runs Orca, a Lima-based nonprofit dedicated to protecting marine mammals such as whales, dolphins and seals, many of which depend directly or indirectly on the anchovies. He told GlobalPost that the government needed to start thinking about saving the entire marine ecosystem rather than just individual species.

More from Peru: Warmer seas are blamed for bird carnage (photos)

“It’s a good law [the 10 and 7 mile limits], and a major step in the right direction. But on its own it will not achieve much,” he said. “What we need is a policy that is about conservation rather than extraction.”

Marine biologist Patricia Majluf, a former deputy minister in charge of fisheries, added: “This law is a good first step but it needs resources.”

Those resources included everything from funding for more inspectors to GPS satellite tracking for boats to ensure that they do not enter anchovy breeding grounds nearer the shore.

Majluf’s support shows just how far the government has moved in recent months. Just last May, she had quit her government post in disgust at the failure to take on corruption and influential lobbying by Peru’s fishing industry.

But in emailed comments, Diego Cateriano, a manager at Peru’s second-largest fishing corporation, Copeinca, insisted that “there is no evidence” to blame overfishing for the drop in stocks. He suggested natural fluctuations as well as climate change could be the real causes.

Copeinca was fined earlier this year after one of its boats was caught with 406 tons of baby anchovy. Despite that, Cateriano insisted the principal offenders behind the anchovy’s decline are the unregulated, smaller fishing vessels that hug the shore.

Yaipen-Llanos accepts some of that explanation, saying that after years of unsustainable plunder, Peru’s largest anchovy companies have recently cleaned up their act, largely in response to demands from international fishmeal purchasers.

He also blamed the smaller boats, saying that many of the new generation of fishermen come from the Andes and elsewhere and have a “hostile, aggressive attitude towards the sea” and its creatures, in particular dolphins.

But Majluf, without letting small-scale fishermen off the hook, insisted that industrial fishing — which takes some 80 percent of Peru’s annual catch — is the principal culprit threatening stocks.

“The industrial fishing sector is an extremely powerful lobby, with lots of money. If you believe them, they are never to blame,” she said. “All their talk of sustainability is marketing. They have yet to prove, with actions, that they actually mean it.”

But, if the government consistently enforces law and order on the high seas, ensuring the future of Peruvian anchovy stocks may no longer be up to the fishing industry.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/americas/peru/130412/overfishing-peruvian-anchovy-marine-conservation

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How an iPhone App Lead VC Jason Pressman To Make A Huge Romantic Gesture For His Girlfriend

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Shasta Ventures VC Jason Pressman is a newlywed, married to Jessica Newman (now Jessica Pressman).

How he got her to say yes is really one of the sweetest stories we've heard in a long time.

It all started with an iPhone app called the Tiffany Ring Finder from legendary jeweler Tiffany & Co, Pressman told Business Insider. The app lets you shop for rings and see what they'll look like on your hand.

His girlfriend couldn't decide between two rings. Pressman let her believe the decision to ask for her hand was still up in the air when he booked a trip to a tropical island.

On the first night there, he got down on one knee and presented her with one of the rings she loved. She said yes.

Then on the second night, he proposed again, this time with the second ring. Dumbfounded, she said yes again.

And here's where it gets really sweet. On the third night, she discovered another box hidden among their things. It wasn't another ring, he told her, he'd already given her two, which even he knew was over the top, and she wasn't a big jewelry lover to begin with.

This time, in the box was a little gold charm, the letter "P."

With her maiden name, the two of them had nearly the same initials, hers were JMN and his were JMP. She had made a joke some time ago that if she ever married him, she could almost still keep wearing her favorite piece of jewelry, a charm necklace of her initials, if it weren't for the letter P.  So he solved that, for her, too.

Here's a picture of the happy couple and the first ring, moments after she said yes.

Jason and Jessica Pressman

SEE ALSO: The Life Of Startup Founder Ramona Pierson Is The Most Inspiring Story EVER

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Baby Boomers Will Forever Change The Way The Rest Of Us Retire

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Old CoupleThe rapid evolution of retirement in America shows no signs of slowing. The World War II generation (or The Greatest Generation) often lived in the same house until they either died or were moved to a nursing home, but this is now far less common. 

Baby boomers have continued to forge new ground and explore new lifestyles in this period of their lives, as technological and medical advancements have provided them with many more alternatives in how and where they can spend their time.

How Boomers are Different

A large percentage of the 78 million Americans who are classified as baby boomers are going to live anywhere from 10 to 25 years longer than their parents did. Those who reach retirement age now are often physically healthy enough to run marathons, build houses and start new businesses. For these reasons, retirement communities have become less attractive for many boomers who are seeking diversified lifestyles and new challenges.

Many of them are instead beginning to migrate to small towns that can offer things not commonly found in retirement communities, such as different types of employment opportunities and low-key living among family and friends. Other boomers are choosing to move back into urban areas to take advantage of amenities such as public transportation and cultural diversity. A few others are moving in with their grown children, either by choice or by financial necessity.

A study done by the AARP showed that a large percentage of boomers indicated that they would like to move when they retire. This trend was one of the major factors behind the housing boom of the previous decade. And while some boomers have been able to accumulate substantial home equity that they can use to purchase smaller, cheaper homes in less urban areas for cash, many others find themselves completely tapped out or underwater on their home loans. Baby boomers are also far less prepared for retirement than their parents, who learned to save money and avoid debt after living through a war and a depression.

The subprime meltdown of 2008 combined with the stock market crash that followed has left many boomers scrambling to piece together an adequate nest egg, and many of them have subsequently turned to the equity in their homes as a solution. And while real estate prices are finally starting to rise again, those who cannot substantially profit from selling their current home in order to find a cheaper one will likely have to make some major adjustments in their lifestyles for the near future.

Retiring Later
Many boomers who find themselves short on funds as they approach retirement have been forced to continue working for at least a few more years. This often creates a dilemma for employers who do not relish the prospect of having to pay higher wages to their older workers for an extended period.

At the same time, employers do not want to see their most experienced employees leave to form either their own companies or to work for the competition. However, many boomers with intentions to keep working are not planning on doing so at their current jobs or in their current fields. Many boomers are instead choosing to forge new careers in fields that have always interested them or to work for causes that they believe in.

Technological Savvy
Technology is changing our lives and society in many ways, and a large percentage of boomers have joined the digital age as a means of staying in touch with family and conducting business from the comfort of home. A Pew study released in 2012 indicates that over half of those aged 65 plus use the Internet, with nearly three-quarters of those using it on a daily basis. About a third of those in this age group also belong to a social networking site, such as Facebook, and this number is growing rapidly. Nearly 70% of respondents to the poll also owned a mobile phone or handheld device, which is up 13% from those who answered "yes" to this question in the May 2010 survey.

The Bottom Line
Technology and longevity have given the baby boomer generation choices that did not exist previously. Subsequent generations will also face unique challenges and opportunities as our world becomes increasingly mobile. The boomers will be the first generation to truly blaze the trail through the landscape of retirement in the 21st century.

SEE ALSO: Simple household tips that will save you thousands every year >

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What It's Like Using Hailo, The Instant Taxi-Hailing App That Just Raised $30 Million

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cab london

This past week I visited London and got to know the startup scene there.

One of the most promising new tech companies to come out of Europe is Hailo, an iPhone app that lets you hail a nearby cab in real time.

The best part: you can pay with a pre-loaded credit card so you don't have to have cash on you to hitch a ride.

Hailo is almost identical to Uber, a San Francisco-based black car service. Uber works well in California, and it now operates in multiple cities, letting app users hail black cars and cabs from their phones.

While Uber has launched in London, Hailo is a much better experience there. When I fired up the Uber app from my East London hotel, the nearest car was 16 minutes away. The nearest Hailo was two minutes away and the car arrived in less than that time.

Hailo has had so much success abroad, U.S.-based investors are helping it launch in the states. In February, notable New York investment firm Union Square Ventures led a $30 million investment in Hailo. VC Fred Wilson said it was an "I told you so" investment — Hailo had done everything it said it would do in 2012 and more.

Hailo isn't yet available in New York, so we were eager to try it abroad. It worked like magic, although cab drivers we spoke to were irritated with the app for little things, such as the cash cut and inaccurate passenger locations on maps. One said he tried to use it as little as possible. 

Hailo launched in 2010, and it will soon be live in nearly a dozen cities throughout Europe and the U.S.



Here's where you can currently use Hailo to find a cab. It's coming to New York City soon.



It takes just a few taps on the screen to hail a cab. Here's how it works.



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It's Leonardo da Vinci's Birthday: Here Are 15 Quotes From The Renaissance Man

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Leonardo da vinciIt is sometimes related that, while the young Leonardo da Vinci was an apprentice to Florentine painter Andrea del Verrocchio, the two collaborated on a painting. But when Verrocchio saw the beautiful angel that da Vinci had depicted holding the robes of Christ, he put down his brush and never painted again. To celebrate the life of da Vinci – painter, sculptor, musician, architect, writer, botanist, inventor, engineer, and anatomist par excellence - here are 15 quotes from the Renaissance man himself.

1. Progress: “Poor is the pupil that does not surpass his master.” – Notebook I

2. Mental waste: “Iron rusts from disuse; stagnant water loses its purity and in cold weather becomes frozen; even so does inaction sap the vigor of the mind.” – Notebook I

3. Perception: “All objects transmit their image to the eye in pyramids, and the nearer to the eye these pyramids are intersected the smaller will the image appear of the objects which cause them.” – Notebook II

4. Patrons: “The Medici created and destroyed me.” – Notebook II

5. Modern art? “Many are they who have a taste and love for drawing, but no talent; and this will be discernible in boys who are not diligent and never finish their drawings with shading.” – Notebook IX

6. Hierarchy of sensation: “The eye, which is called the window of the soul, is the principal means by which the central sense can most completely and abundantly appreciate the infinite works of nature; and the ear is the second, which acquires dignity by hearing of the things the eye has seen.” – Notebook IX 

7. Truth endures: “Truth at last cannot be hidden. Dissimulation is of no avail. Dissimulation is to no purpose before so great a judge. Falsehood puts on a mask. Nothing is hidden under the sun.” – Notebook X

8. The sanctity of life: “O Man, who will discern in this work of mine the wonderful works of Nature, if you think it would be a criminal thing to destroy it, reflect how much more criminal it is to take the life of a man; and if this, his external form, appears to thee marvellously constructed, remember that it is nothing as compared with the soul that dwells in that structure; for that indeed, be it what it may, is a thing divine. Leave it then to dwell in His work at His good will and pleasure, and let not your rage or malice destroy a life – for indeed, he who does not value it, does not himself deserve it.” – Notebook XIX

9. Be reasonable: “The senses are of the earth; Reason, stands apart in contemplation.” – Notebook XIX

10. The scientific method: “Science is the captain, and practice the soldiers.” – Notebook XIX

11. The fallacy of opinion: “The greatest deception men suffer is from their own opinions.” – Notebook XIX

12. Keep your eyes on the road: “He who walks straight rarely falls.” – Notebook XIX

13. Humility: “We see the most striking example of humility in the lamb which will submit to any animal; and when they are given for food to imprisoned lions they are as gentle to them as to their own mother, so that very often it has been seen that the lions forbear to kill them.” – Notebook XIX 

14. The artist's dilemma: “It vexes me greatly that having to earn my living has forced me to interrupt the work and to attend to small matters.” – Notebook XXI

15. Put it in perspective: “Perspective is to Painting what the bridle is to a horse, and the rudder to a ship.” – "A Treatise on Painting"

SEE ALSO: Medical Scans Show Leonardo Da Vinci's Drawings Were Right All Along

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The 22 Biggest Superyachts In The Seas

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azzam yachtAzzam officially became the largest yacht on the high seas when it launched in Germany earlier this week.

While its new owner is unconfirmed, it's believed to have been constructed for an Arab royal and cost around $627 million to build.

How does Azzam stack up? Here are the 22 largest yachts in the world, based on a larger list from Superyacht Times (head there to see the 100 biggest yachts).

22. Roman Abramovich's "Luna" — 377.3 feet long (2010)



21. Roman Abramovich's "Pelorus" — 377.3 feet long (2003)



20. "Issham Al Baher" — 379.79 feet long (1973)



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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An Architectural Gem In NYC Will Be Demolished After Just 12 Years

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american folk art museum“There are of course the personal feelings — your buildings are like your children, and this is a particular, for us, beloved small child. But there is also the feeling that it’s a kind of loss for architecture, because it’s a special building, a kind of small building that’s crafted, that’s particular and thoughtful at a time when so many buildings are about bigness.” – Billie Tsien, quoted in The New York Times 

After only 12 years, the Tod Williams & Billie Tsien-designed American Folk Art Museum is slated to be demolished. Despite the acclaim it has received from critics, including high praise from the likes of Paul Goldberger and Herbert Muschamp, and the importance it has been given in New York’s architectural landscape, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA, which bought the building in 2011) reports that it must tear down the building to make way for an imminent expansion.

At the time of its construction, the building was of the first new museums built in New York in over thirty years. Unfortunately, the building will more likely be remembered for its short life, taking, in the words of The New York Times reporter Robin Pogrebin, “a dubious place in history as having had one of the shortest lives of an architecturally ambitious project in Manhattan.”

The Museum had had great hopes that Williams & Tsien’s renovation would bring visitors and revenue to the Museum; however, after remaining millions in debt, the Museum was forced to sell the building to the MOMA in 2011. With Yoshio Tanaguchi’s 2004 redesign of the MOMA increasing attendance from 1.5 million to 2.5 million, the Museum is keen to further bolster visitors’ numbers with an expansion.

MOMA officials explain that it would be impossible to keep the American Folk Art Museum building, for both practical and aesthetic reasons: their planned expansion will connect a new tower by Jean Novel,Torre Verre (which will include exhibition space as well as apartments), to floors of the Modern (on the other side of the folk museum). According to MOMA officials, Williams & Tsien’s building will prevent the floors from lining up. What’s more, officials claim that its opaque facade isn’t in keeping with the MOMA’s glass aesthetic.

Nouvel’s Torre Verre will give the MOMA about 40,000 additional square feet of gallery space; the folk museum’s demolition about 10,000. “It’s not a comment on the quality of the building or Tod and Billie’s architecture,” Glenn D. Lowry, MoMA’s director told the The New York Times, “We bought the site, and our responsibility is to use the site intelligently.”

Of course, no matter how business-savvy the decision, the move has understandably appalled the architecturally-minded. The building, named “The Best New Building in the World in 2011” has attracted attention since its opening, particularly for its sculptural facade.

As Andrew S. Dolkart, the director of Columbia University’s historic preservation program, told the The New York Times: “The building is so solid looking on the street, and then it becomes a disposable artifact. It’s unusual and it’s tragic because it’s a notable work of 21st century architecture by noteworthy architects who haven’t done that much work in the city, and it’s a beautiful work with the look of a handcrafted facade.”

“It’s a building that kids study in architecture school,” Billie Tsien added, “They study it as a kind of precedent to understand how buildings are made and to understand the kind of space it is because it is a complex and interesting building in a very small site.”

MOMA will soon begin interviewing architects to design the new addition, selecting one by the end of this year. They also expect to have Williams & Tsien’s building demolished by then, to make way for construction of the expansion, including Nouvel’s tower, in 2014. Both buildings should be completed by 2017 or 2018.

Story via The New York Times

SEE ALSO: Architecture Fans Say These Are The Coolest Buildings In The World

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Brad Pitt's Valiant Plan To Rebuild New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward

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houses lower ninth ward new orleansEver since the New Republic published Lydia DePillis’ piece entitled “If You Rebuild it, They Might Not Come” — a criticism of the progress of Brad Pitt’s Make It Right Foundation — numerous blogs and journals have been in a uproar, defending Make It Right’s efforts at rebuilding the vastly devastated Lower Ninth Ward and presenting a much more forgiving perspective on the progress of the neighborhood since the engineering disaster that exacerbated the effects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. 

To date, 86 LEED Platinum homes have been designed and constructed by world-renowned architects, including Frank Gehry and Morphosis, at a cost of approximately $24 million.  

Make It Right has promised to build up to 150 such homes, but DePillis‘ article points out that amenities in the neighborhood are low and the number of residents returning to the neighborhood is dwindling.  

Make It Right has made a commitment and the debate that ensues questions whether it is going far enough in delivering its promise to rebuilding community.

Since August 2005, New Orleans, and the Lower Ninth Ward in particular, has received a massive amount of attention, first for the devastating effects of hurricane, then for the vastly disorganized emergency services and now for its recovery efforts.  

Many foundations have been established in the city to address the needs of residents who have struggled to recuperate the tragic losses after the destruction of homes, communities, and the disruption of everyday life.  Some of these programs have been government sponsored, like FEMA, while others, like Make It Right, are privately funded efforts to address specific circumstances.

The goals of Make It Right are simple, just take a look at this infographic: regenerate the neighborhood of the Lower Ninth Ward, which not only dislocated a substantial population through the loss of homes, but lost any semblance of stability and security.  

The emotional trauma cannot be measured in the tangible loss of the neighborhood as a result of faulty levees and severe flooding.  Make It Right, when established in 2007, pledged to build 150 homes that former residents could return to — houses that were designed for their specific needs and that were built to sustain natural disasters.

A tour through the neighborhood today is startling when realizing that this was once a populated portion of New Orleans; if the pictures don’t tell the full story just take a look at this map produced by WhoData.net.  

Vast stretches are completely vacant with a few houses scattered throughout.  Along some streets, new homes are being constructed, but for the most part what has retained since the flooding are homes with “death marks” scrawled on them by first responders indicating that they are unsuitable for use.  These have been abandoned and are gradually decaying from lack of maintenance over the course of seven years.  Those that have been destroyed or demolished, a startling number of about 4000, have left hardly a mark on the lots, which are now overgrown with weeds and brush.

In some cases, a foundation is visible, a reminder that this land was once occupied by a developed neighborhood. The Lower Ninth is tragically under-serviced and suffice it to say — since we have all bore witness to the news coverage, photos and prolonged debate over recovery efforts — New Orleans and specifically this neighborhood, which once had the highest density of African American home-ownership and incidentally the highest poverty rate in the country, got the short end of the stick in that disaster.

In light of how vastly undeveloped this neighborhood has become, DePillis’ criticism and dismay at the slow progress of Make It Right is understandable. The 86 homes, all of which have gained a LEED Platinum rating according to Make It Right, are grouped in a small portion of the Lower Ninth just above Claiborne Avenue along the Industrial Canal. This development stands in large contrast to the rest of the neighborhood. These tree-lined streets are bustling with activity of the residents.  

The compactness of these new homes, though still sparse in density in relationship to other neighborhoods throughout New Orleans, has a much more exuberant community feel. Rather than living beside an abandoned or dilapidated home, these residents have neighbors and lawns that haven’t been tackled by weeds.  They even have a solar powered playground and established community gardens with the help of Make It Right — according to Martin C. Pederson of Metropolis Mag in an article entitled “In Defense of Make It Right.”

Yet, navigating these streets also has its downside — once you leave the enclave of Make It Right, you return to a much more desolate place. There are few amenities to speak of here.  Run a quick search in Google for grocery stores and you will only find three listed. Walmart, which is a mile and a half out of the bounds of the Lower Ninth Ward, technically outside of New Orleans, is the closest store that can provide all of the residents’ needs but is most easily accessible by car.  

Otherwise there are small grocery stores and gas stations along Clairborne Ave, once a commercial corridor, but these too, are sparse.  Amenities have been slow to recuperate here, which is one of the main arguments in DePillis’s piece.  So far, while Make It Right has delivered 86 thoughtfully considered, sustainable and resilient homes, it has been unable to reach out to the elements that revitalize a neighborhood — amenities.  

DePillis brings this to light and questions whether or not these high-design homes are a legitimate use of the foundation’s resources, which has raised $45 million since 2007 and has already spent $24 million according to a rebuttal by Make It Right’s Executive Director, Tom Darden.

DePillis poses legitimate questions that address the management of such a vast problem as the redevelopment of a neighborhood struggling with its own high rate of crime and poverty before Hurricane Katrina.  But Pederson makes a poignant response to DePillis’s critical analysis of the foundation: “Make It Right was aspirational from the start."

"It was never about building the most houses, the most expediently; never about rebuilding an entire neighborhood. FEMA and the Road Home were supposed to handle that. It was about building for returning residents 150 affordable LEED Platinum houses by some of the world’s best architects. It was also about creating a model for sustainable development.”

So far, Make It Right’s homes have proven to withstand the deadly weather of hurricane season with Hurricane Isaac’s hit last September. But as the number of residents signing up for Make It Right’s campaign is dwindling, the foundation has opened its roster to first responders and teachers. This may prove to be the jump-start necessary for the neighborhood to introduce the proper amenities for neighborhood redevelopment.  

Despite DePillis’ criticism and scrutiny, and the superseding responses to her piece, Make It Right is one program among many that are making valiant efforts to recover neighborhoods and communities after the destructive forces of Hurricane Katrina.  We are still talking about this seven years after the disaster because these efforts take time, they take money and they take commitment.  

Make It Right and its many counterparts have at least shown that the Lower Ninth Ward is a neighborhood worth rebuilding, that environmental and social justice is still a priority, and that despite the struggle it is worth the effort.

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The Definitive Traveler's Guide To Shanghai

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shanghaiWith innovative restaurants, sophisticated hotels, and a booming art scene, Shanghai is undergoing one of the most rapid expansions in the East.

More from Travel + Leisure:

Lay of the Land

Former French Concession: The plane-tree-lined streets and gracious villas of the well-preserved neighborhood make it the city’s most coveted address.

The Bund: Thanks to a recent $33 million restoration, this thoroughfare, Shanghai’s answer to the Champs-Élysées and Fifth Avenue, has welcomed a slew of luxury stores, upscale restaurants, and top hotels.

Jing’an: The lively downtown district, crammed with skyscrapers and mega shopping centers, is fast-paced and often crowded; for a break, head to the 13th-century Jing’an Buddhist temple.

Lujiazui: You’ll find some of the city’s best hotels in the financial district on the eastern banks of the Huangpu River.

Getting Around: Taxis are easy to hail, but drivers seldom speak English, so make sure you have addresses written down in Chinese. Alternatively, the metro is extensive and efficient.



Eat: From laid-back local haunts to temples of haute cuisine, here’s where to dine now.

Mercato: Jean-Georges Vongerichten teamed up with Shanghai-based design duo Neri & Hu at this rustic-chic, Bund-side Italian restaurant done in reclaimed wood and leather. Wood-fired pizzas and fresh pastas top the menu, but there are plenty of stellar fish options, including salt-and-pepper sea bass and scallops with green chile, lime, and pistachio. $$$

Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet: The city’s most buzzed-about new restaurant has only 10 seats—and a three-month waiting list. With the help of projectors, scent diffusers, and a sophisticated sound system, chef Paul Pairet combines audio, olfactory, and visual effects with innovative dishes bearing wacky names such as “foie gras can’t quit” and “truffle burnt soup bread.” It’s dinner theater for the 21st century. $$$$$

Hai by Goga: At his first restaurant, Goga, a pared-down space overlooking the city, San Francisco native Brad Turley gained a cult following for his spot-on Pacific Rim cuisine. His second act sticks to the same formula: boldly flavored options such as tuna-edamame potato salad and scallops with Thai lobster curry. 86-21/3461-7893. $$$

Lost Heaven: Moody lighting and carved-teak chairs set the stage at this local favorite in the Former French Concession that whips up the city’s finest Yunnanese cuisine. There are mouthwatering lemongrass-laced meats, vegetable pancakes, and spicy curries. $$

Jishi: When it comes to Shanghainese food, this unpretentious restaurant is as authentic as it gets. (The waiters speak nary a word of English.) Tangcu paigu (sweet-and-sour spare ribs) and congbao yutou (braised fish head with scallions) are staples; if it’s hairy crab season (October–December), don’t miss the xiefen fenpi (crab with vermicelli sheets). 86-21/6282-9260. $$

Madison: An alum of New York City’s Gramercy Tavern, young chef Austin Hu showcases standout dishes—such as duck breast with apple, chrysanthemum greens, and chorizo-flecked vinaigrette and candied pork belly with kimchi jus—in a loftlike restaurant in the Xuhui district. $$$

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150



Shop: Looking for the best Shanghai designers, beauty products, and more?

Dong Liang Studio: Partners Charles Wang and Nam Lang’s three-story space stocks an impressive collection of women’s clothing from cutting-edge Chinese fashion labels, including fitted jackets by local designer He Yan and hand-stitched evening wear by Beijing-based Vega Zaishi Wang. 86-21/3469-6926.

Antik Nana: The beauty is in the details at London-trained Nana’s studio, where the jeweler’s quirky, intricate designs—clockwork brooches inlaid with miniature hourglasses; antique bracelets with clusters of skull charms—are inspired by steampunk themes.

Xinlelu.com: At this online fashion retailer’s brick-and-mortar showroom, there’s a tightly curated assortment of up-and-coming Asian designers (Aijek, Nuomi), along with a selection of vintage items handpicked by owner Cairn Wu Reppun.

Ba Yan Ka La: Enter French expat Jean Zimmerman’s calm-inducing flagship in Xuhui, and your serotonin levels will instantly skyrocket. His soaps and lotions (Tibetan roseroot bubble bath; Chinese mulberry body milk) treat everything from skin woes to body aches.

Mary Ching U.K.-bred designer Alison Cheung’s Shanghai boutique is a mecca for heels and handbags. But the traditionally minded should steer clear: statement stilettos come in hot reds, pinks, and snakeskin, and cashmere slippers are playfully adorned with pom-poms and fake gems.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

    


The Definitive Traveler's Guide To Shanghai

0
0

shanghaiWith innovative restaurants, sophisticated hotels, and a booming art scene, Shanghai is undergoing one of the most rapid expansions in the East.

More from Travel + Leisure:

Lay of the Land

Former French Concession: The plane-tree-lined streets and gracious villas of the well-preserved neighborhood make it the city’s most coveted address.

The Bund: Thanks to a recent $33 million restoration, this thoroughfare, Shanghai’s answer to the Champs-Élysées and Fifth Avenue, has welcomed a slew of luxury stores, upscale restaurants, and top hotels.

Jing’an: The lively downtown district, crammed with skyscrapers and mega shopping centers, is fast-paced and often crowded; for a break, head to the 13th-century Jing’an Buddhist temple.

Lujiazui: You’ll find some of the city’s best hotels in the financial district on the eastern banks of the Huangpu River.

Getting Around: Taxis are easy to hail, but drivers seldom speak English, so make sure you have addresses written down in Chinese. Alternatively, the metro is extensive and efficient.



Eat: From laid-back local haunts to temples of haute cuisine, here’s where to dine now.

Mercato: Jean-Georges Vongerichten teamed up with Shanghai-based design duo Neri & Hu at this rustic-chic, Bund-side Italian restaurant done in reclaimed wood and leather. Wood-fired pizzas and fresh pastas top the menu, but there are plenty of stellar fish options, including salt-and-pepper sea bass and scallops with green chile, lime, and pistachio. $$$

Ultraviolet by Paul Pairet: The city’s most buzzed-about new restaurant has only 10 seats —and a three-month waiting list. With the help of projectors, scent diffusers, and a sophisticated sound system, chef Paul Pairet combines audio, olfactory, and visual effects with innovative dishes bearing wacky names such as “foie gras can’t quit” and “truffle burnt soup bread.” It’s dinner theater for the 21st century. $$$$$

Hai by Goga: At his first restaurant, Goga, a pared-down space overlooking the city, San Francisco native Brad Turley gained a cult following for his spot-on Pacific Rim cuisine. His second act sticks to the same formula: boldly flavored options such as tuna-edamame potato salad and scallops with Thai lobster curry. 86-21/3461-7893. $$$

Lost Heaven: Moody lighting and carved-teak chairs set the stage at this local favorite in the Former French Concession that whips up the city’s finest Yunnanese cuisine. There are mouthwatering lemongrass-laced meats, vegetable pancakes, and spicy curries. $$

Jishi: When it comes to Shanghainese food, this unpretentious restaurant is as authentic as it gets. (The waiters speak nary a word of English.) Tangcu paigu (sweet-and-sour spare ribs) and congbao yutou (braised fish head with scallions) are staples; if it’s hairy crab season (October–December), don’t miss the xiefen fenpi (crab with vermicelli sheets). 86-21/6282-9260. $$

Madison: An alum of New York City’s Gramercy Tavern, young chef Austin Hu showcases standout dishes — such as duck breast with apple, chrysanthemum greens, and chorizo-flecked vinaigrette and candied pork belly with kimchi jus — in a loftlike restaurant in the Xuhui district. $$$

Restaurant Pricing Key
$ Less than $25
$$ $25 to $75
$$$ $75 to $150
$$$$ More than $150



Shop: Looking for the best Shanghai designers, beauty products, and more?

Dong Liang Studio: Partners Charles Wang and Nam Lang’s three-story space stocks an impressive collection of women’s clothing from cutting-edge Chinese fashion labels, including fitted jackets by local designer He Yan and hand-stitched evening wear by Beijing-based Vega Zaishi Wang. 86-21/3469-6926.

Antik Nana: The beauty is in the details at London-trained Nana’s studio, where the jeweler’s quirky, intricate designs — clockwork brooches inlaid with miniature hourglasses; antique bracelets with clusters of skull charms — are inspired by steampunk themes.

Xinlelu.com: At this online fashion retailer’s brick-and-mortar showroom, there’s a tightly curated assortment of up-and-coming Asian designers (Aijek, Nuomi), along with a selection of vintage items handpicked by owner Cairn Wu Reppun.

Ba Yan Ka La: Enter French expat Jean Zimmerman’s calm-inducing flagship in Xuhui, and your serotonin levels will instantly skyrocket. His soaps and lotions (Tibetan roseroot bubble bath; Chinese mulberry body milk) treat everything from skin woes to body aches.

Mary Ching U.K.-bred designer Alison Cheung’s Shanghai boutique is a mecca for heels and handbags. But the traditionally minded should steer clear: statement stilettos come in hot reds, pinks, and snakeskin, and cashmere slippers are playfully adorned with pom-poms and fake gems.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Please follow The Life on Twitter and Facebook.

    


Sean Parker Reportedly Spending $9 Million On The Backdrop For His Wedding, Complete With Fake Waterfalls

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alexandra lenas sean parker

Sean Parker is marrying his long-time girlfriend and the mother of his child, Alexandra Lenas. The June 1 nuptials will be elaborate. 

According to TMZ, Parker has hired a landscaping company to build a $8.6 million backdrop, complete with a temporary cottage, fake waterfalls, ruins, ponds and more. 

"All the guests will enter through a $600,000 gate, dance on a $350,000 floor, and they better stop and smell the roses ... because Parker's dropping more than $1,000,000 on plants and flowers," TMZ writes.

To add to the expenses, Parker and his fiancé have hired a Lord of the Rings costume designer to create custom-made outfits for each guest to wear. While the idea is to make the ceremony "whimsical," Parker says his wedding will not look like a Game of Thrones episode, or have a medieval theme. 

TMZ has five photos of the backdrop under construction here.

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There's Another April 15 Tax Deadline No One Is Talking About

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clock

Right now, the IRS is sitting on more than $917 million worth of unclaimed tax refunds from 2009, and the deadline to cash in is upon us.

The cash is reserved for some 984,400 taxpayers who did not file a federal income tax return for 2009. By law, consumers have a three-year window to retrieve it, which closes tonight.

The vast majority of these refunds are reserved for people who may have skipped out on filing because they didn't earn enough income to qualify, even though taxes were taken out of their paychecks. Others may have forgotten to claim their Earned Income Tax Credit, which is reserved for low-income earners. It was worth $5,657 in 2009.

According to the IRS, half of the refund checks are worth $500 or more. 

If you think you may qualify for a 2009 refund, you must file a federal tax return by April 15, 2013, though there aren't any penalties for sending in a late return that qualifies for a refund. Find more details at IRS.gov.

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The Sexiest Lawyers In America!

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kamala harris

Barack Obama nailed it when he called California's top lawyer Kamala Harris "brilliant ... dedicated ... tough ... [and] by far the best-looking attorney general in the country."

While the President was criticized for acknowledging Harris's good looks, we don't think there's harm in pointing out that powerful lawyers can be sexy too.

Indeed, what is more sexy than a brilliant, successful, ambitious, and admirable lawyer who also has that certain je ne sais quoi?

With Harris in mind, we've created a list of practicing lawyers in America who have the whole package.

#32 Tim Bechtold

Position: Bechtold Law Firm, PLLC

Law School: University of Montana

Bechtold focuses on environmental law and toxic tort cases.

Prior to establishing his own practice, Bechtold served as law clerk for the Chief United States District Judge for the District of Montana, and then spent several years at another firm in Montana.



#31 Rebecca Halberg

Position: Attorney at Collins and Lacy

Law School: University of South Carolina Law School

Through her work with workers' compensation lawsuits, Halberg tries to give back to families of people who were killed or injured on the job.

Halberg is the president of Kids' Chance South Carolina, a non-profit that offers scholarships to children of injured or disabled workers, and she's involved in her local rotary club, where she's served on the board of directors, been the foundation chair, and won an award for raising money for Alzheimer's research.



#30 Domenic Romano

PositionRomano Law PLLC

Law School: Columbia University School of Law, LL.M; Dalhousie University, LL.B

Romano's firm provides legal counsel on business, corporate and entertainment issues, advising companies, business owners, and creative people (producers, directors, writers and performers).

Before founding Romano Law in 2003, he was an international corporate attorney at a large Manhattan law firm, as well as an in-house attorney at a biotechnology company in Toronto, Canada.



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14 Tax Day Sales And Freebies

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cinnabon cinnamon roll pastry

Tax Day freebies are the best.

Here are some of RetailMeNot’s favorite Tax Day deals:

Carvel

“Like” Carvel’s Facebook page to receive a printable coupon for an 18-pack of Lil’ Oreo Rounders for a discounted price of $10.40 (valid from April 13 to April 15) at participating Carvel locations. (Through April 30, get $1 off a thick shake or Carvelanche with Carvel Ice 

Arby’s

Get your free curly fries or potato pancakes on April 15. Just click here to print out your coupon and bring it in to your local Arby’s. Plus, you can also register for a chance to win one of 10 $500 tax-relief payouts. (Get more savings with Arby’s coupons.)

AMC Theatres

From April 12 through April 15, score a free small popcorn at participating AMC locations. (Get a preview of other discounts with AMC Theatres sales.)

Gold’s Gym
To celebrate National Stress Awareness Day on April 16, Gold’s Gym is offering a free seven-day VIP pass to help shake off tax stress. (Get free shipping on Gold’s Gym equipment and accessories.)

HydroMassage

From April 15 through April 19, print out this coupon to get a free HydroMassage and have all the IRS-induced tension removed from your body (be sure to call ahead to ensure a spot).

Cinnabon

Cinnabon is offering two free bite-size buns between 6 and 8 p.m. on April 15 as part of the bakery’s fifth annual Tax Day Bites promotion. No coupon needed—just the willpower not to order more. (Get a free Minibon Cinnamon Rollwhen you join Club Cinnabon.)

Melting Pot

Order a four-course fondue dinner on April 15 between 4 and 10 p.m. at Melting Pot, and get a free chocolate fondue per person. (Join Club Fondue to stay in the know on more sweet deals.)

White Castle

Through April 15, take a bite out of a 15 percent discount both in restaurants and online.

Boston Market

Visit a Boston Market on April 15 for the “Rib-bate,” which gets you two rib meals for $10.40. (Save $4 off any purchase of $20 or more with Boston Market coupons.)

Schlotzsky’s

On April 15, get a free small sandwich with the purchase of a 32-ounce soda and chips. (Join the Bun & Fun eClub to discover more Schlotzsky’s discounts.)

Office Depot

Through May 1, get 25 black-and-white, single-side copies of your tax return and up to 5 pounds of documents shredded for free as part of Office Depot’s Tax Day deal. (Through April 13, get $10 off orders of $75 or more, plus free shipping with Office Depot coupons.)

Great American Cookie

Stop into Great American Cookie for a free Birthday Cake Cookie on Tax Day.

Bruegger’s Bagels

From April 12 through April 15, print the Bruegger’s Tax Day coupon to get 13 fresh-baked bagels and two tubs of cream cheese for $10.40.

Sonic Drive-In

On April 15, hit an all-day “Happy Hour” for Sonic’s half-price drinks and slushes. (Sign up for the Cruisers Club to receive more Sonic coupons.)



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The 20 Craft Breweries Taking Over America

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flight of alesThe number of craft beer makers in America is growing at record speed.

More than 400 new craft breweries opened their doors in 2012, according to the Brewer's Association.

Craft brewers still make up only 6.5% of the total beer market. But enthusiasts are confident that number will continue to grow.

This week, the Brewers Association released its list of the top craft breweries in 2012, based on sales volume. We put together some information on the top 20, which beer lovers should keep on their radar.

20. Firestone Walker Brewing Co.

Location: Paso Robles, Calif.

About: The brewery was founded in 1996 by a pair of brothers-in-law. It's now a four-time World Beer Cup champion.

Beer buzz: Firestone Walker's Parabola Imperial Stout is coming out this month. The beer is a doozy at 13 percent alcohol by volume and is noted for its "bold bourbon, espresso and tobacco aromas."



19. Great Lakes Brewing Company

Location: Cleveland, Ohio

About: The brewery was founded in 1998 by Daniel and Patrick Conway. It jumped from producing 1,000 barrels of beer its first year to 125,000 barrels annually today.

Beer buzz: The company's Burning River Pale Ale has won a gold medal at the World Beer Championships eight times. The name hails from the infamous 1969 burning of the Cuyahoga River.



18. Long Trail Brewing Co.

Location: Bridgewater Corners, Vt.

About: The brewery got its start in 1989 in the basement of a woolen mill. It's focused on environmentalism and gives its used grain and hops as a feed supplement to local dairy cows.

Beer buzz: The company has an interesting story behind its 5.5 percent Pumpkin Pale Ale: "During colonial times malted barley would be in short supply so the colonial brewers would use a wide assortment of whatever organic ingredient was handy. Pumpkin was in abundance so it was one of the most common of the random ingredients."



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I Spent 5 Hours In The World's Best Airport And Didn't Mind The Wait

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Pool at Singapore Changi Airport

Singapore's Changi Airport is a major hub for international transport, with more than 135,000 passengers passing through every day.

But it's no boring airport terminal. Changi was just named the Best Airport in The World by Skytrax, a company that tracks and rates airline and airport performance.

Realizing that travel can be stressful, the team behind Changi designed the airport to be an open, airy space with lots of greenery (Singapore is the garden city, after all), gardens, outdoor access, and comfortable seating areas.

There are also incredible amenities, like a butterfly garden, rooftop pool, movie theaters, hotels, spas, and showers, and even a four-story slide.

I recently spent several hours in the airport during a trip to Singapore and had a chance to explore. The bottom line: This is a place where you'll actually enjoy having a long layover.

Disclosure: Our trip to Singapore, including travel and lodging expenses, was sponsored by the Singapore Tourism Board.

The airport is an architectural marvel. The newest terminal, Terminal 3, was designed by CPG Consultants, in collaboration with Woodhead, Tierra Design and SOM, Bartenbach LichtLabor and Hugh Dutton & Associates.



Most passengers enter the airport at Terminal 3, the newest and largest terminal at Changi, which is where Singapore Airlines is based. At 380,000 sq. m., the terminal is spacious, with high ceilings and an open, airy feel.



There's also a lush vertical garden here called the "Green Wall." It has over 20 varieties of plants, vines, and flowers growing on it.



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