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5 New York City Hotels Where Room Service Still Matters

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Room Service TrayJaws dropped this weekend when Hilton New Yorkannounced it would be doing away with room service completely. Instead of ordering up to their rooms, guests will have to trek down to the lobby, where a new grab-and-go restaurant is slated to open this summer.

Regarding the announcement, a spokesperson for Hilton said they've seen "a decline in traditional room service requests over the last several years." Though we wonder if that says more about the quality of Hilton's cooking than people's attitude towards the concept of room service.

Thankfully, there are plenty of other hotels in NYC that not only offer 24-hour room service, but when the food arrives, gives us mini food-gasms. For example…

On our first time staying at the Andaz Fifth Avenue, we went gaga over the complimentary snacks offered in every room for guests. But be sure to pick up the phone and actually order something next time you're there, as the French Toast (pictured above) we had for breakfast on our last visit totally rocked our world.

Just like Hilton New York, Grand Hyatt New York also has a grab-and-go cafe in the lobby. The difference is that it also offers a traditional room service menu with dishes by the hotel's popular restaurant, New York Central. Furthermore, with Hyatt's new focus on healthy, locally-sourced cuisine, you can count on ingredients like cage-free eggs, hormone-free chicken, and sustainable seafood.

The Surrey was one of the hotels that made our "Celebrity Chefs Who Rule Room Service" list earlier this year, and we're sticking by our choice. With celebrity chef Daniel Boulud at the helm, guests can order up five-star fare like Gruyere-topped onion soup, or Belgian endive salad with Bosc pears, toasted walnuts and bleu cheese sherry vinaigrette.

For something less fancy, the in-room dining menu at W New York Downtown is available 24 hours a day, and offers top choices from the hotel's BLT Bar & Grill (think burgers, grilled meats, and sandwiches). Once upon a time, we found heaven in an $11 grilled cheese that, combined with views of the rising World Trade Center, allowed us to pig out and sightsee at the same time!

Last but not least, if you're looking to have your faith in room service restored once and for all, look no further than the Ace Hotel. The super-popular hotel has become super-popular for a reason, and much of that has to do with the above-average restaurants, including Stumptown CoffeeJohn Dory Oyster Bar, No. 7 Sub Shop and The Breslin—the latter earned a Michelin star, and offers in-room dining 24 hours a day.

SEE ALSO: Hilton Has Ruined The Whole Point Of Staying At A Luxury Hotel >

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5 Excuses Women Make That Are Holding Them Back Financially

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doctor women thinking workingPeople have a lot of opinions about money. In our “Money Mic” series, we hand over the podium to someone with a strong opinion on a financial topic. These are their views, not ours, but we welcome your responses.

Karen Finerman is CEO of the hedge fund Metropolitan Capital Advisors. This article is adapted from her new book, “Finerman’s Rules: Secrets I’d Only Tell My Daughters About Business and Life,” which comes out June 4.

All across the financial spectrum, I’m less worried about the glass ceiling and women being too hard on themselves than I am about a glass barricade made of self-imposed excuses cleverly cloaked as legitimate reasons for women not taking control of their money.

Sometimes taking control simply means educating yourself and being an active part of the process.

It doesn’t always have to mean making money.

RELATED: The Rise of Breadwinning Moms

Look out for these five money traps that snag women on the road to financial independence.

Trap #1: It’s Unromantic, Impolite, and Inappropriate to Talk about Money

If you and Prince Charming are riding off into the sunset, you may not need to discuss money. In the Magic Kingdom, your palace is unlikely to have a mortgage. For all others, you’re living in a fairy tale if you don’t discuss it.

A great first step out of the money trap: Know what you have. Before you and a partner can become a “we,” you need to know what each of you is bringing to the table.

You must find out what you have on your own, what you have with your significant other, and what you may be responsible for. It’s the basis for all your other planning and decision making.

RELATED: Love & Money: 5 Tips for Couples Tackling “The Talk”

Trap #2: “Trust Me—I’ll Take Care of You”

In our culture, women are sent the message that we will be taken care of. In reality, we tend to be the ones who take care of others at the cost of neglecting our own financial security. Just watch any of the Real Housewives franchise, and you’ll get an idea of what I’m talking about.

We believe our spouse or significant other who says (or implies) that they are there to take care of us. We believe our parents who often give us a message that they will always be there as a fallback (never thinking that their situation could reverse dramatically and quickly). Even in tenuous economic times, it’s easy to believe messages from our company or boss about how valuable we are and that we’ll be taken care of.

RELATED: The Secret to Managing Money as a Couple

However, in spite of good intentions, which are mostly there, the actions don’t always follow. You can’t ever solely rely on the hope that someone else will—and can—take care of you. For many reasons, some perhaps beyond anyone’s control, the promise of financial security as part of a relationship doesn’t always pan out.

RELATED: My Abusive Marriage Destroyed Me—and My Finances

If you and your significant other contribute financially to your household and lives, you need to be absolutely clear about whose money is whose, who pays for what, what are shared expenses, what are shared “extras” (entertainment, travel, home improvements, giving), and what are individual choices and responsibilities.

Trap #3: Women Are Too Emotional or Too Impulsive to Be Good Investors

Women may show their emotions more than men, but it doesn’t make us less capable of making rational decisions.

Study after study shows women behaving more rationally over market cycles than men—perhaps with a biological basis in lower levels of testosterone—making women less willing to take stupid macho risks. Men trade more often, incurring more fees and chasing gains, which, on average, hurts their returns. Conversely, women hold steady, allowing them to avoid selling at the bottom and buying at the top.

You can’t be a grown-up woman, a grown-up period, if you don’t have a financial plan—a plan you understand.

The worst offenders who fall prey to the stereotype that women are too emotional or impulsive to manage finances are women. Maybe it’s an excuse or rationalization, but the bottom line is, this stereotype isn’t true, so you can’t fall back on it.

A first step out of the “not good investors” trap is this: Make a financial plan. Whether you’re at the “basic” level or a bit further along and more advanced, you can’t be a grown-up woman, a grown-up period, if you don’t have a financial plan—a plan you understand.

RELATED: Do Women Fear Investing Will ‘Bankrupt Their Femininity’?

Trap #4: All Women Splurge

Here’s the deal. Some amount of spending is fine. (In fact, America counts on it.) But the rationale that spending is good, makes us feel better, or helps us fit in is actually a financial decision, not a self-help decision. And it’s a pretty crazy rationale, isn’t it? Splurging may feel like a biological imperative—like eating chocolate—but it’s not.

That’s what every consumer product company aimed at women hopes is the case, and they are making a pretty good bet. Women spend the most money for pleasure, fun, or as psychological salve at exactly the time in their lives that they should be thinking about saving and investing.

RELATED: 6 Times We Tend to Overspend—And How to Stop

I’ve learned that there is a tremendous freedom that comes from not spending money. The more my net worth has grown, the less interest I’ve had in material things and the more I want to save and invest.

Treat yourself within your means—and always save. Splurge on one “it” item, and have it be your badge of confidence for the whole year, or even several. And if you do get a bonus, put 90% away and splurge with the other 10%.

Trap #5: It’s Too Scary to Think About

What in your life have you ever done that has turned out scarier than what you feared? Probably nothing. Public speaking, a vacation alone, moving to a new city, deciding to live with someone or to get married, or even having children is not as scary when you actually do it.

RELATED: Why Retirement Is Harder for Women

Although most people are petrified to learn about their financial needs for retirement, when they push through their anxiety, they are much happier. The Employee Benefit Research Institute found in its annual Retirement Confidence Survey that 42% of people determine their retirement savings needs by guessing. But the people who have done the actual math are far more confident about achieving their goal than those who haven’t.

Don’t let your fear of money and your anxiety over not having enough keep you from the benefits of actually having the information you need to plan for your future.

RELATED: How I Did It: Real Women, Real Retirement Savings

Excerpted from the book FINERMAN’S RULES, by Karen Finerman. (c) 2013 by Karen Finerman. Reprinted by permission of Business Plus. All rights reserved.

Want More? 

The Lolita Effect: Are Male Execs Too Nervous to Mentor Young Women?

This Helps Women Earn More

How I Finally Got My Money Game Going After 30

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Supercar Maker Pagani Reveals The Last Of Its Incredible Zonda Machines

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Pagani Zonda Revolucion

It's the last in a wild line of amazing machines. I'm talking about the Pagani Zonda, which has just reached the end of its crazy life.

The final machine has been officially revealed, and it arrives as the Pagani Zonda Revolucion track special.

The Revolucion is a stunning collaboration of carbon fiber, engine engineering, and aggressive design work. It's also the culmination of everything Zonda, which means it needs to leave a big imprint on the planet.

It does just that thanks to the 6.0-liter V12 AMG engine that pushes out 800 horsepower and more than 550 pound-feet of torque. That power doesn't have much vehicle to push because the Revolucion weighs in at just 2,360 pounds.

That's over 100 pounds lighter than the lightest 2013 Mazda MX-5 available right now. Think about that for a moment... that's 800 horsepower in a vehicle that weighs less than a Miata. And don't forget, Pagani's heavier and less powerful Zonda R is capable of lapping the Nürburgring Nordschleife in an astonishing 6:47, so we wonder what the Revolucion will do.

Pagani Zonda Revolucion

It's going to be a quick one. The transmission needs to be quick to keep up, and the six-speed sequential gearbox employed here can shift gears in just 20 milliseconds. There's a whole lot more than just an engine and gearbox at play here, of course.

Pagani Zonda Revolucion

The chassis is carbon-titanium while the bodywork is crafted from pure carbon fiber. The brakes and suspension have been designed to deliver an unparalleled handling and braking experience.

Pagani Zonda Revolucion

Engineers also had to tweak the aerodynamics of the car to keep it from blasting off and returning to its home planet. The aerodynamics feature important innovations, like new deflectors up front and a vertical stabilizer at the rear.

The car also gets a Formula One-inspired DRS (Drag-Reduction-System) on the rear wing. The system has two different operating modes, both of which can be activated by the driver at a push of a button on the steering wheel.

Pagani Zonda Revolucion

It's a truly outrageous machine that wears the Zonda name rather well. It costs as much as a Zonda should too: with a price tag of over $2.8 million. Sadly, just five will be built and almost all are certainly accounted for.

Viva la Revolucion.

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Airline Kicks 100 High School Students Off A Flight For Rowdy Behavior

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airtran planeAirTran throws 100 students, plus chaperones, off flight from NYC to Atlanta

NEW YORK (AP) — A group of about 100 high school students traveling from New York to Atlanta were thrown off a flight, along with their chaperones, after the pilot and crew lost patience with some kids who wouldn't sit down and put away their cellphones.

The teenagers, all seniors at the Yeshiva of Flatbush, in Brooklyn, were ordered off the AirTran flight around 6 a.m. Monday as it sat at a gate at LaGuardia Airport.

AirTran's parent company, Southwest Airlines, said in a statement that flight attendants asked passengers several times to take their seats and put their mobile devices away. The airline said that when some didn't comply, the captain repeated the request. When that didn't work, either, the whole group of students was ordered to disembark for safety reasons, the airline said.

The flight was delayed for about 45 minutes while the students filed out of the Boeing 737, which seats about 137 people, leaving the plane mostly empty.

Rabbi Seth Linfield, executive director at Yeshiva of Flatbush, said that administrators were still looking into the matter Tuesday, but that he believed adults on the trip who said the students weren't behaving that badly.

"Preliminarily, it does not appear that the action taken by the flight crew was justified," he said in a statement.

Asked whether he thought 100 teenagers were too many to keep in order on a flight, Linfield said the school has taken similar-size groups before without any problems.

Southwest spokesman Brad Hawkins wouldn't get into details as to why the entire group was kicked out, but said "I have no indication that the flight attendants overreacted."

He said the AirTran cabin crew made "repeated requests" for an unknown number of the students to behave. "The point at which the captain comes on the PA system and says, 'You all need to sit down,' is unusual."

The students were on a three-day trip that was to include a rafting excursion and a visit to a Six Flags theme park.

The airline ultimately put the students on other flights, but it took 12 hours for some to reach their destination via transfers that took them as far out of their way as Milwaukee, Wis.

Some students posted pictures and video of their journey on social media sites. At least one sent a barrage of Twitter messages to media organizations, complaining that the way they were being treated was a "scandal."

Linfield said Southwest Airlines offered vouchers to future air travel to faculty and students who were on the plane.

SEE ALSO: The 20 Worst Airlines In The World

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We Flew The Boeing Dreamliner In Business Class, And It Was Awesome

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japan airlines business class dreamliner 787 boeing

With all problems finally fixed and all of the 50 Dreamliners equipped with a new battery setup, All Nippon Airways re-launched its 787 flights to San Jose from Tokyo-Narita, proving the world that Boeing’s newest toy is indeed one amazing piece of technology.

Naturally, Airchive.com was invited to be at the first ANA Long-Haul 787 flight since the grounding with full access to their Business Class product, and we are taking you all along with us.

Read the full story at Airchive.com >

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Fashion Designer John Galliano Says He 'Didn't Mean' The Anti-Semitic Rant That Ruined His Career

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gallianoIn his first interview since the outburst in a Paris restaurant, he told Vanity Fair that he does not hate Jews and that the comments reflected his own self-hatred and addiction to drink and drunk.

"It's the worst thing I have said in my life, but I didn't mean it ... I have been trying to find out why that anger was directed at this race," he told the magazine. "I now realise I was so ------- angry and so discontented with myself that I just said the most spiteful thing I could."

He said that he was so drunk that he had no memory of the 2011 night that he was filmed telling a group of French and Italians who he thought were Jewish that he loved Adolf Hitler and that their forefathers would have been "gassed".

He said: "My assistant told me about the video. When I saw it, I threw up. The feeling was like I was about to take a step out onto the street and a bus or truck whooshed past me and the blood was drained from my legs. I was paralysed from the fear."

The interview was the first he had ever conducted sober, he said. Of his previous drinking and drug use, he noted: "I was going to end up in a mental asylum or six feet under."

Galliano told the magazine that he has been taking steps to atone for his behaviour, including meetings with Jewish leaders and reading books about the Holocaust. "It sounds a bit bizarre, but I am so grateful for what did happen. I have learned so much about myself," he said.

The interview, in which he also talks about his troubled childhood, is seen as an important first step in the designer's campaign to rehabilitate himself. Powerful friends in the fashion world stayed loyal to him after he was sacked as head designer at Christian Dior and have been trying to prepare his return behind-the-scenes.

But that will take some time. A workshop that he was asked to teach at New York's Parsons fashion school was dropped after student outrage and Jewish customers reportedly "protested privately" when Oscar de la Renta involved him in his autumn 2013 collection.

In the excerpts released by Vanity Fair, Galliano said that he would go on drinking benders for several days, ending up with sores because he had not washed. He said he lived in such a bubble that he did not know how to use withdraw cash from an ATM.

He said that a few weeks into recovery, Kate Moss asked him to design her wedding dress. That "saved me personally because it was my creative rehab," he said. "She dared me to be me again."

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The 7 Best Vacation Spots For Nature Lovers

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SedonaSummer is the time to get outdoors and get active.

And even though it can get your blood pumpin’, there is nothing more relaxing than some quality time with Mother Nature, whether you’re hiking, fishing, or whitewater rafting — or simply kicking back and taking in the views after a day filled with activity.

Our seven favorite spots in the U.S. for an outdoorsy getaway this summer were chosen for their combination of natural beauty and breadth of outdoor activities.

To make planning easier, we’ve also recommended a cabin, lodge, or ranch in each place that brings you closer to the outdoors with great views or settings.

Sedona, Arizona

Sedona is most famous for its stunning red rocks, which are particularly beautiful in the glow of sunrise and sunset, and have formed the backdrop for many a western film.

The temperatures here are cooler than other Arizona destinations, thanks to the higher elevation, and Ponderosa Pines surround the city.

It’s a hub for outdoor enthusiasts, with excellent biking, horseback riding, and a particular focus on hiking.

Some of the most popular hiking spots include Cathedral Rock, Bear Mountain, Bell Rock, and Courthouse Rock.

Where to Stay: L’Auberge de Sedona, with 87 luxurious and woodsy cottages spread across 11 acres



Yosemite National Park, California

Known for its stunning sites, breathtaking beauty, and protected nature, Yosemite National Park is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the best hiking and camping destinations in the country.

Travelers from all over the world visit Yosemite to get a glimpse of the granite cliffs, clean steams, giant sequoia forests, and waterfalls.

Where to Stay: The Ahwahnee, built in 1927 and offering views of the Half Dome and El Captain summits



San Juan Islands, Washington

The San Juan Islands are a popular summer getaway for Washingtonians, and have a relaxed, back-to-nature vibe; expect farmlands, evergreen forests, nature trails, whale-watching, and mom-and-pop shops.

Popular activities include hiking, wildlife spotting (whale-watching in particular is common, and the Shark Reef trail on Lopez Island leads to a harbor seal hangout), sailing, and kayaking.

For those days when it does rain, the islands have several wineries, farms, and museums worth a visit.

Where to Stay: Lakedale Resort at the Three Lakes, an 82-acre lakefront property with picnic spots and accommodations ranging from canvas cabins to lodge rooms



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'Ladies Who Lunch' Are Driving Up The Drinking Rate Among The Rich

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wine blonde women drinking cheersA slew of recent studies argue that more wealth brings better health—from longer lives to lower disability rates.

But wealth may bring a negative side-effect to one group: ladies who lunch.

A new study from British research firm CACI looked at the most affluent postal codes in Great Britain and examined their reported health and lifestyles.

It found that just under two-thirds of the women in those posh enclaves consumed more than three units of alcohol a dayabove the national recommended health limit. A "unit" is equal to a small glass of wine.

The study also found that women the wealthiest areas have higher levels of mental illness, depression and nervous conditions.

(Read More: Elysee Palace Wines Fetch Nearly $1 Million)

Men in those postal codes also had higher-than-normal levels of anxiety and nervous conditions but were not nearly as prone to drinking as much.

Patrick Tate, the director of analytics for CACI, said that the finding reflects women having free time and money.

"A lot of them are very sociable, and they don't need to work," he said. "They are typical ladies who lunch. They wouldn't think twice about going shopping, meeting up with friends with a few glasses of wine and then having even more glasses of wine with their dinner."

The survey, which first appeared in London's Sunday Times, also found evidence of what's known as the "footballers' wives" effect. In neighborhoods with a high concentration of professional football (i.e., soccer) players, women were even more likely to consume more than three units of alcohol a day.

(Read More: Trend or Stunt? Maserati Smashed in China ... Again)

Tate said that footballers' wives are generally very fit and healthy, "so they can mask the effects" of the alcohol more effectively.

Of course, it's no surprise that ladies who lunch drink. But the study shows how being part of the leisure class can also be unhealthful. 

"Long term, this can certainly create health issues for these women," Tate said.

SEE ALSO: Meet The High Society Ladies Of Fifth Avenue

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Turkey's Tourism Industry Isn't Worried About The Violent Protests

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Ayasofya, Istanbul

ISTANBUL (AP) — Turkey, a largely Muslim nation that bridges Europe and Asia, has a flourishing tourist industry based on ancient historical sites and ruins, a world-ranked metropolis in Istanbul, wide sandy Mediterranean beaches and stunning regions of natural beauty.

A look at the industry as Turkey is hit by its largest anti-government demonstrations in years:

THE NUMBERS

Turkey attracted more than 37.7 million visitors in 2012, according to the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, which says the country is among the top 10 most popular tourist destinations in the world. Over 5.2 million visitors have arrived already this year, a nearly 14 percent increase over the same period in 2012, it says.

Some 378,000 U.S. residents visited Turkey in 2011, the latest year in which figures are available, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce.

While protesters and riot police have clashed for days in Istanbul, Ankara and other cities over the past week, the museums, monuments and ancient treasures that tourists flock to have largely stayed open.

Basaran Ulusoy, the head of Turkey's tourism agencies' association, TURSAB, acknowledged there had been some cancellations and postponements since the protests began last week but did not give a figure. "We are trying to turn the cancellations into postponements," Ulusoy told Turkey's business TV station CNBC-e.

— Associated Press writer Beth Harpaz in New York and AP writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey

ISTANBUL, JEWEL OF THE BOSPORUS

This sprawling city on the Bosporus Strait is so laden with world-famous tourist attractions it's hard to know where to begin: the Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, the famed bath houses.

Yet Istanbul's main tourist attractions are a fair distance — at least 30 minutes — from Taksim Square and Besiktas, where most of the violence has broken out, and tourists were still lining up for entrance tickets.

"We heard about the protests but we didn't see that as a threat," said John Bradberry, a U.S. investor waiting to see the Hagia Sophia, the church that became a mosque and is now a museum. "We didn't change any of our plans and arrived here and we are just astonished of how beautiful and peaceful and wonderful it was."

At nearby Sultanahmet, Istanbul's old city, Gianluca Cassandro, a 25-year-old radiology technician from Italy, said he had heard about the protests a day before he left Venice but decided to enjoy his vacation here anyway.

Some tourists ventured into Taksim Square in the morning, when the situation was quiet and protesters were mainly sleeping off the previous night's tear gas. One woman from Egypt said she came to Turkey on vacation every year but this year she went specifically to Taksim to encourage the protesters.

Still, the crowds in the city were far smaller than usual at this time of year, and some events, like the Istanbul International Arts and Culture Festival, were postponed.

—AP writer Elena Becatoros in Istanbul

ON THE STREETS, SWEPT ALONG

Krupali Tejura, a radiation oncologist from Newport Beach, California, was on vacation in Istanbul last week when the protests began. On Friday, she wandered over to Taksim Square without understanding what was going on.

"The Internet and Twitter were down and my hotel only had Turkish TV," she said in a phone interview Tuesday. Once she got to the area, the tear gas and pepper spray were so strong that "you couldn't even breathe. A stranger gave me a mask to help me out." Others sprayed her face with vinegar to neutralize the airborne irritants.

Tejura began to take photos and videos with her iPhone, and strangers offered her access to their home Wi-Fi passwords as she passed by.

"The generosity of strangers came out," she said.

— AP writer Beth Harpaz in New York

HEADING OVER, EAGER TO GO

Victoria Benitez, a New Yorker who works in public relations, is scheduled to leave Thursday for her first visit to Turkey.

"I really am not freaking out," she said by phone Tuesday.

She's also been monitoring news reports and says she doesn't get the sense that the protesters are anti-Western or extremists.

"They remind me of the Occupy Wall Street protesters," she said. "I don't see these people as dangerous."

— AP writer Beth Harpaz in New York

TURKEY'S SOUTHERN BEACHES

German, British and Russian tourists descend by the planeload upon southern Turkey to revel in its modern Mediterranean beach resorts, its classical Greek and Roman monuments and the nearby lunar volcanic landscapes of Cappadocia.

Turkish Airlines has embarked on a big international push, hiring sports stars like Kobe Bryant and Lionel Messi to lure tourists with clever ads.

The Hurriyet newspaper quoted Osman Ayik, head of the Turkish Hoteliers Federation, as saying the situation in Antalya on Turkey's southern Mediterranean coast is "calm."

"Tourists haven't been disturbed by the action of our citizens. However, if the incidents grow and unwanted developments occur, then we might see cancellations on our coastal resorts too," he said.

— AP writer Suzan Fraser in Ankara

THE TURKISH ECONOMIC POWERHOUSE

Turkey's economy is worth $1.3 trillion annually, almost as much as Canada's or Spain's, and is growing. It expanded by 2.2 percent in 2012 and should do better this year, even though several key trading partners in Europe are in recession.

Although Turkey is considered an 'emerging market', its economy is relatively well developed — the services sector accounts for around 60 percent of annual output and agriculture for only about 10 percent.

A public service trade union called a general strike Tuesday and Wednesday in support of the protests. Thousands of union members marched to Istanbul's Taksim Square on Tuesday but there was no evidence of any major disruption to services.

— AP Business writer Carlo Piovano in London

HIGH SEAS

Azamara Journey, a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, ended and started a cruise on Monday in Istanbul, and "did not encounter any issues due to the protests," according to spokeswoman Cynthia Martinez.

Norwegian Cruise Line has a ship making a stop in Istanbul next week and has not changed its itinerary but said it was monitoring the situation.

—AP writer Beth Harpaz in New York

PROTESTS AND TURKEY'S 2020 OLYMPIC BID

Istanbul is bidding for the 2020 Olympics, competing against Madrid and Tokyo. It's the Turkish city's fifth bid, with leaders trumpeting the country's strong economy, secular democracy and geographical location linking Asia and Europe. The bid will be decided in a Sept. 7 vote in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

IOC officials had a mixed reaction to the Turkish protests.

"(The protests are) not going to have any influence on the decision of the IOC members," IOC vice president Thomas Bach of Germany said. "All of them are experienced enough to realize that you are talking about a bid for the Olympic Games in seven years."

Swiss member Denis Oswald also downplayed the impact.

"We are still three months away from the decision," Oswald said. "For the time being, I don't think it's a real threat for the candidature."

But IOC member Dick Pound of Canada said the fact the demonstrations are taking place in a predominantly Muslim nation could be an issue.

"It's probably fair to say that people would be generally more nervous about unrest in an Islamic country than in others," Pound told the AP. "That's the elephant in the room for Istanbul: Is the country willing and able to remain secular? If it's not, then it's potentially quite a different (situation)."

The Istanbul bid committee itself issued a statement saying "despite these recent events, all sections of Turkey remain united in our dream to host our nation's first-ever Olympic and Paralympic Games in 2020."

— AP Sports Writer Stephen Wilson in London

FIFA: NO WORRIES FOR TURKEY'S U-20 WORLD CUP

FIFA says the anti-government protests in Turkey aren't expected to disrupt the Under-20 World Cup tournament, which begins there on June 21. The Istanbul home of Turkish champion Galatasaray is scheduled to host 11 matches, including two group games for the United States. FIFA says it has "full confidence" in the Turkish authorities and their security plan for the 24-nation event.

"The riots deal with a domestic issue based in two contained areas in Istanbul. It is not foreseen that the tournament locations are affected," the world soccer body said in a statement.

— AP Sports Writer Graham Dunbar in London

SEE ALSO: See Why Modern Istanbul Is The Coolest City In Europe >

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NYC Will Close A Major Subway Tunnel For An Entire Year For Sandy Repairs

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mta montague tube tunnel hurricane sandy damage

The tunnel under New York City's East River that carries the R subway train will be closed for more than a year to repair damage caused by Hurricane Sandy, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced today.

About 65,000 riders use the R train every weekday.

Those traveling to Manhattan can transfer to one of 11 lines that are accessible from four R stations in Brooklyn.

R train service between Brooklyn and Manhattan was restored a few weeks after Sandy hit, thanks to short-term repairs.

But the Montague tube had been filled with 27 million gallons of salt water for ten days before it was pumped out, causing serious damage to electrical components, cables, and walkways.

The long-term fix will take 14 months and start in August. The MTA estimates it will cost at least $100 million.

Making repairs in a subway system that operates 24 hours a day is difficult, and if the MTA worked on the tunnel only on nights and weekends, the project would run into 2016, it said.

The MTA also announced it will close the Greenpoint Tube, which carries the G train between Brooklyn and Queens, for 12 weekends starting July 6.

In May, the MTA issued a public notice calling for bids to cover an extensive range of repairs in the Montague Tube:

Work includes the demolition of existing duct banks; removal & disposal of existing tunnel lighting, conduits, wiring, fixtures, ballast & receptacles; construction of new duct banks; installation of new Power & Communications cables in the new duct banks; reconstruction of circuit breaker houses CBH # 82, CBH # 83 & CBH # 91; rehabilitation of two substations (Montague Furman Substation & Broadway-Park Row Substation); new tunnel lighting including fixtures, wiring, & conduit; replacing isolation dampers & wiring for the fan plant; replacement of three submersible pumps & new AC/DC lighting at the pump rooms; track work including new rails & plates; installation of new 8” dry discharge line in both tubes; painting & lead abatement.

The MTA noted "this will be a fast-tracked solicitation in order to make an award as soon as possible."

The R train runs from Forest Hills in Queens, along Broadway in Manhattan, and under the East River into Brooklyn. It ends in Bay Ridge, near the foot of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The usually cash-strapped MTA actually has a $40 million surplus, thanks to state aid. In a letter addressed to MTA Acting Chairman Fernando Ferrer, eight candidates for NYC mayor called on the Authority to use the money to "maintain and increase service," but made no mention of repairs in the wake of Sandy.

An MTA spokesperson clarified that the governor's budget allocated the Authority at least $25 million more than it anticipated, and that the number could rise by $15 million if "certain tax revenues perform very well." The MTA will present on its financial situation to its board in July.

SEE ALSO: Underground Construction Photos From NYC's New $2.4 Billion Subway Station

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US Marines And Syrian Rebels Have More In Common Than You Think [PHOTOS]

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Reuters Syria Rebels

Warfighters of every thread, color, creed and flag have a few commonalities.

Combat is combat, after all, and in quiet moments troops joke around and take care of themselves and their equipment.

In the following you'll see sometimes an almost mirror image between two worlds that seem so far apart in the minds of many folks: the U.S. Marines and (often Jihadist) rebels in Syria.

Marines play darts in downtime ...



So do Syrian rebels, who also have a tendency to ...



Put clothes on stray animals.



See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Nutrition Experts Explain Why Juice Cleanses Are Pointless

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juicerThe concept of consuming 20 pounds of body-cleansing fruits and veggies in a day can seem a both uplifting and daunting.

On one hand, with that kind of fuel, who wouldn’t feel like a bionic superhero, teeming with the energy to leap buildings (or at least roles — from parent to office champ to lover) in a single bound?

But chewing through 20 pounds of veggies? Who’s got the time? 

That's where juice comes in. Cold-pressed juice companies such as BluePrint Cleanse, Pressed Juicery, and Red Carpet Cleanse are having a major moment, appealing to health-conscious consumers and celebrities seeking good taste and convenience. They absorb the work of shopping for, cleaning and preparing organic veggies and fruits by blending concoctions crammed with good-for-you foods like spinach, kale, romaine, celery and lemon, to consume on the go. 

What’s more, many of them deliver one, three- and five-day cleanses that claim to detoxify your body, de-fuzz your mind, and restore vitality. All those healthy ingredients without even having to think about what’s for dinner? It’s enough to make juice cleanses seem like a no-brainer. If you can afford the 70ish dollar-a-day charge, why not simply drink your calories with a numbered sequence of vegan and raw-food drinks? 

Juice devotees swear by the idea, with some saying that an occasional cleanse can be nothing short of life-changing. "Cleansing makes me feel more energetic, consistent, clear-headed, and lighter overall," says Jessica Kill, 37, a partner at Popular Press Media Group in Beverly Hills. "It gives me better skin and digestion, but most importantly, I like that I'm putting clean, natural, living food into my body. Like my mentor, Dr. Susan Udry, says, 'Dead food feeds dead cells. Living food feeds living cells.'"

Similarly, Patty Jeydel, a 31-year old legal recruiter from New York City, who adopted a vegan diet a year and a half ago, says juice gives her more a.m. pep — and keeps her on a healthy nutritional path, too. “I've never had a strong reaction to caffeine, but the greener the juice [I drink], the more I feel what I imagine coffee drinkers feel every morning," she says. "I attribute my increased energy, along with my greatly improved disposition and complexion, to my rehabilitated digestion, which is never better than when my day begins with a large dose of hydrating chlorophyll." 

There's little doubt that juice cleansing is popular among its growing number of adherents. But, can cleanses truly work body magic — leading to weight loss, clearer thinking, and glowing skin? To find out, we turned to some nutrition experts.

While some companies claim that pressed juicing delivers up to four times the nutrients of other juices, nutritionists say that juice itself can't replace a balanced diet of whole foods. “It’s better to get plant foods in their whole form because a lot of wonderful fiber, nutrients and phytochemicals that you’re not eating. What’s left behind by juicing may actually be the best part,” Joan Salge Blake, nutritionist, clinical associate professor at Boston University’s Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, and author ofNutrition and You, says. 

Andrea Giancoli, Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Spokesperson and dietitian who specializes in vegetarian diets, agrees. “Oftentimes, what’s happening when you juice is that you’re removing a lot of the plant fiber, which is something we want to have,” she says. 

As an occasional detox, though, can't a juice cleanse give your body a break? Actually, that's not necessary, says Salge Blake. “Your body is so smart,” she says, “and thank goodness — because we oftentimes do silly things and don’t eat correctly. And that’s why we’re so grateful that our body is so smart and is able to adapt." According to Salge Blake, the body's organs and systems clean themselves— without the help of a juice cleanse. Giancoli agrees, saying, “There’s no need to do something like a detox. Our body does that on its own.” 

More importantly, says Salge Blake, going on a juice cleanse isn't a risk-free endeavor. She points to dangers in fully absorbing these programs and the nutrients they provide, as some don’t include enough protein to sustain a woman throughout the day. “You need a certain amount of dietary protein coming in to maintain your lean muscle mass," she says. "If you don’t eat this protein, your body starts breaking down the protein you already have, to use it for things it really needs like red blood cells and the nervous system." In addition, she says, this process could be potentially fouling up your metabolism — exactly the opposite of what many detox-ers are looking to accomplish. 

Still, while juice cleanses have yet to receive unanimous support among nutritionists, doctors, and dietitians, the fever for detoxing shows no signs of slowing down. If you're interested in committing to a three- or five-day plan, make sure you talk to your doctor about its nutrients and whether you need to supplement with a little caloric, protein, or fiber intake to make sure you get complete nutrition. Yes, it's one extra step for those who want to do a cleanse — but what good is downing 20 pounds of veggies if it's not helping your health?

SEE ALSO: I Just Finished A 72-Hour Cleanse, And Now I Can't Stand The Thought Of Eating A Vegetable

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For China's Wealthy Consumers, Luxury Spending Is Now 'A Way Of Life'

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Banking, Wealthy, Privilege Banking, Shanghai, China, Asia, Yepoka Yeebo

Swiss bank Julius Baer released its third annual “Wealth Report” today, and its findings on China reflect several key trends that we’ve been seeing for a while now: a growing number of affluent Chinese consumers are viewing luxury purchases as “lifestyle” rather than “celebratory” acquisitions, and are becoming more sophisticated with a greater interest in niche labels, quality, authenticity, brand heritage, and understatement.

“Today’s affluent Chinese consumers see luxury as a way of life, not just the occasional purchase of a good or service, separate from the rest of their lives,” read the report.

The frequency of goods purchased among affluent individuals has been increasing, as indicated in the chart below comparing 2011 and 2012.

The numbers for 2013 may be different for heavily gifted sectors such as watches and spirits, which are feeling the effects of the government’s current luxury crackdown, so future studies will need to take into account additional luxury goods in order to gain a fuller picture of purchase frequency.

chart

The report also emphasizes the fact that China’s affluent are becoming more sophisticated in a complex variety of ways. “They are becoming savvier about the relationship between quality and price,” states the report. It also stresses that Chinese clients have expressed a “growing appreciation for authentic products,” are looking for quality and understatement “over the importance of logo,” and are tapping into heritage.

These changes have paved the way for niche labels, according to the study’s findings.

"When it comes to the preference for brands, established large brands such as Chanel, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, and Christian Dior continue to dominate,” states the report. “But consumers are also expanding their repertoire toe contemporary brands, such as Marc Jacobs, Shang Xia, Shiatzy Chen, Stella McCartney, and Alexander Wang.”

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Why Using Your Hotel Towel Only Once Really Isn't So Terrible

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Ritz Carlton Dove Mountain towel water savingWhether you travel frequently or once a year, you've no doubt seen this sign in your hotel room.

It was one of the first initiatives put forth by hotels in an attempt to save money conserve resources, giving guests a guilt trip when it comes to whether or not they reuse their towels.

Given the growing green movement and the passionate people behind it, this is typically a tough one to talk about over happy hour. 

But we have a confession: Sometimes, we like to use our towel just once, throw it on the ground, and ask for new towels in the morning.

Before you throw stones, hear us out - it's really not that absurd.

Leisure travelers stay at hotels for a variety of equally valid reasons, one being to experience a sense of luxury that they are not privileged to at home. 

The argument we so often hear regarding the towel debate is that "you wouldn't use a towel only once at home." Right, and we wouldn't pay $200 a night to stay home, either. 

We're staying at a hotel because we want to escape, because we want to treat ourselves, not because we want to feel like we're at home. There's a big difference between "feeling at home" and "feeling like you're at home," you know?

So why is it such a crime for us to treat ourselves to a fresh towel when we shower or soak? You do know that a fresh towel feels infinitely different than a previously used one, right? And, yes, when we're at home, we use and reuse that sucker, so is it really that bad for us to indulge a few times a year?

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Here's Your Official Guide To Urban Bike-Share Programs Around North America

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nyc citi bikeBike Sharing is not all bikini-wearing girls and hot, muscled guys pedaling along as Miami would have us believe, but it is a very attractive, eco-friendly addition to the urban infrastructure, and cities across North America are either already installing solar-powered bike rental kiosks or studying those that have.

Paris' popular Velib and London's BarclayBike are the best known programs, but would you have guessed that Minneapolis is challenging New York's claim to the largest system in the US, and that Mexico City is on track to have 6,000 bikes scattered around their neighborhoods? It's not just Europe having all the two-wheeled fun. Check out our guide to North America's cities that bike share:

Boston: Summer 2011 was the debut for Boston's New Balance Hubway system, a network of nearly 100 stations and 1,000 bikes all over the greater metropolitan area including spots like Brookline and Cambridge. Memberships run $85 per year, but daily use starts at only $6 and a 3-day pass is $12. [Hubway]

Boulder, CO: One of B-Cycle's 15 US cities is Boulder, and an ideal one too. Annual memberships are $65, but if you're a student or active military that goes down to only $40. 24-hour rates are $7, or free for the first hour and $4.50 for each half-hour beyond that. [B-Cycle]

Charlotte, NC: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities. Annual memberships are $65, but non-member 24-hour rentals can be scored from $8. [B-Cycle]

Denver Bike shareDenver: Denver was the first with a B-Cycle network, inaugurating the service on Earth Day 2010. Options for riding include a $80 annual pass, $30 monthly, $20 weekly or a $8+ daily choice. [B-Cycle]

Des Moines, IA: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities. Annual memberships are $50, but they're running a special where it's only $40 if you purchase (using discount code CatchDM) before June 30. Non-member 24-hour rentals can be scored from $6 and up. [B-Cycle]

Fort Lauderdale/Broward County, FL: One of B-Cycle's 15 US cities is the entire county of Broward, in Florida. They've seen the success of Miami's DecoBike and joined in the bike sharing fun with Annual memberships are $45, and there's no day rates. Instead, non-members pay $5 for the first half hour and $5 for each half-hour after, to a daily max of $50. [B-Cycle]

Fort Worth, TX: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities, and the newest having only debuted on Earth Day 2013. Annual memberships are $80 ($65 for students), but non-member 24-hour rentals can be scored from $8. [B-Cycle]

Grand Canyon: Bright Angel Bicycles live in the south rim area and can be found at the Canyon Visitor Information Plaza. Use of one costs $40 per day or $12 per hour. [Bright Angel Bikes]

Greenville, SC: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities. They're new to the bike sharing scene, and offering Annual memberships are $65 (use discount code "houpedal" for $10 off), but non-member 24-hour rentals can be scored from $5. [B-Cycle]

Houston, TX: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities. Annual memberships are $60 but non-member 24-hour rentals can be had from only $5. [B-Cycle]

Irvine, CA: ZotWheels might be a weird name, but the students at the University of California-Irvine aren't complaining. Their bike sharing system has installed four stations of 25 bikes around campus. A small start, but a start nonetheless. $40 for an annual membership, but each ride cannot be longer than three hours. [ZotWheels]

Kailua, HI: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities and perhaps the smallest, with only one bike station. Annual memberships are $50 but non-member 24-hour rentals can be scored from $5. The station is bilingual, with Japanese instructions. [B-Cycle]

Kansas City, KS: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities. Annual memberships are $65 but non-member 24-hour rentals can be had from $7. [B-Cycle]

Madison, WI: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities. Annual memberships are $65 but members of the University of Wisconsin community score it for only $20. Non-member 24-hour rentals begin at $5. [B-Cycle]

Mexico City: For Ecobici, Mexico City actually repealed their law requiring cyclists to wear helmets. Not that that's a good idea, but it's an ambitious program that needed a boost. Over 1,100 bikes at 82 stations around the city have bikes available for a $23 annual subscription with a free first half-hour, an 80-cent next half-hour and $2.70 per hour after that. They plan to have 6,000 EcoBici bikes total. [Ecobici]

miami bike shareMiami Beach, FL: Yay, DecoBike! We're huge fans, especially when it comes to gallery-hopping during Art Basel. You'll also find DecoBikes in Surfside, FL and on Bay Harbor Island, FL. One month of unlimited bike use begins at $15, or you can go for the per half-hour plan, from $4. Good news: DecoBike will soon open stations in San Diego! [DecoBike]

Minneapolis: Nice Ride, by the makers of Montreal's Bixi system, has over 80 locations. They're all over downtown and at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities' campus. The first 30 minutes are free but you can get 24 hours for $6 plus "trip fees" or an annual subscription for $65. [Nice Ride]

Montreal: The Bixi—a combo of "bike" and "taxi—is a model program, with over 3,000 bikes available at over 300 hubs around the city. An annual, unlimited biking membership is $82.50, or you can choose the $7 daily rate, which includes the first half-hour. [Bixi]

Nashville, TN: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities. Annual memberships are $50 but non-member 24-hour rentals can be scored for $5 plus $1.50 per half-hour after the first hour. [B-Cycle]

nyc citi bike shareNew York City: This week is the first official week for CitiBike, but last week's first day (for advance memberships) logged seriously impressive numbers: total trips: 6,050; average duration: 20.48 minutes; miles traveled: 13,768. That was one day, folks. As the blue bikes become ubiquitous around the city's busier parts, expect more and more tourists to add it to their Big Apple to-do list. Annual membership as $95 and include unlimited 45-minute trips. 24 hours is $9.95 with a free half-hour and charges for every half hour beyond that. [CitiBike]

Omaha, NE: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities, but with only four bike stations. Annual memberships are $55 but non-member 24-hour rentals can be scored for only $6 plus trip fees. [B-Cycle]

Pullman, Washington: Montreal's successful Bixi system was adopted here on a small scale, for use by the students at Washington State University. Well, the public can use it too, if any of the 30 bikes are available. See Montreal's Bixi pricing. [Bixi]

San Antonio, TX: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities. Annual memberships are $60 but non-member 24-hour rentals can be had for $10 plus trip fees. [B-Cycle]

Salt Lake City, UT: GreenBike SLC is operated by B-Cycle and charges $75 for an annual membership, but non-member can have 24-hour rentals for $5 plus additional fees after the first half-hour. [B-Cycle]

Spartanburg, SC: Another of B-Cycle's 15 US cities, it was the first to launch in the Southeast (in summer 2011). Annual memberships are $30 but non-member 24-hour rentals can be had for $5 plus $1 per hour after the first free hour. [B-Cycle]

Toronto: In May 2011, Toronto copied Montreal and order up a Bixi system of their very own. Membership is $95 for the whole year if you're local or, if you’re just in town for a visit, they’ve got you covered with 24-hour passes for $5 and 72-hour passes for $12. [Bixi Toronto]

Washington DC: Smartbike is the name of the DC area's sharing system, and it comes from Clear Channel and the city's Department of Transportation. Over 1,100 bikes at 100+ locations in both downtown DC and Arlington, VA are up for rides. An annual subscription for unlimited rides is $40. [Smartbike]

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An American Barbecue Legend Explains How His Food Is 'Texafied'

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Scott Roberts salt lickThe Salt Lick, a barbecue joint outside of Austin, Texas, is regularly named one of the best barbecue restaurants in America.

The restaurant is known for its ribs, sausage, and beef brisket, all roasted and smoked on one of the most insane barbecue pits we've ever seen (check out the image on the book cover below).

Owner Scott Roberts recently came out with a book about his family's roots and cooking barbecue, called The Salt Lick Cookbook: A Story of Land, Family, and Love.

He'll also be serving up his classic Texas fare at the Big Apple Barbecue, a barbecue-tasting event in New York City June 8 and 9.

Roberts answered our questions about making barbecue, running a family business, and the best thing on his menu.

Business Insider: Your family's roots are in Mississippi, but you say your family barbecue recipes were "Texafied" over time — what does that mean?

Scott Roberts: Being "Texafied" means that our recipes have taken on a taste of the local area. My ancestors are from South Carolina, Georgia, and northern Mississippi. When they left that region in the 1870s, their recipes didn’t contain ingredients such as chili dulce and cayenne pepper. Those were added after they got to Texas.

BI: What makes Texas-style barbecue better than other styles?

SR: The United States is the best damn country in the world, and Texas is the best damn state in the country – doesn’t that just logically mean that we would have the best damn barbecue? 

BI: What about the restaurant has changed since The Salt Lick opened in 1969, and what has not? 

SR: We've added indoor lighting, air conditioning, running water, and restrooms. We built the building around the original pit.

What hasn’t changed is the desire to make food so good that when you leave, your smile will has never been bigger.

BI: What's the ideal meal to order at The Salt Lick?

SR: Definitely the Family Style Dinner (all-you-can-eat beef brisket, sausage, pork ribs, potato salad, cole slaw and beans, for $19.95 per person), which gives you a taste of everything, followed up with peach or blackberry cobbler with ice cream, and a slice of pecan pie to go.

BI: The Salt Lick was built by your parents, and you still run it with your family. What's the biggest challenge of working with family?

SR: Learning how to be wrong all the time!

BI: How did the idea for The Salt Lick Cookbook come about? Can you share any barbecue tips with us?

SR: So many people kept asking about the history of the Salt Lick and how we do it. And that’s the reason I wrote the cookbook!

BI: What's a good beginner recipe from the cookbook?

SR: A perfect recipe to try is Roxie’s on the Fly Cucumber Salad:

ROXIE’S ON-THE-FLY CUCUMBER SALAD

3 large cucumbers

1⁄2 purple onion, diced

1⁄2 to 1 teaspoon sugar

1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon white pepper

White vinegar to cover salad in a bowl

Slice cucumbers in 1⁄4-inch slices. Add purple onion, sugar, and white pepper. Stir and cover with vinegar. Refrigerate about 30 minutes. drain off vinegar, stir, and serve.

BI: Aside from your own, what are your favorite cookbooks?

Betty Crocker Cookbook by Betty Crocker editors; The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. RombauerMarion Rombauer Becker, and Ethan Becker; The Good Housekeeping Cookbook by the editors of Good Housekeeping and Susan Westmoreland, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Childs, Zarela’s Veracruz by Zarela Martinez, Cajun’s Joy Cookin' n' Eatin' by Alzina Toups, Seven Fires: Grilling the Argentine Way by Francis Mallman, and any cookbooks by Mario Batali and Bobby Flay.

salt lick bbq

SEE ALSO: The Best Barbecue Restaurants In 20 Cities Around The US

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Guys, You Seriously Need To Stop Dating Losers

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Anna Faris House Bunny Blond ditz

One of those insufferable TED talks was making the rounds last week. The gist of it was that 30 is not the new 20, and that grown women really ought to be getting their sh*t together in their 20s. Be proactive about your career. Don’t refuse to get a full-time job as an excuse to figure out who you are. Stop dating losers. All sound advice. But why does no one ever say that to men?

Not the first part, obviously. Men are expected to have a sense of direction and ambition more or less from birth, so much so that most women will list “ambition” right under “sense of humor” on a list of vague qualities they seek out in a romantic partner. No, the last part, the thing about dating “losers.” It’s a testament to just how useless TED talks are, because people have been telling women that their boyfriends are losers forever. Not once, though, have I ever heard someone tell a man, “Dude, why are you dating her? She’s such a loser.”

The more I think about why, the more depressing the can of worms becomes (and a can full of worms should be depressing enough on its own). It says something about society as a whole, in that men have never really valued drive and success as selection criteria and we’re all kind of OK with that. Mothers instruct their daughters to find a “nice, successful boy,” but fathers high-five their sons when they bring home the prom queen. It’s also (sadly) kind of presumed that men will settle down as they age and choose higher quality women, as though it’s a concept we as men had the good sense to invent and that the womenfolk would never figure out were it not for our guidance.

Additionally, despite tolerating men calling women all sorts of awful things for centuries, society, curiously enough, won’t stand for men referring to women as “losers” or “useless.” I’ve just never heard it. Were someone to call a woman a “loser” for being, say, a career grad student or some kind of lowbrow service professional, I feel it would be met with cries of “Hey, at least she’s trying!” or “Who are you to judge?” Of course, the joke’s on them, because justifying someone’s career choice undermines that person’s freedom of choice, and chastising one group for judging another while encouraging the same thing among your own group is the very opposite of equality.

Unfashionable as it may be, I’m going to go ahead and say that, in 2013, men need to stop dating losers. What exactly that means may be hard to define. When women deride a man as being a “useless loser,” what they really seem to be complaining about is someone who blindly, uncompromisingly places his own prerogatives above all else, often at the expense of others. The girl with the loser boyfriend who won’t get a job because it would “cut into practice time with the band” is actually saying that if he would compromise a little, they could probably realize some goals that would benefit them both equally. The same thing holds true the other way around.

While career/ambition is far from the only way in which being a loser can manifest itself, it’s definitely common, and prominent. Any woman now in her 20s and 30s was likely raised to believe that she can (and should) do well in school, get education, and then go forth into the world and make her mark. Barriers and pay gaps still exist, but most women are able to pursue any career they’d like. In fact, there are more women breadwinners than ever. Given that, if ambition is something that’s important to you, it would make sense that it would be something important to your partner as well. An earnings rift, or at least one caused by one less-ambitious partner, can and will wreck a relationship. Women know this, which is why they seek out men who at least have the potential for success. Men don’t seem to realize it until they’re supporting another person whose biggest life decision is where she wants to eat lunch that day. A woman who doesn’t really have anything going on is not worth your time. Modern life is too expensive for everyone’s ambitions not to matter.

But it’s not just about careers. I think we’ve all, at some point, been involved with a woman who was so wrapped up in some aspect of herself that it made her a loser in her own right, whether it’s her job or something else (and we men are just as guilty of this). Whenever you ask someone to tell you about themselves, and their answer begins with, “Well, I work for such and such,” you know you’re dealing with someone with not a lot to offer. Really, that goes for all people who defines themselves through a singular characteristic. Life doesn’t work that way. You can’t “cheat” by pouring yourself into and perfecting one single aspect of it and then expecting everything else to fall in place. A woman who’s beautiful is nothing if she doesn’t also have goals. A hard-driving career woman is no good unless she has outside interests and knows how to create time for them. If it sounds like I’m saying men should try to find a woman who “has it all,” I am. Women are taking the same approach to us.

If women can set a high bar for the men they date, there’s no reason we can’t, too. It’s time more men set standards for themselves that go beyond cup size or hair color. If your standards are ridiculous, that’s fine. You’ll just take yourself out of the dating pool. But there’s no reason for men (or anyone) to date losers unwilling to alter their course in life to at least somewhat accommodate what’s supposed to be a loved one. She wants a man who went to a prestigious school? That’s fine, but she shouldn’t be surprised if the men she’s after expect the same thing. She wants a guy who makes a lot of money? Sure, and maybe she doesn’t need to make as much money as you, but maybe you expect her to at least have some clear goals.

Life, as they say, is a two-way street.

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Brooklyn Couple Who Hosted Self-Help Radio Show Commit Double Suicide

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Brooklyn Couple

A Brooklyn couple who hosted a monthly "self-help" show on public radio killed themselves in their Park Slope apartment, The New York Daily News reports.

Lynne Rosen, 46, and John Littig, 48, reportedly committed suicide by placing plastic bags over their heads and inhaling helium.

They hosted a monthly radio show called "The Pursuit of Happiness" on WBAI that focused on "personal development and growth." WBAI describes them as speakers and "life coaches."

They had a life-coaching company together called "Why Not Now," which held self-help workshops. Lynne Rosen had her own website with this quote from Norman Vincent Peale: "It's always too early to quit."

The couple left behind two notes that essentially said they were killing themselves together, sources told The Daily News.

Neighbors recently began noticing a smell coming from their apartment, which was in an upscale neighborhood where they'd lived for 20 years. The super finally kicked the door in after they saw blood coming in through the floor, The Daily News reported.

"I knew them for many years," an 87-year-old neighbor told The Daily News."They were always respectable."

In June 2011, Travelers Insurance sued Rosen and a number of other therapists in Brooklyn federal court. The insurer claimed Rosen, a licensed clinical social worker, billed it for totally unnecessary psychological tests given to patients who'd been in car accidents.

The insurer agreed to drop the suit in March of this year, possibly because it reached some kind of settlement with Rosen and the other defendants.

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TRUE CONFESSION: I'm A Financial Planner And I'm $50,000 Deep In Debt

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shopping mall

Have you ever done something that you weren’t proud of? Or been in such a bad place that you didn’t know how you were going to crawl your way out? I have.

My name is Tahnya Kristina. I am a certified financial planner™, and for a long time I kept a secret that almost cost me more than just the interest charges on my mounting debt.

When I was 25, I graduated from Concordia University in Montreal, Canada. I had a full-time job working as a financial advisor at a bank and within just four years I found myself over $50,000 in debt. I couldn’t talk about my debt with my co-workers and family because I was ashamed that—especially given my career choice—I couldn’t manage my money responsibly.

When you are working with money and giving financial advice to clients, it is expected that the financial advisor has a better-than-average financial situation. No one wants to take financial advice from someone who can’t even manage her own money—so I kept my debt a secret.

I became a financial planner because I was fascinated by money. I spent four years of university and two years of additional financial training learning how to advise people to manage their money and achieve their financial dreams; unfortunately I was too naive to take my own advice.

RELATED: The Day I Decided to Become a Certified Financial Planner™

How I Got Into So Much Debt, So Fast

Some people may say I accumulated so much debt in such a short period of time because I was young and didn’t know any better; but the truth is, I did know better. I had a university degree, and every single day I saw the damage that using credit irresponsibly can do to a person’s life, yet I still spent money uncontrollably.

I know you’re wondering why. I wish that I could say that my $50,000 of debt was well spent, but that wouldn’t be true. I started accumulating student loan debt while I was still in university; after I graduated and started working full time at the bank, I also started accumulating credit card debt for no other reason other than I wanted to go shopping. I thought that having a lot of credit made me credit worthy, and to a certain point it did, but it also added the temptation of wanting to spend money on anything and everything.

I knew that the balances on my credit cards were increasing, but I wasn’t worried. After all, I had a full-time job with a six-figure income. I knew I could afford to pay off my balances—I just chose not to. Every paycheck something more important took priority, and I ended up spending my debt repayment money on other items.

Accruing Bad Financial Habits

I ate out at restaurants too often, because it was a way to spend time with co-workers outside of the office. I shopped too much with friends because it was a social activity, and because as a financial planner, we were expected to look a certain way. I went on too many vacations just because I wanted to be a part of the group.

I bought new furniture for my downtown apartment because I liked sitting on my couch looking at my accomplishments. Then, in June 2007, I bought a brand-new Honda Civic. I didn’t actually need a car but I thought that a 27-year-old young professional should have one, so I went to the Honda dealership on my lunch hour and bought a new car. It may seem irresponsible (and it was) but when I wanted something, I had to have it.

RELATED: A CFP®’s Advice: Why I’d Never Buy a New Car

I was a recent graduate with a good job and a wallet full of credit cards to prove my independence, but, in the end, that freedom didn’t make me responsible, it almost ruined my life.

Realizing How Big of a Hole I’d Dug

After the market crash at the end of 2008, I was thankful to still have my stable job, but, needless to say, my income took a hit along with the market. My six-figure income quickly dropped by 30% because people stopped investing, and I stopped making commission.

One day, at 28 years old, I woke up and realized that it was the first of the month, rent was due and I didn’t have any money in my bank account because I’d spent my entire paycheck making the minimum monthly payments on all of my credit cards.

RELATED: Top Debt Mistakes to Avoid

As I sat down on my very expensive couch (that I couldn’t afford but bought anyway), I realized that I didn’t want to live like this anymore. I was so overwhelmed with emotion that I started crying. It was the only way to release my anger, sadness and disappointment in myself.

Still in tears, and fearing I’d be evicted by 5 p.m., I put on a suit and headed to work—I couldn’t exactly afford to take a sick day, I reasoned. There, I spent the entire day advising people how to plan their budgets, save money and manage their credit responsibly.

The irony of my reality gave me a headache like I’d never had before.

I knew that my debt was out of control. I was financially savvy enough to know that I was spending all of my money on minimum monthly payments, and it wasn’t helping pay down my debt. In most cases, the minimum payments were less than the interest charges, so my balances kept rising even though I didn’t have any more available credit.

Deciding to Make a Change

The day I actually sat down to calculate my debt I couldn’t believe how bad the situation actually was.

At 29 years old, I had $13,000 of student loan debt, $20,000 of credit card debt and $25,000 of debt with my car financing. I didn’t know what to do, so I cried (again). In fact, I sat in my apartment for an entire weekend crying and feeling bad for myself because I knew I couldn’t afford to pay off my debt.

It’s hard to explain how I got in this deep without even knowing it. In my defense, all I can say is that all the education in the world can’t combat the power of denial. In my case, it wasn’t until that moment, sitting on my couch in gale-force tears, that I realized I had a problem. Intellectually, I knew that I had credit cards; I knew that the balances were increasing, but I never actually accepted the fact that I had a spending problem.

RELATED: I Paid Off $90,000 of Debt in Three Years

I realize now that this was probably because if I accepted my debt, it meant I’d have to start paying it off. Oh, the hypocrisy: I had no problem telling other people how to avoid this exact situation I found myself in, but I couldn’t do it for my own finances. Maybe being a planner made it worse: I didn’t want to accept the fact that I was one of those people who spent beyond their means. In order for me to get out of debt I had to make big changes, and now I knew it.

Embarking on a New Financial Life

The first thing I did was consult with a bankruptcy agency. After getting all the details about which assets I could keep and which debts would be included in the bankruptcy, I decided bankruptcy wasn’t for me.

First, it wouldn’t solve my financial problems because not all debts (like my student loans, or my auto loan) would be included. And if I was going to have the stigma of a bankruptcy follow me around for years to come, I wanted it to wipe out all of my debt. After 30 minutes of debt counseling from the surprisingly very likable bankruptcy agent, I made another decision: I got myself into debt, and I was going to get myself out of it because that was the responsible thing to do.

That’s when I started making changes in my life. With each change, my heart broke a little bit more because the lifestyle I’d once enjoyed was crumbling before my eyes—and I had no one to blame but myself.

Five days before it was going to be repossessed, I sold my car privately, and even made a little ($200) profit which helped me buy groceries that week and make an extra payment on one of my credit cards.

Next, I found a second job working in retail sales at a women’s clothing store. That gave me extra money to pay off my debt and a discount so I could still afford work clothes. I worked part-time, evenings and weekends, and my entire $400 biweekly paycheck went toward paying off debt.

RELATED: The Surprising Way That I Make Money on the Side

I’d never had a budget before because I’d always just “had money” (or so I thought.) That changed, too. I cut my expenses by moving to a cheaper apartment and allocated the extra $200 of monthly savings to my debt repayment. I cancelled my home phone and opted for a very limited cell phone plan; with two jobs I didn’t have a lot of time to talk on the phone.

Finally, I changed my eating habits and only let myself eat out once a week—for lunch. My reasoning: Lunch breaks are timed, so there’s no risk of spending excessively on drinks as I sat and chatted with friends. I only bought clothes from the store where I worked so that I could buy them with my 50% employee discount.

Why I Don’t Regret Being in Debt

Now, five years later, I am 32 years old and, by the end of this year, I should be debt-free. I am thankful that I got into debt, and I am proud that I got out of it because it is a huge accomplishment.

I no longer think about my debt as a defeat, but trust me when I say that I am taking precautions so I never get into that situation again.

Today, other than the basic necessities of food, clothing and cleaning supplies, I rarely spend money. My old motto used to be, “It’s only money, so spend it”; my new motto is, “If I don’t need it to keep clean, stay warm or be full, then I don’t need it.”  I think twice before I spend any money, and before I purchase anything I weigh the cost versus the value.

RELATED: Need Financial Motivation? Try a “Phrase to Save”

There is one vestige of my old life I held onto: My couch. After all, when you factor in the cost, the quality and the number of years I will own it, it actually turned out to be one of the only good investments I made.

SEE ALSO: TRUE CONFESSION: I Am A Trust Fund Baby And I Did Nothing To Earn It

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GUYS: Here's How To Dress For Every Kind Of Wedding This Summer

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tuxedo black tie suit

If it seems like all your friends are getting married this month, they probably are — June is the most popular month for weddings.

But dressing for summer weddings can be a challenge since not every type of suit is appropriate for every kind of wedding: You would never wear a tux to a beach wedding or a seersucker suit to a black tie affair.

Toby Bateman, the Buying Director at online menswear retailer MR PORTER,answered all of our summer wedding style questions. For more on how to dress for a summer wedding, you can also check out the wedding style section at MR PORTER.

From what to wear at the beach to deciding which tie is best, here is your definitive wedding style guide.

How To Dress For A City Wedding

City Wedding MR PORTER style guide

All items available through MR PORTER ($45-$985)

"For a city wedding, I tend to keep my suit choice fairly sober," Bateman says. "One that works as a summer business uniform in dark blue or a mid-grey wool, that I then freshen up a bit with shoes and accessories."

"The shirt should be classic in a crisp white or pale blue poplin and teamed with a smartly polished brown leather lace up shoe – oxford or derby, not a brogue."

"Add a fresh colored plain or neatly patterned tie and a pocket square, neatly folded or with a flourish, to complete the look," he said.

How To Dress For A Country Wedding

Country wedding MR PORTER style guide

All items available through MR PORTER ($85-$879) 

"For the country, you can take this sensibility one step further – a pale grey or a pale blue suit would be totally acceptable," Bateman says. "If you’re likely to be standing on someone’s lawn drinking PIMMS, this is your chance to be a bit more liberal with the fabrication of the suit – cotton or linen works and is more softly structured than your business suit."

"They suits can be worn with either a plain shirt or one with a small scale pattern such as a small gingham or floral print," Bateman goes on. "If you have gone for a patterned shirt then you might want to leave the pocket square at home or choose a subtle option to avoid too many patterns from clashing."

"Shoes should be neutral but do not need to be as formal as the lace up worn for the city wedding, so a smart loafer works just as well."

How To Dress For A Beach Wedding

beach wedding MR PORTER style guide

All items available through MR PORTER ($80-$416)

"Surely if someone is getting married on the beach, anything goes?" Bateman jokes. "Bring out the linen or opt for an unlined suit for a more casual and comfortable option." 

"You can also mix the jacket and trousers, ditch the tie, or even adopt a sandal for a more laid-back look."

Single vs. Double-Breasted Jackets

single versus double breasted suit MR PORTER

Both items available through MR PORTER (Left: $1,025, Right: $595)

"A single breasted jacket – one or two-button – is standard and typically the safest bet for weddings." Bateman says. 

"The double-breasted jacket is also fine, but the thing about this style is that the fit is a bit more difficult to pull off.  It should be tailored short in the body and fitted well around the waist, so I would only recommend it for those well-versed about style and fit."

Choose The Right Tie

tie knot MR PORTER men's style

Ties available through MR PORTER ($140-$190)

"Establish the dress code first — a Windsor knot is best worn with a spread collar for more formal occasions," Bateman explains. "The four-in-hand [standard knot] is best for casual settings."

"Bow-ties don’t suit everyone and can sometime come off as cartoonish or a bit Pee Wee Herman, so I typically recommend them for a more formal wedding worn in black for a simple and sleek look."

Final Tips:

  • Get a tailor: An ill-fitting suit will ruin your look.
  • Follow the groom's example (and the invitation dress code): If the groom is wearing a tux but the invitation says casual, go for a suit. If he's wearing something more casual like a linen suit, then you should too.
  • Be bold with accessories: Pocket squares, ties, cuff links, tie clips, belts, and shoes can all make an outfit seem more interesting or original. It's the details that count!

SEE ALSO: Meet The Founder Of Style Me Pretty, A Wedding Blog That Brides Are Obsessed With

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