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Why Architect Le Corbusier Wanted To Demolish Downtown Paris


le corbusier 1949

Walking through Le Corbusier's exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, I was surprised by how many of the great modernist architect's designs were never built. They were simply too radical, and none more so than his 1925 proposal to demolish two square miles of downtown Paris.

It's probably a good thing the architect, born Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, didn't get his hands on Paris. The area he would have destroyed, including the 3rd and 4th arrondissements on the right bank of the Seine, is today among the prettiest, hippest, and most architecturally significant neighborhoods in the city. What's more, the replacement of organic urban areas with huge new developments has been criticized since the 1960s for sapping the vitality of cities.

All of that said, let's take a moment to appreciate how cool Le Corbusier's Plan Voisin would have been.

To start, demolishing central Paris made a lot of sense in the 1920s. The formerly aristocratic Marais district had fallen into squalor, characterized by poor sanitation, disease, and overcrowding, as chronicled by Marybeth Shaw in "Promoting An Urban Vision: Le Corbusier and the Plan Voisin." By 1921 in the Beaubourg area, 250 out of 276 houses were marked uninhabitable due to tuberculosis contamination.

Le Corbusier wanted to replace this urban blight with something incredible.

Plan Voisin called for 18 cruciform glass office towers, placed on a rectangular grid in an enormous park-like green space, with triple-tiered pedestrian malls with stepped terraces placed intermittently between them. Extending perpendicularly to the west, there would be an adjacent rectangle of low-rise residential, governmental, and cultural buildings amid more green space.

The new development would be integrated with highways, train and subway lines, as well as an airport, making this area the first thing that most visitors to the city would see.

The design sounds beautiful, as described by the architect :

I shall ask my readers to imagine they are walking in this new city, and have begun to acclimatize themselves to its untraditional advantages. You are under the shade of trees, vast lawns spread all round you. The air is clear and pure; there is hardly any noise. What, you cannot see where the buildings are ? Look through the charmingly diapered arabesques of branches out into the sky towards those widely-spaced crystal towers which soar higher than any pinnacle on earth. These translucent prisms that seem to float in the air without anchorage to the ground - flashing in summer sunshine, softly gleaming under grey winter skies, magically glittering at nightfall - are huge blocks of offices. Beneath each is an underground station (which gives the measure of the interval between them). Since this City has three or four times the density of our existing cities, the distances to be transversed in it (as also the resultant fatigue) are three or four times less. For only 5-10 per cent of the surface area of its business centre is built over. That is why you find yourselves walking among spacious parks remote from the busy hum of the autostrada.

The new office district would be the business center of the city, the country, and the world — while looking nothing like the "appalling nightmare" downtown streets of New York City. The adjacent housing district would be home to the world's business elite.

"Paris of tomorrow could be magnificently equal to the march of events that is day by day bringing us ever nearer to the dawn of a new social contract," Le Corbusier wrote.

To pay for the project, Le Corbusier counted on investment from France's business elite, promising a five-fold increase in land value. As for the denizens of the area that he wanted to destroy, the architect said these "troglodytes" could be relocated to garden cities in outer Paris.

As for concerns with leveling such a historic neighborhood, Le Corbusier insisted that the best architecture from the district — including the Palais Royal, the Place des Vosges, and certain townhouses and churches — would be saved. They would be, as described by Shaw, "preserved like museum pieces in the green carpet of the skyscrapers and low-rises that one would come upon while walking the curved paths of the parks."

Now, courtesy of Fondation Le Corbusier, here's a sketch of the verdant business district:

corbusier plan voisin

Here's a close-up showing the green spaces between buildings, with hints of ground-level commerce and transportation access:

plan voisin close-up

Here's a model showing the business district and part of the residential, cultural, and governmental district extending west along the Seine:

le corbusier plan voisin 1

And here's what the area looks like today:


Fondation Le Corbusier has more images of the Plan Voisin.

Le Corbusier: An Atlas Of Modernism is at MoMa through September 23.

SEE ALSO: The 65 Best New Buildings In The World

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London Is A Better Place To Visit Than Paris [INFOGRAPHIC]


London is known for its beautiful and historic architecture. Paris is famous for its exquisite cuisine. Each city is unique in different ways, but when put head to head, which comes out on top? 

It's a close call, but London clearly has the advantage, according to a new infographic by Ally Biring of travel booking site HouseTrip.com. Biring compared different aspects of each city, including restaurants, cuisine, landmarks, architecture, and local sights, and found that London topped Paris in most of these categories.

London has more museums, more landmarks and attractions, and more UNESCO sites, like the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey, than Paris. It also has more restaurants, lots of free parks and museums, and it's cheaper for tourists to get around.

However, Paris made a compelling case for itself. It's the home of Disneyland Paris and the iconic Eiffel Tower. A city well-known for its food, Paris may not have as many restaurants as London, but it has more Michelin-starred restaurants and many world-class culinary schools.

Take a look at HouseTrip's infographic to see how the two cities measure up in each category.

Paris vs. London infographic

SEE ALSO: The 7 Hottest Rooftop Restaurants And Bars In London

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Russian Billionaire Sued By Estranged Wife Over A $20 Million Hawaii Mansion He Bought From Will Smith


dmitry rybolovlev

We learned earlier this year that Russian oligarch Dmitry Rybolovlev bought Will Smith's $20 million Hawaiian mansion back in 2011.

Now Rybolovlev's soon-to-be ex-wife Elena Rybolovleva is suing him over the property, claiming that the fertilizer billionaire bought it to protect money that she could potentially win in the pair's ongoing Swiss divorce case, according to The Daily News.

This is not Rybolovleva's first lawsuit against her husband. She has also sued Rybolovlev over an $88 million NYC penthouse he bought, purportedly for his daughter, as well as Donald Trump's $95 million Palm Beach mansion, also purchased with their daughters' trust.

The Daily News reports that the trust in question has also bought a $300 million Monaco penthouse, players for Rybolovlev's Monaco soccer team, and two Greek islands for $156 million.

Dmitry Rybolovlev and his lawyers insist the purchases are legal since his children's trust was set up prior to the 2008 divorce filing. He defends the subsequent purchases, arguing that they were to secure the future of his two daughters, Ekaterina and Anna.

Rybolovleva's lawyer, David Newman of Day Pitney, told the New York Daily News that Rybolovlev "has been spending money like a drunken sailor." Newman says the real estate purchases violate the Swiss Supreme Court order that froze Rybolovlev's assets in an attempt to keep him from spending the billions he made during the marriage.

Currently worth $9.1 billion and number 119 on Forbes' list of billionaires, the Russian tycoon is no stranger to controversy. In 1996 he was accused (and later acquitted) of plotting to kill a business partner, and spent 11 months in jail.

He sold his stake Uralkali, a fertilizer company he started in 1990, in 2010 for $6.5 billion.

Rybolovlev and his wife have been battling in Swiss courts since 2008 — both show no sign of slowing down.

SEE ALSO: The Most Expensive Home You Can Buy In Every State

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These Stunning Photos Show How Fast Food Is 'Revolting And Mouthwatering' All At Once


jon feinsteinPhotographer Jon Feinstein was curious about America's "love/hate relationship" with fast food. 

He decided to scan images of fast food to take an up-close look at popular menu items. 

"Under austere, uniform lighting; stripped of branding, packaging and iconography, the food takes on a scientific, yet ethereal quality that is at times both revolting and mouthwatering," Feinstein writes on his website

Feinstein doesn't label what the fast food items are, but most are instantly recognizable. The only captions are the fat contents listed for the food. 

Feinstein gave us permission to publish his photos. 

9 grams of fat.

Source: Jon Feinstein

36 grams of fat.

Source: Jon Feinstein

39 grams of fat.

Source: Jon Feinstein

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

HAMPTONS NANNY SPILLS: My Wealthy Employers Only Buy Me Rice And Ramen Noodles


ramen instant noodlesThe Daily Front Row has published an anonymous interview with a Hamptons live-in nanny who said she was only fed rice and Ramen noodles.

The New York nanny dished all about her Southampton employers, whose four children (all under 8 years of age) she is paid $250 a day to watch.

The entire interview is worth a read, but the most insane claim is that her employers only buy her rice and Ramen to eat in the house.

"All of the nannies in the past have been Filipino and they lump me in with them," she told interviewer Eddie Roche.

It's not as though the couple can't afford to buy her other types of food — the family also has their own live-in housekeeper who cooks the children's main meals, and the nanny says that the parents go out to dinner every night, either solo or together.

Here are a few other allegations from the article:

Red flags during the interview: "When I had my job interview the father pulled me aside and told me that when I worked for them I would have to make sure to babysit his wife, too, because she has no idea what she’s doing."

The absent mother: "She just goes shopping, or to the gym. They have a home gym, but she still goes to the gym in Southampton just to get out of the house. She shops and hangs out with her friends and goes to dinner while her husband is in the city working and I’m home with the kids."

The pervy father: "He has [hit on me], though I think it was unintentional — or he said it was, at least. He was drinking a lot and his wife and I are very similar looking. We’re both petite brunettes. He thought I was her and came up behind me and slapped my butt. I turned around and he looked really scared for a second, but then he smiled."

Read the rest of the interview at The Daily Front Row.

SEE ALSO: Meet The Residents Of 'Billionaire Lane' In The Hamptons

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Kobe Bryant Is Selling His Orange County Estate For $8.6 Million


kobe bryant houseKobe Bryant has listed mansion in Newport Coast, California for $8.6 million, the Los Angeles Times reports.

The 20,000-square-foot house includes a gym, shark tank, and outdoor entertaining area with a pool and a hot tub. It's being listed by ReMax's Jordan Cohen.

Kobe famously takes a helicopter to travel from Orange County to downtown L.A. If he moves closer to work those days may be over.

The view from the driveway

The ocean view

The pool area is the highlight

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Reality Star Posts Photo Of $500,000 Watch On Instagram, Resourceful Thief Immediately Tries To Steal It


It doesn't always pay to be a rich kid of Instagram.

A resourceful would-be thief used a photo of a lobster lunch posted to the social media site to track down Jonathan Cheban, who is featured sporadically on "Keeping Up With The Kardashians" as one of Kim's best friends.

The caption included the name of the Southampton restaurant Cheban was dining at.

Next, he posted a picture of his expensive watch with the caption "I think I overdressed my wrist today with my@jacobandco ...22 karat's is a bit much for daytime LOL cc @richkidsofinstagramm":

Shortly thereafter, according to the New York Post, a man "came over and started asking some questions" before grabbing Cheban and attempting to steal the $500,000 watch.

"Jonathan fought back to stop him, and he pushed Jonathan to the floor" before a security guard stepped in, the Post's tipster said.

Cheban reportedly declined to press charges because he was only in town for a few hours before going to Europe.

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Corporate Executives Think These Are The 10 Worst Brands In America


JC Penney retail shopping

A report released today by brand consulting firm CoreBrand found that Delta is America's least respected brand among a group of 10,000 vice-president level corporate executives.

CoreBrand polled executives from top U.S. companies about how they felt about more than 1,000 brands based on their reputation, management, and investment potential. Then CoreBrand took the 100 brands its polling audience was most familiar with and ranked them by favorability to determine the 10 least respected brands.

Other lowlights include JCPenney and Best Buy.

10. Foot Locker

Foot Locker checked in as the 10th least respected brand, but its future looks bright. CoreBrand found that the sneaker emporium's favorability and familiarity have both improved steadily over the past five years.

9. Rite Aid

Ellen Sluder, CoreBrand's director of strategic and business relations, told Business Insider that Rite Aid's poor performance is due to oversaturation of the market by stronger performers, like Walgreens, and the expansion of pharmacy services by the likes of Wal-Mart and Target.

8. Capital One

Despite ponying up for a slew of celebrity endorsers, from Charles Barkley to Alec Baldwin, the creditor card and financial services company hasn't been able to shake its bad reputation.

"Capital One has used many celebrities, but each one is pushing a different product or service, so the message isn’t the same," Sluder said. "While they’re getting their message out their, it’s confusing."

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

4 Things To Consider When Buying Your First Interview Suit



Going out on your first job interview can be stressful. The clothing you wear to the interview shouldn't be.

For guys, there's just one appropriate thing to wear: A suit.

There's a difference between buying a first suit for interviews and a whole wardrobe of suits once the job has started.

Think of a first suit as a springboard, giving the wearer the necessary look to shine in an interview, without making an impression on its own.  

The last thing an interview suit should do is stand out.

Here are a few things to consider when you're shopping for the perfect interview suit:

Colors and Patterns

Blue or medium to dark grey, two buttons, no pinstripes. Black is too formal for interviews, and earth tones are too casual. Two button suits are the professional standard. Though you will see three button and one button suits, they should only be considered when your wardrobe requires multiple suits.  

The same goes for patterns like pinstripes. Once you're wearing a suit regularly, they're fine, for the first suit, basic is best.


A solid price point for the first suit should be around $500, give or take a little. There are plenty of options around and below that amount, but avoid very inexpensive suits, as they are often poor quality and will look cheap.  

You want a suit that will last you through multiple rounds of interviews, not one that will come apart at the seams after a few marathon interview days.  

On the other side of the spectrum, you don't want to spend thousands on this suit. What will an interviewer think if you show up at an interview for an entry level position in a suit that's more expensive than theirs? It's not a risk worth taking, as it may have a negative impact on your candidacy.


  • Jacket: The best method for determining fit for an off-the-rack suit is to start with the jacket. 

    Bring a dress shirt with you when you go to the store so you can recreate how it'll be worn. The jacket won't fit the same way with a T-shirt underneath as it will with a dress shirt.  

    Put on the jacket and button the first button. Take your fist and put it between your torso and the jacket at the point where it buttons. Can you fit it there comfortably? If so, size down until you can't, at which point you know what's too small.  

    Buy the size larger than the one where your fist no longer fits. The point of this exercise is to make sure the suit looks normal when buttoned. If it is too tight in the torso, it'll pinch, making you look like Chris Farley

  • Pants: It's better to buy larger rather than smaller, since it's much easier to have pants taken in than it is to have them let out. If a pair feels a little tight, size up. Most suit pants come unfinished, meaning you'll need to take them to a tailor anyway to have them hemmed to your desired length. 

    If they are not unfinished, go with what feels right. The general rule is to have a little bit of break (how much of the pant leg sits on top of your shoe). More fabric than that, and the pants will look too baggy around the ankles, which will make you look shorter. A perfectly fitting jacket can be undone by baggy pants, and vice versa.


Leave them at home, unless it's interesting socks.

The important thing to consider with interview suits is that they are meant to make you look polished, professional ,and no more, so that you can get down to business and impress the interviewer with your skills and attitude.  

The suit has done its job perfectly if the interviewer can't remember it, since you want them to remember you rather than what you wore. This keeps them focused on your abilities, with the added benefit being that you'll be able to wear the suit again with a different shirt/tie combination when they ask you back for round two.

SEE ALSO: How To Rock A Bow Tie

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Amazing Blind And Deaf Chinese Girl Can Read Braille With Her Lips


Hong Kong student Tsang Tsz-Kwan is blind, has impaired hearing, and lacks sensitivity in her fingertips. But that didn’t stop her from learning how to read braille with her lips.

In an interview with CNN (via Shanghaiist), the 20-year-old discusses how she aced her high school tests.

“I tried many other different methods, but in the end could only resort to using my lips,” Tsang told CNN in English.

Tsang, who is cooler than everybody, hopes to study English/Chinese translation at university.

Watch the video:

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'The Periodic Table Of Alcohol' Charts All Your Favorite Beverages


If you've ever wanted an easy way to know the alcohol percentage and primary flavor profile in your favorite beverage, look no further than the Periodic Table of Alcohol. 

Designed by Visual.ly user mayra.artes, the graphic breaks down drinks by type (Fermented, Mixed, and Distilled) and then by liquor (Cider, Beer, Wine, Tequila, Brandy/Cognac, Vodka, Rum, Whisky, and Gin). 

Each drink is color-coded and accompanied by an alcohol percentage in the upper right corner as well as a small illustration with its name below. 

And just like the regular Periodic Table, there are even two corresponding rows at the bottom that are separated from the main table. But instead of Lanthanides and Actinides, mayra.artes features mixed drinks and liqueur-based beverages, including Midori Sour, Jägerbomb, and Mudslide.

Check it out below:

periodic table of alcohol

SEE ALSO: 12 American Bars To Drink At Before You Die

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Here's Which Citi Bike Stations Are Most Often Empty [MAP]


nyc citi bike share outside business insider office

The remarkable efforts of Citi Bike operators to keep stations stocked around New York City was highlighted last week in the New York Times. Despite their good work, however, many stations still often run out of bikes. My nearest station at 57th and Broadway is typically empty if I don't get there before 8 o'clock, and other stations are worse.

To identify the hardest places to get a bike, we turned to UCL CASA digital cartography researcher Oliver O'Brien, who already runs a real-time map showing how many bikes are at every station.

O'Brien offered the following map of the most frequently empty stations. He notes that emptiness rate may be elevated for new stations that were not immediately stocked after they were installed, such as two high readings in Brooklyn.

"The more significant pattern is the clustering around Central Park — clearly a genuine problem there," O'Brien writes.

TIME SPENT EMPTY: Green = <10%, Yellow dot = 10%-15%, Red dot = 15%-20%, Red pin = 20%+


Empty bike racks are annoying, but full bike racks can be an even bigger problem.

"If the station's empty, you can just go and get the subway or a bus. If it's full, and you are on a bike, you have to cycle around (with the meter running!) to find a nearby one that is not full.  That's more of an issue and the reason why the world's more popular systems tend to reduce the bike/dock ratio — somewhat counterintuitive, but sometimes a system works better with fewer bikes in it," O'Brien writes.

Below is a map of the places where it's hardest to park a bike, led by Alphabet City.

TIME SPENT FULL: Green = 0-2%, Yellow = 2-3%, Red = 3-4%, Red pin = 4%+

SEE ALSO: 13 reasons you should ride your bike to work

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21 Vintage Photos Of Hawaii From Before It Became A State


Hawaiian surf riders Buzzy Trent, Woody Brown and George Downing glide down advancing front of a 19 foot at Makaha, near Waianae, Oahu, December 3, 1953Hawaii became the 50th U.S. state 54 years ago today, when President Eisenhower signed the Hawaii Admission Act on August 21, 1959.

Today the youngest state is known for its varied cuisine, beautiful state parks, distinct cultural traditions, and thriving tourism industry.

We've gathered 21 vintage photos that show Hawaii was beautiful long before it became the nation's favorite vacation destination.

January 1890 - The Royal Palace at Honolulu.

September 1940 - the battleship USS Oklahoma in Hawaii during US navy Pacific Fleet maneuvers.

A man brings in his pineapple harvest after a long day (date unknown).

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

America's Best Coastal Hotels


08 sunset key guest cottages florida

“The Post Ranch Inn is a serene, almost spiritual, place that feels miles in the sky. The majestic view of the Pacific Ocean and the misty bluffs of Big Sur from its cliff-side patio is like none other in the world,” says Anastacia Maggioncalda, a San Francisco–based film producer who honeymooned there with her husband, Steve.

See the coastal hotels >

While hotels and resorts have long leaned on Mother Nature to enhance their guest experiences, few wild assets rival that of prime waterfront real estate—be it on a sugary sand beach or a dramatic rocky bluff. Fortunately for travelers, there’s a lot of choice for those seeking a great coastal getaway.

Culled from Travel + Leisure’s annual World’s Best Awards, the following hotels were rated highly by readers—and come with ocean breezes, water views, and ultra-scenic shores. Asked to evaluate properties for categories including rooms/facilities, location, and service, survey-takers made it clear that a coastal location can be one of a hotel’s greatest features.

On Hawaii’s Big Island, the Four Seasons Resort Hualalai at Historic Ka’upulehu is an intimate isolated resort spread among low-rise bungalows just steps from crystalline Pacific waters and a volcanic rock coast with black lava outcroppings. Bungalow 8 even overlooks a saltwater snorkeling lagoon.

For a New England spin on coastal living, check in to Rhode Island’s renovated Ocean House.  Expansive decks overlooking a private white-sand beach and manicured croquet lawns are a nod to old-time glamour, while the light-filled rooms suites have oversize soaking tubs and custom-made dark wood furnishings.

No matter your definition of what makes a great coastal hotel, from the Florida Keys to Oregon, there’s one clear characteristic that all of the properties flaunt: location, location, location

More from Travel and Leisure:

#1 The Lodge - Sea Island, GA

Genteel lodge with 40 country-style rooms and on-site access to a legendary golf course. A bagpiper roams the grounds every evening.

Room to Book: Nos. 2 and 3 have enormous balconies that overlook the 18th hole at Plantation Golf Course.

Insider Tip: Guests have access to the amenities of the lodge’s sister property, The Cloister, including its 65,000-square-foot spa and the Georgian Room restaurant.

#2 The Cloister - Sea Island, GA

A historic 1928 Mediterranean-style resort with 4 pools, set on a secluded beach.

Room to Book: Beach Club suites have kitchens, fireplaces, and balconies.

Insider Tip: Take a 90-minute tour ($100 per person) of the salt marsh onboard the Cloister Belle, a restored antique yacht. You’ll see oyster beds and live shrimp.

#3 Elizabeth Pointe Lodge - Amelia Island, FL

Off the coast of Florida, the Elizabeth Pointe Lodge has configurations for every type of traveler. Each of the four suites of the nearby Ocean House opens onto a private deck. The Miller Cottage is built for families or groups, with two bedrooms and bathrooms, a living room, and a patio. And the 20-room Main House’s lawn fans out into beachgrass-tufted sand dunes.

Room to Book: No. 16 is a corner room with a rainforest shower for two and ocean views from the king bed.

Insider Tip: Set aside a day to tee off. Amelia Island has 117 holes of championship golf, including a PGA tournament course.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

Florida University Suspends Frat Over Facebook Posts That Appear To Discuss Drugs, Hazing


florida international universityMIAMI (AP) — Florida International University officials have suspended the school's Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity chapter following a series of Facebook posts.

An anonymous e-mail recently sent to local media and members of the FIU community included screenshots of Facebook posts that appeared to show fraternity members discussing the hazing of new members, which is prohibited by university policy.

The Miami Herald (http://goo.gl/4OtT1K ) reports that posts also refer to drug use and make offers to sell drugs. Several posts were of half-nude women who had apparently dated fraternity members.

FIU said in a statement Wednesday that it is investigating possible violations of the university's code of student conduct. The investigation includes the police.

The Pi Kappa Alpha fraternity's national headquarters in Tennessee says the FUI chapter would fully comply with the temporary suspension and subsequent investigation.


Information from: The Miami Herald, http://www.herald.com

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We Tested The Double Stuf Oreo, And Can Prove That They're Not Actually Double-Stuffed


A high school math class recently found out that Double Stuf Oreos aren't actually double stuffed. Their experiment concluded that these two-timing treats consist of only 1.86 times more "stuf" (creme) than the original Oreo cookies.

Nabisco, however, refutes the class' claim, telling Business Insider: "Our recipe for the Oreo Double Stuf cookie has double the Stuf, or creme filling, when compared with our base, or Original Oreo cookie."

So, we decided to conduct our own experiment to determine whether or not Double Stuf Oreos really do have double the stuff.


Produced by William Wei

SEE ALSO: We Got A Bunch Of Our Coworkers To Try Herbalife Shakes For The First Time

Follow Us: On YouTube

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Adorable Photos Of Animals Being Weighed And Measured At The London Zoo


A waxy monkey tree frog is weighed in a measuring device

Every year the London Zoo weighs and measures its animals — a process that takes quite a long time for the zoo's 19,000 residents. A few of the prettier ones were brought out for the public and press to see on August 21.

The data they collect is not only important for the zoo and zookeepers in London, but is also used by other zoos and conservation groups.

Jae Jae, a Sumatran tiger, licks its lips as it approaches a height chart.

Keeper Paul Kybett dangles a piece of horse meat to entice the big cat to jump up next to a height chart so they can measure her.

Keeper Marcel McKinley uses worms to entice Tammy, a tamandua, to stay on a scale.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

The 10 Best Bagel Shops In New York City


Absolute Bagels New York

Bagels are one of New York's most iconic foods—and for good reason.

There must be something magical in the water here in New York that gets the perfect amount of chewiness outside and softness inside.

Our friends at Yelp helped us put together a list of the top 10 bagel shops in the city.

Yelp reviewers named the Upper West Side's Absolute Bagels their number one pick, but it’s pretty hard to go wrong with a bagel anywhere in New York.

#10 Penny House Café

732 Washington Avenue, Brooklyn
Prospect Heights

It may be a hole-in-the-wall, but customers go nuts for Penny House’s breakfast sandwiches and bagels, especially with the spicy tuna salad, and the shop’s Brooklyn-y vibe.

“Loved the lox and cream cheese bagel—perfect proportions,”writes Yelp reviewer Rachel M. “What a delightful spot. Playing NPR with yummy food and air conditioning? Yes please!”

Note: Yelp's search results are based on an algorithm that is designed to provide the best results based on a number of different factors including review text, ratings, and number of reviews. Because several factors are taken into account, this is why you may see a 3.5-star restaurant with 500 reviews showing above a 4-star one with 15 reviews.

#9 Murray's Bagels Chelsea

242 8th Avenue

The slogan for Murray’s Bagels is “we don’t toast.” That just goes to show how fresh their bagels are.

Try their new David Burke special, says Allison S. Named for the famous chef, it’s “their traditional lox but with ‘pastrami salmon.’ Gives it more a cured-salty taste. Absolutely satisfying.”

Note: Yelp's search results are based on an algorithm that is designed to provide the best results based on a number of different factors including review text, ratings, and number of reviews. Because several factors are taken into account, this is why you may see a 3.5-star restaurant with 500 reviews showing above a 4-star one with 15 reviews.

#8 Barney Greengrass

541 Amsterdam Avenue
Upper West Side

Barney Greengrass may not sound like the name of a bagel shop, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying a bagel with some of their specialty fishes like lox, whitefish, or tuna.

The whitefish salad here on an everything bagel will CHANGE your life,”raves Michelle L. And just as an added perk, scenes from the movie “You’ve Got Mail” were filmed here.

Note: Yelp's search results are based on an algorithm that is designed to provide the best results based on a number of different factors including review text, ratings, and number of reviews. Because several factors are taken into account, this is why you may see a 3.5-star restaurant with 500 reviews showing above a 4-star one with 15 reviews.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

We Tried Underwater Cycling, The Latest Exercise Craze In New York City


Aqua Studio cycling entrance

Move over, SoulCycle — the latest spin craze in New York City is biking underwater.

Known as "aqua cycling," the exercise was invented by an Italian physical therapist years ago. Fans and adherents claim it fights cellulite, burns up to 800 calories in an hour, and there's no soreness the next day.

It sounds like the perfect workout, yet incredibly no one had heard of aqua cycling in NYC until Esther Gauthier brought it over from Europe this past April.

The French native had tried a similar underwater spinning class at Paris outpost La Maison Popincourt and knew she had found something special that New Yorkers would love.

"For over a year, I kept it to myself," she whispered to me in the airy Tribeca space that's home to AQUA Studio, New York's first and only aqua spinning gym, which I visited for a complimentary class last week. "I didn't want it to get out, I didn't want anyone to steal my idea!"

The downtown studio looks more like a chic spa than a gym. The space had been abandoned for years before Gauthier and her team knocked down three separate floors to create the loft-like studio.

Aqua Studio cycling work out shoesAfter checking in at the front desk — where students are handed a towel and clear jelly shoes ($2 to rent) — we walked down a flight of stairs to the gorgeous locker room. The walls were lined with mirrors and vanities stocked with cotton swabs and hair dryers, and it smelled like the peppermint body wash in each shower stall.

As we changed into our swimsuits, I noticed a few women seemed to know each other from previous classes — Gauthier told me the studio already has a loyal clientele base even though AQUA only opened this past April.

We then trickled into the small rectangular pool down another flight of stairs where 15 bikes (from Italy, no less) were arranged. The trainer, Andia, floated around in the four-foot pool, helping new students slip their rubber shoes into the bike pedals and adjust the seats and handlebars to the perfect hip height, with the water lapping at our chests.

Aqua Studio cycling work out poolThe lighting was dim, with candles lining the wall and pop music playing. Andia had us review the various positions (sitting, standing, bent over the bike, and a fourth position where we floated behind the bike while our feet were still on the pedals) before we began.

In some ways, it felt like a traditional spin class. There were sprints, music, and an instructor calling out various positions.

But there was no resistance knob — instead, you were pushing against the friction of the water.

Though I was skeptical about how good of a workout biking underwater would be, my muscles burned in a similar way to swimming laps or treading water. I definitely worked up a sweat, and my legs felt wobbly when I got out of the pool.

My favorite part was the splashing. We pushed the water back and forth, punched up through the water, and paddled with alternating arms. I was surprised to find that my arms also got a great workout, plus it was really fun (though I was soaked by the end of class).

Aqua Studio cycling work out andia on bike

There were a few cons with aqua cycling. One common complaint is that it's hard to hear the instructor over the water, music, and echoes of the basement.

Another is that since the bikes aren't secured in the water, they can sometimes lift off the ground or sway from side to side. It's hard to find — and keep — the right rhythm, and my bike moved a lot since I hadn't mastered the smooth rhythm necessary to keep the bike stationary.

But all things considered, I liked aqua cycling. It's a novel way to cross train, or a good exercise alternative for people with sports injuries, joint pain, or for pregnant women.

I also felt very relaxed after class. "Aqua cycling is a marriage between yoga and regular cycling," Gauthier explained. " It's the intensity of cycling, but then there's something about the water that's so soothing and adds the relaxation of yoga."

Gauthier said the studio is currently working on creating a class designed exclusively for men (AQUA will start accepting men in September, though men's changing rooms and a juice bar are still in the works), a strength training class, and a class for pregnant women. They're tentatively aiming to have these up and running by October.

After the 45-minute class was over, I took a shower with the peppermint body wash provided in the shower stalls, and left feeling tired, yet refreshed. I don't know about fighting cellulite, but at least two claims on the website are true — you'll have the best sleep of your life afterwards, and you won't feel sore the next day.

Interested in trying it out Aqua Cycling? Here's what you need to know:

  • What to wear: I wore spandex shorts and a sports bra, but most women in the class were wearing swimsuits — either bikinis or one-piece suits. Bikinis are fine, but make sure your top is secure.

  • You will get wet! Though the water only comes up to mid-chest, all the splashing will definitely still get you (and your hair) wet. Plan to shower afterwards, and bring a hairbrush.

  • What to bring: An extra towel and a separate set of clothes are a good idea. Also remember to pack a bag to carry your wet swimsuit after class.

  • Cost: The trial class is $34 for your first time, plus $2 for the shoes. A single class is $40, unless you choose to buy one of the studio's packages (then the cost ranges from $33—$38 per class).

  • Who can go: So far, it's still women-only, but that will be changing in September. Men can sign up for the wait list by emailing AQUA.

SEE ALSO: 11 Great Accessories For Running Outdoors In The Summer

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The Crumbling Beauty Of New York's 'Borscht Belt' Resorts [PHOTOS]


Marisa Scheinfeld Borscht Belt photographs

In the first half of the 20th century, Jews were unwelcome at many resorts in the United States.

So beginning in the 1930s, middle class Jewish New Yorkers found a respite in rural Southeastern New York.

The so-called "Borscht Belt" — also known as the Jewish Alps and Solomon Country — was transformed by the Jewish community into a resort haven of their own.

Skiing, skating, swimming, and boating were all offered by the ritzy resorts. Little-known comedians including Woody Allen, Mel Brooks, and Joan Rivers all got their start doing stand-up comedy here. The community even inspired the film "Dirty Dancing."

In short, the Borscht Belt was booming.

But that all changed in the 1960s. Cheap air travel suddenly allowed a new generation to visit more exotic and warmer destinations. Grossinger's Resort, which once boasted 150,000 visitors annually and was known as the "Waldorf in the Catskills," abandoned its operations in 1986.

New York-based photographer Marisa Scheinfeld grew up in this community, vacationing in the Borscht Belt with her family every summer. She set out to capture the crumbling glamour of the once well-known destinations in her new exhibit "The Ruins of the Borscht Belt."

"While the project originated with my interest in the area's regional history and engages personal notions of memory, it also reveals the growth, flowering and exhaustion of things, and then their subsequent regeneration," Scheinfeld said in her artist statement. "The Borscht Belt was a haven for an entire cultural and social movement of people; its influences spread to mainstream American culture, entertainment and media."

The complete photographic works are currently on display at the Lower East Side Jewish Conservancy (LESJC) until October 27th in New York City, as well as on Scheinfeld's website.

The Borscht Belt was once a thriving Jewish resort community. It was even fondly referred to as 'the Jewish Alps.'

Source: Marisa Scheinfeld

Many middle class Jewish New York families would take their children here for vacations in the New York Catskills.

Source: Marisa Scheinfeld

The resort community was the inspiration for movies like "Dirty Dancing" and hosted comedians like Woody Allen and Joan Rivers. Through the 1930s, '40s, and '50s, it was thriving.

Source: Marisa Scheinfeld

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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