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THEN AND NOW: See How Your Favorite Products Have Changed Over Time


vintage packaging

You might not recognize some of your favorite products if their classic, old-school packaging lined grocery store shelves today.

There once was a time when Jif came out of beautiful glass jars, and people would gargle Listerine out of what looked like perfume bottles.

Design blog Abduzeedo compiled a list of classic packaging to showcase their fascinating evolution.

THEN: This vintage bottle of Listerine looks like perfume.

NOW: Out with the glass, in with the plastic.

THEN: Soda cans used to look completely different.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Holy Smokes Batman: The Original Batmobile Just Sold For Millions At Auction


batmobile lincoln futura

If Batfans wanted their hands on a piece of Batman history, they had to shell out the big bucks.

The iconic '60s Batmobile sold for $4.6 million at the Barrett-Jackson classic car auction in Arizona this weekend.

In the Batmobile documentary released with "The Dark Knight Rises," it was revealed Los Angeles car customizer George Barris bought the 1955 Lincoln Futura concept car from Ford for $1. It then took 15 days and $15,000 for the car to be turned into the Batmobile.

The buyer of the car is a Phoenix-area logistics company executive, Rick Champagne, who said he paid more than $4 million because of the woman who accompanied him to the auction.

The sum is still nowhere near the estimated $32 million price tag of Wayne manor. 

SEE ALSO: 21 of Hollywood's tallest celebrities >

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These Are The Best Ways To Carry Cash While Traveling


tourist guide book travel

Carrying money on vacation is a balancing act between safety and utility.

Making money difficult to access deters thieves, but when it comes time to pay for something, you still want to be able to get to it without stripping off clothes or playing hide-and-seek with a bag's hidden pockets.

With that in mind, here are 10 tips for carrying money safely and elegantly when you travel.

Use a dummy wallet

If you're traveling in a place known for pickpocketings or muggings, consider getting a cheap wallet that looks just real enough to keep in your pocket or bag.

Pad the wallet with some small bills and make it look more real by slipping in one or two of those sample credit cards you get with offers in the mail.

A dummy wallet can stop pickpockets before they get to your real wallet.

And in the scary and unlikely case of an actual mugging, it also gives you something to throw and run, buying you time to escape with your safety and your actual wallet.

Divide money

Even if you disregard all other advice about carrying money, take this tip to heart: Whenever possible, divvy up your travel cash and even credit cards into multiple safe spots.

If you've got all your money in one place, it only takes one time for a thief to totally wipe you out.

You can even apply this idea when you're out and about by keeping some money attached to your person and some in a bag you carry.

That way, if your bag gets lost or snatched, you'll still have enough to get to a police station or back to your hotel.

Favor on-body storage

Under-clothing storage accessories have come a long way since neck pouches and money belts came onto the scene.

Though those classics are still in favor, newer options include bra stashes, as well as long johns, underwear, and undershirts with built-in pockets for safe storage.

On-body storage accessories are particularly useful if you're sleeping somewhere that doesn't have a secure place for cash and other valuables.

Note that on-body storage isn't a good wallet alternative, since fishing around under your clothes for money advertises where you're hiding the goods.

And lest you think a fanny pack is a substitute for a money belt, realize that it can actually make you more vulnerable to thievery since it marks you as a tourist.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Five Surprisingly Affordable Destinations For 2013


roatan beach honduras

One of the most common savings goals we hear from our readers is travel.

We tend to think that we need to save up thousands of dollars in order to justify taking those vacation days and heading out of town. But we might not need quite as much as we think.

Even with a tight budget, you can still score amazing travel memories at a great price–you simply have to choose the right place.

We combed the globe for memorable escapes that won’t require you to take out a second mortgage. They run about 20% to 70% cheaper than marquee destinations, with just as much to see, do and enjoy.


1. Lisbon, Portugal

With the façades of many of its buildings decorated with azulejos–tiles painted in flowery, intricate blue designs–Lisbon rivals the beauty of many other European capitals, and you’ll pay about 20% less for lodging.

The local economy is still reeling from the country’s financial crisis, which means that hotels are offering deep discounts on rooms to lure foreign tourist dollars.

Despite the austerity, the city feels sumptuous, with its well-restored colonial-era castle, Castelo de São Jorge; colonnaded plazas and countless art galleries and museums.

Best Bargain: Lisbon has a major sweet tooth and is well known for its pastries. The typical price of its signature custard tarts will only set you back 0.75 euro (about $1.10).

You’ll pay a little extra for the version of the dessert called pasteis de Belém at the city’s famous Antiga Confeitaria de Belém.

2. Québec City

This Canadian city offers stellar French cuisine and architecture for much less than Paris.

The U.S. dollar is roughly equal to the Canadian dollar, so prices for our neighbor to the north are alluring when compared to the euro–the exchange rate of which puts a 30% premium on everything in France.

Inside Québec City’s centuries-old walls, you can check out glass-blowing factories, shops like La Petite Cabane à Sucre de Québec that sell maple syrup and the annual winter festival of Carnival, when towering ice sculptures and horse-drawn sleighs take over the city.

Best Bargain: Get a bird’s-eye view of the city by riding the finicular for just $2.

The steep railroad line is open year-round, and shuttles visitors between the cliff-top portion of the city and its port town, known for having some of the oldest streets in North America.

3. Roatán, Honduras

The word is getting out about the first-class diving, ecotourism and zip-lining adventures available for discount prices in Roatán, a Bay Island off the coast of Honduras.

In November 2012, American Airlines began direct flights from Miami, and many other carriers have been increasing flights to its pink-and-white sand beaches via connections in the Honduran capital of Tegucigalpa.

Once in Roatán, expect to pay approximately half the price of lodging on a higher-profile Caribbean island.

Best Bargain: A scuba dive in the local bay waters–through a tropical hallucination of colorful fish in the world’s second-largest barrier reef–typically costs a mere $40, roughly half the cost of an underwater plunge in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

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How To Poach An Egg Like Julia Child


Poached egg, Eggs Benedict, Food

Imagine a soft, poached egg with a warm, golden center, maybe on top of a thick cut of Canadian bacon or some smoked salmon. Can you think of anything more soothing?

Ben Starr is a gourmet chef, owner of the upscale Dallas restaurant Frank, and finalist on MasterChef with Gordon Ramsay who has mastered the art of the poach. 

In this video he shows us how to poach the perfect egg using the method developed by the late, great Julia Child and, you'll be pleasantly surprised to learn, it's not as difficult as it looks.

Start with a pot of water. You will need two quarts. Starr recommends using hot water from the tap, as it will come up to temperature faster than cold water.

Add a third of a cup of plain white vinegar to the water. This is the golden ratio, says Starr: two quarts water to one third of a cup of vinegar.

SCIENCE LESSON! The acidity in the vinegar counteracts the alkaline properties of the egg, preventing the whites of the egg from spiraling all over the pot.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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10 Hot Beverages To Keep You Warm This Winter In NYC


Irish Coffee, hot drink

As temperatures drop below freezing this week, New Yorkers are struggling to find ways to keep warm.

From the best Irish coffee to the best hot chocolate, we've found 10 hot drinks that will keep you warm and toasty this winter — and the best places to imbibe them.

Warm your insides with one of these beverages.

Peppermint Cream at HAVEN Rooftop's Ski Chalet

132 West 47th St.

Located atop Midtown's Sanctuary Hotel, HAVEN converted its rooftop bar into an enclosed chalet-style ski lodge. They really get into the ski spirit here; there's even fake snow covering the rooftop's green space.

They serve hot seasonal drinks such as a Peppermint Cream (spiced cream, hot chocolate, creme de cacao, creme de menth, whipped cream) that's topped with a candy cane stirrer.


Hot Chocolate at Jacques Torres Chocolate

Multiple locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn

The hot chocolate at Jacques Torres Chocolate is a rich, molten beverage made from the highest quality chocolate.

Try either the original hot chocolate or the spicy wicked hot chocolate, which is made with allspice, cinnamon, ground ancho chili peppers, smoked, ground chipotle chili peppers, and molten chocolate.

A. F. Rapoport Hot Buttered Rum at Joseph Leonard

170 Waverly Pl.

Hot buttered rum is a comforting winter drink that will warm your insides. A. F. Rapoport's version features butter, dark brown sugar, spices, hot water, and rum.

Order a mug of hot buttered rum at Joseph Leonard at brunch — one of the best times to visit this West Village gem.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Tailor Explains The Biggest Mistake Men Make When Buying A Suit


Proper suitA tailor recently told us the biggest mistake men make when buying a suit. 

"They don't do enough research," said McGregor Madden, a trained tailor who founded men's apparel businesses ProperSuit.com and Hall & Madden.

Madden said that not knowing all the options can result in paying too much for a suit that ends up looking cheap and wearing out quickly. 

Men are often intimidated by "inept and pushy salesman" and buy the first thing that comes along, he said. 

But it's important to do research to find the right suit. 

"A business suit is an investment piece that will project the image you want to make in a professional setting," said Madden. "Go around and check out high-end, low-end and medium-end stores and try on a variety of suits."

"Don't be intimated, its not until you feel quality that you will know quality," he said. "Knowing what's out there will help you to make a decision you're happy with."

He also encouraged men to get their suits tailored by a professional. 

"At the end of the day you are getting garment not made for you that will need extensive tailoring services to ensure a proper fit," said Madden. "Your tailor may be your best friend."

DON'T MISS: How Tory Burch Became A Fashion Billionaire In Less Than A Decade >

Now Watch: Top NYC Chef Explains How To Cook A Perfect Steak


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Guy Fieri Is Expanding His Food Empire To Wine


Guy Fieri

Food Network host Guy Fieri is expanding his food empire.

Now, he's officially in the wine business.

He has bought a five-acre vineyard of pinot noir grapes in Sonoma County, Cathy Bussewitz at the Press Democrat reported.

“Ever since I moved to Sonoma County and saw all this incredible environment of wine, from the agricultural side of it to the business side of it, to the community involvement side of it ... I've just been in awe,” Fieri told the Press Democrat. “So my wife and I were talking about it, and saying, ‘Can we do that some day?'”

Fieri plans on opening a tasting room at the vineyard and his company Knuckle Sandwich LLC has requested permission to host 14 events per year.

The project is supposed to look like "an Italian piazza, with raised garden beds, olive trees and mountain views," according to the report.

Fieri said that he eventually wants to produce wine with his family, even though the plans are in their early stages right now. He wants to name it "Hunt and Ryde," after his two sons, Hunter and Ryder.

SEE ALSO: Inside The Guy Fieri Restaurant That The New York Times Eviscerated >

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The First Arab Supercar Costs $3.4 Million And Has Diamond-Encrusted LEDs


lykanhypersport supercar arab w motors

Next week, W Motors, based in Beirut, will reveal the Arab world's first homegrown supercar: The outrageous LykanHypersport 2013.

The oddly-named vehicle will make its debut at the Qatar Motor Show, starting January 29.

On top of impressive power figures — 750 brake horsepower, good enough to go from 0 to 62 mph in a blazing 2.8 seconds and hit a top speed of 242 mph — it is loaded with luxuries.

The LykanHypersport's LED lights are diamond-encrusted. The leather interior features gold stitching. The display system used 3D holograms.

For those willing to spend the $3.4 million to purchase one, the Lykan also comes with a 24-hour concierge service, and a Special Edition Cyrus Klepcys Watch, worth more than $200,000.

The LykanHypersport will be fully revealed at the Qatar Motor Show. It will certainly be expensive and luxurious. But whether it can really compete with established supercar makers remains to be seen.

It will take something great to move wealthy Arab drivers with millions to spend on cars away from classic greats, like Ferrari, Lamborghini, Koenigsegg, and Bugatti.

But even for potential owners with the cash, the new supercar will be hard to get: Only seven will be produced. Deliveries are scheduled for September.

SEE ALSO: Meet The Classy Booth Babes Of The Detroit Auto Show

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60 Years In The Evolution Of The Chevrolet Corvette


1953 corvette gm motorama

The long-awaited 2014 C7 Corvette Stingray was revealed on the eve of the Detroit Motor Show last week, and so far it's been very well-received.

Last week also happened to mark the 60th anniversary of the debut of the very first Chevrolet Corvette, at the General Motors Motorama in New York, in 1953.

To mark the occasion, here's a look back at the history of one of "America's sports car."

The first Corvette, a convertible concept, made its debut in January 1953. Production began six months later.

It was named for a small, maneuverable warship. Here's the 1957 model.

All Corvettes, including the 1958, have front engines that power the rear wheels.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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One Day A Year, White Castle Restaurants Turn Into 'Love Castles'


classy couple spending valentines day at white castle

This Valentine's Day, White Castle restaurants across the nation are converting into "Love Castles."

Slider enthusiasts can enjoy a romantic candlelit dinner at the fast food joint, which will have full table-side service on the Hallmark holiday.

Complete with red table cloths, flowers, candles, and balloons, White Castle is really kicking it up a notch with its Valentine's Day decor.

If you want to be surrounded by the intoxicating aromas of sliders and fries on Valentine's Day, though, you need to call ahead because reservations are mandatory.

In the meantime, take a look at what White Castle looks like on Valentine's Day.

This is what a White Castle looks like on the outside...

... and this is what it looks like on the inside on Valentine's Day.

Some people dress up for the occasion...

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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12 Space-Saving Items That Are Perfect For A 'Micro Apartment'



New Yorkers got a look at the future of city living this morning when Mayor Bloomberg unveiled the winning design for 300-square-foot "micro apartments" being built as an affordable housing option for singles.

The units, which will be constructed in Kips Bay, will range from 250- to 370 square feet. According to the plans, some will have Murphy beds and sofa beds to optimize the space.

Fortunately, there are some great space-saving techniques and items that can make living in a tiny space somewhat more bearable.

Meredith Galante contributed to this post.

No room for a bar? The $399 Loll Wallbanger is a mini-bar with a fold-down door that doubles as a countertop when in use. It has room for bottles, glasses, and even a martini shaker.

Buy the Loll Wallbanger here for $399

In a kitchen where counter space is limited, this $78 Black & Decker coffee pot attaches to the cabinet. It makes eight cups!

You can buy the coffee pot here

Another neat space saver for the kitchen, this $39 skinny toaster simultaneously toasts both sides of the bread.

You can buy the toaster here for $39

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HOUSE OF THE DAY: Actor Jeremy Renner Is Flipping This Incredible Los Angeles Mansion For $25 Million


Renner Home Holmby

Turns out Jeremy Renner — known for his roles in The Bourne Legacy, The Avengers, and the up-coming Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters — is also a real estate buff.

According to an August profile in Esquire, Renner has flipped roughly 15 Los Angeles-area homes with his business partner Kristoffer Winters over the past decade. And this Holmby Hills mansion in LA might be the pair's highest-grossing venture yet.

First reported by the Zillow Blog, the estate is a staggering 10,000-square-foot, single-level mansion sitting on two acres of land. The home was completely rebuilt by architect Philip Vertoch and designed by Renner's partner, Kristoffer Winters Design. It now has six bedrooms, 11-baths, five fireplaces, a theater, and multiple pools and fountains scattered throughout the property.

The estate was last purchased for $7 million back in 2010, according to Zillow— a far cry from today's $24.95 million asking price.

Welcome to the Holmby Hills estate.

The sprawling home sits on approximately two acres of land in LA.

Source: The Reserve | Holmby Hills

It has an art deco-theme, and was designed by Architect Phillip Vertoch.

Source: The Reserve | Holmby Hills

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Inside This Weekend's Wild Sundance Parties [Photos]


Sundance Party

Sure, Sundance is a festival showcasing upcoming independent films, but since it began in 1978, the festival has taken a turn.

In addition to film premieres and panels, the people are there to party.

For ten days every January, the pristine, small mountain town usually known as Park City, Utah, becomes a playground for Hollywood elite.

Paris Hilton, Nicole Kidman, Jessica Biel, James Franco and Joseph Gordon-Levitt are just a few of the names who made it to this year's annual festival.

But when they weren't promoting their films, celebrities (and wannabes) were partying until the wee morning hours at one of the many pop-up restaurants, lounges or nightclubs.

Moet champagne was being served by ice luge and in goblets at the Paige Hospitality group football playoff viewing party.

The event was sponsored by Element Electronics.

Where on Sunday the Paige Hospitality group threw a football playoff viewing party sponsored by Element Electronics.

Guests were thoroughly enjoying themselves.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Here's One Brilliant Interior Design Plan For NYC's New 'Micro Apartments'


Making Room Unit Museum of the City of New York

What is it about tiny, transforming homes that has the design world so captivated?

The "micro-unit" trend got another boost today when Mayor Bloomberg revealed the winning design for New York City's first 300-square-foot apartments.

Far from appearing claustrophobic, the design calls for big windows, ample storage space, and spacious balconies. But interior design is as important as the layout; from pull-down beds to multi-use chairs, it is literally what is inside these micro-apartments that counts.

In a new exhibit, the Museum of the City of New York looks at the most innovative design solutions for tiny living spaces, as well as real-world examples pioneered in other cities around the world.

The exhibit includes a full-scale micro-apartment that visitors can walk through. It was designed and furnished by Clei s.r.l. and Resource Furniture alongside Architecture by Amie Gross Architects, and features transforming, practical pieces that may become standard in future tiny-homes.

Here's the typical micro-apartment living room with TV, couch, and shelves.

A closer look at the shelves and TV. The white storage closet on the left opens up to become a desk. The chair next to it unfolds to become a working ladder.

The TV slides away to unveil access to glasses and bar equipment.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Why The Hot Sauce Industry Is The New Craft Beer Industry


Hot Sauce

Hot sauce has caught fire.

In April research firm IBISWorld declared manufacturing of the spicy condiment to be one of the 10 fastest-growing industries in the U.S., with average company revenue jumping 9.3 percent per year over the last decade.

Even though the segment is small—roughly 5,500 people employed by 218 sauce companies, an industry valued at $1 billion—it packs an entrepreneurial punch.

Beyond established companies, thousands of kitchen and garage cooks have begun decocting their own spicy blends, with dozens of new sauces hitting local shelves and mail-order catalogs each year. A quick survey of recent entrepreneurial sauciers included a 13-year-old boy from North Carolina, a formerly homeless veteran who used sauce to rebuild his life and a Palo Alto, Calif., firefighter who grows his peppers behind the station. Even the industry's largest player—Avery Island, La.-based Tabasco, which has an estimated 34 percent of the market—has been privately held by the McIlhenny family since 1868.

Dave DeWitt, producer of the annual National Fiery Foods & Barbecue Show held in Albuquerque, N.M., and the authority on all things spicy, likens the hot-sauce explosion to that of craft beer. "It's similar because it's an industry in which people have a vision of a product that they want to create," he says. "So just like in microbrewing, people are using innovation as much as they can."

So what has transformed Americans from ketchup slaves to salsa-swilling heat addicts? IBISWorld and DeWitt both point to the increasing popularity of and exposure to international foods. With that comes demand for zippy condiments like Vietnamese sriracha, Korean chili paste and more complex versions of Mexican salsas. Research firm Mintel reports that sales of sauces and marinades—including hot sauces—jumped 20 percent between 2005 and 2010 and are expected to increase another 19 percent by 2015, mainly because people are increasingly cooking at home to save money and want to re-create those international flavors they have come to enjoy while eating out.

At the same time, DeWitt says, hot sauces are maturing. Instead of focusing on extreme heat or crude names like Slap Your Mama and Blow It Out Your Ass, companies are doubling down on flavor, experimenting with fruit-based sauces and toning down some of the heat to appeal to a wider consumer base. "The micro-hot-sauce industry and all the new brands are slowly eroding Tabasco's market position," DeWitt says. "These new chili-heads are trying to come up with a line of products that will appeal to people who like all kinds of cuisines."

Blair Lazar, who founded Highlands, N.J.-based Blair's Sauces and Snacks 23 years ago (and holds the Guinness World Record for the hottest product on Earth), believes technology is a major driver of the sauce boomlet. "When I started it was hard to even find bottles. Now people can order bottles and get labels off the internet," Lazar says. But the most important reason for the trend, he contends, is that Americans, like much of the rest of the world, have simply fallen in love with heat: "We're not a bland society, that's for sure, so why not turn it up a bit?"

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5 Ways Christmas Wreaks Havoc On Your Brain


santa drinking drunk

What's going on in your head as Christmas approaches?

Your brain is already having to cope with your festive party schedule and the stress of Christmas shopping – and things are set to get a whole lot more intense.

Here are five Christmas catastrophes about to wreak havoc on your little grey cells:

1. Seasonal affective disorder

Researchers believe that as many as a third of the UK population suffer from seasonal affective disorder—severe changes in mood with the onset of winter. Those affected are thought to have low levels of serotonin and melatonin, which means they require much more daylight.

When light hits the retina at the back of the eye, electrical signals are sent to the hypothalamus. This is the part of the brain that controls sleep, appetite, body temperature, sex drive and mood. When there's not enough light getting through, these functions begin to slow down.

2. Over-eating

Gastric indulgence is pretty much obligatory at Christmas—and indigestion is a familiar consequence.

But over-eating also has a far more sinister effect. It stimulates a usually dormant pathway between the hypothalamus and the immune system. This results in an excessive immune response and leads to low grade inflammation throughout the body. And that's why you often feel unwell after eating too much.

Over-eating for long periods of time leads to chronic inflammation, which can contribute to Type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

3. Too much alcohol

Infrequent heavy drinking sessions at Christmas and New Year are unlikely to have a serious health effect, but you may experience short-term symptoms such as feeling anxious or irritable when you stop. Abrupt cessation of alcohol use leads to brain hyperexcitability due to the sudden "release" effect on receptors which had been inhibited by the alcohol.

4. Too much television

On Christmas Day, the average UK household watches more than eight hours of television. People are reluctant to accept that TV has any effect on them, but doing anything for that long will have some short-term neurological consequences.

Television encourages low alpha waves (brainwaves in the frequency range 8-12 Hz) in the brain. These brainwaves are associated with relaxation, but also suggestibility – something advertisers look to capitalise on by making your receptive brain associate their brands with positive emotions.

If you spend many hours with your brain operating in the low-alpha state, this can result in attention-span issues and an inability to concentrate when you return to work.

5. Family stress

Christmas is a time for family. For many, that is not an unmitigated blessing. Any form of stress leads to the release of adrenaline and cortisol – an automatic response that has been in our genes since we were hunter gatherers.

But there is one part of a brain that is especially vulnerable to increases in cortisol and that's the hippocampus. As a result, when you're stressed you may find your ability to multi-task and remember things is impaired. Not hugely helpful if you're making the meal.

Exercising (Boxing Day jog anyone?) and getting plenty of sleep are the best ways to counteract increased cortisol levels.

Exercise stimulates the growth and repair of cells in the hippocampus, and induces a more positive mood, making you less susceptible to stress and reducing the amount of cortisol released. Plus it provides the perfect excuse to run away from your relatives.

This article originally appeared on guardian.co.uk

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10 Cool Alternatives To The World's Most Popular New Year's Eve Destinations


kitzbuhel austria snow mountains town

It’s often said that New Year’s Eve is for amateurs.

To that end, there are some obvious destinations that any joker could tell you will be “fun” on New Year’s Eve.

Steer clear of the obvious and increase your chances of getting to the front of the line without having to use your elbows, and of course, your wallet.

A little research can unlock some equally exciting New Year’s Eve celebrations at slightly less traditional destinations.

Here’s our rundown of the most obvious New Year’s Eve hot spots and their off-the-beaten-track alternatives:

For the city that just missed making the list, check out the Hopper Blog!

1. Instead of Edinburgh, Try: Prague

Edinburgh is famous for its effervescent “Hogmanay” celebrations to wring in the New Year.

For a chilly European New Year’s in another incredibly gorgeous and historical city, why not Czech out Prague? Grab a spot on the banks of Vltava river to take in the incredible fireworks display that lights up the city at midnight.

For a crazier scene, join the crowds shooting off their own fireworks in Prague’s iconic Old Town Square.

The city is known for its lively club scene, and venues like trendy dance club Mecca are sure to be packed with people ushering 2013 in with a whole lot of electronica and euro-pop.

For an all inclusive evening, grab a ticket for an evening on a Party Boat, and spend the night toasting champagne and mingling on a cruise of through the heart of the City of a Hundred Spires.

2. Instead of New York, Try: Toronto

Sure, you could go smash yourself up against a million other people in Times Square or pay $200 to go to a nightclub, but why not ring in 2013 in another cosmopolitan city without the headaches that come with trying to hail a cab in Manhattan on Dec. 31 (trust us, it’s impossible).

Toronto offers the urban nightlife of Manhattan, with a little more breathing room and a more reasonable Canadian price tag (comparison: a deluxe room at the Four Seasons in New York for New Year’s Eve is $1,195 USD, a deluxe room at Toronto’s Four Seasons is $518).

Toronto’s equivalent to the Times Square Ball drop happens at CityTv’s celebration in Nathan Square, where celebrities gather for the countdown to midnight and fireworks.

Make sure to check out Toronto’s Distillery District, a lively area full of restored Victorian Industrial buildings and chock full of cafes, galleries and bars.

2. Instead of Amsterdam, Try: Reykjavik

Every year hundreds of thousands of partiers flock to Amsterdam for New Year’s to enjoy its lively club scene, the notorious cafes, and the incredible free-for-all that is Amsterdam’s fireworks display at midnight.

If fireworks are your New Year’s raison d’etre, consider Iceland’s Reykjavik instead.

Not only will you save on flight time and hotel cost (the average cost of a 4 star hotel in Reykjavik for New Year’s is $130 while Amsterdam’s four star hotels average at $300), but you’ll enjoy a similarly lively fireworks scene along with Reykjavik's signature bonfires.

Neighbors gather to light bonfires, toast the New Year and watch the sky light up with fireworks. Like the Netherlands, Iceland has an open policy regarding fireworks during New Year’s, which means they are liable to erupt from any and all corners of the city!

Later, everyone heads to the bars and clubs in Reykjavik's downtown center to ring in the New Year with live music lasting to 6 am on January 1st.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The 24 Worst Celebrity Air Rage Incidents


Alec Baldwin

Celebrities are just like the rest of us, even when they travel, right?

After all, nobody likes the hassles of the airport: taking off your shoes, figuring out the latest baggage rules, or shooing away the paparazzi when you’re just trying to buy a magazine or some M&Ms before your flight.

Okay, so perhaps celebrities have it worse — in some ways — when negotiating their way through air travel.

On the other hand, famous folks also have a colorful track record of freaking out both in airports and while cruising at 30,000 feet.

See the shocking incidents >

Countless news reports detail some celebrity air rage incidents that many of us can relate to: Naomi Campbell went ballistic when her luggage got lost. And Clay Aiken got into a “dispute” with a fellow traveler when his in-flight nap invaded her personal space.

Other incidents get a little more extreme. Actor Alec Baldwin infamously lost his patience — slamming the bathroom door, pounding on the wall, cursing — when asked to quit playing Words With Friends on his phone. Icelandic singer Björk lashed out at a reporter in a Thai airport just for welcoming her to the country. And a near riot took place at London’s Heathrow after Snoop Dogg and some of his entourage were asked to leave a business-class lounge — and almost took down a duty-free shop with them.

The term “air rage” can be applied to anything from smoking onboard a plane to assaulting the flight crew. Andrew Thomas, a professor of international business at University of Akron, founder of Air Rage.org, and author of the book Air Rage: Crisis in the Skies, says that famous people have a higher likelihood of air rage, in large part because they tend to sit closer to the cockpit.

“There is an entitlement factor that goes with folks in the front of the plane, and I would extend that to celebrities as well,” he says. “There is a disproportionate number of air rage incidents that take place in business class — people who are not always used to the answer ‘no.’ ”

The FAA and Department of Homeland Security both monitor air rage incidents on U.S. flights, but they don’t strictly track it on all levels. Security breaches, meanwhile, are reported to the Department of Homeland Security. Technically, the FBI has jurisdiction over airspace, which is why anyone who breaks the rules by “interfering with the flight crew” will often be met by an FBI agent, rather than airport or local police, for questioning upon landing.

An Air Transport Association spokesman says that the airline industry group doesn’t track air rage at all, but that, “anecdotally, the number of unruly incidents, relative to the total number of travelers, is minuscule. Flight attendants do an excellent and commendable job at diffusing the potential for rage onboard.”

Interestingly enough, a striking number of celebrity air rage incidents involve London’s Heathrow Airport. Thomas speculates that the Heathrow problem stems from the fact that it’s the most-traveled international hub — and, perhaps, because of its easy access to the main trigger of in-flight rage: booze. “They really push the duty-free stuff at Heathrow,” he says, “so a lot of people buy their own stuff and carry it on the plane.”

But, for PR reasons, airlines don’t report the vast majority of incidents, unless there’s an extreme case requiring legal action. “The airlines’ unstated policy,” Thomas says, “is to get this passenger the hell out of here — and then let it go.”

Now see the celebrity in-flight incidents >

More From Travel + Leisure:

Susan Boyle

British singing sensation Susan Boyle startled passengers in a VIP lounge at London’s Heathrow Airport with erratic behavior, shouting curse words and singing into a mop.

One witness told the Sun: “She was singing and dancing around, shouting obscenities at full volume.” However, another onlooker told IrishCentral.com that the story was blown out of context. According to that witness, someone asked Boyle to sing and she complied.

But when an irritated flier made a snide comment, she grabbed hold of the mop saying she could sing if she wanted and added, “Oh, excuse me, sir, let me shine your shoes” and used the mop to shine his shoes.

Consequences: A British Airways official stayed with Boyle in a corridor until she boarded the Chicago-bound flight (Boyle was to appear on Oprah in January 2010). British Airways later released a statement: “A customer in the BA lounge on Tuesday was asked to temper their behavior as it was becoming disruptive.”

Billie Joe Armstrong

In September 2011, just before takeoff from San Francisco International Airport, a Southwest Airlines flight attendant asked the Green Day lead singer to pull up his low-sagging pants. According to reports, Armstrong replied: “Don’t you have better things to do than worry about that?” After repeated requests, he became very angry. The flight attendant said, “Pull your pants up or you’re getting off the plane.”

Consequences: Armstrong and his traveling companion were thrown off the Burbank-bound flight. He then Tweeted, “Just got kicked off a southwest flight because my pants sagged too low!” The airline apologized and put him on the next flight out.

Wes Scantlin

“When a grown man cannot purchase a beer on a five-hour flight from Boston to LA, then the airlines are completely losing their minds,” Puddle of Mud lead singer Wes Scantlin told TMZ.

He insisted that he was completely sober and had only wanted to purchase a beer after a two-hour nap on a JetBlue flight he took in September 2012. Officials, however, claim that the rocker was so drunkenly combative and argumentative that his unruly behavior created a public disturbance. When he was denied the drink, Scantlin and a flight attendant got into a verbal altercation and caused the plane to make an emergency landing in Austin, TX.

Consequences: Scantlin was booted off the flight, arrested, and charged with public intoxication. The other passengers each received a letter of apology and a $50 voucher for being grounded for more than an hour in Austin. However, the judge since dropped the charges due to insufficient evidence.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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Peek Inside The Abandoned Bank Of Manhattan That's Being Taken Over By Artists


Bank vault in the former Bank of Manhattan in the Clock Tower, Long Island City

This post originally appeared at Untapped Cities.

Urban explorers, architecture buffs and art lovers alike will relish this opportunity to fully explore the former Bank of Manhattan in Long Island City’s Clock Tower when the latest No Longer Empty exhibition, “How Much Do I Owe You?” opens to the public on Wednesday, December 12th.

Take a look >

As the event’s media sponsor, Untapped New York was given the chance to do some exploring so we can share with our readers this space, which has been closed to the public since the mid-1980s.

We will also be offering an exclusive tour led by No Longer Empty and Untapped New York to a select number of lucky readers in January, please sign up here.

Today we want to show you all the spots to check out when in the Bank of Manhattan you come to the exhibit, but do also check out this preview of the unique installations from the 26 participating artists.

The Bank of Manhattan later became the ubiquitous Chase Manhattan Bank, but the financial firm actually began as the first organized water delivery service, a private enterprise run by Aaron Burr called the Manhattan Company, which had exclusive rights to supply water to New York City. According to Kate Ascher in her excellent The Works: Anatomy of the City,

Rather than bring water from the outside as planned, the company sank more wells locally and stored it in a reservoir at Chambers Street; thus the quality of the water was no better than that drawn directly from Collect Pond itself. The company prospered nonetheless and used its surplus to start a bank–the Bank of Manhattan Company–that was more profitable than its water delivery business. As its banking operations expanded, its water delivery operations shrank, and in 1808 the company sold its water operations to the city.

The Bank of Manhattan building was built in 1924, the first skyscraper in Long Island City. The Long Island Star Journal proclaimed that it would make Bridge Plaza, then a gardened promenade in the City Beautiful style, “the new Times Square of Queens.”

Andover Realty currently owns the building and approached No Longer Empty to raise awareness of the historic space on the ground floor (the upper floors of the Clock Tower are occupied by law offices).

Lucy Lydon, communications manager for No Longer Empty, tells us that the interior reflects the history of finance.

As the Bank of Manhattan evolved from venerated institution to a more personal banking approach, so the architecture shifted from an imposing neoclassical interior to dry wall, with more opportunity for communication with customers.

Check out more awesome New York City coverage at Untapped Cities.

For example, from the main lobby area you can see the original molding and pilasters above the wall.

Above the drywall, you can see the original lobby details such as the Corinthian pilasters and molding.

The highlight of your visit will likely be the vaults in the basement.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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