Friday, May 12, 2017

Take a Peek Into the Industrial Revolution

With the Miami Beach Convention Center currently undergoing a $615-million state-of-the-art transformation that will be ready in 2018, you can bet more of us business travelers will likely be heading down to South Beach (SoBe)for meetings and conferences. 

If you are one of the lucky ducks who has a conference in SoBe and you find yourself with a spare hour or so, think about heading over to the Wolfsonian- Florida International University Museum. It’s right in the heart of the city, just blocks from the Convention Center at Washington and 10th and its permanent and rotating exhibits dating from the Industrial Revolution through the end of the Second World War are fantastic.
The building itself, the Washington Storage Company, was expanded and renovated in 1992 by architect Mark Hampton in collaboration with architect William Kearns to convert it from a storage place for Mitchell Wolfson, Jr.'s large collection of rare books and objects on modern design, architecture and decorative arts into a museum and research center. The modernist lobby, museum cafĂ© and shop are just a prelude to the exhibit space for permanent and temporary galleries dramatically arranged around light wells, 

The museum is open various hours every day except Wed. and it’s just $10 to get in (or free on Friday nights from 6-9 if you happen to be there then) So if you're in Miami Beach for work and find that elusive bit of time that we business travelers sometimes get, head down to Washington and 10th and poke into the Wolfsonian-FIU and get lost in a whimsical "blast from the past" 

Wolfsonian- FIU
1001 Washington Avenue
(corner of Washington and 10th)
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Friday, January 27, 2017

Zaytinya - A Taste Treat in DC

When I'm in DC for work, I always try to make my way over to Zaytinya - which means "olive oil" in Turkish - for lunch or dinner at least once. It's an easy walk from the Convention Center if you're there for a conference, or located directly across from the Gallery Place/Chinatown Metro stop on the Red, Green and Yellow lines.

The inside of the restaurant is sleek and modern and it has a great outdoor patio for al fresco dining (weather permitting) However, as much as I love the atmosphere of Zaytinya it's the food that keeps me coming back whenever I'm in town. World-traveling chef Jose Andres and his team have created a menu of fantastic small plates (mezze) inspired by the cuisine of Turkey, Greece and Lebanon (my mouth is watering as I write this just thinking about it!) Smaller portion plates are particularly great if dining alone or fun to share if you're in town with your team or clients.

Head to Zaytinya if you want a break from the steak or seafood restaurants that are plentiful in DC - and have an order of delicious baba ghannouge for me!

Let me know if you go and if so, what's your favorite dish? Or do you have another favorite restaurant near the convention center?

701 9th Street NW
Washington DC 20001
Corner of 9th and G Streets

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Get Outside in Vegas

Sometimes when I'm working at an event that takes place at one of the casino/event centers in Las Vegas, I almost feel like a prisoner. The event and conference space is connected to the hotel and colleagues and clients often just want to meet at restaurants or bars located on the property and there's even shopping and entertainment to be had without ever having to step out the door. Trying to just get outside for the few minutes that I might find myself with is nearly impossible - I know I, (and probably you), don't have time to wait in the cab line to try to get out somewhere and feel the sun on my face and it makes me crazy!

Finally, last time I was staying and working at Mandalay Bay, I found that if I made my way to the lower floor (pool level) I could get outside and there was a walkway that lead down a lovely path lined with palm trees all the way to the conference center. Prior to finding this piece of heaven, I would make the almost 1/2 mile hike inside the dark casino halls, over an indoor "bridge" which was lined (cruelly) with large windows that allowed me to see, but not experience,the beautiful, sunny skies. Finding the path that let me do that same walk outdoors felt like a great little secret way to start and end my long days otherwise spent in the sunless caverns of the event center and evenings at restaurants located in the hotel.

So, next time your event/meeting takes place inside the windowless depths of a Vegas casino,and you don't have a lot of time to try to get outside, take a look and see if you can find your own "secret passage" that lets you get outside, get in a little walk and breath a little fresh air.

If you've found your own great little secret walks (indoor or out) at any of the casinos, please let me know!

Friday, September 23, 2016

A Taste of the "Mini-Apple"

Because I travel from Minneapolis to other cities, I forget that some of you might be traveling to Minneapolis and want to know of some fun, interesting things there are to do here. So if you're business travels bring you to the "Mini - Apple"  Here are three things that you can do if you find yourself with an hour or two.

 1) Walk the skyways - According to Wikipedia, "Minneapolis skyways connect various buildings in 69 full city blocks over 11 miles of downtown Minneapolis, enabling people to walk in climate controlled comfort year-round."  (Great news especially if you're here in the winter!)
It's not only just kind of fun to wander through the skyways from building to building, but there are restaurants and shops throughout these passages as well.

2) Wander down Nicollet Mall - Nicollet Mall is 11 blocks that run through the heart of downtown Minneapolis with shops and restaurants for every taste. Take in a few shops and then stop and head up to the "rooftop lawn" (weather permitting) at Brit's Pub for a pint.

3) Walk along the Mississippi - Yep, "The Big Muddy" runs right through downtown Minneapolis (it's why Minneapolis was know as the flour mill capital of the world and how it got its nickname "Mill City") There's a great walking path all along the Mississippi - and depending on where you go, you'll see the Guthrie Theater, Mill City Museum, the Stone Arch Bridge, St Anthony Falls, and many other landmarks. If you get a nice day/evening and can get there, the Riverfront is a fantastic way to get out of the hotel for a stroll and some fresh air

Enjoy Minneapolis if you come!

Friday, December 11, 2015

A Walk in the Park

If you're in NYC for work and you happen to be above about 56th and find yourself with that elusive 1/2 hour or hour before your next meeting or dinner, take a walk in the park. Central Park is haven away from the frantic bustle and noise of Manhattan and no matter where you enter, there is something wonderful to explore.

If you enter more toward the south end of the park you can wander to the carousel which has been a park attraction since 1861.

Toward the center of the park - you'll find the Belvidere Castle with its two balconies giving you a birds eye view of the Great Lawn, Turtle Pond and Delacorte Theater

 That Imagine mosaic (honoring John Lennon) is located in Strawberry Fields near 72nd on the West side and if you're way up in the Upper East side, you can roam the Conservatory Gardens.

There are hundreds of things to see in the park but you don't need to have an attraction in mind, just get out of the hotel, put on your walking shoes and enter the magic of Central Park. Wherever you roam, you'll feel like you're a million miles away from your hectic day and be prepared for the next meeting.

What's your favorite site in Central Park?

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Orlando - Who Knew?

Like many business travelers (especially those of us that do lots of trade shows and conferences), I end up in Orlando a lot!  I've always kind of thought of the area as a cultural wasteland (chain restaurants and Disney-themed and other touristy shops) So last time I was there, I thought that I'd do something different and I headed downtown Orlando. What a great surprise! I found a fantastic restaurant (Kasa Restaurant and Bar) on Orange Street, got a taste of the local nightlife and actually made my way back over one afternoon to the quaint neighborhood of  South Eola. This historic downtown neighborhood was a complete surprise to me with cobblestone streets (historical - not Disney-made), large shade trees dripping with Spanish Moss and bungalow homes. The best part of the area was Lake Eola Park where a fantastic Farmer's Market was underway, locals were gathering to do yoga in the large lawn, and swans swam in the lovely lake which was ringed by a .9 mile walking path that included small gardens, a swan boat rental dock, and several sculptures.
It was such a delightful surprise (I love it when that happens!) You'd better believe that next time I'm in Orlando for a conference or convention and I find myself with a little extra time, I'll be heading downtown to visit Lake Eola Park, or explore another new, interesting Orlando neighborhood.

Have you ever explored downtown Orlando?

Faves:Farmer's Market at Lake Eola Park
Restaurant: Kasa
Area - Lake Eola Park

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Discover Atlanta - At the Airport?

Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport is huge and most people consider it just a hub to get to their next destination. However, if you want to (or if you're stranded and looking for something to do), you can actually walk the entire length of the concourse underground (where you typically catch the trains)- which I recently did. I found three delightful things in doing this: 1) It's very quiet and can be relatively quick as there are moving sidewalks and very few people (quite a departure from the chaos going on just above your head in the main concourses) 2) Whether you use the moving sidewalks or not (as I generally don't), you can actually get a little walking workout. Which is nice if you've been sitting in a meeting all day and are getting ready to board a plane and sit for several more hours. 3) There are some interesting and beautiful art and history installations between several of the concourses. Even if you don't take the entire pedestrian walkway, consider walking between a couple of the concourses to see some of these exhibits. - Between the terminal and concourse A is a permanent collection of twenty contemporary stone sculptures from Zimbabwe. This collection debuted in 2001 and is one of the largest publicly owned and exhibited collections of its kind. - Between concourses B and C you can take a "Walk Through Atlanta History" According to the website this is a multi-media installation that provides a glimpse into the rich history of the City of Atlanta. Approaching from Concourse B your journey starts with a section devoted to the Native Peoples who lived here for thousands of years, progresses through six key time periods, and ends with Atlanta’s entry onto the global stage. These are just two examples of interesting exhibitions that you can find at the Hartsfield-Jackson airport - So, if you're ever stranded or are not literally "running" to catch your flight, take a look at the website (offered free) ,type "art" or "Atlanta history" into the search box and go on a treasure hunt to find the permanent and rotating art exhbitt that this airport has to offer.