By Airport Shuttle Bus To Osaka A Pleasant 3Day Sightseeing Route

first_img Nearest station Shinsaibashi Station (Osaka Subway Midosuji and Nagahori Tsurumi-ryokuchi Line) Food lovers, how about enjoying an eating tour in Shinsekai?The area sells kushikatsu (skewered fried meats and vegetables) and takoyaki (octopus balls) for reasonable prices beginning at 500 yen, so come to fill your appetite. Eating while surrounded by the energetic calls of shop staff and flashy billboards will no doubt become a great memory of your trip! Shinsekai View InformationIf you have time to spare, then travel a little further to visit Kyoto or Kobe! Kyoto and Kobe are both about one hour from Osaka. On the night of your second day, comfortably spend your time at the hotel and recover from your travel fatigue.Day Three: Travel Comfortably to the Airport After CheckoutAfter two fun days of sightseeing in Osaka, it’s time to head to a new destination. Once you’ve finished breakfast, it’s time to head to Kansai International Airport.You can comfortably travel to the airport by using karaksa hotel’s shuttle bus service! Wouldn’t it be great to be able to travel to the airport without worrying about your fatigue or your heavy luggage?Flights for New Chitose Airport and Kushiro Airport in Hokkaido, Narita Airport, and Naha Airport in Okinawa fly out from Kansai International Airport. You can even enjoy an economical trip around Japan after your Osaka travels.How to Use the Shuttle BusThe way to use the shuttle bus will differ when boarding from the airport and when boarding from the hotel.When Boarding from the AirportReservations are not required to board the bus from the airport to the hotel location that you’ll be staying. The bus can be used on a first-come-first-serve basis. Hotel guests are able to ride the bus for free.Staff will be waiting for you 20 minutes before departure near the 1F[A] exit of the airport, so you won’t have to worry about getting lost after landing.When Boarding from the HotelWhen boarding the bus from the hotel, make a reservation at the front desk after check-in.Each person must pay 1,000 yen (including tax) if you wish to upgrade your accommodation to a plan that includes the shuttle bus service. However, those who make a room reservation through karaksa hotel’s official website will be able to board the bus from the hotel for free.It is sure worth it to make a reservation through the official website!You will be presented with a reservation confirmation and an original badge when making reservations for the bus. Please carry the badge with you in place of a ticket when boarding.For details on the shuttle bus timetable, please check karaksa hotel’s official website.Enjoy Your Time at karaksa hotels – Ideal for Long Stays too!Those traveling to Osaka should stay at karaksa hotel Osaka Namba or Osaka Shinsaibashi I, which have become even more convenient with the introduction of their shuttle bus service.The hotel offers facilities and services that provide support for the guests to fully enjoy their stay. As such, we also recommend staying at the hotel for longer periods, such as one week, to enjoy sightseeing in the Kansai region!A Guide to Using karaksa hotel’s Shuttle Bus Service karaksa hotel Osaka Namba View Informationlodging karaksa hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi I View InformationlodgingWritten by Asuka Yoshidaphoto by PixtaSponsored by KARAKSA HOTELS Address Osaka, Osaka, Chuo-ku, Shinasibashi-Suji View InformationShinsaibashi {“map_code”:{“pin”:[{“title”:”Osaka, Osaka, Chuo-ku, Shinasibashi-Suji”,”code”:”34.671947048332925, 135.50177076137697″}],”center”:”34.672899995756424, 135.50215699947512″,”zoom”:”16″,”latitude”:”34.672899995756424″,”longitude”:”135.50215699947512″}} Namba View Information Not Available ShinsaibashiView Map WiFi Not Available Want to leave your heavy luggage at your hotel and enjoy Osaka sightseeing after arriving at Kansai International Airport? There’s a way to travel around Osaka, an area with many things to see, that will grant that wish!If you want to enjoy everything in Osaka, then we recommend staying at karaksa hotels and utilize their shuttle bus that travels between the airport and hotel. We’ll introduce a three-day travel plan that you can use to fully enjoy the city of Osaka from the day you land by using the guest shuttle bus!Please check the end of this article for details on how to use the shuttle bus.Day One: Travel to Osaka City by a Free Shuttle Bus!karaksa hotels are popular with visitors from overseas because they offer foreign language support and interpretation services. They also have connecting rooms, giving them a reputation for providing rooms that easily allow families and friends to stay together as a group.The exterior of the karaksa hotel’s Osaka Namba locationThe exterior of the karaksa hotel’s Osaka Shinsaibashi I locationThere are currently three karaksa hotels in Osaka. karaksa hotel Osaka Namba and karaksa hotel Osaka Shinsaibashi I are convenient for sightseeing within Osaka. karaksa Spring hotel Kansai Air Gate is great for sightseeing around the Rinku Premium Outlets or Universal Studio Japan™️.For details on karaksa hotels, please check their official website.** In this article, we introduce a plan for enjoying Osaka while staying at either karaksa hotel Osaka Namba or Osaka Shinsaibashi I.A Guide to Using karaksa hotel’s Shuttle Bus ServiceDay One Afternoon: Eat Okonomiyaki at a Popular SpotOnce you’ve landed at Kansai International Airport, head to the hotel by shuttle bus and leave your luggage at the hotel. If you take the first afternoon bus from Kansai Airport, then you’ll be able to enjoy a late lunch in the city.What we recommend in Osaka is none other than okonomiyaki, a savory dish made with vegetables, meat and other ingredients. Fukutaro Namba Dining Maison is popular even with local food connoisseurs and is one restaurant you should visit while in Osaka.Top recommendations include the Mix Tama (pictured bottom left), an okonomiyaki with pork, shrimp, and squid, the Suji Negiyaki (pictured bottom right), with is made with beef and green onions added between the batter then fried on the griddle, and the Omusoba (pictured top right), an egg-wrapped yakisoba.The thin, light texture of the okonomiyaki batter is definitely something you won’t forget once you’ve tasted it. The rich sauce in the Omusoba is also irresistible. Please take your time enjoying your meal at this sophisticated restaurant. Fukutaro Namba Dining Maison View InformationrestaurantDay One Evening: Enjoy Historical Spots and Food!To Osaka Castle, Keitakuen Garden, and ShinsekaiOnce you’ve finished your meal, head to Osaka Castle, the center of Osaka sightseeing, in the evening. Osaka Castle is considered one of Japan’s Three Great Castles that possesses outstanding castle towers and stone walls. You’ll most surely be moved by its magnificence. Osaka Castle View InformationWe also recommend taking a short break at Keitakuen Garden, a nearby Japanese-style garden. There are to 200 types of trees in this garden. It’s a place where you can experience nature views that are unique to Japan. Gazing past the trees to admire the large, towering Abeno Harukas building is also another tasteful part of the garden. Keitakuen Garden View InformationparkDay One Night: Grilled Kobe Beef for DinnerOne of the advantages to karaksa hotel Osaka Namba and Osaka Shinsaibashi I’s locations is the proximity to two of Osaka’s best shopping districts: Shinsaibashi and Dotonbori. This means you’ll be able to enjoy as much shopping and food as you want near the hotel!It’s now time for dinner. The Steak Sakura Namba Flagship Restaurant (Japanese), where you’ll be able to enjoy Kobe beef, is located near both hotels and is perfect for ending the day in happy spirits. The restaurant utilizes carefully selected ingredients. You also can’t miss out on their performance as they grill your food in an enthralling way right before your eyes on the griddle.After eating, we recommend strolling through the shopping districts. The two districts are constantly bustling with energy even throughout the night. The sight of the streets shining in neon lights is a must-see. Steak Sakura Namba Flagship Restaurant View InformationrestaurantA guest room at karaksa hotel Osaka NambaOnce you’ve returned to the hotel, how about comfortably relaxing in your room (Osaka Namba), which is provided with comfortable beds and a shower with a rain function? You can take your time and think about your plan for the next day. It would also be a great idea to use the free Wi-Fi provided by the hotel to gather information for your trip.A guest room at karaksa hotel Osaka NambaThe rooms are installed with universal electrical outlets, making it unnecessary for you to bring a Japan plug adapter. Convenient USB ports are also located near your bedside.For details on karaksa hotel’s guest rooms, please check out their pages for Osaka Namba and Osaka Shinsaibashi I.Various services are offered at karaksa hotels for guests. Free drinks can be enjoyed at Osaka Namba’s hotel restaurant between 14:00 to 21:00.A spacious leisure space with tables and chairs is also found inside Osaka Shinsaibashi I for you to use as a place of relaxation. The hotel also sometimes holds seasonal events, making your stay even more fun!Day Two: Enjoy Shopping and Food in the City!Kyoto and Kobe SightseeingOsaka Namba breakfastOn the morning of your second day, enjoy the hotel’s breakfast (Osaka Namba) which includes local bread and coffee in a buffet. When you think of Osaka, shopping at Shinsaibashi and Namba come to mind, so we can’t leave that out! These areas are within walking distance from the hotels.For details on breakfast at karaksa hotels, please check out their pages on Osaka Namba and Osaka Shinsaibashi I.Picture from Osaka Travel Guide: Sightseeing Tips, Dining, Shopping And More!Let’s head to Shinsaibashi-suji Shopping Street, a shopping arcade with 180 stores lined up next to each other, in Shinsaibashi. You’re sure to find what you want here with both fashion stores and large duty-free shops lining the arcade.In the Namba area, about a 15 minute walk from Shinsaibashi, you’ll find buildings such as Namba CITY and Namba Marui with popular fashion stores and general goods shops. You can also collect everything you want in one visit here from the latest fashion from stores such as UNIQLO to general souvenirs. Website Shinsaibashi Accepted Credit Cardslast_img read more

Have A Great Time In Odaiba 5 Recommended Spots Along The Rinkai

first_imgTokyo Joypolis is located inside Decks Tokyo Beach, a large shopping mall complex. Madame Tussaud’s Tokyo, famous for its life-sized wax figures of celebrities, is also located here.This mall also features a wide variety of general merchandise stores and restaurants, so it is an ideal place to dine after a visit to Tokyo Joypolis. Tokyo is the most popular destination for visitors from abroad. There are many wonderful spots such as Harajuku, where you can enjoy the latest fashions, or Asakusa, with its traditional townscape. Tokyo covers a vast area, so some people may be weary of the distance between sightseeing spots.For those looking for an area where they can spend a whole day without moving around too much, the Rinkai Line offers the perfect balance.Video – Spending a Fun Day in the Rinkai Line Area!The Rinkai Line runs for 12.2 kilometers, mainly through the Odaiba area, and the whole train ride takes only eighteen minutes.Check out this video for some inspiration on fun things to do in Odaiba!Visitors can enjoy shopping at DiverCity Tokyo Plaza, or view the nightscape from Telecom Center Building Observatory, so family groups can also have fun in this area. The following are the five recommended spots in the Odaiba area.To check access from Tokyo and Shinjuku Stations to Tokyo Teleport Station of the Rinkai Line, please take a look at the Rinkai Line webpage.Odaiba Seaside ParkIt is a seven minute walk from Tokyo Teleport Station on the Rinkai Line to Odaiba Seaside Park. People enjoy canoeing and windsurfing at this artificial beach, which stretches for 800 meters. It is often bustling with visitors, and various events are held here throughout the year.Rainbow Bridge, an Odaiba icon, and the high-rise buildings on the opposite shore can be seen from the here. A stroll while taking in the great view is another way to enjoy this beach.Keep walking, and Statue of Liberty, where many visitors take photographs, comes into view. This is a replica made by a company in Odaiba, after the Paris Statue of Liberty was displayed in Japan in 1998.A photograph of the statue with your friends or family should make a nice memory of the Tokyo trip. Odaiba Seaside Park View InformationparkTokyo JoypolisTokyo Joypolis, the largest indoor theme park in Japan, is a five minute walk from Tokyo Teleport Station. Visitors can enjoy a wide variety of attractions, including virtual reality games. This is an ideal spot to visit, regardless of the weather. Live Coaster, a thrilling roller coaster ride, and Halfpipe Tokyo, a skateboard game, are especially popular.The ticket vending machine can be operated in English, so non-Japanese speakers need not to worry. There are also pamphlets in English, Chinese, and Korean too, so all you need to do is have fun! Tokyo Joypolis View Informationamusement_parkDecks Tokyo Beach Trattoria Pizzeria LOGIC Odaiba, an Italian restaurant located on the third floor of the mall, is famous for its pizza and pasta. Customers can enjoy the view of the Rainbow Bridge along with the great food. Decks Tokyo Beach View Informationshopping_mallDiverCity Tokyo PlazaDiverCity Tokyo Plaza is a shopping mall famous for the full-scale figure of Gundam (*1) standing outside. This mall is a perfect place to look for souvenirs, as it boasts a wide variety of general merchandise stores. Located at a three minute walking distance from the Tokyo Teleport Station, it is also easy to access.*1: The display of the original Gundam figure ended in March 2017. A new figure is scheduled to be displayed from November 2017.If you are looking for souvenirs, head to Sostrene Grene, which is filled with retro-modern items. The store handles stylish earthenware, such as mugs designed like Japanese teacups. They also have stationery and party items as well. Sostrene Grene keeps a rich selection of goods in stock, so as far as time permits, why not think about your friends back home, and look for the perfect souvenir. DiverCity Tokyo Plaza View Informationshopping_mallTelecom Center Building ObservatoryThe nighttime view from the Telecom Center Building Observatory is designated as one of the top night views of Japan. The observatory is located on the 21st floor of the building; from here, visitors can enjoy the beautiful Odaiba townscape. It is a fifteen minute walk from the Tokyo Teleport Station.The Ferris wheel in the nearby amusement park Palette Town, Tokyo Tower and Tokyo Skytree can be seen in daytime. If the weather is clear, Mount Fuji, the symbol of Japan, can also be viewed from this tower.This is the view which was designated as a Night View Heritage site in Japan. Enjoying the scenery from this spacious observatory is sure to make a great memory of your Tokyo tour. Telecom Center Building Observatory View InformationEnjoy Yourself All Day Long in OdaibaThere are attractive spots for shopping and dining, and also places to enjoy the view along the Rinkai Line. The five spots in this article can be all visited in a single day, so next time you visit Tokyo, get on the Rinkai Line and explore the Odaiba area.Official Site: Rinkai LinePhotos and text by Kazuma Takahashi.Scenery photos by Tokyo Port Terminal Corporation, TOKYO JOYPOLIS, Shutterstock.Sponsored by Rinkai Line.last_img read more

7 MuslimFriendly Halal Certified Restaurants In Tokyo

first_imgPhoto courtesy of Tanden websiteFrequently seen on foods and drinks, Halal refers to food and actions that follow the rules of Islam. Therefore, restaurants and foods that are certified Halal follow Islamic law and can be consumed by Muslims without worries.Lately, the number of restaurants and services in Tokyo that provide Halal certified products have increased in preparation for the 2020 Olympics. This time we would like to recap the Halal certified cafes and restaurants that were once featured in MATCHA!Read Also:Japan’s Largest Mosque – Tokyo Camii Turkish Cultural Center1. Yoyogi: Tanden Yoyogi BranchPhoto courtesy of Tanden websiteTanden Yoyogi branch is located only two minutes by foot from JR Yoyogi Station. Born from the concept of wanting the people of Tokyo to satisfy their cravings for delicious beef from Kagoshima, they provide high-quality meat for a reasonable price. The Kuroge Wagyu beef is a high-quality meat that is so soft that it melts in your mouth! In this store, even Muslims can enjoy this wonderful Halal certified beef and savor the mouth-watering Kuroge wagyu beef. The store is very spacious and can fit up to 80 people.Read Also: Enjoy Halal-Certified Wagyū Beef At Tanden In Yoyogi2. Yoyogi: Sumiyaki-yaSumiyaki-ya is right on the fashionable streets of Nishi-Azabu and only an eight-minute walk from Roppongi. With the hopes of wanting Muslims to enjoy Japanese yakiniku barbecue, they were one of the first stores to prepare Halal certified beef. The popularity has grown and the store is filled with Muslims and non-Muslims alike both excited to taste the delicious meat. Even the fourth prime minister of Malaysia, Mahathir bin Mohamad, has paid a visit here. The restaurant itself is small and quaint but highly recommended.Next Page: Sumiyakiya: A Halal-Certified Grill In Roppongilast_img read more

Watching A Sumo Practice Session At MusashigawaBeya

first_imgMusashigawa-beya was initiated by yokozuna (*1) Musashigawa Mitsuhide. Originating from Hawaii and known as Musashimaru, Musashigawa Mitsuhide has won 12 tournaments consecutively, registering for the first time this record as a non-Japanese sumo wrestler. With the support of the Japan Sumo Association, he opened Musashigawa-beya in April, 2013.*1 Yokozuna:  the highest rank in the sumo world, symbolized by the tsuna (“thick rope”) in their ceremonial attire, which is inspired by the shimenawa from Shinto, the rope demarcating sacred ground.Musashigawa-beya has 16 disciples at present. Besides living in Musashigawa-beya, they undergo harsh training every day, striving to become professional sumo wrestlers.The Daily Practice of Sumo DisciplesThe daily program of the sumo wrestlers begins early in the morning, as the practice sessions start at 8 o’clock.The young disciples’ training is supervised by Musashigawa Mitsuhide himself and by two oyakata (licensed sumo coaches). Their practice includes footwork drills, bouts during which they confront each other, as well as ending sessions called shiage, during which they confront the coaches themselves. Sumo has been practiced in Japan since ancient times. More than a wrestling sport, it has long been performed ritually at festivals. In the world of sumo, the regulations prescribed by tradition are being strictly respected. This is one of the reason why, besides watching sumo bouts for real or on TV, we usually have few occasions to get into contact with this world.The places where the rikishi (sumo wrestlers) live and perform their practices are called heya. Lately, some of the sumo beya allow visitors to watch the practice sessions. We had the chance to visit Musashigawa-beya the other day, a sumo practice facility in Tokyo.Musashigawa-beya, One of the Newest Sumo Training Facilities While watching their practice sessions, you realize that not only strength is needed in order to win a bout, but also speed and agility. During a visit to a sumo stable such as Musashigawa-beya, you’ll come to understand a lot more about the depth and history of sumo.Shiage, the last part of the training practice, is the most difficult part. The disciples get to face the senior rikishi and have to work their hardest to confront them.This small shrine placed on the wall right beside the photograph of the yokozuna Musashigawa Mienoumi, the mentor and coach of Musashigawa Mitsuhide, serves as a reminder of the sacred and ceremonial origins of sumo.Enjoying a Meal at Musashigawa-beyaAt around 11 o’clock the morning practice comes to an end. This is the time when the sumo wrestlers have their first meal of the day. If there are guests present, they are invited to eat first and the wrestlers themselves eat afterwards.center_img The food that sumo wrestlers eat is called chanko. We had the honor of being invited to taste the chanko nabe – the stew that stands at the basis of the sumo wrestlers’ diet. This special dish consists of vegetables and fish or chicken boiled in a broth containing sake and mirin. Besides being highly nutritious, it is truly delicious.We also received these original Musashigawa biscuits as souvenirs of our visit.What Is It Like to Be a Sumo Wrestler?We talked with Buken Jo (“Kenta”), a 19 year-old disciple of Musashigawa-beya.Kenta, as he is called by his fellow disciples, was born in Fukuoka and has entered the sumo world when he was 15 after hearing a proposal from a sumo coach. He became the second disciple of Musashigawa-beya, after Musashikuni Mamu, the nephew of yokozuna Musashimaru.When asked what  the hardest thing about the daily training is as an aspiring sumo wrestler, Kenta says that the shiage (the last stage of the daily practice) is the most challenging. During shiage, you not only need physical strength, but also considerable emotional strength, as you are facing off against your coaches in person.Despite the strict regulations that come along with sumo wrestler status, Kenta seems to enjoy his life at Musashigawa-beya and is highly motivated to become a professional wrestler.Visiting A Sumo StablePlease be aware that it is rather rare that sumo training facilities such as Musashigawa-beya allow access to visitors who want to watch the practice sessions. Usually, the visitors allowed access are individual supporters of the facility.If you wish to assist at a practice session, please contact the facility beforehand using the inquiry form on their official website. Please note that visits in large groups are not permitted and that it is customary for visitors to show their gratitude for being allowed to watch the training sessions by paying a small fee. The chance to visit a sumo beya is very special, so it is essential to respect their manners and watch the disciples’ practice in silence.Witnessing the world of sumo, a especially its inner workings and harsh training is not only impressive, but also fascinating, even to casual sumo fans, and an opportunity not to be missed.Bonus: Experience the World of Sumo at the Miyamoto-ke VillaA reformed farmhouse boasting more than 200 years of history, the Miyamoto-ke Villa is a lodging facility in Chichibu, Saitama prefecture. Besides being a great place to relax in a traditional Japanese house with an beautiful garden and large bath, the guests of Miyamoto-ke can see a display of kesho-mawashi (the ceremonial attire of sumo wrestlers), since the owner, Miyamoto Kazuteru, used to be a sumo wrestler himself.By staying at the Miayamoto-ke Villa, guests can also try on a sumo wrestler’s kimono and taste authentic chanko stew prepared with local ingredients on an open hearth. Those interested in learning more about sumo should definitely consider stopping by or staying at Miyamoto-ke Villa.InformationMusashigawa-beya Address: Tokyo, Edogawa-ku, Chuo 4-1-10Nearest Station: Shin-Koiwa Station, Chuo Sobu LineAccess: 10 minute walk from the North Exit of Shin-Koiwa StationPhone: 03-5879-9268Official Website: Musashigawa-Beya (Japanese)Miyamoto-ke Villa Address: Saitama, Chichibu, Ogano-cho, Nagaru 510Hours: 9:00 – 22:00Credit cards: acceptedNearest Station: Nishi-Chichibu Station (Seibu Ikebukuro Line), Chichibu Station (Chichibu Railways)Access:1) Free pick-up service from Nishi-Chichibu Station or Chichibu Station (reservation required: 0494-75-4060)2) From Nishi-Chichibu Station or Chichibu Station take the Seibu Bus going to Ogano. Please get off the bus at Matsuida station, which you will reach in around 25 minutesPrice range: 12,000 yen ~Phone: 0494-75-4060Official Website: Miyamoto-kelast_img read more

7 Things You Should Do In Ueno

first_imgUeno is easily accessible from Narita airport, Tokyo, Asakusa and Akihabara, making it an important hub for tourists from abroad.Yet, Ueno is more than just a place to switch trains! Many tourist attractions in Ueno’s streets remain undiscovered.In this article we will introduce seven different activities you can do only in Ueno.1. Relax in Ueno ParkSource: 13 Things to Check Out at Ueno ParkUeno Park (上野恩賜公園 Ueno onshikōen) is a spacious park in the Ueno area. Many trees and plants are grown here, providing a relaxing environment for both locals and tourists.There is a Starbucks cafe, restaurant and water fountain here. During the weekends, street performers gather to hold entertaining shows. Also known as a popular spot to view cherry blossoms, Japanese people flock here during spring every year.It is an ideal place to take a break during your trip.See Also:13 Things to Check Out at Ueno ParkUeno’s Shinobazu Pond: A Relaxing Urban Oasis2. Meet Animals in Ueno ZooSource:8 Animals You Absolutely Must See At Ueno Zoo!Inside the park is Ueno Zoo, the first zoo in Japan. Also, it has the largest number of visitors in Japan so it is a familiar spot for Japanese people.While it is not a typical tourist spot, you can see the Japanese serow (a goat-antelope that is seen as a national symbol of Japan), Lidth’s Jay (a colorful bird), and other animals native to Japan here. A highly recommended spot for animal lovers.Related articles:Ueno Zoo: Animals from All Over the World Can be Seen Here!8 Animals You Absolutely Must See At Ueno Zoo!3 Recommended Routes to Take in Ueno Zoo3. Immerse Yourself in Museum ArtsSource: The 6 Museums of Ueno ParkUeno is also known as a cultural district since there are many museums here.The Tokyo National Museum exhibits many Japanese and Asian art works. In addition, the National Museum of Western Arts exhibits impressionism works, and Ueno Mori Museum is known for its anime or comic arts. For Japanese art lovers, these are places that you shouldn’t miss.Immerse yourself in the beauty of arts here in Ueno.Related articles:The 6 Museums of Ueno ParkArt and Architecture at The National Museum of Western Art, UenoLearn About Earth at the National Museum of Nature and Science, Uenolast_img read more

CDG proves productivityfriendly on last minute flight to Toulouse

first_imgTaking a quick last-minute trip to Toulouse to see the maiden flight of the Airbus A330-800 feels like a can’t-miss opportunity, but it can also disrupt one’s work plans. Air France’s app and productivity services at Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport (CDG) saved the day for your author. Finding Wi-Fi on board my Air France flights would have been icing on the cake, but the airport experience covered the gap.I have written many words for various industry publications arguing that airlines and airports need to cater to the “invisible productivity flier” – the freelance professional. That’s because the number of freelance workers in the gig economy is growing dramatically. Freelancers now represent more than a third of the US workforce, and are the fastest growing group of workers in the United Kingdom, France and the Netherlands.The gig economy is a global phenomenon which is shaping the future of business and setting lifestyle expectations. And freelancers, like me, work differently. We rely heavily on digital tools, don’t generally hold to a 9-5 schedule, and appreciate passenger experience (#PaxEx) features that let us keep up with assignments wherever we might find ourselves.These independent contractors don’t fall into the neat little “road warrior” box for business class passengers, with corporate travel departments to back them, and for whom airlines dedicate a large share of their marketing and advertising budgets.The reality is that freelancers are busy with their own battles every moment of the day. They need to be productive on the go.I flew to CDG out of Denmark’s Billund Airport on a very light Monday afternoon, with only two individuals in front of me at security. Billund caters to productivity fliers by offering free, unlimited high-speed Internet, with no need to register.There is also an abundance of round tables and chairs where you can sit down comfortably and work around the terminal, and even at the gates.The 1hr 50min HOP! flight (AF1265) to CDG was on an Embraer 170 regional jet, with a 2-2 seating configuration. Being on the shorter side, I don’t usually find legroom to be a problem, but it was a tight squeeze navigating my larger backpack under the seat in front of me. It is 25cm deep and was flush to the space between the end of the seat cushion and the magazine pocket in front.There were some acrobatics required to get this overnight trip bag under the seat, but I managed.I managed to squeeze my overnight bag under the seat on Air France Hop! Image: Marisa GarciaIn Europe, flights that offer Wi-Fi are still somewhat rare, and it’s a novelty when the service is available. Air France/KLM hasn’t added Wi-Fi to the lion’s share of its short-haul fleet yet, including HOP! E-Jets (though Air France has started equipping its A320s), so I took time on these flights to catch up on some reading.My short-hop flight wasn’t equipped with Wi-Fi. Image: Marisa GarciaI landed at CDG Terminal 2G and my connection was at Terminal 2F but the bus service was quick and not at all overcrowded. The 2F terminal is large, and has a variety of attractive shops, but I had urgent stuff to do. Fortunately, both 2G and 2F offer dedicated business spaces, featuring comfortable cubicles, bar chairs with power outlets, and even small touchscreens that offer information on flights and airport services.There is a coffee machine in the business zone too, but I had no coins to operate it and wasn’t clever enough to figure out the app to pay for a drink. It would have been more convenient to pay with NFC, but honestly I’m just nitpicking. There is also free, fast Wi-Fi available at the airport, though I used the free roaming 4G data connection on my mobile plan.Dedicated business zones at CDG are a welcome sight to freelancers. Image: Marisa GarciaAfter filing an article, I walked down to the Starbucks, which also offers room to work and limited power supply, ordered a venti cappuccino and a bottled water, then finished a second story before making my way to my gate for flight AF 7526.The Air France Airbus A321 serving CDG-Toulouse was configured in a traditional 3-3 layout, with decidedly slimline seats.The short armrests on these lean seats are more decorative than functional. Image: Marisa GarciaThe latch on the tray is a bit soft, something I noticed on both outbound and on the return. It’s possible to deploy the tray by accident, just by brushing past it.I like seeing a cup holder on a seat – which leaves a little more room on narrow trays – and I found the Air France stitching detail on the blue fabric dress covers endearing. It creates visual interest and ties-in to the red leather antimacassars.Air France’s A321 seatback tray features a much appreciated cup holder. Image: Marisa GarciaWe had a bit of excitement arriving at Toulouse late in the evening, with a last-minute aborted landing due to cross winds. It was, as they say, a dark and stormy night, which made me wonder whether we’d all be disappointed the next morning.Airbus managed to have a good talk with someone upstairs and we enjoyed clear skies from the A330-800’s takeoff right up to landing, then the skies swiftly went grey again.Airbus A330-800neo at Toulouse Airport . Image: Marisa GarciaToulouse Blagnac Airport is going through a lot of construction right now, with improved concessions on offer in the near future. But there is a good cafeteria offering refreshments and a place to sit and work immediately after the “duty-free” gauntlet at security.During my wait for my final flight home at CDG Terminal 2G, I took advantage of the very welcome business zone again. I still couldn’t figure out the coffee machine, but perhaps one day I will.Editorial Disclosure: Travel and accommodations for this trip were covered by Airbus. All opinions and accounts of the service come solely from the author.Related Articles:Airbus touts A330-800 PaxEx advantage but jet may land with 9-abreastAirbus, Recaro plan new interior for route-proving A330neoAirbus seeks to sell passengers on “experience” of A330neoAir France promises premium #PaxEx, wifi and power upgradesAirbus developing SB to address problem on 2Ku-fitted A330s, A340sPaxEx odds and ends: Air France’s new USB and download IFE revealedReadying to take its first A330neo, TAP touts comfort visionPress Release: Air France taps Global Eagle, Orange for IFC on A320sAirbus believes passengers will seek out A330neo with new cabinlast_img read more

Press Release Hawaiian brings business class auction upgrade to Asia

first_imgHawaiian Airlines has announced the expansion of its Business Class auction upgrade service – Bid Up by Hawaiian Airlines – to flights operating between Hawaiʻi and Japan and South Korea.“Bid Up has been extremely popular since we first launched the service in 2016, and we’re excited to offer our guests in Japan and Korea a flexible and convenient way to experience our award-winning, fully-flat business class offering,” said Theo Panagiotoulias, senior vice president of global sales and alliances at Hawaiian Airlines.Since Hawaiian launched Bid Up in 2016, over 55,000 guests have received upgrades through the Business Class auction program. The addition of Japan and Korea completes the rollout of the program now available on all of Hawaiian’s transpacific flights.Bid Up, powered by Plusgrade, is a simple and easy-to-use service available to all ticketed Main Cabin guests on flights operated by Hawaiian Airlines and whose itinerary contains at least one segment between Hawai‘i and any of the airline’s international destinations including Osaka, Sapporo, Tokyo, Seoul, Auckland, Brisbane, Pago Pago, Papeete, Sydney, or its 12 North America gateway cities. Eligible guests will receive a Bid Up e-mail approximately 10 days prior to departure inviting them to bid for available Business Class seats. Successful bidders will be notified 48 hours prior to departure.Guests taking advantage of Bid Up will enjoy the many benefits of Hawaiian’s Premium Cabin, including: two complimentary checked bags with Priority Baggage handling, expedited check-in lines, access to Hawaiian Airlines Premier Clubs or Plumeria Lounge (international Business Class only), priority boarding, award-winning regional cuisine from acclaimed Honolulu Chef Lee Anne Wong and a cast of renowned Hawai‘i Featured Chefs, unlimited in-flight beverage service, free access to the latest movies and over 150 hours of TV and music programming.About Hawaiian AirlinesHawaiian® has led all U.S. carriers in on-time performance for each of the past 14 years (2004-2017) as reported by the U.S. Department of Transportation. Consumer surveys by Condé Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure and TripAdvisor have placed Hawaiian among the top of all domestic airlines serving Hawai‘i.Now in its 90th year of continuous service, Hawaiian is Hawaii’s biggest and longest-serving airline. Hawaiian offers non-stop service to Hawai‘i from more U.S. gateway cities (12) than any other airline, along with service from Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, American Samoa and Tahiti. Hawaiian also provides approximately 170 jet flights daily between the Hawaiian Islands, with a total of more than 250 daily flights system-wide.Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. is a subsidiary of Hawaiian Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ: HA). Additional information is available at Follow Hawaiian’s Twitter updates (@HawaiianAir), become a fan on Facebook (Hawaiian Airlines), and follow us on Instagram (hawaiianairlines). For career postings and updates, follow Hawaiian’s LinkedIn page.last_img read more

European regional airlines could be hardest hit by nodeal Brexit

first_imgAs UK Prime Minister Theresa May attempts to rally support for the country’s European Union withdrawal agreement ahead of a key Parliamentary vote on 11 December, there is a rising and palpable sense of panic, particularly among smaller airlines, about the looming prospect of a hard Brexit.That prospect remains a distinct possibility in the event that Members of Parliament do not back the deal that May has put on the table – and many are vocal in their opposition to it.The European Regions Airline Association (ERA) wrote to the European Commission earlier this week, urging it to put an agreement in place with the UK to ensure that air services are not disrupted when the UK leaves the EU on March 29.ERA has echoed earlier warnings from IATA about the potential impact on aviation of a no-deal Brexit, noting that such an outcome “could have disastrous consequences … including the grounding of many flights across EU countries and the UK”.Even if May’s withdrawal agreement does win the backing of MPs, ERA president Andrew Kelly warns that a “lack of clarity” about EU ownership rules “could potentially ground big and small airlines alike, unless there is some form of moratorium”.It is arguably the smaller, regional carriers represented by ERA that have the most to lose. Some of the larger European airlines have already put Brexit contingency plans in place. For instance, easyJet last year secured an Austrian air operator’s certificate and is in the process of re-registering all of the aircraft used for its EU operations to its new Vienna-based easyJet Europe arm.Meanwhile, Hungarian budget carrier Wizz Air was granted a UK AOC earlier this year and will transfer eight Airbus A320 family aircraft to its new Wizz Air UK operation, as part of what chief executive Jozsef Varadi describes as “a key part of our Brexit contingency plan”.“Other airlines feel they have found ways to go forward…but at the smaller airlines, costs are disproportionately higher and there are more regional players that are not as strong financially,” John Strickland, an airline consultant with JLS Consultancy, tells Runway Girl Network.“Airlines can’t wait – their summer schedules are on sale already and they can’t just wait and hope that they can fly.”Airlines UK, a trade body representing 13 carriers including easyJet, Ryanair and British Airways, sounded more upbeat than the ERA about the proposed UK-EU withdrawal agreement in a statement issued on 5 December. Airlines UK chief executive Tim Alderslade said the deal “represents a path which can provide certainty and confidence for airlines, passengers and businesses alike”.He added: “Any future Comprehensive Air Transport Agreement – which the Government and EU Commission have signaled their intention to sign post-Brexit – should then aim to deliver the market access between the UK and EU that passengers and cargo benefit from today.”Another positive development for larger airlines with operations outside the EU is that the UK Government has been frantically securing post-Brexit air services agreements with other nations.UK Transport Secretary Chris Grayling on 30 November announced a new bilateral air services agreement with Canada, which came two days after the signing of a similar pact with the United States. Agreements are now in place with a total of 10 countries. The eight in addition to Canada and the US are: Albania, Georgia, Iceland, Israel, Kosovo, Montenegro, Morocco and Switzerland.International Airlines Group (IAG) chief executive Willie Walsh said the US air services agreement was “a significant, positive development” which he welcomed. “It’s critical that Britain maintains full access to international aviation markets so it can continue to develop its global trading links,” added Walsh.All eyes will now be on the UK Parliament next week as MPs decide the fate of the withdrawal agreement.Related Articles:UK’s regional airports look for silver lining in looming Brexit cloudBizav & Brexit? Still nothing to report and that is a problemIn Conversation: Brexit’s impact on the UK aviation industryBrexit uncertainty clouds outlook for Ryanair and EasyJetUncertainty over Brexit impact evident at Farnborough AirshowAirport security concerns mount in wake of UK Brexit decisionAviation weighs challenges of post-Brexit environmentBrexit fears grip UK budget airlines as British Airways sits on fence#PaxEx TV: Dismantling jets and Brexit threatEU: UK commercial aviation strongly in favour of Remain Brexit voteCould a bleak Brexit future await British bizav?Press Release: IATA outlines urgent priorities to minimize Brexit impactslast_img read more

Joint procurement of PaxEx products proves challenging Star Alliance

first_imgThough the Star Alliance has seen solid success with its joint procurement program for jet fuel, its work to jointly source inflight #PaxEx-focused hard and soft products has proven more challenging.Achieving harmonization for bulk buying of customer-facing products can be difficult, confided Star CEO Jeffrey Goh at this week’s APEX TECH conference in Los Angeles.Several years ago, following an extensive trial that involved airline passengers, Star members Lufthansa, Austrian and Air China engaged in a joint procurement project for long-haul economy class seats, with the group ultimately selecting core seating architecture from B/E Aerospace (now part of Collins Aerospace).But agreeing a baseline seating platform for economy class is only half the battle. One must consider an airline’s brand, colors, seat cover design, and whether the seat offers winged headrests or not, for example. Then, of course, there is the IFE selection, and the more unique features selected by certain airlines. The bespoke nature of many premium seats adds to this complexity.Star could buy certain soft product items in bulk, such as blankets, in order to obtain preferential rates, noted Goh in response to a query from Runway Girl Network. Yet, even seemingly minor product differences can create challenges to joint procurement. “We’ve even had someone tell me ‘our blanket costs $20 each’ because they soak them in aromatherapy oil so passengers sleep better on long-haul flights.”Interestingly, during its studies, Star quickly discovered that some 60% of alliance members shared some  commonality of economy class seat frames. Even so, the opportunity to jointly source #PaxEx products like IFE and seats seems to have passed.“Now, we do really well in fuel joint procurement and the very simple reason for that is it’s not customer-facing. Jet fuel doesn’t ‘talk’ to you; it’s just about volume business,” said the Star CEO.In terms of Star’s strategy moving forward, the alliance will exploit joint sourcing opportunities when they arise. In London Heathrow, where the alliance’s members are located in Terminal 2, a common check-in means that boarding passes also have to be common. In that case, Star jointly procures the base paper for the boarding passes, revealed Goh.But broadly – and this took “10 to 15 years to realize” – Star found that “where a product is customer facing, it is often a challenge to try to jointly source or procure,” he said.Related Articles:SkyTeam, Star Alliance set customer service agendas for the yearPictures: London Heathrow’s new Terminal2 is a slipstream dreamStar finds fitting LCC partners into alliance is still complexSkyTeam seeks ancillary revenue answers for allianceDelta’s Heathrow move shows power of joint ventures over alliancesOp-Ed: Don’t take standardization too far in airline alliancesStar Alliance sees unity in diversity of culture and productStar Alliance’s 2016 technical focus: baggage PaxEx, say CEOslast_img read more

Problems with Southwest inflight Internet smart aboard 737 MAX 8

first_imgA new aircraft smell, a cross-country journey allowing me plenty of time to work, excellent legroom and a new inflight entertainment app provided a good trip between Orlando and San Jose aboard Southwest Airlines. But there were a few entertainment glitches.My adult daughters and I were headed for Monterey, California to tick off a bucket list item to take in the Monterey Bay Aquarium, kayak with seals, sea lions and sea otters and enjoy the beautiful and iconic coastal views on the way to Big Sur. You see, I prefer to give experiences instead of things but this trip was more a gift to myself rather than a family Christmas present because I love traveling with my daughters, Alexis and Brooks.The trip began a little rocky as we A-Listers in A1-15 were kept waiting to board long past the boarding time. Surprisingly, the gate agent boarded a group that ultimately took up the first three or four rows of the aircraft. One person in the group had a medical need, according to the gate agent, and while we were sympathetic, boarding the entire group seemed a little excessive to the guy behind me who noted that it kept the best customers (and source of high-value ancillary revenue) at bay.Much has been written lately about airlines changing their boarding policies so it was natural for me to ask the airline if it has changed its boarding policies. It said it had not, with a spokeswoman offering this response to my query: “There are certain conditions in which Southwest does offer pre-boarding courtesies. It is the responsibility of our customer service agents to evaluate the needs for such assistance. Our policies have not recently changed.”One of the great things about Southwest is the fact it empowers frontline personnel to make decisions that are meaningful to passengers, so it is hard to complain about that. It was time to move on and as I settled in, I realized I was traveling not only on a brand new Boeing 737 MAX but a MAX 8, my first.I’ve always been impressed with Southwest’s legroom and the MAX 8 didn’t disappoint at 32-33 inches, according to SeatGuru. That’s extremely impressive in an industry that increasingly crunches passengers. I was relieved to learn that, even with the new MAX, Southwest continues to march to its own drum. That’s why it’s my go-to airline.Before the flight, I had received a message about Southwest’s app-based entertainment. In November, along with the launch of free movies, the Southwest mobile app was updated to include the necessary digital rights management software to allow access to DRM-protected content on the inflight portal.So, before takeoff, I advised the girls to download the app to ensure they could watch movies and TV series on their devices without paying the $8 fee for inflight Internet. We were in for a six-hour+ flight, after all.The girls tried to log onto the Internet in order to download the app but it didn’t work. While Southwest has long touted satellite-based, gate-to-gate Internet, I’ve never used it at the gate because I work in-flight and rely on my laptop, which must be stowed until 10,000ft.A Southwest spokeswoman later explained why a paid session is necessary to download the app on board Southwest aircraft, telling me: “We are unable to whitelist the Apple Store or Google Play Store on the onboard entertainment portal during flight. So we encourage our customers to download or update the Southwest Mobile App and/or AirTime Player App before their flight.”On the plus side, I already had the app on my phone so I offered it up to my two daughters, and four eyes proceeded to squint into the five-inch screen.But, they were happy and so was I. “Should have listened to Mom,” I thought, as I flipped open my laptop to begin writing an article due right after our trip.Like other domestic US carriers, Southwest offers 100% free inflight entertainment. Just be sure to download the app if you want to access the full sweep of DRM-protected movies and TV series. Image: SouthwestSomewhere over, perhaps, Colorado the only thing I could see of my article was a jumbled mess of information that to my tired mind lacked coherence. I was done with writing and wanted to catch up on emails and other online reading. No dice. The problem with Internet at the gate extended to the airborne experience. It did not work at all on the flight.When I queried a flight attendant, she said Southwest was having a lot of problems with getting the Internet to work on its new planes.“What?” I thought. “A brand new airplane and a key passenger feature such as Wi-Fi didn’t work? What the heck?”Southwest’s spokesperson didn’t provide much illumination on the problem, except to say it is working closely with its inflight vendors to “provide a product that our customers expect when flying Southwest. The relatively small number of aircraft that may experience a lapse in connectivity varies and the number is based upon the issues we might be experiencing on any given day.”Southwest currently uses two Ku-band satellite-based inflight connectivity vendors – Global Eagle, which services the vast majority of its fleet, and Panasonic Avionics, which was brought in as a second-source supplier, but which is now parting ways with the carrier under mutual agreement, as first reported by Runway Girl Network.I’m not sure whether I was flying on a plane equipped with hardware from Panasonic or Global Eagle (the image at top is a stock photo of a Southwest 737 MAX 8). And while RGN understands that some Panasonic-fitted aircraft have flown dark (i.e. without the Internet), a spokeswoman did later note to my editor that the carrier has “fully functioning Panasonic-serviced Wi-Fi on a handful of our MAX aircraft”.In any case, I resorted to Plan B – reading a book on my tablet. Always have a Plan B.Otherwise the trip was Southwest’s usual friendly service. We landed on time and scooted off to our adventures. The girls loaded the Southwest app on their devices before our return trip, a Boeing 737-700 this time, and blissfully tuned out the entire flight.I, on the other hand, finished writing my story.Brooks, Kathryn and Alexis Creedy on their family travels. Image: Kathryn CreedyRelated Articles:Global Eagle expects IFC on Air France A320s to set European standardExclusive: Southwest Airlines and Panasonic Avionics part waysPanasonic IFC pivot taken into account as Southwest studies wifi issuesSouthwest Airlines’ dual-source connectivity plan now in playSouthwest, GEE, PAC field fleet questions after IFC announcementRace is on as inflight connectivity providers take it to the MAXSouthwest Airlines begins surveying new inflight technologiesAs Southwest rolls out Panasonic Ku every tail counts for IFC providersCapacity boost coming to make Southwest wifi experience betterSouthwest Airlines eyes next step for Ku connectivitylast_img read more

Coming together

first_imgcourtesy Laurie GeerThe Red and Green partyby Laurie GeerBack in the summer of 1984, I was newly married, newly relocated, newly jobless, newly far from family and friends, and newly transplanted from Atlanta, Ga., to Raleigh, N.C. As the holidays rolled around, my husband Kent and I weren’t sure how we’d celebrate. We had a handful of acquaintances, but hadn’t made real friends yet as a couple. Because Kent had worked here for seven years before we married, he did have some male friends among his coworkers, so we thought we’d gather those friends and their wives, as well as some neighbors. Although my husband and I are Christians and celebrate Christmas, there was a Jewish couple whom we really liked and also wanted to include. We wanted to be sensitive to their beliefs, celebrate the season together, and make sure everyone felt welcome and included. So we came up with the idea for a nondenominational holiday celebration, and the Red and Green party was born! At the Red and Green party, we decided, the pressure would be off. Everyone would wear red and green clothes, we’d eat red and green foods, and exchange red and green gifts. From the beginning, everyone seemed to be on board with the idea. We had no way of knowing it, but they – and we – would stay on board. The event would become (and remains) one of our most beloved annual traditions, a rotating-house, 32-year-strong gathering of folks who have become dear, lifelong friends. Over more than three decades, we have been through the births of our children and their graduations and marriages; retirements; the births of our grandchildren. We have also sadly lost many of our parents and even one of our children. We have faced tough illnesses, and currently have one who is living mightily while battling a debilitating disease. As we go through these hard times, as well as the happy times, we are together and we are stronger. While the party is but once a year, the friendships are constant. We have become a family.Ugly sweaters, anyone? At the beginning, the fact that it was a “theme” party made it fun to figure out what to wear. “Santa” did attend the party in one of our early years, as one of our guests felt that was a perfect red costume. But the party being what it was, Christmas wasn’t the only theme. We also had a red and green Snow White ballerina one year, and a red Minnie Mouse the next. We have also had the ugly red and green sweater years (although we didn’t realize they were ugly sweaters till a few years down the road!). The red and green theme also made the gift-giving lighthearted. In the early years, most of the red and green gifts were gag gifts – red and green mini trash cans, red and green ketchup and mustard set, red flashlights, green tools, etc. Now we have become a little more refined, with sets of red-stemmed wine glasses, personalized embroidered throws, cashmere scarves. Every once in awhile, one of the fad items of the year will make an appearance, like a green Chia Pet or a red Snuggie. One year, the host and hostess gave lovely monogrammed red and green aprons to the women – and ridiculous red reindeer antlers to the men. Whether fad or fabulous, we’ve always had a lot of fun. The other aspect of the event we’ve always enjoyed is the red and green food we prepare. I will say our menu the first year was made up of rather basic dishes: homemade pizzas with red sauce and green peppers; salads with cherry tomatoes; red velvet cake with green cream cheese icing; Red Zinger tea. (Yes, Red Zinger tea!) One year we had a Raleigh bakery create and bake us a red and green braided Challah bread. That was something to remember. Thankfully, we have become more refined over the years. There’s a lot less food coloring, for one thing. We have graduated to things like shrimp and asparagus appetizers; beef tenderloin stuffed with green herbs and rolled in red and green peppercorns; raspberry, walnut, and spinach salads; standing rib roast served with a red sauce; and rack of lamb served with green mint jelly. For desserts, we have had key lime pies, cherry cheesecakes, grasshopper pies, and all kinds of strawberry desserts. In fact, if you’re ever in need of a red and green recipe, seek us out! Years of searching out dishes that fit the bill (and years of helpful suggestions from children, other friends, and relatives) means we have quite the red and green recipe collection. We used to play games that had a red and green theme, but as the years went on, we dropped the games. We no longer need that icebreaker – plus, we just talk too much now.  But far more significant than any changes in style or taste over the years is the growth in the deep and abiding friendships we have developed and maintained. Thirty-two years ago, when I was scrambling to figure out how to celebrate the holidays in a city I barely knew, I secretly hoped that we would get transferred back to Atlanta where my family is. But over these years, I have found Raleigh and the people here become home to me. My children have grown up here and been educated at our superior schools. I have watched the city that embraced me from the start grow and prosper around us.  And I can definitely say that I have now fully embraced Raleigh right back. So whether you have lived here all your life or are new to town, I encourage you to gather your acquaintances, regardless of religion, background, or interests, and start your own Red and Green party. Who knows, 32 years later, they might just become your family, too.The Red and Green party charter members:Beth and Andy BettsLaurie and Kent GeerKathy and Joe HartDale and Debra JenkinsJean and Steve StephanoSona and Bob ThorburnKathy and Will Warrenlast_img read more

Turn it up Southern Folklife Collection releases rare music recordings

first_imgcourtesy Yep Roc RecordsThere’s a treasure trove of singular music archived at the Southern Folklife Collection at UNC Chapel Hill, and this month you’ll be able to play a few of the tracks in your own living room. To broaden the archive’s outreach beyond southern music buffs, the collection has teamed with Yep Roc Records in Hillsborough to release a few rare tracks to the public. First up: Dolly Parton’s first-ever single, Puppy Love, recorded when she was 13. It debuts on April 22 – national record store day – as a 45-RPM with a B-side of Parton’s Girl Left Alone. Besides the vinyls, the songs will also be available in CD form online. “Releasing these recordings from the Southern Folklife Collection has been something I’ve always wanted to do,” says Steve Weiss, who curates the collection. “This series is a great way to share music from the archives with fans.” Weiss is justifiably proud of the music library. “We are one of the foremost collections of American vernacular music in the United States,” he says. The SFC includes art and other cultural artifacts related to the American South as well, but it’s the music library that stands out. “It is an extensive collection comparable to the Library of Congress’ American Folklife Center and the Country Music Hall of Fame’s Library and Archives.” Music lovers have long known this. There, they can listen to any of the library’s 250,000 recordings, from early gospel hymns to original Elvis Presley film soundtracks, wax cylinders to .mp3 files.  The Dolly Parton record is the first of a few planned releases. A compilation of classic Cajun music called Swampland Jewels will be released in September and a newly discovered performance by Doc Watson, Live at the Club 47, later this year. –J.A.last_img read more

Destination WALTER Fearrington Village

first_imgYou can buy tickets here.WALTER heads westward April 9 for an afternoon at Fearrington Village. The inaugural Destination WALTER event offers an opportunity to sample brews from across the region, enjoy live music, and explore the village shops from 2-5 p.m. Tickets include hors d’oeuvres from Fearrington’s celebrated kitchen and beer from Bond Brothers Beer Company in Cary, Four Saints Brewing Company in Asheboro, Fullsteam in Durham, Mother Earth Brewing in Kinston, and Tarboro Brewing Company in Tarboro. There will be non-alcoholic refreshments, too, all meant for enjoying on Fearrington’s lush garden terrace. Gasoline Stove Band, a four-piece ensemble from Pittsboro, will perform its signature bluesy-rock-roots tunes; the band draws inspiration from old country, folk, gospel, and rock ’n’ roll to create what it describes as a “storytelling extravaganza.”In between sipping and snacking, there’s shopping to be done. Fearrington Village boutiques will offer springtime specials, including a designer pop-up shop at Dovecote Style with Corinne Collections and an Elemis pop-up shop at Haven Spa Boutique. Event attendees will also receive 10 percent off throughout the village all afternoon.Meanwhile, you can explore the grounds by embarking on a garden tour: Two tours will take place during the event. Or, you can take your younger set on a self-guided farm tour complete with kid-friendly brochures that point out Fearrington highlights, like the iconic Belted Galloway “beltie” cows. There will be a little bit of something for everyone during this afternoon spent celebrating the season and the region. –J.A.Tickets are $25, and will also be available at the door.last_img read more


first_img“This gives you the flexibility to ride around anywhere in Raleigh.”–Sarah Williams, campus program coordinator, N.C. State University department of transportationby Jessie Ammonsphotograph by Madeline GrayYou’ve likely seen the neon green bikes: they’re a familiar site near N.C. State’s campus, in downtown parking lots and parks, and even in neighborhoods. “They’re pretty much everywhere,” local program coordinator Sarah Williams says of LimeBikes.The aptly named cycles are dockless, which means they can be left anywhere by a rider: they automatically lock and await the next person. N.C. State introduced 300 bikes this fall, and they’ve quickly spread beyond campus. Since August, almost 16,000 users have used the bikes more than 50,000 times. “They’re for anybody to use.” Williams works for N.C. State’s department of transportation, where she says she and her colleagues have sought to bring a public bicycle system, called bike share, to campus for a few years. Bike shares usually include bike racks, which is both an initial investment and a logistical challenge. Racks also limit where users can pick-up and drop-off bikes. When the start-up LimeBike launched in California last January, promising a rack-less program, it caught the Raleigh team’s eye. In June, UNC-Greensboro released the first-ever LimeBike installation. It was successful, and “we followed suit pretty soon after.” To use a LimeBike, you download an app and load your credit card information. When you’re ready to ride, you scan the QR code located on each bike to unlock it. Rides cost one dollar per half-hour, or fifty cents per half-hour for students. User fees pay a small local LimeBike staff to pick up, service, and maintain the bikes. “It’s exciting how easy it was to implement,” Williams says, “and to see how many people want to ride bikes. Now that they have this option, it’s almost constantly used.” Hopefully there will be more LimeBikes come spring, Williams says, and adds that the campus initiative wants to work cohesively with the City of Raleigh and its BikeRaleigh plan. “The best part of this is that it’s shown how Raleigh really wants to have a bike share.”last_img read more

Golf tourism driving for £50 million target

first_imgThe 148th Open at Royal Portrush boosted the Northern Ireland economy and attracted close to 250,000 spectators compounding increased efforts in harvesting Northern Ireland’s golf tourism potential.The 2015 launch of Northern Ireland’s Golf Tourism Strategy set out ambitions to grow the value of golf tourism to £50 million per year by 2020, recognising that golf visitors tend to stay longer and spend on average three times more than the average visitor.A major boost to this ambition came in the form of The 148th Open hosted at Royal Portrush Golf Club in July, one of two of the world’s top 10 golf courses located within Northern Ireland. The event was the first time in 68 years that Northern Ireland played host to the Open and following its success, it’s expected to return within the next decade.A total of 237,750 spectators and 156 golfers are estimated to have contributed some £80-£100 million to the local economy throughout the tournament and could see the £50 million target surpassed for 2019.Research suggests that for every £1 spent on green fees in Northern Ireland, a minimum of £4 is spent elsewhere in the economy and a major boost for Northern Ireland was the fact that over 54 per cent of visitors to The Open cam from outside of Northern Ireland.In 2018, non-domestic overnight golfers made up 74 per cent of the economic impact in Northern Ireland of golf tourism. Golf tourism to Northern Ireland is holding strong at a time when golf participation continues to fall in established markets, such as in the UK. Key markets visiting Northern Ireland continue to include North America, Great Britain, Republic of Ireland, Nordics and Germany.Economic impact of golf tourism, non-domestic overnight golfers2014£24,200,0002015£24,200,0002016£27,200,0002017£29,900,0002018£31,500,000As well as the impact of green fees and wider economic spend associated with golf visitors, Northern Ireland has recognised the potential for golf events to drive regional and economic spend. Major events have played a key role in the industry’s growth to date, encouraging regional spread and creating reasons to visit Northern Ireland in the ‘off peak’ season.Past events such as the Giro d’Italia, the MTV European Music Awards, the hosting of the Irish Open and the Women’s Rugby World Cup have all had a positive impact on the perception of Northern Ireland in key overseas markets and legacy attributes continue to make an economic contribution.With regards to The Open, legacy projects are being developed by the Department for the Economy in conjunction with the Department for Communities, Sport NI and Causeway Coast and Glens Council with a focus on youth participation in golf, whilst marketing campaigns are planned to drive legacy messaging of golf tourism and highlight accommodation availability.last_img read more

Celebrate the Season 2018

first_imgOn November 28, WALTER hosted its fourth Celebrate the Season shopping event, bringing together some of its favorite vendors—many featured in the pages of its magazine—to shoppers at the Merrimon-Wynne House in downtown Raleigh. Sponsored by Virtue and with food by Donovan’s Dish and cocktails by Durham Distillery, it was a fun and festive time for all. WALTER’s annual shopping event brings in a crowd for a festive night. Videography Robert Pettuslast_img

Pat Benatar To Perform At Prostate Cancer Foundation 2018 New York Dinner

first_imgProstate Cancer Foundation (PCF) hosts the 2018 New York Dinner at the Restaurant Daniel at 60 East 65th Street in New York City on Thursday, December 6th, 2018.Dinner at Daniel will be an exquisite culinary experience with a special guest performance by Grammy Award winners Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo to benefit the Prostate Cancer Foundation. The charitable organization founded by Michael Milken is dedicated to identifying and funding groundbreaking cancer research programs. The memorable evening will welcome leaders in medicine, top research scientists and distinguished New York City socialites to explore refined European cuisines, world-class wines and gracious hospitality at Restaurant Daniel.This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Prostate Cancer Foundation’s efforts advancing prostate cancer research. The 2018 New York Dinner will be a momentous occasion celebrating the generous support the partnership between PCF and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has received since its announcement a year prior. This year’s dinner follows a gracious $2.5 million gift presented by The Barry & Daria Foundation towards the PCF and VA partnership providing precision oncology to all veterans by establishing centers of excellence.As the 2018 New York Dinner nears, many anticipate the surprises yet to be disclosed about the evening’s unique event experience. Throughout the dinner, notable guests will be recognized for their commitment to cancer research and their continued support of the 501c3 nonprofit organization. The Prostate Cancer Foundation is dedicated to discovering new and better treatments that will impact all prostate cancer patients. Dinner guests will enjoy a lively auction showcasing VIP experiences, luxury goods and destination getaways.PCF’s Board of Directors includes business leaders such as Michael Milken, Lori Milken, Andrew J. Astrachan, James C. Blair PhD, Steven A. Burd, Peter T. Grauer, David H. Koch, The Honorable Earle I. Mack, Neal I. Rodin, Andrew C. von Eschenbach, MD; Drew Pinsky, MD, and radio and television host Clark Howard.last_img read more

Angelina Jolie Visits Bangladesh With UNHCR

first_imgAngelina Jolie, the Special Envoy for UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is visiting Bangladesh this week.Bangladesh has been heavily affected by the influx of more than 730,000 Rohingya refugees from Myanmar since August 2017 and now hosts nearly a million refugees. The majority of refugees – more than 620,000 people – live in just one area: Kutapalong, the largest refugee settlement anywhere in the world today.Jolie is undertaking a three-day mission in Cox’s Bazar to assess the humanitarian needs of the Rohingya refugees and some of the more critical challenges facing Bangladesh as a host country.The Special Envoy will conclude her in-country visit in Dhaka for official meetings with the Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, and the Foreign Minister, AK Abdul Momen, to discuss how UNHCR can best support the current response led by the Bangladeshi Government, along with the need for safe and sustainable solutions to the plight of one of the world’s most persecuted minorities.Her visit comes just before the launch of a new appeal for the humanitarian situation in Bangladesh – the 2019 Joint Response Plan – which seeks to raise some $920 million to continue meeting the basic needs of Rohingya refugees and the communities so generously hosting them.The Special Envoy focuses on major forced displacement crises, representing UNHCR and the High Commissioner at the diplomatic level. This is the Special Envoy’s first visit to Bangladesh. Jolie has also met with displaced Rohingya people during a prior visit to Myanmar in July 2015 and in India in 2006.last_img read more

Stars Rock 27th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party

first_imgThe 27th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party hosted by Sir Elton John and David Furnish raised over $6.3 million for the global effort to end AIDS.Elton John and Taron Egerton perform onstage during the 27th annual Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party Credit/Copyright: Rich Fury/Getty Images for EJAFThe gala, which took place on Sunday, February 24, at West Hollywood Park in Los Angeles, was generously supported by Presenting Sponsors IMDb and Neuro Drinks.The Foundation welcomed Sir Elton John and David Furnish, Shohreh Aghdashloo, Mädchen Amick, Patricia Arquette, Alina Baikova, Jamie Bell, Thora Birch, Chad Buchanan, Candace Bushnell, Charlie Carver, Kristin Chenoweth, Erika Christensen, Chris Colfer, Chace Crawford, Terry Crews, Kaitlyn Dever, Taron Egerton, Dexter Fletcher, Peter Fonda, Isabeli Fontana, Georgia Fowler, Bryan Fuller, Toni Garrn, Willie Garson, Jeff Gum, Tiffany Haddish, Harry Hamlin, Marcia Gay Harden, Colton Haynes, Paris Hilton, Emile Hirsch, Scott Hoffman, Madison Iseman, Alex Israel, Paris Jackson, Lauren Jauregui, Brody Jenner, Kaitlyn Carter Jenner, Caitlyn Jenner, Quincy Jones, Lala Kent, Gus Kenworthy, The Killers, Ilana Kloss, Heidi Klum, Amy Landecker, Diane Lane, Sandra Lee, Damaris Lewis, Leona Lewis, Judith Light, Adriana Lima, Lorna Luft, Kate Mara, Eric McCormack, Neal McDonough, Miles McMillan, Jesse Metcalfe, Janet Mock, Luisa Moraes, Stephen Moyer, Petra Nemcova, Kathryn Newton, Jasper Pääkkönen, Anna Paquin, Busy Philipps, Corinne Bailey Rae, Nikki Reed, Christina Ricci, Lais Ribeiro, Kieron Richardson, Lisa Rinna, Diana Ross, Evan Ross and Ashlee Simpson, Jasmine Sanders, Cara Santana, Nico Santos, {celebrity:Nicole Scherzinger, Jane Seymour, Shanina Shaik, Maria Sharapova, Sophie Skelton, Josephine Skriver, Ian Somerhalder, Cole Sprouse, Lakeith Stanfield, Lewis Tan, Bernie Taupin, Ty Dolla $ign, Lindsey Vonn, Shane West, Matt Wilkas, Rumer Willis, Mary Wilson, Nancy Wilson, Katheryn Winnick, Bellamy Young, Billy Zane, DJ Zedd, among others.Guests arrived at the Academy Awards Viewing Party for cocktails followed by a gala dinner and viewing of the 91st Academy Awards telecast. For the 15th year, Chef Wayne Elias and Crumble Catering designed and prepared the delicious gala dinner enjoyed by guests. For the first time, IMDb broadcasted its annual IMDb LIVE streaming companion show from the event, co-hosted by Aisha Tyler and Dave Karger, offering viewers four hours of celebrity studded conversation and unique, entertaining and informative coverage of Hollywood’s biggest night. Wines were provided courtesy of Domaine Bertaud Belieu and cocktails by CÎROC Vodka and Tequila Don Julio.During the auction lot for Rocketman: an epic musical fantasy about the incredible human story of Elton John, Alexander Gilkes of Paddle 8 welcomed to the stage actor Taron Egerton, star of the upcoming motion picture film. Following a short preview of the trailer and a round of bidding on a trip to London premier of the film, the audience was taken by surprise when Gilkes asked Taron to sing one of Elton John’s songs. Only agreeing to the performance if Elton played the piano, guests were brought to their feet as they watched Elton John take his position on the keys while Taron belted out the lyrics to one of his most beloved ballads, “Tiny Dancer.”The auction also featured a Yahama piano signed and played by Sir Elton John at the Lion King 20th anniversary concert, studio sessions for the Devil Wears Prada Musical in Las Vegas and Toronto, as well as at this year’s Academy Awards Viewing Party. Additional auction items included the silkscreen print with faceted Swarovski crystals, Lightness of Being (Her Majesty) 2013 by Chris Levine, a Catherine Opie Photograph with a tour of the private Elizabeth Taylor Archive, a neon artwork by Tracey Emin, The Heart Has Its Reasons, a week-long vacation to JOALI Resort in the Maldives, and invitations for two to the Vanity Fair after party.Cadillac, Gilead Sciences, Marriott Bonvoy and TheBluefish partnered with EJAF as the evening’s Co-Sponsors; Fin Gray and Michael Melnick, Bob and Tamar Manoukian and Hilary Roberts were Associate Sponsors. Wines were provided courtesy of Domaine Bertaud Belieu and cocktails by CÎROC Vodka and Tequila Don Julio. The Foundation is especially grateful to the City of West Hollywood for continued collaboration with EJAF on shared goals. American Airlines is EJAF’s official airline.last_img read more

One of Paris Terrorists Was a French National of Algerian Origins

Rabat – The first of the suicide bombers responsible for the terrorist attack in Paris on Friday has been identified by French investigators as Ismail Omar Mostefai, a French national of Algerian origins.On Sunday, a French judicial official who spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity identified Ismael Omar Mostefai, 29, as one of the assailants.French media said Mostefai, who had been flagged for his ties to Islamic radicalism, was one of the three men who blew themselves up at the Eagles of Death Metal concert.He was identified after his finger was found among the carnage following the horrifying terrorist attacks in Paris on Friday. Between 2004-2010, Mostefai was convicted for petty crimes eight times, according to Paris prosecutor Francois Molins, but did not serve any time in jail. His crimes included driving without a licence and insulting behaviour, according to Le Journal Du Centre newspaper.His friends told the paper that he calmed down after the birth of his daughter. However, Mostefai’s former neighbors accused him of ‘abandoning’ his family. One said when they knew him he appeared to be a “charming, a great guy.”Investigators are now probing whether he took a trip to Syria last year, according to police sources.It was also reported that he was radicalized by a Belgian hate preacher of Moroccan descent who is said to have regularly preached at his mosque in Luce, south of Paris.The killer’s father and 34-year-old brother were placed in custody on Saturday evening, and their homes were searched.“It’s crazy, insane. I was in Paris myself last night, I saw what a mess it was,” Mostefai’s older brother told AFP before voluntarily attending a police station on Saturday.He went on to add that he had not had contact with his brother for several years following family disputes, but said he was surprised to hear he had been radicalized.The last he knew, Mostefai had gone to Algeria with his family and his “little girl,” he said, adding, “It’s been a time since I have had any news.” read more