Leonard Bernstein begins his classic song “America” from West Side Story with Rosalia singing, “Puerto Rico, you lovely island.” (Anita has a rather guttural rebuttal, but we’ll let that be.) We feel Rosalia’s ardor: Lush, lively and lavish, sun-soaked San Juan is an exciting, gay-friendly getaway from the winter doldrums—and just a four-hour flight from chilly Philly.
The fashionable Condado district, with its pale blue water, white beaches, and easy access to nightlife, is your prime destination. Rest your head at the luxurious and welcoming San Juan Marriott, with a beachfront location and two alluring pools, one equipped with a swim-up bar. (Guess which one I parked at.) Afterward, the Condado has much to offer, including great shopping. Boutiques Monsieur and Root, both on Ashford Avenue, curate exquisite collections of menswear to drop a little change, or a whole lotta change, on.
The robotic spacecraft LADEE, will fly to the moon by way of Virginia’s Eastern Shore. Liftoff is set for late Friday night from NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility…
It will be the first moonshot ever from Virginia. Almost all of NASA’s previous moon missions over the past 54 years have originated from Cape Canaveral in Florida. The most recent was two years ago.
LADEE (the, ahem, Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer) will make her ascent tonight, and the Minotaur rocket she’s attached to ought to be able to be seen all along the East Coast. Now, I know it’s not the same as an Apollo mission, but this is probably as close as we’re going to get for a while since NASA started to privatize space travel in 2011.
So if you’re west of Pittsburgh tonight, glance up every once in a while. There’s a LADEE out there for you, I promise. [CBS]
Amateur video of the Asiana Airlines Flight 214 crash at San Francisco airport has surfaced, showing that, as investigators earlier revealed, pilots had tried to abort the landing some 1.5 seconds before the fatal accident. According to new evidence, a stall warning sounded about four seconds before the crash, prompting the landing abort. The crash injured more than 180 people and killed two teen Chinese students, with one possibly dying from being run over by an emergency vehicle at the scene. Watch the chilling video, filmed by plane spotter Fred Hayes about a mile from the run way, below:
Want to cruise through the Philly airport? Of course you do! Since January, I’ve been through our local airport more than 30 times (mostly on business travel), so you could say I’ve got a little experience. Here, 10 ways to make a stay at PHL as short as possible.
1. Fly a lot. It’s true: It really is better for the one percent. Particularly when flying. And there’s no better way to travel comfortably than to just fly a lot. Particularly with one airline. When you’re a frequent flier you get to board and depart your plane before most others. You always get a space for your luggage. You often get the use of the airline’s lounge. If you need to change a flight, you’re accommodated, oftentimes without extra charges. And if you’re on standby, you’ll find your name moved to the top of the list. Read more »
A client was very upset with me. We had sold him software a few weeks ago, and he called because he needed help. When I explained to him that all of our services are offered at an hourly rate, he was shocked. “You mean I have to pay you to help me with this lousy software?” he yelled. “I’ve never heard of such a thing before! This is outrageous!” I get this infrequently from “shocked” clients who’ve “never heard of this thing before.”
And each time this happens I know exactly how the airline industry feels. Read more »
In the early 1970s, famed newsman Chet Huntley appeared in a series of television ads introducing American Airlines’ new “Luxury Liner” fleet. The modified aircraft featured extra leg space, wider aisles and a cocktail lounge “the size of a living room” with a piano bar where passengers could while away their flights downing sidecars and flirting with pretty stewardesses. The airline sacrificed 60 seats on its 747s to make the lounge possible. And here’s the best part: It was in coach. Read more »
Over one century ago, a grand ship named the Titanic sunk in the North Atlantic Ocean, killing 1,502 of her 2,224 occupants. Since then, there have been countless cruise ship disasters of varying degrees–several in the last year alone–and yet, millions of people board these dens of death, destruction and, well, diarrhea annually. Here, some things to think about before you get on that ship. Read more »
A year after the federal government shuttered most of the independent Chinatown bus lines traveling up and down the I-95 corridor, NBC 10 reports that Peter Pan Bus Lines and Greyhound have partnered to reintroduce the service: YO! Bus travels between Chinatowns in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia with fares starting as low as $12 per trip.
These buses are a little fancier than the old Chinatown buses of yore; they include wifi services and leather seats with extra legroom. NBC reports: “The monster bus companies intentionally kept YO! Bus true to its Asian roots while giving it a bit of Philly flair. The name alone has dual meaning as it’s derived from the Chinese word meaning “to protect” as well as serving as a nod to Philadelphians’ favorite “Yo” greeting, according to the company’s website.” In Philly, the YO! bus can be boarded at the Greyhound station at 1001 Filbert.
Perks of being the President of the U.S. Conference of Mayors: Hanging out in Tuscany. Along with some fellow Mayors from South Carolina, Kentucky, Indiana, and Arizona, Nutter is on a five-day jaunt to Florence–Philadelphia’s “Sister City” since 1964–where he’s apparently soaking up some culture to import to Philadelphia.
“In Philadelphia 50,000 people are dependent on art and culture for their livelihood,” and where better to learn how to capitalize on and add to Philadelphia’s cultural assets than one of the biggest tourism cities in the world, Nutter says.
No fear, suspicious taxpayers, the U.S. Conference is picking up the tab. So how is the Mayor enjoying the ancestral home of the Medici family? “Florence seems like a very lively, vibrant city with culture and history – like Philadelphia. It certainly looks beautiful. I just haven’t seen much of it. I’ve been in meetings.” Clearly, or–no offense Philadelphia–but he might not have made the comparison. [NBC 10]