Some travel surprises are good: discovering a hidden gem of a trattoria in Florence where you are greeted with hugs and an open bottle of Chianti. Or finding out that the Louvre is free the one day you are in Paris.
Icon is a monthly arts series that promises viewers a journey into the worlds of visual arts, architecture, literature, music, photography, dance, opera, fashion and design, accompanied by interviews with their innovators and influencers as diverse as I.M. Pei, Quincy Jones and Herbie Hancock.
It's not just oil they talk about in the Middle East, these days. With millions of the region's dollars being spent in an explosion of art collecting, they could just as easily be talking about oil paintings.
The City of Light shines year-round, but Paris has a special appeal in winter. Sure, the weather can be cold and rainy (the average high in January is 43 degrees), but if you dress in layers, you'll keep warm and easily deal with temperature changes as you go from cold streets to heated museums and cafes.
It was my last day in Athens after spending several weeks producing two exciting television shows on Greece. My brain was fried. I was concerned I was getting a cold, and I felt that getting sick was God's way of telling me to slow down. Instead of heading out on a shoot, I ditched work and spent the day lounging poolside on the rooftop of my hotel. Thankfully, it worked. The next day, I felt recharged.
Egypt is suspending ties with France's famous Louvre museum until the latter returns artifacts that it knew were stolen when it purchased them, the head of the country's antiquities council said Wednesday.
Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece the "Mona Lisa" was attacked with a mug earlier this month, but the world's most famous painting -- protected by thick glass -- emerged with its enigmatic smile undimmed.
Running jeweler John Hardy takes endurance. The company is based in Hong Kong and has offices in Bali, and the men's and women's styles are sold all over the world through jewelers and stores like Saks and Neiman Marcus.
Paris is a city made for strolling. When you arrive, follow the route from the Hotel de Ville to the Arc du Triomphe, through the Louvre, the Tuileries and up the Champs Elysees to gain an idea of how the city links together. If you've got lots of energy, keep going from the Arc du Triomphe to La Defense and the leafy neighborhoods of Neuilly-sur-Seine.
In a gallery in Dubai this month, local Emirate collectors, passing American tourists and Egyptian expats will mingle to admire the Fez-clad, cigarette-smoking youths in the photographs of London-based but Moroccan-born artist, Hassan Hajjaj.
A visit to Abu Dhabi best illustrates the scale of the dream projects underway. Some projects that probably would never get off the ground elsewhere are finding a home in the Middle East, specifically the Louvre and Guggenheim outposts planned in Abu Dhabi.
If it's your idea of fun to admire the fabulously wealthy, brilliant, and charismatic person you will never be, you'll want to read "Mine's Bigger: Tom Perkins and the Making of the Greatest Sailing Machine Ever Built," by Newsweek senior editor David A. Kaplan. But if holding up the ludicrously self-involved for public examination makes you whimper with delight, you'll like it just as much.
The delegation assembled at the High Museum of Art awaits you in regal rows, beautifully ordered, devastatingly confident, graciously imperious. They watch through glass, unsmiling, as you approach. Serene. Accomplished. French.
The Louvre is inviting slam poets into its gilded galleries to rap about paintings. If that seems unusual, it is. With Toni Morrison as guest curator this month, the museum is dreaming up new ways to look at art.
See: If you fancy some offbeat Atlanta history, head to Oakland Cemetery. Amongst the leafy oak trees, camellias and magnolias is buried all of Atlanta, from princes to paupers. Look out for ornate carved monuments of the great and the good, contrasted with the unmarked indigents' graves in Potter's Field.
Scientists analyzed the portrait of the Mona Lisa, a woman with famously mixed emotions, hoping to unlock her smile. They applied emotion recognition software that measures a person's mood by examining features such as the curve of the lips and the crinkles around the eyes.
For the golfer, planning a weekend trip to South Carolina is like an art aficionado preparing to step inside the Louvre for a day. There are so many treasures to behold that the only way to do it justice is to make multiple visits. In Golf Digest's ranking of America's 100 Greatest Public Courses, 11 are in South Carolina. Talk about an embarrassment of riches.
Market participants were quick to label last fall's Group of Seven finance ministers' meeting in Dubai the "mini-Plaza" because, as at the famous confab at New York's Plaza Hotel in 1985, the get-together seemed to signal an agreement that the dollar needed to keep dropping.