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The museum’s traditional offerings include

The veil of pollution that keeps the Seoul megalopolis tightly under its lid has lifted, the advent of spring is triggering the pheromones that keep us fruitful and multiplying, and I’m a 16-year-old Korean kid. Am I: (a) raising hell behind the 7-Eleven; (b) necking with my girl on some verdant mountain overlook; or (c) dressed in a school uniform, tie slightly undone, deep circles under my eyes, studying my brains out? Strolling through a bustling, cramped series of alleyways in the leafy Gwanghwamun district between two of Seoul’s most prominent royal palaces, the answer (c) is a no-brainer. If I had four words to sum up a Sunday afternoon stroll they would be church; study; study; church. Here are kids stumbling out of extra study sessions at the local high school—the girls with razor cuts and bangs, the boys just with razor cuts, the life slightly sucked out of them, but the teenager’s imperatives still driving them forward like a herd of dazed bulls—above them, RKO Radio–style towers prop massive crosses into the sky. In front of a church, I find a textbook store where the MegaStudy8000 richly mines the toefl dreams and nightmares of a generation. Here are some useful English phrases that any happy-go-lucky teenager should commit to memory: “I would like to get a humidifier.” “They took a CAT scan but they didn’t find anything unusual.” “Did they cure it?” Well, they did and they didn’t. Korea is a country with one of the unhappier histories the world has known, a present that amounts to the frenzied tapping of the fast-forward button and a future that may already be here. Sixty years after being colonized and brutalized by the Japanese and then bombed into near-oblivion by the internecine war between the Communist North and the American-backed South, the country is still divided into two halves. In the North, Kim Jong-Il’s cult-of-personality dictatorship continues precariously.

In the South, the Koreans have managed to create one of the world’s most advanced economies, fueled by ceaseless innovation and mind-boggling amounts of work (“My hobby is sleeping,” a young engineer told me). The War Memorial of Korea features dioramas of life in wartime; their hokey cardboard nature notwithstanding, the exhibit shows a civilization that came within millimeters of being completely snuffed out. Germany and Japan also rebounded from their wartime losses, creating their own economic miracles, but their starving peasants were not eating grass and bark as late as the 1960’s.10 Great American Public Spaces I have come to Seoul with my girlfriend, who is an American of Korean descent, and have just met her mother, who lives in San Francisco and hasn’t returned to the land of her birth in many years. “Too much building, too much building,” my girlfriend’s mother cries out as our cab honks and bullies its way past a phalanx of newly built residential monstrosities with names like Richenisia, Noblese, Daewoo Trump World III, Characterville, and Instopia (would that be “Instant Utopia”?). “It wasn’t this way,” she says. The tourism board’s strange new slogan, Korea Sparkling, probably applies to some distant mountain brook flanked by a tranquil Buddhist monastery in the hinterland, but not much is sparkling in the polluted immensity of Seoul’s Han River (Korea’s economic growth has been called “The Miracle on the Han,” and Greater Seoul accounts for half of the country’s population). There are few vistas that will leave you gaping in wonder. Concrete and cement are what you will see—horizontally, vertically, diagonally, in the sky, in the sea, underground—while the flashing, impatient neon logos on most public surfaces are a constant reminder that modern life is very difficult. The key is to somehow let yourself be a part of the never-ending flow of visual data around you. Have a cup of coffee at what I’m told is the world’s highest-grossing Starbucks, in the Myeong-dong district, have another cup, make sure you have a steady supply of business cards, try to remember your SAT scores for discussion purposes, and then run with the stress. China rivet nut Manufacturers Go down into Seoul’s efficient subway system. Some of the over-schooled kids are falling asleep on top of one another, others are watching TV on their cell phones—cellular coverage in what the locals call the Republic of Samsung truly knows no bounds. These kids are part of the so-called Thumb Tribe, and with their ceaseless wireless communication they have, OMG!, changed the very nature of the Korean language. Get off at Yongsan station and head to the Yongsan Electronics Market, also known as Electroland. Here a half-dozen buildings of substantial size house entire shops devoted to GPS navigators and MP3 players, hyper-advanced super–cell phones that can probably reverse a vasectomy if you ask them to, and the ever-popular Nintendogs, which allows cooped-up city dwellers to raise an imaginary dog with the aid of a stylus and a tiny screen.America’s Favorite Cities The din is perpetual and the commerce flows sharply and ceaselessly against the human tide. Ancient security guards—short from childhood malnutrition—wander through this electronic wonderland with quiet equanimity, while younger, much taller men dressed like Mormon missionaries lug the carcasses of personal computers, as their ancestors might have hoisted a cow or pig just a few short decades ago. Korea is one of the most interesting societies in the world, and Seoul is a megacity with endless incongruities. Past and present, tradition and modernity, have not merely collided here, they have caused a fission reaction.

Prosperity, cutting-edge technology, and the unparalleled Christian faith that over a quarter of the citizenry have placed in the one they call “Geejush” have transformed this conservative Confucian land; but Korea’s history and its attendant tragedies are just a generation and a demilitarized zone away. Beneath the electronic bleats and streams of digital code there is a howl of pain—just go to a cemetery and watch an older woman quite literally collapse at her parents’ grave—that is visceral and familial and shockingly, despairingly real. And then there’s the food. Korean cuisine is one key to its culture, and it is a deep-hearted strum of joy, a celebration of the gochu, the chili pepper that sets fire to most of the cooking, and a thousand ingredients besides. Every Korean is a foodie, and can rhapsodize about dinner the way a French novelist can describe a trip to a swinger’s club. The key is to find yourself a good tour guide. Many Koreans mistakenly believe that the Western visitor is weak of stomach, and will drag you to an Italian restaurant or some kind of deeply compromised fusion place. Resist by all means—the best restaurants in Seoul feature five-dollar rusted chandeliers and lots of Formica. After an hour-long tour of Electroland, my girlfriend and I walk across the street from Yongsan station to a place called Seobuk, which is the name of the North Korean area from which the owner hails. Note: Seoul’s address system is useless; for best results have your concierge call the number of an establishment and create a plan for getting you there.10 Great American Public Spaces At Seobuk, we find a tired-looking but genial man perpetually tending to his clientele of hungover hipsters.

The specialty here is gamjatang stew, a mash of pork and potato covered with sesame leaf. Korean cuisine is all about taste, not presentation. A peek into a Korean kitchen will often reveal a lack of measuring cups, just an ajumma—the technically respectful but often derisory term for an older, married woman—tossing myriad ingredients into a boiling pot, going by smell more than anything. The vertebrae of the gamjatang’s pig stick out at you; the chunks of sweet fat around them have soaked up the red-pepper hotness, the green onions, and the ground wild sesame seeds. The dish is remarkably free of grease and sugar, the taste is clear, and the succulence of the pork leaves no doubt about the owner’s claim that he buys the pigs himself. This restaurant has been around for 25 years—a small eternity in this relentless city. In the evening we meet up with my friend Charlie, a Korean native who works at the country’s edition of Harper’s Bazaar. A tall, bespectacled, American-educated wit who has a typical love-hate relationship with his city, Charlie takes us to Apgujeong. Apgu, as it’s known for short, is a kind of instant, vertical Beverly Hills south of the Han River (one of the main streets is actually named Rodeo Drive). “Romanesque-esque” is how Charlie describes some of the architecture found here. But it’s the people that are the most interesting. Apgu brims with plastic surgery clinics bearing names such as Smallface and Dream. The people in Apgu, and a number of their poodles, are coiffed and carved into something out of a Pixar cartoon. They can dine at the café Plastic or the new hot spot called 50, where that amount of dollars will buy you exactly half a bottle of unremarkable Kendall-Jackson wine and the opportunity to discover just how awful you look. “I was offered a nose job for my twentieth birthday,” Charlie tells me offhandedly. “By whom?” “My mother.” The Korean pursuit of perfection—at the golf course, in the boardroom, at the plastic surgeon’s—is relentless. This is a country that has gone from developing to overdeveloped in one generation. Failure is unthinkable. Listening to talk radio in a taxicab, we hear a man weeping inconsolably, while a team of professional consolers tells him it’s going to be okay, with his job, his wife, his loneliness. Sad music plays in the background as if to say “this can happen to any of us.”America’s Favorite Cities The escape valve for most is food and drink. After 50, Charlie takes us off Apgu’s main drags to a nearby fried-chicken place called Hanjanui Chueok, which roughly translates to “Memory of One Glass.” Enormous pitchers of Hite beer land on tables and are consumed instantly by the eclectic, raucous, smoky clientele. The bar food here would find few peers anywhere in the world. We start with the excellent gochu twigim, a hot stuffed pepper, lightly coated with flour and egg and deep-fried, then move to the fried chicken, which could stand up to the famous Polo Fried Chicken in Bangkok, immortalized by the late R. W. Apple Jr. There is so much juice and spice in each tender piece, the overall result crisp and soft in equal measure, crying out for beer and the cool radish cubes that round out the meal. Later in the week, we leave Apgu to the beautiful and the damned, and head for the youthful Hongdae district, in the shadows of Seoul’s premier art school. We take a quick meal at one of the bustling places selling galmaegisal, a chewy, lusty pork s******t steak served by waiters in red wifebeaters, who spray you with Febreze on the way out, leaving you smelling like some kind of wild pork flower, and head to the candy-colored basement Stereo Bar, where a slogan written on an ashtray could pretty much sum up the national mood: Don’t work too hard. is it really worth to you? There are also exposed colored pipes, à la downtown Manhattan a little while ago, a girl in a birthday hat, and lots of bicultural Korean-American noise. The next stop is the exquisite Bar Da nearby, truly a hole in a concrete wall, full of glamorous nerds munching on dried anchovies while “Hotel California” plays on the stereo. Unlike amid the provincial flurry of Apgu, no one here knows or cares who you are. The next day, a workday, I don’t feel so good. Neither do many Koreans. And so I head to that amazing invention—the jjimjilbang, or Korean sauna—where my spirit will be restored and detoxified. The Hurest Well Being Club sits between the 15th and 17th floors of a skyscraper, and offers great views of the surrounding office towers and the teenybopper shopping area of Myeong-dong. I am forced to change into a strange blue uniform, something out of a socialist Jewish summer camp, and set loose upon the “hot dock,” which is an excruciating sauna, followed by pools of cold water. All around me men on their lunch breaks are soaping off, some asleep in the tub, others practicing phantom golf swings in the water. Toothbrushes, haircuts, everything you will ever desire, is sold nearby.10 Great American Public Spaces I retire to an oxygen room designed to relieve hangovers, and pass out on a remarkable wooden pillow that perfectly slots my weary head. Then it’s off to the yellow-mud room. Yellow mud, the wall text tells me, can be considered a living creature and mitigates fatigue and strengthens ladies skin. I pass out in the heat-swept room, yellow mud stalagmites hanging from the ceilings, and wake up refreshed and happy. My polluted hide doesn’t feel bad either. Next door, in the PC room, an old woman with a towel wrapped around her head plays impressive games of skill on the computer, while boys and girls curl up on those oddly comfortable wooden pillows reading manga cartoons. This is Korean society in deep, communal rest. At least for half a day, I feel like I’m a part of the family. The new Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art, up on Mount Namsan and overlooking the seedy Itaewon district, has been spearheading Seoul’s reputation as an arts destination. Funded by the family that controls the Samsung conglomerate, the vast Leeum museum campus consists of a fortress-like homage to terra-cotta designed by Mario Botta, a stainless-steel box by Jean Nouvel, and a slender, light-filled structure by Rem Koolhaas. What these three buildings are doing next to one another I cannot begin to fathom, but clearly somebody at Samsung has gone on a shopping spree.

The museum’s traditional offerings include masterworks in celadon, like a water dropper shaped like a peach, eerily beautiful in its functionality. Willows, cranes, and peonies hover ghostly over some of the designs, while several examples of 15th-century work nearly flirt with abstraction. The exhibit is quiet and the lighting low; the objects glow within the darkness—unmistakably, they are this nation’s treasures. On the modern side, the Leeum’s collection ranges from Rothko to Damien Hirst, but most interesting are Korean artworks such as Ik-Joong Kang’s I Have to Learn English, a bittersweet series of tiles painted with random comments picked up while riding the New York subway. Then there’s Lee Bul’s Cyborg W6, a futuristic female body missing many parts, ready for assembly or further disassembly—a brilliant nod to technology, femininity, and perhaps the dystopian manga comics that have made such a dent in the young Asian psyche. Later we walk through the pleasantly artsy and leafy Samcheong-dong area, which is filled with restaurants, galleries, and many of Seoul’s remaining hanok, traditional wooden houses clustered around small courtyards in which a lone apricot tree may grow. We stop for lunch at Solmoemaeul, an airy place where the emphasis is on royal cuisine, which stretches back to a time before Korea’s fateful encounter with the chili pepper some 250 years ago, and may thus be gentler on some Western palates. We order pumpkin soup, silky acorn jelly, and beef of heavenly provenance, all to be wrapped in tiny radish crêpes that are presented with nine toppings, such as mushrooms, seaweed, and carrot strips. Korean food’s emphasis on banchan, a wide assortment of side dishes that must always include kimchi, the spicy fermented cabbage, is strongly in evidence here. I take the banchan concept as a bold challenge to design my own meal—for example, wrapping a little radish pancake with bulgogi, a thinly sliced sirloin, and then crowning the fatty little number with a touch of acorn jelly to smooth it out. Baby fiddlehead ferns and fresh squid add layers of complexity to other creations. Per my girlfriend’s mother’s instruction I drink wine stewed with sweet rice, and now my thirst and hunger are finally sated.America’s Favorite Cities Or are they?Baby fiddlehead ferns are fine for some, but the previous night we were talking about grilled meat, a luxury that unifies everyone in Korea and whose communal importance cannot be overstated. The price of beef is a constant topic of conversation here. At Budnamujip restaurant, in an area far south of the Han River and the city’s center, the specialty is galbi, short ribs traditionally seasoned with such flavors as Asian-pear juice, sesame seed, rice wine, sugar, and of course, that Korean mainstay, garlic. After you put on a bib, mounds of galbi are grilled before you: the meat at Budnamujip is cut off the bone with a jeweler’s precision. Lacking toughness or the sinewy nature of inferior galbi, the meat-to-suet ratio here is just right and the jolt of sweetness from the complex seasoning is perfect. Our waitress kindly cuts ribbons of kimchi as well, and we coat the beef with a touch of hot-pepper sauce, add a pickled garlic clove, and wrap the whole thing in lettuce. Koreans view eating as a communal affair, but when confronted with high-quality meats I’ve seen them clam up, lost in the flavor of the animal. There is something almost hypnotic about a good plate of galbi—you eat quickly, greedily, and meanwhile time slows down all around you, in some newfound coda to the theory of relativity. Only the fat man next to us—the one with the enormous ruby pinky ring who is yelling at the poor waitress over the bill—is immune to its spell. As for us, we eat until we can eat no longer. One night, with the liquor flowing, the conversation turns to a favorite subject: the ajummas, the older women mocked for everything from their highly permed hair—I’m told this was originally supposed to save money on salon visits during the lean years of the 30’s and 40’s, when one perm غیر مجاز می باشدt two bags of rice—to their penchant for wearing sun visors to protect their aging skin. “I once found my flight back to Seoul at the Manila airport just by following those visors,” a BBC correspondent tells me. But tonight Charlie, who typically has many arch things to say about his country, surprises me. “Everything we have we owe to the ajummas,” he declares. The whole Korean economic miracle, he goes on to tell me, rests on these mothers waking up at five in the morning and shepherding their charges through kindergarten, the after-school classes, the Sunday schools, and all the way up to Seoul National or M.I.T. “In effect they’ve built this country,” he says.10 Great American Public Spaces I’m reminded of this a few days later when I attend my girlfriend’s mother’s high school reunion. Her mother graduated from the prestigious Ewha Girls’ High School, and older Korean women from all over the world—with southern California in heavy preponderance—have gathered here today to pray and sing and gossip and laugh like little girls. The photographs they wear on their chests poignantly show themselves when they were young students, lost beneath bushels of thick dark hair. Sinatra’s “My Way” plays faintly in the background. They talk about their children, leaving me with the impression that about 85 percent of Harvard’s and Yale’s student body must be Korean at this point. Afterward, a very competitive Tupperware party/bake sale breaks out to raise money for their alma mater. This is a who’s who of Korea’s elite; even Nobel Prize winner and ex-president Kim Dae-Jung’s wife is here, surrounded by bodyguards with earpieces. I did it my way, indeed. Toward the end of our stay, my girlfriend and I hike up one of the steep mountains that clasp urban Seoul in their embrace, providing a welcome antidote to the great concentration of cement. Nearly a third of the way up the mountain, we—who are both in our mid-thirties—are exhausted and drenched. Meanwhile, senior citizens in serious Gore-Tex suits (the ajummas in full perm-and-visor mode) are charging up the slopes like rams, pushing us out of their way, while some of the septuagenarian men are taking time out from the merciless climb for a little weight lifting by the side of the trail. What can account for such vigor and drive?What can account for the need to climb higher and higher until the city you have built spreads before you endlessly, neon crosses rising over lube shops and cafeterias snapping to glowing life even as a pink-hued industrial dusk settles over the metropolis?To begin to answer that question one must at least be able to climb to the top of the mountain. And I cannot. Gary Shteyngart is a T+L contributing editor.America’s Favorite Cities Getting There & Around Nonstop flights to Seoul are available from New York and San Francisco on Korean Air. Many major carriers also connect through Tokyo. The best way to get around Seoul is on the excellent subway system. Buses and cabs (a 15-minute taxi ride runs about ) are a good alternative, but are susceptible to traffic. Addresses are complicated; ask your concierge to plot your route on a map to show to your cab driver. Visa Information Visas are not required for U.S. citizens unless you plan to stay in Korea for more than 30 days. Where to Stay Park Hyatt Seoul GREAT VALUE 995-14 Daechi-dong, Gangnam-gu; 82-2/2016-1234; hyatt.com; doubles from 0. Shilla Seoul 202 Jangchung-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu; 82-2/2233-3131; shilla.net; doubles from 0. W Seoul-Walkerhill GREAT VALUE 21 Gwangjang-dong, Gwangjin-gu; 82-2/465-2222; whotels.com; doubles from 5. Where to Eat & Drink Bar Da 365-12 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu; 82-2/334-5572; drinks for two . Budnamujip 1340-5 Seocho-dong, Seocho-gu; 82-2/3473-4167; dinner for two . 50 650 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu; 82-2/544-8050; drinks for two . Hanjanui Chueok 549-9 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu; 82-2/541-0969; lunch for two . Plastic 631-13 Sinsa-dong, Gangnam-gu; 82-2/3446-4646; lunch for two . Seobuk Near the Yongsan subway station; 82-2/794-0008; dinner for two . Solmoemaeul 62 Samcheong-dong, Jongno-gu; 82-2/720-0995; dinner for two . Stereo Bar 334-1 Seogyo-dong, Mapo-gu; 82-2/322-4312; drinks for two . What to See & Do Hurest Well Being Club spa Myeongdong Tower, 31-1, Myeong-dong 2-ga, Jung-gu; 82-2/778-8307. Kyobo Bookshop 1 Jongno-dong, Jongno-gu; 82-2/397-3432. Leeum, Samsung Museum of Art 747-18 Hannam-dong, Yongsan-gu; 82-2/2014-6900; leeum.samsungfoundation.org. Lotte World 40-1 Jamsil-dong, Songpa-gu; 82-2/411-2000; lotteworld.com. War Memorial of Korea 8 Yongsan-dong 1-ga, Yongsan-gu; 82-2/709-3139; warmemo.or.kr. Yongsan Electronics Market 15-2 Hangangno 3-ga, Yongsan-gu.2008 Global Vision Awards


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The Coupe is the latest incarnation of the Phantom

Two new British luxury cars from Rolls Royce and Bentley, now owned by BMW and Audi respectively, offer sensuous comfort on the road but at markedly different prices. Given the price deferential, a direct comparison might be unfair, but both new vehicles offer plenty of bling for the buck. And like a bacon sandwich smothered in brown sauce for breakfast, both cars exhibit a few British quirks. Rolls Royce Coupe Driving the new Rolls Royce Coupe through the rolling of the northern France’s Champagne region, east toward Geneva, is a trip that can be punctuated by an overnight stay at the sumptuous Chateau de Courcelles near Reims. It’s a journey that puts you in mind of those old films where long-distance travel escapades took place in luxury automobiles, and everyone met on the way was an aristocrat. That’s because the Coupe covers vast distances in a hurry—and in extreme comfort. Just like a character in those old films, you emerge unruffled from the hand-built leather and wood interior after a long day of driving, fully prepared to sit down to a champagne dinner. Blind Rivet Nut manufacturers Ah, yes, life is tough when you’re behind the wheel of a 5,000 car.

The Coupe is the latest incarnation of the Phantom and follows hard on the heels of the Drophead Coupe, aka convertible, launched last year. Some of the characteristics are similar: the Greek temple grill, the brushed steel “bonnet” that’s so long cameras are installed under the license plate so the driver can see around corners, and the rear-hinged front doors that close at the touch of a button. The Coupe is less of a cruiser and more of a hard-charger, however, thanks to a 453-horsepower, 12-cylinder engine that seems to be only beginning to purr at 100 mph (and out of sight of French gendarmes). Add a “sport” mode that alters the car’s handling characteristics from the stately to the sprightly, and you have a vehicle that can deftly navigate at speed the winding roads of the Jura Mountains leading into Geneva. But even a beauty such as this has its small flaws. Rolls Royce calls the rear seating “intimate”—which is to say short-legged twins joined at the hip would be very comfortable. More disconcerting from a driver’s viewpoint is a rearview mirror that, due to a low, rear roofline, offers a backward glance of just a few feet and a side-view mirror that tries to compensate by making objects seem farther away than they appear. Still, these are minor inconveniences. Looking out may be a bit of a chore, but looking in, everyone will be all smiles. Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed You might be forgiven if you buy the new Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed just for the Naim sound system.

The ,900, 1,100-watt sound system may be the best ever installed in a car, reproducing music with such clarity that it feels like you can step sideways between the notes. All you need to do is figure out which song goes best with a 600-horsepower, 12-cylinder luxury car that tops out at 200 mph and goes from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Don’t pick any slow tunes. The Flying Spur Speed is the most powerful four-door sedan Bentley has ever made, and the sporty front grille and lower air intakes give the car a muscular appearance (a look reinforced by 20-inch Pirelli multi-spoke performance tires) that many might find surprising in a 8,500 car. A drive from Boston to York on the Maine coast along a variety of roads showcased the car’s superior handling and passing capability, particularly in the “sport” driving mode, and offered an opportunity to sample some of the car’s more unusual features. Top among these is an optional adaptive cruise-control system that uses radar to maintain a driver-determined distance between you and the car ahead, automatically managing the throttle and brakes to increase or decrease speed as required. It’s all a bit spooky, since all the driver has to do is steer. Given this car’s quickness, it’s appropriate that it has the largest brakes of any car on the road, and they'll stop you cold at the slightest touch. The brakes take a little getting used to, as do the dashboard controls: The ignition key goes into the left of the steering wheel, but you still need to push the start button on the center console. Mirror controls are also set inconveniently on the passenger side of the center console. And be warned: If you blindly try to lower the window on the driver’s side, you’re just as likely to pop the trunk, since the release button is also located on the door. Still, the interior is luxuriously appointed and is very roomy, especially in the rear. There’s even a masغیر مجاز می باشدe option available for the seats. And despite the powerful engine, it’s a very quiet ride, thanks to the special acoustic glazing of the windows. Now if you could only find someone named Jeeves to do the actual driving.


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The Coupe is the latest incarnation

Two new British luxury cars from Rolls Royce and Bentley, now owned by BMW and Audi respectively, offer sensuous comfort on the road but at markedly different prices. Given the price deferential, a direct comparison might be unfair, but both new vehicles offer plenty of bling for the buck. And like a bacon sandwich smothered in brown sauce for breakfast, both cars exhibit a few British quirks. Rolls Royce Coupe Driving the new Rolls Royce Coupe through the rolling of the northern France’s Champagne region, east toward Geneva, is a trip that can be punctuated by an overnight stay at the sumptuous Chateau de Courcelles near Reims. It’s a journey that puts you in mind of those old films where long-distance travel escapades took place in luxury automobiles, and everyone met on the way was an aristocrat. That’s because the Coupe covers vast distances in a hurry—and in extreme comfort. Just like a character in those old films, you emerge unruffled from the hand-built leather and wood interior after a long day of driving, fully prepared to sit down to a champagne dinner. Blind Rivet Nut manufacturers Ah, yes, life is tough when you’re behind the wheel of a 5,000 car.

The Coupe is the latest incarnation of the Phantom and follows hard on the heels of the Drophead Coupe, aka convertible, launched last year. Some of the characteristics are similar: the Greek temple grill, the brushed steel “bonnet” that’s so long cameras are installed under the license plate so the driver can see around corners, and the rear-hinged front doors that close at the touch of a button. The Coupe is less of a cruiser and more of a hard-charger, however, thanks to a 453-horsepower, 12-cylinder engine that seems to be only beginning to purr at 100 mph (and out of sight of French gendarmes). Add a “sport” mode that alters the car’s handling characteristics from the stately to the sprightly, and you have a vehicle that can deftly navigate at speed the winding roads of the Jura Mountains leading into Geneva. But even a beauty such as this has its small flaws. Rolls Royce calls the rear seating “intimate”—which is to say short-legged twins joined at the hip would be very comfortable. More disconcerting from a driver’s viewpoint is a rearview mirror that, due to a low, rear roofline, offers a backward glance of just a few feet and a side-view mirror that tries to compensate by making objects seem farther away than they appear. Still, these are minor inconveniences. Looking out may be a bit of a chore, but looking in, everyone will be all smiles. Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed You might be forgiven if you buy the new Bentley Continental Flying Spur Speed just for the Naim sound system. The ,900, 1,100-watt sound system may be the best ever installed in a car, reproducing music with such clarity that it feels like you can step sideways between the notes. All you need to do is figure out which song goes best with a 600-horsepower, 12-cylinder luxury car that tops out at 200 mph and goes from zero to 60 in 4.5 seconds. Don’t pick any slow tunes. The Flying Spur Speed is the most powerful four-door sedan Bentley has ever made, and the sporty front grille and lower air intakes give the car a muscular appearance (a look reinforced by 20-inch Pirelli multi-spoke performance tires) that many might find surprising in a 8,500 car. A drive from Boston to York on the Maine coast along a variety of roads showcased the car’s superior handling and passing capability, particularly in the “sport” driving mode, and offered an opportunity to sample some of the car’s more unusual features. Top among these is an optional adaptive cruise-control system that uses radar to maintain a driver-determined distance between you and the car ahead, automatically managing the throttle and brakes to increase or decrease speed as required. It’s all a bit spooky, since all the driver has to do is steer. Given this car’s quickness, it’s appropriate that it has the largest brakes of any car on the road, and they'll stop you cold at the slightest touch. The brakes take a little getting used to, as do the dashboard controls: The ignition key goes into the left of the steering wheel, but you still need to push the start button on the center console. Mirror controls are also set inconveniently on the passenger side of the center console. And be warned: If you blindly try to lower the window on the driver’s side, you’re just as likely to pop the trunk, since the release button is also located on the door. Still, the interior is luxuriously appointed and is very roomy, especially in the rear. There’s even a masغیر مجاز می باشدe option available for the seats. And despite the powerful engine, it’s a very quiet ride, thanks to the special acoustic glazing of the windows. Now if you could only find someone named Jeeves to do the actual driving.


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The game turns even more serious

As a golf destination, Savannah is often overshadowed by its more famous neighbor, Hilton Head Island. But although the golf complement to this alluring Southern city may lack national acclaim, the area’s top courses resonate with authentic coastal character. Plus, they’re easily accessible and relatively affordable. Savannah itself—equal parts colonial, antebellum and up to date—is a cultural destination that’s not to be missed. With boutique shopping, galleries, centuries-old architecture and a sense of culinary sophistication, personality drips from Savannah like the loose curtains of Spanish moss hanging from its gothic oaks. The romantic notion of a city shrouded in mystery isn’t a notion at all: It’s what Savannah is. The city is also the point of departure into a vanishing Lowcountry—specifically, the sparsely populated Daufuskie Island. Traveling down the Savannah River toward Daufuskie Island Resort and its two scenic courses can seem like a trip back in time. It evokes an era when golf in the Lowcountry was about executing shots in idyllic marshland settings, not playing through faceless housing developments. This is a retreat into the heart of a wonderfully preserved area, a journey to the unspoiled South. China rivet nut Factory Day One Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport is well served from most East Coast cities and located just ten miles from downtown. Once in Savannah, head to the historic district and check into the Mansion on Forsyth Park, a two-year-old, 126-room hotel built as a private residence in 1888.

The hotel doubles as an art gallery, with more than four hundred pieces of classical and contemporary European and American art hung throughout its hallways. Themed exhibits are often mounted in the Grand Bohemian Gallery, which is just off the lobby. Once you’ve settled in, drive twenty-five minutes southeast across the Intracoastal channels to the Wilmington Island Club for a smooth indoctrination into Lowcountry golf. Donald Ross designed the course, which opened in 1927, as an amenity to the former Oglethorpe Hotel (now a luxury condominium complex), and though there have been minor alterations to the layout over the years, it retains a charming pre–World War II feel. The routing is folded neatly into an asymmetrical tree-lined property. Although the course’s push-up greens make for challenging targets, its ample fairways allow you to find your swing without unduly impacting your scorecard. This classic theme of wide fairways and demanding greens will be played out under increasingly tight conditions over the coming days. For dinner, head to Sapphire Grill, tucked into a narrow, multilevel space near River Street. This cozy restaurant offers Southern-inspired entrées as well as à la carte selections of prime beef, lamb, pork and local seafood. Day Two Cross over the Talmadge Memorial Bridge to Hutchinson Island, the body of land across the river, en route to the Club at Savannah Harbor. Bob Cupp’s low-slung design roams the island’s open ground between pockets of riparian buffers and, by changing directions often, exposes players to wind off the river from a variety of angles. There’s plenty of room to drive the ball aggressively, but at such holes as the 533-yard fourth and the 447-yard sixth, the greens are pinched by diagonal bunker clusters and encroaching wetlands. Cupp’s visual treatment of the design extends to grand, off-course focal points—the looming Westin hotel, the bridge’s towering superstructure and suspension cables, and the golden dome of Savannah’s city hall. The architect skillfully uses these landmarks as targets and dramatic backdrops. After the round, stop in for lunch at Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room on Jones Street, where since the 1940s patrons have gathered at communal tables to be served family-style portions of deliciously rendered Southern fare such as fried chicken and baked ham.

Then, either on your own or with a guided group, explore the beloved historic district, which is home to many well-shaded public squares and magnificent porch-wrapped mansions. In the evening, amble down the paths of Forsyth Park to Local 11 Ten. The frequently changing menu at this hip New American restaurant in a converted bank building celebrates the bounty of the region, including Vidalia onions and Georgia shrimp and redfish. Day Three Begin the day by seeing what’s happening at the Savannah College of Art and Design in the historic district. The school operates the SCAD Museum of Art as well as ShopSCAD, a gallery store that sells art, jewelry and clothing created by students, alumni, faculty and staff. It also promotes student exhibits and annually hosts the Savannah Film Festival (which is scheduled to run from October 27 to November 3 this year). Have an early lunch at Six Pence Pub, a British-style tavern on Bull Street. Then head back to the hotel, collect your bags and take a taxi to a storefront at 425 East River Street, where you can buy tickets for the Daufuskie Island ferry. The boats depart every three hours between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. The crossing takes roughly an hour, and no cars are allowed on board. But you won’t have to worry about your luggage once you board: Crews deliver it to your destination, Daufuskie Island Resort. Check in to either the resort’s Melrose Inn or one of its oceanfront cottages, and then take the shuttle to Bloody Point golf course. The first nine holes of this Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf design play through an inland parcel that rewards accurate iron play. The stakes are raised on the more demanding second nine, when the course turns toward the Intracoastal Waterway, beginning at the lovely 310-yard tenth. The final three holes, a potentially back-breaking stretch, play out to the island’s breezy southern point. The pot bunker cut into the center of the eighteenth green punctuates the round. After three successive days of golf, a rejuvenating masغیر مجاز می باشدe may be in order. If so, indulge yourself at the resort’s Breathe Spa before having dinner at Jack’s Place in the Melrose clubhouse. Bring an appetite for red meat, because the grilled dishes, especially the New York strip and the Colorado rack of lamb, are the strong suit of the house. Day Four Load up on the hearty breakfast buffet at the inn’s second-floor restaurant, the Stoddard Bistro, which overlooks the ocean, and then walk across Easter Beach Lane to Daufuskie’s Melrose course, a 1987 Jack Nicklaus design. The specimen trees frequently influence the line of play, not unlike those at Harbour Town Golf Links (which Nicklaus helped Pete Dye design in 1969) on the other side of Calibogue Sound. With small greens, deep bunkers and several jumps across ponds and canals, the course demands precision above all else.

The game turns even more serious at the 525-yard par-five twelfth, where waste areas cut across sections of the fairway. It’s the beginning of a series of muscular holes that culminates in a climactic stretch along the Atlantic shore. The eighteenth features a double fairway and plays to an elevated peninsula green that’s suspended over the beach. After putting out, soak it all in—the shoreline, the ocean, the serenity—before catching the ferry back to Savannah. But prior to departing, make sure you’ve built in enough time and appetite for one last indulgence: lunch at Walls’ Barbecue. The flavor of the smoky, luscious ribs at this out-of-the-way hut on York Lane will linger, a savory coda to a perfect long weekend in Savannah and the Lowcountry. Playing Club at Savannah Harbor Architect: Bob Cupp, 1999. Yardage: 7,288. Par: 72. Slope: 137. Greens Fees: 0–5. Contact: 912-201-2007, theclubatsavannahharbor.com. Daufuskie Island Resort Bloody Point Architects: Jay Morrish and Tom Weiskopf, 1991. Yardage: 6,900. Par: 72. Slope: 134. Greens Fees: –9. Contact: 888-909-4653, daufuskieislandresort.com. Daufuskie Island Resort Melrose Architect: Jack Nicklaus, 1987. Yardage: 7,081. Par: 72. Slope: 138. Greens Fees: –9. Contact: 888-909-4653, daufuskieislandresort.com. Wilmington Island Club Architect: Donald Ross, 1927. Yardage: 6,715. Par: 71. Slope: 133. Greens Fee: . Contact: 912-897-1615, wilmingtonplantation.com. Staying Daufuskie Island Resort Rooms: from 9. Contact: 800-648-6778, daufuskieislandresort.com. Mansion on Forsyth Park, Savannah Rooms: 9–9. Contact: 912-238-5158, mansiononforsythpark.com. Dining Jack’s Place (New American), Daufuskie Island Resort; 843-341-4816. $$$$ Local 11 Ten (New American), Savannah; 912-790-9000. $$$$ Mrs. Wilkes’ Dining Room (South­ern), Savannah; 912-232-5997. $$ Sapphire Grill (New American), Savannah; 912-443-9962. $$$$ Six Pence Pub (English), Savannah; 912-233-3156. $ Walls’ Barbecue, Savannah; 912-232-9754. $ Other Activities Daufuskie Island Ferry, 843-341-4870 Savannah Walks, savannahwalks.com SCAD Museum of Art, scad.edu


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So they decided that in each city

So they decided that in each city they host a tour in, they’ll donate 10 percent of proceeds to local, affordable-housing nonprofits. “It has its own momentum now, and we don’t want to get in the way. The New Orleans home of a Vodou priestess. There’s been a zeitgeist about weird the last 20 years in Austin. “Weird to us was always a positive, and never a negative.” After the Austin tour took off, with roughly 10 houses on the tour each year, carefully curated to strike the right balance between kooky, odd, unexpected and whimsical, the Neffs decided to add Houston to the mix in 2016, and New Orleans followed in 2017. “We’re not putting [the owner] in a hotel for the night; we want them to be there,” he said.” She says she was bored of all of the other home tours where every house starts to look the same by the end, so on their Austin Weird Home Tour, now in its fifth year, “you get to speak to every home owner and every house is really different. Thanin Viriyaki/Weird Home Tours David and Chelle worry about how the غیر مجاز می باشدt of living effects the artists in their city as many of the homeowners on the tour are working artists and property taxes and the غیر مجاز می باشدt of living has skyrocketed in Austin in recent years.

And we’re uncovering this as a positive in other cities now, too. “I thought there must be a Keep Austin Weird Homes tour where you can go in and see those houses,” she told Travel + Leisure. This summer, they’ve added Portland and Detroit. The Neffs say their intent with the book is for readers to find something that will inspire design creativity in their own home. “David went home and researched it and he could not find anything on a weird homes tour. But what about the really quirky ones, the ones designed or landscaped in unusual or unexpected ways? Husband and wife David J.” So just how weird are these homes? In New Orleans’ Bywater neighborhood is the lavish and vivid home of an ordained Vodou priestess and artist with her assortment of alters, mermaid shrines, and giant gecغیر مجاز می باشد. Not content to only see it from the outside, Chelle says she wanted in. The owner of the 'Hippo' home in Houston.” David agrees. And David says they will include San Francisco in 2019 which will be like, “shooting fish in a barrel in terms of finding homes and finding people. Thanin Viriyaki/Weird Home Tours The Hippo home. We want to preserve and protect what’s unique and odd in these magical places. Luckily for the inquisitive among us, there are home tours now covering every type of residence, from the historic home to the modern home to the estate home. Neff and Chelle Neff were intrigued one night while out walking their dogs in their Austin neighborhood when they noticed a house that looked like the Alamo. “We are also huge Halloween fanatics and I feel like I leave 5 percent of our Halloween décor out more and more every year and I want to see it year round,” she said. “We just thought it would be a fun thing to do in Austin once a year,” said Chelle.

If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.April 20, 2018 Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. It’s clear a Weird Homes empire is in the works with their recently launched book, “Weird Homes: The People and Places That Keep Austin Strangely Wonderful,” and there’s no doubt there China structural rivets Manufacturers will be more coffee table books with each expansion into another city. Thanin Viriyaki/Weird Home Tours Thanin Viriyaki/Weird Home Tours And on the Austin tour on April 21, ticket holders can visit a flowing, undulating ‘mushroom’ house, called the Bloomhouse, sculpted by designer Charles Harker which ‘grew’ out of the forest in harmony with the natural landscape. She’s gone from collecting interesting skulls for their home to collecting baby doll heads and putting them under glass domes after she saw one of the Austin artists creating habitats for the doll heads in birdcages. “We are on the path of having a weird home in the next few years. And I think the year after that, we would go to New York and figure out the strategy of dividing that city up. Humans have been curious about what their neighbors' homes have looked like ever since the first Neanderthals wondered about the interior of the cave next door.”. By day, David is an author and digital strategy consultant, and Chelle owns and operates two Urban Betty hair salons in Austin. Chelle jokes that creating the Weird Homes Tours has certainly influenced her own décor and that she is now more inspired to think outside of the decorating box. The Bloomhouse in Austin.” Even with all of these tours, they still have their day jobs, originally thinking the tour would just be a fun passion project. So we created our own. Thanin Viriyaki/Weird Home Tours Houston boasts a ‘Hippo’ home with a collection of over 2,000 hippopotamus’ including a red hippo car


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The short flight to tiny Ísafjördur

RELATED: The T+L-Curated Journey Through Iceland But the group approach isn't always the best way to explore a country and culture defined by a sparse population sprinkled across remote and stunning empty spaces.February 24, 2016 As travel destinations go, Iceland is hot, so to speak, and for good reason: the country boasts 30 active volcanoes, milky-blue hot springs, elf-inhabited lava fields (or so many Icelanders believe), extraordinary scuba diving, and a landscape best described as a blend of the moon, the Arctic, and western Ireland. Take a boat to Vigur Island, where eiderdown is harvested, or go on a breathtaking drive south to Dýrafjörður fiord, where you can explore the mock Viking festival ground in the village of Þingeyri. From there it's a two-and-a-half-hour ferry ride from Stykkishólmur to Brjánslækur on the south shores of the Westfjords. Here are some of the best ways to do it: Getty Images Prepare to go off road Rent a four-wheel drive vehicle with lots of clearance and full insurance, including coverage for the undercarriage.., these small Icelandic horses are used for sheepherding and pleasure-riding, as well as racing, and are known for having a smooth and speedy fifth gait called the tölt. A lot of what you'll want to explore—Glymer waterfall north of Reykjavik; Seljavallalaug, Iceland's oldest geothermal swimming pool, which sits at the base of the infamous Eyjafjallajökull volcano; the steaming volcanic landscapes of Landmannalaugar—will take you inland over dirt tracks and bumpy F-roads (mountain roads in Iceland's highlands). Liz Beatty Chill in your own remote rented digs Like many natives of Reykjavik, you'll want to escape to a spare stylish holiday Self-clinching manufacturers cottage in the quiet countryside. Soak in a naturally heated hot tub overlooking a distant volcano. Cap off the meal with crazy-good homemade gelato at Valdís next door. If you go by car, head north for two hours before stopping for chowder at the remote seaside Fjöruhúsið in Hellnar.D. Many of these houses dot isolated lava fields—striking land blanketed in moss, heather, and blueberry bushes. If you're visiting in September, join in one of many rowdy fall rettirs (sheep roundups).

The short flight to tiny Ísafjördur Airport is a breathtaking adventure. Hike from valley to valley along mountain lakes and crystal-clear streams, through patches of luminous moss, to the neighboring village of Hnífsdalur. Drawn by the country's many natural wonders or, perhaps, more practically, by Icelandair's free Reykjavik layovers on transatlantic flights, travelers have been arriving in the country in droves. To truly commune with this otherworldly landscape and experience Iceland like a native, you'll need to go it alone.  Near Ísafjördur, connect with Iceland’s rural traditions by staying at a working farm and dining on comfort seafood dishes at Tjöruhúsið in town. To meet the demand, many all-inclusive day tours have popped up—whale watching, glacier walks, waterfall hikes, heli-tours, jeep excursions—with pickups straight from Reykjavik hotel lobbies. Buy local lamb or seafood and dine in instead of eating at one of Iceland's notoriously expensive restaurants. Liz Beatty Tölt away on an Icelandic horse Brought over by Vikings in 900 A. Or you can break up the trip by staying over at Hotel Flatey on the island of the same name, where the ferry stops en route to Brjánslækur. Liz Beatty Wing it to the Westfjords Even Icelanders consider this stunning peninsula, set a hair beneath the Arctic Circle, far-flung. Ride this ancient breed on a private guided tour around Iceland's most active volcano, Mount Helka. Feast at a local Reykjavik haunt Once back in civilization, carnivores can indulge in þorramatur, a traditional meat medley with a contemporary Nordic twist at Matur go Drykkur


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These days she travels everywhere from St. No matter

” Matthew Campbell Laurenza M. Travel Résumé “My husband and I traveled all over China, Thailand, Japan, and Vietnam. Travel Résumé Laurenza first visited Thailand in 1998 and decided to make it his home.C.”.C.” Janis Provisor Janis Provisor Jewelry An acclaimed painter with works in the permanent collection of the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D. It’s surrounded by lovely parks and it’s also the silk capital of China.” Current Collection For her earrings, necklaces, and rings, the designer uses semiprecious stones (rock crystal, moonstone, onyx, turquoise, white topaz) finished with 14-karat white- and yellow-gold vermeil. Now he splits his time between Hong Kong and Bangkok, creating colorful enamelware pieces.” Laurenza is also a fan of Florence: “The city has embraced Modernism without sacrificing art and architecture. When customers began buying the creations off her neck, she realized she was on to something. I love big cabochon-cut stones., Janis Provisor became a jewelry designer by accident. Barths.” Current Collection Black rhodium–plated enamel set with precious and semiprecious stones. “My favorite spot in Thailand is the beach resort Zeavola, on Phi Phi Island,” he says.

These days she travels everywhere from St. No matter how many times I see them, they still have a jaw-dropping effect on me. Now, at the ripe old age of 25, she is expanding her collection to include bejeweled clutches. “It’s very private with beautiful beachside bungalows. I adore Hangzhou, which was the capital of China during the Southern Sung Dynasty. “My pieces aren’t for wallflowers.L Design Matthew Campbell Laurenza started making jewelry while he was at the Savannah College of Art and Design. “Everything is handmade and hand-polished, and the stones are hand-set. Provisor mocks up each piece on fishing line before assembly. Design Inspiration “I’m drawn to random things, such as the beautiful light in Bali, or—my current obsession—the green cross that identifies pharmacies in Italy. That’s the dichotomy of my aesthetic—a classic sensibility mixed with a more exotic, ethnic look.March 27, 2009 Self-Clinching nuts for sale Ashley Dodgen-McCormick Asha by ADM I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and wanted to start my own business,” says Ashley Dodgen-McCormick, whose accessories line, Asha by ADM, first gained attention at Calypso St. Travel Résumé Dodgen-McCormick grew up speaking Spanish with her Cuban-born mother, learned French at age eight, and later studied in Italy and France, where she met jewelry designer Lorenz Bäumer, who helped get her started in the business.

“When I was young, I remember seeing gorgeous women wearing chandelier earrings on the beach in Rio.-Tropez to Turks and Caiغیر مجاز می باشد, where she recently stayed at Amanyara: “I love the resort’s Zen simplicity.” Current Collection Tourmaline, quartz, agate, labradorite, white jade, and freshwater pearls are strung with 18- and 22-karat gold. I’m sure it will soon turn up in my jewelry.” Design Inspiration Dodgen-McCormick is influenced by her mother’s Latin culture.” Design Inspiration “I love the rose windows in Gothic cathedrals—the Duomo in Milan or Notre Dame in Paris. The Brooklyn native began buying stones and making pieces for herself a decade ago while living in Hong Kong and trying to get her rug company, Fort Street Studio, off the ground


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Philadelphia If you pass through Philly

Not only will out-of-town guests know where to find you, but you’re guaranteed to make your honeymoon flight. Suvarnabhumi Airport, Bangkok Opened in 2006, Suvarnabhumi is one of the busiest airports in Southeast Asia. Dallas/Fort Worth You’ll find 14 airline clubs located across DFW’s five busy terminals, and in our humble experience, they’re often the best, most relaxed spots to strike up a casual conversation, since you’ll likely be delayed here. Advertisement 15 of 20 Courtesy of Dubai International Airport Worst AirportsChina Weld Stud Nuts Factory5. Of course, every airport offers travelers some chance at finding love. Advertisement 13 of 20 Courtesy of Encounter Restaurant Worst Airports#3. Charles de Gaulle may be one of the world’s ugliest, but nearly a quarter of all flights are delayed due to poor visibility, so while you’re waiting, grab a glass of Bordeaux (and try out your best French pick-up lines) at one of the wine bars located throughout the three terminals. Other airports like Singapore and Sydney either got their passengers airborne faster or lacked the kind of diversions Americans and Europeans have come to expect. One out of seven flights is delayed 45 minutes or more, and low visibility nearly the whole year-round means you’re probably not getting up in the air anytime soon. Advertisement 2 of 20 John Bartelstone Best Airports#2.S., while the remaining four are in Europe. You’ll find a wealth of bars, high-end shops, and more restaurants than almost any other airport in the world. Charlotte Douglas International, for example, failed to impress with its selection of social venues, so it’s probably a good thing that rain or fog rarely keep you on the ground for long. Summoning up one’s inner calm may be a good idea for asking someone out—and it also can be helpful later if you’re asked to rebook your flight.. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta It already ranks as one of the world’s ugliest airports and has an awful record for on-time departures; now this hub ranks as one of the poorest spots for chatting up fellow passengers.9 days without snow and an 81 percent on-time success rate would be considered a good thing. This moodily lit space practically seems designed with flirting in mind. If you’re single and looking, however, those cheery stats are enough to make you want to divert somewhere more promising…like Pittsburgh. 5 spot: 85 snow days each year, 38 days with thunderstorms, and 96 with fog add up to an incredible number of delays, cancellations, and missed connections. Some of the flirtiest terminals, like San Francisco International, are ranked higher in overall satisfaction by visitors and have more restaurants, bars, bookstores, retail shops, and club lounges per traveler than their counterparts elsewhere (SFO also boasts an aquarium and several museum exhibits). Charles de Gaulle, Paris If you want to find l’amour overseas, this Parisian gateway may provide your best opportunity. You and your new sweetie may need the drink: this airport cancels nearly 4 percent of its outgoing flights.

Philadelphia If you pass through Philly, you may find more than just brotherly love. Charlotte Douglas This US Airways hub doesn’t impress with its selection of dining establishments, which are mainly of the grab-and-go variety—perhaps the impersonal nature of its main food court doomed it to get one of the worst amenity ratings in the bunch. The guy, Wes Michaels, decided that if their bags came out at the exact same time, he would work up the nerve to talk to her. Advertisement 7 of 20 Courtesy of Charles De Gualle Airport Best Airports#7. This airport has more than 160 shops and restaurants to keep passengers busy while they wait—and considering that the visibility outside is obscured 247 days of the year, waiting is pretty much the name of the game. If you’re lucky enough to meet your soul mate here, Schiphol offers four different wedding packages that allow you to get married under its roof. Commiserate with a fellow passenger over a pint of suds—there are breweries and pubs aplenty at ORD. With just 30 restaurants and cafés servicing one of the globe’s most highly trafficked airports, you won’t find much of a scene in which to meet other singles. Advertisement 18 of 20 Jeff Greenberg/Alamy Worst Airports#8. That coupled with an impressive on-time departure record (79 percent) means you likely won’t score any digits on your next trip. Reason No. London Heathrow Airport Sure, Britain’s notoriously dreary weather may help keep planes and passengers grounded, but that’s not the only reason this hub hit the top 10. John F. Madrid-Barajas Madrid-Barajas may be architecturally stunning, but it appears that the designers left one important factor out of the equation: amenities. Advertisement 12 of 20 iStock Worst Airports#2. It was designed in the shape of the New Orleans airport’s baggage-claim area. Unless you can think of a cute pick-up line while you’re on the people mover, you’re out of luck. Minneapolis/St. Surprisingly, the restaurants here consist primarily of fast-food joints, so unless you put the moves on at one of eight Starbucks and four McDonald’s outposts, you might not have another opportunity. O’Hare, Chicago O’Hare is the world’s second busiest airport (after Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta), so you’ll have ample opportunity to people-watch as you wait. At least you can browse through some unique Italian fashion boutiques while you’re stranded. Dubai International Much like the city that it services, the Dubai airport doubles as a massive high-end shopping mall. You get incredible amenities under one enormous roof (Terminal 3 has the largest architectural footprint in the world) but no time to enjoy them—in the desert, flights aren’t often delayed due to snow and rain. Liberty, Newark A whopping number of flights are delayed at Liberty (an ironic name, considering the circumstances), which means every third person you see will probably end up at one of the terminal’s 52 restaurants and bars. It’s also one of the most efficient, boasting the second best on-time departure record of those examined. Take Annie Balart and Wes Michaels: two years after their luggage linkup, they cut their wedding cake. But for true pick-up potential, nothing beats JetBlue’s T5 terminal. Since you’re not likely to have a delayed flight, get to the airport early. And wait. Rome Fiumicino Airport By far, no major airport in the world cancels more flights than this one—and those flights that eventually take off are delayed more than one-third of the time. Advertisement 4 of 20 Courtesy of DFW Best Airports#4. Since so many flights are delayed, passengers can take advantage of incredible extras such as museum galleries, spas, reading rooms, and even spiritual reflection and meditation areas. Advertisement 20 of 20 iStock Worst Airports#10. Advertisement 9 of 20 Phil Szomszor Best Airports#9. San Francisco Some of us may leave our hearts in San Francisco, but sometimes, that’s because we couldn’t get out of the # airport. Pac Man—or opt for more grown-up entertainment at one of the terminal’s 16 bars or breweries. Phoenix Sky Harbor Normally, 364. Advertisement 14 of 20 Danita Delimont/Alamy Worst Airports#4. 1 of 20 Courtesy of Vino Volo Best Airports#1.

Not only does this destination get some incredible weather—just 13 days of rain per year—but McCarran is so alluringly close to the Strip, anyone stranded here is probably going to make a break for the nearest casino. Heathrow rated the second highest among European airports for amenities. Los Angeles Hot weather and cold-shouldered celeb types: that’s what makes LAX such a poor spot for snagging a date. Despite it being one of the world’s ugliest airports, you’ll find restaurants with runway views, top-of-the-line shopping, and ultramodern club lounges. Paul You can guess why this Midwest hub beat out so many others to hit the No. Kennedy, New York True, this may be considered one of the world’s ugliest airports, and you’ll be delayed an average of 65 minutes every time you fly—but at least JFK offers some fairly engaging ways to pass the time: there’s a beer garden, wine bar, and four spas. But once storms roll in and planes get grounded—suddenly, those coffee shops, lounges, and bars lining the terminal start doubling as potential meeting spots. “We did an equal amount of checking each other out from across the carousel,” she admits. Despite the long odds, the suitcases spilled onto the belt next to each other. Advertisement 5 of 20 Courtesy of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Best Airports#5. Advertisement 10 of 20 Richard Broadwell/Alamy Best Airports#10. If you’re stuck, wander over to T1’s new installation of late Jurassic-era dinosaurs—it might just be odd enough to inspire a conversation with a fellow onlooker.com Best Airports#8. An airport connection was born. That’s good for your schedule, bad for romantic prospects. The selection of bars and cafés is mediocre at best, and fewer watering holes mean fewer opportunities to get social.April 07, 2010 Annie Balart was flying home to New Orleans when a fellow traveler caught her eye at the airport’s baggage claim area. Bizarrely, this airport boasts not one, but four gaming arcades, so challenge another stranded soul to a game of pinball or Ms.1: it’s so massive that even if you’re delayed as you’re passing through (and there’s a 1 in 4 chance you will be), you’ll eat up most of that time just connecting between gates. If you do get stuck, try hitting the Bone Yard outside Terminal 4: doggie-walking parks like this one can be prime real estate for friendly pickups. Advertisement 8 of 20 AirportBars. 3 of 20 Andre Jenny/Alamy Best Airports#3. Toronto Pearson Canadian airports get a lot of snow—up to 92 days per year—but at Toronto Pearson, there just aren’t enough amenities to keep stranded passengers occupied. Conversely, at the 10 international airports with the best weather, best on-time departure record, and fewest outlets for itinerant flirting, the only thing you may have time to pick up is your luggage. Advertisement 6 of 20 Alain McLaughlin/SFO Airport Best Airports#6. The airport may seem an unlikely place to find romance. A chance encounter can certainly make being in travel limbo more interesting, and according to a study conducted by Sperling’s Best Places on behalf of the men’s grooming company Axe, your likelihood of hitting it off with a fellow passenger depends on what city—and more specifically, what airport—you’re in. Even if you don’t score any bargains on Armani and Gucci, you could pick up something—or someone—you like even better. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Surprisingly, the major amenity this airport lacks is coffee shops (Amsterdam itself has no such issue), so you probably won’t be locking eyes with anyone over a latte. Advertisement 17 of 20 Andrew Holt/Alamy Worst Airports#7. By examining weather pattern data, delayed-flight statistics, and a range of amenities at 35 airports worldwide—across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East—researchers found that six of the date-friendliest airports are located right here in the U. McCarran, Las Vegas If you want to get lucky in Vegas, we wouldn’t suggest trying your hand at the airport.

Advertisement 11 of 20 Courtesy of Sky Habor International Airport Worst Airports#1. So whether you’re facing a layover or a weather delay (and historical data indicate there’s a real possibility that here, you will), there’s no shortage of venues to pass the time and meet someone—and, hopefully, jet off with their contact info. Advertisement 19 of 20 Tomoya Worst Airports#9. If you’re not already a member, nearly all clubs offer day passes that afford you access to the bar, snacks, business centers—and some pretty attractive frequent fliers. Advertisement 16 of 20 Courtesy of McCarran Int'l Airport Worst Airports#6. And wait. If you do get stuck, make a beeline for the B and C terminal connector, where the bulk of the amenities are located. If you have more than a few hours to kill (or your flight’s canceled altogether), go for broke and ask your love interest to head into Manhattan for a proper date. After all, busy passengers are usually more concerned with making their flights than in striking up a conversationty, so while you’re waiting, grab a glass of Bordeaux (and try out your best French pick-up lines) at one of the wine bars located throughout the three terminals. Other airports like Singapore and Sydney either got their passengers airborne faster or lacked the kind of diversions Americans and Europeans have come to expect. One out of seven flights is delayed 45 minutes or more, and low visibility nearly the whole year-round means you’re probably not getting up in the air anytime soon. Advertisement 2 of 20 John Bartelstone Best Airports#2.S., while the remaining four are in Europe. You’ll find a wealth of bars, high-end shops, and more restaurants than almost any other airport in the world. Charlotte Douglas International, for example, failed to impress with its selection of social venues, so it’s probably a good thing that rain or fog rarely keep you on the ground for long. Summoning up one’s inner calm may be a good idea for asking someone out—and it also can be helpful later if you’re asked to rebook your flight.. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta It already ranks as one of the world’s ugliest airports and has an awful record for on-time departures; now this hub ranks as one of the poorest spots for chatting up fellow passengers.9 days without snow and an 81 percent on-time success rate would be considered a good thing.

This moodily lit space practically seems designed with flirting in mind. If you’re single and looking, however, those cheery stats are enough to make you want to divert somewhere more promising…like Pittsburgh. 5 spot: 85 snow days each year, 38 days with thunderstorms, and 96 with fog add up to an incredible number of delays, cancellations, and missed connections. Some of the flirtiest terminals, like San Francisco International, are ranked higher in overall satisfaction by visitors and have more restaurants, bars, bookstores, retail shops, and club lounges per traveler than their counterparts elsewhere (SFO also boasts an aquarium and several museum exhibits). Charles de Gaulle, Paris If you want to find l’amour overseas, this Parisian gateway may provide your best opportunity. You and your new sweetie may need the drink: this airport cancels nearly 4 percent of its outgoing flights. Philadelphia If you pass through Philly, you may find more than just brotherly love. Charlotte Douglas This US Airways hub doesn’t impress with its selection of dining establishments, which are mainly of the grab-and-go variety—perhaps the impersonal nature of its main food court doomed it to get one of the worst amenity ratings in the bunch. The guy, Wes Michaels, decided that if their bags came out at the exact same time, he would work up the nerve to talk to her. Advertisement 7 of 20 Courtesy of Charles De Gualle Airport Best Airports#7. This airport has more than 160 shops and restaurants to keep passengers busy while they wait—and considering that the visibility outside is obscured 247 days of the year, waiting is pretty much the name of the game. If you’re lucky enough to meet your soul mate here, Schiphol offers four different wedding packages that allow you to get married under its roof. Commiserate with a fellow passenger over a pint of suds—there are breweries and pubs aplenty at ORD. With just 30 restaurants and cafés servicing one of the globe’s most highly trafficked airports, you won’t find much of a scene in which to meet other singles. Advertisement 18 of 20 Jeff Greenberg/Alamy Worst Airports#8. That coupled with an impressive on-time departure record (79 percent) means you likely won’t score any digits on your next trip. Reason No. London Heathrow Airport Sure, Britain’s notoriously dreary weather may help keep planes and passengers grounded, but that’s not the only reason this hub hit the top 10. John F. Madrid-Barajas Madrid-Barajas may be architecturally stunning, but it appears that the designers left one important factor out of the equation: amenities. Advertisement 12 of 20 iStock Worst Airports#2.

It was designed in the shape of the New Orleans airport’s baggage-claim area. Unless you can think of a cute pick-up line while you’re on the people mover, you’re out of luck. Minneapolis/St. Surprisingly, the restaurants here consist primarily of fast-food joints, so unless you put the moves on at one of eight Starbucks and four McDonald’s outposts, you might not have another opportunity. O’Hare, Chicago O’Hare is the world’s second busiest airport (after Hartsfield-Jackson in Atlanta), so you’ll have ample opportunity to people-watch as you wait. At least you can browse through some unique Italian fashion boutiques while you’re stranded. Dubai International Much like the city that it services, the Dubai airport doubles as a massive high-end shopping mall. You get incredible amenities under one enormous roof (Terminal 3 has the largest architectural footprint in the world) but no time to enjoy them—in the desert, flights aren’t often delayed due to snow and rain. Liberty, Newark A whopping number of flights are delayed at Liberty (an ironic name, considering the circumstances), which means every third person you see will probably end up at one of the terminal’s 52 restaurants and bars. It’s also one of the most efficient, boasting the second best on-time departure record of those examined. Take Annie Balart and Wes Michaels: two years after their luggage linkup, they cut their wedding cake. But for true pick-up potential, nothing beats JetBlue’s T5 terminal. Since you’re not likely to have a delayed flight, get to the airport early. And wait. Rome Fiumicino Airport By far, no major airport in the world cancels more flights than this one—and those flights that eventually take off are delayed more than one-third of the time. Advertisement 4 of 20 Courtesy of DFW Best Airports#4. Since so many flights are delayed, passengers can take advantage of incredible extras such as museum galleries, spas, reading rooms, and even spiritual reflection and meditation areas.

Advertisement 20 of 20 iStock Worst Airports#10. Advertisement 9 of 20 Phil Szomszor Best Airports#9. San Francisco Some of us may leave our hearts in San Francisco, but sometimes, that’s because we couldn’t get out of the # airport. Pac Man—or opt for more grown-up entertainment at one of the terminal’s 16 bars or breweries. Phoenix Sky Harbor Normally, 364. Advertisement 14 of 20 Danita Delimont/Alamy Worst Airports#4. 1 of 20 Courtesy of Vino Volo Best Airports#1. Not only does this destination get some incredible weather—just 13 days of rain per year—but McCarran is so alluringly close to the Strip, anyone stranded here is probably going to make a break for the nearest casino. Heathrow rated the second highest among European airports for amenities. Los Angeles Hot weather and cold-shouldered celeb types: that’s what makes LAX such a poor spot for snagging a date. Despite it being one of the world’s ugliest airports, you’ll find restaurants with runway views, top-of-the-line shopping, and ultramodern club lounges. Paul You can guess why this Midwest hub beat out so many others to hit the No. Kennedy, New York True, this may be considered one of the world’s ugliest airports, and you’ll be delayed an average of 65 minutes every time you fly—but at least JFK offers some fairly engaging ways to pass the time: there’s a beer garden, wine bar, and four spas. But once storms roll in and planes get grounded—suddenly, those coffee shops, lounges, and bars lining the terminal start doubling as potential meeting spots. “We did an equal amount of checking each other out from across the carousel,” she admits. Despite the long odds, the suitcases spilled onto the belt next to each other. Advertisement 5 of 20 Courtesy of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Best Airports#5. Advertisement 10 of 20 Richard Broadwell/Alamy Best Airports#10. If you’re stuck, wander over to T1’s new installation of late Jurassic-era dinosaurs—it might just be odd enough to inspire a conversation with a fellow onlooker.com Best Airports#8. An airport connection was born.

That’s good for your schedule, bad for romantic prospects. The selection of bars and cafés is mediocre at best, and fewer watering holes mean fewer opportunities to get social.April 07, 2010 Annie Balart was flying home to New Orleans when a fellow traveler caught her eye at the airport’s baggage claim area. Bizarrely, this airport boasts not one, but four gaming arcades, so challenge another stranded soul to a game of pinball or Ms.1: it’s so massive that even if you’re delayed as you’re passing through (and there’s a 1 in 4 chance you will be), you’ll eat up most of that time just connecting between gates. If you do get stuck, try hitting the Bone Yard outside Terminal 4: doggie-walking parks like this one can be prime real estate for friendly pickups. Advertisement 8 of 20 AirportBars. 3 of 20 Andre Jenny/Alamy Best Airports#3. Toronto Pearson Canadian airports get a lot of snow—up to 92 days per year—but at Toronto Pearson, there just aren’t enough amenities to keep stranded passengers occupied. Conversely, at the 10 international airports with the best weather, best on-time departure record, and fewest outlets for itinerant flirting, the only thing you may have time to pick up is your luggage. Advertisement 6 of 20 Alain McLaughlin/SFO Airport Best Airports#6. The airport may seem an unlikely place to find romance. A chance encounter can certainly make being in travel limbo more interesting, and according to a study conducted by Sperling’s Best Places on behalf of the men’s grooming company Axe, your likelihood of hitting it off with a fellow passenger depends on what city—and more specifically, what airport—you’re in. Even if you don’t score any bargains on Armani and Gucci, you could pick up something—or someone—you like even better. Amsterdam Airport Schiphol Surprisingly, the major amenity this airport lacks is coffee shops (Amsterdam itself has no such issue), so you probably won’t be locking eyes with anyone over a latte. Advertisement 17 of 20 Andrew Holt/Alamy Worst Airports#7. By examining weather pattern data, delayed-flight statistics, and a range of amenities at 35 airports worldwide—across North America, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Middle East—researchers found that six of the date-friendliest airports are located right here in the U. McCarran, Las Vegas If you want to get lucky in Vegas, we wouldn’t suggest trying your hand at the airport. Advertisement 11 of 20 Courtesy of Sky Habor International Airport Worst Airports#1. So whether you’re facing a layover or a weather delay (and historical data indicate there’s a real possibility that here, you will), there’s no shortage of venues to pass the time and meet someone—and, hopefully, jet off with their contact info. Advertisement 19 of 20 Tomoya Worst Airports#9. If you’re not already a member, nearly all clubs offer day passes that afford you access to the bar, snacks, business centers—and some pretty attractive frequent fliers. Advertisement 16 of 20 Courtesy of McCarran Int'l Airport Worst Airports#6. And wait. If you do get stuck, make a beeline for the B and C terminal connector, where the bulk of the amenities are located. If you have more than a few hours to kill (or your flight’s canceled altogether), go for broke and ask your love interest to head into Manhattan for a proper date. After all, busy passengers are usually more concerned with making their flights than in striking up a conversation


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