Robert Mueller, Style Icon
Last month, when the Washington Post ran a dual profile of Donald
Trump and Robert Mueller, the paper took care to note Mueller’s daily wardrobe as the director of the F.B.I.: “a traditional J. Edgar Hoover-era G-man uniform: dark suit,
red or blue tie and white shirt—always white.” A consideration of
Mueller’s clothes has become a commonplace of both written narratives
and TV chitchat about him. In the absence of leaks from the special
counsel’s office, the public is left to listen to the clothes, which are
equally reticent, which is their elegance. Assembled from a narrow
palette of Establishment standards, Mueller’s regular outfit
communicates a moral outlook in its particulars, an unostentatious grace
in its polish. One of the pleasanter aberrations of the Trump Era is the
emergence of Robert Swan Mueller III, the owner of a modest rotation of
discreetly striped Brooks Brothers suits, as a fashion icon.
Last year, Derek Guy, of the menswear blog Die, Workwear!, wrote an
admiring post about Mueller, titled “The Trad in Washington.” Guy argued that the special counsel soberly propounds traditional values by way of “soft shouldered suits with naturally rounded sleeveheads.” “Mueller is one of the only people in Washington who knows how to wear a coat-and-tie,” Guy wrote. “All the details are middle-of-the-road, but
they’re so perfectly executed that they come together in a classic
American way you rarely see anymore.” Mueller’s strong tendency toward
foulard ties, with their navy or burgundy fields graced by suave
geometries of small patterns, demonstrates a refinement that is nicely
balanced by his wristwatch, with its horsey hexagonal chunk of a black
plastic case. Identified by amateur horologists as a Casio DW-290 sport watch, with a list price of fifty dollars, it is synched to project an incorruptible constancy.
The Casio complements the shirts on a spiritual level. “He is so
straight, he always wears a white shirt,” Thomas B. Wilner, a longtime
friend of Mueller’s, told the Post. “He’s conscious that he’s a public
figure, and he doesn’t want anything to compromise his integrity. Even a
The white shirt is a symbol of purity, yes, but it also sends
security-blanket signals. Garrett M. Graff, the author of “The Threat
Matrix: Inside Robert Mueller’s FBI and the War on Global Terror,” is
the foremost scholar of Mueller’s taste in dress shirts. “I once asked
him: Why the cult of the white shirt?,” Graff wrote in Politico, last year. “He answered more philosophically than I’d ever seen him speak before.”
Mueller offered the rationale that, amid the Bureau’s shift toward
counterterrorism, “he felt it important to keep recognizable totems of
the past in place—like the tradition of the white shirt—to help
agents understand it was still the same FBI they’d signed up to join.” Elsewhere, Graff has relayed a vision of Mueller mocking subordinates in staff
meetings who deviated from his color scheme, reporting that “colored
shirts are worn at one’s own peril.”
The button-down collars of Mueller’s shirts—so soft and nonchalant
when compared with the spread collars underlining the smirk of Jared
Kushner—are the mark of an unreconstructed preppy. A fellow needn’t
have developed his sartorial manners at fancy schools to earn
distinction as a prep dresser, but it happens that Mueller did,
graduating from St. Paul’s School, in 1962, and from Princeton, in
1966—during the heyday of the Ivy League Look. Under the ascent of this style, with its compromise of poise and ease,
all sorts of mid-century men educated themselves in the virtues of
flannel trousers, madras jackets, and cordovan penny loafers. Mueller
learned a way of looking smart without seeming excessively smooth.
Within the community of men passionate about preppy clothing, there’s a
lively conversation around Mueller’s preference for starch in his oxford-cloth shirt, a choice evident in the unusual curvature of
the roll of his collar, which bulges where you’d expect it to arc
gently. It takes a certain sort of prep to starch his oxford cloth.
There is a school of thought that holds that this material looks
appealing when wrinkled and creased, and Mueller pointedly does not
attend it. In his emphasis on telegraphing rectitude, it is tempting to
see the influence of Mueller’s tenure in the Marines. The military
influence on Mueller’s dress sense is further apparent in his habit of
wearing his hideous Casio turned so that the face is on the inside of
his wrist, the way an infantryman would, and perhaps even in his
inclination toward tailoring that is, by the boxy terms of Washington
cuts, relatively trim.
This is a costume for an allegory. On the one hand, you have Trump’s
onetime campaign chairman Paul Manafort, who, according to Mueller’s
indictment, spent more than $1,300,000 on clothes in the course of about six years, including peak-lapel suits of baronial slickness. On the other hand, you have a government lawyer with an ideally understated public image. An understatement is a statement nonetheless, and Mueller’s sartorial rhetoric encodes heroic values. He is armored in the good, clean, honest look of an extremely civil servant, unaffected and, therefore, inimitable.
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March 7, 2018 at 10:13AM
Brexit Threatens to Reopen Old Wounds with Ireland
On Monday, the British Prime Minister, Theresa May, tried to explain a
baffling contradiction in her government’s Brexit policy, but she only
made it worse. The problem is the border between the Republic of Ireland
and Northern Ireland. Under a series of commitments, including the Good
Friday Agreement, of 1998, Britain has promised to keep that frontier
open—something that is easy when both regions are part of the European
Union. But the plans for Brexit call for a border with controls of some
kind between the United Kingdom and the nations of the European Union;
indeed, that is more or less the point. Since Northern Ireland is part
of the U.K., and Ireland will remain in the E.U., what does that mean?
How do you promise both a border and a non-border, in the same place?
The answer from May’s government, essentially, has been to keep
repeating that there will be both, interrupting this patter not with
rationality but with gaffes. Monday’s blunder came when May was
briefing the House of Commons on the latest plans, laid out over the
weekend, in which she had said that there would be no “hard border” on
the island of Ireland, adding, “We have ruled out any physical
infrastructure at the border, or any related checks and controls.” At
the same time, she said that “we are clear that, as we leave the E.U.,
free movement of people will come to an end.” Are we clear? A Labour
M.P., Emma Reynolds, wasn’t sure.
“Could the Prime Minister name an international border between two
countries who are not in a customs union, who have different external
tariffs, where there are no checks on lorries carrying goods at the
border?” Reynolds asked, to murmurs of “Hear, hear.”
“There are many examples of different arrangements for customs around
the rest of the, uh, around the rest of the world,” May said. “And,
indeed, we are looking at those, including, for example, the border
between the United States and Canada.” Behind her, Boris Johnson, the
Foreign Secretary, nodded his head vigorously, as if making his
trademark untamed hair even more dishevelled would somehow settle the
It didn’t. A few minutes later, another Labour M.P., Jenny Chapman, rose
and asked, “The Prime Minister gave the example of Canada and America as
being a soft, frictionless border. Mr. Speaker, there are guns and armed
customs guards on that border—surely that is not what she has in mind?
Can she perhaps find another example?”
“What I said is that we are looking at the border arrangements in a
number of countries around the world,” May replied, as if the infinite
variety of border crossings around the world were a sign that someone
must have a good trick, somewhere. Or maybe she was just trying to
leverage the image of Canadians as harmless, cheerful neighbors. (Did
she watch the Olympics? They are not as passive as all that.) She never
did answer whether she’d seen anything, on any continent, that she
liked—if she’d even looked very carefully.
Leo Varadkar, the Taoiseach, or Prime Minister, of Ireland, made it
clear, in a statement to reporters, responding to May’s comments, that
he had looked. “I visited the U.S.-Canada border. I visited it back in
August, and I saw a hard border with physical infrastructure, with
customs posts, people in uniforms, with arms and dogs, and that is
definitely not a solution that is one that we can possibly entertain.”
(At the time of the visit, he had tweeted out a picture of himself
petting one of those dogs, with the note, “make no mistake—it’s a hard
border.”) But then one of the central problems in all of this is that
the English do not seem to be listening to the Irish, or even
registering that their concerns and insights are valid. In the big
televised debates before the Brexit vote, Ireland barely came up, and,
when it did, the questions were effectively shooed away. The Irish, both
in the Republic and in the North, noticed.
Johnson made his own chaotic contribution last week, during a BBC Radio
interview, when he compared future controls at the Irish border to
collecting traffic-congestion charges in London, which is accomplished
with an E-ZPass-like system. “There’s no border between Islington or
Camden and Westminster,” he said. “But when I was mayor of London we
anesthetically and invisibly took hundreds of millions of pounds from
the accounts of people travelling between those two boroughs.” All he
managed to do was to offend people in a variety of ways. Was he saying
that the Republic of Ireland was like a London borough? (“I lived in
Camden for several years and was never stopped crossing the ‘border’ to
Islington,” a spokesman for Fianna Fáil, an Irish political party, said,
according to the BBC. “I have, however, had military rifles pointed at
me when crossing into Northern Ireland in the nineties.”) Did Johnson
not understand the complexity of moving people and goods across a
continent? Or was he just being, as a Sinn Féin spokesman put it,
Johnson further muddled matters by writing a memo, parts of which were
leaked, in which he raised the possibility of a hard border—and then
suggested that no one should worry, because technology would be helpful.
At that, the Labour Party called on May to fire him, “before he can do
any more damage.”
One complication is that, for important votes, May’s government relies
on the Northern Irish Democratic Unionist Party, which is strongly
opposed to any suggestion that the territory is anything but British.
But many in Britain share that view. For example, last week, the
European Union released a draft of a possible Brexit treaty that raised
the possibility of what would, in effect, be a special deal for Northern
Ireland, including it in a “common regulatory area” with the Republic.
May said that she would not agree to “a customs and regulatory border
down the Irish Sea”—that is, a line in the water between the island of
Ireland and the rest of Britain—adding that “no U.K. Prime Minister
could ever agree to it.” But then where will the border be?
The Brexiteers didn’t have much of an answer; instead, they used the
draft as an opening to engage in one of their favored activities:
railing against the supposed rottenness of the E.U. The charge now is
that Europe is trying to steal or “annex” Northern Ireland. Jacob
Rees-Mogg, one of the more theatrical Tory Brexiteers, likened the idea
of a special deal for the North to a call for Britain to be
“dismembered” in an “egregious act of aggression.” Rees-Mogg, who had
earlier dismissed the whole Irish-border question as an “imaginary”
problem, also chided Varadkar for what he deemed to be the Irish
Worse, as Fintan O’Toole, the Irish critic, noted last week in the
Guardian, some hard Brexiteers have taken to suggesting that the
problem can be solved simply by ditching the Good Friday Agreement. One
leading M.P., Owen Paterson, tweeted out an article saying that the deal might have “outlived
its use.” And yet the Good Friday Agreement marked one of those rare
moments when the parties in what had seemed an intractable conflict—with
bombings and hunger strikes, civilians killed on all sides, and
centuries-old grievances—found just enough common ground to build
something lasting. It is also an achievement of the European Union, and
an example of the ways in which free movement can increase, rather than
diminish, security. What message are the Brexiteers sending now, with
their failure to treat the Irish border question as a serious problem,
worthy of their attention, and of their respect? The Troubles might not
return, but a historic trust is being broken now.
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March 7, 2018 at 10:13AM
Grabbing a snack in Istanbul
March 2018 : Wednesday
Mar 2018 : Wednesday
Reminder on Categories
Remember you can click on the Istanbul Category to see all my photos from this place. I was only here three days, but I tried to make the most out of it! 🙂
Daily Photo – Grabbing a snack in Istanbul
On my last night in Istanbul, I was really wanting some more night shots, but not around all the main mosques. So I walked down by the seafront to check out what I could see. There was a lot of activity and I thought it was all very safe. I know some people are scared to go to Istanbul, but I wouldn’t give it a second thought. It’s also fun to stop at all these street vendors and have a little taste!
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March 7, 2018 at 08:06AM
News: ITB Berlin 2018: High demand for space as show gets underway
Many of the halls at the ITB Berlin have been fully booked for the 2018 event.
Altogether, the show’s management expects around 10,000 exhibitors and organisations from over 180 countries and some 110,000 trade visitors to attend the 26 halls on the Berlin Exhibition Grounds.
The focus is on Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, the partner region of the show.
It is organising the opening event which for the first time will leave a zero-carbon footprint, setting an important trend.
Over the five days of the show the German federal state will be exhibiting its wide range of tourism products in Halls 6.2A and 4.1.
“The outstanding number of bookings this year once again underlines ITB Berlin’s role as a driving force and the event mirroring the global tourism industry.
“Particularly in an age of political unrest, overtourism and the ongoing digital transformation, the industry faces new challenges,” said David Ruetz, head of ITB Berlin.
Demand for places at ITB Berlin is particularly high from Arab countries, Asia and South America.
In Peru especially, tourism has become an increasingly important economic factor.
As an emerging travel destination, the United Arab Emirates (Hall 2.2) are now expanding into the market.
Abu Dhabi has almost doubled the size of its stand, and the displays of Ras al-Khaimah and Fujairah are much larger than last year.
In Hall 26 Vietnam and Laos will be occupying more than twice the floor size of 2017.
Japan has also significantly increased its representation.
A number of exhibitors including Thailand, Malaysia, Myanmar and Taiwan will be welcoming visitors on two-tier stands.
Egypt (Hall 4.2) will be making an emphatic return with a larger stand.
Equally, as the largest exhibitor at ITB, Turkey, will again be demonstrating that this colourful destination has lost none of its fascination.
In Hall 3.1 bookings by the US and Russia have reached last year’s levels, while waiting lists exist for Ukraine and Tajikistan.
The same applies to Nepal and Sri Lanka in Hall 5.2, where demand for individual stands is particularly high.
After long absences Belize, Guayana, French Guiana and the Turks & Caicos Islands will be returning in 2018.
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March 7, 2018 at 07:10AM
News: ITB Berlin 2018: Myanmar calls for European support in growing tourism sector
Representatives from Myanmar Tourism Marketing have called for action from European tour operators to support tourism in the country.
Speaking at the start of ITB Berlin, the body called on tour operators to be leaders in sustainability and to keep engaging with Myanmar.
“We do call on everybody visiting the ITB to support the Myanmar tourism industry and actively promote Myanmar as a sustainable tourist destination and we ask people not to politicise tourism but instead help Myanmar to celebrate its cultural diversity,” said May Myat Mon Win, Myanmar Tourism Marketing chairperson.
In 2017, Myanmar recorded a total of 1.1 million arrivals at Yangon International Airport.
It was an increase of seven per cent compared to arrivals in the same period of 2016.
The main increases were from China and other Asian countries while the number of International arrivals at Yangon airport from Western countries increased only by two per cent.
Myanmar is hoping to attract tourists by having a green season promotion with special offers from hotels, restaurants and airlines at popular destinations throughout the country.
The Myanmar Tourism industry is focussed on the diversity the country offers to tourists including new community-based tourism projects that have been set-up around the country, variety in festivals and food and the diversity in sights.
“The time that visiting Myanmar was only about temples is long gone,” said May Myat Mon Win, “and the new Myanmar offers activities for people of any age and nationality.”
Myanmar Tourism Marketing aims to have more tourists in 2018 as tourism can help in poverty reduction and connect communities all around the country.
During ITB Berlin, Myanmar Tourism Marketing is organising a range of activities: the launch of the new green season brochure, the Mekong Mini Movie festival launch, and a Myanmar wine evening.
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March 7, 2018 at 07:01AM
News: ITB Berlin 2018: UNWTO secretary general calls for sustainable growth
The role of the tourism sector in contributing to sustainable development on a global scale was the central message delivered by UNWTO secretary general Zurab Pololikashvili at the opening of ITB Berlin.
Speaking in the presence of German chancellor Angela Merkel, tourism ministers from around the world, and the leaders of the tourism sector, Pololikashvili stressed how tourism not only needs to consolidate current growth rates, but “to grow better”.
In 2017, international tourist numbers grew a record seven per cent to reach 1.3 billion.
UNWTO’s message underlines the need to turn these figures into benefits for all people and all communities.
“Leaving no one behind,” is the benchmark for true sustainability, said Pololikashvili, a message which must also decouple growth from resource use and place climate change response at the heart of the tourism sector’s agenda.
“Tourism’s sustained growth brings immense opportunities for economic welfare and development,” said the UNWTO secretary general, while warning at the same time that it also brings in many challenges.
“Adapting to the challenges of safety and security, constant market changes, digitalization and the limits of our natural resources should be priorities in our common action,” he added.
The UNWTO Secretary-General stressed education and job creation, innovation and technology, safety and security; and sustainability and climate change as the priorities for the sector to consolidate its contribution to sustainable development and the 2030 Agenda, against the backdrop of its expansion in all world regions and the socio-economic impact this entails.
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March 7, 2018 at 07:01AM
Now on Booking.com: A Tent, a Treehouse and an Old Town Hall
Will travelers want to stay in a castle in Kentucky, a former jail in New Orleans or a lighthouse in Massachusetts? Booking.com, an accommodation booking site with a database of more than 1.5 million properties, is betting on a “yes.” The three are part of the site’s Book It List, debuting today, which is a collection of not-so-common places around the United States where guests can hang their hat for a night or more; the list has one option in each state.
The company is kicking off this new category by selling one-night stays for March 8 in three venues that have never before offered overnight accommodations: a suite on the 80th floor of the Empire State Building, in New York; a suite at the AmericanAirlines Arena, in Miami; and a tour bus in Los Angeles that the musician Nick Jonas helped design. Each stay costs $1,500.
While these are one-time bookings, the permanent possibilities on the Book It List include a man-made cave in New Mexico, a treehouse in Ohio, a base camp in Alaska and a shrimp boat in South Carolina. The list’s properties are in diverse locales ranging from major cities and the mountains to the coast and remote countryside, and prices for a night’s stay range from affordable to extravagant.
It costs $65 a night, for example, to stay at the 12-room Town Hall Inn, in Lead, S.D., in the heart of the Black Hills. Originally constructed in 1912 as Lead’s town hall, the building was used for several purposes over the years including the mayor’s and treasurer’s office, a jail, judge’s chambers and even gallows, which were directly behind the building.
On the other end of the spectrum, there’s a century-old family farm in Dyersville, Iowa, where the popular 1989 movie “Field of Dreams” was filmed. Tours of the property have been offered for several years, but for the first time, travelers who are willing to pay $2,200 will be able to spend the night in the farmhouse’s upstairs bedroom.
Pepijn Rijvers, the chief marketing officer for Booking.com, said that the company introduced the Book It List after noticing that its customers were increasingly reserving stays through the site at independently owned small hotels and nontraditional properties such as yurts and tree houses. “We were getting more bookings for accommodations that were perceived to be different or unusual than we were for the big chain hotels,” he said.
The company decided to do a formal survey to find out more, and the results confirmed the trend that it was seeing: from a pool of 56,272 respondents, 22 percent of United States residents and 37 percent of people living in other countries reported that they intended to stay in a unique location in 2018 such as a castle or treehouse.
Incidentally, Airbnb’s 2018 Travel Trends report also found that travelers were increasingly booking stays in nontraditional accommodations such as yurts and ryokans.
Mr. Rijvers said that Booking.com relied on more than 400 of its employees in the United States to find the properties for the list and that it’s intended to get Americans excited about traveling within the country. “We’re hoping that we’re enticing people who live in the U.S. to visit new destinations because of these unusual properties,” he said.
The Book It List may be a clever marketing tool, but it’s a useful one, according to Dr. Bjorn Hanson, a professor at the Tisch Center for Hospitality at New York University. In his research on the factors that motivate travelers when they choose their accommodations, he found that while location, price and loyalty programs figure in, so does a property’s Instagram potential. “Travelers, more than ever before, want to be able to brag to their family and friends about the cool place they stayed in that few others have, and what Booking.com is offering definitely qualifies,” Dr. Hanson said.
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March 7, 2018 at 06:12AM
Discovering Art in and Around Maastricht
AMSTERDAM — If you look at a map of Europe and imagine the Netherlands as a man’s smiling face gazing out toward the North Sea, the city of Maastricht would be, perhaps, a crumb stuck in the man’s scraggly beard. Brush it off in a westerly direction, and it’ll drop in Belgium. If the wind blows it to the east, it will likely arrive in Germany.
There are lots of regulars and exhibitors to the annual Tefaf art fair in Maastricht who visit this lovely little city built on Roman ruins and gripe about the local offerings — the hotels aren’t terribly modern, it’s too remote from top European cities, the airports aren’t sufficiently near.
But if you think of Maastricht as the nub of what is known as the Meuse-Rhine Euregion — which includes parts of the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany; four official languages; five provinces; 10 cities; and 3.9 million inhabitants — you’ll start off with a better mind-set about the place.
“From an outside perspective, even just coming from Amsterdam, the world kind of ends in Eindhoven,” said Marie-Claire Krell, a Maastricht-based artist. “But Aachen, Liège, Brussels are so much closer to here; even Cologne is just an hour away. We are sort of the center of the periphery.”
Ms. Krell is also a project manager with Very Contemporary, a network of about a dozen art venues in the Euregion that has worked to “create a shared feeling of a common crossover culture” and offers bus tours and a map of all the art locations within a 45-minute drive from Maastricht. She said that there are plenty of art-related events for someone who craves a steady dose of culture. “It’s just exactly enough because there’s something you can do every day,” she said.
During the Tefaf fair (March 8-18 this year) the local institutions are particularly active. Larger institutions, such as the Bonnefantenmuseum on the eastern bank of the Meuse River in Maastricht and the Ludwig Forum about 30 minutes away in Aachen, Germany, organize exhibitions, talks and other events to coincide with Tefaf.
A tour of Maastricht’s art spots might start at the center of the periphery and work its way out to the circumference.
The radial axis might begin within easy strolling distance from the MECC (where Tefaf takes place), at the Bonnefantenmuseum, with its signature building that seems to have a rocket ship at its center. Designed by the Italian architect Aldo Rossi, the museum is built in the heart of the former ceramics district and contains a vast collection of Dutch and Flemish old masters, but recent programming has enlivened the older work by presenting it “in dialogue” with contemporary art — often new commissions.
While the permanent galleries have a particular focus on Early Italian and Netherlandish painting and 14th- to 16th-century medieval sculpture, during Tefaf, it hosts three semi-solo exhibitions called “Beating around the bush Episode #5: Old masters never die. Starring Edward Lipski, Johan Tahon, Helen Verhoeven,” the three artists on view.
Also within the city of Maastricht, the Van Ecyk Academy, a postgraduate institute that provides residencies for artists, designers, architects and curators, hosts Open Studio days for art lovers on March 9 and 10 (also by invitation on March 8), allowing visitors to glimpse projects the residents are busy with in the labs, gardens and gallery spaces.
One of the more exciting new art locations in the region is SCHUNCK*, a multidisciplinary cultural center and architectural institute with a museum and collection of Dutch art, situated in a glass tower (the Glaspaleis) in Herleen, about a 35-minute drive northwest of Maastricht. Until June 10, it’s exhibiting the “False Memory Archive,” an installation by the artist Alasdair Hopwood, who has collaborated with Maastricht University to present art and a unique collection of lively personal memories that never took place, like a set of digitally manipulated photographs of U.F.O. sightings.
SCHUNCK* is simultaneously presenting “Punk+Dans+Kunst: Angry movements,” an exhibition that takes as its starting point the 1986 punk ballet film “Hail the New Puritan,” a fictionalized documentary about Scottish dancer Michael Clark, directed by Charles Atlas. Karin Post, a guest curator and choreographer, creates a contemporary collage of responses to the movie, with images, sound and dance, until May 13.
About 30 minutes northeast of Maastricht, in Sittard, another one of the more recent additions to the local scene, De Domijnen Museum, is also a mixed-use arts center with a library, cinema and contemporary art museum founded in 2015. It is known for its progressive exhibitions that explore realms of art and nature.
Until April 1, true to form, it delivers “The Dutch Savannah: An exhibition about water, energy and the infrastructure of the cloud.” With contemporary art by the Irish artist Yuri Pattison and others, as well as lectures and research projects, the show reflects on the Netherlands role as one of the world’s largest global hubs for digital data traffic.
Slightly farther afield is the more established Ludwig Forum für Internationale Kunst, in Aachen, one of the 26 international art institutions founded by the Germany private collectors Peter and Irene Ludwig (also of the Suermondt-Ludwig-Museum and Couven Museum in Aachen and the Ludwig Museum in Cologne;), which includes works of American Pop Art, Photo Realism and European postwar art.
Along with a continuing exhibition of local design products, the Ludwig Forum presents (until April 15) the exhibition “Digital Games: Art and Computer Games,” exploring the evolution of artistic modes of play and interactive art games that have been part of screen culture since the mid-1990s.
The European Fine Art Foundation, which runs the annual Tefaf art fair in Maastricht, has in recent years been debating the idea of relocating to a larger city, such as Amsterdam or Rotterdam, but the board of trustees in December announced that it would instead make an official 10-year commitment to Maastricht.
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March 7, 2018 at 06:12AM
Luxury Travel Agents See Demand for Vacations Based on Specific Themes
The Skift New Luxury newsletter is our weekly newsletter focused on the business of selling luxury travel, the people and companies creating and selling experiences, emerging trends, and the changing consumer habits around the sector.
Luxury travel isn’t immune to the changes that are shaping the wider industry.
Of course, there is a significant proportion of tourists who are still intent on getting away from it all, but an increasing number of people want to get a better understanding of the place or places they are visiting by digging deeper.
In luxury travel, the amount of money involved only amplifies this trend. The travel advisors we spoke to said their high-end clients wanted to go to certain places for very specific reasons. “They are pushing boundaries in terms of exploring new regions via the lens of subject areas like architecture, design and fashion,” said one.
Flying to the Maldives or Dubai might still be a popular choice but that’s what everyone else does.
— Patrick Whyte, Europe Editor
5 Looks at Luxury
Luxury Travel Is Becoming Even More Specialized: Here’s a concept you are likely to hear more about soon: silo travel. It’s all about going to a place for a very specific reason, and luxury travelers are all over it.
The Big Deals Hotel CEOs Are Chasing in 2018: For the hotel industry, shopping for new brands and other companies to buy up is always in season.
Mandarin Oriental’s New Loyalty Program Has Tons of Perks But No Free Nights: While Mandarin Oriental’s loyalty program doesn’t offer the same lucrative points that many competing programs have, it does have some valuable perks. Best of all, the program is free and accessible to everyone.
Hyatt Extends Loyalty Program to Include Its Luxury Oasis Rentals: When will the other big hotel companies like Marriott and Hilton begin to take the sharing economy more seriously?
Hilton Claims Anbang Financial Woes Won’t Impact Management of Waldorf Astoria: While Hilton has emphasized that Anbang’s financial woes won’t impact its long-term management contract at the original Waldorf Astoria hotel in New York, we can only imagine the sighs of relief Starwood employees must be issuing, knowing Anbang could have been their new owner instead of Marriott.
Skift Europe Editor Patrick Whyte [firstname.lastname@example.org] curates the New Luxury newsletter. Skift emails the newsletter every Tuesday.
Photo Credit: Whether it’s fashion or architecture, luxury travelers are looking to take trips based around specific themes. Mercedes Benz Fashion Week
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March 7, 2018 at 05:31AM
Israel’s El Al Appeals to the UN as It Seeks to Fly Over Saudi Arabia
El Al Israel Airlines asked the global aviation regulator to help it secure rights to fly over Saudi Arabia, which would reduce flight times and costs for the Israeli carrier.
Saudi Arabia would violate United Nations-sanctioned regulations should it allow Indian planes en route to Israel to fly over its airspace without granting the same access to Israeli carriers, Chief Executive Officer Gonen Usishkin wrote in a letter addressed to Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, president of the International Civil Aviation Organization, that was obtained by Bloomberg News.
The one-sided approval would be discriminatory on the part of Saudi authorities, who would not reciprocate the access to El Al “solely” because it’s “an Israeli airline,” Usishkin said. Israel has no official relations with many of its Middle East neighbors, including Saudi Arabia.
Ushishkin requested that the ICAO “take action in accordance with its authority and responsibilities vis-a-vis Saudi Arabia, to procure permission for El Al to fly above Saudi Arabia,” Usishkin said.
Though a direct route over Saudi Arabia would be a boon for tourism and trade between Israel and India, El Al could suffer as a result. Air India Ltd. is expected to begin flights to Tel Aviv next week, Usishkin wrote, after receiving landing rights from the Israel Airports Authority. That would be an “unfair advantage over El Al,” which operates direct flights that take a circuitous and therefore more costly route.
Usishkin previously turned to the International Air Transport Association to help El Al gain access to Saudi Arabian airspace, Reuters reported last week, though IATA lacks the authority to penalize countries for violating global regulations.
A spokesman for El Al declined to comment. The General Authority of Civil Aviation of Saudi Arabia didn’t immediately reply to a request for comment, nor did spokesmen for the ICAO.
–With assistance from Sarah Algethami
©2018 Bloomberg L.P.
Photo Credit: El Al would like overflight rights over Saudi Arabia, but that might be tough. Pictured are El Al jets at Ben Gurion airport in Tel Aviv. Ariel Schalit / Associated Press
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March 7, 2018 at 01:30AM