Taylor Swift’s New Song, “Look What You Made Me Do”

Taylor Swift’s New Song, “Look What You Made Me Do”

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The only way out of a public-relations nightmare is straight through it,
we learn on Taylor Swift’s not-so-subtle new single, “Look What You
Made Me Do
.” The song is
her return to the spotlight, three years since the album “1989,” and,
more crucially, a year since the prime-time showdown of her feud with
Kim Kardashian West and Kanye West. Recall that Kardashian West posted
recordings of a phone call in which Swift appeared to give the go-ahead
on Kanye West’s now-infamous “Famous” lyrics: “I feel like me and Taylor
might still have sex / Why? / I made that bitch famous.” (To this day,
Swift claims that she never approved the word “bitch.”) Swift emerged
from that debacle seeming like a two-faced operator, willing to play the
victim and the naïf for her own reputational gain.

That fiasco threw Swift’s image so dramatically off course that there
was no ignoring or good-girling her way back to innocence, and she wears
the snakeskin proudly on “Look What You Made Me Do.” Produced by Jack
Antonoff, the song picks up the nineteen-eighties electropop thread of
Swift’s last album but shifts hard toward a darker, more industrial
sound. Lyrically, Swift paints herself as the antihero of a neo-noir
thriller: “The world moves on / But one thing’s for sure / Maybe I got
mine / But oh, you’ll all get yours,” she sings. You imagine her
seething quietly in the metaphorical shadows of the Kardashian-West
home, donning red lipstick and clutching a knife. Swift, having
successfully graduated from country to pop, is now finding a home in the
world of camp. This is celebrity fan fiction as pop music.

“Look What You Made Me Do” would like us to believe that we are
experiencing an entirely new Swift. “I’m sorry, the old Taylor can’t
come to the phone right now,” she says in a spoken-word refrain. “Why?
Oh, ‘cause she’s dead!” And yet “Look What You Made Me Do” is more of
the same: Swift has been manipulating tabloid story lines—her
relationships with famous men, her feud with Katy Perry—in her lyrics
for years now. And, as much as she is clearly enjoying stepping into the
role of the bad girl, this turn is still premised on victimhood. After
all, the song isn’t called “Look What I Did.” “I don’t like your little games / Don’t like your tilted stage / The role you made me
play,” she sings. “All I think about is karma.” As for the exact form
that Swift’s retribution will take, we’re still left wondering.

VIDEO

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August 25, 2017 at 03:08PM

Uber-Rival Grab to Invest $100 Million in Mobile-First Myanmar

Uber-Rival Grab to Invest $100 Million in Mobile-First Myanmar

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Grab

Grab is pushing hard into Myanmar. Here’s a photo of a driver and passengers on February 22, 2017. The location isn’t specified. Grab

Skift Take: Grab’s investment in Myanmar is part of its "hyper-local" focus as it leverages its SoftBank funding to pick its spots against Uber. Myanmar consumers are rapidly becoming mobile phone users after years of being shut out so Grab’s entry is timely.

— Dennis Schaal

Grab, Southeast Asia’s biggest ride-hailing app, plans to invest $100 million in Myanmar as it extends its battle with Uber Technologies Inc. to capture exploding use of smartphones.

Grab will invest the money over the next three years and work with local governments to expand ride-hailing to more cities and roll out services such as its in-app digital payment feature GrabPay, President Ming Maa said. It will grow its workforce in Myanmar about fivefold to 200, he added.

“Myanmar is a very important focus for us,’’ Maa said in a phone interview. “It’s a very large, rapidly growing mobile-first economy.’’

Since its debut in Yangon in March, Grab has grown to reach 25,000 bookings a day with more than 6,000 drivers. Through its partnership with CB Bank and Wave Money, the company is enabling its drivers to open bank accounts and get access to other financial services in a highly cash dependent country.

Just six years ago, when Myanmar was emerging from decades of isolation imposed by its military dictatorship, mobile phones were an extravagance available only to the rich and well-connected. After the launch of telecommunications services by Norway’s Telenor ASA and Qatar’s Ooredoo Q.S.C., though, almost everyone in Myanmar is connected now.

In 2015, Myanmar signed up more people for mobile phone service than any country in the world except China and India, countries with much larger populations, according to the Asian Development Bank.

Grab, which debuted as a taxi-booking app in Kuala Lumpur in 2012, has relied on its mantra of “hyper-localization’’ and massive funding from SoftBank Group Corp. to build its scale and gain an edge on Uber. The U.S. company began its Yangon service in May.

Singapore-based Grab plans to introduce a corporate travel service in Myanmar, enabling companies to manage employees’ local and regional transport expenses digitally, according to Maa.

 

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

This article was written by Yoolim Lee from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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August 25, 2017 at 03:01PM

JetBlue Created “Office Souvenirs” for People Who Never Travel

JetBlue Created “Office Souvenirs” for People Who Never Travel

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Everybody knows at least one person who’s terrible at taking a break from work. According to Project: Time Off, an organization that tracks the work vs. vacation habits of Americans, employees across the country left 662 million unused vacation days on the table in 2016. That’s a whole lot of sightseeing hours — 5,296,000,000 to be exact, if we’re being kind and estimating an eight-hour workday.

As a reminder to those perpetual office-dwellers that there is life outside of work, JetBlue has come up with a line of “office souvenirs” it hopes will poke fun at the problem and inspire those people to turn PDFs into PTO. The fun lineup of goodies, which can be purchased online, puts an office humor spin on traditional travel souvenirs, from mugs and snow globes to T-shirts and towels.

Love a good snow globe? How about adding this one, which features a replica of your favorite office printer — which only jams half the time — in the center.

Remember that time you had an early morning brainstorm meeting and your boss was thoughtful enough to bring bagels? This commemorative plate will make sure you never forget.

Who wants to stare at a perfectly constructed tiny ship in a bottle when a thumbtack is so much more colorful?

Not to sound biased, but we’re pretty sure the best conference call that ever happened in the history of your company was the one where you got to type in the leader code. This handsome statue — which comes in three sizes — will serve as a constant reminder of that shining moment.

Who needs a beach when you’ve got an Excel spreadsheet beach towel?

It’s hardly surprising that scent and memory are closely connected. Anytime you want to relive that Monday morning where you got to inaugurate the new office whiteboard, this candle will take you back.

These fun trinkets are sure to go with any type of cubicle. Which one best represents you?

H/T: Adweek

All images courtesy of JetBlue.

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August 25, 2017 at 02:25PM

Qantas’ Domestic Success Masks International Struggles

Qantas’ Domestic Success Masks International Struggles

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Angus Whitley  / Bloomberg

Qantas aircraft tails. The carrier has completed a three-year turnaround plan. Angus Whitley / Bloomberg

Skift Take: While exiting a turnaround period is a successful feat for any airline, its really what happens over the next couple of years that counts. Will Qantas be able to maintain its current trajectory or will it slip back into bad old habits?

— Patrick Whyte

Qantas Airways Ltd. announced its fourth stock buyback in two years as the airline reported better-than-expected annual earnings, marking the end of a three-year turnaround under Chief Executive Officer Alan Joyce.

The Australian carrier, reporting its second-highest profit on record, said Friday it will repurchase as much as A$373 million ($295 million) of stock even as the shares traded near an all-time high. Qantas has now returned A$2.1 billion to shareholders since late 2015.

The airline also announced plans to fly directly from Sydney to London and New York within five years — if Boeing Co. or Airbus SE can make a plane that can fly the distance. A direct flight from Sydney on Australia’s eastern seaboard to London would take about 20 hours, cutting around four hours off the current journey.

The buybacks underscore the success of Irish-born Joyce’s efforts to turn around the company through a series of cost-saving measures in the face of intense competition from rivals such as Emirates, which is now a partner. While earnings at its international business dropped, the local market helped profit beat analyst estimates.

“All of their segments are doing well,” said William O’Loughlin, an investment analyst at Rivkin Securities Pty in Sydney. “International is the higher risk area, but the margin is still reasonably healthy so there’s a bit of breathing room.”

Underlying pretax profit in the year ended June fell 8.6 percent to A$1.4 billion as international rivals added flights and drove fares down, Qantas said. Analysts had expected earnings of A$1.39 billion. Qantas, which reinstated its dividend last year for the first time since 2009, kept this year’s final dividend at 7 cents per share.

Shares in Qantas jumped the most in almost two months in Sydney on Friday. The stock climbed 3.8 percent to A$6.02, extending gains this year to 81 percent and making it the best performer on the Bloomberg World Airlines Index.

As offshore rivals laid on more flights, Qantas’ international earnings fell 36 percent. The operating profit margin at the international unit fell 3.2 percentage points to 5.7 percent, but Qantas said the pace of capacity growth by competitors has slowed.

“That moderated in the second half and we’re seeing that trend continuing,” Joyce said in an interview with Bloomberg Television’s Betty Liu and Yvonne Man on Friday.

In 2014, when Joyce unveiled his turnaround plan, Qantas’s losses were ballooning amid a capacity war with local rival Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. and the airline’s share price wallowed near an all-time low. The Australian government even refused to guarantee Qantas’s debt.

Now, Qantas is taking a larger share of domestic profits from money-losing Virgin. And together with low-cost unit Jetstar, Qantas said it’s taking about 90 percent of the Australian profit pool. Full-year earnings at Qantas’s domestic business rose 12 percent to a record.

Joyce said Friday he’s written to the CEOs of both Boeing and Airbus to challenge them to make an aircraft capable of flying ultra-long routes like Melbourne to New York with a full load. He said the Boeing 777X and an ultra long-haul Airbus A350 in development “can almost do the job.”

Airbus said in a statement its A350-900 ULR will be in service next year for flights of up to 20 hours. By Qantas’s reckoning, that puts the plane 20 minutes short of a direct flight from Sydney to London.

“We’ll look forward to working with Qantas to see how we can meet its requirements for Sydney-London non-stop,” Airbus said in its statement.

Qantas is already planning to fly from Perth to London in March. That service — using Boeing’s Dreamliner — will be the first direct flights between Australia and Europe, and gives Qantas the opportunity to lock in domestic passengers from Australia’s eastern seaboard all the way to the U.K.

©2017 Bloomberg L.P.

 

This article was written by Angus Whitley from Bloomberg and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network. Please direct all licensing questions to legal@newscred.com.

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August 25, 2017 at 02:04PM

Bereft in a World Without Franny’s Pizza

Bereft in a World Without Franny’s Pizza

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Until a few days ago, a cartoon of mine hung on a wall of Franny’s,
the amazing, inventive Italian restaurant and pizzeria extraordinaire on
Flatbush Avenue, in Park Slope, Brooklyn. I gave the drawing to the
married owners, Franny Stephens and Andrew Feinberg, in 2013, on the
occasion of the restaurant’s move from its original charming but cramped
location to a new, equally charming but more spacious location closer to
Prospect Park. I gave them the drawing for the simple reason that I
loved the restaurant. My wife, Ginny, and I dined there four or five
times a month for twelve years. Now Franny’s has closed. Hannah
Goldfield, in a recent post on this Web site about Franny’s departure from the scene, called it “a perfect Brooklyn
restaurant.” I agree—and its closing has left me sad and a bit
disoriented.

When I think about how essential Franny’s has been to my wife and me, I
am reminded of another restaurant that once loomed large in my life.
Gino’s was an Upper East Side, high-end, tie-and-jacket version of the
classic Neapolitan-style eatery. My family dined there on countless Friday
nights throughout my childhood. (Gino’s demise, in 2010, was also the
subject of a New Yorker essay,
Basta,” written
by Gay Talese.) Gino’s was as different from Franny’s as prosciutto e
melone
is from wood-roasted pancetta crostini with smoked sungold
tomatoes, and yet Gino’s was for my parents what Franny’s was for my
wife and me—not just a favorite place to eat but a favorite place to
be.

Gino’s was located on Lexington Avenue, between Sixtieth and Sixty-first Streets, half a block from Bloomingdale’s, and across the street from my father’s antique-jewelry store. Gino Circiello and my father, Nat
Sipress, opened their businesses within a few months of each other, in
the mid-nineteen-forties. Both men were proud first-generation
immigrants who made it; both were elegant dressers with intense,
compelling faces that proclaimed their origins, my father from the
Ukrainian shtetl, Gino from the sun-baked Mezzogiorno. They liked each
other, and although their friendship never extended beyond the confines
of the restaurant, their mutual respect was obvious from the warm
handshake they shared every time we walked in the door.

My father loved being greeted like a celebrity at Gino’s with a
resounding “Good evening, Mister Nat” by everyone from the bartender to
the hat-check “girl.” The moment we sat down, Gino would arrive at our
table with my father’s double Scotch on the rocks and my mother’s
whiskey sour. Sipping his drink, my father would scan the room, taking
inventory, noting which of his wealthy customers were in attendance.
“There is so-and so, Estelle,” he’d whisper to my mother, “don’t look,
but she’s wearing that diamond and ruby necklace I sold her last
Christmas.” He liked wealthy people, and eating with them at Gino’s made
him feel like he belonged.

In his essay, Talese quoted the Zagat’s description of Gino’s as “frozen
in the Forties.” Not only the décor—including the restaurant’s famous
zebra-pattern wallpaper—but the food as well. Gino’s offered all the
classic Neapolitan dishes. My favorites were scaloppini piccata and
sausage and peppers. The single-page menu was handwritten in blue ink
and covered by a plastic sleeve that smudged the text so that the names
of many dishes were impossible to decipher. No matter—the menu never
changed and, as regulars, we knew it by heart; my father never even
bothered a glance since his order was always the same: clams oreganata to start, followed by lobster fra diavol*.

The bow-tie clad waiters were polished professionals, and a single
waiter dedicated himself to your table from your shrimp cocktail to your
biscuit tortoni. In every other restaurant, my father adopted a
haughty, dismissive attitude toward the servers, but never in Gino’s.
Our favorite was Mike. Short and stocky with a florid complexion, Mike
teased my father about his rigid consistency.

Mike: “What’s for dinner tonight, Mr. Nat? We’re out of lobster fra
diaovlo.”

My father winced. Mike looked at me and winked.

Mike: “Just pulling your leg. Mr. Nat. We always have fra diavolo for
you. But maybe you should try something different once in a while.”

My father: “Never mind that, Mike. I’m not changing my horse in
midstream.”

Mike (pointing downtown in the direction of the nearby restaurant Le
Veau D’Or): “Sorry, Mr. Nat. If it’s horse you want, you’d better go to
the French place around the corner.”

The two things my mother loved best about Gino’s were paglia e fieno (straw and hay) with Gino’s famous “secret sauce”’—and being in the
presence of the celebrities who showed up on a Friday night: Ed
Sullivan, Richard Burton, Elizabeth Taylor, Peter O’Toole, Walter
Cronkite, Bess Myerson, Montgomery Clift, Zero Mostel, Frank Sinatra,
and Joe DiMaggio, to name a few. My father would warn my sister and me
not to “gape,” but that didn’t stop my mother. On her eighty-eighth
birthday, in 1992, we were seated at a table next to Mike Wallace and
three colleagues, who were digging into their bowls of pasta as we
arrived.

To my father’s horror, my mother turned in her chair and said, “Excuse
me, Mr. Wallace, can I ask you a question?”

Mike Wallace scowled, but his irritation melted away when he was
confronted with the impish smile on my mother’s tiny, wrinkled face. “Of
course,” he replied.

“I see you’re enjoying the paglia e fieno,” she said. “Are you going
to conduct a ‘60 Minutes’ investigation to find out what they put in
that secret sauce?”

By the front door as we were preparing to leave, Matt Dillon helped my
mother with her coat. She had no idea who he was.

That was the last time we ate at Gino’s. My mother died a few months
later, and my father never wanted to go back. My wife and I stopped in a
few months before Gino’s closed, but all the old faces were gone, so we
decided not to stay. I can’t say that I ever really missed the place—not
really my style—but I longed for a restaurant where I felt as welcome
and special as my parents did at Gino’s.

We discovered Franny’s in 2005, about a year after it opened. It was the
anti-Gino’s. The menu changed every day, depending on what the chef
discovered at the greenmarket that morning. On Friday, sweet cherries
might accompany the cucumber salad with burrata and herbs, to be
replaced on Saturday by gooseberries. The sunchokes with pantaleo and
hazelnuts we devoured on Tuesday would be gone by the weekend, and we
happily settled for beets with walnuts and pecorino. The juicy,
succulent wood-grilled sausage could be found in the company of fried
sweet potatoes one night, red cabbage the next, pickled vegetables the
night after that. All this creativity with simple ingredients meant that
a meal at Franny’s consistently managed to comfort you and knock your
socks off at the same time.

And then there were the pizzas. Perfectly charred in the wood-burning
oven with a spongy/firm crust packed with flavor, Franny’s
Neapolitan-style pies—from the straightforward tomato and buffalo
mozzarella, to the ricotta and hot peppers, to the mushroom and Grana
Padano—were simply amazing, and always brought to mind my pinnacle
pizza moment, twenty-odd years earlier, when, at a back-alley pizzeria in
Naples, I bit into a life-changing margherita.

At its original location, Franny’s didn’t take reservations, so the food
had to be exceptional to justify the long wait for a table. On one of
our first visits, after an hour-long wait, we were seated at a lovely
table in the back garden. The meal, as usual, was memorable. When our
bill arrived, I said to my wife, “Something’s not right.” She spotted
the problem immediately—they had failed to charge us for the
sixty-dollar bottle of wine. We called over our waitress and in that
moment, Franny’s became our Gino’s. The waitress thanked us profusely,
asked us our names, and as we left, having happily enjoyed two glasses
of grappa on the house, we were wished “Good night, Ginny” and “Good
night, David,” by everyone. We were friends and family.

The next time we arrived, Franny herself showed us to a table and told
us we were now on the “list,” meaning we could call ahead to request a
table. The staff—the servers, the bartenders, the managers—were
unfailingly warm, attentive, and knowledgeable with everyone, not just
us. But over time we came to consider them friends—Franny and Andrew,
extraordinary chefs like John Adler, wine experts like Luca Pasquinelli,
and the many other staff members we got to know over the course of
twelve years. Every time we arrived we were greeted at the door with a
warm hug signalling mutual respect, during every meal our wine glasses
were cheerfully topped off once or twice.

I doubt any restaurant could ever compete with Gino’s in the
celebrity-sighting department, but Franny’s had its moments. Our
favorite was spotting the captain of the Starship Enterprise himself,
Jean-Luc Picard, a.k.a. Patrick Stewart, who went on to marry his
delightful server from Franny’s—the singer Sunny Ozell.

Franny’s held a goodbye party for itself on the last Sunday it was open. The tables
had been cleared out and the place was packed with regulars and
Franny’s staff, past and present. The wine was plentiful, and pretty
soon pizzas were flying out of the oven, along with calzones, sausages,
roasted eggplant, and crostini. Plates heaped with salami, lonza,
sopressata, and other meats appeared, along with generous platters of
fried polenta, salads, and bean dishes. Then came the gelato and
sorbetto, and cup after cup of Franny’s silky-smooth pana cotta. We
stuffed our faces like there was no tomorrow—which there wasn’t,
Franny’s-wise. It was unimaginable that this wonderful food would be
gone forever. At one point the chefs began giving away containers of
Franny’s pizza sauce, and I hurried over and desperately grabbed one.

I was so full when I got into bed that night that it took me three hours
to fall asleep. At first I lay on my back in the dark, wistfully
reminiscing about the many delicious and totally comfortable evenings
I’d spent at Franny’s over the years. I recalled something my mother
used to say at Gino’s after a few sips of her whiskey sour: “Sometimes
this feels like we’re eating at home.”

“Until they bring the check,” my father would be sure to add.

Franny’s, too, I thought.

Eventually my mind began to wander down the inevitable path of my
worries and anxieties, including the sale of the building in Manhattan where I’ve
worked for twenty-three years, in the same studio. I have to
vacate by the end of September.

A therapist recently told me that on the psychologists’ scale of “stress
points,” “moving” is not far behind the “loss of a loved one.”

Then it hit me—in the coming weeks, I’ll be experiencing both.

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August 25, 2017 at 02:04PM

Nicer Accapella

Nicer Accapella

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The-Beach-Boys-620x412As the summer comes to a close, we offer up something from one of the ultimate summer bands on this Music Friday.

For Brian Wilson, it was always about creating an aural wall that was unlike anything ever heard before. But, through it all, it was the harmonies.

Luxuriate in the sheer elegance of the vocals (without instruments) of the Beach Boys with “Wouldn’t it Be Nice.”

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August 25, 2017 at 01:17PM

News: Signature Flight Support debuts new location at London Luton

News: Signature Flight Support debuts new location at London Luton

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Signature-based Signature Flight Support has confirmed that its second London location for the Signature Elite Class service is now operational.

The new property is located at London Luton Airport’s private jet terminal.

At the same time, the Signature Elite Class service at Signature’s fixed-base location at London’s Gatwick airport celebrated its fifth anniversary this summer.

At Gatwick, Signature supports carriers including British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Emirates and easyJet for arrivals and departures.

The new service at London Luton was announced during EBACE in Geneva, and is currently available to passengers departing on easyJet flights.

Future service will include arrivals.

Signature Flight Support is the only fixed base operation to offer this service at London Luton and London Gatwick.

Signature Elite Class allows passengers to avoid the commercial terminal and depart from Signature fixed bases. 

Customs and Immigration and security screening is performed at the fixed-base location with exceptional privacy. 

Customers enjoy all of the amenities and exquisite refreshments and can relax in well-appointed luxury lounges. 

When departing for a flight, a Signature Flight Support luxury vehicle transports passengers directly to the aircraft where they can board at their leisure. 

Luggage is transferred to the aircraft directly by Signature staff.

Evie Freeman, managing director for Signature Flight Support’s Europe, Middle East & Africa division stated: “We are pleased to extend this extraordinary customer experience to our newly inaugurated ultra-luxury FBO at London Luton. 

“Customers can now enjoy an Elite Class experience normally only available to those utilising private aircraft.

“It removes the stress of transiting the commercial terminal and our staff can accommodate passengers’ needs in a world-class manner. 

“We are excited to bring back the glamour to commercial air travel and we look to continue to expand this service in the future.”

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August 25, 2017 at 01:08PM

An Imagined Conversation Between the Couple Jogging Together in the Park

An Imagined Conversation Between the Couple Jogging Together in the Park

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Jogger 1: Ah, what a lovely day for a jog through the park. It’s so nice
that we can do this activity together, publicly, as a couple.

Jogger 2: Yes, running is one of my favorite things that I genuinely
enjoy, as well as hiking and camping.

Jogger 1: I derive pleasure from all those activities as well.

Jogger 2: We share exactly the right number of common interests.

Jogger 1: But we still introduce each other to new experiences. Our
dates are always adventurous. Like last weekend, when we took a drive to
the farmers’ market, which turned into a spontaneous road trip to
Portland.

Jogger 2: Or on Tuesday, when we took a salsa-dancing class together.

Jogger 1: Or last night, when you were doing ninety miles per hour down
a dark country road and we hit a strange bump and you started to cry but
I yelled at you to just keep driving and we didn’t look back.

Jogger 2: Yes, it’s important to keep things fresh.

Jogger 1: Agreed. Neither of us is out of breath in the slightest.
That’s probably because we’re only three per cent body fat.
Collectively.

Jogger 2: And because of our large lung capacity, which also comes in
handy during oral sex.

Jogger 1: Which we enjoy several times a week.

Jogger 2: But not, like, an excessive amount that feels like a burden.

Jogger 1: Speaking of, it’s too bad your parents never come visit.

Jogger 2: Yes, sadly, they are trapped on a research facility in
Antarctica until the thaw.

Jogger 1: And my parents happen to visit only when you’re out of town.

Jogger 2: What a weird coincidence!

Jogger 1: The weirdest!

Jogger 1: It’s nice that, even though we’ve been together a while and are
of a certain age, we don’t feel any pressure to get married.

Jogger 2: Besides, it would be unfair for us to get married until
everyone in this country can get married.

Jogger 1: . . . Everyone can can.

Jogger 2 (Panicking): I meant, until pot is legalized.

Jogger 1: Yeah! It wouldn’t be fair for us to get married until everyone
in this country can get baked on ganja.

Jogger 2 (Relieved): Exactly. Say, what should we do for dinner tonight?

Jogger 1: I don’t know, what do you want to do?

Jogger 2: How about sushi?

Jogger 1: We just did that last week.

Jogger 2: We could eat at home?

Jogger 1: No, I want to go out.

Jogger 2: How about the Italian place on Eighth?

Jogger 1: But not there.

Jogger 2: Why don’t we just keep running around the park until we faint
from physical exhaustion and don’t have to make any decisions?

Jogger 1: Sounds perfect.

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August 25, 2017 at 01:07PM

News: NYC & Company signs tourism partnership with Cape Town

News: NYC & Company signs tourism partnership with Cape Town

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NYC & Company has joined Cape Town Tourism to sign a first-ever city-to-city partnership to boost tourism between the two destinations.

This is the first agreement of its kind NYC & Company has signed with a destination marketing organisation on the African continent.

NYC & Company president Fred Dixon and Cape Town Tourism’s chief executive Enver Duminy were on hand to sign the tourism partnership agreement this afternoon in New York.

The two-year alliance includes a collaboration agreement between the two destination marketing organisations, the sharing of best practices in tourism marketing and the exchange of marketing assets to boost reciprocal travel.

“Today, we are proud to sign a first-ever partnership with Cape Town, one of the world’s most iconic and beautiful cities,” said Dixon.

“New York City and Cape Town share a lot in common as capital cities of culture, cuisine and design, and we look forward to cultivating this productive tourism relationship in the year ahead.” 

The city-to-city partnership includes a swap of marketing and advertising assets to be activated in early 2018 to influence seasonal travel.

In New York City, advertisements will appear on bus stop shelters and LinkNYC kiosks to promote Cape Town, reaching an estimated 17.6 million in media impressions.

In Cape Town, an equivalent value of New York City advertisements will be featured through digital and out-of-home media, with specifics to be determined.

“This announcement has been years in the making, but at the outset it was clear that New York is the ideal city for collaboration with Cape Town,” said Duminy.

“We’re greatly encouraged by this tourism twinning agreement; after all, a city with a global reputation for world-class tourism is acknowledging that we have just as much value to offer the global traveller.

“We look forward to this partnership and to sharing the benefits with our communities.”

As part of the agreement, New York City and Cape Town will share best practices in tourism management to increase the number of visitors between both markets in the years ahead.

The two organisations will also collaborate on ways to boost travel between Cape Town and New York City through offers and incentives provided by third-party travel providers.

South Africa is the largest African origin market for visitors to New York City with nearly 50,000 visitors in 2015.

South Africa accounts for a nearly 30 per cent share of African visitors to New York City.

Image: NYC & Company/Julienne Schaer

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August 25, 2017 at 12:56PM

News: Maine to lead Tour Partner Group from September

News: Maine to lead Tour Partner Group from September

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Hotels & More has announced the creation of a new group chief executive role with the appointment of Paul Maine.

He will take up the position on September 6th.

Maine will lead the newly named Tour Partner Group, the holding company for Hotels & More, Irish Welcome Tours and Authentic Vacations.

The board of the company has also announced Karin Urban, managing director of Hotels & More, will transition to non-executive director of the board of Tour Partner Group, with Maine assuming executive responsibilities for Hotels & More from September.

Maine joins from STA Travel, the world’s largest student and youth travel agency, where for the last four years he was chief commercial officer for the group, with responsibilities including global partnerships, product development and subsidiaries.

Prior to STA Travel, he worked for several companies, including eight years at Delta Air Lines in various international commercial roles.

The establishment of Tour Partner Group marks a significant milestone in the growth of the business, as it expands its portfolio of brands and strengthens its market leading position as a destination management company in the UK and Ireland.

The businesses of Tour Partner Group will continue to operate under their own brands and be independently led, benefitting from the efficiencies of a shared group infrastructure to strengthen operations, enhance capabilities and support an expanded geographical footprint.

Mark Mayhew, chairman of Tour Partner Group, commented: “Karin has been a terrific leader for the business, having accomplished so much for Hotels & More, and I would like to thank her for all her hard work and dedication to date.

“I am delighted we will continue to benefit from her experience as she moves into her new role as a non-executive director.”

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August 25, 2017 at 12:47PM