Monday, December 29th, 2014
by Michelle Markowitz The first time I met my best friend Dee I remember thinking to myself, “She will be mine. Oh yes. She will be mine.” I usually like to, as the men of my generation say, “just see what happens and let things evolve organically” in terms of my female friendships, but there was something about Dee that made me think to myself, “Let’s do this, Markowitz. This needs to happen.” We met in a college theatre class where we were two of only four students, and bondedRead More
by Brittany Spanos Charmed is a show about a group of magical sisters who live together and kill a bunch of dudes. Of course, that’s not a reading I got as a kid watching the show during its initial run, so entranced by the bad special effects and general hijinks Piper, Phoebe, and Prue Halliwell—who would be replaced by Paige Matthews following her demise—would get into from week to week. It ended before I entered high school, where I would find new heroines like Veronica Mars or the girls fromRead More
Despite its reputation, Southern food can certainly be healthy. These easy Southern recipes feature plenty of greens, beans and vegetables. Enjoy collard greens in creamy skillet mac and cheese or try new variations of Hoppin’ John—a Southern favorite—for a bit of good luck. <strong><a href=”http://www.eatingwell.com/free_downloads/healthier_comfort_food_recipes”>Download a FREE Cookbook of Healthier Comfort Food Recipes!</a></strong> Mac & Cheese with Collards Bourbon-Glazed Pork Chops with Hoppin’ John BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwich with Coleslaw Pimiento-Cheese Patty Melt Blackened Tofu with Succotash Collard Green & Black-Eyed Pea Soup Southern Ratatouille Shrimp & Grits with TomatilloRead More
by Haley Mlotek Yesterday was the ten-year anniversary of Susan Sontag’s death. She’s a woman of my year, of course, and a woman of Kiva’s year, and hopefully a woman of your year/decade/century/life. I’ve always felt that Sontag was a writer who forced me to slow down; I pride myself on my speed-reading, but she commands a certain amount of time and attention. Here are a few works by Sontag and about Sontag I’ll be reading and re-reading today, and I’d highly recommend you do the same. Take your time.Read More
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by Caitlin Donohue I don’t remember buying “section gay” tickets for our first Mexico City lucha libre event. But there we were, myself and a small pack of fabulous queerdo friends from San Francisco, thrilling to our first trip in one of the world’s largest, coolest cities—a place that would soon become my home, though I didn’t know it at the time. Delighted by the anti-hetero raucous taking place around us, we set our massive paper cups of light beer on the floor to join the crowd in a rhythmicRead More
Each of Paris‘s legendary hotels has a character all its own, but when it comes to luxury, the differences become more nuanced. The pursuit of excellence is in the details, and that extends to the jewel in every hotel’s crown: its spa. The 10 hotel spas listed here represent Paris’s very best, offering an indulgent experience that goes so much more than skin deep.
If the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong is a cosmopolitan elder statesman oozing colonial-era charm, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental is a young, hip fashionista radiating sophistication. Opened in 2005 in a glitzy shopping center of the same name (the Landmark), this property is nothing short of spectacular, proposing an elegant home-away-from-home right in the center of the bustling Central district. For travelers who might find the old-school service of The Peninsula or MOHK a bit too fussy, The Landmark is an ideal upscale lodging alternative while visiting Hong Kong.
From top to bottom, The Landmark Mandarin Oriental feels like a well-designed luxury apartment building. Located up a small flight of stairs, the perfumed lobby is relatively small and discreet, not a destination in and of itself, as is the case at most of Hong Kong’s marquee hotels. With only 113 rooms and suites, the hotel never feels crowded, and the steady stream of in-the-know locals who come here for the award-winning spa and restaurants also add to the non-touristy ambience. The only thing missing here is a view of Victoria Harbour and the Hong Kong skyline (which many other top-tier properties in the city offer), but even that fact lends itself to the feeling that this isn’t just a hotel.
Rates: There are five room types, with rates from $630/night; two suite options start at $1,030/night.
Rooms: The Landmark Mandarin Oriental’s guestrooms are among the largest in Hong Kong, averaging 540 square feet. In fact, at 450 square feet, the standard rooms are already the largest in the city. Adding to the ample square footage is the space-maximizing room design, with the flow of the bathroom, bedroom, and living space feeling connected, yet separate. Views are of an atrium or nearby city buildings, which may not thrill guests looking for a jaw-dropping vista, but that seems like a small concern in a destination where you can take in the skyline from so many other vantage points.
All rooms feature a contemporary color palette and excellent appointments: goose-down bedding by Ploh, Frette bathrobes, multiple HD LCD televisions, Nespresso coffee machines, and high-quality audio systems that are compatible with personal devices. The elegant bathrooms come with rounded bathtubs, rain showers, dual vanities and sinks, and high-end, chemical-free grooming products by Sodashi (higher-tier rooms and suites feature products by Jo Malone).
Drinks & Dining: Located on the ground floor, the two-story MO Bar offers all-day dining and beverage service (including a popular high tea). Occasionally, the space hosts live concerts; past performers have included Alicia Keys, Harry Connick, Jr., and John Legend. For fine dining, two-Michelin-starred Amber serves up modern French cuisine in an airy space; it’s been counted among the world’s 50 best restaurants (on San Pellegrino’s list) several years in a row.
Health & Fitness: Offering a wide range of Eastern- and Western-inspired treatments, The Oriental Spa ranks among the city’s best spas and stands out, in particular, for importing world-class aestheticians and treatments from other countries. The Landmark also offers guests access to an indoor pool, yoga and Pilates facilities, and a high-tech fitness center with a full range of cardio and weight-training equipment.
Etc.: The Landmark Mandarin Oriental is just a short distance from the Mandarin Oriental Hong Kong, but you can skip the busy streets of Central and travel between the two properties using pedestrian footbridges and shortcuts through the Landmark shopping center.
Pros: Understated, supremely elegant service and accommodations; award-winning facilities and restaurants; a dream location in the middle of Central.
Cons: No views of the harbor or skyline.