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Posts Tagged ‘shopping’

Mexico

December 24, 2009

Mexico’s Rich Textures and Colors

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You love Mexico’s rich textures and colors, so you’re looking for one-of-a-kind items to decorate your home and dress up your persona! style-all while getting some serious R&R in the sun. Start out in Mexico City and then travel east for Puebla’s baroque architecture and magical, old-world feel. Among this UNESCO World Heritage Site’s churches and squares, the ornate 16th century Cathedral points heavenward. Head to the city’s traditional markets to browse for Talavera pottery, el arbol de la vida (“the tree of life”) figurines, and onyx and marble sculptures. Roam south to Oaxaca City for its Historic Centre, which is another impressive World Heritage Site. Must-see highlights include: the Cathedral, the basilica of Our Lady of Solitude, and the Macedonio Alcala Theater. Along the main plaza, you’ll find artisans from around the Oaxaca state selling colorful alebrijes (folk-art sculptures of fanciful animals), beautiful black pottery, and geometric woven wool rugs. Arrive in Nuatulco on the Pacific Coast for relaxed beaches, as well as shops and galleries selling vibrant regional crafts.


Asheville,North Carolina

December 23, 2009

Biltmore Village, Asheville, NC

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HISTORIC CHARM AS IT EXPANDS

The past and the future intersect at Biltmore Village, a quaint shopping community at the entrance to the Biltmore Estate.

Originally built between the late 1890s and early 1900s by Richard Morris Hunt and Frederick Law Olmsted – the same architect and landscape designer Biltmore Estate owner George Vanderbilt commissioned for the family grounds – the collection of two-story English-style cottages connected by brick sidewalks now houses many independent businesses, such as Interiors of Asheville and Jazzy Giraffe; art galleries Bellagio and Bella Vista; and restaurants Rezaz Restaurant and Enoteca and Kismet Cafe.

“It really is a community of entrepreneurs,” says Stan Collins, president of Biltmore Village Association and the owner of a shop within the community, Once Upon a Time. “In every one of these cottages, the business is run by people who created it:”
For Laura and Hal Mahan, biologists and owners of The ompleat Naturalist, Biltmore Village was the only choice that made sense when they opened their store 16 years ago. The shop’s goods focus on the scientific and educational sides of nature and include geology tools, telescopes, binoculars and more.

“We chose this location for its proximity to the Biltmore Estate, which gets the largest tourist draw in Asheville,” Laura Mahan says. “But more than that, we wanted to be independent, and Biltmore Village certainly allowed that. It supports and encourages small business, which is what we wanted:”

Similar considerations led Kevin Westmoreland and his business partner, Joe Scully, to open The Corner Kitchen, a pan-American breakfast, lunch and dinner spot, in Biltmore Village five years ago.

“We like that it’s a historic district, and going into this 110-year-old building felt like recycling,” Westmoreland says. “We liked being around other locally owned small businesses.”


Asheville,North Carolina

December 17, 2009

Biltmore Village Christmas Special

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When fall color fades into the crispness of winter, it’s hard not to get in the holiday spirit here at the Biltmore Village in Asheville, North Carolina. Carolers serenade shoppers on the streets of Biltmore Village, thousands of twinkling lights adorn historic shops and horse-drawn carĀ­riages roll along the streets. The Biltmore Village Dickens Festival, always the first weekend in December, is just one of the ways Asheville celebrates Christmas. Candlelight Christmas Evenings at the estate allow guests to tour the Biltmore House after dark and see it as it would have appeared at the turn of the century.


Europe,Turkey

November 29, 2009

Turkey

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TURKEY IS THE KIND OF DESTINATION YOU FALL INTO, RATHER THAN VISIT IT IS A PLACE OF DAZZLING CULTURAL COMPLEXITY, AT ONCE REMOVED FROM THE PRESENT AND YET ENTIRELY A PART OF IT.

Asojourn here almost overwhelms imagination-from the gran Istanbul to sweeping fig and groves to ancient ruins and such as Troy and Ephesus. Mountainous, coastoral and urbane, Turkey is richly, pervasively by its complicated history. This land reflects t influences of the vast empires that have occupied Istanbul itself remains the city where East me literally straddling two continents-and yet m most arresting features of both, producing a di modern landscape. In Istanbul, tour the holy Byzantine churches, including Hagia Sophia and the blue Mosque. The famed whirling dervishes spin on aturdays and Sundays at the Galata Mevlevihanesi, a ervish hall built in 1491. Then, visit the Grand Bazaar or a day of shopping. The covered bazaar is an endless presentation of handcrafted and idiosyncratic treasĀ­res unique to the region, including jewelry and artwork. Turkey, for all of its cultural impact, is also home o impressive beaches. On a peninsula along the Aegean coast, Bodrum is a Mediterranean resort town here yachting is the popular pastime. From here, enjoy a tour on a traditional hand made gulet or while way the morning at Gumbet, a nearby beach.