Profiling three Kiwi Chefs in New York in the Listener

  As a result of my travels in the US earlier this year I’ve had a piece published in this week’s Listener on three Kiwi chefs making a go of it in New York, including the big guy Matt Lambert whose restaurant holds a Michelin Star. The others are Pauli Morgan of the Nelson Blue bar and restaurant and Mark Simmons of the Kiwiana Café in Brooklyn. A pleasure to talk to all of them.
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Martin Luther King Museum Founder dies

  I knew of him but I never knew his name. This evening I learned D’Army Bailey, an activist who founded a museum where Dr Martin Luther King was shot and killed in 1968 had died. In 1982 he raised $142 000 to buy the Lorraine Motel in Memphis where King was shot standing on the balcony of his first floor room on 4 April 1982. Later $9.7m was spent to transform it into the National Civil Rights Museum. Today’s New York Times reports, “The two rooms that Dr King had rented were restored, the bloodstained concrete slab was reset
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Airbnb booming in Spain – is it  a good experience?

News that the number of tourist beds in Spain offered by Airbnb operators now outnumbers hotel beds is an interesting development but not necessarily a welcome one. AFP quotes a survey by the Spanish tourism sector body Exceltur that in Barcelona 64 per cent of available rooms are offered by online home rental services. Airbnb and other similar sites now list 2.7 million beds in Spain (December 2014 figures) compared to 2.4 million beds at hotels and other lodgings. Tourism accounts for about 11 per cent of all economic activity in Spain and for one in nine jobs. But apart
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An American Traveller’s Tale Part five

Santa Monica: chill out in an oasis of calm Forty minutes down the road from Los Angeles International Airport is the seaside settlement of Santa Monica, and a charming spot it is too. Very chilled out, but also modern, authentic not tacky, with great restaurants and cafes (always important for me), an interesting and historic pier, a thunderously good beach and no showoffs (go to Venice Beach for that). I spent several hours there last week in between flights in and out of LAX. What a contrast to the hustle and hassle of a busy airport. It’s dead easy to
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You’re on your own, US travel industry tells three mega carriers

The United States travel industry is distancing itself from the country’s three mega carriers who want the Obama administration to take action against Middle East owned airlines whom they say are competing unfairly. Three US mega carriers, United , American and Delta says that Middle East airlines, notably Emirates, Etihad, and Qatar Airways, all owned by oil rich countries are being subsidised by their government which make it harder for US airlines to compete. However the US Travel Association which represents the travel industry says the U.S.” Big Three’s complaints about being net-losers in the subsidy game are suspect in
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Commerce Secretary promises easier entry to the USA

US Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker is promising to reduce the wait time for visas to enter the United States, and to make the border crossing easier and quicker. She told delegates at a travel industry conference in Orlando that the Obama administration was committed to raising the contribution that tourism makes to the national economy and was pursuing several strategies co-ordinated at a national level. “The waiting times for visas from Brazil and China is now down from several months to five days.” Under the trusted traveller programme passengers from certain countries could get expedited entry on arrival. “3.8 million
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Night tour of Boston’s breweries covers only a few

Boston has an active craft beer scene and the state of Massachusetts has at least 47 micro breweries, ten of them in greater Boston. I signed up for an evening brewery tour with the Boston Brewery Company, and eventually five of us headed off in a van across the river to Night Shift Brewing while Andy from Arkansas, our beer guide, talked about how lifting the legal ban on home brewing in the late 1990s had led to an explosion of experimentation. Night Shift Brewing’s story is typical: three guys in an apartment making their own stuff and giving it
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A Traveller’s Tale in the USA part four – 17 May

This is an eclectic collection of observations about American life as we have encountered it along the way; nothing too serious, but some are worth savouring and there isn’t a place elsewhere for them. So here goes: A coffee shop in Princeton (where else) Don’t block the box is a sign regularly seen on the streets of New York which always causes hilarity downunder. But seriously, blocked intersections are a problem, as this shows. And this is a carpark in New York. You work it out. Solar panels are often attached to power poles, private houses and other buildings in
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