Trends, Travel, History and Books

June 20, 2012


Pop Music’s Newest Star amity Joins the Les Paul Trio in Making History

Les Paul performs at Julien’s Auctions Gallery on June 6, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California.

Source:  Cision

The legendary Les Paul is to the electric guitar what Stradivarius is to the violin. Known as the godfather of the electric guitar and inventor of multi-track recording, he has influenced generations of musicians around the world.

Recently, Collectors and VIP guests gathered at Julien’s Auctions gallery in Beverly Hills, for an exclusive preview of hundreds of personal items from the Estate of Les Paul. This was the prelude to the two-day auction, which followed that weekend, noting that June 9th was Paul’s 97th birthday.  Among the highlights were a 1951 Fender Nocaster, which sold for $216,000 and a 1940s Epiphone Zephyr known as Klunker #3, which went for $144,000.

Naturally, the VIP Preview would not have been a true Les Paul event without the sounds of guitar and great music. Singer/songwriter amity joined the legendary Les Paul Trio and Dave Rollans to celebrate with a special performance of her original music and personal rendition of “How High the Moon.”

A rising new artist, amity has been described as a cross between Colbie Calliat and Adele. She dedicated her new single “Me and My Guitar” to Les Paul from the stage and will be filming her new music video for the single later this month.  “I can’t describe how special it was to perform with the Les Paul Trio in honor of the great Les Paul,” said amity. “As a musician and guitarist who understands and cherishes how important Les Paul was to our industry, it was a night I will always remember as very powerful.”

The auction raised $5 million to benefit the Les Paul Foundation, which supports music education, engineering, innovation and medical research, and was founded by Les Paul himself.  The new EP by amity featuring three original songs is now available on iTunes and CDBaby.

Foregrounding the Palisades

Source:  Cision

The view across the Hudson River to the majestic Palisades is integral to Wave Hill’s landscape.  This fall, artists Isidro BlascoBlane De St. Croix and Paula Winokur bring the Palisades into focus in Foregrounding the Palisades, an exhibition of site-specific sculptural installations in Wave Hill Glyndor Gallery, September 1 – December 2, 2012.  A shared interest in geology, ecology, preservation and history serves as inspiration for the artists, who construct these new works through distinct proccesses.  New York City-based Blasco uses photography to convey multiple vantage points.

The Palisades from Wave Hill, credit Benjamin Swett

Winokur, based in the Philadelphia area, works in clay to make a wall piece that brings the massive rock features to room-sized scale. New York City-based De St. Croix’s sculpture utilizes the full, floor-to-ceiling volume of the space in Glyndor Gallery; he is also exhibiting an outdoor sculpture at the Hudson River Museum that relates to a view of the Palisades framed by the building’s architecture.

A shared view and appreciation of the Palisades offers the opportunity for Wave Hill to collaborate with two other institutions along the lower Hudson—the Hudson River Museum and the Palisades Interstate Park Commission. Public programs provide occasions to visit all three locations, exploring the Palisades through walks, special hikes, artist workshops and lectures.

The Hudson River Museum will feature work in its permanent collection that focuses on the Palisades.  Blane De St. Croix’s sculpture at the Hudson River Museum provides a connection between all three institutions, inspired by the Palisades and created specifically for this exhibition.

A catalogue of the exhibition will feature interviews with each artist.  Foregrounding the Palisades is the first in a conceptual series of visual and performing art exhibitions honoring the famous residents of Wave Hill over the last century.  Such well-known figures as Mark Twain, Arturo Toscanini and Theodore Roosevelt, for example,  once called Wave Hill home. In addition, the Palisades feature prominently in the earliest years of Wave Hill, and the efforts of former owner George W. Perkins to protect the beautiful landscape on the western side of the Hudson.

Together with John D. Rockefeller and J.P. Morgan, Perkins was instrumental in the creation of the Palisades Interstate Park Commission, effectively halting industrial exploitation of the Palisades and making it—and the iconic view it affords from Wave Hill—available for the enjoyment of residents and visitors alike.  Reception: Sunday, September 23, 2–4PM

Summer Loving In New York

With nyma, the new york manhattan hotel 

Source:  Cision

The High Line

Hoping to get hot under the collar with someone special this summer? The Big Apple offers an average temperature of 28C in July and August, promising a hot and steamy love-fest for fledgling lovers and married couples wanting a city break of summer loving!  Located in Midtown Manhattan, between Broadway and Fifth Avenue, nyma, the new york manhattan hotel is the ideal choice for those wanting to throw themselves into the city’s famous nightlife, enjoy a smouldering date night or embrace the old-school romance of New York’s iconic landmarks.

New York promises those visiting in early July guaranteed ‘fireworks’, with Macy’s annual Fourth of July fireworks display over the Hudson River. While thrill-seeking couples can also head to Coney Island for a fun and original summer date at Luna Park Amusement Park – home to an historical, 85 year old rollercoaster that’s still in use! Once hearts have stopped racing, why not visit Central Park and enjoy an open-top, horse-drawn carriage ride for two?

lobby horiz

As well as offering an endless choice of bars and clubs, New York provides a plethora of gastronomic experiences that go beyond the standard ‘dinner and a movie’ date. From Michelin-starred restaurants to all-American diners, there are options on every block.  Foodies wanting to dine alfresco can head to Rockaway Beach Club on Queen’s, which offers all the makings of a seaside picnic within a stone’s throw of the water. Or why not simply share a sandwich and take in the view of the city on the High Line – a park elevated above the streets on Manhattan’s West Side.

What’s more, underground cinema company Rooftop Films hosts pop-up movies at outdoor venues across the city. Love junkies can catch new indie flick, Love Story, which is being screened at the Open Road Rooftop on the Lower East Side on 17 August. Set in New York itself, this flirty, quirky film documents the delight of falling in love in the city in summer.

Cheap, chic and ideal for couples, nyma, the new york manhattan hotel offers stays in July and August from $194.99 per room, per night (£63 per person based on two sharing). Situated on 32nd Street, the hotel offers complimentary wi-fi, continental breakfast, national calls and a fitness suite. Flights with DialAFlight to JFK this summer start from £552 call 0808 178 6363 for more info .

Wild: Behind the Scenes
Are you reading along with Oprah’s Book Club 2.0? We sat down with Cheryl Strayed to talk about all the juicy bits that aren’t in the book, from the joyful and the surprising to the bittersweet.

The Return of Black Literature:

Veteran Creative Writer Releases Two Distinct Novels That Reflect on Real Life Black Experiences


NationwideJ. H. Hunt is a creative writer whose views are reflective of real life situations and responses to the stimuli and pressures prevalent in the Black community. In this vein, he has just published two new and distinct novels.  The first novel, Two Times Dead: Not Really a Love Story, is a thriller that reestablishes the prime character, Justone Steel from Still Dead After All These Years and pits him against some the most dangerous and cunning characters developed in mystery writing.

J.H. Hunt Bookcovers

This new novel, the first of a trilogy series, deals with an investigation that takes all the wrong turns, and a twisted NYC love affair that leave everyone guessing, from who died to why the death took place in the first place. Along the way Death, love, lies, and deceit all manage to get in the way of finding the truth; and if that were not enough the FBI seem hell bent on keeping this death under cover. Is it national security or something else that has everyone running for cover? Things are rarely what they seem!

The second novel, The Sexiest Woman in The World Died Yesterday, dwells more deeply into the Black experience as it explores and follows the life, loves, and missteps of its main character who is everything but the model one expects. Just her liquid salty voice was enough to create an atmosphere that made men needy and willing to risk everything, job, money, and wife for a moment in her arms.

The story is told through the eyes of the various characters and their distinct perception of the world around them and how they must survive in that world. It is a unique study where good and bad have little relevance and as always the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

Here’s what others are saying:

“John Hunt is one of the most imaginative minds of our time.” —

“Once you pick up a book by Hunt, you can’t put it down. They are infectious!” — Thea Santos, City Daily review

“If good literature is what you look for then you’ve found it with John Hunt’s collection.” — Alessandra Sanchez

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