Friday, September 30, 2016

Yoga takes travelers to the 'mats' around the world

Do your asanas in Bali, Downward Facing Dog in Costa Rica with new site
By Patti Pietschmann
Are you a globe-trotter addicted  to yoga?  Then check out Yoga Destinations a visual social media agency that leads fans of the discipline to exotic places in the world in which to set up their mat.  Picture a  cotton candy sunset at a yoga retreat in spiritual-centric Bali (there's little like it, or on a beach path to a spa in Costa Rica. How about  a Thai massage in the middle of the Rainforest. You will find out all aboutit all on the new site from hotels to beaches and mountains. For me practicing yoga on a beach in Hawaii Fairmont Kea Lani,  Sheraton Maui or on one of the pristine Cam Beaches of Kihei, is a heavenly  delight.

say outside the Four Seasons Wailea.
 Yoga Destinations provides carefully crafted content and data-driven social first campaigns. "Inspired by Beautiful Destinations, Yoga Destinations goes beyond yoga's increasing popularity and encompasses the spa and wellness destinations that today's traveler aspires to," said Richard Saul, Yoga Destinations co-founder. "Yoga Destinations allows users to live vicariously through the visual feeds so they can see where they dream of booking on social first."
Yoga Destinations services include
  • Social Strategy: Through a partner network of publishers and influencers Yoga Destinations delivers data-driven social media campaigns.
  • Influencer Marketing: Working with top influencers in the yoga, spa, and wellness lifestyle categories, Yoga Destinations delivers engagement and interactions across social media.
Follow yoga destinations on Instagram

Mixed drinks go wild with more than 400 million more cocktail consumers expected by 2020

Let's here it for the WORLD CLASS cocktail boom
By Patti Pietschmann
As a  stalwart wine  drinker, who does consume a margarita or screwdriver on occasion,, I've never been big on 'designer' or 'signature' cocktails. But there are plenty  of other tipplers (think millennials)  in the world who eagerly consume such adult beverages. In fact forecasts says that by 2020, there will be 400 million new consumers drinking luxury spirits. Historically cocktails were enjoyed by the Europeans and Americans but the industry is now growing on a global scale, stretching far beyond the confines of New York andLondon. In the past five years, consumption of spirits has risen by 26% in Africa and the Middle East, 15% across Asia and 22% in China[2].
Cocktails are approaching high times with bartenders experimenting with ingredients and playing with technologies to satisfy the senses. That said, WORLD CLASS, which stages bartender competitions has waged a campaign to get people to drink high end cocktails. The WORLD CLASS: Future of Cocktails report explores an exciting cross-pollination of cultures as globe-trotting cocktail drinkers spark new experiences, court controversy and overturn boundaries. Launched at the WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year Global Final competition in Miami, the report reveals the top trends and themes to look out for…
The Context:  As we spend more time online, we are more opinionated than ever. In turn, people are looking to brands to do the same and stand for something - 40% of people say we want a purposeful brand.[3]
Controversy Cocktails - The Trend: When it comes to cocktail making, forward thinking bar owners are ditching the traditional rules and reclaiming their creativity - making what they want to make, in the way theywant to make it… 
1. Doing it my Way  
Once upon a time, the customer was always right. The next generation of bartenders are more willing to voice their opinions and giving up on trying to please all of the people, all of the time. You wouldn't go to a Michelin starred restaurant and tell the chef how to dress a salad, so why tell an experienced bartender how to make a Mojito?
As Benjaḿin Padrón Novo, owner of Mexico's Licoreria Limantour explains: "I always get customers asking me to sweeten the drinks we serve, even though by doing so it'll dilute the taste of the spirit or the fruit. So, now, we just say no - and explain our reason to the guest. It's all part of the education process."
2. Performance (B)art & Provocative Theatre 
To exhilarate and trigger a reaction from customers, bars are starting to add theatre to the experience, leaving a strong impression with patrons.
At Operation Dagger in Singapore, a dramatic cloud of lightbulbs on the ceiling greets drinkers, while ownerLuke Whearty's installation of fake CCTV cameras in the toilets adds a provocative dynamic. His cocktails are pure theatre too: vodka infused with pH-sensitive blue pea flower and bright lemongrass, which when mixed with champagne, the bubbles transform the cobalt liquor into fluorescent pink.
3. The Next Generation Menu  
Cocktails have evolved significantly over the years but menus have stayed the same…until now. Innovative bartenders are now going against the traditions of the trade and thinking about new creative ways consumers can relate to drinks and navigate the menu. Rather than having traditional names of cocktails, new menus invite exploration and engage with the drinker. Trick Dog, in San Francisco, has replaced all cocktail names with astrological signs and Pantone colours, while Fragrances at The Ritz-Carlton in Berlin is the first bar where you can order drinks based on perfumes and aromas.
The Context: In a world where people now value experiences over possessions, we are seeing the rise of the emotional economy with people looking for deeper connections to brands.  
Emotional Cocktails - The Trend: Bartenders have always been early adoptors when it comes to connecting with people - the social aspect of their job gives them a strong insight into how people think. Trendsetting bar owners and drinks brands are now establishing even more innovative ways to connect deeper with customers 
4. Cocktails with feelings
In the next decade, look out for bars who ditch the traditional menus and list their cocktails by mood instead. Drinks will be tailored to conjure a specific emotion - you may be given a red cocktail to stimulate confidence, a yellow one for friendship or a black drink for discipline.
Using sense of sight and smell to direct cocktail drinkers' emotions, Seymour's Parlour in London is using scent to plug into pleasurable and nostalgic memories, emitting the smell of freshly mown grass to summon images of spring and smoked pine to plunge guests into a cosy autumn evening.
5. Story in a glass  
Cocktails are now being used to tell a story and transport drinkers to exotic places. Local spirits such as Baijiu (distilled from wheat or glutinous rice from a 5,000-year-old recipe) are being used to introduce people to Chinese traditions.
Forward thinking bar Artesian in London taps into the personal experiences of customers asking about recent holidays and creating a cocktail that captures that mood and essence in a glass.
6. Introducing the Micro-friend  
People are looking for instant connections to savour the here and now and bartenders often fit the bill. A new trend, 'the micro-friend', sees bartenders focusing on building relationships with customers in the short time that they have with them. This however wasn't the case I  experienced during a recent happy hour with a friend at celebrity Lisa Vanderpump's popular Pump in West Hollywood. The bartender needed to get a hearing aid or pay more attention to what his customers were ordering. So this quote leaves me cold, "Making a micro-friend is all about getting that emotional connection with someone quickly and definitely has an effect on how much people like your bar," he explains. So expect your bartender to ask you questions about your weekend, work and family life to turn you from a customer into a friend…
The Context: According to the UN, a record 232m people are living outside the country in which they were born. Considering ourselves 'borderless', we define ourselves more by our lifestyles or musical tastes than we do by our country of origin.    
Fluid Identity Patrons - The Trend: Ahead-of-the-curve bar owners are catering for drinkers who have a healthy disregard for conformity… 
7. Leave gender at the door 
The days of drinks being considered 'manly' or 'girly' are over. Boundaries are blurring and as society evolves beyond traditional gender norms, people are feeling liberated with their choice of tipple. Bartenders are now using 'gender neutral' language to describe, name and serve cocktails.
Look out for 'Brosé' - men unapologetically enjoying Rosé wine and women confidently sipping an Old Fashioned.
8. A career, not a job  
As consumers become more clued up and demand more at the bar, the role of the bartender is evolving too. Global competitions such as WORLD CLASS Bartender of the Year show how professional bartending relies on sharp skills, creative vision and an ability to wow; fluid identity in action.  
Alex Kratena, founder of global drinks collective P(OUR) explains: "The best bartenders now have to keep up with the assertive, knowledgeable and worldly cocktail drinker - so they have to be at the top of their game and offer that extra something."
This has led to exciting career prospects as bars invest in their staff more than ever, sending them around the world to develop local heroes that will further grow the cocktail scene. Licoreria Limantour supports its bartenders who save up to train abroad in order to hone their skills, while Outrage in South Africa equips staff with all the skills they need - from sourcing key ingredients and tools to running a full service bar.  
9. Multi-skilled bartenders  
Bartenders are a multi-talented bunch, increasingly with fluid identities of their own. Part chef, part barista, part patissier - this role now extends far beyond the bar.
Pushing the boundaries still further, these multi-skilled bartenders are challenging their customers over what constitutes a cocktail. "The most memorable course I had at The Clove Club, was this hundred-year-old Madeira," says Mike Knowlden, co-director of Blanch & Shock. "They pour you a tiny bit, which you get to taste, and then they pour a duck consommé over the top, and it becomes a duck soup effectively. It left me with a fascinating thought: why can't a consommé be a cocktail?"
"Cocktails have evolved far beyond their classic form of a mixed liquid in a glass. Creative bar staff equipped with the latest ingredients, technologies and ideas are changing the whole concept of the cocktail - and leaving us all thirsty for what comes next," says Tom Savigar, Senior Partner, The Future Laboratory.
Visit to read the full report and find out more.

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

New hotel to open in New York's famous Time Square

Little 130-room Luma will add a touch of glass and class to 41st Street
Patti Pietschmann

--a stylish hotel designed by NY architect Peter Poon with a glass curtain wall facade that will light up the space between two iconic pre-war buildings and it's
 set to open later this year.  Located on 41st Street between Broadway and Avenue of the Americas in the heart of New York City, the property is conveniently situated near prominent Fortune 500 companies, developing tech firms, international fashion houses and countless attractions, reflecting the ambition and allure of the city.

Rooms and suites will feature  floor-to-ceiling windows, hot spots that deliver lightning fast complimentary Wi-Fi, plush beds,  Nespresso coffee, ETRO bath amenities,  Frette linens, bathrobes and slippers. Foodies will be happy to know that James Beard Award-winning Chef Jose Garces will open Ortzi, a Basque-inspired tapas restaurant and bar. The street-level restaurant and bar will be a new concept from the acclaimed chef with adjacent bar will offer signature cocktails and a robust wine program, as well as ample bar and café-style seating.

The ground floor lobby was designed by CCS Architecture, a San Francisco and New York-based design and architecture firm headed up by Cass Calder Smith, who brings bright, innovative touches to the area. LUMA will take a modern approach to hospitality with a fresh vision, independent spirit, intuitive service and plugged in partnerships, inspiring guests to make the most of the city.
For more information visit You can also follow LUMA on TwitterFacebookInstagram

Monday, September 26, 2016

Save the date for Pittance Chamber Music concert Oct. 9 in LA

By Grammy Award Winning  LA Opera Orchestra

By Patti Covello  Pietschmann

The Pittance Chamber Music is kicking off its  2016/17 season with a trio  of unique concerts featuring members of the Grammy Award-winning Los Angeles Opera Orchestra on  October 9, 2016 at  3 p.m. at the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall in the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion.  If you miss the first one you can go on  February 3, 2017 at 8 p.m. at Zipper Hall, The Colburn School or on March 26, 2016 at 3 p.m. at the Eva and Marc Stern Grand Hall. 

Pittance Chamber Music was created in 2013 with the idea of raising up the extraordinary yet invisible artists from the pit of the Los Angeles Opera to the stage to perform in small ensembles, hence the name Pittance. Lisa Sutton, Pittance Chamber Music founder and Artistic Director (Pasadena resident), is also the Assistant Concertmaster of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra. Since 2013 the ranks of Pittance have been expanded to include members of the Los Angeles Opera Chorus and the Domingo Colburn Stein Young Artists.

 Concert 1 Members of the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra with special guest: Summer Hassan, soprano:

Mozart Clarinet Quintet in A major, K. 581
Mozart “L’amero saro costante”
Chausson Chanson Perpetuelle
Dohnany Sextet, Op. 37

Tickets cost : $35; $20 for seniors and  $10 for students with valid ID. Season Subscription to attend all three concerts is $90; $50 for seniors; and $25 for students.

Susan D. Gordon
(310) 871-0621

Christmas shopping in Germany means a Fröhliche Weihnachten
From islands to old wine cellars to castles, 8 German Christmas Markets in unusual locations.
I got this release today and just had to run it verbatim.  Halloween is coming which means Thanksgiving and Christmas are just around the corner. And if you're heading over to Germany this fall  you might want to get a jump  on your holiday shopping so read on....
German Christmas markets are the happiest places on earth with wooden huts filled with handmade gifts and souvenirs, and culinary delights. For an even more magical experience, check out these German Christmas markets in unusual locations – from islands to old wine cellars to castles and more.|en)&bpid=2104812631&mid=2100610529&nlid=2126199633&lid=6&chk=TSDOiahF11
Ravenna Gorge Christmas Market
With its picturesque location in the Ravenna Gorge, this Christmas market in the Black Forest, approximately one hour from the university town of Freiburg, offers a truly romantic atmosphere. Surrounded by the gorge's steep cliffs, under a 130-foot-high railway viaduct, a small village of little wooden huts can be found here during the four weekends before Christmas.

Dates: All four Advent weekends (starting November 26, 2016)
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An Underground Christmas Market near the Mosel River
Underground Christmas magic can be enjoyed at this market, which takes place in a former wine cellar, parts of which date back to the 16th century, in the town of Traben-Trarbach on the Mosel River. In the atmospherically lit historical wine cellars, visitors can buy regional handicrafts and, of course, sample wine. An added bonus: the vaults offer pleasant temperatures, even when it's bitterly cold outside.

Dates: Weekends from November 25 – Decemberember18, 2016 - Daily from December 22 2016 – January 3 2017 (Closed on December 24–25, 2016)
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Christmas Market on a Bavarian Island at Lake Chiemsee
This island Christmas market in Germany is situated in a truly unique and romantic setting – in the heart of the Bavarian Alps, surrounded by the crystal clear waters of Lake Chiemsee. On two holiday weekends, ferries shuttle visitors to the Fraueninsel market on Bavaria's biggest lake, the Chiemsee. More than 90 stalls sell Bavarian souvenirs and handicrafts from the island's abbey, such as nativity scenes and Christmas decorations.

Fun fact: Lake Chiemsee is about the size of Manhattan!

Dates: November 25-27, 2016 and December 2-4, 2016
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Historical-romantic Christmas Market at Fort Königsstein
According to the market’s motto ‘Königsstein – a winter wonderland,’ the annual Christmas market at fortress Königsstein in Saxony impresses with lots sparkling lights as well as many attractions for children, such as a fairytale grotto. The medieval Christmas market inside one of Europe’s biggest fortress will show jesters, toy makers and craftsmen, and also demonstrations of ancient craftsmanship. An insiders’ tip is the underground Kasematte-Weihnacht – a little Christmas market within the protected arches of the fortification.

Dates: November 26 till December 18 (every Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 7pm)
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A Maritime Christmas Market in East Frisia
A jewel of the North is the Emden Engelke-Markt, which attracts visitors annually with its maritime atmosphere. Festively illuminated museum ships and traditional sailing boats welcome you onboard. Father Christmas appears on the stage of the city garden at 5pm daily to give out presents to the children while the arrival, by ship, of the Dutch Sinterklaas with his helper “Zwarter Piet” is another exciting and long-awaited moment.

Dates: November 21- December 23 and December 27 – 31, 2016
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Action-Packed Christmas Market in Bochum
The North-Western city of Bochum plays host to not just one but two Christmas markets. Besides a traditional market, a medieval market takes place around the Paulus church. Craftsmen dressed in period costumes, traders, minstrels and buffoons go about their colorful business and invite visitors to experience the medieval world including open fire, old-fashioned stalls and music just like in past times. What makes the Christmas market experience so special in Bochum is the high wire show of the famous artist Falko Traber, who flies twice a day, disguised as Santa Claus, in his sled over the heads of the visitors telling them a different Christmas story each time.

Dates: November 17 till December 23, 2016, daily from 12pm to 9pm
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