Top Travel Destinations of 2015

The Faroe Islands
Come see a solar eclipse on March 20th in The Faroe Islands.

Traveling the world has become an increasingly popular fad.  From discovering all the resources that make traveling easier (think cheap flight fares, or groupon), to just having a strong urge for “wanderlust,” people all over the world want to be cultured and pushed out of their comfort zones to see all the world’s beauty.  For 2015, CNN has come up with a list of the top ten destinations to travel to, here are a few that are on their list:

The Faroe Islands are on the list of places to see in 2015, as it will be one of the only places in the world to witness a solar eclipse on March 20th.  A solar eclipse is “when the moon passes between the earth and sun, plunging daylight into darkness,” (Johanson, Top Ten Destinations of 2015).  Travel companies of the Danish Realm are working overtime with booking various tours and cruises for people to witness this once in a lifetime historical event.  Even though it won’t even last three seconds, you’ll have seen an exciting glimpse of history if you travel to the Faroe Islands in late March.

Next stop? Salta, Argentina, which borders Bolivia, Chile, and Paraguay.  CNN describes Salta as, “home to colorful towns, gnarled mountainscapes and the highest altitude wineries in the world,” (Johanson, Top Ten Destinations of 2015), essentially deeming it a combination of Napa Valley and the Grand Canyon.  Recently, Salta has been given $160 million to turn into one of the biggest tourist spots in Latin America.  So get your tickets this coming year before someone else beats you to it.

Abu Dhabi has been ranked number one on many travel sites, and there’s no question why.  Located right next to Dubai, Abu Dhabi “has steered a different course in a multibillion-dollar bid to become the cultural capital of the Middle East,” (Johanson, Top Ten Destinations of 2015).  With an upcoming performing arts center on its way and a Saadiyat Island Cultural District under renovation, which will include the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, the Zayed National Museum, and the second Louvre Museum in the world, Abu Dhabi will have it all when it comes to art and intellect.  So broaden your artistic horizons and bask in Middle Eastern culture by exploring Abu Dhabi at some point in 2015.

To read more about the top destinations of 2015, check out CNN’s article, written by Mark Johanson, here.  Safe travels!

from Ari Kellen| Travel Page


Madonna’s New Music Leaks

Madonna's Rebel Heart Album

Madonna’s New Album, Rebel Heart Album, drops in March, 2015.

Recently, Madonna has be the talk of the town in the music world, especially in regards to her music leak that occurred a couple of weeks ago.  After the leak, she had an interview with Billboard, discussing her album Rebel Heart, all of which will be released in March through Interscope Records.  To the singer’s dismay, ten of her songs from the album from demo recordings swarmed the internet on a tuesday night, placing a panic on her and her team to recover all the stolen tracks from the new album that has not yet been finished.

In her interview, Madonna told Billboard all about her new album, including her applauded new single, “Living for Love.”  She spoke about the personality aspect of her album, saying “It’s kind of like the old me and the new me all mixed together,” (Caulfield, Madonna on New Rebellious and Romantic Music), later exclaiming how Rebel Heart integrated, “the rebellious, renegade side of me, and the romantic side of me.  In my mind, it was almost like i wanted to do a two-record set,” (Caulfield, Madonna on New Rebellious and Romantic Music).

When asked how she was doing, Madonna unsurprisingly told Billboard how tired she was, and that the music industry has changed a lot since all of the increasing use of technology (especially the internet).  In regard to the leak itself, Madonna was not pleased, saying:

“I mean, you know, I’m not happy that unreleased demos are out there in the world for people to hear, listen, judge, etcetera, etcetera.  Once that happened we went into overdrive.  A) Tyring to figure out where the leaks were coming from, and then B) Trying to combat that with putting out finished music that people could focus on versus demos that were never meant for anyone to hear.  So, that led to no sleep,” (Caulfield, Madonna on New Rebellious and Romantic Music).

Though the leaks were unexpected, there was an overall positive outlook on Madonna’s new album, especially “Living for Love.”

Billboard asked Madonna about the different incarnations of the song, to which she replied, “We knew we wanted to make a dance record.  But you know, there’s so many different levels of dance music and even different categories of house music.  So it was really like, what’s the bass line gonna sound like?” (Caulfield, Madonna on New Rebellious and Romantic Music). Madonna went on to say that she wanted the single to have a sound that was timeless, something that could be played for every generation and wouldn’t go out of style.

Overall, the critiques of Madonna’s leaks were positive, and Madonna, though tired and a little stressed out, seemed to be okay at what happened and ready for whatever comes her way.  Afterall, she is the queen of pop.  If you want to read more about Madonna’s interview with Billboard, here is a link to the article.

from Ari Kellen | Musical Minded

Hidden Gems of NYC – Restaurant Style

Mulberry ProjectNew York is home to millions of restaurants situated between bright lights and skyscrapers, under bridges and near famous landmarks, but there are also those restaurants that not many people know about. They are the hidden gems that offer an escape from the big city life that comes to us when we think of New York. These hidden restaurants are usually deceiving from their outer-appearances, which are sometimes just doors with no sign, or even down small, uninviting alley ways you wouldn’t normally think to approach.  Sound enticing? Well, here’s a list of some of New York City’s hidden restaurants that’ll astonish you (if you can find them):


First comes Freemans, located between Bowery and Chrystie right off of Rivington Street.  Here, you’ll find a sign for “Freeman Alley,” which at first glance looks a bit deserted.  But, at the end of this alley way you’ll find this cozy American-style restaurant, interiorly decorated like an old hunting lodge.  While the taxidermy on the walls may be somewhat intimidating to hear about, don’t be scared – it goes with the whole environment of the restaurant (whose food, by the way, is sure to make you drool).

The next hidden restaurant that should be on your list to find is Bohemian, which is arguably the most coveted restaurant to find in all of New York City.  Located on Great Jones Street in NoHo, this restaurant is kept tightly hidden behind a Japanese butcher shop.  But once you find it, you’ll feel you’ve discovered buried treasure, with a $55 dollar six-course tasting menu, the Japanese cuisine that Bohemian is known for is truly out of this world.

Another Japanese restaurant on this list of hidden gems is Sakagura, which serves authentic Tokyo-inspired meals, including soba noodles (handmade) and artistically displayed salmon roe.  Sakagura is located on 211 E 43rd Street underneath an office building, where you’ll definitely be seeing some high-class business folk.

Last on this list is Mulberry Project, located at 149 Mulberry Street in Little Italy, well-equipped with an invigorating list of mixed drinks.  You may second guess the location of Mulberry Project, as it is situated beneath a small souvenir shop for those touring through Little Italy.  But don’t be shy, because once you’ve had their signature Project Burger, you’ll think of every souvenir shop you pass in a whole different demeanor.

If this list just isn’t enough to fulfill your quest to find delicious, hidden restaurants in New York City, check out Guest of a Guest’s reveal of ten secret restaurants in New York City.  Bon appetite (and bon chance)!

from Ari Kellen | New York City Exploration