Latest in Travel News | Ari Kellen

The latest travel news is coming out of the cruise liner industry as well as LAX and Mt. Kilimanjaro. It’s the beginning of the busiest travel season in North America and the headlines are reflecting the warmer climates.Unknown

This past Saturday, Haimark Line, a small-ship cruise line debuted its new luxury service with a 10 day trip from Montreal, Canada to Portland, Me. As new cruise ship companies often due, they are starting as a one ship show specializing in rivers and oceans. They will keep their cruise offerings in North America with a French Canadian Maritime & Coastal Atlantic lines running from late may to early June and through late October. Haimark not only provides sights to be seen, but also guest lecturers. With the inaugural lecturer being Dan Rather, the TV anchor.

Los Angeles International Airport is the largest hub for Pacific Rim travelers coming out of the continental U.S. After looking at their booked flights they came out with a startling projection early this week. On Monday, July 27, an estimated 245,000 passengers will board planes to travel to a destination far away. In this 24 hour span that will be one of the most traveled day of the year for LAX. There are plenty of reasons for such a surge in travelers this summer. LAX has been using more large airplanes opening up more seats per flight, while plane ticket prices have been manageable due to the decreased cost of oil.

Out of Mount Kilimanjaro, a “charity trek” is scheduled for three separate dates this year as a part of Intrepid Travel’s Trek for a Cause. Two climbs up the iconic Mountain were made last year, raising more than $40,000 for local educational programs. Each climb is an 8 day event which costs $2,215 Australian. Climbing this famous mountain can now be joined with benefitting the local teachers of the surrounding area.

To view the original article, please click here.


from Ari Kellen| Travel Page


Best Bar Names In NYC

A name can make or break a bar in the greatest city in the world. NYC streets are packed with bars and restaurants, many of which look the same to the untrained eye on the sidewalk. A great name can help you stand out and pull patrons in the door. The Siegel+Gale branding team took a look at NYC’s bar names and put together a list of the best names they could find. What to look for in a bar name? “Be different, but not cheesy or crazy”,”Don’t take yourself too seriously” says naming group Director Christian Turner.ottos-shrunken-head

The Double Windsor- Windsor Terrace

Triple meaning bar name= great bar name.

Otto’s Shrunken Head- East Village

Thats a name that grabs attention. Who can walk by a place with a sign like that and not want to see what is inside?

The Stumble Inn- UES

A very New York style pun appeals to the locals and their tendency to stumble upon new places to fix their vices.

PDT (Please Don’t Tell)- East Village

Whenever a tale becomes a secret, humans have to spread the word. It is a strange automatic reaction to spill the beans, exactly what the owners want patrons to do about their bar!

Kettle of Fish- West Village

A name that is made to stick in one’s head.

Therapy- Hell’s Kitchen

Playing on a long used destination that the bar can serve for customers. Therapy offers all sorts of therapy.

Jake’s Dilemma- UWS

Playing on the classic proclamation we have all made the morning after a long night, “I’m never drinking again.”

No Fun – LES

A name that is sarcastic in nature, challenges it’s customers to put it’s name to the test.

Burp Castle- East Village

A name equally hilarious and disgusting, perfect for a bar.

Supercollider- Park Slope

Supercolliders in physics makes amazing things happen. I assume amazing things happen in this bar every time their doors open.

To view the original and full article, click here.


from Ari Kellen | New York City Exploration

Apple’s Latest Music Service

Apple is set to launch the latest version of the popular subscription based music platform, made popular by the likes of Pandora and Spotify. Now music labels are lining up to court the large corporation into negotiating a piece of the per-month subscription revenue. Sources are saying music industry negotiators are looking for anywhere from 60-70%of the $10 subscription fee. This is significantly more than the average split established services offer music providers, 46% according to Ernst & Young.Unknown

Of late, music labels are looking to regain revenue they may have been losing to such streaming services. Renegotiations may be coming for established services as labels are looking for high percentage of revenues.

Apple has made a habit of perfecting products and services before entering each new market. With this being their latest venture, many are being led to believe that this new market will see the success Apple has had in previous ones. This is putting the pressure on music labels to ensure a profitable deal be made with Apple in order to sustain their revenue streams.

By the end of next year, streaming music revenue is expected to top out at $1.6 billion for the total industry and labels are set on making their living on a piece of that total. This is marking a possible shake up in the streaming world. Apple has yet to sign a deal but all eyes are already fixed upon them. Keep your eyes and ears open for the latest streaming tunes come June. The move comes as Apple has seen their download revenue slip over the fast 3 years from $2.5 billion to $1.5 billion.

Tim Cook, CEO of Apple is confident in their development of a top notch service and will continue negotiations with labels until an agreement has been reached.

To read the original article, please click here.


from Ari Kellen | Musical Minded

FIFA Issues

In sporting news, no story will be getting more attention than the recent arrest of 14 top officials within the FIFA organization this week in Switzerland. Under accusation of corruption, Swiss police arrested the men at a meeting of top ranking individuals within FIFA. The United State Justice Department requested such action after finding that bribed may have been taken by officials in exchange for contract rights across different disciplines.url

FIFA President, Sepp Blatter was not one of the officials charged and public condone any behavior related to corruption. Sepp is currently seeking a 5th term as president of the organization that oversees the most popular sporting event in the world, The World Cup. Such negative press may bring light to possible mismanagement under Sepp’s tenure, but the president is looking to use this a jumping off point in organizational reform. The newest vote for president will be held tomorrow, Friday 5/29/15.

Sepp has vowed to uphold the integrity of the FIFA name and reform oversight of the company. This may help the incumbent to retain his place atop the organization but his closest opponent has a strong support behind him. Prince Ali bin al-Hussein of Jordan is a young, pro-reform executive committee member within FIFA and may be giving Sepp a run for his money.

While the top officials are positioning themselves for the latest presidential vote, the entire soccer community across the globe is reeling from the allegations of corruption. It is entirely heartbreaking to see a game that is beloved by so many, stained by so few.

Many world leaders stood by the United States with their pursuit of justice noting that corruption must be sniffed out and dealt with. Major corporations are also joining praises and calling for reform within FIFA. Companies like Adidas, Coca-cola, Visa and many more are outraged by the possibility of corruption within the upper ranks.

from Ari Kellen | Sports

Rock and Roll, Not Just For Kids

Rock and Roll has been widely considered to be a music of a young generation. In the late 1960s it was pegged as a teenage musical movement. Every generation has one of course. As a source of rebellion towards authority. But what was widely considered to be common knowledge for decades may turn out to be a fallacy.Beatles

Teenagers did love rock and roll, it defined their youth and still is blasted by all the members of the Boomer generation I can think of. But what was once thought as music that their parents turned their noses up to, is now being brought into question. It turns out the older folks of the time, who are often portrayed as buzz-kills telling children to “turn that racket off”, were listening and enjoying as well.

TIME was the original magazine to publish the demographic target of teenagers back in 1965 for rock. Now they are speaking to the elders who, in vast majority, said, “Yeah we liked it, it was awesome”(not a real quote).

Record labels were said to know of this adult “underground” of rock and roll fans from looking at their sales and numbers over the years. Folks who grew up listening to the likes of Elvis Presley never outgrew him, but enjoyed rock and roll as well. This does not surprise this writer as I have seen first hand how one can enjoy music of the past and present, even a mixture of the two.

Some interesting facts from research is that in today’s day and age, primarily teen targeted music is consumed by people over 20, 40% of the total consumption market. This goes to show that the “music of the youth” might be purely a facade as everyone enjoys good music no matter age, or time of release.

To read the original TIME article, click here.


from Ari Kellen | Musical Minded

Memorial Day Travel

Memorial day weekend is just a few days away, and for some of us it has already started. This year many projection organizations (AAA) expect traffic to be the worst is has been in a half decade. An estimated 35.5 million people will travel over 50 miles this weekend which is almost a 5% increase from last year. How many of these people will be driving? The vast majority with 33 million likely to be behind the wheel. With lower gas prices, many will take to the roads searching for beaches and popular vacation destinations. To be exact, the average gas price in New England is around $2.65 down from $3.66 last year and $4.08 in 2008. A weather forecast showing that much of the eastern seaboard will be sunny and dry has many soon-to-be travelers excited and equally dreading the car ride.latraffic-article-image-650x365

With the roads surely going to be congested, there are a few tips to help alleviate the stress that can come with having fun on the first beautiful long weekend of the summer.

1. Travel Off Peak
Visiting your family down the shore? Leave late on Friday or before the crack of dawn on Saturday to miss the masses on the roads.
2. Take Mass Transit
The more people that ride in buses, and on trains, the less cars on the road. That means a faster travel time for everyone. Plus it gives you time to put a dent in your beach book on the way, instead of having to drive and focus on the road.
3. Pack snacks or a Lunch
Traffic can be time consuming. To cut down on time you might spend at a rest stop, pack snacks or sandwiches to stay your hunger so the trip can keep moving.
4. Books On Tape
If you need to drive, try a book on tape to help the time pass by. When occupying your mind in a story, it takes it off the time you’re spending in the car. The trip will move faster.
5. Quality Time
Think of the time you’re spending stuck in bumper to bumper traffic as a great bonding experience for whoever you’re riding with. Much of our time is occupied by work, so enjoy what personal time you can manage with your travelling companion.

To read the full report from Massachusetts, click here. 


from Ari Kellen| Travel Page

Mastro’s Steak House on The East Coast

A well known and successful steak house is about to attempt 6a00d83422265a53ef010535e49ae7970bit’s east coast debut in the biggest city in the east, New York. Mastro’s, a chain that started in Scottsdale, Arizona has recently expanded and found success in California. With their next entry into a new market, Mastro’s will have to compete with a number of other, well established institutions like Morton’s, Del Friscos, Bobby Van’s, Shula’s, and many more. Their twelfth link in the chain opened in midtown last November and will add a thirteenth to their portfolio this month in Washington D.C.

Each interior of the restaurant varies in decor from city to city, but the NYC branch has a swanky feel about it. Dark wood stains and a low light-ambiance gives restaurant-goers a feeling of fancy dining, as if out of a movie. Many insist that the tendency for noise in the eatery is on the loud side with music a few decibels too high which cause conversations to turn into small yelling matches.

Mastro’s like many NYC steak houses is not a place for those light in the pockets as most of the selection on the menu can break the bank. Food is delicious but it is charged by selection leaving items like crab cocktail, crab legs, and lobster cocktail all lingering at or over $30 a pop.

Moving to the grassfed meats, prices start over $50 and end somewhere around $150 for a single piece of meat!(8 ounce Japanese wagyu strip) Sides for the main dishes did not disappoint as all of them were perfectly cooked as they should be for starting around $14.

All in all, the experience is worth a night on the town if you have the coin to fit the bill. Not much can top a great dining experience with a well cooked, well cut piece of meat, and of course great company.

To view the original article, please click here.


from Ari Kellen | New York City Exploration

Rangers Playoff Hockey

The rangers have been scraping out wins all year through the regular season, and now the postseason. As we look ahead towards game two of the Eastern Conference Finals lets take a look at how the defensive machine of the Rangers have been holding down the leagues best guns.New_York_Rangers

Three names are responsible for the majority of the Ranger’s success, Ryan McDonagh, Dan Girardi, and Henrik Lundqvist. The three-headed defensive monster is anchored by a star goalie in Hank, who has made big save after big save since he stepped back between the pipes this year. Of course, a goalie is only as good as his defensemen in front of him. Ryan McDonagh and Dan Girardi have been drawing the top matchups this post season, making Hank’s job as easy as they can against the best talent in the east.

This series, vs the Tampa Bay Lightning the power duo defensmen have focused their ice time away from the highly star studded first line of Steven Stamkos towards the “Triplets”. Ondrej Palat, Tyler Johnson, and Nikita Kucherov have been the key to the Lightning’s success this offseason, which warrants their attention from the Ranger’s best defensmen. Their line has accounted for 18 goals and 15 assists this postseason.

As for game 1 of the series, the Rangers held the Lightning and the Triplets to just one goal on a power play. Tonight will prove to be a true test for the Rangers defense as they try to fend off a stingy offensive effort that averaged over 3 goals per game over the course of the season.

We are in the midst of the best time of the year for hockey fans as all the games are top notch in terms of quality and gamesmanship. Every team who has made it this far in the postseason plays low margin-of-error, physical hockey that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats.

To read the original article, please click here.


from Ari Kellen | Sports

Eat Where The Celebrities Eat

New York City has uncountable characteristics that make it the best city in the world, but lately this writer has been enthralled with the incredible taste that in town chefs bring to the table (pun). If you throw a rock in any direction you are bound to hit an establishment that serves some type of edible medium, so finding the truly amazing eateries is no simple task. While celebrities have made livings making lots of money and being loved by the masses, they also know how to treat themselves to great food. Lets take a look at where some celebrities in NYC go to eat.

Polar Bar owner Ralph Lauren

Polar Bar owner Ralph Lauren

West Village- 28 Seventh Ave, South

Who eats there?
Taylor Swift, Jaime King, Cara Delevingne, Josh Ralph

What to get:
Three tasting menus comprise the food offering. Their top option in popularity is8 courses of clams, ribs, quail, oysters, and black bass.

West Village 10 Downing Street
Cafe Clover

Who eats there?
Leslie Moonves, Sarah Jessica Parker, Common, Dianna Agron

What to get:

An American positioned menu that has a high focus on light, clean entrees. Be sure to try out their cauliflower steak, and quinoa tagliatelle. A testament to their “clean eating” mantra, they cook everything in extra virgin olive oil as a replacement for butter.

Midtown- 1 E 55th Street

Who eats there?
Rihanna, Ivanka Trump, Bryan Lourd, Karlie Kloss, Bradley Cooper

What to get:

Lines are backed up for six weeks in order to get a reservation here. Ralph Lauren opened this American joint which specializes in cheeseburgers, ice cream sundaes, corned beef sandwiches, and of course healthy alternatives.

Flatiron District- 345 Park Ave.

Who eats there?
Natalie Portman, Gwyneth Paltrow

What to get:

Get down on duck as a chicken substitute, and eat wings doused in chili pepper and yuzu to give yourself a deviation from the standard you are used to. You will find 88 seats in the house that has preserved lemons hanging in jars on the wall to salute their west coast roots.

To read the full article, complete with drinking and lodging places, click here. 


from Ari Kellen | New York City Exploration

80′s Labeled Least Diverse Music Decade

A new computer program has been launched with its sights set on charting the evolution of pop or (popular music). The algorithm, generated by a London based team, has shown that American pop has remained unique in each decade over the past half century with one gaping discrepancy, the 1980’s.80-s-Pop-Stars-80s-music-3599146-320-213

Every generation has a proud link to the music of their time. Assuming that their youthful musical variation trumps all that came before and that will come after. This algorithm has been able to identify a reasoning for that thought process. Each decade is groundbreaking and unique in its own special way….except the 80’s. During this decade the spectrum of creativity was the most narrow across the 50 year period, essentially saying that all 80’s music sounds the same (something I have been trying to tell my dad for years). While its stylistic scope was finer, its not to say that the music from this era was not good. It merely just means that less songs were as catchy as other decades.

What is truly interesting about this study is that certain musical themes recur over time highlighting certain compositions. For example loud, high tempo music reigned supreme in 1966, and then again in 1985 with hair bands. Also, piano and orchestra complimented music peaked in the 80’s and 90’s then went into a wane period until the 2000’s.

Three years in particular over the course of the study (50 years) showed radical creative turns in musical style, 1964, ‘83, and ‘93. The 60’s boom may have been the most rich and complex with rock, soul, disco, mostly due to the British Invasion and the emergence of the Beatles.

In the 1980s synthesized percussion sounds came to forefront revolutionizing loud, robust sounds and launching them into our ears. Phil Collins, Motley Crue, Van Halen, REO Speedwagon, Queen among many others used this to bring a completely new sound to music fans.

The most modern change to the fabric of music occurred in the early 90’s with hip hop and rap coming to the masses. Providing the 90s with a completely different musical genre, the spoken, rhyming music scheme set to looping beats opened the door to so many great songs we know today.

To read the original and full article, click here.


from Ari Kellen | Musical Minded