Throttle Jockey: Spring return-to-riding pro tips

first_img What Kind of Motorcycle Should I Get? A Comprehensive Guide to Motorcycle Types Editors’ Recommendations 10 Best Crime Documentaries on Netflix Right Now Indian Motorcycle’s 2020 Scout Lineup Pays Homage to Its 100-Year Legacy Ah, it’s finally that time of year. Well, if you live on the West Coast, it’s actually been that time of year for a quite a while now, what with all the February days in the 60s with no rain. What the hell?East Coast and Midwest riders have had a tougher time of it. I hope you are all digging out, drying out and ready for riding season to begin again. I know it’s been a slog this winter.If you’re like most fair-weather riders and parked your bike when it finally got too cold, too wet and dark too early (or all of the above), you’re probably pretty amped to get back in gear and get back out on the road. I’m with ya.But some vintage words to the wise: check yourself before you wreck yourself. That’s right; just putting the key in your bike and hitting the streets without prior preparation can become an unlikely precursor to a ruined riding season – or worse.First, check out your bike. Check the tires, and air ’em up. Motorcycle tires slowly lose air over time, in fact pretty much all tires do. Rolling into a turn with a front tire that’s now 10 pounds under pressure can result in a washout and crash, or some suddenly very scary handling, to say the least. If you don’t have a pump or compressor at home ($60 at Harbor Freight, yo), find a buddy that does or stick some quarters in the machine at the gas station. Just use an accurate pressure gauge to make sure your tires are in the sweet spot. For street bikes, that means at least 30psi and probably 35 at the most. Check your tire’s website for more precise recommendations.Oil check: if you’re like me (that is, you’re somewhat fanatical about upkeep), you changed your oil and filter when you parked your bike for the winter. Then you got sandwich baggies and rubber banded them over the exhaust pipes to keep out critters and moisture. Then you pulled the battery out and put it on a floating tender before swaddling your precious with a fitted cover and smudging the garage with burnt sage while chanting to keep away evil spirits.Oh, you didn’t do all that? Well, while you weren’t riding, the oil in your bike separated into layers of sludge and while the temperature went up and down, condensation (water droplets) formed inside the engine and has now mixed with the oil, setting you up for a possible bearing seizure/blown engine. I’d change it before riding again.Check your fork seals for weeping or outright leaks, have a shop put in new seals if you find a problem. If you let it go, the fork oil can leak down onto the front brakes, leaving you with essentially no brakes. That’s bad news, so don’t wait to get it done.Pump the brakes and roll the bike back and forth to see if they are sticking at all. If so, you’ll need to get the brakes purged, which is something you can do at home on most bikes. There are kits for doing it correctly. If the brakes still stick, you’ll need to locate the guilty caliper and have it rebuilt. Rule of thumb: flush and replace brake fluid every two years at least, every year is best. It also helps prevent caliper problems.Next, gas up, and at a gas station, not from the jerry can in the garage (unless you just filled it up). If you filled up and put fuel stabilizer in your tank when you parked for the winter, you’re in good shape, go burn through that tank on a long ride if possible. Put fresh premium gas in before you get home. If you just parked your bike last winter and have no idea how much is in the tank, condensation has likely also formed inside and mixed with the gas. Water in your fuel can play havoc with your fuel system, be it carbs or digital fuel injection. If you let the gas tank sit half full and untreated, it’s watery crap gas by now. Siphon it out (DO NOT USE YOUR MOUTH) before filling up your bike with fresh new gas.Lastly: take it easy. I don’t care how long you’ve been riding, when you take a long break (more than a few weeks), skills fade. It’ll take a bit to re-acclimate your body to the riding dynamics and your mind to the task of keeping you alive while under way. Be sure to gear up. Start with a gentle cruise to get synced up again, maybe on a Sunday morning when traffic is light. Get out of town, take a few easy curves, run through the power to remind yourself that you’re not in a car anymore. Pay attention to how the bike feels and performs. Any funny noises or smells? Brakes OK? Instruments correct? Good deal, have a great year riding.And this coming winter, don’t forget the sage.Photo by Bill Roberson. Rider: Jerry Blazek A Beginner’s Guide to Road Biking Jomers Is Making Your New Favorite Pair of Jeans for Under $40last_img read more

TGIF Shopping: Strong Suit SS15 Headed To Nordstrom

first_img Tuxedo Tips: Your Guide to Nailing Black-Tie Attire Strong Suit, the custom suiting company that launched a little over a year-and-a-half ago, is making the leap onto the racks of Nordstrom’s.For SS15, they’re offering off-the-rack suits (with made-to-measure set to debut this September) in 27 fabrications. The suits are available in four basic models as well as two tuxedo models. In addition to a canvas front and lapel (which provides structure and shape), they offer two different pic stitches: 5/16 on more casual garments and 1/8 on dressier suits.Related: Make Your Suits Last With These Cleaning and Storage TipsThis is the second line from Jamie Davidson, who launched his first label, Normandy & Monroe in 2001. “I learned a couple of lessons from the first go-round. The first is that creatively the label needs to be one vision. Too many cooks in the kitchen dilute the message.  I take a lot of input from the people I work with but ultimately the decisions need to lay with me.  Secondly it’s important to bring your retailers something that can ring their cash registers every day. N&M was primarily an outerwear company so it was very seasonal.”For Strong Suit, Davidson chose to turn to higher-end fabric sourcing including forging partnerships with Lora Piana, Reda, and Barberis.Stand-outs from the SS15 collection include the navy suit. “It’s very hot right now. I keep wondering how long that will last and it keeps getting bigger and bigger. I am also very excited about some of our bolder plaids for fall.”“I would say that guys aren’t paying enough attention to fit,” Davidson surmised when asked what thing guys are doing wrong. “Guys always know when they try something on whether or not it fits their idea of what they want but sometimes communicating that on the front end can be a struggle because they don’t feel like they know all the lingo. I think as a label we need to do a better job of educating our customers about what we do, which is what we seek to do with our in-store experience.”Strong Suit is available now in select Nordstrom’s locations starting at $595, and will be available online in the coming weeks. 1. Strong Suit SS15 2. Strong Suit SS15 3. Strong Suit SS15 4. Strong Suit SS15 5. Strong Suit SS15 6. Strong Suit SS15 How to Pick the Right Suit for Your Body Type Why You Should Skip the Suave and Try Custom Hair Care Products center_img Editors’ Recommendations How to Buy a Suit: 6 Simple Tips to Keep in Mind What It’s Like to Drive a NASCAR Race Car (and Where You Can Get Behind the Wheel)last_img read more

Relax, It’s Almost National Punch Day

first_img 10 Classic Vodka Cocktail Recipes You Can Mix at Home How to Make a Mojito 10 Refreshing Labor Day Cocktail Recipes to Salute the End of Summer Easy 3-Ingredient Cocktails You Can Master Editors’ Recommendations It’s the middle of September, so we know that a lot of you are thinking, “Oh, God! Where did the summer go? Why didn’t I make the best of the warm weather? How did the time pass so quickly? What am I doing with my life?” Well, to that we say—stop it!Look, there’s plenty of warm weather to be had in September. It’s prime tailgating season, the weather is much more pleasant than the dog days of summer, and it really does make for perfect barbecue weather. And do you know what goes well with a September barbecue? A refreshing alcoholic punch!RELATED: Sip on Diplomatico Reserva This SummerSeptember 20 is National Punch Day. We’re sure you didn’t know that, so don’t pretend. To honor the occasion, the good people at Cruzan Rum have prepared a selection of specialty recipes to try out. And Cruzan Rum knows of what they speak. They are distillers of over twenty different varieties of rum including their “Distiller’s Collection,” which is highly regarded within the rum community. We recommend trying the Single Barrel Rum.These recipes are easy to make at home. So instead of freaking out; instead of worrying about what you are doing with your life, have some friends over, barbecue and experiment with some rum punch recipes. That sounds a lot more fun, right?Cruzan® 9 PunchIngredients: 1.25 parts Cruzan® 9 Spiced Rum4 parts Orange Juice1 part Cranberry JuiceMethod: Build over ice in a highball glass. Garnish with a lime wedge.Cruzan® Weekender’s PunchIngredients:8 parts Cruzan® Aged Light Rum4 parts Cruzan® Passion Fruit Rum12 parts Riesling3 parts Lemonade4/5 part Lemon SyrupMethod: Combine all but Riesling in a punch bowl and refrigerate. Add Riesling at service. (Serves 8)Cruzan® Blueberry Spritz PunchIngredients:12 parts Cruzan® Blueberry Lemonade Rum8 parts Sauvignon Blanc4 parts Soda Water3 parts Fresh Lemon Juice2 parts Simple SyrupMethod: Combine all ingredients except soda water in a pitcher. Chill in refrigerator for one hour. At service, add ice to pitcher and top with soda. Garnish with lemon peels. (serves 6)Cruzan® Strawberry Rosemary PunchIngredients: 1 bottle Cruzan® Strawberry Rum6 parts Fresh Lime Juice24 parts Ginger Ale6 Rosemary SprigsRosemary Ice Blocks (*See Additional Recipe Below)Method: To prep, pour rum into a punchbowl and add 4 sprigs of rosemary. Give it a quick stir, making sure to fully immerse the rosemary. Let the mixture sit for one hour at room temperature. After one hour, remove the sprigs of rosemary from the bowl and discard them. Next, add the lime juice to the rosemary-infused rum and chill in the refrigerator until you’re ready to serve. To serve, add rosemary ice block and ginger ale to your rum punch mixture. Serve over ice in a punch glass. Garnish with a small piece of rosemary sprig. (serves 8)*Rosemary Ice Blocks Method: Fill a couple of round plastic containers with water and a couple rosemary sprigs and put it in the freezer. When serving your punch, float the ice blocks in the punch bowl. 7 Fall Cocktail Recipes to Enjoy With Cooler Weather last_img read more

The Manual Picks 7 Fall Jackets

first_img Everlane Wants You to Have a Daily Uniform to Make Dressing Easier 1. Mark McNairy Shirt Tail Varsity Jacket 2. Aether Bowery Jacket 3. Patagonia Men’s Storm Racer Jacket 4. Schott Cliff Pilot Jacket 5. Grayers Charles Quilted Jacket 6. Carhartt Detroit Jacket 7. A.P.C. Denim Work Jacket It’s Time to Ditch Your Sleeping Bag for a Versatile, Lightweight Camping Quilt How to Transition Your Wardrobe to Fall The Best Men’s Quilted Jackets Stitched for Every Occasion center_img Fall is almost here and that means you’ll need a light jacket to keep you warm until winter hits. Here is our selection of fall jackets:Mark McNairy Shirt Tail Varsity JacketThis jacket is in the perfect fall shade and will take you back to your youth.For more information, visit markmcnairy.com.Aether Bowery JacketIt’s like a modern-day military jacket for today’s stylish man.$235 at aetherapparel.com.Patagonia Men’s Storm Racer JacketWeatherproof waterproof, this jacket will get you through any storm and make sure you’re easily spotted.$279 at patagonia.com.Schott Cliff Pilot JacketYou’ll be ready to fly with this cool jacket, modeled after the ones that pilots used to wear.For more information, visit schott-store.com.Grayers Charles Quilted JacketThis is jacket by Grayers is perfect for those fall nights.$225 at grayers.com.Carhartt Detroit JacketTough as Detroit, this jacket will you keep you warm and comfortable all through fall.$288 at stevenalan.com.A.P.C. Denim Work JacketYou can’t go wrong with a denim jacket in the fall.$260 at usonline.apc.fr. Editors’ Recommendations Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play Applast_img read more

Narragansett Brewing’s Mark Hellendrung Discusses Life, Lager, And New England’s Oldest Brewery

first_img Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play App Sip On the Original Stormtrooper Beer While You Wait for the Next Star Wars Movie Are Fermented Pizzas a Trend to Watch? We Asked a Pro to Find Out America’s Oldest City Has a Super-Modern Dining and Drinking Scene Chances are, if you grew up outside of New England, you might not have heard of Narragansett Brewing. And if you have, you probably know it as the Jaws beer.Narragansett Brewing, however, is so much more than the beer famously crushed by Quint in Jaws. The oldest brewery in New England, ‘Gansett was once the official beer of the Red Sox. To boot, their famous mascot, Chief Gansett, was drawn by none other than Dr. Seuss. It was, put simply, a New England powerhouse.But after changing hands several times, a move to Indiana, and a cost-driven change to the famous lager recipe, ‘Gansett almost went dark in the early 2000s.Yet now, thanks to president Mark Hellendrung, Narragansett is the 38th largest brewery in the United States, available up and down the east coast and even found as far west as Portland, Oregon.Along with several other investors, Hellendrung, a Rhode Island native and the former president of Nantucket Nectars, bought ‘Gansett in 2005 and made it the New England-loving powerhouse it is today.From their ongoing Lovecraft series–serious beers named after the serious (and seriously scary) Rhode Island native H.P. Lovecraft–to their recently re-released Del’s Shandy–a lager-based shandy that is basically summer in a can–Narragansett is going through something of a renaissance.So what happened in the 11 years Hellendrung has been at the helm?We talked to Hellendrung about how he brought ‘Gansett back from the brink, the return of Del’s Shandy and the future of craft beer.The Manual: Del’s Shandy is back on shelves in time for summer. How long have you guys teamed up with Del’s to make your shandy?Mark Hellendrung: Last year was the first year out in Portland, but this is the third year we’re going to have it.The one thing that we never talk about with the Del’s is the difference in the beer compared to other shandys. Almost all the other shandys out there are wheat beers. Ours is a lager, and it’s based off our high-rated lager.The frustrating thing about beer now is that everything sort of becomes copycat. Like there’s a million pumpkin beers out there right now. So I think it’s really important to differentiate yourself. So the lager for us is that point of difference. You can go out and get twenty different lemon shandys, and ours is different and more drinkable. I think it’s the perfect blend of beer and lemonade. The lemon flavors come out cleaner because of the lager we use.What do you suggest readers pair with Del’s Shandy?I make an awesome beer-can chicken with the Del’s Shandy. That’s what I do with it.  We use two all-natural lemon concentrates, one that sort of gives it the lemon peel-zest flavor, the other is more of the pulp-y flavor. Those flavors and aromas really come out in the chicken. Aside from that, seafood is certainly good.What’s your favorite beer that you guys make? I know that you make a lot of seasonals, but just say all of your beers were available today. What would you reach for first?During summer, I’m drinking lager all day long. I really like that style. I’ll enjoy an IPA or two, but I love drinking lager beer, and so I love ours.But right now I really love our Reanimator, which is part of the Lovecraft series. It’s just–it’s basically a Helles lager that we dry-hopped, and it’s about 7 1/2% alcohol, and it’s just perfect. It used to be our bock, but then we dry-hopped it and renamed it the Reanimator after the Lovecraft story. It’s just one of the things we’re doing to innovate and try new things.So why Narragansett? What was so important to you about buying the brewery?I’m a lifelong Rhode Islander. I was running Nantucket Nectars, and Snapple bought us out. I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do next. I was in this bar in Newport–and you gotta remember that this was 15 years ago, before craft [beer] really started taking off. I was in a bar with a buddy and I was sorta bored with everything in the bar. I said to the bartender, “There’s gotta be something else you have that’s interesting.” And this old-timer at the end [of the bar] said, “Give him a Narragansett!” And next thing you know the whole bar is talking about old stories of Narragansett and how great it used it be. And I was like, man, whatever happened to Narragansett? The more people I talked to, it just became this cause. I felt like New England deserved to have it back, and it has just taken on a life of its own since then.‘Gansett moved operations to Indiana one of the times it was purchased. People complained about quality, and the brewery almost died. Maybe you could expand upon why you felt it was important to bring it back to its roots. It’s just a source of local pride. Bringing the brewery back and bringing the lager back to its original recipe–they kept changing it in Indiana, making it cheaper, more watered down–I just thought, just for the authenticity of the brand and what we’re doing, it’s important to the brand to do things right. This is real to me and to everyone I work with. It was important to do it this way.For a while, megabreweries weren’t really taking craft beer seriously. It seemed like a fad. But judging by some of these recent purchases–such as Elysian–it looks like they are taking it seriously now. How do you view these recent purchases of craft breweries? Well those acquisitions certainly change things–and I know these guys either don’t want to admit or think that things are going to change, but when you sell a major piece of the company, and you’re not just working for yourself anymore, the soul of the brand changes, and the soul of how things get done changes.I don’t want to be the one to say it’s right or it’s wrong, but I will emphatically say that it’s different, and it’s really up to each person to say whether it’s right or wrong. It is what it is. Those big guys will now bring a lot of muscle to what used to be smaller brands. You know, craft beer has always been a sort of David versus Goliath type thing, and [craft breweries who have been bought out] are certainly on the other side of the fence now. They’re certainly not David. When you’re owned by Anheuser-Busch or MillerCoors, you’ve got all the world’s resources behind you.Did your experience with Nantucket Nectars being sold to Snapple inform how you view these acquisitions?Yeah, that’s a good example where it’s like, the recipes didn’t change, but the way we did things changed, and it wasn’t Tom [First], Tom [Scott] and me and Chris Testa doing the under-the-cap facts. It was this marketing person. There’s a big difference between someone saying, “I’m going to make this thing look like it comes from Nantucket” versus a bunch of people who lived on Nantucket making it look like Nantucket. That may seem like nuance, but it’s real. And again, I’ll still go out and have a Nantucket Nectars half-and-half in the summertime, and it tastes great, but it’s still not the same soul that it once was.I think that’s a pretty important distinction. Given that you and the other investors went out of your way to purchase Narragansett and revive it, I’m assuming this is a no, but would you ever consider selling ‘Gansett?[Laughs] Never say never, but it’s not anything we’re working on right now. I mean, shoot, you look at the guy from Ballast Point, and he got $1 billion. I mean, a billion dollars is a billion dollars. But that’s not something I’m interested in now. I’ll say that if it ever did happen, I’d like to do it in a very unique way. You know, we’re building this the right way, in an authentic way. I think that that’s where the value of the brand is, and it’s going to be hard for someone else to come in and replicate it.What do you want for the brewery 5-10 years down the line?I really want to continue to expand in a smart way. We’re in the midst of filling in a lot of east coast states now. We’re in South Carolina [in March], Virginia next month. And then over time, I want to get Chicago going, and I want to get the Pacific Northwest going and use Portland as a hub to do that. More so, I want to continue to innovate in the craft space, with our Lovecraft series and maybe some other flavors of Del’s Shandy and really just continue to have fun with the lager. At the end of the day, lager is still the number one style in America when you add up all the Bud and the Corona and all that other stuff. I like to think that we do it in a fun way. We’ve got a lot of other fun things we haven’t tapped into yet–like, Dr. Seuss used to be an illustrator for Narragansett way back in the day. We want to continue to explore our heritage and history and have fun with it. Editors’ Recommendations The Nomadic Beer Maestros of Evil Twin Brewing Find a Permanent Home in Queens last_img read more

Getting Real with Lydia Loveless

first_img The Absolute Worst Movies to Watch with a Date Editors’ Recommendations Learn Guitar (and Don’t Give Up) With the Fender Play App The Best Documentaries on Netflix Right Now 7 of the Best Drink References in Music Lydia Loveless is set to release her 4th record, Real, next Friday, August 19th, through Bloodshot Records. After dipping her toe into pop music on 2014’s Somewhere Else, Loveless dives into it on Real. As the artist herself puts it, “Whereas our previous records could be described as blunt or raw, this one I wanted to be known as honest, as true, as real.”Moving from a rawer sound to one that is more produced may seem misguided, but the counterintuitive move works thanks to Loveless’ openness. As its title suggests, Real deals with issues surrounding the idea of authenticity. In addressing the album’s background, Loveless poses a question,  “Who are you really, at the end of the day, entirely alone, without all the daydreams and the bullshit and the performance art we go through all day every day? Because I feel like I spent my formative years flopping around like a fish, masking pain with substance abuse and somewhat ashamed of who I was…it was absolutely necessary for me to become a stronger, more confident human, or I was going to die. Real is my sort of love letter to that realization, that my existence was just as valid as any other.”Real‘s songs all deal with these issues in one way or another, whether it is the confessional “More Than Ever” or the resigned “Heaven.” In sharing these songs and emotions unabashedly, Loveless finds the titular realness.Lydia Loveless’ Real comes out August 19th on Bloodshot Records, and is available for preorder through Amazon, iTunes, and Bloodshot Records online store. 16 Best Action Movies on Netflix Right Nowlast_img read more

The Coolest Canoes Currently Afloat

first_img The Ultimate Pillow Guide: The 6 Best Pillows for All Sleepers Editors’ Recommendations My Wife And I Forgetting About The Water Component of CanoeingLet me just come right out and say it at the start: yes, I am a canoe owner and I’m proud of it. And yes, I am probably biased against non-canoe people, but let’s remember that tolerance means acceptance, not necessarily embracement. So if you are not a canoe person, that’s OK, we’re still cool. But not as cool as the wonderful, bizarre, and mildly ridiculous canoes we’re talking about today. I have scoured the globe (via the internet and some articles I read… and via canoe) and come up with a collection of canoes that run the gamut from fanciful to practical to downright odd. Meaning awesome.Related: Summertime HikesWhile some are a bit hard to track down (good luck locating one of the ten person canoes in a store near you), any one of these keen craft could be yours; all you need to do is throw enough money at them. Need is the operative word there; in case you were not previously aware, as it turns out you do, in fact, need to own not just a canoe, but a crystal clear canoe that lets you see down into the water. Then you will be happy at long last.PAKCANOE FOLDING CANOESo you only have a storage space measuring 35″ by 17″ by 13″ available in your home? No problem! You can easily fit a canoe in that small space. Just take the time to fold up your canoe first. You might question the stability and durability of a folding canoe with a hull made out of PVC “skin,” but that’s just because you’re naturally skeptical and can’t see that all you really need to do is let them love you, dammit. Ha! How off topic! Anyway. There are several different models of PakCanoe available, each with different weight carrying capacity and size, but let’s take their midrange PakCanoe 160 as an example. It can be used on flat water, in rivers, and even in Class III rapids, and it has a maximum weight limit of 760 pounds. That’s more than three Arnold Schwarzeneggers, FYI.CRYSTAL EXPLORERCrystal Kayak’s Crystal Explorer canoe is more of a canoe/kayak hybrid, being of kayak-esque dimensions and shape, but having that open bodies charm of a good old canoe. The hull of this transparent boat is made of a durable “GE Lexan polymer” that is only six millimeters thick, and is optically clear. That means that while paddling along in this boat, you can enjoy an amazing view of the coral reefs, shoals of fish, circling makos, and horrid sea monsters that ply the waters just beneath your soft, inviting flesh! Your floating view into the depths will set you back about $1600, but it’s money well spent if you love studying the world beneath the waves or if you want to avoid an aquatic sneak attack.AIRE TRAVELERThe Traveler canoe from Aire can easily carry two paddlers across lakes, down rivers and streams, and out into the bay or the sea, provided the whitecaps aren’t up. It’s a stable boat with great tracking and an optional rowing frame and trolling motor attachment, and yes, it’s inflatable. Can you really trust an inflatable canoe to stay afloat? Well, the company offers a ten year long no fault warranty, so apparently they think you can. Tuck your deflated canoe into the trunk, head out to the water, and see how the Traveler performs for yourself. But inflate it again first.MULTI PASSENGER CANOEFor the ultimate river and lake paddling fun, grab ten or eleven of your buddies and hop into a massive canoe. That’s right, there are canoes out there that can safely accommodate as many as ten or twelve passengers, also known as around 2,000 pounds of human being. While you might want to charter one of these boats for an afternoon of fun rather than spending the thousands of dollars an ultimately wildly impractical canoe will cost you, if you have a big family, a lot of friends, and you’re kind of nuts, then go ahead and get yourself a massive canoe. The Best Backpacking Chairs for Your Next Adventure The Best Campgrounds Near Major U.S. Cities 10 Top Shelf Vodka Brands that are Actually Worth a Damn This Black Boathouse Is a Luxurious Retreat on a Small Island in Norway last_img read more

The Crown of the Blue Ridge: Blowing Rock, North Carolina

first_img The Best Campgrounds Near Major U.S. Cities Featured photo at the top of the page: courtesy Chetola Resort. EAT & DRINKThe motto at Storie Street Grille at 1167 Main Street is “Enter as strangers. Leave as Friends.”You’ll definitely depart on friendly terms once you taste the incredible creations dispatched from the kitchen. There’s great attention to detail here that begins with acquiring ingredients that are responsibly grown, many from surrounding farms. They feature sustainably harvested seafood, humanely raised hormone and antibiotic free meats and organic vegetables.During your trip, plan a picnic on the Blue Ridge Parkway and stop by Christopher’s Wine & Cheese at 110 Sunset Drive. This boutique wine shop specializes in unique, hard-to-find wines, cheeses from around the world, craft beer, olive oil, and chocolates.For the beer lovers, hit up Blowing Rock Ale House and Inn, the towns first micro-brewery. There is also a great restaurant and five bedrooms upstairs, so you could really pull a bender here and just never leave. But don’t forget the mountains.STAYOnce you get a taste of the Chetola Resort experience, it will stay with you for a lifetime. Maybe the Cherokee Indians who once roamed this land gave it special blessings. The word Chetola is Cherokee for “Haven of Rest,” and it certainly lives up to that description.While the rest of the world seems to be going at hyper speed, a visit here is like a step back to a simpler time.The 87-acre property neighbors 3,600 acres of National Park land, giving visitors plenty of chances to hike, paddle, fish, and explore.Accommodations range from intimate rooms in The Bob Timberlake Inn, to 42 guest rooms in the Chetola Lodge to a multitude of condo rentals. The well appointed condos feature one to four bedrooms, fireplaces and jacuzzi tubs.A personal pick: Cumberland #3, a three-bedroom condo that offers a view of the Moses Cone House and Estate on the Blue Ridge Parkway. It’s now home to the Parkway Craft Center and under the care of the National Park Service.Wi-fi is abundant at Chetola, but you may find you want to unplug and just soak in the peace. There’s no reason to leave the Chetola compound unless you want to. Timberlake’s Restaurant offers exquisite meals in a building that once served as the home of J. Luther Snyder who bought Chetola Estate in 1926. He was known as the “Coca Cola King of the Carolinas.”There’s also the Headwaters Pub and a full service spa. Enjoy a signature massage or Reiki treatment after a long day of playing in the mountains. All 21 Six Flags Parks in the U.S., Ranked 14 Best Outdoor Stores in the United States The Manual Spirit Awards 2019: The Best Craft Liquor Made in America Editors’ Recommendations If you’re looking for a true respite from the hazards of daily living, the High Country of North Carolina should be at the top of your list as a place to recharge and regain your sense of balance.The town of Blowing Rock is a charming little village that offers a great refuge from big city business. There are great resorts, excellent dining and even an entire month dedicated to beer events (April).  but a hike on the Appalachian Trail or the Blue Ridge Parkway is a must as well.PLAYJulian Price Memorial Park – Great place to rent a canoe and spend some time leisurely paddling across the lake. Also—a myriad of camping sites, maze of hiking trails and a 300-seat amphitheater.Grandfather Mountain – Just a short drive from Blowing Rock (take note of the Linn Cove Viaduct on the Blue Ridge Parkway during your drive over), Grandfather Mountain is known for its mile-high swinging bridge and animal habitats. If you’re up for extreme hiking, you can find advanced trails that will really challenge your trek.The Blowing Rock – There’s an actual Blowing Rock steeped in Indian legend that says a Cherokee brave was blown back into the arms of his Chickasaw Indian maiden after she prayed to the Great Spirit. Wind continues to blow up to the rock and snow is said to appear falling upside down at times.SHOPMichael Imboden and Dana O’Hair founded 100 West Union in 1993. Their goal has always been to provide superb personal service along with some of the world’s finest quality menswear. They carry an impressive selection of sportswear, neckwear, shoes and furnishings. Located in the South Marke Shoppes on South Main Street.J.W. Tweeds at 1129 Main Street offers sought-after style with its own assortment of clothing, shoes and accessories for men.Galleries, fine arts and crafts, and upscale furnishings round out some of the other shopping opportunities along Main Street. The Best American Liqueurlast_img read more

Of Course Dubai is Building a 500-Foot Gold-Plated Picture Frame

first_img World’s First Luxury Space Hotel Promises Climbing Wall, Low-Gravity Basketball Courts To Find Beauty In Yosemite, Just Whip Out Your (Honda) Passport Dubai is a bit like the Houston of the Middle East. It’s unapologetically bold, brash, and over-the-top — a city that elevates conspicuous consumption to an art form. Every monument, building, and theme park is more lavish and expensive than the last. So, when architects imagined framing the city’s skyline with a 50-story-tall, gold-leafed picture frame, no one batted an eye.This month will see the opening of The Dubai Frame. The massive frame consists of two 150-meter-high glass towers — roughly 500 feet, or 50 stories, to us Statesiders — making it the world’s largest picture frame. A glass bridge will connect the towers, providing visitors with a panoramic view of the city, including Karama, Deira, Bur Dubai, and the Emirates tower. On the ground floor, a museum and gallery will feature interactive exhibits and 3D projections of the city’s old quarter, which will make use of virtual reality technology to explain its history.The Dubai Frame/FacebookThe designers’ intent was to “frame” (get it?) the two sides — old and new — of the city. To put it more esoterically: “The idea is to create an illusion of time travel through a warp vortex and arriving into the city 50 years ahead.”From its location in popular Zabeel Park, visitors will be able to scope out the city’s old quarter (to the north) and New Dubai (in the south), and vice-versa. While the frame was initially slated to be silver, the designers felt that didn’t pack enough punch. It was changed to gold plating to more strongly reflect the sun and intensify its brightness.The Dubai Frame joins a long list of over-the-top attractions aimed at increasing tourism to the city. Most notable are the famed Burj Khalifa (at nearly a half-mile high, it’s the world’s tallest building) and Burj Al Arab (often called “the most luxurious hotel in the world”). The Frame alone is projected to attract 2 million visitors each year.The project has already seen numerous setbacks and weathered waves of controversy. In spite of them all, the Frame opened this month (January 2018), and advanced purchase tickets are available through a dedicated pre-booking website for about USD $14 for adults. This All-Black Cabin is Like a Pair of Binoculars Taking in the Canadian Wilderness This Little House in Washington Has Big Personality This Belgian-Monastery-Turned-Hotel Has Us Craving a Trip to Antwerp Editors’ Recommendations last_img read more

Far Off the Beaten Path: 3 Most Remote National Parks in the United States

first_img Give Your Hypercar the Garage It Deserves with a Custom Aston Martin Lair Editors’ Recommendations Highland Park Takes Tailgating to Another Level Yellowstone, Yosemite, Grand Canyon — every American has heard of the country’s touchstone national parks. However, the National Park Service consists of many smaller, lesser-known, and far-flung destinations that each provide the perfect opportunity to unwind and unplug. Here are three of the least visited, most remote U.S. National Parks.Dry Tortugas National ParkFloridaKey West is well-known as “the end of the road” for road trippers seeking the southernmost point in the contiguous United States. However, 70 miles beyond the land of Jimmy Buffet lies the 100-square-mile Dry Tortugas National Park. The park consists almost entirely of water, plus seven tiny islands — all smaller than any of the Florida Keys. Garden Key, the main island in the archipelago, is home to Fort Jefferson. The 200-year-old fort is one of the largest in the country and remains well-intact to this day. Most visitors arrive by ferry or floatplane and quickly explore the fort for an hour or two before heading back to Key West. However, it’s worth planning a full-day visit to allow time for snorkeling or, better yet, diving. The surrounding waters are among the clearest and warmest of any in the United States. For an even more intense experience, book one of the few reservable camping spots near the fort. As the parks service allows few overnight guests, visitors are likely to have most of the park to themselves, and the sunsets and stargazing are out of this world.Gates of the Arctic National Park & PreserveAlaskaAlaska is no doubt the most rugged and remote of any state in the country, so it’s no surprise that it’s home to one of the least visited parks in the entire National Park system. Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve stretches across 7 million acres (an area larger than Belgium) of Arctic wilderness where muskoxen, caribou, and millions of birds roam free. It’s also home to the state’s native tribes who have survived and thrived off the land for more than 10,000 years. As the northernmost national park in the country, a visit requires a long, arduous trek that usually combines plenty of driving and multiple (often weather-delayed) flights. The payoff? Little more than 12,000 visitors annually make it one of the least visited national parks and the perfect place for a digital detox.Channel Islands National ParkCaliforniaLike Dry Tortugas, California’s Channel Islands National Park consists mainly of water and is only accessible by ferry. Of the eight islands that constitute the chain, five are protected and home to nearly 150 endemic species, prompting many to call it the “Galapagos of North America.” All are unique with their own points of interest. Santa Cruz Island is best known for its sea caves, making it an ideal spot for divers. East Anacapa Island boasts an early 20th-century lighthouse and hiking trails that lead to stunning Inspiration Point atop a cliff overlooking the Pacific Ocean. San Miguel Island and Santa Barbara (the southernmost in the chain) are each home to massive seal colonies and nesting seabirds. Grand Canyon Celebrates 100th Anniversary with New International Dark Sky Park Distinction On the Road with Mikah Meyer, the First Person to Visit Every National Park Site in One Trip America’s Oldest City Has a Super-Modern Dining and Drinking Scenelast_img read more