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Howard Johnson Hotels Are Getting a Mid-Century Modern Makeover

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/04/2019, 6:45 PM

Once-ubiquitous hotel chain Howard Johnson is getting its first major design makeover in 25 years. The refreshed look recalls HoJo's heyday in the 1950s and '60s, when the company was said to open a new motor lodge every two weeks and a new restaurant every nine days. The two halves of the business were eventually split, and hundreds of HoJo restaurants across the U.S. went kaput. The last hold...

What to Expect at L.A.'s New, First-of-Its-Kind Cannabis Cafe

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/01/2019, 11:30 PM

The USA's first restaurant where guests can openly consume cannabis debuts in Los Angeles this week. Operating under a new type of license issued by West Hollywood, Lowell Cafe lets you smoke marijuana inside the dining room—there's an air-filtration system, according to the Los Angeles Times—or out on the side patio. Aptly decorated with abundant greenery, the space employs pot sommeliers, ...

No Men Allowed at This New Majorca Hotel

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/01/2019, 11:00 PM

A hotel exclusively for women has opened on the Spanish island of Majorca. Located near Porto Cristo on the island's eastern coast, Som Dona Hotel has 39 rooms, a pool, a wellness spa, a rooftop terrace, and zero male guests (though you might see some men on staff, in keeping with Spain's laws against gender discrimination in employment). The modern property is reportedly the first of its ki...

"Outsiders" Movie House Museum Opens in Tulsa

By Michele Herrmann

Posted on 09/30/2019, 7:45 PM

Fans of the 1983 movie adaption of The Outsiders can now visit the house in Tulsa that played the home where the Curtis Brothers lived.    It’s the result of a project by film aficionado Danny Boy O’Connor, a founding member of the hip hop group House of Pain, who saw the film when he was a teenager and became a lifelong fan.    In 2009, O’Connor traveled to Tulsa to perform a show at ...

New Museums Explore Weimar Germany's Pivotal Role in 20th Century

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/25/2019, 4:45 PM

Last month marked the 100th anniversary of when a national assembly was convened in Weimar in central Germany to write a new constitution for that country after its defeat in World War I. The shaky democracy that resulted, known as the Weimar Republic, lasted only 14 tumultuous years, leading to Adolf Hitler's rise to power in 1933. A new history museum, the House of the Weimar Republic, tel...

Budget XL Airways to Stop Operating Flights

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/25/2019, 10:15 AM

XL Airways, a low-cost carrier based in France, has announced that it is ceasing operations. "Due to . . . financial difficulties," reads a message posted last week on the airline's website, "we are deeply sorry to have to announce that XL Airways is stopping selling tickets effective today, 19th September 2019." Launched in 1995 as Star Airlines, the company adopted the business model of ch...

Free Parking in Las Vegas Returns As a Resort Breaks Ranks

By Jason Cochran

Posted on 09/19/2019, 3:00 AM

For many years, the ability to park for free at most Las Vegas casino-resorts was a beloved perk, and it was one that made visiting the spread-out desert city much more affordable, practical, and welcoming. But in 2017, starting with MGM-owned resorts, that privilege was snatched from guests. Just to visit a restaurant or a shop, with a few minor exceptions (Treasure Island, Venetian-Palazzo) gue...

Spit Take! Study Says Don't Drink the Water on Planes

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/12/2019, 3:00 AM

You should probably stick to bottled water in the skies. That's the conclusion of a new study measuring airline water safety, conducted by Hunter College's New York City Food Policy Center and DietDetective.com. Researchers analyzed the quality of the drinking water on 11 major airlines and 12 regional carriers, considering criteria such as reports of positive E. coli and coliform samples as...

California Improving Coastal Access with New Beach Wheelchairs

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/11/2019, 5:15 PM

Eighteen coastal sites in California—from Clam Beach, where Highway 101 meets the Pacific in northern Arcata, to lively Ocean Beach in San Diego—are getting new wheelchairs and other mobility equipment designed to roll on sand. The state-run California Coastal Conservancy has approved a program to award grants to 11 different nonprofits so that they can purchase a total of 29 beach wheelchairs ...

Japan Finishes Building a Grand, 600-Mile Trail of its Coastal Treasures

By Beth Reiber

Posted on 09/05/2019, 6:45 PM

Fewer than 2% of international visitors to Japan venture farther north to the vast, remote, and undeveloped region of Tohoku. That may change soon as word gets out: The final section of Japan’s longest hiking trail was completed in June. Stretching more than 600 miles along the Pacific coast, the Michinoku Coastal Trail was conceived after the 2011 earthquake and tsunami as a way to breathe new...

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