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Gargantuan Sculptures and a Restaurant in an Old Airplane: Today's Travel Briefing

A roundup of travel news from all over
Here are the latest happenings from the world's big cities, oceans, and airplanes. 

HUGE NEW SCULPTURE PLANNED FOR NEW YORK CITY (Associated Press). Yesterday the plans were unveiled for a new 150-foot, $150-million sculpture that will stand amid a cluster of skyscrapers being built near the Hudson River in Manhattan.   
 
Designed by British artist Thomas Heatherwick and dubbed "Vessel," the concrete and steel structure looks something like an inverted honeycomb. Or maybe Iron Man's facemask?
 
In any case, the thing will be climbable, thanks to a latticework of 154 interconnected flights of stairs and 80 platforms. The site's delevoper thinks it could be New York City's Eiifel Tower. (Do the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and Ghostbusters firehouse not count?)
 
Construction on the project, located near the popular High Line elevated park, is expected to be finished in 2018.

And it turns out the other side of the country is getting a big new public art piece, too.
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* INTERACTIVE UNDERWATER ARTWORK OFF SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA COAST (Condé Nast Traveler). As part of "Electric Earth," Doug Aitken's exhibit this fall at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, the artist has built three enormous "Underwater Pavilions" off the coast of Southern California's Catalina Island.
 
Made of mirror and stone, the kaleidoscopic structures are moored to the seabed at depths of 5, 10, and 50 feet, so that divers of all abilities can take a gander. A floating platform will let you see the glittery work from above the surface; the pavilions should be especially striking at night, when they'll be illuminated. 
 
The whole thing is fish- and ocean-friendly. In fact, Aitken says part of the purpose of the project is to raise awareness for marine conservation efforts. 
 
Swimming through the sculpture is free; it's scheduled to be around for three months.

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* IN CHINA, YOU CAN GO TO A RESTAURANT IN A RETIRED BOEING 737 (Travel + Leisure). We recently told you about a dinner experience in Los Angeles that transports guests back to the golden age of air travel by serving them inside an old grounded Pan Am Airways craft, outfitted to look exactly as it did in 1973, right down to the perky stewardesses and ample legroom.  
 
You can get a similar effect—albeit without the same nostalgia factor—at Lily Airways, a new restaurant in Wuhan, China, that's housed inside a retired Boeing 737.
 
In keeping with the airline theme, members of the wait staff are dressed like flight attendants and there's an aviation simulator in the cockpit.
 
The businessman who owns the establishment says it cost about $5.2 million to buy the plane, relocate it, and transform it into an elegant restaurant. It can accommodate 70 diners at a time, and meals go for around $30-$45 per person.
 
Isn't that roughly what those little snack boxes cost on United?
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Our Travel Briefing appears each weekday morning, Monday to Friday. Catch up on past installments by clicking here. For more updates, as well as vacation photos and travel tips, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.
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