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Famous Hotels Around the World

Tuesday, Nov 13 2018 by

On your next family vacation, you’re a lot more likely to stay in a Holiday Inn Express than in a five star luxury hotel, but if you’re lucky enough to travel on an unlimited budget anywhere you want, you should definitely check out these famous hotels.

The Ritz Paris

One of the most iconic hotels in the world, the Ritz Paris in the heart of the City of Lights is at the top of any luxury traveler’s list. Established in 1898, the hotel quickly became one of the grandest hotels in Paris and the world.

The likes of Coco Chanel and Ernest Hemingway lived here, and Princess Diana dined here right before her death. Rooms in the 18th century-styled hotel start at $1,400 and go up to nearly $30,000.

Hôtel Ritz Paris (Google Maps)
Hôtel Ritz Paris

Plaza Hotel New York

The Plaza is located in prime New York real estate, along 5th Avenue and Central Park South. It is designed in a French Renaissance style, and rooms go for at least $1,000 per night.

Donald Trump bought the hotel in 1988, but had to turn many of the suites into condominiums in an effort to pay off debt. The hotel offers babysitting, butler service, grand ballrooms and luxury suites for its guests.

The Plaza Hotel (StreetView)
The Plaza Hotel

Chateau Marmont

The Chateau Marmont in Los Angeles is famous for being famous, and catering to the rich and famous. It has been the scene and setting for movies, the place where stars live, famous gather to party, and some have even taken their last breath there, like John Belushi in 1982.

Standard rooms start around $500, but penthouses go for a few thousand a night. If that’s too rich for your budget, you can dine at the famous Restaurant at Chateau Marmont.

The Chateau Marmont (StreetView)
The Chateau Marmont

Beverly Hills Hotel

Located in the center of Los Angeles on Sunset Boulevard, the Beverly Hills Hotel caters to the rich and famous, and those who want to be near the rich and famous. It has both hotel rooms and bungalows, which often cater to those wishing spend time away from their homes while remaining in the city, for parties, affairs and discreet meetups.

The reclusive Howard Hughes kept a permanent room there, but only the hotel chef would know when he was on site, as he had to prepare midnight meals to serve the oddball billionaire.

Beverly Hills Hotel (Birds Eye)
Beverly Hills Hotel

Raffles Hotel Singapore

The uniquely named Raffles Hotel was named after the British founder of Singapore, Sir Thomas Raffles. The hotel design is classic British colonial, and has been expanded several times over its 150 year history. During its occupation during World War II, the staff buried the hotel valuables, including the silver collection.

The hotel is under renovation at the moment, but when the work is completed, it will continue to live up to its reputation as one of the most luxurious and desirable hotels in the world.

Raffles Hotel (StreetView)
Raffles Hotel

There are luxury hotels around the world, but if you have a chance to stay in one of these, you should put it at the top of your to do list; and if not, at least enjoy imagining what it’s like on this virtual tour.

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Safari #116 - American College Football

Thursday, Nov 8 2018 by

VirtualGlobetrotting’s Safaris are weekly challenges to see who can find the most maps from a specific category.

(Our definition of a week is a little strange though, as the last Safari we put on was over 3 years ago!)

Well, dust off your fedoras and binoculars, for it’s time to start the first Safari of 2018!

With the American College Football season entering the last month of regular season games, let’s look for people playing pigskin! Valid submissions must all be in Street View and of people playing football (American). Pictures, art, ads, paintings, murals, etc. are all fine. Players can be of any age, professional or amateur.

For an example of what we’re looking for, here is what the previous Safari’s “Soccer v2” submissions were:

Safari 107 Soccer

The safari will end at 07:00am UTC on Wednesday, November 14. Post your maps to Street View – Safari Submission and another appropriate category for credit.

You can track the progress of the hunt on the Games page.

Good luck and happy hunting!

(Comments)

New Safari starting Thursday November 08!

Monday, Nov 5 2018 by

VirtualGlobetrotting’s Safaris are weekly challenges to see who can find the most maps from a specific category.

Our definition of a week is a little strange though, as the last Safari we put on was over 3 years ago!

Safari 115 Monuments and Memorials

Well, dust off your fedoras and binoculars, for it’s time to start the first Safari of 2018!

The Safari will start Thursday November 08 at 00:00am PST.

See you then!

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Infamous Murder Sites across the US

Wednesday, Oct 31 2018 by

Some people like to tour national parks or go to Disney World on their family vacations… for those who want an unorthodox vacation, and don’t scare easily, these murder sites that you can visit might make for a more exciting road trip this year.

Villisca Ax Murder House

The murder of eight people, six members of the Moore family and two overnight house guests, during the night in Villisca, Iowa on June 9 or 10, 1912 has remained unsolved for more than a century.

When a neighbor noticed that no one had begun farm chores on the morning of the 10th, it was discovered that each person had been bludgeoned to death with an ax. While there was a lengthy investigation and even two trials, no one was ever convicted for the murders.

The house is open for tours, and those who are brave enough can even spend the night there!

Villisca Ax Murder House (Birds Eye)
Villisca Ax Murder House

Lizzie Borden’s Home

“Lizzie Borden took an axe and gave her mother forty whacks. When she saw what she had done she gave her father forty-one.”

Lizzie Borden was a 32 year old woman living with her father and stepmother when they were found bludgeoned to death by an axe. She was tried and acquitted of the crime, and it was never solved.

Tourists can view the inside and outside of the house, as well as stay the night, if they’re brave enough.

Lizzie Borden axe murder home (Birds Eye)
Lizzie Borden axe murder home

Lizzie Borden lived out the remainder of her days in the community, in spite of the reputation that followed her around for the remainder of her days. She is buried in the local cemetery, and the site is often visited by those who stay at the house.

Lizzie Borden's grave (Google Maps)
Lizzie Borden's grave

Black Dahlia’s Murder Site

Elizabeth Short was a young woman living in Los Angeles when she went missing in 1947. She was found several days later, having been murdered and mutilated and left to the elements.

Her beauty and reputation for wearing black earned her the nickname “Black Dahlia” in the media during a very long and public investigation that never resulted in any viable suspects.

The unsolved case has become a part of LA lore, and curious visitors still visit the murder site, which is now a front yard in a middle class neighborhood.

Visiting this site would make an excellent and unconventional side visit if you’re already in the area.

Location where the Black Dahlia's body was found (StreetView)
Location where the Black Dahlia's body was found

Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman Crime Scene

Often referred to as “the crime of the century”, the murder of Nicole Brown and Ron Goldman, allegedly by Brown’s husband, football legend O. J. Simpson, incited a nation to follow the arrest, prosecution and aftermath of O. J. Simpson’s life.

On June 13, 1994, the two were found stabbed to death in her home, and the events at the crime scene kicked off the infamous police chase of O. J. Simpson in a white Bronco, and the globally broadcast trial of Simpson. While Simpson was acquitted, the story has remained a part of the cultural psyche for the last two decades.

True crime fans visiting the LA area often make a trek to the Brentwood neighborhood to see the home where the biggest media circus crime all started.

Nicole Simpson/Ron Goldman murder site (Birds Eye)
Nicole Simpson/Ron Goldman murder site

John Lennon’s Home and Murder Scene

John Lennon, lead singer of the world’s most famous and beloved band The Beatles, lived with his wife Yoko Ono and son Sean in The Dakota, a posh coop building in the desirable Central Park West area of New York City.

He and Yoko were returning from a recording session when he was shot dead by stalker Mark David Chapman, who after the shooting waited for police nearby reading Catcher in the Rye, claiming the reason for his crime was “in the book”.

Site of John Lennon's murder (StreetView)
Site of John Lennon's murder

Fans of Lennon and the Beatles often visit Strawberry Fields, a memorial site established in Central Park near his home and murder site. It is a peaceful place for fans to pay respects to Lennon and enjoy tribute music played by talented fans and musicians.

Strawberry Fields (John Lennon memorial) (StreetView)
Strawberry Fields (John Lennon memorial)

Unfortunately, there are many more places to visit if you’re interested in seeing the darker side of society, but these are some of the more popular, and more famous, crime scenes in American history. Have fun, and watch your back!

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Everyone Should Visit the Emerald City

Friday, Jul 6 2018 by

Seattle, known as the Emerald City, is the largest city in the Pacific Northwest and a dynamic, vibrant and growing city. It is a major business hub; Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, Nordstrom, and Costco all have their headquarters in or near the city.  It has long been a center for the American jazz scene, the start of the grunge music scene, as well as a huge sports city, with successful NFL and MLB franchises.

Seattle has a unique history, culture, and economy, and it all comes together in an amazing blend that is entertaining and fulfilling for residents and tourists alike.

If you’re lucky enough to visit Seattle, be sure to check out these places!

Seattle skyline view from Kerry Park (StreetView)
Seattle skyline view from Kerry Park

Space Needle

Seattle’s most famous site, the Space Needle was built in 1962 when the city hosted the World’s Fair. It is over 600 feet tall and serves as an observation tower.

Seattle Space Needle (Birds Eye)
Seattle Space Needle

It has an observation deck at the top, as well as a rotating restaurant so diners can have a full view of the city. Renovations due to be complete in mid-2018 will include a glass floor so diners can even enjoy the view below them!

Space Needle (StreetView)
Space Needle

Pike Place Market

Pike Place Market is over 110 years old, and is Seattle’s top tourist site. It is a fully functioning farmers market, with produce, meats, seafood and other food, as well as artisan crafts and wares for sale, entertainment always on hand, and a fun atmosphere for everyone who visits.

Pike Place Market Sign (StreetView)
Pike Place Market Sign

It is particularly famous for the fishmongers who have a reputation for throwing large fish across counters rather than walking around the stalls with their wares, keeping business moving and entertaining the customers at the same time.

Pike Place Market (Birds Eye)
Pike Place Market

First Starbucks

Baseball and apple pie may be America’s past time and favorite food, but coffee, and Starbucks coffee at that, is possibly America’s favorite, and most famous beverage. The green logo is an internationally recognized symbol, and it all started in Seattle.

It was founded in 1971, and moved locations in 1976 within the Pike Place Market. The storefront has not changed since that time, and is so famous and important to Seattle that it is now officially historically significant to the city.

Anyone can stop by this place credited for the resurgence of good coffee and the establishment of the coffee culture in the United States.

First Starbucks (Google Maps)
First Starbucks

Safeco Field

Whether you’re a huge baseball fan or just a curious tourist, stop by Safeco Field in the summer to catch the Mariners play a home game. The stadium has a unique design, with a retractable “umbrella” roof that covers the field and players while leaving the sides open to allow the team to play outside even in the rain. That’s a perfect stadium for “Rain City”.

Safeco Field (StreetView)
Safeco Field

Seattle Public Library

All libraries are institutions of knowledge and learning on the inside, but some like Seattle’s Central Library are also breathtaking marvels of architecture and design on the outside.

Seattle Public Library by Rem Koolhaas (Birds Eye)
Seattle Public Library by Rem Koolhaas

It is an 11 story structure of steel and glass, with “floating platforms” that extend beyond the floors below them. Tours of the architecture and design are available, or visitors can walk through the halls, quietly of course, on their own.

'Seattle Central Library' by Rem Koolhaas (StreetView)
'Seattle Central Library' by Rem Koolhaas

Mt. Rainier

Visible from Seattle on a clear day, and about an hour south of the city is Mt. Rainier, an active, and potentially deadly,  mountain volcano in the Cascade Mountain Range. Because of the significant amount of ice on the mountain, if it were to erupt, it would pose a grave threat to the Seattle metropolitan area.

But that doesn’t deter visitors from flocking to the mountain to appreciate the glaciers and snow capped peak, as well as the amazing hiking the mountain provides. It takes about two days to summit the mountain, and only about half of those who start the hike complete it successfully. But even if you don’t climb, you can enjoy the mountain from whatever vantage point you select.

Mount Ranier (StreetView)
Mount Ranier

Seattle is a fabulous place to visit, and is easily accessible with the SeaTac Airport close by. So, take some time to plan a trip to this energetic, unique and growing city.

Whether you’re there for a few days or few weeks, you’ll find so much to see and enjoy, you’ll be planning your next trip before you leave!

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What's North Korea Really Like?

Thursday, Jun 28 2018 by

North Korea is always in the news these days, but for as much as we hear about the country, most people know very little about the so-called “Hermit Kingdom”.

It’s difficult to get permission to enter the country, and tourists are required to have North Korean escorts whenever they leave special tourist zones. Pictures are often staged or prohibited outright, so even those who see the country often cannot show what it is really like.

For those not lucky or daring enough to visit the country in person, we’ve got a virtual tour right here!

Pyongyang

Pyongyang is the capital and largest city, with over three million people. It was bombed heavily during the Korean War, and rebuilt with a Soviet communist influence. Huge grey buildings dominate the landscape in much of the city.

Pyongyang skyline (StreetView)
Pyongyang skyline

 

Tower of Juche Ideal

The 560 foot monument commemorates the 70th birthday of regime founder Kim Il Sung and the principles that he used to create his own brand of nationalist communism. He preached a unique blend of self-reliance, independence, and communism, which North Koreans call “Juche” that has molded the country’s outlook.

The Tower of Juche Ideal reminds viewers of their strong values and encourages unity against all outside forces.

Tower of the Juche Ideal (Juche Sasang Tap) (Google Maps)
Tower of the Juche Ideal (Juche Sasang Tap)

Tourists can visit the top of the tower, which is the second tallest tower in the world.

Juche Tower & Worker's Party of Korea statue (StreetView)
Juche Tower & Worker's Party of Korea statue

Ryugyong Hotel

This hotel, nicknamed the “Hotel of Doom” is the largest structure in North Korea, but it is still uncompleted. It was supposed to be completed in 1989, but it was beset by a multitude of delays and problems.

Construction briefly resumed in 2008 but again stopped in 2013, and has not progressed since then.

Nonetheless, it is the tallest building in North Korea and the uniquely design pyramid structure dominates the Pyongyang skyline.

Ryugyong Hotel (tallest building in North Korea) (Google Maps)
Ryugyong Hotel (tallest building in North Korea)

Kaeson Amusement Park

Not everything in North Korea is about working for the good of the state. The Kaeson Amusement Park in Pyongyang is a small fun park with at least ten rides, including a roller coaster imported from Italy.

Happiest Place in North Korea (Google Maps)
Happiest Place in North Korea

USS Pueblo

In 1968, the American spy ship the USS Pueblo was captured by a North Korean submarine in a highly disputed international event which has never been resolved. American soldiers were held in prisoner of war camps for nearly a year before being released, in terrible health conditions, over the Bridge of No Return.

The ship has been on display as part of a larger museum system since 2013.

USS Pueblo (Google Maps)
USS Pueblo

Demilitarized Zone

The two Koreas have had a tenuous peace since the cessation of hostilities in 1953, but the war between them is technically not over. A line was drawn between the two countries in 1953 as part of the ceasefire, which has been called the Military Demarcation Line.

Along either side of this line is the demilitarized zone, DMZ, which serves as a buffer between the two countries to reduce potential hostilities.

Small Military position next to DMZ, North Korea (Google Maps)
Small Military position next to DMZ, North Korea

However, many military bases, installations and temporary facilities have been established right along the Zone, and North Korea is constantly found to be in violation of the DMZ space. For example, they have attempted several times to tunnel under the Zone into South Korea.

3rd Infiltration Tunnel (Google Maps)
3rd Infiltration Tunnel

Bridge of No Return

Tourists and normal visitors cannot visit the DMZ, but soldiers are stationed all along the border of the DMZ, in a constant state of readiness.

The Bridge of No Return was constructed after the war to allow prisoners of war to cross back into their country of origin. It earned its nickname when prisoners held by South Korea were taken to the bridge and given the chance to remain in the democratic South Korea, or return to communist North Korea.

If they crossed the bridge, they could never return, which is how it earned its name.

Bridge of No Return (Google Maps)
Bridge of No Return

Panmunjom

Nicknamed the “Truce Village”, Panmunjom is a former village where the armistice was signed in 1953.

Truce Village, The (Google Maps)
Truce Village, The

It has since become a site of high tensions, where propaganda is continually broadcast from North Korea in an attempt to intimidate South Korean soldiers and convince their North Korean counterparts that their government is superior.

It has been in the news recently as high-level talks between North and South Korea, and even a potential site for talks between North Korean and US officials in relation to the proposed meeting between President Donald Trump and Leader Kim Jung Un.

Kijong-dong (Google Maps)
Kijong-dong

Guard Post Ouellette

On the South Korean size is the Guard Post Ouellette, where presidents, prime ministers and other government officials go to see the DMZ firsthand. Tourists can get relatively close to the DMZ, but cannot visit Guard Posts or military camps, as they are always on high alert and not suitable for civilians.

Guard Post (OP) Ouellette (Google Maps)
Guard Post (OP) Ouellette

The country of North Korea is fascinating, and out of reach for most of us, except for a virtual guide. The country puts so much effort into projecting a strong and confident image, but even a virtual tour shows that the country lags behind most of the world in progress and independence.

If you ever make it to North Korea, be careful and let us know all about your trip when you return!

 

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Great British Castles

Thursday, Jun 7 2018 by

With all the focus on the recent royal wedding between Prince Harry and Megan Markle, it’s a perfect time to take a virtual tour of some of Britain’s amazing castles. There’s Windsor, where Harry and Megan were married, and Buckingham in London, but there are many more castles all throughout Great Britain that can take your breath away.

Windsor Castle

Windsor Castle, located outside London, is the largest inhabited castle in the world, with a permanent staff in residence since the queen and her entourage stay there most weekends. It was built by William the Conqueror, and has continually been inhabited by aristocracy and royalty since then, making it the longest-inhabited castle in Europe.

It has a classic fortification encompassing 13 acres, complete with a small town, a church, a motte and bailey design, and a keep in the center of the castle grounds.

Windsor Castle (Birds Eye)
Windsor Castle

The King Henry VIII Gate is a prominent and attractive entrance to the lower ward of the castle grounds.

King Henry VIII Gate at Windsor Castle (StreetView)
King Henry VIII Gate at Windsor Castle

St. George’s Chapel has recently gained international fame as the venue for the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Megan Marke in May 2018. The Gothic structure can hold about 800 people for such events. It is the resting place of many kings, queens and other royalty, including Henry VIII, Jane Seymour, George V and George VI and their wives, and it is the planned resting place of the current queen, Queen Elizabeth II and her immediate family members.

St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle (Birds Eye)
St. George's Chapel, Windsor Castle

Buckingham Palace

Easily the most famous castle in Great Britain, Buckingham Palace is located in Westminister, a small city within London. It has been the main royal residence since Queen Victoria, and now serves as the administrative center for Queen Elizabeth II.

Buckingham Palace (Birds Eye)
Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace itself is an iconic part of the royal image. Tourists from around the world gather to view the royal residence, hoping to catch a glimpse of Prince William or Harry, and have a little fun thinking about what it’s like to be royalty.

Buckingham Palace (StreetView)
Buckingham Palace

Visitors love to see the changing of the guard, a ritual as famous as the palace itself. The Queen’s Guard, in their iconic red jackets and tall bearskin hats, march back and forth in front of the main gate, keeping the queen safe and tradition in tact.

Changing of the Guard, Buckingham Palace (StreetView)
Changing of the Guard, Buckingham Palace

Warwick Castle

Warwick Castle is an ancient castle originally built at the time of William the Conqueror and reinforced over the next few hundred years as it played vital roles in several wars throughout England’s history. It played a crucial role in the coming to power of the first major royal dynasty, the Plantagenet family.

Warwick Castle (Birds Eye)
Warwick Castle

The castle has iconic medieval features including large towers, the motte and bailey design, and a dungeon complete with torture devices. The castle has daily showcases of castle life including jousting and tournament events. Additionally, exciting amateur but accurate battle reenactments often take place outside and around the castle.

Medieval encampment at Warwick Castle (StreetView)
Medieval encampment at Warwick Castle

Stirling Castle

Anyone who has seen Braveheart or is familiar with Scottish history will know how important Stirling Castle is. Stirling Castle is built on a large hill that has been home to fortifications and settlements since at least the third century CE. Some even believe it is where King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table met.

Stirling Castle (Google Maps)
Stirling Castle

The first castle was constructed around 1110, and was a major center of Scottish government by 1200. Most of the castle structures and fortifications were built in the 1400s and 1500s. Several battles between England and Scotland during the Wars of Scottish Independence were fought here, including the famed Battle of Stirling Bridge where the outnumbered Scots routed the English. However, success was fleeting and the war continued for several more decades. England and Scotland continued to fight one another until their eventual unification in 1707.

Stirling Castle (StreetView)
Stirling Castle

William Wallace, the hero of the Battle of Stirling Bridge, was so famed for his bravery and merciless efforts for Scottish independence that when he was captured by English forces, the King ordered him hanged, drawn and quartered. Wallace is now a Scottish national hero, and the Wallace Monument in Stirling honors his memory.

William Wallace statue (StreetView)
William Wallace statue

Hever Castle

Hever Castle in Kent, England, has been around since the 1200s and was enlarged and enhanced in the 1400s, with a distinct Tudor influence on the design. The strong Tudor influence can be felt throughout the castle and the grounds, including a Tudor style garden maze.

Hever Castle maze (Bing Maps)
Hever Castle maze

However, it later fell into disrepair and it wasn’t until American millionaire William Waldorf Astor purchased it that it was renovated for use as his private residence. It was eventually sold and is now open to the public.

Hever Castle (Google Maps)
Hever Castle

It was particularly important in Tudor England, as it is the childhood home of Ann Boleyn, second wife of Henry VIII. It was later given to Anne of Cleves, the fourth wife of Henry VIII.

British history is much older and broader than even these castles can show, but they are am important and famous part of the history and country. Anyone who wants to really get a feel for the island’s history must make sure to stop at at least one castle!

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Romantic Cities Around the World

Wednesday, May 30 2018 by

Ah, true love. No matter where you are, when you’re with the one you love, it feels like you’re in paradise. Everyone knows Paris is a great place for lovers, but it’s not the only place in the world that two can fall more in love. If you’re in love, visit one of these cities. Your love will feel even stronger because of the magic in the air.

Buenos Aires, Argentina

With tango as the city’s unofficial pastime, how can Buenos Aires not be on the list of romantic destinations?

Nothing is more romantic than strolling through a beautiful park, and Rosedal de Palermo is one of the best. With a combination of manicured paths, secluded corners, rose gardens and fountains to enhance the romance, this is one place to be when you’re in love.

Rosedal de Palermo (Google Maps)
Rosedal de Palermo

After your stroll, you and your love might spend a romantic evening at the theater. Teatro Colon, built at the turn of the last century, has grandiose chandeliers, raised balconies, vaulted ceilings and beautiful detailing that inspire romance and connection no matter where you sit.

Teatro Colón (Google Maps)
Teatro Colón

Kyoto, Japan

Smaller and more intimate than than Tokyo, Kyoto is the perfect place for lovers because of the unique combination of history, delicate architecture and natural beauty.

Sakura Alley, also known as Cherry Blossom Alley, is a veritable tunnel of trees, especially when the trees blossom in the spring. Imagine two lovebirds walking hand in hand down the lane, blossoms above them, falling from the trees and pooling at their feet. It’s picture perfect!

Sakura (Cherry blossom) alley (StreetView)
Sakura (Cherry blossom) alley

Jishu Shrine may be the most important place for lovers in Japan. Known as “the Cupid of Japan” the shrine has two stones where, if a person can walk from one to the other with their eyes closed, their wishes for love will be fulfilled. It has so much success that there are plaques from grateful couples who have visited the shrine.

Jishu Shrine
Photo Credit: Fast Japan

Marrakesh, Morocco

Located at the feet of the Atlas Mountains, Marrakesh seduces all who visit with it’s beautiful vistas, lush greenery and exotic smells and sounds.

The Majorelle Gardens are an oasis in the desert of Marrahesh. Visitors can experience much of the native flora and fauna, including rare bird species native to North Africa. They can also rest at pools full of beautiful lilies and enjoy the smells of a lush African garden.

Majorelle Garden (Yves Saint-Laurent's retreat) (Google Maps)
Majorelle Garden (Yves Saint-Laurent's retreat)

Jemaa el-Fnaa is the ancient city’s town square and market. During the day, visitors can mix with locals, buy juice or water and be entertained by trained monkeys and snake charmers. In the evening, the market becomes more animated, with food stalls, retail shops, cafes and entertainment taking place all around. The dynamic feeling of the square makes you feel more alive and more in love than ever before!

Jemaa el-Fnaa (StreetView)
Jemaa el-Fnaa

New York City, New York

New York is always the place to be, and there’s no exception for lovers! The energy and spirit of the city can’t help but energize visitors and leave them feeling passionate about life and love.

Central Park is the perfect place for lovers. A refuge in the middle of the city allows lovers to relax, focus on their emotions and make memories among beautiful landscapes. There’s no bad time to visit the park, and couples will always leave with greater passion for one another.

The Blockhouse (Oldest Building in NYC's Central Park) (Google Maps)
The Blockhouse (Oldest Building in NYC's Central Park)

The Empire State Building does love well. Each Valentine’s Day it lights up with a heart to celebrate love.

Empire State Building and One World Trade Center at night (StreetView)
Empire State Building and One World Trade Center at night

Visitors can go to the top and take in the breathtaking views of the city, or they can spy the landmark throughout the city, taking in the building’s grandeur from wherever they are in the city.

Empire State Building (Birds Eye)
Empire State Building

If you’re in love, whether it’s new or old, visiting these cities will be sure to increase the passion, love and companionship that you and your partner share.

(Comments)

Female Icons and Their Amazing Homes

Thursday, May 10 2018 by

Many people dream of making it big in fashion, music or entertainment, but having success in these careers requires a lot of hard work, dedication, talent and luck. These women have worked hard and achieved lifelong dreams of success and influence, and have luxurious lifestyles and amazing homes to show for it.

Meryl Streep

Well-known and regarded as the best actress in a generation, Meryl Strep has been active in Hollywood for more than 40 years, earning a record 21 Academy Award nominations and three Oscars. She has countless other nominations and awards to her credit as well. Her reputation is iron clad, and she has used her reputation to advocate for pay and publicity parity among men and women in Hollywood.

She and her family have primarily resided in a private estate in Salisbury, Connecticut since 1985, where her sculptor husband has a large studio for his work and where they could raise their four children.

Meryl Streep's House (Birds Eye)
Meryl Streep's House

Anna Wintour

Anna Wintour, fashion influencer and icon, was born and raised in England, and started her fashion journalism career there under the tutelage of her father. She moved to New York City and worked for several magazines and publications before settling in at Vogue as the creative director and eventually it’s editor. Since then, she has been a major figure in New York fashion circles, with her signature bob and sunglasses. The book and film The Devil Wears Prada was based on her and the magazine.

Anna was married for about 15 years, and has two children from the marriage. She has long owned a townhouse in an exclusive enclave in Greenwich Village.

Anna Wintour's House (StreetView)
Anna Wintour's House

She also owns a home in Mastic Beach, on Long Island. She has said the community is “white trash” but loves the area regardless.

Anna Wintour's house (Birds Eye)
Anna Wintour's house

Beyonce

Beyonce rose to fame as part of the music group Destiny’s Child, and has since become one of the biggest superstars of all time. She has a successful acting career, as well as fashion lines, music management and her success as a solo artist. She has become a crossover influencer, with devoted fans across the globe nicknamed the BeyHive. She is one of the best selling artists of all time, the most-nominated Grammy artist, and even has college courses taught on her music, cultural influence and impact on society.

She married fellow musician Jay-Z in 2008, and while their relationship has been mostly private, the powerhouse couple have ruled over the music industry for a decade. They have three children, and several homes across the country.

After leasing several homes in and around Los Angeles, the couple bought a mansion for nearly $90 million in 2017. It has 30,000 square feet of interior space, a spa, many luxurious amenities and four outdoor pools.

Jay-Z and Beyoncé's House (Google Maps)
Jay-Z and Beyoncé's House

Also in 2017, Beyonce and Jay-Z purchased a $26 million home in East Hampton, NY. The 100 year home sits on two acres. The previous owner rotated the entire home 90 degrees so the living room overlooks the pond and is perfect for sunset viewing.

Jay-Z and Beyonce's House (Birds Eye)
Jay-Z and Beyonce's House

Oprah Winfrey

There’s no one category to hold Oprah Winfrey: Television host who defined and redefined the concept, actress, producer, media mogul, and all over media icon.

Oprah rose to prominence as a daytime talk show host in the 1980 and became famous for her personable and frank interviews, openness with her audience and charisma. Her book club became so popular it would rocket authors to the best seller list overnight. Appearing on her show had the potential to create lasting fame and success for her guests, like Dr. Phil and Dr. Oz, who have gone on to have successful television careers of their own.

She has also starred in, produced and backed several box office and critically successful films. She ended her talk show in 2011, but has continued to produce, sponsor and support television and film projects, as well as run a monthly magazine.

Oprah has a 65 acre estate named The Promised Land in Montecito, CA. She has renovated and expanded the estate since purchasing it in 2001. The mansion itself is over 23,000 square feet.

Oprah Winfrey's House (Google Maps)
Oprah Winfrey's House

Not to be outdone by her California home, Oprah has a 163 acre estate in Kula, on the Hawaiian island Maui. In addition to a lovely white mansion, she has an expansive garden that grows over 100 types of organic fruits, vegetables and herbs. It is truly a paradise.

Oprah Winfrey's House (Bing Maps)
Oprah Winfrey's House

These icons have shown how it’s done-find something you love, something you can do better than anyone else, and work harder than anyone else is willing to work. If you do that, you too can reach the pinnacle of success in your area of expertise. And maybe, you too can own a piece of your own personal paradise.

 

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MLB Stadiums You Have to Visit

Wednesday, Apr 11 2018 by

Baseball season is just around the corner, and fans across the United States and Canada will be rushing to their favorite stadium on opening day with all the hope and excitement of a new season and a fresh chance for a World Series win.

Baseball isn’t just about the game, though, it’s about the experience, from getting tickets to entering the stadium, getting your hot dog and joining the crowd to cheer on your team, yelling at the umpire, and singing along at the seventh inning stretch like your team’s win depends on it.

If you want to have a truly great fan experience at a baseball game, you should definitely visit these stadiums this season.

Wrigley Field

One of the oldest and most legendary stadiums, Wrigley Field has been in use since 1914, and the Cubs have been playing there since 1916. Nicknamed “the Friendly Confines” the stadium is regularly listed among the best places to catch a game.

Wrigley Field (Birds Eye)
Wrigley Field

The stadium has been renovated but retains its retro design, and green ivy that grows along the outfield wall adds to the charm. It has a unique atmosphere and dedicated fans that make watching a game here an experience to remember.

Wrigley Field (StreetView)
Wrigley Field

Dodger Stadium

Dodger Stadium is the largest stadium in the stadium in the league, and one of the oldest too. The Dodgers were originally from Brooklyn, but a dispute with the city led the owner to move the team to Los Angeles in 1957.

The stadium hosts great games because the fans are dedicated and intense, and the field itself seems to make for great games. There have been 12 “no hitters” including two “perfect games” in the stadium, which is a remarkable feat. Not only are the games great, but the Dodger Dog is considered the best hot dog of them all.

Dodger Stadium (Birds Eye)
Dodger Stadium

Camden Yards

Camden Yards in Baltimore is known for the great game day atmosphere. The entire neighborhood comes alive for home games. The food is amazing too, often being ranked as the best or among the best of all the MLB parks. Even though Camden Yards was only built in 1992, it is still among the oldest parks, and has a great historical feel due to the design.

Oriole Park at Camden Yard (Birds Eye)
Oriole Park at Camden Yard

Baltimore is home to baseball’s greatest legend, Babe Ruth. He grew up in a working class family and baseball was his ticket out of a life of hard labor. He ended up being the best home run hitter of the ages, setting records that lasted for half a century and creating a legacy that lives on today. Outside the stadium there is a statue honoring the hometown hero, depicting him as a young player, looking forward to his future in baseball.

Babe Ruth statue (StreetView)
Babe Ruth statue

Yankee Stadium

The New York Yankees have been around since 1901, and have won more World Series titles than any other team. The team played in the original Yankee Stadium for 85 years, until they moved in 2008 to the current Yankee Stadium. Because the old stadium was so famous and historic, the new stadium had to be sure to pay proper homage to the original stadium, including a similar exterior, iconic designs like the frieze on the upper deck, and a significant amount of memorabilia displayed throughout the stadium.

Yankee Stadium (Birds Eye)
Yankee Stadium

A construction worker who was a fan of the rival Boston Red Sox placed a Red Sox jersey in the foundation, but after he told coworkers, they exhumed the jersey. Later he claimed to have left other memorabilia as an attempt to put a curse on the stadium, but it clearly did not work, since the Yankees won the World Series the year they began playing in the new stadium. What a way to break it in!

New Yankee Stadium (Google Maps)
New Yankee Stadium

Fenway Park

Fenway Park in Boston is home to the Boston Red Sox. It is not the fanciest or newest stadium, and is one of the smallest stadiums, but it is possibly the most beloved stadium in all of baseball, and one of the most famous sports venues in the world. It has been around since 1912, when it hosted the World Series in its inaugural season, which the Red Sox won.

Fenway Park (Birds Eye)
Fenway Park

The fans are incredible, and love to watch their team. The team has sold out over 450 games in a row! Because of the stadium’s age, it has undergone several renovations, leading to some unique features in the stadium. The Green Monster, the giant green wall in left field, is so famous that it has lent its name to the Red Sox mascot, Wally the Green Monster.

Outside the Gate B entrance to the stadium is a statue named Teammates, of players Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Johnny Pesky, and Dom DiMaggio,  who played together in Boston for seven seasons.

Boston Teammates statue (StreetView)
Boston Teammates statue

After taking a look at these stadiums, it’s hard not to be excited for opening day, no matter what team you’re cheering for!

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