“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain
Berlin’s dark past collides with a new generation that acknowledges the atrocities of two world wars while simultaneously reinventing itself as a destination of culture, nightlife, and creative expression. Plan on sleeping on your return flight because it won’t happen here. Nightlife gets kicking around 1 a.m.
This five-star property recently underwent a renovation and offers a serene escape from the nearby bustle of Galeries Lafayette and historical landmarks including Checkpoint Charlie and Gendarmenmarkt.
Two historical German houses of Chocolate, Fassbender (founded in 1863) and Rausch (founded in 1890) joined forces in 1999 to establish Fassbender & Rausch Chocolatiers. Family-run for four generations, the company now produces more than 300 varieties of confectionery delights.
Vegas, baby. There’s nothing like it. Roo’s mission: an extreme adventure that had me indoor skydiving, race car driving, and drinking my way through one of the most unique cocktail menus in the country.
“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars,” wrote Oscar Wilde in his play Lady Windermere’s Fan. Dramatic—yes—but a sentiment that pervades the salt of the earth attitude of Dubliners as well as Ireland’s perseverance as a whole. In spite of a struggling economy, Dublin is pulling itself up by its bootstraps and putting on a damn good hooley show.
Roo is kissing 2012 goodbye and welcoming 2013 with a fresh new look—hey, we all need a makeover now and then, right? But before we close the door on the past year, let’s take a look at Roo’s adventures, which may inspire your own travel plans for the coming year!
Francophiles know her well as a chanteuse of stage and screen. And according to her biography, Kaas “is considered the most popular female artist in Russia”. Live Nation Entertainment brought Kaas to Carnegie Hall this week to present her tribute to Edith Piaf, “KAAS CHANTE PIAF”. Yes, it’s in all caps and replicates the over-the-top performance that Kaas delivered.
Interwoven with video footage, modern dance, couture costumes and the fiercest high heels in Carnegie Hall/drag queen history, Kaas chewed her way through the Piaf cannon, including classics like “Hymn to Love” as well as lesser-known recordings like “La Belle Histoire d’amour”.
The evening wore on with dramatic poses and clenched fists. At one point she donned boxing gloves and in the next moment pummeled the air with clenched fists as if to say, “Yes, Carnegie Hall, I HAVE ARRIVED.” A dramatic full moon finale with Kaas decked out in a shag overcoat reminded me of Old Deuteronomy from Catsbut apparently budget didn’t allow for the tire.
While the evening proved entertaining by the sheer dramaticism of it all, Kaas fell short in one critical area: her voice. Wrapped in smoke and fervor, her tone fearlessly attacked each song, but couldn’t come close to the piercing vibrancy of Piaf’s original performances. The most glaring example coming at the end of the evening during one of the several curtain calls, when the ensemble stood in tableau while an old recording showed the muscle and vulnerability of its originator.
Arranged by Abel Korzeniowski and recorded by the Royal Philharmonic, the music’s re-interpretation elevated the song cycle to a kind of most-modern cabaret-meets-performance art, but a style more befitting BAM than Carnegie Hall.
Kaas saw none of this, for she was so wrapped up in her own performance that the force-fed standing ovation appeared as haunting and awkward as Piaf’s last marriage to hairdresser-turned-actor Théo Sarapo.