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Monthly Archives: February 2007

Waiter Rant

It took me some time to vote for the Travvies, mainly because I carefully inspected all the finalists and also the nominees, because methodically as I sometimes am, I wanted to know whether I missed something. The reading took me to some lists of travel writers and also to the 2007 Bloggies and found there Waiter Rant.

The writer remains anonymous because:

There are many books about waiting tables penned by frustrated authors and wannabe loser actors, so why should I add my tiny voice to the fray? Because all of these treatments are milquestoast pussywhipped stories written so as not to offend anyone. I read these books and I get a sneaking suspicion that the author is afraid he/she will be found out and lose their job. Inhibited bullshit. F*ck that.

I will remain anonymous so I can tell people what this job and working in the great American “service economy” is really like! All I will say is I am a waiter in a high end restaurant in the NYC area. The stories are true but some of the names have been changed to protect the innocent ( and my self form litigious customers!).

An excellently written Blog I do agree with the Bloggies.

Also nice to see that my Chocolate and Zucchini find is nominated for 2007.

Travvies 2007: Best Travel Blog Awards: open voor voting

Travvies 2007

Upgrade: Travel Better is a blog that mainly describes techniques about how to get a better flying deal by obtaining an upgrade.

On February 2 the author had launched in 2007 Travvies: Best Travel Blog Awards the nomination for the best travel blogs awards in several categories.

Under the nominees were several blogs you will find in my right column, including a shameless bit of self promotion by yours truly.

Today the Finalists were published:

FINALISTS: BEST TRAVEL BLOG:

  • Gridskipper.

    Gridskipper is the well known decadent guide to the best in worldwide urban travel. Hotels, restaurants, clubs, flights, and sights all get their due, but we also pay lascivious attention to sex, entertainment, events, and insider advice on where to find the hottest local debauchery. On or off the grid, Gridskipper spotlights the upscale and the underbelly of global city culture.

    One of my resources for quite some time. Although I dislike their arrogance and platitudes sometimes, I give them my vote after considering the next nominated:

  • Brave New Traveler.

    We’re dedicated to publishing high quality content on the nature of travel in the 21st century – everything from useful on line travel tools, entertaining and inspiring travel websites, to exploring the philosophy of travel and the blessing (or curse) of globalization.

    Who Should Read Brave New Traveler?

    Are you someone who loves to wake up in the morning and wonder where they’ll be in the afternoon? Do you enjoy meeting interesting characters from around the world, and learning about their diverse cultures? Do you love travel and want to keep up on the latest on line tools to make your traveling easier, and your travel writing.

  • Girl Solo in Arabia

    Carolyn McIntyre will travel from the Moroccan City of Tangiers through 46 countries as she attempts to recreate an epic journey made 700 years ago by the famed Islamic scholar and traveler Ibn Battuta. Arabist, Middle East political analyst and award-winning expedition creator to Asia, Carolyn has almost three decades of living, working and traveling in the Middle East. A real-life ‘Indiana Jones’ meets ‘Holly Golightly’, her own wanderlust has taken her to all parts of the globe but her specialty lies in her extensive knowledge of and unique insight into, the Arab and Islamic worlds.

    It is very pity Carolyn is not nominated for the best single-author category. Would it have been I would have given her my vote.

  • National Geographic Inside Traveler By Jessie Johnston and Emily King. Difficult to navigate!
  • Newyorkology.

    NewYorkology is a guide to New York City updated daily with the latest openings, closings and reviews to help you plan your trip and know what to do if you’re already here.

    It is a rich source for anything connected with NYC. Consequently it gets my vote in the destination category.

FINALISTS: BEST DESTINATION BLOG:

  • Newyorkology See above.
  • Let’s Visit Asia. A B5media Blog writen by Ruth Schaffer:

    I currently write Let’s Visit Asia and Eating Fabulous for b5media, and The Biotech Weblog the Allergizer for Creative Weblogging.

    My interest in Asia travel was born out of work-related travel assignments in Southeast Asia (I am a Microbiologist by training, and used to work on experimental research for an international agricultural research institute). But the craving burgeoned when I relocated to Europe. It seems ironic, but amidst castle ruins and cobblestone streets, I found myself longing for exactly that place which is practically out-of-reach: Asia. Sunny, warm Southeast Asia, in particular. My top destination? The Philippines, of course.

    Next to traveling, eating is my favorite pastime. Luckily I have no problems with my weight. I strongly believe it’s matter of what one eats and how much, and if you can get the balance right, there’s no reason one should miss out on delectable goodies. I absolutely despise being told about stuff I shouldn’t eat. And that’s why EatingFabulous was born. A blog about functional foods and nutraceuticals.

  • Europe String. Also a B5media Blog

    Blogger FAQ

    Who are you? My name is Melissa Petri and I am one of b5media’s travel bloggers. I will be blogging about Travelling Europe on a Budget or Europe String.

    What exactly will you be posting? Tips and tips galore. I think a quick look at the categories I chose would give you an idea of the kind of information I will be sharing.

    Break bread – cheap eats in and around the continent
    Commute – cheaper ways of getting around, whether by land, sea or air
    Forty Winks – where to sleep; from hostels to sleeping at airports
    Did you know? – travel trivia
    Economy-sized tour – focused on a particular city with combination of info
    NEWS – latest budget travel news
    of bandannas and backpacks – featured pictures of readers and their budget traveling experience
    Armchair Traveler

    Are you qualified to blog about travel? Architecture may have been my initial vocation but I have earned my PhD in packing light and choosing the best hotels through years of practice. I am an expatriate in Germany; and count the USA, HongKong, China and Korea in my adoptive land list. Now that I have grown roots in Frankfurt, I have yet to give up my semi-nomadic life as I continue to traipse around the world for business and leisure.

  • JohnnyJet, written by Johnny Jet:

    I used to be afraid to fly (long story). Moved to California from Connecticut at 21– that’s when I conquered my fear. In college I started dating a bona fide princess from Hong Kong. She was accustomed to flying Biz Class. I had ONLY flown coach — and I had never been overseas. When she invited me home, I couldn’t let the opportunity slip by. I (okay, my dad) bought the seat next to her from a consolidator. I picked the right time to have my first out-of-coach experience. WOW! What a difference– A nice phat seat, some hot towels, a little sorbet to clean the palate, non-stop food, beverages and movies. When I returned to the U.S. I felt like a new man. I started working as a college recruiter. While traveling my 26-state territory on a tight budget, I learned traveling in style on a budget was possible. I started a weekly newsletter and JohnnyJet.com to share my tips. Three months later USAToday made JohnnyJet.com website of the week and now it’s my full time job.

  • Yucatan Living.

    This on line magazine is for expatriates who are living, working and playing in Yucatan, but especially for those who are discovering this unique location as a possible destination for retirement, starting a new business or owning a second home. Yucatan Living is also a favorite resource for people who prefer to explore this region and its special culture beyond what most tourist websites and guidebooks usually recommend.
    Yucatan Living covers practical subjects like the immigration process in Merida. We publish local color stories that reveal the variety of lifestyle choices available to new arrivals. We interview expatriates who already live and work in the area to tell how they made a success of moving here. Of course, we also research local services and offer insight into the common problems people face while adapting to a new culture and language.

    Not so much a travel Blog as a blog about the foreigner’s (expat) view to a certain area. Interesting indeed.

FINALISTS: BEST INFORMATIVE/PRACTICAL TRAVEL BLOG:

  • The Perrin Post.

    With over 15 years as Conde Nast Traveler’s consumer affairs expert Wendelin Perrin has an infinite store of timely and practical advice and insights on everything from the best hotel deal to navigating airport security.

    My choice from the 5 finalists.

  • Cheapest Destinations Blog.

    Tim Leffel is author of The World’s Cheapest Destinations, as well as Make Your Travel Dollars Worth a Fortune: The Contrarian Traveler’s Guide to Getting More for Less. He is also editor of Perceptive Travel (http://www.perceptivetravel.com/).

  • The Cranky Flier.

    Hello. My name is Brett, and I’m an airline dork. I’ve had the bug since I was young. By the age of 12, I was a travel agent. Since then, I’ve worked for USAir, America West, Eos, and United mostly in revenue management, marketing, and sales. Today, I run PriceGrabber.com Travel. As you can imagine, these views are mine and mine alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of my employer.

  • View From the Wing.

    FlyerTalk, part of the WebFlyer Network, features discussions and chat boards that covers the most up-to-date traveler information. An interactive community dedicated to your favorite topic: travel! That’s right: all travel, all the time. The FlyerTalk forums are open for business 24 hours, 7 days a week. Even better, all travelers — from vacation travelers to mileage junkies — are welcome in the community. Just choose a forum and you can get to the business at hand: conversing about programs, how to make the most of your miles and points, general travel, airports, destination and dining information.

  • Today in Travel. Seems to me a place where they just clonk unedited stuff. Not my style.

FINALISTS: BEST GROUP-WRITTEN TRAVEL BLOG:

  • Brave New Traveler See above. It got my vote as Grid something got already my vote.
  • Gridskipper See above.
  • Vagablogging

    Rolf Potts has reported from more than fifty countries for the likes of National Geographic Traveler, National Geographic Adventure, Conde Nast Traveler, Slate.com, Outside, Islands, Surfer, Outpost, the San Francisco Chronicle Magazine, WorldHum.com, The Guardian (U.K.), and National Public Radio. Currently a travel columnist for Yahoo! News (and formerly a travel columnist for Salon.com), his adventures have taken him across five continents, and include piloting a fishing boat 900 miles down the Laotian Mekong, hitchhiking across Eastern Europe, traversing Israel on foot, bicycling across Burma, and driving a Land Rover from Sunnyvale, California to Ushuaia, Argentina.

    Potts is perhaps best known for promoting the ethic of independent travel, and his book on the subject, Vagabonding: An Uncommon Guide to the Art of Long-Term World Travel (Random House, 2003), has been through six printings and translated into several foreign languages. His writing has also been featured in nearly twenty literary travel anthologies, and thirteen of his essays have been short-listed for Houghton Mifflin’s annual Best American Travel Writing collection — including the gonzo classic “Storming ‘The Beach’”, which Bill Bryson chose as a main selection in 2000, and “Tantric Sex for Dilettantes,” which Tim Cahill selected in 2006. His writing for National Geographic Traveler, Slate.com, and Outside garnered him Lowell Thomas Awards in 2003, 2004 and 2006; and he’s been cited as an expert on independent travel by publications around the world, from National Geographic Adventure, to TIME Asia, to Italy’s La Stampa daily, to the Australian Financial Review.

    Though he keeps no permanent residence, Potts feels somewhat at home in Bangkok, Cairo, Pusan, New Orleans, and north-central Kansas, where he keeps a small farmhouse on 30 acres near his family. Each July he can be found in France, where he is the summer writer-in-residence at the Paris American Academy.

    Impressive piece of self promotion :-)!

  • triphub Group Trip Advisor. By Jocelyn Milici:

    A Blog dedicated to Group Travel.
    A little background on me: I’ve worked in online travel for the last eight years (including producing and managing content at Expedia for nearly five years), traveled the globe (from Hawaii to Israel), helped organize events (from presidential campaigns to local auctions), planned numerous group trips (family and friend get-togethers mainly), and have felt the pain of using inefficient methods of planning a trip or an event with groups involved – email after email, endless phone calls, trying to keep track of RSVPs, accommodating changes. So many wasted hours keeping all the details straight! My hope is to help create group travel efficiency in any way possible by sharing and stimulating discussions.

  • Lost Girls’ World.

    Three twenty-something New Yorkers who ditched their media jobs to embark on a yearlong, round-the-world journey in search of adventure and inspiration. To find out what prompted them to leave everything familiar behind.

    First impression is a Blog about their whereabouts….

FINALISTS: BEST SINGLE-AUTHOR TRAVEL BLOG:

  • Killing Batteries. Leif Pettersen’s battery-powered rise to the zenith of travel writing rapture… I love it! I vote it! (sorry Carolyn).
  • AdventureGirl. The travel stories of a Flight Attendant who started in November 2004
  • The Cranky Flier. See above.
  • Flight Level 390. A blog of an Airline Pilot which gives the reader an insider view with photo’s added.
  • Travel Sweeps. About Travel Sweepstakes. Not my cup of tea.

FINALISTS: BEST PHOTOGRAPHY ON A TRAVEL BLOG:

  • Exposed Planet. A photo Blog of a fellow Dutchman, Harry Kikstra (36) who climbed 7 summits and also is a expedition leader/ photographer/ filmmaker/ producer/ writer and more. His statement:

    I have started ExposedPlanet.com not only as a way to show my portfolio, but also to share the beauty of our planet. Nowadays negative press & media might make people scared of everything foreign or different: culture, religion, people and the places themselves. This xenophobia is taking over our lives and prevents us from seeing the real world as it is: a wonderful place with beautiful people. There are no bad or evil countries, religions or people. There is bad and good people in every culture, including your own.

    Nice statement and nice site! I’ll consider it for my vote….It gets my vote.

  • Life Vicarious.
    My name is Christian Wagner and I am a 31 year old guy from Newport Beach, CA who loves to travel and take pictures. I have taken a number of international trips over the past 4 years and have decided to take a slightly longer trip. On September 29th, 2006 I take off on what will be a 448 day journey around the world. The plan is to cover 6 of the 7 continents (not going to Antartica, at least I don’t think I will but you never know!) and who knows how many countries. Along the way I will be keeping a daily photoblog chronicling the trip. And hopefully a story or two will accompany some of the photos.

    Very nice photos!

  • Michael Simon on the Road Blog seems to be discontinued. So not my vote, although nice photos!
  • Flight Level 390 A blog of an Airline Pilot which gives the reader an insider view with photo’s added. Not eligible for my vote in this category.
  • Notes From the Road To me this seems more like an anti developer Blog than a photo Blog. Wrong category, but see the comments to this post.

Also the members of the Jury were introduced.

Time to Vote which is possible until March 1, 2007.

Note: From time to time, after checking the nominees, I’ll add my findings to this post and order them according to my own preference.

Dutch Erfgoed (=Heritage) Hotels changes name into Historic Hotels of the Benelux

ERFGOEDHOTELS OLD SITE

The association of Dutch Heritage hotels by the name of Erfgoed Hotels Benelux (erfgoed = Dutch for heritage) has changed its name into Historic Hotels of the Benelux. Its nice new brochure has already the new lay out. When everything goes all right, its old lay out of its website here above will change into the new lay out here below this week:

HISTORIC HOTELS BENELUX

Historic Hotels of the Benelux is a member of Historic Hotels of Europe.

Historic Hotels of Europe is a partner of Historic Hotels of America

Dutch Design (5): FG Stijl

Dutch have a name to lose in Design.

I’ll start the series Dutch Design with FG Stijl. The F comes from Finegan and the G from Glintmeijer.

Colin Finnegan (1968), a British native with a British degree in interior design, lives and works in Amsterdam for over 16 years and formed a partnership with Gerard Glintmeijer in 1995.

Gerard Glintmeijer (1968), a Dutch native, started his career in the field of the hospitality. He studied at a Dutch hotel school, textile and management and finished his study as a concept designer and interior stylist.

FG Stijl Architecture and Interior design – Amsterdam is located on one of Amsterdam’s islands where Design related companies are cosily clustering together.

A selection of their past Projects:

  • Restaurant Parkheuvel ** [2 Michelin stars], Rotterdam April 1997: Furnishing and re-styling of the complete interior.
  • Restaurant Calla’s *, [1 Michelin star], The Hague, September 1998: Concept development and furnishing for a new restaurant. International surrounding, in which meeting people and dining are the main issue. Modern new-chique.
  • Restaurant Rosarium, Amsterdam, August 1999: Concept development and interior design for a new restaurant with wine-bar, conference rooms and other facilities. Total 1400 m2.
  • SIMPLY BREAD, the natural food company, which first opened in Maastricht in September 2000 and will open stores in The Hague and in Rotterdam soon: Concept development and interior design for Pilot store.
  • Restaurant Aux Moulins, Kinderdijk (yes very near to the UN heritage site of the 19 windmills, a must see in The Netherlands), August 2000: Furnishing and re-styling of the complete interior.
  • Beachclub De Kust, Bloemendaal – Zandvoort May 2001: Furnishing and re-styling of the complete beachclub and restaurant.
  • Hotel Greenpark , Leidschendam (a suburb of The Hagues), April – August 2001: Concept development and interior design of the ground floor bar|brasserie|restaurant| entrance|reception|lounge|terrace.
  • Unilever, Rotterdam, April 2002: Concept development and interior design of the boardroom and the entrance hall of this Dutch food and perfume multinational.
  • Parkheuvel *** [3 Michelin stars], Rotterdam Januari 2003: Design, furnishing and re-styling of the complete interior, incl. new kitchen and toilets.
  • Heineken Head office, Amsterdam, December 2003: Material- and color advice for its restaurant.
  • Panisse, a pastry shop, inspired by Restaurant Calla’s, The Hague, December 2003. Architecture and interior design.

Note: The Restaurant Parkheuvel has changed ownership and has now only one Michelin star for 2006/2007.

Bill Gates: more of a Hotelier (2)

As mentioned earlier, Four Seasons is under bid from Bill Gates and Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Alsaud, the principal behind Kingdom Hotels.

After obtaining favorable recommendations from a special Committee of independent Directors, the Board of Directors of Four Seasons has approved the take over and anticipates completion in the second quarter of 2007 subject approval by the shareholders. More in a press release of Four Seasons.