Topsy Turvy in New York: The Chelsea Hotel Changes Hands (Video)

Chelsea Hotel New York

The legendary Chelsea Hotel in New York City has changed hands.

Again.

Stanley Bard, proprietor of this hive of artists and eccentrics sold it in 2011. A developer proceeded to remodel, removing the art from the walls, raising the ire of residents, some 100 of them who can’t be evicted.  It just sold again to a luxury hotel developer. Some of the tenants remain, but the place will never be the same as when I revived the good old days with Stanley in 2001.

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Shooting and Sipping: Photography Lessons in California Wine Country (Video)

 

Taking pictures is one thing: lazily lifting your mobile phone and snapping what strikes your fancy.  MAKING PICTURES is something quite different. Ace photographer Joe Baraban should know. He has been making pictures deliberately, carefully setting up each shot, waiting for the right light and capturing masterpieces since the 1970s. Remember film?

We helped organize a week of shooting and sipping, a photography workshop for Joe in California’s Napa and Sonoma Valleys and Bodega, near the coast, which Alfred Hitchcock terrorized with “The Birds.” We also followed him and captured some of his tips (and antics) on video.

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Big Splash: Following the Whales Off Gloucester [video]

Whale breaching near Gloucester, Mass

You wouldn’t know that whales are threatened with extinction watching this show. I am in a Whale Watching Boat on the Stellwagen Bank, a national marine sanctuary southeast of Cape Ann, Massachusetts, watching a performance of hefty gymnasts: humpback and fin whales. I have spotted a couple gray whales off of the coast of California but never any this big and up close. Here, whale watching boats offer a money back guarantee. You WILL see whales. I do.

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4th of July in Sonoma, CA [Video]


The 4th of July is a big deal in Sonoma, California, a tourist attraction that swells this town of ten thousand in California’s wine country to bursting. This year it celebrated the 200th birthday of Augoston Haraszthy, who founded the California wine industry here. Watch for the marching grapevines and the rockets red glare as the moon rises.

Myanmar In the Age of Facebook and Big Time Tourism (Video)

Myanmar-Facebook
Photos and Video (c) Russell Johnson
Myanmar’s opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi told the World Economic Forum last week that she is too busy for Facebook.

But her name is on several Facebook pages managed by her supporters around the world and Facebook is quickly becoming part of the mindset in this country once called Burma.

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