Visit the Royal Caribbean (RCL) – Get Free Report website and you see some stunningly low prices. “Weekend getaways from $149, Alaska cruises from $249, and 7-night cruises from $401,” literally lead the page. And, while those prices are per person with double occupancy required or a solo traveler will pay twice that number, the deals are still pretty incredible.
These are very low prices compared to land-based vacations when you consider that a cruise on Royal Caribbean, Carnival Cruise Line (CCL) – Get Free Report, or MSC Cruises includes not just a room, but food and entertainment. You might be able to get a cheaper room in a tourist city like Orlando or Las Vegas, but add in even budget meals and you’re almost certainly spending more money than taking a cruise while getting far less.
Should we splurge on a $100 baked potato at 10 p.m. on a Monday night? It’s a question I ask my friend as we settle into a back banquette at New York’s scene-iest piano bar, The Nines. Despite the less-than-prime reservation time, the red-hued bar is packed. A table crowded with Gen Zers sings “Happy Birthday” to a friend, while at a nearby two-top, much older men work their way through the bar’s complimentary snacks: potato chips, olives and nuts, served in a caddy of crystal bowls. A pianist at the back of the room sets the sultry yet playful tone, seamlessly transitioning among jazz standards, classic rock and popular TikTok anthems, like Elton John’s “Bennie and the Jets.”
Browsing the menu by flickering candlelight, there’s no question that we’ll be ordering the No. 9 Martini, the bar’s signature stirred combo of gin, vermouth and manzanilla served with a chilled sidecar to keep us going. We skipped the three-figure baked potato topped with caviar. Maybe next time.In a pandemic-changed world of nightlife, where disco balls hang from nearly every ceiling, cocktails lean into nostalgia and every reservation is an opportunity to showcase an OOTD, the drink-and-a-show evening has also found an audience. “[It’s] transportive and brings guests to a time when going out was more of a celebration,” says Jon Neidich, chief executive of Golden Age Hospitality, which opened The Nines in 2021. “I think about café society culture, when going out was a big deal, people got dressed up a little more, it was an occasion.” The idea of a drink theater is nothing new. But unlike the previous generation of drink theater venues known to attract tourists, these new venues place food and beverage at their core, with the entertainment acting as a bonus. The genre’s revival also comes as we’re more eager to turn a night out into an event, and to order cocktails worth their inflation price tags.
Every writer I know has memories they return to in their work over and over again. There is rarely much logic to the choices, nor do such memories tend to align with the sorts of significant events that traditionally make up the time line of one’s life.
My point of fixation, one that’s appeared a few times in my writing, occurred during a solo cross-country road trip I took at the age of nineteen. I was driving to Seattle, where I knew nobody, and was planning to stop for the night in Billings, Montana. It was already late, and I had been keeping myself awake with a non-stop chain of cigarettes and vending-machine coffee I’d dutifully bought at every rest stop along the way. I had a pile of books on tape on the passenger’s seat.
About an hour outside of Billings, I put in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance,” which, coincidentally, starts out on a road trip to Montana. The first line—“I can see by my watch, without taking my hand from the left grip of the cycle, that it is eight-thirty in the morning”—had a hypnotic effect on me. I blew through Billings that night, and for the next six hours I listened to Robert M. Pirsig’s barely fictional meditation on fatherhood, Chautauquas, Zen, tools, and the idea that quality—the main conceptual preoccupation of Pirsig’s life—lay in the repetition of right actions.
Editor’s Note: Read more, see link below for original item…
When good Americans die, wrote Oscar Wilde, they all go to Paris. Of course, Americans can be impatient people, and quite a few, hoping to beat the queues, don’t wait for death. Many good American writers, plus quite a few British and Irish writers, have made their way to Paris with the idea that in the City of Light they will be able to find their literary voice in a way that would not be possible in Des Moines or Darlington or Dublin. Or at least get a seat on the terrasse of Café de Flore.
A hundred years ago, Ernest Hemingway, arguably the most famous of the American literary expatriates, first climbed the stairs with his wife Hadley, past the shared toilets on each landing, to their cramped fourth floor flat in 74 Rue du Cardinal Lemoine. The apartment, Hemingway wrote to a friend back home in Chicago, “would not be uncomfortable to anyone used to a Michigan outhouse”. Hemingway was only 22, and hadn’t yet written anything of note. The couple were sustained by Hadley’s small trust fund and by news stories that Hemingway filed to the Toronto Star.