Posts tagged with "europe"

Alex Henry Foster illustration by Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

Alex Henry Foster

ALEX HENRY FOSTER’S STANDING UNDER BRIGHT LIGHTS IMPACTS BILLBOARD SALES CHARTS WORLDWIDE AMIDST GLOBAL ACCLAIM

Triple-Vinyl / Double-CD, Concert Film Hits No. 4 In Canada,

No. 6 In Australia, No. 13 In The UK, No. 18 Emerging Artists

Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, Montreal Gazette,

Vancouver Sun, Glide Magazine More Praise Album

Alternative, post-rock’s Alex Henry Foster impacts album sales charts worldwide with his live triple-vinyl / double-CD and concert film Standing Under Bright Lights following its release April 16. In its first week available at digital and streaming outlets everywhere from Hopeful Tragedy Records, the recording hit No. 4 in Canada (No. 1 iTunes Top Albums), debuted at No. 6 in Australia and reached No. 13 in the UK. The album also landed at No. 18 on Billboard’s Emerging Artists and No. 31 on its Current Album Sales charts while fans also quickly depleted the vinyl collector’s boxes available at his label’s store.

From Montreal and now residing in the highlands of Virginia, Foster’s full production, 11-piece band concert Standing Under Bright Lights was recorded live in front of a sold out Club Soda (July 2019) while Foster headlined the Montreal International Jazz Festival. The concert was named one of the top five events not to be missed by Canada’s national TV/Radio broadcaster CBC. Originally set to release October 8, 2020, which would have been his late father’s birthday, Foster decided to utilize the extra time the worldwide pandemic would give him to produce the recording and concert film.

With Rolling Stone labeling the album’s lead single, “The Son of Hannah,” “simply fascinating,” and the Montreal Gazette hearing “a remarkable buzz around the world with his challenging alternative rock,” Foster’s Standing Under Bright Lights has garnered acclaim across the globe. Along with an NRT Now “Next Big Thing” podcast interview, Foster has been recently featured by Prog MagazineICI Premiere (CBC), Louder Than WarBrooklynVeganBetween The Grooves, PAN M 360FYI Music NewsTVKRebel NoiseAll RockMr. Vinyl and many more.

  • “[Standing Under Bright Lights] captivated concert-goers every second with improv, emotions, darkness, poetry laden lyrics, spoken word vocals and experimental music that transported everyone in attendance to a different plane.” – American Songwriter
  • “This is the kind of live album that used to establish artists…” – Vancouver Sun
  • “An Intimate, Impassioned, Astonishing record.” – Metro UK
  • ★★★★★ – “Standing Under Bright Lights is a deeply spiritual hymn to the warmth and light that burns inside us all.” – 3 Songs & Out
  • ★★★★ 1/2 – “Think Pink Floyd visiting Radiohead…” – Le Devoir
  • ★★★★ 1/2 “…an avalanche of progressive alternative rock music… feverish poetry and progressive impetus which defends our spirit at each listening.” – ARP Media
  • Standing Under Bright Lights is…a mesmerizing experience. …the event feels vibrant, it grips you even…”– Le Soleil
  • “Alex Henry Foster has earned his due and has helped transcend post-rock into a realm of prog possibilities encompassing the world where Steven Wilson and Porcupine Tree meet Godspeed You! Black Emperor.” – Glide Magazine
  • “…this is a release of such absolute quality, such exquisite poise…It is an absolute statement piece that, if there is any justice, will place Alex Foster Henry into a place where he will be rightfully regarded amongst the creme of emerging talent on the world stage.” – Uber Rock
  • “…one of the most dedicated and passionate works of art from a musician in recent memory.” – Interview Under Fire
  • “Just like the crescendo of the song ‘The Son of Hannah,’ there is a raw, cathartic release of tension that is born of anger, but released as hope.” – Montreal Rocks
  • “Rarely are we presented with such raw emotion in music or performance.” – Sound Vapors

Along with lead singles “The Son of Hannah” and “Winter Is Coming In” that have received hundreds of thousands of plays across numerous playlists, Standing Under Bright Lights features every song from Foster’s debut solo album, Windows in the Sky, which hit No. 1 multiple times on the Billboard Canadian Albums chart, staying in the Top 40 on the chart for a full year after its release. The songs from this celebrated album were re-invented for the live recording as the band performed along with a movie projection produced by Foster. Almost 2 hours and 30 minutes long, the concert at which Standing Under Bright Lights was recorded is now considered among the best concerts throughout the 40 years of the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Playing the new music and fan favorites on tour, Foster and his band are preparing to tour internationally with 23 dates in Europe set to begin next month, pandemic allowing.

For all the latest Alex Henry Foster tour, music news and more, go to WebsiteFacebookYouTubeInstagramTwitterSpotifyApple MusicBandcamp and Hopeful Tragedy Records Store.

Eurovision Singer Destiny illustration by Heather Skovlund (Photo Credit: Carlton Agius) for 360 Magazine

2021 Eurovision Song Contest

Will there be a shock winner at the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest?

The Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most popular annual events that takes place across Europe. Over 180 million people tuned into the 2019 contest, which was won by the Netherlands. The final of the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest final takes place on 22nd May in Rotterdam, where thirty-nine countries will take part in the live-streamed musical event.

The current favorites to win in 2021

There are a few acts that will be confident of winning the final, with the Eurovision song contest odds placing Malta as 4/1 favorite to win, who will be represented by their act, Destiny. They have never won the contest before but have finished in 2nd place on two occasions. Despite being the favorites, Malta will have to navigate a semi-final before they reach the main stage.

The second favorites to win are France, who are at 5/1 odds. Unlike the predicted winners, France has won the contest on five occasions, however, they haven’t won it since 1977.  Switzerland, Italy, and Bulgaria will also perhaps all fancy their chances of winning this year as well.

Will 2021 see a shock winner?

The United Kingdom hasn’t seen a Eurovision winner since 1997 – on that occasion, Katrina and the Waves won with the song “Love, Shine a Light.” The UK’s representation in 2021 will be James Newman, a singer-songwriter who has had a successful career in the industry – though many bookmakers believe that he is unlikely to win. 

Ireland is also seen as huge outsiders to win, but they are actually the most successful country in Eurovision’s history. They have won the competition on seven occasions, with the last success coming in 1996.

A previous shock winner

The 2011 edition was won by Azerbaijan, and it was seen as a huge shock at the time.  This was their first success in the competition, having only entered for the first time four years previously.

How many times has the host nation won Eurovision?

The host nation of the final has won Eurovision on seven occasions. The last time this occurred was in 1994 when the competition was won by Ireland. Looking back towards the upcoming contest, the Netherlands are, however, seen as huge outsiders to win.

A further brief history of Eurovision winners

The first edition of the contest was held in 1956. On that occasion, it was won by Switzerland. In 1969, four countries won the contest, which was the first and only time in which there were joint winners, all garnering the same score from international judges and the public vote. The United Kingdom, Spain, the Netherlands, and France all came in first place that year.

A few years later, in 1974, ABBA won their contest, and the Swedish pop group would go on to become music icons. Their winning song “Waterloo” is still popular all over the world.

There are several other countries that are yet to taste success in Eurovision. This list includes Iceland, Lithuania, Belarus, Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia. Will the 2021 Eurovision Song Contest see a first-time winner?

Beyond Green illustration by Heather Skovlund (original photo provided by Beyond Green) for 360 Magazine

Introducing Beyond Green

INTRODUCING BEYOND GREEN: A PURPOSE-DRIVEN HOSPITALITY BRAND DEDICATED TO HELPING GLOBAL CITIZENS MAKE TRAVEL A FORCE FOR GOOD

Forward-Thinking Hotel Network Debuts Booking and Storytelling Platforms That Invite Travelers to Explore How to Travel Gently and Travel Well

Committed to building a better and brighter future for people and the planet, Beyond Green officially launches today as a curated guide for travelers seeking a more purposeful way to explore the world, featuring a global portfolio of 27 hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability in action. Debuting at the onset of a new era of travel in which protecting nature, benefitting local communities, and celebrating cultural diversity has taken center stage, this forward-thinking brandinvites travelers to discover, plan, and enjoy adventures that align with their sustainable travel values and aspirations through a variety of intuitive tools and experiences. These include a new brand website; dedicated storytelling via its @StayBeyondGreen social media accounts; exclusive benefits through I Prefer Hotel Rewards; and a celebratory, limited-time Journeyer’s Pick Package. 

“At the heart of Beyond Green is a belief that to travel gently and with purpose is to travel well. More than ever, each of our individual travel choices make a difference, and, together with our outstanding member properties, we designed Beyond Green to make it easier for travelers to enjoy incredible luxury vacations that also support significant social and environmental change for the future,” said Lindsey Ueberroth, CEO of both Beyond Green and its parent company, Preferred Hotel Group. “The world has shown an unwavering need to Believe in Travel, and this is our defining moment to inspire a kinder and gentler way to explore the planet together, where good guests meet good hosts.”

“The question is no longer whether we can transform travel based upon sustainable tourism principles and practices to be a powerful force for saving nature, regenerating ecosystems, and providing tangible social and economic benefits to local people, while also celebrating cultural diversity and inclusiveness around the world. This is now happening, as also represented by Beyond Green members. Rather, the most important question is how travelers help can make sustainability the new normal around the world while also having a great vacation. The answer is when we travel the sustainable way – the Beyond Green way – we can have a positive impact right now on the places we visit,” said Costas Christ, Brand Leader of Beyond Green and President of Beyond Green Travel, also an entity of Preferred Hotel Group.

Digital-First Resources for Inspiration and Information

Experiential travelers looking for a more meaningful way to explore the world can now visit Beyond Green’s website for thoughtful, essential resources and tools to book truly sustainable luxury getaways, from Belize to Bora Bora. The new website features highly curated visual content of each member property and the experiences they offer, along with vivid stories about the world of sustainable travel through its Good Stories blog, where novel content, tips and advice will be added on a continuous basis. The brand also invites travelers to engage in daily dialogues about sustainable tourism, inspiring travel experiences, and best practices for being informed  global citizens on social media by following its newly launched FacebookInstagram, and LinkedIn channels and #StayBeyondGreen and #TravelGently online conversations.

I Prefer Hotel Rewards Member Benefits

As part of the Preferred Hotel Group family of brands, Beyond Green invites travelers to enroll in I Prefer to access meaningful rewards at more than 650 participating properties worldwide. In addition to receiving standard, I Prefer benefits such as points for every eligible stay and early check-in and late check-out privileges, I Prefer members who book stays at participating Beyond Green hotels, resorts, and lodges receive access to exclusive bonus points-earning opportunities that are tied to participation in on-property enrichment activities representative of the three pillars of sustainable tourism. Varying from property to property, these experiences range from an Ecology Tour in San Juan Capistrano at The Ranch at Laguna Beach in California to a specialized lecture on the Gobi Desert at Three Camel Lodge in Mongolia. I Prefer members with Elite-tier status will also receive a welcome amenity or community giving opportunity, in addition to earning 50 percent more bonus points during every eligible stay.

Celebratory Launch Offer

Whether seeking to stay within their own country or satisfy the pent-up desire to dust off their passport and go somewhere new, Beyond Green encourages travelers to seize the moment by taking advantage of a limited-time only Journeyer’s Pick Package, available at 15 participating properties for bookings made by September 30, 2021 for travel through December 31, 2021. Featuring the best available rate plus a unique local experience or meaningful memento exclusively available through this special offer, as well as 5,000 I Prefer bonus points, the Journeyer’s Pick Package include highlights such as, but not limited to:   

  • Private 1.5-hour Shinrin Yoku Forest Therapy session at andBeyond Vira Vira
  • Traditional sunset Dhow Cruise with snacks and drinks at andBeyond Mnemba Island
  • Guided walking tour of the Monastery of Panagia Spileotissa at Aristi Mountain Resort & Villas
  • Body scrub wellness experience using organic ingredients at Borgo Pignano
  • Polynesian outrigger experience at the InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa

Where Good Hosts Meet Good Guests: The Beyond Green Portfolio

With plans for steady, thoughtful growth, Beyond Green celebrates its official launch in collaboration with 27 inspiring member properties that each take a unique and genuine approach to hospitality while representing sustainable tourism leadership through actionable, measurable efforts:

  • Americas – andBeyond Vira Vira (Pucón, Chile); Arenas Del Mar Beach Front and Rainforest Resort (Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica), Bentwood Inn (Jackson Hole, Wyoming, USA); Blancaneaux Lodge (Mountain Pine Ridge, Belize); Carneros Resort and Spa (Napa Valley, California, USA), Cavallo Point (Sausalito, California, USA); Islas Secas (Gulf of Chiriquí, Panama); Post Ranch Inn (Big Sur, California, USA); Ted Turner Reserves Vermejo (Raton, New Mexico, USA); The Ranch at Laguna Beach (Laguna Beach, California, USA); Turtle Inn (Placencia, Belize)
  • Europe – Aristi Mountain Resort (Zagori, Greece); Ashford Castle (Co. Mayo, Ireland); Borgo Pignano (Tuscany, Italy)
  • Africa – andBeyond Bateleur Camp (Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya); andBeyond Mnemba Island (Zanzibar, Tanzania); andBeyond Sossusvlei Desert Lodge (Namib Desert, Namibia); Bushmans Kloof (Western Cape, South Africa); Wilderness Safaris Bisate Lodge (Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda); Wilderness Safaris DumaTau Camp (Linyanti Wildlife Reserve, Botswana); Wilderness Safaris Hoanib Skeleton Coast Camp (Kaokoveld, Namibia); Wilderness Safaris Linkwasha Camp (Hwange National Park, Zimbabwe); Wilderness Safaris Mombo Camp (Okavango Delta, Botswana); Xigera Safari Lodge (Okavango Delta, Botswana)
  • Asia – InterContinental Bora Bora Resort & Thalasso Spa (Bora Bora, French Polynesia); The Brando (Tetiaroa, French Polynesia); Three Camel Lodge (Gobi, Mongolia)

Travelers are invited to access more information on Beyond Green, its three key pillars of sustainable tourism, and its member properties, and book authentic, luxury travel experiences around the world by visiting Beyond Green.

About Beyond Green

Guided by a passion to embrace travel as a force for good, Beyond Green is a global portfolio of hotels, resorts, and lodges that exemplify sustainability leadership. To create a more purposeful way to explore the world where good guests meet good hosts, Beyond Green has curated a unique portfolio of properties based on their commitment to deliver on the three pillars of sustainable tourism: environmentally friendly practices that go beyond the basics; protection of natural and cultural heritage; and contribution to the social and economic wellbeing of local communities. To be considered for membership in Beyond Green, a property is vetted according to more than 50 sustainability indicators that align with global sustainable tourism standards and the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Owned and operated by Preferred Hotel Group – the family-owned company that manages and operates other hospitality brands including Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Historic Hotels of America, and Historic Hotels Worldwide – Beyond Green ushers in a new way to experience genuine hospitality by the people for the planet. For more information, visit Beyond Green.

About Preferred Hotel Group

Owned and operated by the Ueberroth Family, Preferred Hotel Group is the parent company of Preferred Hotels & Resorts, Beyond Green, Historic Hotels of America, Historic Hotels Worldwide, PHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel, representing more than 1,100 hotels, resorts, and residences across 80 countries, in addition to a global portfolio of destinations such as Suzhou, China; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Uganda. With more than 200 seasoned travel professionals situated across 20 countries, the company connects independent hotels, hospitality companies, destinations, and tourism bureaus to key markets worldwide through a variety of strategic branding, sales, integrated marketing, revenue management, and comprehensive distribution services, along with other consultancy services. Fueled by its brand promise, Believe in Travel, the company champions an unwavering belief in the transformative power of travel and its ability to enrich people’s lives and create greater tolerance. For more information on Preferred Hotel Group’s entities, please visit Preferred HotelsBeyond GreenHistoric HotelsPHG Consulting, and Beyond Green Travel.

The Brando
The Brando – photo credit: Beyond Green
travel illustration by Gabrielle Marchan for use by 360 Magazine

Greece: Europe’s Next, Best Expat Haven

By: International Living

Greece is positioning itself to be Europe’s next, best expat haven, according to the overseas experts at International Living, who say that as a travel destination or live-abroad base, Greece should be on North Americans’ radar. In addition to offering warm weather year-round and easy low-cost living —Greece’s new digital nomad visa coming soon will make it easier for people working remotely to stay for extended periods and even gain citizenship and a passport. What’s more, Greece’s borders are set to open to international travelers May 14, 2021.

Greece offers an enthralling mixture of sun-drenched islands, towering mountains, buzzing cities, and timeless traditions. Wrapped in the warm embrace of the Aegean Sea, it’s vibrant, welcoming, and offers great-value living for North American expats. A couple could live comfortably there for as little as $2,000 a month, according to International Living.

“We’ve seen a sharp uptick in online traffic to our Greece content in 2021, with the overall traffic to our Greece pages up 41% in the first three months of 2021, when compared to the last period (Oct-Dec) of 2020,” says Jennifer Stevens, Executive Editor, International Living.

“The appetite for on-the-ground Greece intel has increased, and we’re happy to see that because this is a nation that can make good sense for all sorts of expats—younger, older, full-time or part-time. If you like the idea of a travel-rich life in Europe, Greece could make a very good base.”

Exploration in Greece will be a possibility again as soon as May 14, 2021 when, according to the Greece tourism minister, the borders are set to open to international travelers who show proof of vaccination, covid-19 antibodies, or a negative test result taken within 72 hours of departure.

Greece offers expats easy, good-value living in the sun. After 15 years in San Francisco where she worked as a Certified Public Accountant, IL contributor Lynn Roulo moved to Greece—with her dog, her two cats, and one suitcase in tow.

“I moved without a local job or a significant relationship waiting for me in Athens, so it was a big step into the unknown,” says Roulo. “But it didn’t feel scary or anxiety-provoking. The idea of moving and starting a fresh new life energized me. That was in 2012, and I still feel a sense of excitement that I get to live here.

“When I moved from San Francisco to Athens, I was pleasantly shocked to learn I could rent a comfortable 70-meter apartment with a modern bathroom and kitchen, as well as a huge private roof deck with a view of the Parthenon for less money than it would have cost me to rent a studio basement apartment in the worst neighborhood in San Francisco.

“Greece is a great choice for expats because of its amazing weather, hospitable people, its relatively low cost of living and its location, giving visitors easy access to travel to a wide range of other countries. You can go to London or Lebanon for a long weekend.”

“And if you have a dream to move, don’t give up on it. These dreams come from somewhere, and moving abroad may just be the best decision of your entire life. I know it was for me.”

Greece already has in place a “Golden Visa,” (effectively an investment visa) which grants long-term residence—with a path to citizenship and a passport—to people who make an investment in real estate valued at EUR250,000 (roughly $300,000) or higher. That’s about half the investment threshold required for a similar visa in places like Portugal or Italy where the necessary investment is closer to $600,000.

Most exciting, though, is a new visa aimed at attracting digital nomads, set to come online soon, the editors at International Living report. They argue it makes very good sense for a person who has the flexibility to work remotely and likes the idea of a sunny European base.

“Finally—a remote worker incentive plan that actually makes a lot of sense,” says Jeff D. Opdyke, editor of Global Intelligence Letter, a publication of International Living.

The new plan that Greece is now in the process of assembling…it looks to be one of the smartest remote-worker visas I’ve come across. That’s because under the Greek plan as currently envisioned, a ‘digital migrant,’ as the Greeks call us, will be eligible for a 50% exemption on earned income for the first seven years. In essence, you owe local taxes on only half your income.

For someone who’s still in the workforce and looking to maximize their savings opportunities as they approach retirement, sharply reducing your tax burden for seven years represents an intriguing opportunity to squirrel away more money.

“Though Greece hasn’t finalized details of its plan yet, the Greek approach looks to allow for longer living arrangements, given the seven years of tax breaks. And it just so happens that ‘long-term migrants,’ which is what you’d be as a digital worker, are eligible for Greek citizenship after seven years. Which means you could apply for a Greek passport…which is an E.U. passport…which would give you unfettered access to live and work across the rest of the European Union, no different than if you were moving from Tampa to Tucson.”

A person considering a move to Greece will want to carefully research the options for visas and residence permits. International Living’s report details the best of them for expats looking for a full- or part-time retirement in Greece, including a discussion of this new digital nomad visa on the horizon.

But accessible residence is just one of the many reasons to love living in Greece. It’s an easy place to adopt a healthy lifestyle, the entire country is physically breathtaking, and the Greek people have a well-earned reputation for being friendly, helpful, and genuinely caring.

Here are four more reasons why International Living recommends Greece as a potential destination for anybody ready to move out of the U.S.:

1.     Good-Value Cost of Living

Greece is super-affordable, especially when compared to North America and much of the rest of Europe. Prices for daily essentials (food, transport, etc.) are at least 20% cheaper than in the U.S., and costs to rent an apartment can be as much as 70% less.

Throughout Greece, expats will save money by using public transport, avoiding touristy areas, shopping at local markets, and eating out where the Greeks do. A budget-conscious expat can live comfortably in Greece for $1,830 a month or less.

2.     Welcoming and Easy Lifestyle

Greece is a proud nation that emphasizes family, tradition, and a love of the outdoors. Because tourism plays such an important part in the Greek economy, English is widely spoken in many areas and the country’s infrastructure caters well for locals and visitors alike.

Expats enjoy lots of options in terms of lifestyle: from a sturdy lakefront cabin in the mountains, to a rooftop apartment on the outskirts of Thessaloniki, to a low-maintenance beachfront unit on Mykonos, residents are guaranteed plenty of sunshine and four distinct (though mild) seasons—even though the Greeks tend to think in terms of ‘summer and everything else’.

3.     Excellent Healthcare

The quality of medical care in Greece is generally excellent, especially in major centers like Athens and Thessaloniki. Emergency healthcare in Greece is free regardless of nationality. Pharmacies are abundant throughout the country—Greece has more pharmacists per capita than any other nation in Europe.

4.     Safety

Greece is one of the safest countries in Europe, and has an easy-going, relaxed feel.

Roulo, based in Athens, says, “As a single woman, I feel very safe living here. Crime here is significantly lower than in the United States, the police presence is strong, and there is no need for ‘active shooter’ drills in Greece.”

Basic precautions with regard to personal belongings will prevent rare cases of petty theft.

About International Living

Since 1979, InternationalLiving has been the leading authority for anyone looking for global retirement or relocation opportunities. Through its monthly magazine and related e-letters, extensive website, podcasts, online bookstore, and events held around the world, InternationalLiving provides information and services to help its readers live better, travel farther, have more fun, save more money, and find better business opportunities when they expand their world beyond their own shores. Their website has more than 200 contributors traveling the globe, investigating the best opportunities for travel, retirement, real estate, and investment.

Lego Illustration Heather Skovlund for 360 Magazine

LegoLand Discovery Center Westchester

BUILDING MEMORIES AGAIN – LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER WESTCHESTER REOPENS TO GUESTS ON MARCH 26

Attraction Welcomes Nominations for Deserving Family to be VIP Guests on Reopening Day and Invites Guests to Honor Local Healthcare Workers with Ticket Donations for Visits Shared on Social Media

LEGOLAND® Discovery Center Westchester is thrilled to announce they will officially reopen its doors to guests on Friday, March 26th, welcoming fans back after over a year being closed due to local regulations. Guests can enjoy a day of family fun with signature experiences including MINILAND, LEGO® Racers: Build and Test, and LEGO® 4D Cinema! The ultimate indoor LEGO playground is looking for nominations for a deserving family to be the first to experience the attraction when it reopens. Nominations can be submitted on the attractions Facebook page or emailed to Westchester@LEGOLANDDiscoveryCenter.com

Taking extra precautions for health and safety, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester has implemented enhanced physical distancing measures, new limited capacity 2-hour playtimes, LEGO® bricks just for families to use during playtimes, and stringent cleaning protocols before each playtime following the guidance of local and national health officials.

“The health of our guests and employees is of utmost importance. We are taking proactive steps to provide visitors with a safe, comfortable environment when we welcome them back to LEGOLAND Discovery Center again,” said Laura Whitman, General Manager of LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester. “After over a year spent social distancing, we hope to provide our fans with a day of togetherness, learning, creating, and carefree play.”

As part of the reopening, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester will also honor the tireless work of local medical professionals by donating complimentary tickets to local organizations and their healthcare heroes. For every guest who tags the attraction in a social media post during their visit, LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester will donate one ticket to a local healthcare worker from a health care partner to be announced soon.

Families are encouraged to visit https://www.legolanddiscoverycenter.com/westchester as soon as next week to purchase tickets and check out LEGOLAND Discovery Center Westchester’s visit safety tips.

ABOUT LEGOLAND® DISCOVERY CENTER WESTCHESTER
LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is the ultimate indoor LEGO® playground and has 11 locations across North America including Arizona, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas/Fort Worth, Kansas City, Michigan, Philadelphia, San Antonio, Toronto, and Westchester. Geared towards children ages 3 to 10 and their families, the attraction features millions of LEGO® bricks and multiple attractions including Master Builder Academy; Kingdom Quest Laser Ride; Merlin’s Apprentice Ride; LEGO® 4D Cinema; Build and Test; MINILAND™ featuring iconic landmarks; LEGO® Friends Heartlake City, and more.

Visit LEGOLAND® Discovery Center’s site for attraction info and locations. LEGOLAND® Discovery Center is a part of the Merlin Entertainments Group. 

About Merlin Entertainments plc 

Merlin Entertainments plc is a global leader in location-based, family entertainment. As Europe’s number one and the world’s second-largest visitor attraction operator, Merlin now operates more than 130 attractions, 19 hotels, and 6 holiday villages in 25 countries across four continents. Merlin’s purpose is to deliver memorable experiences to its 67 million guests around the world, through its iconic brands and multiple attraction formats, and the commitment and passion of its 28,000 employees (peak season).

Visit Merlin Entertainments site for more information and follow on Twitter @MerlinEntsNews

 

SHEPPARD x “KALEIDOSCOPE EYES”

The band celebrates the release of their third studio album streamed worldwide from Brisbane this February!

Just 2 weeks away from the release of their highly anticipated album “Kaleidoscope Eyes”, Australian pop-powerhouse Sheppard have unveiled plans to broadcast their very special one-off live show in their hometown of Brisbane, to celebrate their third full length release!

Under strict Covid restrictions, a live audience of only a 1000 will share in this magical live experience. For fans around the world, from Tokyo to Los Angeles, London to Berlin and all of Australia who are unable to see the show live-and-in-person, Sheppard have unveiled details on where you can tune in and see the one-off performance in its entirety, from the comfort of your couch!

Thanks to the genius minds at Youtube, fans around the world will be able to tune in and see the new album in its entirety live at the following times:

Brisbane – 13.00  Saturday 27th Feb
New Zealand – 16.00 Saturday 27th Feb
Philippines – Saturday 10.00 am Feb 27th
Tokyo – 12.00   Saturday Feb 27th.
Los Angeles – 19.00 Friday 26th Feb
New York- 22.00 Friday 26th Feb
London –03.00 Saturday 27th Feb
Europe Central Time – 04.00 Saturday 27th Feb
South America – 12 midnight Friday 26th Feb

We didn’t want anyone to miss out on the show, so we’re going to be streaming the entire performance online for anyone in another state or country! As it is our only live show, we have built an amazing production”

– George Sheppard

The release of “Kaleidoscope Eyes”–which officially drops on Friday, February 26th, comes off the back of a rollercoaster of a year; one that included a global pandemic, a performance to millions at the AFL Grand Final and an entire year’s worth of singles and music videos landing each month for Sheppard’s fans.

Supported by Mason Watts
THE FORTITUDE MUSIC HALL | FRIDAY 26 FEBRUARY, 2021

ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS
A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Black Thought, Drake, Florence + the Machine, Greta Van Fleet, Hailee Steinfeld, Jack Johnson, James Blake, James Bay, Jessie J, John Mellencamp, Jonas Brothers, Julia Michaels, Kid Cudi, Lil Wayne, Lorde, Metro Boomin, NAV, Nicki Minaj, Of Monsters and Men, Pearl Jam, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Stevie Wonder, Taylor Swift, The Weeknd and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives, Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings, Boominati Worldwide, Brushfire, Casablanca Records, Cash Money, Lava Records, XO, Young Money, among others. Republic also maintains a long-standing strategic alliance with Universal Music Latin Entertainment (J Balvin and Karol G). In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey), Sony Pictures (Spider-Man Into the Spider-Verse) and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises. Extending further into the worlds of film, television, and content, Republic launched Federal Films in order to produce movies and series powered by the label’s catalog and artists. Its first production was the Jonas Brothers documentary Chasing Happiness for Amazon Prime Video.

Gabrielle Archuleta illustration for on-line games article for 360 MAGAZINE

How the gambling houses have shaped the popular taste

The casino industry has evolved a lot over the last few centuries. In Europe during the 18th century, the underground gambling halls morphed into the first legal casinos. Eventually, the same thing happened in the United States, with Nevada’s fledgling Las Vegas providing entertainment for the workers of the nearby Hoover Dam.

From those sawdust-covered floors, modern casinos developed with names like the Golden Nugget in the 1940s. The giant integrated resorts we know today began springing up in the 1980s, and online casinos came into existence in the late 1990s.

Today, most of Europe and a growing number of US states have legalized online casinos, though New Jersey continues to lead the way on this side of the pond, with more than 23 online casinos to choose from in NJ.

At every stage along the way, these casinos have influenced pop culture, changing what we watch, what we read, and what we listen to.

Casino’s Influence on Language

You may be surprised at just how many casino-related words and phrases you use in your everyday conversations. Casino and card games have been around for the best part of a millennium, with blackjack being the descendent of several card games that go back as far as the 13th century AD. 

Having been around for such a long time, words and phrases while playing these games have worked their way into the common vernacular. 

For example, “hedging one’s bets” is a phrase we use regularly to explain when we’re not committing to one particular option to protect ourselves from a negative outcome. In betting, you may hedge your bets by wagering on two opposing outcomes, while in life you might take a job interview while staying at your old job until you see which is the better option. 

All commonly used phrases include “all bets are off,” which can mean no one is sure about the outcome of an event; and “poker face,” which describes someone who is not displaying any emotion.

Casino’s Influence on Music

Speaking of poker faces, Lady Gaga’s hit song is one of the most recent examples of the influence of casino games in music. But there are plenty of others

The country and western singer Garth Brooks had a hit with Two of a Kind Working on a Full House back in 1990. The song leaned heavily on references to poker hands to discuss his relationship with his wife (two of a kind) and the fact that they planned to build a life together (a full house). The song contained betting references all the way through, with links like “I’m her wild card man” and “a real hot hand.”

Other popular songs that have been created by the influence of casinos and casino games include The Gambler by Kenny Rogers, House of Cards by Tyler Shaw, and Ace of Spades by Motörhead.

Casino’s Influence on Movies

Perhaps the most obvious influence that casinos have had on popular culture is in movies. Hollywood loves to set a movie in Las Vegas and its casinos, with at least 92 movies set in the city since 1941. 

Popular examples include Ocean’s Eleven (and its 21’st century remake), Viva Las Vegas, Diamond Are Forever, The Godfather, Casino, The Hangover, and 21. 

Writers often find the excitement and mystery that casinos offer are a great setting for their stories, with films like Ocean’s Eleven and Casino entirely based around the inner workings of the gaming business. 

Others, including many James Bond movies, use casinos in certain scenes as they offer a great way to show the characters outwitting their rivals. A casino setting is also one of the few places where a protagonist and villain could sit in the same room and talk without being forced to attack or fight each other. 

The Concord Hotel, 360 MAGAZINE, New Hampshire, four diamond, aaa

Venice’s Hotel Ca’ di Dio May 2021

Venice’s newest 5-star hotel, Ca’ di Dio, will be born in May 2021. The hotel sits within a transformed ecclesiastical compound dating from 1272 that has hosted Crusaders, pilgrims and tourists for more than eight centuries.

“We are honored to have been asked to represent the Ca’ di dio,” says Geoffrey Weill, “particularly at this moment in history when revolutionary vaccines are combatting a pandemic that has crippled the travel business in Venice and throughout the world.”

Located on the Riva Ca’ di Dio, the hotel overlooks Venice’s legendary lagoon, and is located adjacent to the Arsenale and the gardens that house the city’s Biennale, one of the world’s most iconic art festivals and exhibitions. The Ca’ di Dio is an easy stroll along the waterfront from bustling St. Mark’s Square.

The 66-key Ca’ di Dio (pronounced Ka-di-dio) is one of a new class of properties managed by Italy’s VOI Hotels, to be known as V-Retreats. The Ca ‘di Dio, like all V-Retreats, is set to be an oasis of peace, a palace of timeless beauty imbued with the finesse and warmth of Italian hospitality. The hotel’s general manager, Christophe Mercier, has a rich history of managing some of Venice’s finest properties.

The creation of the Hotel Ca’ di Dio was entrusted to the studio of the internationally renowned Spanish architect Patricia Urquiola. “My goal was to create an original and distinctive concept,” says Urquiola, “a Venetian ‘mansion,’ deeply linked to the history of the city with fine woods, rich textiles, colors, finishes and Murano glass; each decorative, architectural and lighting element is the result of the skillful hands of skilled craftsmen who combine the passion for their work with the secrets and techniques of Venetian tradition.”

The Ca’ di Dio’s accommodations comprise 57 suites and nine Deluxe rooms, spread over three floors. Ten suites have a unique view of the lagoon and San Giorgio Maggiore Island; two of the suites have a large roof terrace overlooking the San Marco Basin.

Two internal courtyards are home to the hotel’s Alchemia Bar and the Essentia Restaurant, whose design combines Venetian tradition with Urquiola’s contemporary signature. The hotel’s indoor-outdoor VE-RO Restaurant overlooks the breathtaking Venetian lagoon. Named for its Venetian roots, its cuisine is inspired by traditional dishes of the Veneto, reset in contemporary tones, respecting the seasonality of fish and produce. Many of the ingredients will come from the Ca’ di Dio’s vegetable garden secreted within yet another internal courtyard.

The Ca’ di Dio will offer a state-of-the-art wellness program in its Spa Pura, and will welcome small meetings and events. The colors and comfort of the reading room provide the ideal location for contemplation. The hotel’s elegant boutique will offer a selection of Murano glass produced exclusively for the Ca ‘di Dio. The hotel’s side canal entrance provides direct docking for water taxis and the hotel’s water-transfer cruisers.

The opening of the Ca’ di Dio coincides with a new reclaimed future for the city of Venice. “I was in the city in October when the Acqua Alta threatened the customary flooding of the city,” says Weill, “and for the first time, the lagoon’s new high-tech water barriers were set in motion, saving the city’s treasures from the customary flooding.”

The Venice Biennale 2021 has been postponed to 2022 because of Covid-19. The Venice Architecture Biennale, is now slated for May 22, 2021 to November 22, 2021.
Full details of the new Hotel Ca’ di Dio are at https://www.lifestyle-voihotels.com/en/ca-di-dio/and will be expanded in coming weeks.

Travel with Virgin Limited in 2020

2020 has undoubtedly been a year like no other and sadly for many of us travel plans were squashed and much of the travel industry was put on hold. Through the global grounding of so many travelers we saw new trends emerge and as we start to look ahead to 2021, Virgin Limited Edition, the luxury collection of properties owned by Sir Richard Branson, has rounded up the trends it has spotted from around the collection. With new vaccines around the corner, we can only remain optimistic that 2021 will bring back some normality and we can finally make up for those lost holidays, making next year one to remember.

NEW OPENINGS:

Necker Island – After more than two years of construction, following the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Necker Island is now fully restored to its former glory and looking more beautiful than ever. With the BVI borders re-opening on 1 December, Necker is ready to welcome back guests. Those visiting in 2020 and 2021 will be amongst the first to experience the island following its incredible restoration that has included a brand new Bali Hi complex, two additional guest rooms and the installation of three giant new wind turbines, furthering the island’s commitment towards sustainability and renewable energy.

Moskito Island – Early 2021 will see the much-anticipated launch of Moskito Island in the BVI’s, situated just two miles from sister island, Necker. Home to the Branson Estate which is newly available for rental, next year will see the full launch of Moskito Island in what has already been described as “the most exclusive homeowners association in the world”. As the island sets to launch with brand new uber luxury private Estates for rental, it is most certainly one to watch for 2021….

Trend – As well as commercial travel, both Necker Island and Moskito Island are accessible by private jet, a form of travel that saw a 27% increase in bookings in 2020 following the pandemic outbreak and is likely to continue in 2021 as passengers opt to travel exclusively within their bubble.

STAY FOR LONGER AND WORK REMOTELY:

Son Bunyola – Another trend that has emerged from the pandemic is guests looking to stay away for longer and take advantage of a work life balance with new surroundings as their remote office location. In light of this the much-loved Son Bunyola estate, located in the beautiful UNESCO world heritage site of the Tramuntana mountains in Mallorca with its three individual secluded villas set across a stunning 700-acre private estate, has created a long stay offer for guests looking to stay longer.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four weeks or more, will receive two free nights each week; a total of eight free nights.

This offer is valid on new bookings for arrivals from 10th April – 11th June and 11th September – 31st October 2021 in Sa Punta de S’Aguila, Sa Terra Rotja and Son Balagueret. Rates are from EUR 7,500 for a stay in Son Balagueret on a self-catering basis. Rates are priced per week and are calculated based on receiving two free nights, per week. A minimum stay of four weeks is applicable.

SAFARI AND CONSERVATION:

Safari is always one for the bucket list and Virgin Limited Edition offers two world-class game reserves offering some of the most spectacular game viewing there is; Ulusaba Private Game Reserve, located in the Western sector of South Africa’s Sabi Sand Game Reserve and Mahali Mzuri, situated in the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy of the famous Maasai Mara.

Today though safari isn’t just about the thrill of a game drive, it is very much about education and long-term conservation and nothing is more important to the Rangers and Guides at both Ulusaba and Mahali Mzuri. Guests on safari can expect to learn in abundance about endangered species and help in the work being done to protect them for our future generation. They will have the opportunity to immerse themselves in local culture, visit the local communities that both  game reserves support and witness some of the hugely important work both camps are doing to educate, develop and protect the livelihoods of those communities.

Offer – Ulusaba Private Game Reserve – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free.

Valid for new bookings for arrivals from 2nd January – 30th June and 1st September – 21st December 2021. Stays at Safari and Rock Lodge start from ZAR 12,000 and Cliff Lodge from ZAR 22,200. Rates are quoted per person, per night, based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, all meals and drink (including a top quality wine list and champagne), twice daily game drives.

Offer – Mahali Mzuri – All new bookings of three nights or more will be treated to the final night for free.

Valid for arrivals from: 1st August – 21st December 2020 and 2nd January – 15th June 2021, 1st November – 21st December 2021. Rates from US$ 945 per person, per night based on double occupancy and all rates include accommodation, daily game drives and game drives at night in 13,500 hectares, all meals and drinks (including alcoholic beverages), conservancy fees and unlimited access to the exclusive Olare Motorogi Conservancy, visits to the local markets, transfers from the Olare Orok airstrip and all taxes and local levies.

A TASTE OF LOCAL CULTURE:

Kasbah Tamadot – Situated in the spectacular High Atlas Mountains of Morocco, this award-winning Kasbah has gained a reputation for the incredible work it does to support the local villages that surround it. With 99% of staff locals of the surrounding villages, the hotel is renowned for combining luxury whilst immersing its guests in community culture. For a true cultural immersion, guests are invited to join the Authentically Berber Experience. This includes a 2/3 hour walking trek in the Atlas Mountains, tea in a local Berber house, one hour Berber cooking lesson, Berber bread baking and a visit to the Eve Branson Foundation set up by the hotel and Eve herself in 2005.

Offer – Guests booking a stay of four nights or more will receive the final night for free. Those looking to stay a little longer, will be offered two nights free when booking seven nights or more.

This offer is valid for arrivals from 15th October – 21st December 2020 & 1st May – 30th September 2021, subject to availability. Rates are from MAD 6,000 per room, per night based on double occupancy and include accommodation in one of the luxurious bedrooms, suites or Berber Tents, a daily breakfast of hot and cold dishes and all taxes.

PRIVATE RESIDENCES FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY:

Mont Rochelle – 2020 saw an increase in demand for villa and private residence rentals, something that is expected to continue into 2021 as families look for privacy and seclusion away from the crowds. The stunning private Manor House at Mont Rochelle Hotel & Vineyard, set in the beautiful vineyards of Franschhoek, offers the perfect oasis. Made up of four deluxe suites, and a luxurious bunk room for children, as well as two private swimming pools, it offers all the creature comforts of a home while allowing guests to indulge in all the luxuries of a hotel stay. Groups of up to eight people are welcomed to kick back and relax while a dedicated team of staff take care of the rest; from arranging private dining and spa treatments to horse-back riding and wine tasting, no detail is overlooked.

Offer – Groups of up to eight adults and six children will be welcomed to make the Manor House their own for long stays of one month or more.

Rates start from 35,000 Rand per night based on a Bed and Breakfast basis. Rates are inclusive of accommodation and access to all the luxury facilities at Mont Rochelle including the spa and two restaurants Miko & Country Kitchen, a dedicated villa manager, daily breakfast and daily housekeeping. There is also the option for guests to have their own chef or stay on a half board basis. Terms and conditions apply.

The Lodge – Perched high in the Swiss Alps of Verbier, The Lodge will be re-opening this December as Switzerland relaxes its quarantine conditions across most countries.  Groups looking to make the most of the winter season can do so in complete privacy from their own stunning luxury alpine lodge.

Offer – Guests can book the nine impressive bedrooms and suites exclusively from CHF 150,000 for a seven night stay and for the first time The Lodge is also introducing new rates for smaller groups whereby guests can book up to six rooms from only CHF 110,000, or, up to four rooms at CHF 90,000 for a seven night stay. Stays of less than 7 nights are also welcomed in selected weeks of the season, as another first for The Lodge in 2021.

Rates are inclusive of luxury accommodation, all meals including a light lunch for those guests not eating on the mountain, all drinks including a top-quality wine list and house champagne, a dedicated team, inclusive of a 24-hour driver service within Verbier, plus all local taxes. Not to mention full use of the indoor pool, indoor and outdoor hot tubs and a friendly team of experienced staff including Michelin-star trained chefs.

INTIMATE WEDDINGS:

Restrictions around the world saw wedding plans change drastically in 2020. Larger weddings were reduced to much smaller numbers, a change that has been embraced by many as they adapt their plans and look for a more intimate celebration. The Virgin Limited Edition collection of retreats lend themselves to privacy and seclusion; the ideal combination for couples celebrating their honeymoon or those looking for an intimate setting to say, ‘I Do’. From elopements and small ceremonies, to a private ceremony in the African bush, intimate nuptials in amongst the vines, or even a romantic soiree on a secluded beach of a private island, couples are sure to have a wedding that dreams are made of.

Jon Brown, Managing Director of Virgin Limited Edition, commented: “We are delighted to have been able to re-open so many of our properties this year and begin to welcome back our much-missed guests. As we look ahead, we are very excited to be re-opening Necker Island and The Lodge as well as launching Moskito Island. While travel has been limited for so many of us in 2020, it is fantastic to see so many new trends and travel habits emerging. We hope that 2021 will see us welcoming the world back to our properties and our local communities; offering the opportunity to reconnect, celebrate milestones that have passed or simply just to get away from it all in a place that feels a million miles away from reality.”

No one wants to think that travel may not be an option next year, but if that is the case Virgin Limited Edition is offering guests the opportunity to postpone bookings for no fee, and refundable deposits so they can keep on planning and dreaming of their next escape with confidence.

Aston Martin photo by Rodrigo Valera/Getty Images for 360 Magazine and Elliott Stares

Aston Martin Residences Unveils First Aston Martin DBX in America

The first customer Aston Martin DBX destined for The Americas is turning heads at Aston Martin Residences in Miami, with its highly anticipated unveiling at the sales center on Tuesday, November 24th, by Alejandro Aljanati, CMO of G&G Business Developments, and Nicolette Brent, UK Consul for Florida.

Owners of the exclusive Signature condos (line 01) at Aston Martin Residences have the enviable choice of having a DBX Riverwalk Edition or DB11 Riverwalk Edition to complement their new home.

DBX is an SUV with the soul of a sports car. A true Aston Martin, and the first model to be “Made in Wales” arriving this week in downtown Miami from Aston Martin’s assembly plant in Wales at St. Athan, it captures the very spirit of the brand as a beautiful hand-built, yet technologically advanced car.

Germán Coto, CEO of G&G Business Developments, said: “We’re delighted that the first customer DBX built for The Americas is here in Miami. This brand-new Aston Martin joins our DB11 and Rapide S sports cars, enabling purchasers of the Signature condos to test drive the DBX and the DB11 directly from our Sales Centre before deciding which Aston Martin is right for them. The fleet at the Aston Martin Residences forms part of our exclusive butler service, which enhances the ownership experience by offering personal support for our valued clients and VIP guests.”

With its unmistakable style, DBX celebrates Aston Martin’s design language in a new form. Resplendent in sophisticated Jet Black with 22” sport wheels, an Obsidian Black interior, Piano Black Wood Veneer and contrast Satin Chrome detailing, the Aston Martin Residences’ DBX makes a bold, modern statement.

DBX signals a new era in Aston Martin’s pursuit to deliver exceptional performance, style and usability in a segment previously unexplored by the world-famous manufacturer. Bringing both the versatility and indulgence expected of a luxury SUV with sports car levels of dynamic performance, DBX sets a bold new standard in this sector.

Aston Martin Residences is a striking new 66-floor luxury residential development in Miami created by G&G Business Developments. With more than 60% of 391 homes sold to-date, construction of the sail-shaped tower is scheduled for completion in 2022. Click HERE.

About Aston Martin Residences Miami:

Aston Martin Residences Miami is a luxury condominium tower being developed by global property developer G&G Business Developments at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way on the Downtown Miami waterfront where the Miami River meets Biscayne Bay. The project marks Aston Martin’s first real estate venture and the iconic brand’s expansion into luxury residential design. Designed by Revuelta Architecture and Bodas Miani Anger, the striking 66-story sailboat shaped tower will feature 391 luxury residences and penthouses priced from the $970,000s to upwards of $50 million. Construction is underway and expected to be completed in 2022. To learn more, click HERE.

About G&G Business Developments:

Headquartered in Miami, G&G Business Developments was founded and is managed by key members of the Coto family. The company has quickly established success in global real estate as a developer, owner and investor, bringing its visionary business strategy to this competitive market. Known for financial strength and stability, G&G is committed to the development of innovative, luxury projects that mix the latest technology with uncompromising design, delivering exceptional results by creating unique residential and business properties with long-term value.

*Photo credit: Rodrigo Valera/Getty Images