Saturday, April 30, 2016


Panama at Another Crossroads

Executive summary by darmansjah

Panama City’s waterfront causeway has views of downtown

PANAMA CITY After a decade of stop-and-go development, the Frank Gehry-designed BioMuseo opens February 3.  The debut marks a defining moment for the capital in the centennial of another game changer: the Panama Canal. Actually, the museum’s protracted birth fits the subject matter of its galleries, which tell a story that began some 20 million years ago. Tectonic plates clashed and underwater volcanoes roiled to form the land bridge between continents today known as the nation of Panama, reshaping global climate and propelling massive biodiversity. Now, as Panama City transforms into a vibrant boom town, Gehry’s riot of Play-Doh colors, convoluted shapes, and helter-skelter arrangement makes a new anchor for the evolving skyline. Sensory overload continues inside the BioMuseo. In the Panamarama gallery, wall projections of native ecosystems such as tropical cloud and rain forests envelop visitors with the point of view of sea turtles, leafcutter ants, and other indigenous creatures. Elsewhere, lopsided columns tower over gallerygoers to represent the igneous rock that thrust up fro mthe depths of the sea to forge the country. “Panama has always been more that a canal,” says spokesman. “Now you can experience its history, people, biodiversity, and culture-within a work of art.”

Friday, April 29, 2016


Britains’s Ultimate Cliff-Hanger

Executive summary by darmansjah

West Bay Beach in southern England

DORSET If these cliffs in West Bay Beach look familiear, it’s because they brood over the key crime secne in the transatlantic TV hit Broadchurch. Rising as if ripped from Earth’s crust, the formation has always seemed positioned for dramatic effect. In fact, show creator chris Chibanall calls the murder mystery a love letter ot his home in West Dorset. Beyond the bluffs lie all the trappings of a classic British seaside town : thatched cottages, shops brimming with buckets and spades, strawberry jam on scones, and generous lashings of clotted cream-all served up in one of England’s most family-friendly settings. Still, like the shadowy characters of Broachurch, Dorset thrives on secrets. Other red sediment, gravel-encased fossils, and preserved dinosaur footprints contribute to the 200 million years of semiburied history that earned this 95-mile shoreline its status as a World Heritage site and its nickname of Jurassic Coast. With luck, a guide, and occasionally a geological hammer, hikers can uncover fossils amid the craggy coves, sandy beaches, and blustery walkways while puffins lurch overhead and dolphins slice through choppy waves. Although experts unearth fossils around the West Bay cliffs, beginners can maximize their luck a few miles west in Lyme Regis, aka the Pearl of Dorset.
Stay at the bull hotel, where some rooms have four poster beds or roll-top tubs, in a renovated coaching inn.
In the 1040s, Benedictine monks raised swans for banquet food at Dorset’s Abbotsbury Swannery, where a colony of mute swans nests today.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Tulsa, Oklahoma

This Town Was Made for Music Lovers

Executive summary by darmansjah

An interactive map at downtown Tulsa’s Woody Guthrice Center

TULSA, OKLAHOMA An alternative steak fuels this oil town. A mural on downtown’s new Woody Guthrie Center shows the Oklahoman songwriter holding a guitar tagged “This machine kills fascist”-words he scrawled on his instrument in 1943 but not the one his name usually conjures. “This Land is Your Land isn’t just aqq campfire song; Guthrie really was a radical,” says Dena McCloud, executive director of the museum. Tulsa likewise is often misunderstood. With an art deco skyline of gargoyles and spires, the icty has long been rich in the arts, from Cain’s Ballroom-displaying paraphernalia from famous headliners including Bob Wils, the Sex Pistols, and Wilco-to a glassblowing school and the 19,000-seat BOK Center. Additions such as the Woody Guthrie Center and a downtown branch of the Philbrook contemporary art museum have reinvigorated the historic Brady Arts District. The 19-story Mayo Hotel, a 1925 landmark with Doric columns, seemed fasted for demolition a few years ago; now renovated, it attracts post-arena-concert crowds to its rooftop bar (part of suite where Elvis Presley once stayed). And on any given night at SoundPony, whether punk or electronic, the music is always free and original. “We were weird before Austin,” says sculptor Colleen Stiles. “We just kept it to ourselves.”

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Discovery tours by gate 1

Executive summary by darmansjah

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Barossa Valley

The New Wine Wizards of Oz

Executive summary by darmansjah

Kingsford Homestead in South Australia’s Barossa Valley.

BAROSSA VALLEY, AUSTRALIA Like a fine wine, this valley an hour north of Adelaide is aged perfection. Wineries here are housed in sandstone cottages built circa 1860, and multigenerational families still use Old World techniques and fruit from century-old vines planted in the shadow of ancient gum trees.

Visitors follow rows of gnarled grapevines to find more than 150 wineries and 80 tasting rooms-called cellar doors-from some of the country’s most vaunted Shiraz names. But lately, the younger generation has set a new course that’s equal parts heritage and renewal. “We’re about more than traditional shiraz,” says Kirsty Radford, part of a family of fifth-generation winemakers. “We’re trying differentiation and growing methods and producing varietals not usually done here.” Tap into the revitalization at the Artisans of Barossa, a bluestone-meets-glass-and-steel co-op where seven experimental winemakers pour such small-batch surprises as Grenache and Roussane. Away from the vine, 28-year-old native chef Lachlan Colwill celebrates the region’s bounty with dishes like foraged mushrooms sprinkled with trarragon at Hentley Farms Restaurant. And the Kingsford Homestead, a seven-suite hotel in a meticulously restored 1856 homestead, draws bush baths under a canopy of gum trees and serves dinner in a stone walled wine cellar.

Try the barossa’s other top product, fortified wine. With a price tag of $168,000, the 2004 Block 42 Cabernet Sauvignon from Barossa-based Penfolds is one of the worl’s spendiest vintages