WATCH: Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s BBC Interview

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Image courtesy of BBC

Perhaps the most nefarious, self-serving Republican maneuver of the last 12 months has been the blocking of the Supreme Court nomination of moderate Merrick Garland – purely because he was chosen by an outgoing President Obama. Trump nominee Neil Gorsuch will have his hearing in March; and sitting (since 1993) Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg has just told the BBC, “I have worked with him, and I think he’s very easy to get along with.” Faint, if not necessarily damning praise.

Ginsburg’s full interview with BBC Newsnight revealed a refreshing sense of optimism, despite her observation that, “We are not experiencing the best of times.” Indeed, the current President has declared “war” on both the press and the American judiciary.

“There’s hope in seeing how the public is reacting to it,” she offered, referring to the divisive politics of the current administration. “The women’s march, I’ve never seen such a demonstration – both the numbers and the rapport of the people in that crowd.”

Watch the full interview here.

 

Budding Trend? Yoga at Music Festivals

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First it was sobriety tents. Now, yoga is making an appearance at music festivals. Apparently, not everyone wants to just get off their heads while getting into the groove.

To wit, Tampa’s (non-profit) Gasparilla Music Festival, March 11-12, will feature the estimable sonic talents of Ryan Adams, Ghostface Killah, Cage the Elephant and Los Amigos Invisibles (amongst many others, of course). But Saturday’s program will also feature Yoga at GMF, combining meditation, dance and, well, reggae – perhaps hoping to help attendees find their mind-body Babylon all the way down there in the Sunshine State.

Sarah Lesch is lead yoga instructor. But she will also be assisted musically by Dubb Tenn and MC Badda Skat.

Gasparilla Music Foundation’s Executive Director David Cox explains, “The ‘health and wellness’ community is a large growing presence in Tampa Bay, so it was natural to have that represented at our festival.”

Wanderlust Festivals have been mixing wellness and music (Spoon, Common, Broken Social Scene) since 2009. But the trend has yet to become a full blown one. Though, if you consider the general music festival audience, it really does seem rather inevitable.

“It not only helps to get the festival going in a positive way,” continues Cox, “but participants really get to experience a heightened sense of enjoyment of the music, the landscape and the people after the [yoga] program.”

Only adding to the sense of “conscious” entertainment, GMF’s core mission is actually to raise money to refurbish musical instruments and get them into the hands of those who would not otherwise have access to them.

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Canada Turns 150 – Fairmont Hotels + Air Canada Throw a Fabulous Winter Party

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Image by Stephanie Starjovski

With its hotsy Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and its enviable, progressive society, Canada doesn’t look a day over 21. But in truth, she turns a gorgeous 150 this year – and we were recently invited up to celebrate that special birthday with her.

Our hosts? Toronto based Fairmont Hotels & Resorts have actually teamed up with Air Canada Jetz to offer up one of the most fabulous promotions we’ve ever had the pleasure to make acquaintance with: Après in the Air allows you and fifty-odd of your most fun-loving friends / hangers-on to charter a swish private jet – whose interior is sexily done up like a very stylish ski chalet party, complete with plush pillows and blankets, a cheese trolley and copious champagne.

The trip then takes you to the capital, Ottawa, and the dazzling Quebec resorts of Montebello and Tremblant.

Of course, you don’t need four-dozen friends to enjoy an ethereal winter getaway up North – though we highly recommend accumulating them beforehand. Either way, here’s how to do it all in very Canadian style.

Ottawa, Fairmont Chateau Laurier

The country’s capital, it has a homey, rustic feel (think Portland), but with awesomely grandiose architecture perched dramatically above its eponymous river. Check in to the spectacular Fairmont Chateau Laurier, which is, stylistically, an 18th Century French castle right in the middle of downtown.
Hipster sorts will love the city’s Canada Agriculture And Food Museum, or the Canadian Museum of Nature; But the National Gallery, which houses contemporary, Asian, sculpture and photography collections, is perhaps very much on topic with its exhibition, The Advent of Abstraction: Russia, 1914-1923.
Make time to walk the Alexandra Bridge over the Ottawa River (it takes you all the way to Quebec) for jaw-droppingly awesome views of the city skyline.
If you want to hit Ottawa’s food scene, Riviera, Back Lane Cafe, Navarra by Rene Rodriguez, Play Food & Wine, Pressed, Fraser Cafe and The Urban Pear are amongst the best.
But back at the Chateau Laurier, a must do is the Great Canadian Winter Tea in the hotel’s Zoe’s Lounge – with duck confit sandwiches, maple eclairs and Saskatoon berry tarts. Later, order up a few rounds of their exclusive 150 Canadantini – made with Iceberg Canadian Vodka and Cave Spring Canadian IceWine.

Quebec, Fairmont Le Château Montebello

Simply put, one of the most romantic destinations anywhere. The Chateau itself, built by a Swiss millionaire in the 1920s, is the largest log structure in the world, actually – as if someone had constructed a charming wood cabin and it was subsequently puffed up into a luxurious resort. We took a rather thrilling ride through the woods and over the grounds by means of a husky-propelled sled. But sporting types can also take to one of a pair of curling courts on site (it’s really just as exciting as it looks in The Olympics), enjoy a bit of cross-country skiing, or do some high-speed snowmobiling on an ethereally frozen Ottawa River.
But perhaps the best winter sport of all is cocktails or brandies at the Chateau’s Bar le Foyer, which surrounds a striking six-sided fireplace. Afterwards, dine on locally-sourced dishes (tartare of Quebec smoked duck, Boileau red deer, vegan squash & chickpea cake) at the hotel’s rustic-luxe Aux Chantignoles restaurant.

 

Quebec, Fairmont Tremblant

This is the grooviest ski resort in Quebec Province, hands down. Hit the slopes above a buzzing brightly-painted village of shops, restaurants and cafes, which is part Canadian charm, part Swiss chic.
In between swishes, take a dip in the Chateau’s heated outdoor pool (or if you’ve had a particularly vigorous day of skiing, try the outdoor therapeutic whirlpool bath). Set aside an afternoon for the Spa de Tremblant – indulge in a warm & cold basalt stone massage, a Valmont signature facial treatment or an elixir ice cider body wrap (Seriously, how could you not want an ice cider wrap?). Rooms have a plush, living room vibe – ask for one with views up the slopes.
Even if you don’t ski, take the gondola up to the top of Mont Tremblant, and just stand around in awe for awhile.
End it all with Après–ski at its finest: champagne cocktails on the Chateau’s terrace around a crackling a fire, with a striking nighttime view of the village below.
Happy Birthday, Canada!

BLACKBOOK VIDEO PREMIERE: Love, Ecstasy and Terror’s ‘Carousel’

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Adam Bravin was best known as one half of the hip darkwave duo She Wants Revenge, whose post-punk-referencing singles like “These Things,” “Tear You Apart” and “Out of Control” made them a hit with the cool kids in the latter half of the Oughts. He also mans the decks as DJ Adam 12 – and his talents have been appreciated by everyone from Stevie Wonder to Prince to Barack Obama. 
 
His new project is the brilliantly monikered Love, Ecstasy and Terror, which was the result of fellow SWR member Justin Warfield pushing him to go out on his own – with impressive results. Here we premiere the first LXT video, for the track “Carousel,” and chat with Bravin about his musical mission, terrifying relationships, and DJing for the President. 

 

 

There’s almost a later Beatles-y vibe to the new material. What was your musical vision for LXT?

My mission was to express myself as honestly and as thoroughly as possible. It was the first time in my life that I felt I could incorporate all of the music that has become a part of me. I wanted to create something cinematic, in a sense. I love music that makes me feel, makes me think and makes me envision a world that may or may not exist. I’d like to think that this music accomplishes the same thing.

Is there a particular meaning behind the name?

Almost all of the romantic relationships I’ve had in my life have included moments of love, moments of ecstasy, and definitely moments of terror. 

Does She Wants Revenge still exist?

Yes. Justin and I see each other all the time. We celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our debut album last year, and spent most of the year touring, playing our first album in its entirety. We recorded a new song about a year ago, and will most likely record a new song or two sometime this year, if time permits. 

You still DJ around LA. What have you been doing specifically?

I promote and DJ three nights currently: Giorgio’s, which is a private party, mostly 70s disco and funk, with a little 80s R&B, electro and freestyle. It’s located inside the Mmhmm lounge in The Standard Hotel, Hollywood. Also Cloak & Dagger, which is a members only club that everyone must wear all black to get in. I only play music that’s “dark, everything from Depeche Mode to Wu-Tang Clan. It’s located at 1666 McCadden Place in Hollywood. And finally AFEX, which is a throwback party. 1979 – 2005 hip hop, classics and breaks only. Every last Friday at The Satellite in Silver Lake. Always off the hook.

You DJ’d for Barack Obama. What was that like?

As a DJ, it doesn’t really get any bigger than that. It was an honor and a privilege to offer my services to President Obama, who was one of the coolest people I’ve ever met. He’s just like you imagine he would be. I’ve been fortunate to live a lifetime DJing for some of the most amazing people in the world, Prince, Michael Jackson, Dr. Dre, Diddy, Stevie Wonder, the list goes on and on…but this was a whole other level. Coolest job ever. 

What songs would you DJ for Donald Trump?

I would never DJ for him. If it were in a dream (or a nightmare) I would most likely play “Impeach the President” by The Honeydrippers.

Eight Reasons to Love the New 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge

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With luxury skyscrapers going up all over Williamsburg, Greenpoint and Bushwick, we’re long past the notion that there is still some set of mythical “Brooklyn values” in place. (You’d probably have to move to Omaha for that.) But while some of the borough’s trendy hotels (i.e. The William Vale) feel more SoBe than BKNY, the gorgeous new 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge (we popped in for the opening bash last week) feels distinctly….right for the “new” Brooklyn.

In all honesty, the hotel could likely simply advertise, “Well, we’ve got these views of Manhattan…” and the job would be done. But it’s actually shot through with what seems a genuinely sincere attempt at conscientious hospitality, down to the recycling baskets in the rooms. And yet, there is most definitely a subtle glamour at work as well.

Here’s what we (and you will as well) love most about it.

Views! Views!…Views!

Surely Manhattan looks best at its southernmost. And waking up to the sun rising over the East River, and glancing over the hotel’s namesake bridge to the epic towers of the Financial District – that is hands down our new favorite amenity right now. Oh, how jealous your Instagram followers will be.

The Design

We were instantly taken with what could only be described as a beautifully realized Asian-industrial aesthetic. Distressed concrete gives it a “not-too-overdesigned” feel. And everywhere you look, something seems to bring you closer to a sense of serenity – while the high ceilings, tall columns and massive windows inspire a bit of awe. Call it…”epic zen.”

Rooms With Sliding Windows (and Views!)

American hoteliers have a terrible habit of installing windows in the rooms that open only about two inches…or not at all. Those at 1HBB actually slide all the way open – glory! And glass enclosed showers mean that you can scrub-a-dub-dub whilst thrilling to those aforementioned spectacular views. We love the concrete floors, too.

The Tesla

The hotel has its own black, gull-wing Tesla, which can zip guests around to nearby locations. Very. Cool.

Brooklyn Bridge Park

How many hotels in New York City have their own park? And indeed, 1HBB sits proudly amidst the lovely waterfront green space pithily named Brooklyn Bridge Park. Spend a peaceful sunset moment after a long day of dealing with the world and its wife.

Poolside Cocktails

You could have easily guessed this one. In May a new venue will be unveiled at 1HBB, for cocktails and bites by the pool. Expect it to be a scene – but one with (see above) really, really great views.

The Food

There’s a welcoming, sunlit cafe already on site, stocking local Brooklyn goodies – and a terribly stylish Lobby Lounge. But sometime in spring, the hotel will open a still hush-hush restaurant drawing on its eco-luxe ideology. Watch this space for word on who will be helming the kitchen.

It’s Pet Friendly!

Bring Fido. He’ll love the park as well, obviously.

 

INTERVIEW: Detroit Electro Icons ADULT.

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When electroclash took over the scene from New York to London to everywhere else that mattered at the turn of the Millennium, confrontational Detroit duo ADULT. had already begun resuscitating the darker aesthetic and lyrical tenets of 80s Euro-electro. Yet while so many of their peers were churning out opulent kitsch-deesko, Adam Lee Miller instead conjured a sonic palette which was jittery, foreboding, and cold but sensual, as front-banshee Nicola Kuperus wailed lyrics about human corruption, psychological emptiness and, well, all manner of everyday anxieties. (Indeed, they named a 2003 album Anxiety Always.)

They went on to transcend any genre classification, and to establish a signature brand of Teutonic techno-metal-pop. No surprise, they’re really big in Germany. Nicola also became a prominent art photographer, noted for the rather gruesome humor of her “death scene” tableaux.

Now they’re back with their first new album in four years, edifyingly titled Detroit House Guests – and due for release March 17 on MuteIndeed, they invited several of their most bellicose, uncompromising musical friends – including Michael Gira of Swans, Douglas J. McCarthy of Nitzer Ebb, and Light Asylum’s awesome Shannon Funchess – out to their Motor City studio for what turned out to be some very electrifying recording sessions.

Highlights? Gira and Kuperus forcefully chant “Nonsense / No sense” over the eerie buy absorbing dissonance of “Breathe On”; McCarthy’s haunting baritone lends a portentous edge to the infectious, Depeche Mode-like synth pop of “They’re Just Words”; and Funchess unleashes her feral beast on the sinister-but-groove-heavy “We Chase the Sound.” In the overall, Detroit House Guests impressively exhibits the astonishing breadth of their creative purview, while seemingly following a clear thematic arc.

We caught up with the pair for a chat about cultural overload, public vs. private persona, and, of course, anxiety.

Tension has always been your stock in trade, huh?

NK  I think so. And anxiety.

There’s a lot of anxiety now.

ALM  It’s interesting, we’re putting together our live set – and we were shocked by how these songs written during the Bush era still sound so current.
NK  As artists, we were always there to speak for the disenfranchised.

There’s a lyric on the album, “All that we perceive might be otherwise / These words that you say might be all lies.” It’s pretty spot on for our current situation.

NK  It is, but these are things that we’re always dealing with. The day Trump came into office, we were jamming to Dead Kennedys and Crass – and it’s amazing how relevant those albums are still.
ALM  I also think that Nicola writes lyrics that are very open ended – that can shift as the state of the nation shifts.

Worringly, though, there seems to be nothing provocative happening in music right now.

NK & ALM  I agree.

There’s the theory that technology has taken over for culture.

ALM  Well, we’ve been watching this CNN program that goes through the 60s, 70s…and the first 80s episode is all about television. Plenty of people thought TV was going to kill culture and make everyone mindless. But I don’t envy the young now, because I don’t know what that must be like – for everything to be on all the time. And everything is so public. It has to be exhausting at a level that I don’t think people completely understand yet.
NK  And people now feel that everything they do is important; they feel entitled to the attention.

Everyone just says what they’re thinking without actually…thinking.

ALM  If you would have told me that our President would be tweeting at five in the morning…how did it get to that level of pervasiveness?

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Shannon Funchess is incredible, isn’t she?

NK  She is a powerhouse. Just to have her in the studio and to listen to that voice, that power coming out of her…it’s really inspiring.

Despite all the guests, though, the album feels remarkably cohesive. 

NK  It is a real journey in sound and in narrative, yes.

It’s especially great to hear Douglas McCarthy on a couple of songs. Nitzer Ebb arguably got ghettoized by the “industrial” tag. But they’re much more important and influential than they’re given credit for.

NK  Absolutely. They always challenged their audience, and that’s what we are always trying to do.

There’s the lyric, “This is the way the body works.” And both bands have always explored the mind/body divide – the battle between the physical and the psychological.

NK  The past couple of years I’ve been interested in the concept of the “front stage” and “back stage.” The author Erving Goffman wrote a book called The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life, about how we all have a front stage physicality, and a back stage that’s more psychological.

With all the cultural clatter of these modern times, how hard is it to stay important and relevant?

NK  That’s a complicated question. You always have to promote yourself as an artist – it’s just different now. Ultimately you have to keep working and just do good work.

Does this record still represent ADULT. being an oppositional force? Do you hope that you can still rouse people?

ALM  Certainly we do. We still put absolutely everything into what we do.

Finally, how did depressed Detroit suddently become the new cool place?

NK  I’m not sure how cool it actually is. But being in Detroit we never have to compromise anything we do – because we live insanely cheaply. So artists can support themselves here. But even Detroit, like so many other places now, is on the verge of that, “Will it keep its integrity?” moment.

 

Nordstrom + Olivia Kim Launch ‘The Lab’

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Though the official line was that Nordstrom dropped Ivanka Trump simply because the clothes weren’t selling – the retailer has been elevated to the role of “hero” by those forming the opposition to our new President’s early core policy decisions. So there is a particular satisfaction in helping them to support young, up-and-coming talent.

And indeed, this week Nordstrom launched ‘The Lab,’ which will showcase the next generation of designers, featuring selected items from carefully chosen fashion unknowns. A project of SPACE, a boutique-within-a-store overseen by VP of Creative Projects Olivia Kim, the program’s inaugural five are NYC’s Eckhaus Latta (pictured above), young Canadian Vejas (Kruszewski), Turkish-but-London-based Dilara Findikoglu (we love her provocative rocker chic), Natalia Alaverdian’s A.W.A.K.E., and punky Eric Schlösberg.

“We wanted to find a way to show the truly new brands just starting out,” enthuses Kim, “and to recognize the great, raw talent out there. The Lab is for the designers who have just launched their collections, did their first show, maybe used their friends as models and showed in a basketball court in the Lower East Side. It’s true, authentic and they’re creating beautiful collections that we want to share with our customers.”

‘The Lab’ will be available at select Nordstrom locations: LA, Chicago, Vancouver, Toronto, flagship Seattle and Nordstrom.com/SPACELab. It will be refreshed with each new season.

 

  • Vejas
  • Dilara Findikoglu
  • A.W.A.K.E.
  • Eric Schlösberg

The Hot Hotels for Paris Fashion Week

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Most calamitously, the upper echelons of the fashion flock had been forced to endure the several-times-delayed reopenings of both Le Ritz and de Crillon, Paris’ exalted “Palace” hotels. But the former is at last welcoming guests again, much to the relief of its fiercely loyal clientele. Even still, the capital is hardly ever wanting for fabulous places to bed down after the rigorous whirl of fashion shows and parties.

And so, as another Paris Fashion Week prepares to dazzle its way through the City of Light, we look at the best new and renewed hotels in the capital, and who will be staying there.

 

Le Ritz, 1st Arrondissement

Who’s Staying: The elite of the elite of fashion.

There’s a scene in How to Steal a Million, where Peter O’Toole asks Audrey Hepburn for a ride back to the Ritz, and she replies, “You’re a very chic burglar, aren’t you?” What more need be said? It’s the most glamorous hotel in the world, now newly glamorized – and where you need to be to bump expensively clad shoulders with the likes of Karl, Anna and Kate.

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Hotel Grand Amour, 10th Arrondissement

Who’s Staying: The “It” people

With Monsieur Andre’s hipster playground Hotel Amour feting its 10th anniversary last year, he’s given it a sister to celebrate. Hotel Grand Amour, opened amidst the nightlife buzzings of the 10e, has 44 capriciously designed rooms – some by Purple’s Olivier Zahm, some by Glenn O’Brien – and a charmingly cozy bar and restaurant. Staff uniforms are by Maison Kitsuné – so, yes, do mind your style at all times.

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Renaissance Paris Republique, 10th Arrondissement

Who’s Staying: The Epicures

That its opening party in June was DJ’d by The Misshapes says it all. This strikingly designed hotel has sleek rooms with multiple “picture” windows framing the Parisian cityscape, and something of a retro living room feel in the public spaces (which include a stunning terrace). But it’s also right nearby to the indie fashion shopping of Le Marais, the ethnic restaurant scene along Canal Saint Martin, and not far from all that hip rue Oberkampf bar hopping.

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Hotel Les Bains, 3rd Arrondissement

Who’s Staying: The A-list celebs, rock stars, and the designers who dress them.

First opened in 1885, Les Bains was later a decadent spa/nightspot that attracted the likes of Bowie, Depeche Mode, Sean Penn, Johnny Depp, Jean Paul Gaultier and Jean Michel Basquiat. Now it’s a pinnacle of bohemian luxe (and the newest Parisian member of Design Hotels), fittingly located in the boho-chic Marais. When booking, request a room with a balcony. Though with a private lounge, dramatically designed bar and a basement nightclub, expect sleeping to be the last thing on anyone’s mind.

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Le Grand Pigalle, 9th Arrondissement

Who’s Staying: The cool kids and the up-and-comers

In the now so terribly hip (and former red light district) Pigalle neighborhood that gives it its name, this is an “It” hotel – from the Mssrs. behind Experimental Cocktail Club – designed by “It” girl Dorothée Meilichzon. Naturally, then, stylish, faux vintage rooms have minibars with ready-mixed cocktails. But the Italo-inspired wine bar is where you’ll find all the best fashion schmoozing.

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La Reserve, 8th Arrondissement

Who’s Staying: The couture clients

Sister to the hotels of the same name (and same exorbitant rates) in Geneva and St. Tropez, the Paris edition is fitted into the plush former mansion of the Duc de Morny in the poshie 8e. But far from stuffy, interiors by superstar designer Jacques Garcia include flamboyant flourishes of his signature Empire style – as in, lots of burgundy and turquoise velvet set against dramatic drapery and baroque fireplaces. Regal, but chic.

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Generator Hostel, 10th Arrondissement

Who’s Staying: Stylistas on a budget

Paris’ latest entry in the “hip hostel” stakes, this Generator follows properties in London, Barcelona, Berlin, etc. Its dorm style rooms and shared hallway showers (it does have private chambers, should you so desire) make it perfect for fashion bloggers and non-super models. Style is somewhere between shambolic, neo-hippie and industrial-chic.

Generator Paris - Cafe Fabien - Nikolas Koenig

 

 

 

Culture Weekend Getaway: Logan Philadelphia Hotel

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Admittedly, when we stayed at the Four Seasons hotel in Philadelphia a few years back, we loved the space and the location – but found the vibe to be a little, well…stiff. So we returned intrigued after the property had been rebranded as The Logan Philadelphia, Curio Collection by Hilton.

The slightly complicated moniker has to do with it being a part of the newish Hilton boutique brand, meant to allow each hotel to express its particular individuality. Indeed, nothing about it suggests following any sort of corporate-issued blueprint. Immediately upon entering, one is greeted by the chic, fireplace-adorned Commons Lounge & Library, with its cooly mismatched furnishings and wall of windows overlooking the comely courtyard – making it feel like a sort of home-away-from-home for those with impeccable stylistic proclivities.

 

 

Notably, the hotel’s commissioned art collection makes clever reference to the city itself. A spectacular chandelier/installation, for instance, holds images of famous Philadelphians, and dangles dramatically above the lobby entrance. And a set of intriguing wire sculptures guards the elevator bank, a striking tribute to Philly’s storied Schuykill Regatta rowing team.

The rooms are still plush, but now sleeker and brighter – request one with a view of Logan Circle and its monumental historic architecture. But our favorite feature? The swish Library & Billiards Room just off the lobby lounge, where we sank a few (yes, you can take that as a double entendre) before our evening activities. It must be said, that far too few hotels have one.

Philly itself has always been one of our fave weekend getaways for food, culture and especially live music. It’s also a particularly poignant time, for obvious reasons, to revisit the Birthplace of American Democracy. Here’s how to do it best, with The Logan as your HQ.

The Barnes Foundation

Now moved to its architecturally spectacular new home quite nearby to the hotel, it’s a life-altering collection of Impressionist, Post-Impressionist and early modern works – as well as African sculpture and Native American textiles. It also has a film screening series, and “mixer” nights for budding art aficionados.

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The Philadelphia Museum of Art

Recently ranked as the third most important museum in America, its staggering collection of more than 240,000 works has just been augmented by the addition of the New South Asian Galleries. A current exhibition not to be missed is Vlisco: African Fashion on a Global Stage.

The Independent Gallery Scene

Philly creative types have the advantage of operating a bit outside the pressures of major market trends – so one can expect art of a less self-conscious, more provocative sort. The best galleries in which to immerse oneself in the scene are Pentimenti, Wexler and Paradigm Gallery + Studio, pictured below.

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Love Park 

Nearby to the Logan, the park renowned for its beloved Robert Indiana “LOVE” sculpture is getting a $16 makeover. It will become a great springtime hang, with more green space, fountains and, as it goes these days, zeitgeisty food trucks.

Sunday Brunch at Urban Farmer

The Logan’s trendily monikered restaurant actually manages to avoid all the farmy, Portlandia cliches. Dinner means some of the best steaks in the city (i.e. Kansas Creekstone Prime); but brunch is the real scene, with veggie frittatas, blue crab omelets, popcorn grits and a groovy, energetic crowd.

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La Colombe Coffee Roasters

Yes, they’re now in New York, Boston, D.C., Chicago…but this is where it all started. And don’t let some persnickety hipster barista tell you otherwise – La Colombe still serves the best coffee, period. Hit the Rittenhouse Square location, which retains a cool Boho vibe; and while you’re there, go all connoisseur and take home something from their rare Workshop collection…like the Lycello Blue Geisha or the Kenya – Karogoto.

The S. 18th Street Restaurant Scene

Just a short walk from the hotel, you can satisfy virtually every culinary craving imaginable within a four block stretch. There’s Stephen Starr’s The Dandelion for modern pub food in a cool, Anglophilic setting; Bar Bombon for buffalo cauliflower tacos and a serious mezcal list; a.kitchen + bar (pictured below) for bourgeois-chic style, killer martinis and mod bistro eats; Tria for Euro-y cheese-charcuterie-wine pairings; and Starr’s perpetually hip Parc, for a Europhile crowd sating on brasserie classics like steak tartare and trout amandine.

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Assembly Rooftop at The Logan 

If you can hold out until spring, the Logan’s rooftop bar is the chicest in the city, offering a striking overview of Philly’s most storied architecture and a notable selection of champers by the glass.

The Music Scene

Want to see a band, minus all the bored/boring, arms-folded hipsterati cluttering up venues in WBurg and Silver Lake? Make the rounds of Philly’s legendary venues like Electric Factory, The Trocadero and The TLA…or the newer Union Transfer – which in the coming weeks will feature the likes of Austra, Parquet Courts and The Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque. Other shows coming up in the city include Kings of Leon, Devandra Banhart and Talib Kweli.

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