24
Oct

Log in to manage your products and services from The New York Times and the International New York Times.

Don’t have an account yet?
Create an account »

Subscribed through iTunes and need an NYTimes.com account?
Learn more »

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/theater/josh-radner-and-gretchen-mol-star-in-disgraced-on-broadway.html

24
Oct

Log in to manage your products and services from The New York Times and the International New York Times.

Don’t have an account yet?
Create an account »

Subscribed through iTunes and need an NYTimes.com account?
Learn more »

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/24/world/europe/milibands-embrace-of-jewish-heritage-complicates-criticism-of-israel-.html

24
Oct

Belgium had horseback shrimp-fishing added last year, while Austria had Viennese coffee house culture inscribed in 2011.

Now the Swiss government has announced that it intends to have Switzerland’s “intangible heritage” added to the list, and drawn up a list of eight Swiss traditions to submit to Unesco.

Alongside yodelling, the list includes mechanical watchmaking, managing the risk of avalanches, graphic design and typography, Holy Week processions in Mendrisio, the Winemakers’ Festival held every 20 years in Vevey, and the Basel carnival.

It also includes the Alpine livestock season, which is marked by ceremonies in which herders take their animals to and from the mountains.

Under Unesco rules, each country can only submit one candidate for intangible heritage each year, so the Swiss government intends to submit its list successively over the next eight years. It has not decided which tradition to submit first.

Switzerland already has 11 sites with conventional World Heritage status, including the old city of Berne, the convent of St Gall, and the Jungfrau-Aletsch region of the Alps.

The UK has yet to have any intangible heritage listed, but it does have 27 conventional World Heritage sites, including Stonehenge, Bath, the Old and New Towns of Edinburgh, and the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey.

Article source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/switzerland/11182946/Yodelling-earmarked-for-Unesco-World-Heritage-status.html

22
Oct

Twenty five years ago next month, Czechslovakia was born after a half century of the Communist darkness. Throughout November 1989, students protested in Bratislava and Prague. A two hour general strike was held on the 27 of November throughout the country causing the entire Communist Party leadership to resign including Milos Jakes the puppet General Secretary. In response to this demonstration of people power, the Communist Party announced it would relinquish power and dismantle the single-party state. As barbed wire was removed, the Constitution changed. Vaclav Havel became the first President of Czechoslovakia on 29 December 1989.

I was in Paris and 23 years old at the time, and could not stop reading about this seismic shift in the newspapers. I wanted to see it and my opportunity came to travel to the scene of the Velvet Revolution.

I came to Prague in February 1990 for a photoshoot sent by my modelling agency in Paris with a well-known Czech photographer and his model wife. I told them I wanted to see ground zero. My hosts were nervous as we crossed into the border of Czechoslovakia with an American in the backseat, and they told me to not say a word under any circumstance. ‘This is our first time back too. We don’t know exactly if it is all true,’ they said. They took good care of me. My memories of this couple have lasted far longer than the photographs of me on the Charles River Bridge that he took. They were incredibly generous despite an obvious uncertainty in the situation around them. When they drive me back to Paris, we hugged, and they said they were immediately returning as they had much to do to build their country. Paris was not enough.

Fast forward to 15 October 2014, EntrepreneurCountry Czech Republic was ‘born’. One of 15 regions across the continent, Lucie Bresova and Lukas Hrdlickainvited the leading entrepreneurs to come to the Pavilon Grebovka and formally announce the creation of this new country which I affectionately call: entrepreneur country. I decided to found a new country as I saw the ravaging of entrepreneurs and their businesses through the 2009 financial crisis. I remember myself saying repeatedly to myself, ‘I wish more people could go to ‘entrepreneur country’ (that figurative place that entrepreneurs go everyday where only they know how much it takes out of them to drive their businesses forward, and where they can share their loads with other entrepreneurs) and see how much these business owners have to carry in leading and building their businesses.’ I ultimately wrote the book, Welcome to EntrepreneurCountry published in 2012, and set up EntrepreneurCountry Global because I realised that it was inevitable: we are all going to entrepreneur country. It’s just that not everyone realises it yet.

We have imperfect information about the future today, just as those Czech protestors did not know the detail of the arc of history, but they knew the endgame: they would demand fiercely their freedom, and they would have it. Today if we could aggregate the visions of all entrepreneurs, we’d have much more perfect information about the future as entrepreneurs live in the future. EntrepreneurCountry aggregates those future visions, and brings them kicking and screaming back to the present, so that we can act. In EntrepreneurCountry, we also are tapped on the shoulder by the arc of history, and we answered the call.

Back to Prague.

William Lobkowicz also returned to Prague after the Velvet Revolution as his family had a little bit of history there. His father had fled his country as a refugee days before it fell to the Nazis. The family had grown up in the United States as average citizens of that country. Rumor has it that pere Lobkowicz told his son to return upon seeing the events in Prague and Berlin in 1989, and William and his wife Sandra have dedicated their lives to restoring the cultural and family heritage of the Lobkowicz collections.

Today Prague is the cross-roads of Lobkowicz and the entrepreneurs who came to the launch of EntrepreneurCountry Czech Republic. One of the most impressive individuals I’ve met was there at the Pavilon Grebovka: Ondrej Kratky who founded and is the Chief Marketing Officer of Liftago. Their story indicates why we are never checkmated by history. There are always clever moves on the chessboard – unique opportunities for individuals who believe that have a contribution to make to the world, and who are willing to do the hard work of thinking about business models and how technology is a layer slicing through all industries.

Liftago also says something about the European venture capital scene, and two competing visions of how North America and Europe are dealing with the digital disruption.

In Ring Number 1, our incumbent fighter are the US technology platform firms, the gang of 4 – Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google. They control the economics of their industries, and the profits they drive in their ecosystems, they disproportionately share in. There is a lot of evidence that they will take over every industry. Closely related are their little brothers, but the big new Digital Disruptors, the likes of Tesla, AirBnB, and Uber. The entrepreneurs behind these firms have a system-level vision, an ability to raise large amounts of capital and to tell a consistent story to the market about the market position they intend to occupy.

Article source: http://www.forbes.com/sites/juliemeyer/2014/10/22/a-return-to-prague-24-years-later-we-are-never-checkmated-by-history-brushfires-of-the-mind/

Comments Off
22
Oct

Log in to manage your products and services from The New York Times and the International New York Times.

Don’t have an account yet?
Create an account »

Subscribed through iTunes and need an NYTimes.com account?
Learn more »

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/world/europe/in-britain-child-sex-abuse-defies-easy-stereotypes.html

Comments Off
22
Oct

Log in to manage your products and services from The New York Times and the International New York Times.

Don’t have an account yet?
Create an account »

Subscribed through iTunes and need an NYTimes.com account?
Learn more »

Article source: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/10/22/world/europe/warsaw-museum-of-the-history-of-polish-jews.html

Comments Off
20
Oct

Gentle landscapes, quaint villages, stately homes and murder? For a country characterized by its genteel manners, England inspires a lot of killing sprees — of the fictional variety, of course.

The so-called “green and pleasant land” has surely spawned more mystery novelists per capita than any other nation. In addition to dedicated readers, TV viewers on this side of the pond also lap up the excellent English mystery series that come our way.

In recent years, these have included everything from the sometimes tongue-in-cheek Midsomer Murders, to Inspector Morse — and spinoffs Inspector Lewis and Endeavour — edgy newcomer Broadchurch, and the enduring exploits of super-sleuth Hercule Poirot.

In many cases, the visually stunning shooting locations become key to the tale.

Viewers of Midsomer Murders and the Morse-productions know a murder will take place, but they are almost lulled into a false sense of pleasantness by scene after scene of quintessentially English eye-candy.

Detective Inspector Barnaby’s world is rife with thatched-roof cottages and quaint fictional villages with idyllic sounding names — Midsomer Worthy, Midsomer Vertue, Midsomer Mallow and the like. But in a single episode as many as four or even five villagers might meet untimely ends.

In all of the Morse series, murder most foul takes place against one of England’s most elegant backdrops — the university town of Oxford, the so called “city of dreaming spires.”

Broadchurch is set in a sleepy seaside town that becomes the site of a brutal child murder. The crime shakes the small community to its core as dark secrets are revealed each week until the murder is solved.

Key scenes in the first season of Broadchurch were shot against the towering cliffs of West Bay in Bridport.

When I toured Dorset and neighbouring Devon a few weeks back, the popular ITV series had just wrapped filming on Season 2. (An American remake — Gracepoint — has since debuted at home. It features the same crime and the same lead actor, David Tennant, but with Victoria, B.C., standing in for the States.)

While all of these productions have their devotees, most would agree that Poirot — based on 33 Hercule Poirot novels plus many short stories penned by Agatha Christie — is in a class of its own.

Like the Queen of Crime herself, detective Hercule Poirot is a sophisticated world traveller. But more than a few of his complicated cases unfold in and around Torquay — Christie’s home turf in South Devon.

Dubbed the “English Riviera,” for its mild climate and seaside resort towns, the area shows up again and again in Poirot novels and also Christie’s Miss Marple mysteries.

The elderly Jane Marple usually stumbles on crimes in various locales around the English countryside, often while visiting friends.

For the past 25 years, English actor David Suchet has starred in ITV’s Agatha Christie’s Poirot. The last five mysteries in the series — including Curtain, which details the Belgian detective’s death — have all aired in Britain. In North America, two of the last five episodes have aired on PBS while the last three episodes are available only through streaming service Acorn TV.

Suchet has said he will not reprise the role. And with Season 2 of Broadchurch not set to air before 2015, mystery fans may soon be looking for a fix.

Fortunately in Devon and Dorset there are tours, literary trails and other ways to go into a mystery. Here are a few to try:

CHRISTIE COUNTRY

– With more than 2-billion copies sold, Agatha Christie is not only the world’s top-selling mystery novelist but also one of the world’s top-selling authors of all time.

Throughout her lifetime, she maintained close ties with her hometown of Torquay, where many of the important chapters of her life unfolded. She and second husband Max Mallowan bought a summer home in the area — Greenway — where they spent holidays with family and friends. Christie called the 96-hectare hideaway on the River Dart, “the loveliest place in the world.”

Christie’s only child, daughter Rosalind Hicks, inherited Greenway and later donated it to the National Trust, which opened the house and woodland gardens to the public.

Room guides at the house are happy to dish up Christie tidbits: Three of her 66 mystery novels are set there — Five Little Pigs, Dead Man’s Folly and Ordeal By Innocence. Scenes for the TV version of Dead Man’s Folly were shot at the boathouse. The novelist didn’t like alcohol and preferred a glass of double cream. Christie didn’t write at Greenway, but did read works in progress to family and visitors. The typewriter in the upstairs office belonged to Christie’s husband, a prominent archeologist. The author trained to be a concert pianist but was too shy to play in public.

It’s all very homey with closets full of Christie’s clothes and family photos on every surface. Visitors are welcome to sit outside on the lawn chairs and tinkle the ivories inside on Christie’s grand piano. (Anything but Chopsticks, please.) During my visit, a man wowed the room with an impromptu performance of Claude Debussy’s First Arabesque.

Greenway is open Wednesdays through Sundays from March 8 through Nov. 2, and selected dates at other times.

We took the scenic route from Torquay — a combination of the Dartmouth Steam Railway to Kingswear, riverboat to Dartmouth — where we popped into Rock Fish for take-away fish and chips to eat on the quayside — then the Greenway Ferry to the estate.

– We also hit the Agatha Christie trail with Alex Graeme of Unique Devon Tours.

Graeme tells us “Agatha” was a fun-loving, somewhat mischievous girl who loved the sea and loved to swim. During the tour, we visit several of her favourite coves and beaches, and see vintage photos and postcards.

Graeme also takes us for a stroll along Torquay’s Agatha Christie Mile, where plaques and a statue mark other places she frequented as a young woman, as well as story settings such as The Strand, the Princess Gardens, and the Imperial Hotel.

– For those who prefer meandering on their own, the English Riviera Tourism Co. has a well researched brochure titled The Agatha Christie Literary Trail: Through The English Riviera South Devon. It lists dozens of places significant to the writer and featured in her work.

– Torquay Museum has a permanent Christie gallery. After the final episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot was shot, ITV donated the furniture, books, and other set items to the museum. Visitors can now step inside the lounge/study of the fictional and fussy detective’s Art Deco London apartment.

– Mid-September is a busy time in Torquay with the annual International Agatha Christie festival taking place around the author’s birthday. Next year’s lineup has not been announced but organizers say the week-long festival will be bigger than ever as 2015 marks the 125th anniversary of Christie’s birth on Sept. 15, 1890.

This year’s events included the Garden Party To Die For, murder mystery teas and dinners, a crime writers’ workshop, and talks by authors, including Geoffrey Wansall, author of Being Poirot — the acclaimed biography of David Suchet — and crime writer Sophie Hannah, who was chosen to write the new Hercule Poirot mystery, The Monogram Murders.

Many activities take place at 800-year-old Torre Abbey, where the Potent Plants garden features some of the “horticultural nasties” employed by Christie’s villains. (More than half the victims in Christie’s novels are poisoned.)

BROADCHURCH

Natalie Manifold, of Literary Lyme Walking Tours, leads a location tour for Broadchurch fans.

Creator Chris Chibnall is a local who has been quoted as saying the Dorset coastal landscape was always intended to be a character in the whodunnit, Manifold says.

Chibnall wrote some of the series while sitting in the Watch House Cafe, where we enjoy large tasty bowls of mussels, mackerel salad and a view of the beach and cliff where the victim’s body is found.

Manifold says she originally planned to take tour groups on a hike up the steep cliff, but changed her mind after trying it herself on a windy day.

This area is part of England’s Jurassic Coast, a 153-km stretch from East Devon to Dorset valued for its age (185 million years) and wealth of fossils. Described as a “geological walk through time,” it’s England’s first natural World Heritage site.

We walk from the cafe across rocky Chesil Beach (boots recommended) and hike part of the coastal path to the neighbouring town of Eype. The coastal views are amazing as Manifold points out Broadchurch filming sites along the way.

NEED TO KNOW

VisitBritain has a wealth of travel information at its website, visitbritain.com.

ACCOMMODATIONS

– In Torquay, we stayed at the waterfront Grand Hotel. While perhaps not as chic as it might have been in 1914 when Agatha Christie spent her honeymoon night there, rooms are modern, clean and reasonably priced from about $80 for a single to $650 for a two-bedroom suite. See grandtorquay.co.uk.

– In Bridport, we stayed at The Bull, a historic 16th-century coaching inn turned boutique hotel. Some of the Broadchurch cast stayed there while filming, and the hotel is mentioned in Thomas Hardy’s short story Fellow Townsmen. While floors in the ancient building are a bit tilted, rooms are generous, clean and creatively decorated. The restaurant is excellent. Single rates start around $165. See thebullhotel.co.uk.

Article source: http://www.torontosun.com/2014/10/20/civilized-england-a-hotbed-of-dark-deeds

Comments Off