Travel | A Continuous Lean. - Page 2

Adventures in Ireland with John Jameson.

Mar 17th, 2013 | Categories: Cocktails, Spirits, Travel | by Michael Williams

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Dublin on St. Patrick’s day is something everyone should experience exactly one time. That was my feeling anyway, and when the people of Jameson Whiskey invited me to experience things firsthand, it seemed there was very little deliberation to make. St. Patty’s St. Paddy’s day in Ireland seems to carry the significance of every major holiday rolled-up into one day (or in this case, one weekend) of madness. As it turns out, there also happens to conveniently be a bank holiday on the Monday following the festivities this year, which provides a nice and quiet day of, ummm well, reflection. Many seize the holiday as a chance to dress up in ridiculous outfits and act crazy (my preferred method of dealing with that sort is to run in the opposite direction), but the folks at Jameson took the opportunity to demonstrate a finer touch and showed off the more enlightened side of St. Patrick’s day.

The program in Dublin entailed seeing some of Dublin’s most interesting libation destinations (Vintage Cocktail Club and the Bar With No Name to call out to good ones) and spent an afternoon with the incredibly talented artist & sign painter David Smith. We also might have had a whiskey or two.

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On All Fours | Inclement Adventures in Wyoming

Jan 30th, 2013 | Categories: Automobiles, Cars, Travel | by Michael Williams

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Where I grew up, it basically snowed everyday all winter. Cleveland gets its fair share of Lake Effect snow and after a while it all just becomes routine. Eventually, you figure out how to drive in bad weather. We would get two feet of snow and no one would care, it would just be a bit of a hassle. Being in New York City for the past twelve years has meant that my hard-earned Northeast Ohio winter driving skills have languished in a world with mass transit and very little snow. It’s disappointing because I actually came to enjoy driving in bad weather.

Then one day Mercedes-Benz called and said that they wanted me to go out to Wyoming and test out 4MATIC, their all-wheel drive system on a really nice CLS550. Really? Me? Umm yeah, oaky, I can help you guys out.

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Go West, Young Man. | Hiking Red Rock Canyon.

Aug 26th, 2012 | Categories: Travel | by Michael Williams

“Washington is not a place to live in. The rents are high, the food is bad, the dust is disgusting and the morals are deplorable. Go West, young man, go West and grow up with the country.” -Horace Greeley.

Every year, twice a year we go to Las Vegas for the trade shows in the massive convention center halls. It’s a humbling experience to be honest and one that is, frankly, just part of the job. After attending these shows for the past seven years, it goes without saying that if Vegas was left off my calendar for a season or six I would survive.

If it weren’t for the adventures we have had Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area I don’t think I would survive the week. In the summer it’s a tough battle with the heat (bring and drink lots of water, it is so hot you won’t know how much you are sweating until it is too late) but still worth it. The park boast some incredible hikes for all levels with lots of open country to roam. If you head out on the intermediate trails (and above), you will likely encounter folks that take the outdoors pretty seriously (translation: it will be far less annoying and you won’t have to brush by a bunch of people checking in on Foursquare and whatnot), which is nice. When the hiking is done, take a seat and enjoy what is undeniably the best view in Sin City.





Where to Wine in Copenhagen.

Aug 13th, 2012 | Categories: Travel, Wine | by Michael Williams

Travel leads to long days of walking, which then hopefully leads to wine. In Copenhagen, you would be doing yourself a favor to stumble upon Ved Stranden, seeking out specifically isn’t a bad idea either. Regardless of how much time you spend walking around and discovering Denmark’s capital, this place is definitely deserving of your attention. Specializing in Austrian wines, Ved Stranden has a vast selection of interesting things to taste and a knowledgeable staff to help you find your way. Basically, it’s a sure thing.

Speaking of wine, this summer I have receded a bit from my 2011 obsession of rosé and have focused my efforts (mainly) on France’s Loire Valley and the wonderful delights of the Vouvray. The catalyst of this was Kermit Lynch’s book Adventures on the Wine Route (thanks Tony for that, by the way). Being a lover of wine and a neophyte on the subject, I have been doing two things to learn more and develop my palate: 1. focusing on regions and drinking all I can from that area. 2. Reading as much as possible about those specific regions. So far I have focused on northwest Italy, Napa and as I mentioned already, the Loire Valley. So long story short, I don’t know much about Austrian wine, but I was happy to take a little detour (into Austria as it were) and try something new at Ved Stranden. This plan worked out very well if you were wondering.





Flight of the Rimowa

Aug 2nd, 2012 | Categories: Travel | by Michael Williams

It’s not everyday you get cruise down the Hudson river, circle around the statue of Liberty and then buzz back along Manhattan’s West Side in a vintage German Junkers JU-52. That’s exactly what the iconic German luggage maker Rimowa organized for a lucky few last evening. There’s a real connection to the Junkers too, it’s not just marketing (though it was a marketing thing, a very fun marketing thing).

In 1937, Richard Morszeck (son of Rimowa founder Paul Morszeck) introduced the first pieces of Rimowa hand luggage made from aircraft grade aluminum, the same material that was used to make the German airplanes of the era — the Junkers 25 among them. The cases proved popular for the sturdiness and light weight that was provided by the aluminum construction. Then in the early 1950s the company introduced the ribbed exterior texture (inspired again by the aircraft exterior) which has become a calling card for the brand. If you see a groved silver metal case, you know it’s a Rimowa.





Checking In | Mezzatorre Resort

Jun 7th, 2012 | Categories: Checking In, Italy, Travel | by Michael Williams

The post about my time in Ischia wouldn’t be complete without talking a bit about my hotel on the island, the Mezzatorre Resort & Spa. I spent a good amount of time looking for a place to vacation for a few days before some business meetings I had in Europe this past week. I really wanted to further explore the coast of Italy, because in past years I have spent these early June trips in the south of France, a destination I hold as one of my most loved places for R&R. This year though I was hoping for something that could live up to the great times I have had before. Needless to say, Mezzatorre and Ischia far exceeded any expectations and has raised the bar for next summer.

Finding a place for me to vacation is not the easiest task. On business I don’t really have a lot of concern for where I will stay — often a Hilton of any color will suffice. So long as it is clean and well kept, I’m golden. But, when it comes to a vacation now that’s a whole other story. I agonize over where to stay when it comes to some of my few true holidays. Trip Advisor can be helpful, but I find most of the people on there are insane or just very easily won over and have tendencies to over rate things. So I’ve learned to look to people — people whom I consider to have all-around good taste — for advice based on their past experiences.

This time around I was looking to stay somewhere on the Amalfi Coast and I couldn’t seem to come up with anything I liked under $1200 a night (which is insanity as far as I am concerned unless it is a honeymoon situation). Eventually though I found the perfect person to ask for advice and he in turn offered up the Mezzatorre, which ended up being the perfect solution. That man? None other than Mr. Tom Kalenderian, the smartest man in menswear, Barneys New York GMM and all around good guy.





Escape to Ischia

Jun 4th, 2012 | Categories: As it happened, Italy, Travel | by Michael Williams

The islands of the Tyrrhenian Sea recently served me as the ultimate respite from my hectic life in the city. This past week I enjoyed three very short days off the coast of Napoli tending to the sun and sea in the paradise that is Ischia. And don’t feel like you need to wait until Agosto to enjoy the islands of Italy, June is the perfect time to visit as prices are better and crowds thinner, but the weather couldn’t be better.

The islands of southern Italy are famous for their idyllic surroundings and relaxed atmosphere. Capri is by far the best known of the bunch, but my vote goes for its larger sibling Ischia. The more time I spend on the Mediterranean, the more I want to be there. Frankly, it’s a very well-fed and well-tanned vicious cycle that is not to be missed.