Celebrate Frida

By Naomi Lindt
October 3, 2012

Frida Kahlo, the Mexican painter and feminist famously portrayed by Salma Hayek in Frida, would have celebrated her 100th birthday on July 6. To commemorate her life and work, Mexico City is hosting the largest retrospective of her work ever held.

The show, which opened today at the museum at the Palace of Fine Arts, includes over 350 works--an impressive third of the artist's oeuvre. Also included are manuscripts, photographs, and letters written by the artist, in addition to a collection of paintings that have never been publicly shown. The exhibition runs until August 19.

During the month of August, Frida's childhood home of Casa Azul (now the Frida Kahlo Museum), located in the Mexico City neighborhood of Coyoacan, will be exhibiting some 300 articles of the artist's clothing, as well as letters from Diego Rivera, the renowned muralist to whom Frida was married. (Details at

Keep reading

Where does the Guinness man go on vacation?

Fergal Murray's job is to visit about 400 Irish pubs worldwide every year... As one of eight master brewers for Guinness, the Irish stout maker, Murray is an international ambassador for the brand. This year he expects to hopscotch Africa, Asia, and the Caribbean over the course of about 20 weeks. He will, as always, be thanking pub owners for selling Guinness and offering tips on how to store and pour the beverage. Given his broad travel experience, Murray knows by heart a variety of spots worth visiting. His favorite place to take his family on vacation is Quinta do Lago, an oceanside resort town in Algarve, the most southern region of Portugal. Last year he went there with his wife and their two sons, a one-year old and a four-year old. Here's what he has to say about the place: "I would recommend it for American families for a few reasons. First, the town's restaurants and hotels are set up to entertain small children. You can walk into any restaurant with two kids and let the kids be themselves without feeling self-conscious as a parent. The pools are designed to be safe for children, and there's always someone around to mind them. Second, the weather's good and the beaches are fantastic. Third, it's a favorite destination of Irish and British families, but I'd be totally surprised if any American family visits there. So if you are an American visiting the town, you will truly feel like you are visiting another country because none of your fellow citizens will be near you, while you'll still enjoy the benefits of child-friendly facilities and English-speaking staff." While I chatted with Murray, I had a few pressing questions to ask that weren't precisely travel related, but he was kind enough to answer them anyway... Is there any downside to your job as master brewer? I can't stand being served a bad pint. And this causes a problem when I'm out with my wife and two kids. I'll be served a bad pint--it even happens in Dublin, from time to time. Knowing what my reaction will be, my wife will say, "You're not going to do that, now are you?" and then she'll go off somewhere else because she doesn't want to hear any more about how to pour the perfect Guinness, and she knows it's going to take an hour for me to instruct the bartenders. Maybe they need to clean the lines, or change the mix of gas, or make sure that someone behind the bar is fully engaged, instead of looking at blond at the end of the bar. How does a person become a Guinness master brewer? There's a bit of drinking involved, of course. But primarily it's a process, a craft. You join Guinness at some stage of your life, and you experience it, and when you've experienced enough, you take exams and get accredited by an external organization. It takes about ten years of experience, and the exams are fairly challenging, covering everything from running a power plant to the chemistry of beer. You spent three years in Nigeria working for Guinness. What was the deal with that? In Nigeria, they don't have the same infrastructure, generally speaking, for serving draft Guinness at the ideal temperature. So we concentrated on marketing our beer by the bottle. The Guinness stout sold there is about 7.5 percent alcohol, while in the 'States it's about 5 percent and in Europe it's about 5.5 percent. We vary the alcohol level primarily to accommodate local tastes and regulations and storage methods. What's your favorite pub in Quinta do Lago? De Barra. It has an outside deck, great beer, and great craic (the Irish term for good conversation). Learn more about Algarve and Quinta do Lago at For discounted travel to Portugal, check out a recent Real Deal for airfare and a week in Lisbon and Porto from $1,044. Earlier: Learn about kid-friendly places to stay in Europe by clicking here.


Jazz festivals roundup

Budget Travel Online recently asked Patricia Myers, a Scottsdale, Ariz.-based journalist, to highlight a handful of this summer's jazz festivals. Myers--who specializes in writing about travel, food, and the arts for and other publications--suggested the following picks. Aug. 24-26, Prescott Jazz Summit, Prescott, Ariz.: This festival runs Friday through Sunday and features blues, jazz, and swing from national musicians, with a portion of the proceeds going to local music programs. Headliners include Bud Shank, Bob Florence, Carl Saunders, Mike Vax, Scott Whitfield, Margo Reed, Joel Robin, Blaise Lantana, Dwight Kilian, Tony Vacca, Jack Peterson, Bob Lashier, Les Czimber, and Cleve Huff. You'll pay $70 per person for a weekend pass, or $25 for each concert; $100 per person to attend a "Meet Musicians" dinner, plus a Friday-night concert; or $40 per person for a jazz brunch. Learn more at Sept. 21-23, 50th annual Monterey (Calif.) Jazz Festival: Sonny Rollins, Ornette Coleman, Diana Krall, Dave Brubeck, Jim Hall, Gerald Wilson Orchestra, Terence Blanchard, Dave Holland-Gonzalo Rubalcaba-Chris Potter, Jim Hall-Kenny Burrell, Cyrus Chestnut, All-Star Band (James Moody, Nnenna Freelon, Terence Blanchard, Benny Green), Hammond B3 Blowout with Joey DeFrancesco Trio and Atsuko Hashimoto Trio (with Houston Person and Jeff Hamilton). Learn more at Sept. 25-30, The 26th Annual Sedona (Calif.) Jazz on the Rocks Festival: -- Sept.25, Catch a screening of the film Anita O'Day, The Life of a Jazz Singer, $10 per person to see the film, which starts at 7 p.m.; dinner-and-a-film combo costs $45 per person; dinner starts at 5:15 p.m. -- Sept.26, 3-6 p.m. JOR Youth Band concert and 6-p.m. jam session with youth and local musicians, free. -- Sept.27, Jazz Circle Party featuring vocalist Sandra Booker-pianist Billy Mitchell, $100 per person. -- Sept.28, New Orleans vocalist Kim Provost-guitarist Bill Solley lead "Kids Who Love Jazz" clinics, also Booker-Mitchell jazz history clinic and performance. Plus, a music industry Q&A; with Larry Gittens, all free; also, at 5 and 7:30 p.m., concerts with Brice Winston-tenor sax plus New Orleans musicians, $50 per person. Other options include a "wine and jazz dinner" with the Charlie Foldesh Combo, $100 per person; also 9-11 p.m. jam session, $20 per person. -- Sept.29, all-day outdoor festival at Radisson Poco Diablo Resort: Mose Allison (piano and vocals; see photo at left), Stanley Jordan (guitar), Sandra Booker (vocals) with Billy Mitchell (piano), Larry Gittens (smooth trumpet); 8-11 p.m. jam session ($20 per person). -- Sept. 30, Brunch with jazz duo Kim Prevost and Bill Solley (Learn more about these successful musicians here, $80 per person. Also, clinics will be offered in the afternoon in finger-style guitar and percussion/rhythm, for $40 per person. Learn more at


Tricky pix!

Your kids will love to try out the goofy shots described in Tricky Pix: Do It Yourself Trick Photography With Camera. Here's a slide show of the best of these poses. See it here. Earlier: For tips on how to take better pictures, watch this slide show. More photo talk: Is it a lame idea to digitize your trip pictures? Sometimes, yes.


He gets paid to dance around the world

Matt is a self-described 30-year-old deadbeat from Connecticut who captivated millions last year with an online video montage of a trip, during which he visited 39 countries and did a silly little dance at each stop. (See the videos at In late May, he returned from a multi-country tour sponsored by Stride, the chewing-gum maker. The company was wowed by the attention Matt received for his first video, so they funded his next trip, he says. Matt is taking a brief rest before he heads back out on the road to visit 13 more countries and shoot a more advanced video. Up next: Google--for some mysterious reason--has hired him to do a project. (Perhaps Google will insert his dancing videos into its street-level maps on Google Earth.) caught up with Matt to ask a few questions... Having circumnavigated the globe, what's your best travel advice/tip for the budget-conscious traveler? Matt: Stay out of Europe. There are loads of other places to go that stretch both your dollar and your comfort zone--and that's a good thing! You say on your website that you think "Americans need to travel more abroad" Could you elaborate? I think we're becoming very insular in this country. The images we see on the news show us a very narrow view of hate and violence, but that's not the whole picture. We need to get out there, become a part of the outside world, and let it change us as well. We also need diplomats now more than ever. Is there someplace you'd still like to go? More than I can count. It's true that the more places you check off the list, the longer the list gets. How has travel changed you, personally? It has changed my relationship with stuff. And by that I mean physical stuff -- possessions. I'm more careful about what I accumulate and conscious of how it weighs me down. I'm also much more aware of how many choices I have. We tend to let our options get narrower and narrower until the big decisions are made for us. Life is more than just picking your cell phone carrier. You can do whatever you want with it. You'll find the answers to other frequently asked questions about Matt by clicking here.