Dine Out in Fort Lauderdale
The Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau is running a promotion, Dine Out Lauderdale, during Oct. 1 to Nov. 15, with 35 restaurants offering three-course prix fixe dinner menus for $35. The restaurants are in Broward County, including Fort Lauderdale, Hollywood, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach, and other popular destinations.
The participating restaurants include Cero at the St. Regis, Cohiba Brasserie (in Pembroke Pines), Himmarshee Bar & Grille, Lola's on Harrison, and Mark's Las Olas. A complete list of participating restaurants is at sunny.org/dineout. The program is co-sponsored by American Express, but you do not need to use an AmEx card to pay for your meal. [via the Miami Herald, from an article not online]
We love Lucy (our ancestor, that is)
An exhibit starring the 3.2-million-year-old fossil known as Lucy opens today at The Houston Museum of Natural Science, marking the first time these pre-human remains have been displayed outside of Ethiopia. The exhibit includes a three-dimensional reconstruction of what the 3.5-foot, 60-pound hominid might have looked like. Also on view are dozens of artifacts from where Lucy was discovered, such as paintings, pottery, and musical instruments. Unearthed in northeastern Ethiopia in 1974, the fossilized remains are "the oldest and most complete adult human ancestor fully retrieved from African soil," according to the museum. Details: "Lucy's Legacy: The Hidden Treasures of Ethiopia", 713/639-4629, $20 for adults, $12 for children (3-11), college students, and seniors. The exhibit is open through April 20. --Amy Chen Update (Sept. 4): Budget Travel recently recommended a source for great deals in Houston relating to the Lucy exhibition. Themed deals combine VIP passes to the show with a stay at one of 16 area hotels. Prices vary, but start at $120 per night at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Houston--Hobby Airport. Price is by room. When: Until the exhibition ends on April 20. See VisitHoustonTexas.com. Related: A recent Houston Chronicle story detailed the controversy over this exhibition. Some scientists think the exhibition may damage the fossil. Feel free to sound off below, if you have an opinion.
When travel became fabulous
Take a look at how travel journalism began in Europe: It started with the spread of mass-produced maps, books, and images like the ones here in our online slide show. The first European mass-printed travel map, the first secular illustrations of the New World, and other images shown in this slide show are from a collection of 60 original works on view at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., through mid-September, titled "Fabulous Journeys and Faraway Places: Travels on Paper, 1450-1700."
So you want to be a travel writer?
Four different readers will get to report a big story for us. If you think you have the best story suggestion ever, send us a pitch. It can be anywhere in the world as long as the idea behind the trip is unique. Include some background on what makes the destination special (is it a place people don't know about? is something happening that we should know about?), why you think other people would care, and why you're the person to write it. Use this form to submit your dream assignment.
Oh, the places you won't go
The Toronto/New York indie culture magazine Vice has teamed up with Spike Jonze, one of the most celebrated directors of music videos, to create a website stocked with (non-music) videos on a variety of surprising subjects. Many of the short clips are mini-travel documentaries. One dude tours toxic plants in Toronto. Another scours the Caribbean for unusual sexual practices. In general, the Vice mag folks go where most travelers fear to tread. The travel clips are generally short and silly. There's one exception--a particularly well-made video of a trip to Chernobyl, which is nine-minutes long and rather depressing. It's bizarrely compelling to watch as a handheld radiation-counter goes beserk, and it's poignant when the camera zooms in on the fading posters that hung in school buildings in the nearby town. You can catch these quick flicks at VBS.tv. Related: Chernobyl, of course, was one of the destinations on BudgetTravel.com's 2007 "Not List," celebrating the places you don't want to visit. Elsewhere: Despite urban legends to the contrary, Chernobyl has not become an animal paradise because of the lack of interference by humans, says the New York Times. Photo by icanteachyouhowtodoit via Flickr.