Photo of the Day (09.06.10)

Seeing as it’s Labor Day, it seemed fitting to find a photo that paid tribute to the men and women all over the world who work their tails off. When we travel, we so often take countless photos of fisherman, cooks and other people who toil in conditions ranging from comfortable to downright inhumane. While we are on holiday, we glamorize the hard work of the people we observe to the point of romanticizing it. Work is work, though, and behind every exquisite photo of those tireless men and women is a story made of sweat, determination and, very often, survival.

This photo by Flickr user Michael Joseph Goldst…etc shows one such man who struck a pose, permitted a photograph and then went about his day. This man, a Uruguayan fisherman, makes for one hell of a photo subject. For him, though, it was most likely nothing more than an unusual moment on his morning walk to work.

Have any pictures of people working hard to make the world go round? Upload them to the Gadling Flickr group and we might just use one for our next Photo of the Day.

Five places to puff in Manhattan: Tips for Smokers

Yes, I know. Every time I write something for the smokers out there, the comments always fill up with an argument over smoking itself. For now, I’m just going to assume that there are some people out there who happen to smoke and travel. I have this sneaking suspicion that I’m not the only one. So, for those of you who enjoy a puff on the road, here are five places where you can smoke in Manhattan. At least one of them will surprise you.

1. Tobacco shops
Rather than single out one, I’d like to call your attention to several cigar shops in the city. Rules vary: some allow cigars only, while others also welcome pipe and cigarette smoker. Regardless of what you choose, do have the courtesy to buy something in the establishment before lighting up. In Midtown, you’ll find De La Concha on Sixth Ave at W. 56th Street and Davidoff stores at Columbus Circle and on Madison Ave (at E. 54th Street). There’s a Nat Sherman on 42nd and Fifth and a Barclay Rex across the street from Grand Central Station. And this is just the tip of the iceberg.2. Cigar bars
If you want to light a heater and enjoy a cocktail at the same time, there are a handful of establishments open to the public. On the Upper East Side you can hit Lexington Bar and Books or Club Macanudo. In Midtown, you’ll find the Carnegie Club. Be prepared to pay. Drinks and sticks are a bit pricey, and if you bring your own, you’ll be charged a cutting fee.

3. Private clubs
The best-known is the Grand Havana Room, which sits atop 666 Fifth Ave. It’s a beautiful space and has a fantastic restaurant. The only way you’ll get in, aside from becoming a member, is to convince one to invite you up.

4. Inter-block alleys
Yeah, this is the “when all else fails” alternative. There are alleys that cut through the middle of some blocks in Manhattan, and Midtown has more than a handful. My favorite goes from 5nd to 53rd and is between Sixth Ave and Seventh Ave. It’s covered. In the summer, Moda (the restaurant in Flatotel) runs a bar in there, so you’ll lose some space. This alley is covered, making it great for rainy day.

5. Jury duty
Okay, this one’s really for locals. If you get called for federal jury duty, here’s a good reason not to avoid it: there’s a smoking room just off the big room where the jury pool waits in the courthouse on 500 Pearl Street. Since you can’t leave the building (except for lunch) when you have federal jury duty, this room, I guess, is intended to make your experience more pleasant. The room is dark, sports old furniture and has no windows – it’s hardly a luxury space. After spending several hours waiting to be tapped for that product liability trial, however, it’s hard to complain about the digs.

Bed and breakfast travelers spending more on travel, less on cigarettes and coffee

Bed and breakfast guests aren’t cutting back as much as other travelers, according to a new survey by Fewer respondents are spending less on travel – with the rate doing so dropping from 55 percent to 45 percent from the second quarter survey. The money spent on B&B travel, however, will come at the expense of other luxuries, with many saying they’d give up their morning takeout coffee in order to save some cash for use on travel. Ice cream, massages and manicures and even cigarettes are falling victim to a dedication to B&B spending. notes: “Interesting that travel is more important than coffee, calories, or cigarettes to over 50 percent of respondents!”

Sandy Soule, Marketing VP at, notes, “Clearly, travel patterns changed in the last year, as travelers tightened their belts and stayed closer to home.” She continues, “Yet these patterns worked out well for inngoers, as B&Bs tend to be an easy one-tank trip from most metropolitan areas, and add so much extra value to a getaway.”

So, what else is on the B&B travelers mind as of the third quarter of this year? Find out after the jump.

Fall travel is more likely than summer for the B&B crowd, and they see the impact of the recession on travel spending to be declining. In the first quarter, 65% answered that the economic conditions influenced their B&B travel spending, with a slight decline to 61% in the second quarter. For the third quarter, this measure fell to 55 percent. Also, 84 percent of respondents are more likely to take at least as many trips as they did last year – up from 79 percent for the second quarter survey.

One of the ways B&B vacationers sought to maintain the number of trips they usually take is to spend less per day. Fifty-six percent had this in mind in the first quarter, which fell to 52 percent at the end of the second quarter and 45 percent for the third quarter. Respondents said they would spend fewer days on the road fell from 42 percent in Q1 to 43 percent in Q2 and 37 percent in Q3 of this year.

Ryanair: (don’t) smoke if you got ’em!

Ryanair isn’t the first carrier to allow “smokeless” cigarettes on their planes. These devices mimic the sensation of puffing, I’m told by a user, with a water vapor that is released. What makes the announcement distinctly “Ryanair” is that the devices are now being sold on its flights.

You can buy a pack of ten of these smokeless wonders for €6. To purchase the equivalent of a pack of cigs, you’re looking at $17.

So, it really is just another way for Ryanair to squeeze a few extra bucks out of each passenger, but at least the airline isn’t taking something away (like your seat or your pissing privileges.

[Thanks, @brycelongton]


German airline to offer smoking, not non

How did this one get by me? An all-smoking airline!

Alexander Schoppmann is on the prowl for startup capital for an all-smoking airline. Once he gets the cash, he’s going to lease two Boeing 747s and run a route from Dusseldorf to Tokyo. This doesn’t do much for the few Americans who still prefer to light up, but if the Schoppmann can squeeze a profit out of this (which conventional airlines aren’t even doing), maybe he’ll export the idea.

If all goes according to plan, Smintair (for “Smoker’s International Airways) will go wheels up for the first time next year. Each plane will accommodate 138 passengers, with no economy seating. You’ll have to pay to play on Smintair, but if you have a serious tobacco jones, it could be worth the trouble – especially if you’re stuck on a plane from Germany to Japan.

Schoppmann is looking to use the upper deck as a passengers’ lounge, rather than cramming it with more seats. Smintair will be an upscale affair, so the poor and the nic-free should book their travel arrangements elsewhere. Flight attendants and pilots who aren’t interested in a smoke-filled workplace, the company says, need not apply.

The price tag is hefty: approximately $56 million. Part of this will pay for an older approach to pushing fresh air through the cabin – instead of the cheaper systems being used now. Even with the barriers, Schoppmann is optimistic. I guess the former stockbroker has some solid connections.

Cigar smokers: if you’re worried about discrimination, the hopeful founder remembers fondly the days when Lufthansa would serve a selection of Montecristos in flight.

[Via Blackbook]