Budget Travel Online on Istanbul

Araf in IstanbulMy flight departs from Istanbul into Dushanbe at 8:30 PM next Thursday so I doubt I’ll be able to experience the nighttime splendors discussed in this Budget Travel Online piece. Bummer. My travel agent tried his best to convince me to stay in Istanbul for a few days before going into Takjikistan, but I told him another time. Part of me is wishing I hadn’t. The article compares the Bosporus megaclubs to Beyoglu’s European charm on the opposite of the Bosporus.

The Beyoglu area was once a scary, filthy part of Turkey where the story states people often came in groups of four since traveling as a pair to the area wasn’t a sufficient safety measure. Today the Beyoglu is home to various art nouveau buildings, galleries, restaurants and upscale boutiques. Travelers looking for a new taste of Turkey may want to visit this piece and later stop in to places like Araf (pictured) where a Turkish clarinetist, Selim Sesler plays atop of the roof on Tuesday nights. Drinking, laughter and one jammed-packed dance floor make this spot sound like one of many happening nighttime Istanbul places and space.

Party for me!

B.E.D., Miami

B.E.D MiamiTonight, things are quiet here in Tampa. Just the clicking from my computer keyboard and some light music plays, but in the distance, some 300 miles away, I hear reggaeton, salsa, hip-hop and feel the pulse of Miami. It rests in my thoughts and tomorrow night I will do it BIG! I’ll take to the streets like the most untamed tourist, belting out lyrics from classic G. Estefan songs and when I’ve exhausted myself I’ll tuck myself in for B.E.D.

That’s right I’m going to B.E.D. for the first time ever. Should I be excited? I don’t know. Going to B.E.D. in Miami wasn’t part of my original plans which were basically no plans other than a wedding I must attend, but I’m game for the concept restaurant where the dinner, dessert and drinks are all served in beds throughout the establishment. Located in the heart of South Beach at 929 Washington Ave, Miami Beach, FL, B.E.D. has been known to attract a slew of celebrities and aspiring young, beautiful people from around the globe. Certainly sounds a little high-profile for a sheepish blogger like myself. Perhaps I should just stay in my hotel bed, eh?

So what do you say? To go to B.E.D. or not to? That is the question? (If not, feel free to toss out some rec’s please.)

Sounds to Sail to the Islands

Sunsplash LogoSit listening to my music collection on party shuffle  for an hour and you’ll find I’m all for jarring sound transitions. Follow me closely here. Music is about movement. It’s about the flowing, swaying, and gyrating movement of bodies rocking harmoniously on packed dancehall floors in places with little ventilation. Sometimes it’s sudden and spur of the moment while others it’s calculated. Most of us find music takes away in the comfort of our homes allowing our limbs the freedom to burst out in the most unlikely body gestures and some will set adrift to discover music exotic places. I’m for the later idea.

Here’s a few of my own top music picks to help you skip to the islands this summer including concert and festival happenings around the area:

5. Sail to: Portugal’s Azores islands, Europe

When: July & August – several music events happening throughout the islands.
Song: Island of Wonder – Nelly Furtado (album: Folklore)

4. Sail to: Barbados, West Indies

When: July & August – for the island’s popular five-week Crop Over festival with origins tracing back to the 1780’s.
Song: A Girl Like Me – Rihanna (album: A Girl Like Me)

3. Sail to: Oahu, Hawaii
When: August 4-5, 2006 – 13th Annual Hawaiian International Jazz Festival.
Song: Moana Chimes – Jon Brion (album: Punch Drunk Love sdtk)

2. Sail to: Ibiza, Spain
When: July & August – Clubs and clubs galore! Dance in the day or dance at night. If you’re a bit on the mellow side, lay out in the sun at Playa de Ses Salines where DJ is sure to be spinning a record or more.
Song: Wake Up With Me – Be Noir (album: Undiscovered Ibiza)

1. Sail to: Jamaica, West Indies

When: August 3-6, 2006 – The world’s greatest Reggae festival, Reggae Sunsplash, returns and the roster looks as promising as ever.  What better island to be jammin’ on than Jamaica?
Song: Sun is Shining – Bob Marley & the Wailers (album: Kaya)