Month: November 2015


The National Park Service is pleased to announce that the award-winning “PRISONERS OF AGE” exhibition will be extended through June 2016. This special display was designed by photographer Ron Levine and designers Michael Wou and Russel Volckmann and will be on view for an additional six months due to the overwhelming response from visitors to the island. This exhibit marks the next in a series on Alcatraz that focuses on aspects of crime and punishment, incarceration, freedom and social justice.

POA_ALC_1072“PRISONERS OF AGE” is an evocative series of photographs and chronicles of elderly men and women, taken over a period of 18 years, at prisons and prison-wards for geriatric offenders in the United States and Canada. Prisoners of age comprise the fastest growing age group in the United States. One-in-ten inmates is 55 or older. A decade ago, that was one-in-twenty. Existing prison space is in serious decline and medical costs are soaring. Incarcerating geriatric men and women in prison is becoming prohibitively expensive- up to 9 times the cost of a younger inmate.  As Federal and State prisons begin to look more like high security nursing homes, the people who manage North America’s prison system worry about how to handle the imminent explosion in the geriatric population. Through photography and interviews, “PRISONERS OF AGE” offers a microcosmic glimpse of what lies ahead in this new millennium.

The exhibition features 60 larger than life photographs and revealing narratives from conversations with the inmates, guards and prison officials. The exhibition is designed by Michael Wou and Russell Volckmann.

POA_Alcatraz_2015_68A8475How to see the exhibit:

The exhibit is displayed in the New Industries Building through December 2015 and will be open to the public visiting Alcatraz Island during daytime hours for no extra charge. Exhibit hours are 10:00am to 2:00pm. Storms or heavy rain could cause the exhibit to temporarily close. For additional information, please call NPS Alcatraz at 415-561-4900.

Tickets to Alcatraz frequently sell out many days in advance. They are only available through Alcatraz Cruises, the official park concessionaire for ferry service, 90 days in advance: or 415-981-7625.

The full exhibit was last seen at Alcatraz Penitentiary in 2000. It has also been seen in The National Archives of Canada [2002], Eastern State Penitentiary Museum, Philadelphia [2002], Kilmainham Gaol, Dublin [2004], Fremantle Prison Museum, Perth [2010], and The Powerhouse Gallery, Brisbane [2011].

Alcatraz Cruises is the National Park Service concessioner of ferry service to Alcatraz Island in San Francisco Bay. Alcatraz Cruises hosts nearly 1.5 million visitors annually. Alcatraz Cruises designed, built and operates the first hybrid ferry in the United States. The Hornblower Hybrid’s revolutionary design has reduced fuel consumption by 75% and has already begun to be implemented in other parts of the country. For more information visit:


New Moscow Project Inspired By Moscow River

As architecture becomes more informed by the environment, one project has taken its facade from the Moscow River that it calls home.

Located near the Moscow Kremlin on the edge of the Moskva River, Riviera by LA based architecture firm, 5+design, will bring 100,000sm of high and mainstream fashion, electronics, hypermarket, restaurants, multi-screen cinema and other entertainment attractions.

Intended to revitalize one of Moscow’s 209 industrial zones, the project’s overall design was inspired by the area’s most striking natural feature, the adjacent Moscow River. Using light and its relationship to the river as driving forces for the design, the Riviera project exists as an organic form derived from the land.

Iridescent blue panels create a wave pattern to evoke the movement of the river and reflections of sunlight on its surface.  To create movement and texture, three different profiled panels were arranged along the 400 meter long façade in organic wave-like patterns.  The raised profiles of the iridescent panels naturally shimmer as the angle of the sun and cloud shadows change throughout the day.  Many of the panels are internally lit with animated LED sequencing that will continue the effect at night.

White perforated metal panels were laser cut and inserted alongside the blue panels in a custom wave pattern. The project’s eight large scale video LED panels were placed at key vantage points and stand at 12 meters tall. Angled for oblique viewing along the projects busy highway frontage, the videos were composed as a chorus line of dancing images that reveal the excitement and overall experience within Riviera.  On the long elevation facing the river, a series of dining terraces are composed in a wavy form on the upper levels, giving the façade a physical undulation and dynamic three dimensional rhythm.

Once inside, the interior space is defined by light. Inspired by American artist, James Turrell and his concept of using light as sculpture, Riviera’s three interior courts emulate some of Turrell’s iconic installations. Large oculi that frame the sky are encircled by illuminated bands of color, which vary in size and hue from one zone to the next. The combination of natural light and animated colored light, create a sense of place and identity as well as wayfinding for the project’s guests.

At the center of the project, the Grand Court is designed as a multi-event space with alternating programs. It is surrounded by 2 levels of balconies overlooking over 1000sm of floor area. The space is large enough to host fashion shows, concerts, corporate events, seasonal festivals, art shows and promotions for hundreds of people. On the axis with the Grand Court sits a 3 story high window that will overlook the River.  Plans are in the works to convert properties just north of the project into a riverside park that will extend the public realm of the project to the Moskva.

The project’s 3 level retail galleries are anchored on the ground floor by an 8000sm hypermarket to the east and a multi-level department store to the west.  On the third floor, food court with an iconic two story high kids play structure will be featured at the west side.  On the third level east, the 9 screen Cinema will sit adjacent to the entertainment area.  All along the north gallery, 2 level restaurants with outdoor terrace will provide an excellent view of the river and Moscow’s bustling skyline.

Slated for completion at the end of this year, Riviera will become an iconic destination within the region and a catalyst for revitalizing this portion of Moscow’s historic manufacturing district.

Rapping on the Rhone with the “Rhone Ranger”

Next year wine lovers can enjoy the ultimate Rhone wine experience while cruising the river of the same name with the person dubbed by Wine Spectator magazine as “The Rhone Ranger.”

The cruise will be hosted by Randall Grahm, owner of Santa Cruz’s Bonny Doon Vineryard aboard Uniworld’s newest luxury ship the S.S. Catherine.

This will be a unique opportunity to enjoy a small ship cruise through five of France’s most acclaimed wine regions with the person many consider to be America’s foremost expert on Rhone wines. Randall received the Wine & Spirits “Professional of the Year” award by the James Beard Foundation in 1994, then the University of California Press published his award-winning book, “Been Doon So Long: A Randall Grahm Vinthology” in 2009 and a year later the Culinary Institute of America inducted him into the Vintners Hall of Fame.

The cruise departs on July 17, 2016 from Avignon to Lyon through the Chateauneuf-du-Pape, Gigondas, Cote Rotie, Hermitage and Burgundy wine regions. Prices begin at $4,274 per person, double share for a week that includes meals and accommodation, onboard gratuities, daily excursions, alcohol at lunch and dinner and the private wine program with Randall. Onboard Randall will “Rap-about-Rhones” while pouring an array of his award winning wines and an assortment of favorite French selections. He’ll also oversee a wine paired dinner and is connecting with his French “winemaking tribe” to arrange optional tastings and lunches at top-rated regional wineries not normally open to the public.

One such excursion is a tasting at Chateauneuf-du-Pape’s acclaimed wine estate Chateau de Beaucastel followed by a lunch prepared by the estate’s one-star Michelin restaurant chef Laurent Deconinck. Other private-to-the-group wine adventures are planned as well.

The cruise is organized by Santa Rosa, CA based wine travel specialists Food & Wine Trails. Customers that book by November 30th will receive an extra $50 per person ship credit.

Additional information can be found at FOOD & WINE TRAILS CRUISES, by calling (800) 367-5348 M-F 8:30 AM to 5:00 PM WCT or emailing

About Uniworld: Uniworld Boutique River Cruise Collection is the world’s only authentic boutique cruise line, recognized among the “World’s Best River Cruises” by Travel + Leisure. Uniworld was voted “#1 River Cruise Line in the World” by Conde Nast Traveler’s Readers Choice Awards, and named to Conde Nast Traveler’s prestigious Gold List and their Platinum Circle for having the made the list consistently for the past five years.

About the S.S. Catherine: The S.S. Catherine was launched last year and pampers 159 guests with the industry’s highest staff-to-guest ratio. She is an elegantly appointed vessel full of original commissioned and antique artwork. Its two-deck-high lobby features an elaborate Murano chandelier as well as a glass elevator adjacent to a cascading waterfall. The ship also boasts a signature Bar du Leopard, complete with cinema facilities, which references the Leopard Lounges found in some Red Carnation Hotels. Other highlights include an indoor swimming pool in a room decorated with floor-to-ceiling mosaics.

About Food & Wine Trails: The mission of Food & Wine Trails is to provide authenticity, value and access to the world’s best food and wine travel experiences. Each program is led or organized by a recognized local culinary expert to provide the guest with insight, access and a behind-the-kitchen (or cellar) door experience. Food & Wine Trails is the tour division of the HMS Travel Group, a 30-year-old company that is based in Santa Rosa, California. The company designs educational travel programs for individual enthusiasts, culinary organizations, wineries and many of America’s top food and wine publications. Larry Martin, the president of Food & Wine Trails, is the past Northern California Regional Governor for Slow Food, an international food advocacy organization and was named by the editors of Conde Nast Traveler as the “World’s Top Wine Travel Specialist” for three consecutive years.

Ducks Unlimited launches new mobile app

Ducks Unlimited (DU) – one of the world’s largest waterfowl and wetlands conservation organizations – recently announced the launch of their new mobile app for both Apple and Android devices.

“The all-new, all-in-one, free app sets DU apart from other conservation organizations with a comprehensive app designed for smart phones,” said Anthony Jones, DU’s director of digital and media marketing. “Anything and everything related to waterfowling and Ducks Unlimited can be found in our new app.”

Some features of the new app include:

•    Waterfowl migration map & hunting reports

•    Migration heat map

•    Waterfowl identification

•    Waterfowl hunting journal

•    DU event listing

•    Customized content

•    Membership card information

•    Sunrise/set calculator

•    Snow cover maps

•    Public hunting locations

•    Seasons and bag limits

•    Band recovery maps

•    Watch episodes of DU TV and DU Films

“As personal devices continue to play a key role in the way consumers communicate, shop, discover and share, Ducks Unlimited is committed to providing the very best experience through the mobile channel,” Jones said. “The new DU Mobile App is the most comprehensive set of tools and information for waterfowl enthusiasts, and it provides waterfowl hunters and DU supporters access to critical information year-round.”

Learn and download the app today at Ducks Unlimited Inc. is the world’s largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America’s continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 13 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow and forever. For more information on our work, visit Connect with us on our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at and watch DU videos at

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MissTravel Releases “Top Five Hurricane Season Hotspots”

Experienced travelers know the hurricane season should be seen as an opportunity, not a detriment to travel. MissTravel, the first travel-dating site, has pulled data from experienced travelers to see where they are venturing this season. And with data on hurricane rates dating back to the 1870’s, has released its list of “Top Five Hurricane Season Hotspots.”

The months between July and November usually makes the Caribbean a “no-fly zone,” but those brave enough to dare travel during hurricane season are rewarded with smaller crowds, cheaper airfare and inexpensive accommodations.

Amidst an uneventful hurricane season, with 0-1 hurricanes predicted by The National Weather Service, the 2015 season is prime time for budget-conscious travelers., the world’s first destination-dating website with over 600,000 members, saw more than 55,394 trips scheduled between July and November, specifically to the Caribbean. The site is releasing its list of “Top Five Hurricane Season Hot Spots,” a compilation of the most popular fall dating destinations booked on MissTravel with the lowest weather risk. The ranking itself is ordered according to hurricane rates dating back to 1870:

Top 5 Hurricane Hotspots (According to Hurricane Risk*)

1.) Nicaragua

  • Booking Increase: 68 Percent
  • Chance of Direct Hit: Once every 28.6 Years

2.) Barbados

  • Booking Increase: 77 Percent
  • Chance of Direct Hit: Once every 20.43 Years

3.) Puerto Rico

  • Booking Increase: 85 Percent
  • Chance of Direct Hit: Once every 13 Years

4.) Dominican Republic

  • Booking Increase: 59 Percent
  • Chance of Direct Hit: Once every 11 Years

5.) U.S. Virgin Islands

  • Booking Increase: 43 Percent
  • Chance of Direct: Once every 9.2 Years

*Source: Hurricane City weather reports

“With lower-than-normal prices on airfare and many resorts offering guarantees, hurricane season is one of the best times to experience the Caribbean,” says Brandon Wade, founder and CEO of “Not all destinations face an equal risk, some are rarely affected by hurricanes at all. With a little bit of research and preparation, the perfect fall vacation is within reach.”

Nicaragua tops this year’s list of hurricane hotspots. With discounted prices on already low room rates and cheap airfare, hurricane season is the best time to visit  this emerging Central American tourist destination. is the only dating site that pairs travel lovers on destination dates to locations such as Hawaii, Las Vegas or Paris. MissTravel boasts over 600,000 members worldwide.

For more information about or to schedule an interview, please contact Hannahmae Dela Cruz at 702-241-0100 or at

About is the world’s first and only travel dating website. Instead of the conventional date, such as the movies or dinner, singles travel to new and exotic destinations together in hopes of finding romance. was founded by MIT alum and online dating expert, Brandon Wade, and joins an impressive brand family of successful niche dating websites. Launched in 2012, the site boasts over 600,000 members worldwide, inspiring over 500,000 trips domestically and internationally.