Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts

Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts | Une Petit Soiree in New York City Previewing what will come soon to the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (April 7th. – May 1st.). Tonight we enjoy a very nice evening by the Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation and PIFA – Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts organization, for the presentation of the upcoming month of the Arts to take place at this fantastic city. A festival to celebrate the quality, breadth and diversity of Philadelphia’s arts and cultural resources. The promoters say they will have something for everyone, and they mean it: LGBT Artists, Happening and More will perform and expose during this non-stop month of art.

Philadelphia continues its longstanding love affair with all things French, and this year goes over the top with too main events both themed around Paris. The Philadelphia International Flower Show (March 6 – 13h) and the first ever Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts (April 7th – May 1st).

Join the Moment. Over 135 Events, 1500 Artists, One Festival. Join for a new moment of innovation, collaboration and creativity. Featuring events, performances and creative experiences form Philadelphia and around the world. A convergence of art, ideas and inspiration that hasn’t been seen since a century ago in Paris.  The Philadelphia Orchestra, Philadelphia School of Circus Arts, Grounded Aerial, Les Nubians, Sharp Dance Company, Pennsylvania Ballet, Rennie Harris Puremovement, Campagnie Trans Expresse, Questlove among many other will gather during this 25 days of celebration to Art. LGBT representation by Fete du Soir, Raving Beauty, A Lyric Opera Made by Two and PIFA Leadership.

One hundred years ago, artists from around the globe converged on Paris and changed how we make and experience art. In 2011 Philadelphia will celebrate that incredible era with a festival created and presented by the region’s outstanding artists and institutions, often in collaboration with artists from France and other countries. (Video above is just a modest presentation of the performance the Grounded Aerial will do during the festival).
The Kimmel Center lobby will undergo a Parisian transformation for this occasion, featuring an 85 ft. replica of the Eiffel Tower, a Bistro Cafe, and nightly live performances. Plus, a colorful street fair will fill six blocks of the Avenue of the Arts with music, crafts, food and a stunning finale featuring 18 performers suspended from an exquisite musical chandelier, high above the crowd.
Meryl Levitz – President & CEO Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, took a moment to introduced us to all the wonders that Philadelphia has to offer as a destination for any and every type of traveller. I will check this personally soon, since I will be coming to Philly to review Hotels and Restaurants previous to the festival to share with you all and give you the inside scoop on where to stay, where to eat and what to do when coming for the festival. So stay tuned. !!!!

(*) The perfect Weekend Gateway to enjoy art, gastronomy and many more things that are awaiting for you in Philadelphia. For further information on Philadelphia International Festival of the Arts, purchase of Tickets and Package bookings including Train+Hotel+Festival, please feel free to contact me at or by phone at (646) 460-6045. Carlos
Now, as most of you that already know me or follow my blog might know by now, I was not going to hold back and avoid the center of attention. So I decided to try the Aerial Classes by Grounded Aerial, and show everyone in the room my former passion for gymnastics. Sorry but I could not help it.

You know you have to do what you have to do in this world to promote yourself and get your message through, or at least that is what I thought. It is amazing what two, …. ok ok three glasses of red wine do to your body and inhibitions. CM

Teatro Colon Buenos Aires

Tonight I have experienced one of the best wonders of the city of Buenos Aires, the Teatro COLON. Consider to be one of the top theaters in the world and the one with the best acoustics in South America. Last 2008 the Teatro Colon celebrated its 100 years. The Teatro Colon, reopened its doors only a few month ago, bringing the sexy, chic and cultural allure back to the city of Buenos Aires.
Invited by the CVB of Tourism Buenos Aires, we enjoyed a fantastic performance of MANON. I have to share with you all that this, is one of those things you do in life, that fills and warms your heart. The play started around 08.30PM till 12AM, with three intermissions, where you may gather with everyone else at the VIZNO Lounge for a crispy glass of Espumante. It was truly an experience that brought me back to the beloved Belle Epoque of Argentina. I felt transported into the past, to what Argentina, Buenos Aires and our society in general used to be and should still be today.
The Teatro Colon, has recently reopened, after over 3 years of being closed for refurbishment. Some may agree or not with this BUT one thing is fact… the Teatro COLON is breathtaking, and believe me I have been around this world many times and things like this are hard to find. So if you plan to visit Buenos Aires, please do not miss the opportunity to visit and live this experience. There are options for all types of budget, so do not feel intimidated and check the official website of Teatro Colon (here).

Here, a few videos I want to share with all of you that I took on my visit last August 13th. I was lucky enough to get one of the private balconies, with panoramic views of the stage and the whole main room. The done is impressive, and has incripted the name of some of the most important composers in the world.

The DOME is of an extreme beauty. (318 square meters). The original paintings were by Marcelo Jambon, but they  were replaced over the year to the actual paintings by Raul Soldi.

Please once again if you plan to visit Buenos Aries, this is a MUST DO and SEE attraction of Buenos Aires, that will let you experience the true soul of the Argentinean Belle Epoque. If you need help booking your ticket, please do not hesitate to contact me. (Email)

(*) Check the FULL Photo Album by Carlos Melia @ Teatro Colon

Fishermen for a day at Mar del Plata

Fishermen for a day at Mar del Plata • This was, I have to admit, one of the nicest experiences I have had in a long time. Always watch this in movies like the Perfect Storm, and wanted to be part of that. Thanks to Juan Taranto, his two suns and the crew men of the MESSINA boat, to whom I am overly thankful, I spent a whole morning learning about their everyday life, work and stories.

On board of the MESSINA I and MESSINA II, surrounded by lost of seals, that spend their day lazing around the boats waiting for some fish to fall from the boats and feed from them. Juan and all his crew (approx. 10 men including the captain, cooker and all the rest of the staff), they shared with me What does it mean to be a Fishermen and How hard tough the Fishermen’s life are but how much passion and love they have for it.
This men spend over 10 days sailing away from home, which is Mar del Plata, coastal area of Argentina, approx. 450 kilometers from Buenos Aires. The boat sails at a top speed of 20 knots and they travel from Mar del Plata down to the south region of Argentina close to Comodoro Rivadavia, in search of the best fishing spots. Their days begin early around 5 in the morning and end around midnight. They go on shifts at night to control the security of the boat and the crew.
They shared with me their fears, and their devotion for this profession. How they miss their families, and the bond they create among them all, becoming this kind of Fishermen’s ELITE. You can see images of saints, crosses made out of knots that they craft on their spare time or during bad weather days, when there is nothing else to do other than wait…. And as Juan – the captain says – ” keep the boat clean and tidy, our life is on the line everyday… and order is the most important fact when you have 10 men on board and tons of fish in the hold of the ship.” (picture below is San Giorgio Saint patron).

They work under extreme conditions, with temperatures below cero degrees C. to collect, store and unload the fish from the boat. Hundred of boxes, filled with all types of fish and sea food. So I get to work and give them a hand…. or sort of… ha ha ha…. !!! I can still smell the fish in my clothes…. Just kidding.

So after a long day at work…. I decided to take control on the boat and sail back home, sipping through my Coffee. One back at the Banquina de Pescadores I will bargain the few fishes I earned, helping this guys out, to sell at its best. Things have changed a lot over the years. Now each company has its own boats, crew and factory where they process the product themselves. BUT before, all fish and sea food would have been taken to the common fish market where they will sell based on quantity, size, quality competing with the other fellow fishermen of the area.

(*) This is not a regular Tour that you will get around. So please if you wish to have this same experience, do not hesitate to Contact ME to book it. Cheers. CM

FORTIN Leather and Polo Boots store Mar del Plata

FORTIN Leather and Polo Boots store Mar del Plata • if Bangkok is the best place for suits, and Buenos Aires for Leather Jackets….  Mar del Plata is the one when it comes to Leather Shoes and Polo Boots. FORTIN Leather is THE place to buy the most amazing Argentinean leather hand crafted boots made using the old traditional techniques. But also, is a MUST SEE and DO spot of Mar del Plata to learn and watch their artisans work and make wonders with this sexy and chic material.
Enrique, my guide, took me through the process of creating a POLO Boot. It is quite and exciting experience to see how their artisans work and the time and effort they put into crafting this pieces that in a way I would also call Rural ART.
If you are visiting MDQ – Mar del Plata – and you wish to get your own boots or shoes done, they will get them ready from the scratch just in a few days. International and Regional shipping available upon request.
Fortin Mar del Plata ( click here ) has crafted leather garments for international and local celebrities worldwide, among those are Felipe Junot, Catherine Denueve, Chelsea Clinton among many others…. (see a short list handed to me in by one of the artisans)…
The whole process of creating a POLO Boot takes not less than over 10 steps and 10 days. The start choosing and cutting the leather piece by piece, sewing them together… and from there till the end. All hand made by this great artist that have made this their way of life and passion.
Are you into LEATHER… ? If yes then Fortin Cueros, one of the many reason to visit MAR DEL PLATA. Crafting leather garments and boots since 1944.

TIP • BEST Leather Jackets made in Argentina in 24 hours

As most of you already know….. if you want a GREAT suit you go to Bangkok, but if you are looking for the best LEATHER JACKETS at a ridiculous price then Buenos Aires is the right place to get them, and MAYBE Leather my favorite store. There in less than 24 hours they will tailor made your own jacket, at your own style, with the leather type of your choice and tuned with the interior linen of your preference.

Create your own jacket from the scratch, or even better copy that expensive leather jacket you always wanted by top designers…. only bring the photo and you will have it made for you in less than a day. This was my own secret for many years….. and now is out in the open ha ha ha …. but just keep it among us OK.

(*) Ask for Diego – active member of our community if you know what I mean – and mention you are coming recommended by Carlos Melia and/or Carlos Melia Blog and he will automatically grant you a 10% OFF courtesy over the final price. Jackets range from USD 200 on… MAYBER Leather (Florida 851 between Cordoba Av. and Paraguay – Downtown). Let me know how it goes.

Also for those not visiting Buenos Aires but still interested, do not hesitate to contact me since the do International Shippings on demand. !!! CM

MEDIO y MEDIO • Drink made in Montevideo

Today while walking around the bohemian and interesting area of MERCADO DEL PUERTO in Montevideo – Port Market – I was introduced to a typical drink of this city, that from now on… among many others have become a new addiction. Not for nothing in less than an hour two full bottles of Medio y Medio were rolling empty along the alleys of the market.

Medio y Medio is made of 50% White Wine and 50% Champagne or Sparkling wine. The best and most traditional spot for your Medio y Medio experience is the Roldo’s Bar, which since 1886 surprises customers with this great drink. So heads up and hey… among us… the bartender was a true eye candy.. CM

(*) If you plan to visit Montevideo, you cannot miss a visit to the area of MERCADO DEL PUERTO. I will blog about this tonight. !!!!

Isabel B. de Ferari Favorite BAR in Buenos Aires

Isaberl B. de Ferrari, known among its regulars as ISABEL is my new and favorite bar in the city of Buenos Aires. Door to door with the famous and trendy Casa Cruz Restaurant in the up and always coming neighborhood of Palermo SOHO. ( Uriarte 1664 )
A mix between decadent, exclusive, trendy and chic would define this bar, where I would risk to say has a 80% straight / 20% gay crowd, but where the general rule is don’t ask don’t tell…. and the key is to have fun and mingle. Anyhow the rumors are that Thursdays are ranking high on guys night out, if you know what I mean.
No cover fees. Great drinks with, to my preference , a bit of a complicated but original system, that will have you buying your Drink Tokens at the main entrance with the concierge of the bar. Average drink rates around USD 15.
Pre Dance for many, parking place for others…. nevertheless a great spot to begin your night with friends, open to interact with locals and internationals. If you, like me, try to avoid the late nights out, but still enjoy a drink with funky Disco Remix and cool crowd, then Isabel is a MUST SEE and DO of Buenos Aires’ night . CM

SPRITZ my new favorite drink

SPRITZ my new favorite drink  |  Verona, Italy  |  Since I arrived to Venice and now in Verona, I have fallen in love with this drink – SPRITZ – that captivated my eyes while strolling by the channels of Venice for it characteristic and charming ORANGE color on sexy stem glasses. While I was relaxing at the lobby bar of the Villa Malaspina Hotel in Verona, the bartender kindly teach me how to fix my new favorite drink, and here I share the recipe with all of you: APEROL Aperitiv + Vino Espumante BRUT + Sparkling water served on the rocks with a slice of Orange on a stem glass. Come on what else do you need … VERONA or VENICE plus Spritz. Try it, I guarantee you will love it. Ready for some more ha ha ha … CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends


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MATE  | For those that do not know this… MATE is the official national drink of not only Argentina, but also Uruguay. A common social practice, considered to be a tradition typical of the “Gauchos”. The drink contains caffeine. Mate is served with a metal straw from a shared hollow calabash gourd. The straw is called a bombilla. The straw is traditionally made of silver. The gourd is known as a mate. Even if the water comes in a very modern thermos, the infusion is traditionally drunk from mates. However, “tea-bag” type infusions of mate (mate cocido) have been on the market in Argentina for many years under such trade names as “Cruz de Malta”. As with other brewed herbs, yerba mate leaves are dried, chopped, and ground into a powdery mixture called yerba. The bombilla acts as both a straw and a sieve. The submerged end is flared, with small holes or slots that allow the brewed liquid in, but block the chunky matter that makes up much of the mixture. A modern bombilla design uses a straight tube with holes, or spring sleeve to act as a sieve. The method of preparing the mate infusion varies considerably from region to region, and it is hotly debated which method yields the finest outcome. However, nearly all methods have some common elements. The gourd is nearly filled with yerba, and hot water (typically at 70–80 C [160–180 F], never boiling) is added. Try it and share your thoughts and culture. !!!! CM @ Carlos Melia Recommends


(*) Follow me around the world curating the best on Luxury Travel and Lifestyle by subscribing to my Facebook Page Carlos Melia Recommends, liking my Facebook Page, following me on Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and/or pining me on Pinterest. Also check out my new page Carlos Melia Recommends.