The 5 best parks in California

California is not just the state of Hollywood and the long beaches of the Pacific . In this strip of land you can come across an infinity of landscapes , each one totally different from the other.

Unmissable on a road trip in the south-west state are the parks, many of which are among the most beautiful and interesting in the USA.

Here are the 5 best:

1. Yosemite National Park

The Yosemite National Park extends over the Sierra Nevada mountain range, about 300 km from San Francisco. An inevitable stop for a trip on the road in the southwest, the Yosemite has an area of over 3000 km² and offers an incredible variety of animal and plant species.

yosemite

The rich fauna that populates the park, a UNESCO World Heritage since 1984, includes brown bears, wolves, marmots and many other species. Big attraction of the park are the redwoods, more than 1000 within the protected territory, many of which are located in Mariposa Grove, where the Wanona Tree resided, the huge tree in which a tunnel was dug at the end of ‘800 and fell into ruin 1969.

Another incredible place is the Yosemite Falls , the beautiful waterfalls that reach at their point more than 735 meters high. One of the best vantage points is at the Glacier Point at 2100 meters above sea level. The main attraction of the park is definitely the Half Dome , the very high granite rock that dominates all over the park with its 2700 meters, unfortunately not accessible to most as it requires some experience in climbing. Read more

yosemite glacier point

 

2. Death Valley

Located on the border between Califonia and Nevada, Death Valley , as the name suggests, is an extensive desolate valley that offers landscapes of impressive beauty. The Death Valley manages to enchant and intimidate at the same time: of the great lakes and the lush area that was more than 10,000 years ago there is only a boundless desert landscape , theater of the great gold rush in the 800.

death valley

From the very beginning we perceive how this land is hostile to life : ghost town, abandoned mines and animal skeletons dot the valley of death. Gas stations and areas where water and food can be bought are scarce along the way, so take precautions before entering.
In the official site of the park ( here the link ) you can find all the precautions to which you need to undergo how to fill up with water and fuel and avoid getting stuck inside the desert area The temperatures in the warmer months exceed 45 degrees Celsius and phone coverage is really poor.

The valley offers several attractions such as the Dante’s View at 1669 m high on the Black Mountain, from which you can admire Mount Whitney (the highest of the park) and the great depression of Badwater . Another interesting point is Zabriskie Point , where you can admire an almost lunar landscape. Ryholite is instead a ghost town that at the time of the gold rush boasted a population of 10,000 inhabitants. But it does not end here: Death Valley is certainly one of the most impressive places in the US and in the world, one of those places to visit at least once in life, with due precautions. Read more

zabriesky point

 

3. Joshua Tree National Park

Surely one of the most fascinating parks in the USA, the Joshua Tree National Park owes its name to the trees of Joshua, the trees that populate it named for their branches that rise up to the sky. What is surprising about this park is the cohesion between two different desert ecosystems, that of the Colorado Desert and the Mojave.

joshua tree

Not only that, the Josghua Tree offers an impressive sky during the night: far from the visual pollution it is possible to see the celestial vault in all its splendor. Among the great attractions of the park stand out the Keys View from which you can enjoy a breathtaking landscape, unmissable during the sunset, the Wonderland of Rocks , where it seems to have landed on the moon, the Black Rock Canyon from which to observe the forest of Joshua Tree and the Skull Rock the absurd rocks that the erosion of atmospheric agents has turned into real skulls. Read more .

JoshuaTreeSkullRock

 

4. Sequoia National Park

The Sequoia, however, most beautiful, most impressive are the Sequoia National Park, another wonder of south-central California. Together with Kings Canyon National Park they form a single large protected area that alternates impetuous peaks, placid rivers, sequoia forests and valleys with postcard views.

 

There are many activities that you can take part in the park and certainly the trekking is the most popular: the climb to the Moro Rock or the trail to the Crystal Cave are among the favorite routes. The protagonists are, however, the huge sequoia of the Giant Forest, which can be reached along 17 miles of hairpin bends. A few miles further north you will be able to get to know the world’s biggest living being, General Sherman , a 84-meter-tall sequoia weighing 1,910 tons. It is thought to have between 2300 and 2700 years! Read more .

general sherman

Kings Canyon has very similar landscapes and is also home to several sequoia: do not underestimate it, but this park also offers beautiful trails and it is a wise idea to spend at least a full day.

Kings Canyon National Park

 

5. Lassen Volcanic National Park

The Lassen Volcanic National Park fully represents the restlessness of California: gayser , boiling water springs and hot mud pools, all dominated by the Lassen Peak , the park’s symbolic volcano. Its last eruption dates back to 1914; now the situation is quite stable and quiet and it is difficult to imagine the abundant lava flows that continued to erupt until 1921.

This park also offers immense forests , sulfur reserves and crystal clear lakes. Among the most interesting water basins is Lake Manzanita , one of the most photographed in Lassen, where it is possible to camp, kayak and swim.

lake manzanica

An unmissable excursion is the one at the falls, the Mill Creek Falls , 23 meters high. Not least is the King Fall , slightly lower but similarly spectacular.

 

 

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The most famous Little Italy in the United States: a journey in search of Italianness

In my many trips to the United States I have visited many so-called ” Italian ” neighborhoods, some very interesting and authentic, others more attraction for tourists looking for stereotypes.

I am not particularly attracted to the Little Italy scattered around the world but some have impressed me and sometimes I am also pleased to meet people who are far away (or who have never even been in Italy) to claim their origins with passion: we are always very good at criticizing our country, but when we are far away, it lacks to anyone even with all the contradictions and idiocies that characterize it.

  • 1 Little Italy Americans not to be missed
    • 1.1 Ellis Island Immigration Museum
    • 1.2 Little Italy Manhattan, New York
    • 1.3 Little Italy by Arthur Ave, The Bronx, New York
    • 1.4 Little Italy, San Diego
    • 1.5 North End Boston

Little Italian America not to be missed

When I plan my itinerary to visit a particular city in the United States and in the world I see if there is an Italian neighborhood (which is not said to carry the name of “Little Italy”): in these years I have learned that often the best communities of compatriots and their descendants are far from the tourist center and are sometimes also found in small towns.

Ellis Island Immigration Museum

The United States is a country born of immigration , especially the European one with which colonization began. So in my ideal journey in search of Italianity in the United States, it should all start with Ellis Island and its Immigration Museum .
Many of our compatriots have passed through this “reception center” where migrants coming by ship from Europe were visited and questioned: those who were well and could constitute a resource for the USA was accepted, the others rejected without appeal.

How many stories of hope and despair have seen the walls of Ellis Island : when you’re in New York City do not miss this museum. On this page, libertyellisfoundation.org/passenger , you can search by name for the passengers who have been registered at the reception center over time. With my surname there is only one woman, Teresa Tobanelli , from a village in the province of Brescia (near where my grandfather was born …). She arrived in New York in 1920 at the age of 36 and had left Genoa on board the ship “Pesaro”.

Probably I will never know what he did once in the USA, what his fate was.

Little Italy Manhattan, New York

The most famous of all is the Little Italy of Manhattan in New York City: historically it is one of the oldest and most important in the United States. The streets of the district still tell stories of hardship and suffering, of people who lived crammed into tiny apartments, with really bad sanitary conditions.
Despite the great economic and social difficulties, our countrymen have managed to import with pride, so many traditions, our food and our holidays.

little italy new york

Today the Italian community no longer lives here, many have moved from a long time in the Bronx or New Jersey and the Chinese community from neighboring Chinatown has invaded the streets adjacent to Mulberry Street, the hub of Little Italy in Manhattan.
What remains are shops and restaurants but the streets can still remember when in this southern part of Manhattan, many Italians lived chasing the American dream.

Little Italy by Arthur Ave, The Bronx, New York

The most authentic “little Italy” in all of New York is the one found at Arthur Avenue , in the Bronx, precisely between East 189th Street and Crescent Avenue. I really recommend you take a walk through these streets, stop and eat something at Arthur Ave Retail Market, a market of typical products of Italian origin.
Among all the Italian communities that I have visited, this is really what fascinated me the most: far from the chaos of Manhattan and really inhabited by Italians, now second generation.

arthur ave new york

Little Italy, San Diego

Near Downtown , then in the heart of the beautiful Californian city, we find a small but lively Italian community: even here now a lot is mostly aimed at attracting tourists but has certainly been more protected than that of Manhattan. It is not difficult to find our compatriots arrived at a young age and that after so many years have not yet managed to shake off the typical Italian accent in the pronunciation of English.

A walk around here is a must on your trip to San Diego.

little italy san diego

North End Boston

Boston ‘s North End neighborhood is a very quaint neighborhood that long ago welcomed a large community of Italians. Today walking through the streets of this area, you will find Italian shops and restaurants, even if now the new generations often do not even know our language anymore.
Truly one of the must-see districts in Boston, plan a nice tour of the area!

boston little italy

Other Little Italy that I have had the opportunity to visit but which have actually struck me less, or because they have now fallen by melting pot , or because it is not said that an Italian community always correspond to restaurants and shops that highlight it, are those of Chicago, San Francisco, Baltimore, South Philadelphia and Hartfortd in Connecticut.

 

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Palm Angels: the losangeline subcultures reinterpreted in streetwear

Palm Angels, a streetwear brand founded by Francesco Ragazzi (formerly the artistic director of Moncler) and worn by the great American hip hop, has come to life from a photographic book on the Losangelini skaters.

 

He does not like clean colors or stringent definitions. Between white and black, Francesco Ragazzi moves there, on the border between two chromatic worlds that do not belong to him. And if sometimes he decides to mix them a bit, sometimes he simply chooses one and goes ahead with that. It would be useless to put it into a specific category. Artistic director of Moncler and founder of the streetwear brand Palm Angels , two different souls coexist in him, never really merging with each other.

The birth of Palm Angels

A soul is the one that has as its symbols the palms and golden sands of California, the other is the Italian one. Together they sculpt the personality of Palm Angels, the brand born in 2015 from a photographic project by the same Ragazzi. In just three years, he became one of the leading brands of American rappers , beloved by A $ AP Rocky, Playboi Carti, Offset, Travis Scott and Pharrell Williams.

Just the latter wrote the preface of the book of the same name from which the idea of Palm Angels started: a 2014 publication that contains photographs taken by some skaters during a stay in Los Angeles. « Before arriving in California – says Ragazzi – I had a certain idea of LA . I imagined the palms, the blinding light and the skaters whizzing along the Venice Beach promenade. And so it was. I started taking some pictures and only later did I get the idea of making a book. At Pharrell Williams, with whom I had already become friends in Moncler, I asked to write the preface. His words were able to translate perfectly the spirit of the book and my intentions in making it. Being a skater himself, he knows how true a religion is. There is something in the way they deal with life and in relating to people that fascinate me a lot. “

In 2015 the first Palm Angels collection was launched in Paris : a unisex line of t-shirts, sweatshirts, cardigans and backpacks animated by palm trees, leaves of marijuana (“the smell of marijuana permeates the streets in Los Angeles”) and some shots taken from the book. With that first collection, Ragazzi gave a concrete and tangible form to the clash between cultures that had forged his aesthetic imagery: «In Milan I attended the American school and immediately I had to deal with a different world from mine. As an Italian who studies the culture and history of another country, I began to develop a sense of estrangement that led me to feel like an outsider wherever I was, in Italy as in America. Then I realized that this feeling could be turned into an opportunity and I translated it into Palm Angels. My collections look at the US and American subcultures through the lenses of an Italian “.

The symbiosis with the music

If the universe of the Los Angeles skaters started the project, it is the music that feeds it every day. « When I have to create a new drawing collection with the idea of ending up in a video or a concert . Music is a passion but above all an inspiration: it is very important for me that my clothes are worn by musicians. The first to do so was A $ AP Rocky and from then on it was a crescendo. My tracksuits are definitely the most loved head by rappers ».

To play them is also Playboi Carti

In addition to running for the brand in January 2018, she recently signed the “Die Punk” capsule collection for Palm Angels, composed of denim garments, sweatshirts and track pants. A collaboration born spontaneously after Playboi Carti contacted the brand on Instagram. “With the world of music there is a mutual attraction but it is not just the rap and hip hop that I address. In March, for example, I edited the looks and the staging of the Swedish House Mafia reunion concert at the Ultra Music Festival in Miami. Hence the inspiration for my latest S / S 2019 collection, which enriches the style of Palm Angels with rave quotes ».

Inspired by the clubbing scene is also the capsule created for Moncler’s Genius project, which has asked six international creatives – including Pierpaolo Piccioli, Simone Rocha and Craig Green – to rewrite the brand’s identity. Characterized by a nocturnal and futuristic flair , the collection mixes street garments like the track pants – on which stand phrases like “I’m so high” and “Make it rain” – to the reinterpretations of the brand’s historical duvet. Luxury and streetwear meet: once again, two distant worlds that Francesco Ragazzi has been able to bring closer.

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A Big Step Forward Against Parkinson's Disease Through Michael J. Fox | Forbes France

Cellular Waste

 

 

The mutation in the gene that makes LRRK2 is the most common genetic cause of Parkinson’s disease

This variation was discovered 15 years ago. Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google , carries a copy, and his company 23andMe, a start-up of genetics for the general public, studied it. Pfizer, Merck and Genentech have all been working on drugs targeting this gene, but it has been discovered that they appear to cause disturbing lung changes in animals and all studies have been halted. It seemed at that time that this genetic index possibly containing the key to a cure for Parkinson’s disease could never be studied.

It was then that the Fox Foundation

 

joined the party, organizing meetings at which all companies involved in the study of treatments acting on the LRRK2 put their results together and tried to understand the origin of the problem. The Genentech team (now Denali’s) participated in these meetings and subsequently established a company and patented the Genentech molecule. It is this treatment whose data has been presented these days.

The current study does not include any patients with Parkinson’s disease, but it answers two questions: is the LRRK2 molecule able to block it enough to have an effect on Parkinson’s patients? And can she do it without serious side effects, especially in the lungs or blood pressure? It seems that the answer is yes.

There was a slight numerical difference between the placebo group and the groups receiving different doses of Denali’s drug, but the effects appear to have not worsened as doses increased, were not statistically significant, and did not seem to be of clinical importance. “The differences between the different assays are not clinically significant, and therefore not indicative of a dose-related effect,” says Carole Ho, Denali’s chief medical officer. Slight changes in blood pressure have been observed, but without researchers being able to match the drug.

Finally, genetic studies of individuals with mutations in the gene responsible for the synthesis of LRRK2 revealed no pulmonary problems.

 

Denali molecule 

The next step will be to test the Denali molecule in patients with Parkinson’s disease, both in those whose disease is caused by a mutation in the gene responsible for the production of LRRK2 and in those with Parkinson’s disease. is not related to this enzyme. Indeed, for researchers, such a drug could perhaps also have a positive effect on them. According to Ho, Denali intends to begin testing on the first patient of these studies by the end of the year. One of the biggest challenges will be finding people with Parkinson’s disease who have LRRK2.

Denali has partnered with Centagene, a genetic testing company, to find them more easily. GlaxoSmithKline, which also prepares an inhibitor of LRRK2, has partnered with 23andMe and will communicate with patients in the 23andMe database who carry the mutation.

” We find it both very important and promising to see the testing of an LRRK2 inhibitor begin in humans, ” said Brian Fiske, Vice President of the Fox Foundation. ” Of course, this is only the first stage of the trials, but it is for us one day to mark a milestone. “

 

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How to choose the best travel insurance for the United States

A few years ago, the market for travel policies in Italy included very few intermediaries and companies: there was little choice and almost no information about it.

I know it well because when I had to sign my first travel insurance for the United States I had found very little information and I had entered into a very expensive product that today does not even exist anymore (the brand was acquired and destroyed by one of the big ones).

Today the situation has changed, I was the first to want to find more information on this type of products, to try to collect the best and ask for discounts to companies and intermediaries: today they do my very same things many other sites but I have in the meanwhile I had the desire and the strength to specialize myself, becoming an insurance consultant registered in the single register of intermediaries held by IVASS.

  • 1 Too many travel insurance, so much confusion!
  • 2 Where to buy the best travel policies?
  • 3 Tips for choosing the best travel insurance
    • 3.1 Read the Information Package for travel insurance
      • 3.1.1 Exclusions and conditions of insurability
      • 3.1.2 Compensation ceilings
      • 3.1.3 Deductibles and overdrafts
    • 3.2 Glossary terms insurance
    • 3.3 Important information to be evaluated
      • 3.3.1 Pre-existing diseases
      • 3.3.2 Start and end of travel policy coverage
      • 3.3.3 Entrusted only to experts

Too many travel insurance, so much confusion!

Do you know how many travel insurance products can be found online right now? Really many, I would dare to say too many; so numerous that everyone gets confused. Precisely for this reason I decided to study them and collect those 3 or 4 that I consider the best.

In addition in this post I would give you some tools to make your choice consciously , mind that the policy travel policy is essential when you go to the United States, do not do it risk very stupidly because today with a few tens of euro you make sure for good!

Where to buy the best travel policies?

 

Click here to see the policies I have chosen and the discounts I have obtained for you!

Tips for choosing the best travel insurance

We assume that the products that I have chosen are valid, so remaining among these you can not be mistaken that much. But it is only right to understand and know the insurance policy before proceeding to a stipulation so that you know what you are buying and once you travel can understand (orientation) what you are entitled or not.

In addition to my help, which I always provide for free and without any commitment (I am repaid by any commissions on products) [you can contact me via WhatsApp at 392 249 6806 or via email to andrea.tobanelli@frontieritalia.it], you will also have to learn to evaluate , at least roughly, a travel insurance product. How you do it? Simple:

Read the Information Package for travel insurance

I start by saying that unfortunately, multi-risk travel insurance is one of the most complex insurance products to understand: this is because, precisely, they ensure many different risks: assistance, medical expenses, baggage, accidents (understood as compensation), cancellation , rc, …

In the information package there is everything you need to know, except “how the company will handle the accident”. that unfortunately you find out later and that’s why it is good to rely on the best.
Returning to the file you will notice that this is less complicated than what you expected, is divided into sections (one for each coverage): then Assistance, Medical Expenses, Baggage, Cancellation … each usually corresponds to a section (A, B, C … ) sometimes two covers are included in the same.

Exclusions and conditions of insurance

 

One of the most important things to evaluate, if not probably the most important, concerns exclusions and conditions of insurability or the cases in which the coverage does not operate (exclusions) and who is insurable (conditions insurability).

The exclusions are both general, therefore they apply to all the sections, both particular and integrative for the specific section. Similar discourse for insurance conditions.

Always check this information well as they make the difference.

Compensation ceilings

 

The ceilings are important but it is useless to have super ceilings if the company does not compensate.
Who travels in the USA knows that in order to fit a policy must have a ceiling of at least 750.000-1.000.000 € for medical and health expenses: some policies have the “unlimited” ceiling which does not mean much because the maximum days of hospitalization, then over a certain amount the ceiling is ok. Unlimited is just marketing, it is not something that penalizes but it is not even a plus.

Deductible and uncovered

 

They are that portion of the risk that remains the responsibility of the insured. They have to be low, much better if they are not there, especially for medical expenses and assistance.

Glossary terms insurance

 

I leave you with a small review of insurance terms that you can find by reading a file (where among other things are always specified)

Maximum : the maximum obligation of the insurer for the claim of a specific guarantee

Deductible : amount deducted from the indemnifiable damage that remains the responsibility of the insured (therefore it will not be paid by the insurer)

Damage indemnifiable : damage determined according to the conditions of the policy, without considering any discoveries, deductibles and ceilings.

Prize : the price that the Contractor pays to purchase the guarantee offered by the insurer. The payment of the prize is
guarantee effectiveness condition.

Subrogation :: the right of the insurer who has paid the indemnity to replace the insured in the rights to the third party.responsible, if the
damage depends on the unlawful act of a third party.

Important information to be evaluated

Pre-existing diseases

 

The policies that I promote never cover any previous conditions, contact me for further information

Start and end of travel insurance coverage

 

All policies promised to be signed before the subject leaves Italy and coverage must begin the day you leave the country and finish when you return.
If you have already left, contact me to find an alternative solution.

Trust only experts

 

I see a lot of people online who become an insurance broker: as well as being a crime, it can also lead the customer to the stipulation of an inadequate product.
I am an insurance broker, registered in the RUI at number B000542111.

 

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Star Wars, The Sistine Music Chapel

As George Lucas once said, “there would be no Star Wars without the music of John Williams”. On May 4, Walt Disney Records released the first six soundtracks of the entirely remastered saga

The title of this article-tribute to one of the giants of film music , John Williams , and to the most famous sci-fi saga of the globe (thanks to his music), Star Wars , is taken from a quote by the film music critic Roberto Pugliese : some time ago he declared that the compositions of Star Wars are the “Music Sistine Chapel” of John Williams for the science-fiction story created by George Lucas. And the latter kept telling us, in an interview released “a long time ago in a distant far galaxy” (pass us the quote quote), that “there would be no Star Wars without the music of John Williams”. Sacrosanct truth.

Star Wars: The Last Jedi

 

On May 4, Walt Disney Records released the first six soundtracks of the space saga, entirely remastered , with a new look and a mini-poster collector. The “Original Soundtracks” have been “rebuilt” with new high resolution transfers (24 bit / 192 kHz), supervised by Shawn Murphy (sound engineer and Oscar winner) and Skywalker Sound (Lucas Digital).

Prequel scores – Episode 1: The Phantom Menace (1999), Episode 2: The Attack of the Clones (2002) and Episode 3: The Revenge of the Sith (2005) – and of the most important films born from the mind of Lucas – Episode 4: A New Hope (1977), Episode 5: The Empire Strikes Again (1980) and Episode 6: The Return of the Jedi (1983) – represent John Williams’ cine-musical opera.

Film franchise that goes to complete with the new trilogy, started in 2015 with Episode 7: The Force Awakens and continued with Episode 8: The Last Jedi in 2017, which will end with Episode 9 , still untitled, next year (first date expected exit, December 20, 2019 in the United States). Williams has already said that he will not dedicate himself to the umpteenth new trilogy that will be put in place since 2020 , after the official one of the nine chapters mentioned above, because, besides the venerable age (86 years), what he wanted to compose for Star Wars already done. He repeatedly stressed that he loves his compositional talent for the Lucas saga and above all – jokingly but with a touch of jealousy – no one else could write the theme of Rey (Daisy Ridley), the female character of the new trilogy, for which proves a considerable admiration. So the current generations of fellow composers are responsible for creating a new sound imprinting, logically always starting from the unavoidable original Williamsian material. Chicca: Williams has just written the new theme of Han Solo for the spin-off cycle A Star Wars Story , after Rogue One with Michael Giacchino score , Solo for the note, directed by his friend Ron Howard, with the original music by John Powell.

Now let’s take a look at the numbers : John Towner Williams won 5 Academy Awards ( The Roofing Violinist , The Shark , Star Wars , ET and Schindler’s List ), 4 Golden Globes, 7 British Academy Film Awards, 5 Emmys and 23 Grammy Awards, plus a multitude of other awards. With 51 Oscar nominations, the New York composer (Floral Park, 8 February 1932) is the most successful living person in the history of the Academy Awards and the second most nominated, only after Walt Disney. In 2005, the American Film Institute asserted that the music of the first episode of Star Wars (1977) is “the greatest American soundtrack of all time”. In fact the scores containing the complete composition of Episode 4: A New Hope are kept by the Library of Congress in the National Recording Registry, because they are considered “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant”. Williams was included in the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, received the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004, the National Medal of Arts in 2009 and the AFI Life Achievement Award in 2016. He wrote scores for 8 of the 20 films higher income at the American box office. Is the father of stunning and memorable scores, immensely iconic, such as those already mentioned for The Shark , ET the extraterrestere , as well as the saga of Indiana Jones, Superman , Close Encounters of the third type , the first three films of another saga of enormous success, (that of Harry Potter), Jurassic Park and the sequel The Lost World . His association with the great American director Steven Spielberg (29 films together with various TV productions) is one of the most relevant in the history of cinema, like those of Alfred Hitchcock and Bernard Herrmann, Federico Fellini and Nino Rota, Robert Zemeckis and Alan Silvestri, Sergio Leone and Ennio Morricone, Hayao Miyazaki and Joe Hisaishi. Let’s not forget that he has collaborated and wrote equally remarkable scores in the Seventh Art for directors such as Alfred Hitchcock ( Family Construct ), Robert Altman ( Images , The Long Goodbye ), Clint Eastwood ( Assassination on the Eiger ), Oliver Stone ( Born on July 4th , JFK – A case still open ), Ron Howard ( Hearts rebels ), Brian De Palma ( Fury ), Sydney Pollack ( Sabrina ) and Chris Columbus ( Mom I lost the plane , Enemies friends ).

His compositional style that travels between epic and intimism, inspired by the symphonic textures of authors such as C’aikovskij, Wagner, Holst, Prokofiev, Rimsky-Korsakov and Strauss, has an intricate and sometimes unattainable architecture, notoriously difficult to perform in concert and during his sessions if not by virtuous musicians and orchestral bands of high artistic level (see the famous London Symphony Orchestra or the Boston Pops).

For the eight Star Wars films, Williams, in over 40 years of career, has composed and directed a myriad of themes, ideas and impressions

 

– remember that the OSTs of the first historical trilogy and the first two of the current one have been nominated for the Oscar award, on the other hand, those of the prequels are totally ignored – creating a branched and solid musical framework. With his scores he becomes the co-author of the sci-fi cinematic universe of George Lucas and of all his correlations (videogames, animated TV series and video fan service ). None of the composers who had to deal with the Lucasian galaxy in all its forms was able to separate himself from his poetic cine-music. Because Williams is Star Wars and Star Wars is Williams.

Again quoting Pugliese and his dossier Star Wars: The Myth (and the Music) continues! , we can only agree with what he asserted: “One can not go with the mind to the inevitable parallelism with the Wagnerian enterprise of the Ring of the Nibelungo , both for the role of the Leitmotives and for the narrative assonances, but above all for the striking analogy between the chronological non-linearity of the two sagas: made in a creative arc of very long time and without following the chronological order of events “.

Leitmotives that have entered full merit in the collective imagination, including the neophytes of the Star Wars saga: the heraldic theme of Luke or fanfare of the rebellion; the loving motive of Leia; the evocative theme of the Force; the militaristic and obscure Imperial March (well known as the theme of Darth Vader); the touching and energetic Love Theme at the same time by Padme and Anakin titled Across the Stars . And off by listing.

“In the twentieth century, cinema took on the same degree of popularity that in the nineteenth century had the melodrama and we, composers of music for films, have an enormous opportunity and responsibility, knowing that our music will reach millions of people “. This is the consideration that John Williams made over thirty years ago about his work. We can say without a doubt that his music for Star Wars has reached this milestone fully. On the other hand the soundtrack of the first Star Wars is the only album of symphonic music that still today has sold more than 4 million copies. What Williams is with you!

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The best parks in East Coast USA: which to visit from north to south

Anyone who feels the need to travel to the United States of America to discover the natural wonders will end up planning an itinerary in the west of the USA, whether it is south, center or north.
There is not much to object, actually the western part of the States is the one that offers more from a naturalistic point of view, with a variety of extraordinary landscape: in a few miles it can really change everything.

In my travels in the USA in the end I’m convinced myself too, to the west of Chicago (just to draw a line) there are all the most beautiful parks in the United States , but if you decide to visit the east coast do not despair, because even here there are corners of paradise to discover!

I would like to clarify one thing, the eastern portion of the US really gives a lot but it is different landscapes than the west: the northern area has many great and wonderful cities like New York City, Philadelphia, Boston, Washington DC and also the beautiful nature of New England. The southern part offers an almost tropical climate with amazing ecosystems such as the Everglades .
And what about the coastal towns of states like North and South Carolina or the old traditions of Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia or Alabama?

  • 1 The Parks of the Eastern United States
    • 1.1 Acadia National Park
    • 1.2 Shenandoah National Park
    • 1.3 Mammoth Cave National Park
    • 1.4 Great Smoky Mountains National Park
    • 1.5 Congaree National Park
    • 1.6 Everglades National Park

The parks of the eastern United States

There is so much to discover but today I want to talk about natural parks, because often those of these regions are taken very seriously. In order from north to south:

Acadia National Park

State: Maine

acadia national park

We are in the heart of New England , on the romantic coasts of the state of Maine (where you can eat lobsters at prices decidedly low) and more precisely on the island of Mount Desert .
Over the millennia, atmospheric agents have carved an amazing landscape, made of jagged cliffs, rocks that fall into the water, lakes and inlets.

Getting there is not difficult at all and you do not need to take ferries, just travel the Trenton Bridge . The park is not limitless and is easily traveled by car, along the scenic Loop Road that passes through many scenic spots: stop at the Visitor Center at the entrance to the park and let us give you map and some indication.
Do not miss the rocky expanse of Schoodic Point , the Somes Sound Fjord and Sand Beach!

Shenandoah National Park

State: Virginia

Shenandoah National Park

If you are in the vicinity of Washington DC it is worth considering a detour to this little known national park. I did not do trail but I got to appreciate a scenic road (the Skyline Drive) that goes through practically all of Shenandoah National Park: do not expect something, but if you’re heading south why not go here?

Mammoth Cave National Park

State: Kentucky

mammoth park usa

Mammoth Cave National Park is the largest cave system in the world. I’m not a lover of the genre, even if at the end when I find caves on my way I visit them always.
They are beautiful no doubt about it (not by chance UNESCO World Heritage Site) and are not the usual caves: in addition to internal routes there is much more to discover as Cedar Sink or Turnhole Bend .

If you go through these parts it is worth stopping, the rule is always the same: Visitor Center and ask for information and advice on what to do.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

State: North Carolina, Tennessee

parks east usa

A mountain park with incredible views , immersed in a rich and lush nature. We are in the Great Smoky Mountains (so called because of the characteristic mist that you can see very often when you see the horizon) and part of the Blue Ridge Mountains, both sections of the Appalachian Mountains.
There is so much to do and plenty of trail routes to choose from: for a break truly immersed in nature, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park is the ideal place.

Congaree National Park

State: South Carolina

congaree usa

More than an attraction to visit, the Congaree National Park is a real oasis of peace, a place that is at times fabulous and has managed to keep well away from urban development despite the proximity of the city of Columbia.
The area was once inhabited by the tribe of native Congaree who had settled here, attracted by a rich and lush land. Today, despite having in the past suffered a deforestation without rules, it hosts the largest broad-leaved forest in all of North America.

Everglades National Park

State: Florida

The true great park of the deep south of Florida is the Everglades , a vast marshy region that is home to innumerable plant and animal species. We are in the southern tip of Florida, close to the city of Miami.
The park is very vast and only a part can be reached by man: once you arrive you will find the opportunity to take part and many activities of excursion, on foot and by boat and you will meet many animal species including the famous alligators.

 

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NYC: Illegal drinks in speakeasy

In recent years New York has rediscovered the speakeasy : the fascinating secret rooms where alcohol was served during the years of prohibition . What differentiates these bars, in addition to the extravagant and hidden locations, is the atmosphere that intoxicates them: it seems to have been catapulted into the roaring ’20s and to live a real experience in style Grande Gatsby.

Needless to say, to venture into these places you need to be well informed. Not everyone allows easy access, some are very exclusive, others require reservations. Fortunately, today, many of the speakeasy have a website where you can understand how to enter.

Another thing to know is that prices are often slightly higher than normal and the recommended tip is 15-20%. This slight surcharge is, however, justified by the magnificent experience that this type of bar offers its customers and the impeccable quality of drinks. Recall also that in the States must have been 21 years to drink legally.

5 speakeasy to discover in New York City

 

1. Blind Barber

Address: 339 E. 10th Street, New York, NY 10009
Website: blindbarber.com

 

Certainly one of the most characteristic is the Blind Barber . This secret venue is hidden behind a barber shop, just like the one in the Great Gatsby; it was very common for barber shops to smuggle alcohol during Prohibition. At Blind Barber, you do not just drink good cocktails, you can even chill your hair during the daylight hours. Online booking is required.

 

2. Apotheke

Address: 9 Doyers St, New York, NY 10079
Website: apothekenyc.com

This Speakeasy is located in the meanders of Chinatown , in a hidden alley. The interior of this has nothing to do with its dirty and unkempt entrance: you will be delighted with the most unpredictable cocktails, served on ampoules and bizarre containers, as if you had stumbled into the ancient laboratory of an alchemist. The waiters are dressed in shirts and cocktails, with strange properties, they are called prescriptions . Precisely for this and its furnishings, the place is called Apotheke , from the German pharmacy. The ideal day for a visit is Wednesday , the prohibitionist theme night, in which a password is required to enter.

 

3. Please Do not Tell

Address: 113 St Marks Pl, New York, NY 10009
Website: pdtnyc.com

pdt

More than the room itself, the peculiarity of the PDT is that of having to access from a telephone booth . Entering the Crif Dogs, a hot dog fastfood, and going up to reach the bottom you will find a phone booth. By dialing number 1 you can have access to the clandestine bar. The cocktails of the place are really special and unusual tastes. To try!

 

4. Death & Co

Address: 433 East 6th Street, New York, NY 10009
Website: deathandcompany.com

death and co

Located on the Lower East Side , it has like all other speakeasy an anonymous entrance with no signs. Inside the dark entrance you will find a porter who will inform you if you can enter or if the place is full. In the second case you can leave your number and be contacted in case you vacate a seat. Death & Co does not accept reservations.

 

5. The Back Room

Address: 102 Norfolk Street, New York, NY 10009
Website: backroomnyc.com

the back room

Perhaps one of the most complete experiences is offered by the Back Room , open since the days of prohibition, a meeting place for actors and celebrities of the roaring ’20s and even the most feared gangsters . The peculiarity of the restaurant is to serve alcohol in teacups, a tradition handed down for more than 80 years. The place is located behind a toy store and the entrance is the same since the first opening.

 

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The basic kit to survive in New York City: what to take on a trip to New York

Visiting New York is not complicated at all, certainly it is much easier than going to Rome.
The city is big, great and there are so many things to see and visit but with a little pre-start study and a little kit to survive once there, you will see that there will be no major problems.

A few days ago I came across a post that talked about a girl who had gone to New York to spend a few days and had decided to get lost , without planning anything. History probably invented but trying to leverage that feeling of freedom that typically goes with the concept of travel.
Being a free spirit “is definitely cool” but is it really so nice to wander randomly?

Planning a trip , as well as being a really interesting moment, also gives you the opportunity to understand what you want to see, no one forces you to climb the Top of the Rock, I foremost say that to visit Little Italy in Manhattan is definitely better if you go to Arthur Ave in the Bronx (and I doubt you get there without, where you find the real Italy.) It is not necessary to visit the most tourist attractions to appreciate New York, but spending 5 days wandering is lost for me.
Take a day of total freedom , lose yourself in a neighborhood but do not go to New York without having any idea what you are doing.

Obviously if you have one month available, the subject changes!

Sorry for this digression but read some bullshit, written most likely by someone who has never even been in New York a little ‘smile. So let’s go back to the survival kit for the most incredible city in the world.

  • 1 What to bring to visit New York efficiently?
    • 1.1 1) Sim Card USA (or data promo)
    • 1.2 2) Useful Apps
      • 1.2.1 Google Map
      • 1.2.2 Maps.me
      • 1.2.3 Cups
      • 1.2.4 Citibike
      • 1.2.5 New York Subway – Official MTA map of NYC
      • 1.2.6 Medygo Free
      • 1.2.7 OpenTable
    • 1.3 3) Power Bank
    • 1.4 4) The umbrella
    • 1.5 5) Comfortable shoes
    • 1.6 6) Adapter
    • 1.7 7) A paper map

What to bring to visit New York efficiently?

 

1) Sim Card USA (or promo data)

The smartphone is certainly one of your great traveling allies. Having access to an internet connection while you are around, so not only wifi that you can find around can be really useful, both to get oriented, to look for useful information (such as opening hours) and also to keep in touch with Italy.
The alternatives you have are basically two: either find a good promo for navigation (and maybe even calls) with your national telephone operator, or buy a data sim directly in the US.

There is the possibility to do it even before leaving, take a look here , but the prices are not always very advantageous.

new york travel kit

2) Useful App

You have a smartphone, you have the data connection, you just have to select the apps that will come back useful on the road. There are an avalanche, as you can imagine, but if I have to say what I usually use in New York I could not forget:

Google Map

The timeless google navigation app that always indicates the best way to travel on foot or by road. If you download the maps before you go it can also be used offline but it loses some of its effectiveness.

Maps.me

Another great app that I use to set routes: I show what to see and the app helps me to get there. It is necessary to download the map of the city of interest.

Cups

Having access to discounts on coffee and drinks around the city can be useful and fun too. I tried it and it works!

Citibike

Bike sharing rages everywhere and New York is no exception: this can be a solution to rent the bike in a practical way and without cheating. Take care in the street!

New York Subway – Official MTA map of NYC

The official app of the New York subway, just an integration to Google Map.

Medygo Free

I would not do the paranoid but it can be useful (I hope not!), With this app find matches between the drugs of your country and those abroad.

OpenTable

OpenTable is now a must wherever you are, even in Italy. With this app you can know the restaurants that are close, look for those that could do for you or have heard of, have access to their reviews and finally book your table. Simple and fast!

3) Power Bank

With all these apps the battery of your smartphone or tablet does not have an easy life. It thus becomes essential to bring a good power bank to recharge as needed. Of course, do not forget the cable!

Here’s a good one , here another one!

4) The umbrella

Unfortunately, the rain is always lurking in New York, whatever the season you’re in. It can be so useful to bring those resealable umbrellas into the bag that take up little space and avoid the loss of time of having to look for it.
It happened to me last time in Las Vegas, rain all day and almost impossible search for an umbrella! In New York you will also find street vendors at the first raindrops.

5) Comfortable shoes

Unless you are indestructible, I would avoid walking all day with shoes that are not fit for purpose. I do not say you have to bring those for trekking but at least have a sort of shock on the heel. No to those flat converse style.

6) Adapter

Do not forget it because you need the adapter to use and charge your devices!
Here you find the single plug for the USA
Here the generic one

7) A paper map

I always love to shoot even with a paper map where I pinned here and what I would like to visit. In my basic kit never miss the map of New York and its streets but also that of the subway that uproarious to destruction.

 

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The best neighborhoods and areas to sleep in New York: my advice

New York is boundless, and everyone knows that. When planning a trip to the largest city in the East Coast, it is crucial to choose a well-located hotel and I assure you that the areas that can be considered “optimally positioned” are so many. So it is not necessary to fossilize around Times Square.

Reasoning for those who go to New York as a tourist , you have to put in your head that “things not to be missed” are scattered between Manhattan, some neighborhoods of Brooklyn, some gem in Queens and the Bronx and Staten Island just for those who already have a good experience (or maybe takes particularly to visit the less touristic borough of the city). This makes it clear that, moving with the subway, what matters is having a subway station not far away, not being an hour away from Midtown Manhattan and spending the right (help!).

Now let’s look at some areas that I have had the opportunity to test on my many trips to New York (I never get tired of going).

  • 1 Midtown Manhattan
    • 1.1 The ideal neighborhood for those who want to be in the heart of the sightseeing tour
  • 2 Chelsea, Manhattan
    • 2.1 The ideal district for art, history and location
  • 3 Williamsburg, Brooklyn
    • 3.1 The ideal neighborhood to be outside the box
  • 4 Greenwich Village and West Village, Manhattan
    • 4.1 The ideal neighborhood for tranquility and authenticity
  • 5 Upper West Side, Manhattan
    • 5.1 The ideal neighborhood for families
  • 6 East Village, Manhattan
    • 6.1 The ideal neighborhood to be away from sightseeing
  • 7 SoHo & Tribeca, Manhattan
    • 7.1 The ideal district for culture and shopping

 

Midtown Manhattan

The ideal neighborhood for those who want to be in the heart of the sightseeing tour

best midtown hotels

Midtown Manhattan is the neighborhood that stretches from what may be considered its heart, Times Square. The area is quite large and includes areas of total chaos (Times Square and the immediate surroundings), quieter and more anonymous areas (Hells Kitchen), pleasant areas (Brynt Park and Herald Square) and the fashionable Fifth Avenue.

Why go

Midtown has the great merit of being probably as unspeakable as the “most central center” of Manhattan (excuse the pun). In addition to being undoubtedly impactful, with its lights, its skyscrapers and its shops, here you have everything at your fingertips and just a few minutes on foot or by subway to reach most of the main attractions. If you have a good budget to spend you can aspire to very chic hotels.

Why not go

The whole area does not have its own soul because it is really too commercial and touristy. I do not deny that many of the main attractions not to be missed are in these parts but I am convinced that there are definitely cooler neighborhoods to stay.
The streets are chaotic, the restaurants are more touristy and the less expensive hotels are often very vintage (to put it mildly): I have not slept in Midtown for years. Too expensive and without personality.

Where to book: click here for the best offers

 

Chelsea, Manhattan

The ideal neighborhood for art, history and location

chelsea new york hotel

Chelsea is one of my favorite neighborhoods in all of New York, if I can try to stay here (or Williamsburg) because it is a very pleasant, practical area with a strong personality. What once was a gray neighborhood born on the spoils of a severe industrial crisis is now reborn and houses the city’s best art galleries, cafes, markets and the High Line.

Why go

For an authentic and fulfilling experience, even for the accommodation area. Chelsea is lively, true and does not need to appear. Going out in the evening you will find many bars where you can have a drink, you can walk in the mornings of the weekend without getting overwhelmed by the crowd.

Why not go

I can not find a real reason not to go: maybe because all the accommodations are already full? Joking aside, the area is obviously very expensive (to find one that is not in New York you have to go to the suburbs) and hotels are often not brand new. But I would go anyway.

Williamsburg, Brooklyn

The ideal neighborhood to be outside the box

williamsburg best hotels

I immediately play my other favorite neighborhood, I’m talking about Williamsburg in Brooklyn. Even this area, like Chelsea, was reborn after decades of neglect: here there were factories, it was an industrial area; today everything has been restored, leaving this soul intact. Williamsburg is the hipster neighborhood of New York, a few big chains, many shops and bars.

Why go

Among the most central areas, Williasmbug is perhaps the most authentic one, given its marked refusal to adapt to the rest. Among eccentric bars, markets and breweries, Williamsburg kidnaps the heart of those who are not hunting for tourist attractions. But it’s really very close to Midtown and a few minutes away by metro is in Times Square. Prices are not low but much better than Midtown.

Why not go

I do not know, maybe if you do not appreciate the soul a bit ‘alternative and underground neighborhood, if you want the metro station under the hotel maybe Williamsburg is not for you. But I love it!

Where to book: click here for the best offers

 

Greenwich Village and West Village, Manhattan

The ideal neighborhood for tranquility and authenticity

sleep greenwich village

The adjacent Greenwich and West Village are home to celebrities, New York University students and artists from every field. A pleasant area, much quieter than others in Midtown and full of bars, cafes and boutiques. In addition to being mandatory to visit, it is also really good to be your home.

Why go

These neighborhoods are beautiful, relatively quiet and still very practical to visit the rest of the city.

Why not go

The high price is always one of the reasons that discourages more, for the rest here it is really good.

Where to book: click here for the best offers

Upper West Side, Manhattan

The ideal neighborhood for families

 

The Upper West Side of Manhattan is one of the quietest areas of the district: it is very pleasant and relaxing to walk through its wide streets surrounded by typical brownstone brick buildings .

Why go

The Upper West Side is elegant and quiet, close to museums like the American Museum of Natural History and Central Park.

Why not go

Prices are on average very high, both for accommodation and for eating. If you are hunting for nightlife this neighborhood is not for you.

Where to book: click here for the best offers

 

East Village, Manhattan

The ideal neighborhood to be out of sight seeing

new york hotel tips

The East Village, located just east of Greenwich Village is probably one of the city’s most multi-ethnic neighborhoods, shaped by the strong immigration of Europeans (and others) of the first decades of the 20th century. Remained for decades on the edge of the city, almost never included in the tourist itineraries, the East Village is very appreciated today while remaining very authentic.

Why go

The East Village has several bars and clubs to spend the evening, it is well located and fairly quiet.

Why not go

You will have to take the hotel not too far from the subway (if you move with that), or walk there!

Where to book: click here for the best offers

 

SoHo & Tribeca, Manhattan

The ideal district for culture and shopping

soho best hotel

SoHo and Tribeca are two neighborhoods that can not miss in your itinerary. You have to go and get lost on their streets because there are no great attractions to visit but it is nice to walk through cobblestone streets topped by cast-iron buildings.
I only stayed in Soho once and I must say it is a very good solution, maybe less peaceful than others and maybe even slightly less practical.

Why go

They are neighborhoods rich in culture, especially TriBeca and also ideal for shopping, especially SoHo. With the subway you can easily reach every corner of the city.

Why not go

SoHo is full of tourists who crowd the beautiful boutiques of the area until closing time. Prices are high but this is a constant everywhere.

Where to book: click here for the best deals in Soho – click here for the best deals in Tribeca

 

 

 

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