ALL POSTS IN [Culture]

Ponta Negra Beach (Photo Courtesy of Embratur)

The city of Natal is “painted” with the same organic colors proudly displayed on the Brazilian flag: blue skies, golden-yellow sand dunes and green palm trees. During the FIFA final draw, it was announced that the USA team would be playing against Ghana in the Arena das Dunas for their first game on June 16, 2014. Even though the USA is in Group G — which is considered one of the hardest group’s in the 2014 World Cup — fans really hit the jackpot with having Natal as the perfect host city to cheer on the US team.

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Sundance Film Festival

It’s a big year for Sundance Film Festival as it celebrates its 30th birthday in Park City, UT, this week. For the last 3 decades, the next big moviemakers, critics, celebrities and film buffs  have attended this annual event every January to be wowed by the best of independent films from all over the world.

The largest independent film festival in the US, Sundance was launched in 1978 with the help of Robert Redford’s company, Sterling Van Wagenen. Over the last 30 years, Redford has played an integral part in building the festival’s momentum and his mark is seen all over town, from his famed Sundance Resort, 5,000 acres on the slopes of Mount Timpanogos in Utah’s Wasatch Range to Zoom, his cozy restaurant located on Park City’s Main Street.

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Photography by Joel Addams / Aurora Photos

Called “As-Sahara al-Kubra” in Arabic, “The Great Desert” of the Sahara stretches more than 3.6 million square miles through North Africa.
Daily Escapes!

Fans gather at Graceland to celebrate Elvis’s birthday (photo: Reuters)

Seventy-nine years ago today, in the Mississippi town of Tupelo, the future King of Rock ‘n’ Roll was born. This morning, in celebration of the life of Elvis Aaron Presley — the singer, actor and legend who turned rockabilly into a sound all his own and forever changed how we view slicked-back hair, leather pants and Hawaii’s shores – Graceland kicks off a 3-day Elvis Birthday Celebration.

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Santa’s on his way (Photo: Getty Images)

Once again a time-honored Christmas Eve tradition is underway, as Santa Claus makes his way around the globe delivering gifts to good little boys and girls everywhere. If NORAD’s current calculations hold steady, Father Christmas’s reindeer route is unfolding as planned, with one of the latest Santa sightings made in Chiang Mai, Thailand.

Barring navigational forces, Santa’s journey, which usually starts in the South Pacific and hits New Zealand and Australia before moving on to Japan and Asia, will take Kris to Africa and Europe, followed by North America and South America, as he delivers the goods — at last count, nearly 2 billion — to kids everywhere by Christmas Day.

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Cathedral of Brasília (Photo Courtesy of Embratur)

One might assume that Brasília, the capital of Brazil, has been around for more than a century, but in reality, it was built on an impressive timeline of just 41 months, from 1956 to 1960. Brazil’s capital for the longest time was the extremely populated Rio de Janeiro, but then the government decided it was essential for the capital to be moved to the center of the country. And so, Brasília was born!

Brasília, the Capital of Innovation
Unlike other host cities for the FIFA World Cup 2014, Brasília is unique in that it was entirely a planned city. As part of the country’s “50 years of prosperity in 5″ plan, Brazil’s president at the time, Juscelino Kubitschek, and urban planner Lúcio Costa approached Oscar Niemeyer about becoming the chief architect in designing the new city’s public buildings.

At the time, Niemeyer was the youngest and most influential designer on the team, having served as the architectural mastermind behind the United Nations Headquarters in New York City roughly a decade before. From the moment he signed onto the project, Niemeyer turned Brasilia into his playground, creating buildings with modern and surreal architecture that could reflect the young capital’s innovativeness. Years later, UNESCO cited Brasília as a World Heritage site.

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Photography by Getty Images

Puerto Rico may be a US territory, but there are certain parts of this beautiful Caribbean island that feel distinctly like a foreign land — and El Morro is one such place.

Daily Escapes!

Photography by Getty Images

Lisbon may get all the glory but Sintra, with its UNESCO-worthy streets, Arabesque hilltop estates and winding castle walls, may just change all that.

Daily Escapes!

Photography by Houmas House

Built in the mid-1800s, the grand mansion with sturdy columns and generous verandas is the centerpiece of the Houmas House.
Daily Escapes!

Photo Courtesy of Perez Art Museum Miami

If you’re heading to Miami to dodge the chilly weather or to attend the Art Basel international art show this weekend, we have some exciting news to share. You not only get the pleasure of enjoying Miami’s premier art show and relaxing on South Beach, but can now visit the new Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM).

The new 200,000-square-foot building opens its doors to the public this week. Located on Biscayne Bay, between the Arsht Performing Arts Center and the American Airlines Arena, PAMM features large, shaded verandas, a park and galleries with views of the bay, an education center and Verde, a waterfront restaurant.

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