Posts tagged with "China"

Anna Chromy

CHINESE PRESIDENT XI PING ON SILK ROAD MISSION TO ITALY, MONACO AND FRANCE from 22 to 26 March 2019

When the Government of China was looking in 2015 for a symbol of its Official Pavilion at EXPO2015 in Milano, they did not turn to a Chinese artist, but to a European artist who has his sculpture studio in Pietrasanta and Carrara in Tuscany. The reason for this choice was the extraordinary popularity of the sculptor Anna Chromy in China, who is considered in this country as a Cultural Ambassador between Europe and China (Phoenix News).

Anna Chromy used as theme for her Silk Road Sculpture two bionic towers symbolizing the new city developments along the ancient road. The towers end in two stylized hands holding the world between them, as symbols for the Eastern and Western ends of the Road, connecting the two most advanced civilizations of that time. The towers are engraved with ornaments showing the caravans of the ancient trade road, which brought the silk and other goods from China to Europe. On top of the Globe flies the Angel of Peace, as a tribute to the City of Xi’an (“Eternal Peace”), the starting point of the Ancient Silk Road.

Anna Chromy is represented in China by Phoenix Television, with 550 million viewers the global no.1. She is Honorary Fellow of the National Sculpture Academy of China, a Member of the Chinese City Sculpture Committee, the first Western artist to have a solo exhibition in the National Museum of China in Beijing, and to have a permanent work in the Entrance Hall of this prestigious Museum. She has also numerous other works in public locations around China.

A SILK ROAD IN THE PERMANENT COLLECTION OF PHOENIX MEDIA CENTER IN BEIJING

On November 28, 2017, the Founder and Chairman of Phoenix Satellite TV, Mr. Liu Changle, welcomed the Silk Road sculpture of Anna Chromy into the Permanent Collection of the Phoenix Media Center in Beijing. After the ceremony the CEO of Phoenix TV Art and Culture invited Anna Chromy and Wolfgang Stein for a visit to the private parts of the Forbidden City normally reserved for State guest only.

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KUNG FU PANDA SPECTACULAR LIVE

to Hold Global Premiere at 
The Venetian Theatre in Macao
 

Five-Time Tony Award® Winner Susan Stroman Leads 
Star-studded Global Creative Team

Broadway Asia, one of the largest production, management and distribution companies in the global markets, led by Executive Producers Simone Genatt and Marc Routh, and DreamWorks Theatricals, a division of Universal Theatrical Group, today announced the launch of DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda Spectacular Live – a thrilling new live action entertainment at The Venetian Theatre in Macao. It combines the best of Hollywood, Broadway and circus. The five-time Tony Award® winner Susan Stroman will bring her legendary talents to one of the most successful animated films of all time, Kung Fu Panda.
 
DreamWorks’ Kung Fu Panda Spectacular Live is set to transform the entertainment landscape in Macao. Building on the globally successful franchise of the beloved Kung Fu Panda films, the production has the wisdom, heart and humor of the world-renowned franchise, combined with the high-level design and impact of a major live action immersive spectacular resident show. “The production will be an exciting new experience for audiences of all ages – as it incorporates storytelling, state-of-the art projection mapping and video design, immersive aerial and acrobatics as well as extraordinary puppetry and martial arts,” said director and choreographer Susan Stroman. “The hilarious and heart-warming characters from the films will come to life in an extraordinary action filled live performance.”
 
Award-winning artist Susan Stroman has assembled a brilliant creative team including some of the most sought-after and acclaimed live entertainment artists around the globe. Co-conceived by Susan Stroman and David Thompson (the writer of Broadway’s longest running revival, Chicago), the live action show features character costumes and puppetry designed by the renowned Michael Curry (Broadway’s The Lion King and Frozen, the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics opening and closing ceremonies, as well as the Super Bowl XLVI), and six-time Tony Award® winning costumer designer William Ivey Long. The large-scale attraction incorporates the best scenic design by STUFISH/Ray Winkler (Las Vegas installation of Ka, the Beijing 2008 Summer Olympics, and many famous concert tours including Madonna and the Rolling Stones), lighting design by Ken Billington (designer of over 100 Broadway productions), and projection and video design by 59 Productions (Tony Awards® and Olivier Award Winners for An American in Paris and War Horse). The production also features the original film score composed by GRAMMY® and OSCAR® Winner Hans Zimmer.
 
Performances are scheduled to commence in late December 2019 at The Venetian Theatre in Macao, with casting information and ticket details to be announced soon. Be first in the line for tickets – register at: www.kungfupandaspectacular.com

About Broadway Asia
Broadway Asia is among the largest production, management, distribution and licensing companies of live entertainment in the global market, and its founders Simone Genatt and Marc Routh are two of the most active commercial Broadway producers throughout the global market. Over the last 20 years, theatrical productions by Broadway Asia partners have played in over 400 cities in more than 40 countries on five continents and have garnered in excess of 50 global theatrical awards. Select international productions include many Broadway Tony Award-winning musicals and other live entertainment attractions: An American in Paris; The Sound of Music; The Producers; Hairspray; Amelie, Legally Blonde; Cinderella; Rock of Ages; Stomp; Cookin’/Nanta; The Great Comet; Fuerzabruta; Jay Chou’s The Secret; Ice Age Live, A Mammoth Adventure; and currently on Broadway, Anastasia. 
 
About DreamWorks Theatricals
DreamWorks Theatricals, a division of Universal Theatrical Group, was established to develop and produce live stage productions inspired by the studio’s acclaimed animated films, including Shrek The MusicalMadagascar Live!, and The Prince of Egypt. UTG, the live theatre division of Universal Pictures, is currently represented by the musical phenomenon Wicked, which has been seen by over 50 million people worldwide, making it one of the most successful theatrical ventures of all time. Universal’s critically acclaimed musical adaptation of Billy Elliot, which won four Olivier Awards and ten Tony Awards®, including Best Musical, concluded its 11 year run in the West End and continues to play worldwide. Recently, Universal produced the Broadway premiere of Irving Berlin’s Holiday Inn with Roundabout Theatre Company and the Tony-nominated Broadway production of Bring It On: The Musical.
 
About Susan Stroman
As the most celebrated director/choreographer working on Broadway today, Susan Stroman holds the distinction of winning five Tony Awards® for her direction and choreography, two Laurence Olivier Awards, five Drama Desk Awards, eight Outer Critic Circle Awards, two Lucille Lortel Awards and a record five Astaire Awards. She is the recipient of the George Abbott Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Theater. Stroman is the first choice for Broadway producers because of her inventive choreography, her terrific sense of comedy, and her story-telling genius. She led The Producers to its own record of receiving the most Tony Awards® in Broadway history, and created the brilliant dance piece Contact which won three Tony Awards® including Best Musical. Other career highlights include directing and choreographing the 10-year run of A Christmas Carol at Madison Square Garden, choreographing Liza With a Z for Radio City Music Hall, collaborating with the legendary Kander and Ebb on The Scottsboro Boys, and creating major new ballets for New York City Ballet and the Martha Graham Dance Company and helping to re-invent the classics Show Boat and Oklahoma! with exciting new choreography. Her frequent collaborators include significant talent from Hollywood (Mel Brooks, Woody Allen, Liza Minelli) and Broadway (Harold Prince, Kander & Ebb and Nathan Lane). Additional credits include Crazy For You, BigThe Music Man, Young Frankenstein, Big Fish and Bullets Over Broadway. She is a distinguished member of the Theater Hall Of Fame.

Prolight x Sound Guangzhou 2019

As the curtain fell on Prolight + Sound Guangzhou 2019 (PLSG), show organisers announced a new record of 1,353 exhibitors who flocked to the annual event from 25 countries and regions, along with 81,154 professional visitors (7% up) from the entire professional lighting, audio, event management, stage design, system integration and AV technology industry chain. Combined with an overall exhibition area of over 130,000 sqm, this marks the largest ever edition of PLSG to date.

Ms Judy Cheung, Deputy General Manager of Messe Frankfurt (HK) Ltd, is delighted with the turnout this year: “PLSG is committed to supporting the industry’s development by offering a first-class business and information exchange platform for the entertainment sector. We wanted our exhibitor showcase and fringe events to cover every corner of the industry’s needs, and to echo the growing trends in media technologies and system integration. We’re proud to be able to capture so many opportunities all under one roof.”

Much to the delight of participants, many key pro audio and lighting brands could be found across all of the halls this year, including Adamson, AKG, Antari, APG, Art Sound, Asystems, Audinate, Audio-technica, Beta Three, Beyma, BIK, BMB, Boray, Bosch, Bose, Broad Future, Celestion, Charming, DAS, Colour Imagination, CD-Stage, d&b Audiotechnik, db Technologies, DMT, Eagle, EM Acoustics, Ezpro, Faitalpro, Fane, FBT, Fidek, Fine Art, Funktion-one, Gonsin, Haimei, Harman International, Hivi, HTDZ, IAG, ITC, Klotz, Konig & Meyer, Kvant, Laserworld, Lavoce, Lewitt, Longjoin, Mascot, Meyer Sound, Mipro, Mode, Montarbo, Nan Yi, Nexo, Nightsun, Pangolin, PCI, Phoenix, Plustruss, Polarlights, QSC, Rainbow, RCF, Redx, Ruisheng, SAE, SE Audiotechnik, Sennheiser, Seikaku, Showven, Shure, Soundking, ST Audio, Star-net, SWS, Taiden, Takstar, Tendzone, Thunderstone, TOA, Top Plot, TW Audio, Viashow, Vue Audiotechnik, Yamaha, Yes-tech and more.

The success of the fair and its increased global brand representation were clearly reflected on the show floor. The event served as an opportunity for brands to showcase their latest innovations to the region for the first time in 2019, many of which have been specifically catered to the Chinese market. The show’s display areas were presented under a new arrangement this year too, with the ‘Media Systems and Solutions’ and ‘Communication and Conference’ halls under the show’s Audio Brand Name halls receiving high praise.

The event’s popularity this year can be attributed to its extensive cooperation with local and overseas industry associations, leading companies and professional media. Each contributed by inviting a number of high quality buyer groups and organising well-attended fringe events. A total of 11 domestic and international visitor groups attended the fair, and local industry media HC360 hosted a product presentation for over 1,000 professional buyers. Elsewhere, increased internationalism was also reflected in the show’s premium buyer groups, some of which came from the China Association of Recording Engineers, the Guangdong Association of Stage Art, the Zhejiang Province Stage and Audio Institute and Entertainment Equipment Industry Technology Association (EEITA) from Taiwan.

In terms of the PLSG fringe programme this year, both attendees and speakers emphasised how each event offered valuable information exchange, networking and educational and training opportunities which added an extra dimension to the show’s offerings. Digital audio networks in particular were heavily discussed, including through a sold out panel discussion on AVIT and how artificial intelligence (AI) solutions can influence the market, as well as the returning Dante Certification courses. Elsewhere, one of the most popular concurrent activities was the series of four Outdoor Line Arrays, which welcomed 41 international and domestic brands and a double-string display, which was ever-busy thanks to the favourable weather conditions.

Meanwhile, the first interactive multimedia display in PLSG, the Lighting and Art Space, was extremely well attended with lots of professional visitors and industry new force across the entertainment, media creative and stage design sectors. The area was established to showcase new media technologies associated with 3D mapping, stage machinery, lighting installation, new media art, stage tech innovations and more. Developed in cooperation with Chinese media giant Visual Jockey, the area featured a total of 18 professional visual and display companies and brands, including Epson, Hecoos, Music Trick Lighting, X Color and more demonstrating their latest projection and display systems, and was bustling with intrigued visitors throughout the show.

Participants admire comprehensive coverage across each sector

Mr Hai Xiang, Area Manager, Beijing Tricolor Technology Co Ltd

(Communication and Conference Hall Exhibitor)

“Right now, the key digitalisation trends of the media systems industry involve more intelligent technology, more AI, and more integrated management systems, which all can be seen here at PLSG. We’re promoting our ‘Apollo’ and ‘CrossMedia’ audio and visual monitoring systems in the Communication and Conference Hall of PLSG, which can be applied for security surveillance. The show has such a strong influence in the industry and every year, there are more exhibitors joining which is testament to the organisers. It also helps us learn from our industry peers to continue improving and developing our products in line with the trends.”

Ms May Song, Vice President, Beijing Oriental Prime Connections Film/TV Technology Co Ltd

(Media Systems and Solutions Hall Exhibitor)

“This year is the 20th anniversary for our company, and we chose to host a press conference on the first day of PLSG because it’s such an influential show associated with our field of work. We’re also here to showcase some of our audio products which have been used in the Olympic Games and at a number of national conferences. The high visitor flow is a huge benefit for us, because a lot of quality buyers have been interested in visiting our booth, including from China, India, the Philippines, Vietnam and Korea. The show acts as a bridge between us and new business opportunities, because clients can discover us for the first time and we can interact with them face-to-face. It also helps us better understand customers’ demands to produce better products.”

Mr Allen Tan, Product Marketing Manager, Bosch (Shanghai) Security Systems Ltd

(Media Systems and Solutions Hall Exhibitor)

“The PLSG show is very influential, has a huge scale, and is the first major exhibition after the Chinese New Year, which helps gather a lot of buyers from both China and overseas. This also makes the show very suitable for us to launch new products and technologies, and showcase the strength of our brand to the right audience. All in all, we’ve met a lot of potential clients already, and the results are very exciting for us.”

Ms Julie Zhu, Vice President of China Region, Kvant Ltd

(Lighting Hall Exhibitor)

“Kvant has exhibited at PLSG for 10 years and manufactures laser display systems. The entertainment industry in China is growing robustly and has huge potential, and even some of the tourist spots here are demanding these kinds of advanced audio and visual technologies for creative performances. The fair always provides us a good chance to further promote our brand and showcase our advanced laser lighting products to buyers. It is one of the most important platforms for us to better understand the Chinese market trends.”

Mr Yosef Levy, Owner, RST Audio Equipment Ltd

(Overseas Buyer)

“I’m here at the show to source new audio equipment and technology from the Asian market, so I can develop my own business in Tel Aviv, Israel. I’ve noticed there are a lot of brands here who are working on integrated solutions and providing systems of international quality. It’s also been very busy, which means there are a lot of opportunities for me to chat with industry peers from all around the world, as well as many domestic and international audio brands. I’d like to follow up my time at the show by placing some orders, and I may meet with my new contacts again at the Shanghai show later this year.”

Mr Eli Wu, System Designer, Shenzhen Ezpro Sound and Light Technology Co Ltd

(Chinese Buyer)

“This is my fourth time to visit PLSG and I’m looking for some audio and lighting related solutions for my company. The fair accommodates both large and small scale exhibitors from local and overseas, and allows visitors to find a wide range of products. It definitely caters to buyers’ needs comprehensively. I’ve met lots of high quality suppliers at the fair, and their products are useful and provide a perfect user experience at the same time. The fair not only allows us to learn the industry latest trends through its well-rounded fringe programme events, but also acts as an important meeting point for the industry.”

Mr Kane Zhang, Senior Application Engineer, Biamp Systems

(Fringe Speaker)

“This is my first time to PLSG, where I’m hosting a session on AVB and also a panel discussion on AVIT. The content and details for these kinds of fringe events offer a face-to-face element and a more intimate setting for people to voice out their thoughts to learn from one another. Only through these platforms can we tap into future technologies and continue developing our industry. To me, PLSG is a huge show with lots of industry experts coming together, which has allowed it to grow into such a good platform to match our industry goals.”

Mr Kevin Gu, Vice President, Shanghai Epean Exhibition Creative Development Co Ltd

(Lighting and Art Space Attendee)

“The new Lighting and Art Space offers a very comprehensive coverage of reflected technology for sound and lighting electronic innovations in an exciting way. The light show for the miniature St Paul’s Cathedral replica is particularly impressive. Nowadays, visitors are looking for more ways to interact with hands-on exhibits, and I believe some of the technologies shown in this space will be part of the industry’s biggest trends in the future, as they can be widely applied to many cultural and creative events such as in art exhibitions and museums. It will help different kinds of innovations become a reality, and makes the experience more fun.”

The 2020 edition of Prolight + Sound Guangzhou will be held from 19 – 22 February 2020 at Area A and B of the China Import and Export Fair Complex in Guangzhou, China. Prolight + Sound Guangzhou is organised by Messe Frankfurt and the Guangdong International Science and Technology Exhibition Company (STE). For more details about the show, visit www.prolightsound-guangzhou.com.

Other shows under the Prolight + Sound brand include:

Prolight + Sound

2 – 5 April 2019, Frankfurt

Prolight + Sound NAMM Russia

12 – 14 September 2019, Moscow

Prolight + Sound Shanghai

10 – 13 October 2019, Shanghai

Prolight + Sound Middle East

15 – 17 October 2019, Dubai

Anuel AA “rises” with four nominations

One of the most important nights of Hispanic music: Billboard Awards 2019, will witness the impressive professional growth of the King and pioneer of the Trap in Spanish: Anuel AA, who debuted with four nominations at the exclusive awards gala. After an incredible year 2018, Anuel AA continues to figure in the top positions of the most important music listings internationally.

Topics like “She wants to drink”, which has more than 300 million views on YouTube, “Yeezy” and “Brindemos”, belonging to her first solo album: “Real hasta la muerte”, have earned her four coveted nominations at the Billboard Latin Music Awards night 2019. Anuel AA is one of the brand new nominees in the following categories:

Artist of the Year, Debut / Artist of the Year, NewArtist of the Year, Social Networks /

Social Artist of the Year”Top Latin Album” of the Year / Top Latin Album of the Year – Real

Hasta La Muerte Album “Latin Rhythm” of the Year / Latin Rhythm Album of the Year –

Real Hasta La Muerte The Billboard Latin Music Awards gala will be televised from Las

Vegas, Nevada on Telemundo, on Thursday, April 25.

 

Dave’s Sweet Tooth Maple Bourbon Pecan Toffee

Just wondering, what do you think of when you hear the words “Maple Bourbon Pecan Toffee” – hmmm? I hope it would be something like…party in my mouth delicious festive yum yum, what do you think?

From the titans of toffee comes a collaboration of epic proportions! A match made in Michigan from an idea sparked on the other side of the world, to be exact. While on a trade mission to China, Andrew of Dave’s Sweet Tooth met Johanna of Journeyman and this sweet, boozy collaboration was born. Dave’s famous toffee made with Michigan maple sugar, decadent dark chocolate, and Journeyman Distillery Bourbon, topped with a dusting of pecans. I’m not going to lie, it is perhaps one of the most delicious things I have ever tasted.

The tale behind the toffee… Dave, as in the company’s namesake, a retired Detroit Fire Fighter had always loved to cook and bake. Feeding the firehouse perfected his skills, and when he started making his toffee, the response was unlike anything he had ever seen. Dave’s son, Andrew, recognized the perfect storm and decided to take the homemade heavenly treat out of his mother’s kitchen and share it with the world!

Visit https://www.davessweettooth.com/ to more information and to shop direct! Happy snacking!!

Nicky Jam officially announces his new concert tour

Nicky Jam announces his “Intimate Tour 2019”, this is his next concert tour in the United States, where the most prominent urban singer-songwriter of recent times hopes to surprise all his followers with his extraordinary show, many surprises and a constant evolution. The concert tour had an excellent campaign of expectation that managed to engage and captivate the attention of all the followers of the artist, who through social networks made themselves felt, expressing many things and today finally managed to know the reason; it is the new concert tour of the interpreter of the urban genre, which bears the particular name of “Intimo Tour 2019”. “Intimate Tour 2019” will have its opening concert on April 11 in Chicago, Illinois, to then visit the cities of Boston, Las Vegas, Miami, Orlando, New York, among others. The artist will be making a total of 13 concerts in the most important stages of the United States, extending until the month of May. Tickets will be available from February 1 to 10AM Eastern time. Additionally, the exponent of urban genre, who has also stood out as an actor including his biographical series “The winner”, will now join the cast of the renowned film sequel “Bad Boys” in his third installment called: “Bad Boys for Life” , working directly in Hollywood with Will Smith and Martin Lawrence.

DEF JAM PHENOM YK OSIRIS ANNOUNCES HIS HEADLINING “WORTH IT” TOUR

Def Jam phenom YK Osiris announces his Worth It tour today with fellow Def Jam artist YFL Kelvin as direct support. Recently off the road with Lil Baby, YK Osiris was recently hand-picked as Vevo’s newest DSCVR artist for 2018 and will be releasing new music soon. Tickets are on sale now at www.YKOsirismusic.com.

FREDERICKSBURG

By Alexandria Baiz × Vaughn Lowery

Fredericksburg, Texas the destination of historical sites and culture welcomes us. With the hidden treasures of food, wine and goods the Texas Hill Country is a must-visit.

Beginning with a stay at the one and only Hanger Hotel. This hotel has a WWII hangar of the romantic 1940’s to it’s design with fine woods and custom carpets. Famous for the Observation Deck on the second floor with views adjacent to the airport to see the planes come and go from one end of the runway to the end.

Later a stop to the Pioneer Museum Complex preserved from the 19th century German Pioneer days. In the mid-1840s Germans faced every obstacle to come to Texas and create a unique German colony in the heart of the Texas Hill Country. The Museum strives to preserve and tell this story. With a combination museum and historical site, it reaches over 3.5 acres on Main Street in downtown Fredericksburg.

Dinner at Das Peach Haus that houses delicious jams, jellies and sauces made by Fischer and Wieser Speciality Foods. The Historic roadside fruit stand offers gourmet products with unique flavor combinations. The Tasting Room offers tastings from two Texas wineries, which change out every two months. Vintage wines are paired with international assortment of cured meats and cheeses. Fischer and Wieser include more than 70-award-winning products, which each inspire culinary adventures around the world by being able to purchase online.

Clear River Pecan does things differently with hot-from-the-oven baked goods, homemade ice cream and house deli. Homemade ice cream with high-quality ingredients has been voted as the third best ice cream in Texas. For a bite to eat the deli and salad selection is notable with house favorites like the Chipotle Ranch Chicken Wrap. Fresh baked goods can satisfy any sweet tooth with an Apple Strudel, Peach Cobbler and everything in between.

Tour at the George H.W. Bush Gallery at The National Museum of the Pacific War dedicated exclusively to telling the story of the Pacific Theater in World War II. The Museum is noted for its historic materials with iconic elements of the Pacific War era. Guided tours debut the newly renovated Pacific Combat Zone, a realistic environment for a deep understanding of the momentous struggle between Allied Forces and Japanese forces.

For lunch we enjoy an Arts District Stroll through the Peach Tree Gift Gallery and Tea Room. With the Cottage style restaurant, you will find a combination of fresh, homemade breads, soups, salads, sandwiches and desserts. For over 39 years this family owned business has been a destination in Fredericksburg, because of the seasonal fruits and vegetables they use.

After lunch, we took an art tour through the streets of Fredericksburg to meet with the area’s top galleries. Insight Gallery represents the cities artists and sculptors that today work on landscape, figurative, impressionistic, still life, wildlife and western art. The Good ART Company is beautiful with a contemporary fusion in a restored 4,000+ square foot historical building with high ceilings and limestone walls. The gallery features an array of genres with some of the best regional, national, and international artists. Koch Gallery owned and operated by Bert E. Koch a trader/broker for traditional, contemporary and modern Native American Art. For over 30 years it continues its long tradition of providing important works of art from all major cultural regions in North America. Artisans Gallery makes your artistic dreams reality with unique pieces that come in every medium, size and price range. RS Hanna a jewel for fine arts with original works of acclaimed artists. Workings range from oil, watercolor, bronze and wood. Gallery 330 is the newest addition to the art scene representing contemporary established artists whose works include sculpture, painting and prints, serigraphs and watercolors.

The Holiday Wine Trail takes us to Texas’s countryside to travel along Wine Road 290 with visit to award winning wineries.

The trail begins at Stout’s Trattoria at Grape Creek Vineyards a 100-acre vineyard estate. With oaks and vines surrounding the tasting rooms there is a romantic Tuscan setting that is truly unforgettable. The Vineyards have won over 100 medals in the last two years for their wines.

In the heart of the Texas Hill Country, 4.0 Cellars offers a relaxing and elegant setting to discover the infamous Texas Wines. In a private tasting room we enjoy a wine and chocolate pairing. With four award-winning chocolate truffles from local chocolatier with four carefully selected dry red wines.

Dinner at August E’s, known for it’s organic produce and superb local suppliers. August E inspired by his Thai roots and years in various culinary pursuits throughout the world has created a Nouveau Texas Cuisine. Utilizing ingredients like: Niman ranch Natural Premium Aged Angus steaks and local farmers fruits and vegetables year round. Menu specials change seasonally based on the creative mood of Chef Leu like duck from Maple Leaf Farms and Sashimi Grade Fish.

A favorite in the Texas Hill, we enjoy dinner at Otto’s German Bistro. Menu changes weekly with the season so each visit is an exciting adventure. Dedicated to local, organic produce ingredients that are always fresh and the highest quality.

We enjoy breakfast at Java Ranch a locally owned coffee stop. The ranch serves the finest hot or iced coffee drinks anywhere including lattes, cappuccinos, Hill Country roasted brewed coffee, Americanos and mochas. To start the day off we dive in a breakfast taco or kolaches, house favorites.

We take a visit to the Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Park for a “Texas style” morning. During his administration, Johnson signed more education bills into law than any other president. In respect to that we see his first school where he signed the landmark Elementary and Secondary Education act of 1965. Other stops include the family cemetery and the LBJ Ranch Show.

In the afternoon we endow in lunch and a beer tasting at Altstadt Brewery Fredericksburg’s newest brewery an authentic Bavarian brewery. Dedicated to creating the purest drinking beers the 120-acre old world destination features a fine dining restaurant, brewery tours and a beautiful venue. Brewery exclusives include traditional brews like Schwarzbier, a traditional German “Black Beer.”

With over 150 specialty shops, shopping is one of the primary reasons visitors come to Fredericksburg. In store we see everything from clothing, upscale home accessories, to unique collectibles and more perfect items for holiday shopping. Blackchalk Home and Laundry originally an old laundromat had been transformed into an electric home goods store. The hip store features gifts, kitchen goods, and one of a kind rugs. The infamous Christmas Store open year round specializes in collectibles. For collectors, this store is paradise with Department 56 miniature villages and Christopher Radko blown glass ornaments. The Hill Country Outfitters and The Grasshopper offer products to fit the hill country lifestyle in downtown Fredericksburg. Brands like Ugg and The North Face are housed in the Outfitters. The Narrow Path Tasting Room inside is an intimate space with French cafe feelings in the air.

To continue the Holiday Wine Trail, a stop at Signor Vineyard in the rolling hills of Central Texas. Where the Pedernales River meets Grape Creek, established by a friendship spanning three generations of two Texas families. Their focus is growing premium varietal fruit with soulful wines reflective of the unique terroir.

Our stay is perfect timing for the Fredericksburg’s 61st Annual Holiday Home Tour. A self guided tour showcasing unique local homes decorated in their holiday finest. With more than 22 vendors each year selling personal gifts, homemade foods and holiday items.

For dinner we dine at Navajo Grill, which encompasses an unusual blend of Hill Country craftsman design. Enjoying Southern cuisine composed with old and New Mexican flavors with a touch of Creole & Caribbean influences. Specialties like the Sunday Chicken Fried Steak dinner are served with housemade sauces and dressings.

After dinner drinks at Elk Store Winery & Distillery. Since 1895 the business has carried a family tradition that pays homage to the spirit of realizing the American Dream. In the footsteps of their great grandfather Todd Smajstrla along with Scott Hladky, produced moonshine, gin, rum, and whiskey. Since then, the business serves Incredible wines from all over the world. Along with small batches of handmade liquors by the bottle or cocktails.

Dinner at Rathskeller a full-service breakfast, lunch and dinner spot in downtown Fredericksburg. The menu selection is extremely versatile featuring German dishes and daily specials. On Friday and Saturday nights enjoy live music that house the restaurant.

Nothing better than the taste of handmade tortillas for breakfast at Hilda’s Tortillas. Hilda’s is a small family owned and operated business. Specializing in authentic Mexican fare their breakfast tacos and burritos are a must try. Twice a week 300 or more pounds of tortilla chips are produced within the restaurant.

For some fresh air we bike the quiet country backroads with Jack and Adams Bicycles. At Jack and Adams you can rent out Road, Tri-bike, Cruisers and even kid bicycles and accessories from a variety of brands. The Hill Country scenes with its rolling hills and panoramic views, is considered the cycling capital of Texas.

In addition to the speciality shops we visited above there is a collection of shops specializing in different festive treats. Emma + Ollie bakeshop takes classic treats we grew up loving and elevated them. The shop prides themselves on using only fresh ingredients; no processed foods, no artificial sweeteners, just pure dessert. The founders Emma and Ollie wanted the shop to feel as if customers stepped into an upscaled version of their own grandma’s kitchen. Chocolat store creator, Lecia Duke, was the first to introduce European-Style, liquid centered chocolate in the U.S. The truffle chocolates are of course a house favorite as the delicate shell gives way to the pure liquid flavor casades in your mouth. In addition there is also colette’s, creams, silk fudges, nut clusters, barks, and caramels. Fredericksburg Pecan Company provides fine quality of pecan products grown in the Texas Hill Country. Owners are dedicated to providing excellent quality pecans available for online order at reasonable prices with the best customer service. Pecans are flavored and glossed in everything from pecan brittle to pecan coffee.

Rustlin Rob’s Texas Gourmet Food is not your ordinary gourmet food, not limited to people who cook but to “foodies” of all ages. The store is enjoyable because it caters to anyone who loves to eat. With over 350 gourmet foods we can sample from ranging from peanut butters, mustards, bread mixes, and some 5 Alarm hot sauces.

Fredericksburg Pie Company mission is to serve pie that is as good as, or better than your mothers or grandmothers made. In store pies are made from scratch and selections change daily with up to 20 kinds of pie. While here, we enjoy an option of coffee, milk, and more with our slice of pie and even a book selection. Sugar free pies are also available with a call in a day before.

Lunch at the Farm Haus Bistro in the Fredericksburg Herb Farm, with an American menu with French and Italian influences. Owners Dick and Rosemary Estenson take us on a tour of the B&B Cottages based upon the design of the early historic Fredericksburg “Sunday Houses. These houses are inspired by German settlers who built these small “city houses” to use on the weekends to buy provisions and attend Sunday church. We also visit the Nature Spa area dedicated to a truly unique relaxing experience.

Exploring Main Street is incredible when we can enjoy Eisban, an outdoor ice skating on real ice. Alongside Marketplace and the Christmas Pyramid. Afterwards a trip to Luckenbach, Texas made famous by Waylon Jennings’ and Willie Nelson’s 1976 classic country hit.

For our last destination Dinner and wine pairing at local Cabernet Grill Texas Wine Country Restaurant. Chef/Owner Ross Burtwell’s wish is to create a lasting impression of culinary craft where guest feel at home. Known for his speciality in preparing the freshest seafood, Certified Angus Beef, wild game and ranch fare. The wine selection is also superb with over 75 selections from around the State of Texas. Tripadvisor has ranked the restaurant Top 10 in the nation and we know why.

The good art company, gallery, art, Fredericksburg Texas,  360 MAGAZINE

August E's, 360 MAGAZINE,  Fredericksburg Texas

War museum, Fredericksburg Texas, 360 MAGAZINE,  Vaughn Lowery

Altstadt Brewery, Fredericksburg Texas, 360, 360 MAGAZINE, Vaughn Lowery

Chocolat, lecia Duke, 360 MAGAZINE, Fredericksburg, Vaughn Lowery

MIT: Liver transplant deaths reduced by 20%

Demand for liver transplants is much higher than organ supply, resulting in approximately 2,400 deaths every year. Also problematic is the current model used to identify and prioritize the “sickest” patients, which does not allow for equitable access to all waitlisted candidates, with a particular disadvantage to women. To address these issues, MIT Sloan School of Management Prof. Dimitris Bertsimas and Prof. Nikos Trichakis utilized machine learning to create a model that reduces mortality by 20%, averting nearly 400 deaths each year. Their model, Optimized Prediction of Mortality (OPOM), also provides a fairer and more equitable allocation to candidate groups, including women.

“There are many significant benefits to using this new model over the current system. Unlike the current system, which makes some arbitrary choices and results in bias against certain populations, OPOM’s methodology for prioritization is clear and understandable to surgeons — and it can save hundreds of additional lives every year,” says Bertsimas.

Trichakis noted, “OPOM fixes many of the current system’s problems because it was designed specifically for liver patients using real data. As a result, it can accurately prioritize patients across all populations without bias. This shows the potential of machine learning technology to help guide clinical practice and national policy on transplants.”

The researchers explain that the current model created in 2002 depends on the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) score to rank disease severity and priority for receiving a liver transplant. As certain patient populations are at risk of death or of becoming too sick or unsuitable for transplantation based upon disease progressions that are not captured in their MELD score, the system arbitrarily grants them “exception” points. While the overall MELD score has led to a more objective ranking of candidates awaiting liver transplantation, the process of MELD exception point granting has resulted in inequitable and undesirable outcomes.

More specifically, the MELD exception points policy has disadvantaged women. “Data shows that women have historically had less access to liver transplantation and have had higher death rates on the wait list,” notes Trichakis. “This is due to the awarding of exception points to cancer patients, as more than 75% of those patients are men. Women also tend to have lower muscle mass and higher sodium levels, which lowers their MELD scores.”

Using a state-of-the-art machine learning method developed at the MIT Operations Research Center and real historical data from liver patients, the researchers sought a better way to prioritize the allocation of organs. With OPOM, they asked the question: What is the probability that a patient will either die or become unsuitable for liver transplantation within three months, given his or her individual characteristics?

They found that the OPOM allocation outperformed the MELD-based prediction method in terms of accuracy and fairness. In simulations, OPOM averted significantly more waitlist deaths and removed the bias against women. As a result, it allowed for more equitable and efficient allocation of liver transplants.

“Unlike MELD, which relies on an inexact approach of exception point assignment, OPOM allows for accurate prioritization of all candidates and removes bias for or against particular groups,” says Trichakis.

Bertsimas adds, “If we use this model to change how we measure mortality and allocate livers, the death rate will decrease by 20%, which is very significant. We’re hopeful that our findings will affect the national policy.”

Bertsimas and Trichakis are coauthors of “Development and validation of an Optimized Prediction of Mortality (OPOM) for candidates awaiting liver transplantation” with transplant surgeons Dr. Ryutaro Hirose of the University of California and Dr. Parsia A. Vagefi of the University of Southwestern Medical Center. Additional coauthors include MIT Sloan students Yuchen Wang and Jerry Kung. Their paper has appeared online in the American Journal for Transplantation.

Boost Your Metabolism to Speed Up Weight Loss

ILana Muhlstein, MS, RDN

Metabolism is essentially the rate in which we burn food for energy. Therefore, a slow metabolism doesn’t burn the calories from food as quickly and the excess of calories consumed will be quicker to store as fat. On the upside, someone with a slow metabolism will likely feel more full and energized from less calories and should therefor focus on filling and satisfying low calorie foods.

Cruciferous veggies like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, kale, cauliflower, bok choy, and cabbage are a great example. They are very high in fiber, which can help absorb excess fat and calories and promote elimination. These vegetables also contain iron and calcium, which and both minerals are essential for a healthy working metabolism.

Whey protein, found in protein shake powders like shakeology, are also great for boosting metabolism. Protein requires extra energy to breakdown, causing your body to burn excess calories and jolt your fat burning potential. The lean protein can also stimulate our satiety hormones and contribute to feeling full and satisfied which can prevent overeating. Whey protein also contains leucine, an amino acid, that can help build muscle, which can improve our metabolic rate, aka speed in which we burn calories.

Beans and legumes, like lentils, are amazing for boosting metabolism. They are very rich in plant based protein and iron, both essential for maintaining a healthy metabolism. Additionally, beans and legumes are rich sources of resistant starch. This starch is harder for the body to break down, meaning that it helps keep us fuller longer, can lower our blood sugar response, and encourage our body to burn more calories to break it down. The high fiber content can also help reduce fat storage in the body and improve elimination, which is very helpful for enhancing a positive metabolic system. 

 It has been studied and shown that your metabolism works about 2x stronger in the first half of the day, compared to the second half. You are eating food at the same time that you are engaged in your daily activities which is ideal for burning more calories. Even walking to and from the bathroom, or getting in and out of the car is more calorie-burning than sitting on a couch. In fact, using your brain and reading emails has been shown to burn more calories than watching TV. Therefore, the more you eat in the first half of the day, and the less you eat later at night, the better your metabolism will work.