Archive for the ‘Cities’ Category

Ultimate St Patrick’s Festival in Dublin

Wednesday, June 10th, 2020

St Patrick DublinWhether you’ll have the entire family kitted out in green, white, and gold this St. Patrick’s Day or you’re just looking forward to the opportunity of a day off, March 17 is a big day for everybody in Ireland.

And it’s not even just St. Patrick’s Day any more – now the festival can last up to a week, with everything from drumming and dancing to comedy and cooking slotting into the colourful annual arts festival. If you are visiting Dublin this St. Patrick’s Day, you’ll discover a carnival atmosphere that will ignite your sense of Irish pride (even if you’re not Irish at all).

The Festival

Starting on March 14th, Dublin’s St. Patrick’s Festival is a four-day bonanza showcasing the spectacular festival parade on March 17th. Daily events include funfairs, a craft beer village, and walking tours following in the footsteps of St. Patrick.

In the evenings, Dublin businesses and iconic venues including Trinity College, the GPO, and Christchurch will be illuminated in green light, flying the Irish flag to indicate their national pride. Other events include treasure hunts, ceilis, concerts, talks, but the main event is the parade on March 17th.

The parade starts at noon on Parnell Square, winding up O’Connell Street, over O’Connell Bridge, and through Westmoreland Street, Dame Street, and Lord Edward Street, before passing Christchurch Cathedral and finishing just after St. Patrick’s Cathedral.

Irish Craft Beer & Food Market

You won’t find much green beer here: The emphasis is on quality Irish craft brews and whiskey, as well as delicious food produced by passionate artisans from the best Irish ingredients. This is a covered market (inside CHQ in the IFSC, Dublin 1), so the famously changeable Irish weather won’t dampen your enthusiasm as you browse the stalls, take in a master class, and enjoy the vibrant atmosphere and live music.

The market is open daily from 10am to 8pm Thursday March 13 to Monday March 17, and the beer & whiskey bar opens Thursday 13th at 5pm, and runs daily from 12.30pm – 10pm.


Located at three sites across the city, the funfairs have become a perennial festival favourite, offering young and old a range of stellar attractions from carousels to roller-coasters. You’ll find them at Merrion Square West, Wolfe Tone Park, and Custom House Quay, with each one open from Friday March 14 to Monday March 17.

Opening hours vary, with the Custom House fairground sparking up at 10am and the other two getting going at 11am.

Festival Ceili

You just can’t have a St. Patrick’s Festival without a proper ceili, and the Dublin St. Patrick’s Festival certainly delivers, with the biggest gathering of Irish dancing enthusiasts you are ever likely to witness.

Even if you have never danced a step in your life, come down to St. Stephen’s Green at 4.30pm on Friday March 14 and get ready to learn some steps and get moving to live, traditional music. The craic will be mighty.

There will be plenty more to keep you entertained and enthralled in Dublin this St. Patrick’s weekend, with street performers, boat races, a treasure hunt, and a road race, and if you’d like to get out of the city and see how the rest of Ireland celebrates its national feast day, hire a car in Dublin for the affordable, flexible transport option.

Visiting Chicago

Friday, December 7th, 2018

Chicago riverThe third most populous city in the United States with more than 2.7 million inhabitants, Chicago experienced a blistering development in the late nineteenth century.

After more difficult times later on in its history, with some mixed segregation, prohibition, gang war and economic crisis, the city have witnessed a new prosperity since the beginning of the 90s. While continuing to encourage the construction of skyscrapers and architectural innovation, the municipality has the concern to always offer more green spaces.

Chicago still suffers from its sulphurous criminal record and is still facing a significant homicide rate: in 2016, there were just over two murders a day. Nevertheless, this figure should be put into perspective. First remember the size of the population of the city. Second, note that these crimes are mostly related to settling scores and are confined to low-income residential neighborhoods. On the other hand the city center is perfectly safe.

Finally in recent years, the main city of the state of Illinois regularly reaches first place in various studies, highlighting both its economy and its tourist attractiveness.

Willis Tower

If you are visiting, take the height to discover Chicago from the Skydeck, the observation point located at the 103rd of 108 floors that are part of the Willis Tower. If you usually avoid paying for attractions, then unlike the CN tower in Toronto, the price is reasonable there: just $23. And frankly, you will not be disappointed by the experience and the view! Highly recommend.

Completed in 1973 with a height of 527 meters, the Willis Tower was the tallest building in the world for 25 years (1973 – 1998) and the United States for 40 years, before being exceeded in 2013 by One World Trade Center in New York.

As can be seen by perusing online photos, downtown Chicago has an impressive number of towers: there are more than 80 buildings over 165 meters high, plus a dozen or so others, currently under construction. And the styles are very varied: from Art Deco to international style, neo-gothic and modernism, there is something for everyone!

Among the city’s most iconic skyscrapers, we will mention the Willis Tower of course, but also the magnificent Trump International Hotel and Tower, the dark John Hancock Center, the Marina City binoculars, the remarkable Aqua and the amazing Lake Point Tower.

Chicago also has older buildings, such as the imposing Merchandise Mart, the red Reid Murdoch Building, the Tribune Tower, the Wrigley Building, the Jewelers’ Building, and so on. In short, there is so much to do in this eclectic city!

The architecture of Chicago is also represented indoors, for who knows how to push the right doors. Two places that are particularly worth mentioning are the Chicago Cultural Center and the Rookery Building.

Many of these buildings are located along the Chicago River. This is one of the main attractions of the city. It gives it an undeniable charm and the recent development of a beautiful walk which runs partially along its bank, makes it even more attractive. Also note that no less than 38 mobile bridges line the river!

As stated above, the municipality has made significant efforts to bring some green to its residents. One of the best proofs is undoubtedly the Millennium Park, a large public park inaugurated in 2004, wedged between skyscrapers and Lake Michigan. It is also here that we find the famous Cloud Gate, affectionately nicknamed The Bean. This sculpture is one of the other symbols of Chicago. The park also includes a scene hosting various shows, a small amusement park, and various works, more or less contemporary, like the fun Crown Fountain.

One of the best ways to discover Chicago and its outdoor architecture while having the chance to take a step back from the city, is definitely to take part in one of the many cruises on the Chicago River. These are often a little expensive but honestly, if the weather is collaborating, it’s really worth it!

Among the many offers to get on a ship, Wendella Boats and its Wendella’s Signature Lake & River Tour provide a great experience. This lively 90-minute cruise covers the vast majority of the city’s main buildings, and finally ventures into Lake Michigan, offering a magnificent view of the city.

To discover the city, a cheaper alternative to the cruise is to take the “L”, the iconic Chicago metro. Largely airy, it winds through the heart of the city center and provides a very unique point of view.

If you really love the city, why not investing in some of its real estate, as prices are stil very low compared to the national average. Check with a top broker like Kale Realty to see what’s currently on sale as you may find a good bargain. This type of investment will give you a good reason to come back and revisit the city once in a while.

The Hidden Side Of New York Every Tourist Should See

Thursday, August 17th, 2017

New York City is one of the busiest cities in the world. While this city, as they say “never sleep”, visiting tourists may not rest as well as there are many different sites and sceneries to see.

Times Square, The Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty are just some of the most popular places to check out. However, as popular as these tourist attractions may be, this massive city holds many hidden attractions that you should visit.

If you wish to go around the city and find unfamiliar gems, here is a list of hidden attractions you can go to without spending all your vacation money.

Flushing’s Chinatown

If you would like to visit another side of New York, consider going to Flushing’s. There are many Chinatowns throughout this bustling city but Flushing’s in particular stands out due to its diverse and inexpensive ethnic food. This place found within Queens will surely keep your taste buds excited and your stomachs satisfied.

The Invincible Battery Park

When 9/11 struck, NYC lost its world renowned Twin Towers. However, a metallic spherical structure situated at the middle where the towers once lie somehow remained standing.

Fritz Koenig was the German sculptor who designed this masterpiece in 1971. Though the sphere has not been properly manned for many years, the city decided to keep it erect to symbolize hope and strength. Have a look around Battery Park and you cannot miss it.

The Blockhouse

If you are traveling with a historian or someone who just loves history, you should head to the northern section of Central Park where you can find Blockhouse No.1. This place remains to be the second oldest structure in the park.

It was built in 1812 as a defense fort against the British which held 2,000 New York militiamen. Since the British never attacked New York, the blockhouse was abandoned and is currently locked up.

Old Boat Graveyard

There is a place in Staten Island where hundreds of old boats lie. These rusty ships date back even before World War I began. Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard is actually a popular destination for historians and photographers alike. Though it cannot be viewed on land, you can hire boat tours or rent kayaks to get a clearer picture.

A Cemetery In Brooklyn

Green-Wood Cemetery was actually one of the first rural cemeteries in America and is one of the cleanest and best kept cemeteries as found in Brooklyn New York. This 478 acre land is now a historic landmark where baseball legends and Civil War Generals lie to rest.

This place has beautiful sculptures, spectacular scenery and is rich in historical stories. The tour only costs $15.

Smallpox Hospital And Cat Sanctuary

In between the boroughs of Queens and Manhattan lies the East River where you will find the Roosevelt Island. This place is popular for its spooky history which dates back to more than a century ago.

Formerly known as Blackwell’s Island, this places served as a hospital back in 1856 where patients with smallpox were quarantined. The hospital treated around 7000 patients a year and later on became a nurse’s dormitory. After it was abandoned on the 70’s, this place became a sanctuary for feline strays.

In an architectural standpoint, people agree that this place looks quite majestic. It was designed by James Renwick Jr., the same person who created St. Patrick’s Cathedral on Madison Avenue between 1856 and 1857.

The Wall In 520 Madison Avenue

If you love history, you most definitely need to visit 520 Madison Avenue. Here lies a part of the famed Berlin Wall.

After the Berlin Wall fell in 1989, the pieces were divided and sold to many rich buyers and collectors. Somehow, one of these pieces made its way to New York.

New York City has many famous landmarks. But for those who want to see the city at a different spectrum, visiting unknown and hidden places will definitely be worthwhile.

Top 5 London Sights

Sunday, March 26th, 2017

When travelling to famous cities with a limited time to take in as much as you possibly can, almost every tourist will ask the locals or resort to guides. In asking what the top London sights are, people will get a variety of different answers, all with their own preferences and it’s important for the traveller to consider all the options in accordance with what their personal travelling tastes are when travelling.

However in the United Kingdom capital, there are a few London sights and attractions that should not be missed by anyone travelling to the bustling metropolis from the stunning views of a London River Cruise, through to the changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace.

Here are my top 5 London sights for anyone looking to absorb the mass of culture that the city has to offer. Of course, don’t forget there is plenty to see outside of London, don’t be afraid to try a Stonehenge tour company to see sights outside of London too! Anyway, here are those top 5 London sights:

London Eye

A visit and trip on the London Eye will allow you to take in the entire city and the sights while sipping on a glass of champagne, if that is your indulgence. Excellent views of the River and some of the other visual gems that London has to offer can all be seen in a short period of time from the revolving carousel of glass.

Buckingham Palace

It is a unique London sightseeing experience to see the changing of the guards at the gates of Buckingham Palace.

Get your picture taken with the Beefeaters and watch the procession in front of the Queens state home.

Costs you absolutely nothing to see this famous sight at midday. You can also visit for a small fee.

Thames River Cruise

It’s a great way to get a view of the city simply by having a leisurely boat cruise down London’s famous river. You can get some amazing deals during the day, many of which include a lunch, or try the alternative of joining a night boat trip with live entertainment with a reputable cruise operator.

Tate Galleries

If you like a little culture with your London sights and perhaps some fine art, the Tate Galleries, Modern and Britain, will give you a taste of culture from past and present. Soap on a Rope sculptures and some of the famous Raphael paintings to be seen only in London will have you wandering the halls for hours in bliss.

Catch a West End show

Catch a West End Show – How could you think of leaving the capital without catching a musical or three. London has one of the richest theatre cultures in the world and without catching a performance of Oliver, Wicked or West Side Story your trip will not be the same.

London sights are plentiful, and there are a multitude of recommendations from the locals, but missing out on these 5 would be a travesty to your holiday experience. So get your ticket, pack your bags, and enjoy the whirlwind adventure that is my top 5 London sights.

Don’t Miss Beautiful Hong Kong Zoo

Saturday, January 21st, 2017

The Hong Kong Zoo is a very favorite destination where you can entertain your kids. It is the best place where every child wants to pay a visit to have a glimpse of their favorite animals they enjoy every day on their favorite television channels.

Not only a place for entertainment, but a zoo also serves as an educational platform where you can inform your child about the varied living creatures existing in this world and even show their special characteristics in practical.

In case you are visiting Hong Kong, do not ever forget to visit the botanical zoo of the region. You will certainly have the best experience of a lifetime by observing the varied wild life and botanic collection.

Short background of Hong Kong Zoo

The Hong Kong Zoological and Botanical Gardens is certainly an exotic place situated on the northern slope of Victoria Peak. The zoological and botanical zoo is spread across 5.6 hectares of land. The spectacular creation started to operate as an exotic Botanic Garden in 1871, under the Superintendent-ship of Mr. Charles Ford.

However, preparations were initiated to come up with such an exotic garden in 1860. The initial stage was opened for the public domain in 1864. Later on in 1875, the region was renamed Botanical and Zoological Garden in order to focus on the extraordinary zoological exhibits.

There are ample facilities in the garden for entertainment, rest and light refreshment; and visitors can enjoy an experience of a lifetime. They would surely return home with ample memories of unseen animals and plantation varieties.

Children are highly energized to see a wide variety of living animals in front of their eyes. In such case, the Hong Kong Zoo would definitely be a paradise for them. The origin of the exhibition of wild animals at this zoo started around 1876. However, in those initial stages, only a handful of mammals and birds were kept in a primitive caging system purely for human entertainment.

A major transformation of the entire zoo took place during the mid 1970s, when the authorities decided to initiate the process of a major expansion. Special emphasis was laid on areas of conservation breeding program and special actions were taken for enhancing captive breeding.

Presently, the Zoological and Botanical Garden maintains an effective mission for developing an appreciation for the interdependence on nature for protecting and enhancing natural life; and to foster effective understanding and appreciation for the entire living world through fruitful conservation, exhibition, education and research initiatives.

Exhibition of varied animals

Presently, the garden is a natural home of a vast and varied list of species of wild animals. According to the official records the zoo now exhibits over 400 varieties of birds, 50 categories of reptiles and about 70 mammals in about 40 enclosures.

Noteworthy mammals in the zoo

1. Lion-tailed Macaque
2. Siamang
3. Golden Agouti
4. Short-beaked Echidna
5. White-faced Saki
6. Pygmy Marmoset
7. Emperor Tamarin
8. Bornean Orang-utan

Interesting birds in the garden

1. Red-crowned Crane
2. Bali Mynah
3. Hawaiian Goose
4. American Flamingo

Certain reptiles in natural captivity

1. Greek Tortoise
2. Spurred Tortoise
3. Radiated Tortoise
4. Flowery Backed Terrapin
5. Keeled Box Turtle
6. Malayan Turtle

Botanical or plant collection of the Hong Kong Zoo

Since the initial thrust of opening the garden was laid on exhibiting an exclusive variety of Botanic marvels, you can certainly figure out the wide range of trees throughout the zoo. Officially, there are over 1000 species of trees planted across the wonderland. A majority of plantations is indigenous with sub-tropical and tropical variety.

The collection of botanic variety throughout the garden includes fig, conifer, gum trees, camellia, magnolia, azalea, philodendron, palm etc.

A rare collection of local ailanthus, dawn red-wood, yellow camellia, Grantham’s camellia etc., offer diversity to the vegetation across the exotic garden.

Apart from all these, visitors are also able to enjoy the exotic fragrance of mock lime, rose, kwai-fah, white jade orchid, orange jasmine etc. All the trees are labeled for easy identification. Apart from exotic and varied nature and species of trees, there is also an ‘herb garden’ at the southern corner of the zoo. Innumerable colorful blooms are displayed in the section almost throughout the year. The eastern boundary of the botanical garden also consists of a Greenhouse that includes exotic species of ferns, orchids, climbers, house plants, bromeliads etc.

The Hong Kong Zoo is not only a place for children’s attraction, but also of elders as well. The exotic and variety collection of life – both plantation and animal, is worth exploring. Nevertheless, it houses a major portion of flora-fauna and animals of this world under a single nest, which makes it a real paradise on earth.

Follow the Latest Trends Seen on Parisian Streets

Monday, December 12th, 2016

paris-fashionParis is the foremost capital of fashion thanks to its long tradition of setting the trends long before they even start.

The city is the birthplace of haute couture, and it is home to some of the biggest luxury fashion houses in the world.

Thus, it is no surprise that thousands of people flock every year to Paris Fashion Week held every season.

Street style photographers, models, editors, designers, bloggers, and wannabes all converge upon the central fashion week locations such as the Tuilleries of the Grand Palais. The crowds go crazy as people compete to get their picture taken for some of the biggest publications and online portals in the industry. However, only the best will make it onto the street style section if they lucky. That said, you can always expect Parisian women to be well dressed no matter what the occasion.

How to Dress Like a Parisian This Season

Spring fashions are always full of bright colors and pretty florals. This year is no different, and most pieces are full of long layers and flowing fabrics. One of the hottest trends this season is the pleated skirt. These were seen all over the runway in pastel and neutral colors.

Today’s pleated skirt is long and hits below the knee, and they are also made from chiffon or light cotton. The goal of the skirts is to move easily in the wind. They are best paired with funky tee shirts, blazers or crop tops. You want to look lady like without being too conservative. Most Parisians will stick to muted colors with structured accessories when rocking a look like this.

If you are in the mood for some great footwear, then you are in luck because Parisians love their shoes. Chunky sandals are very popular at the moment. Ugly shoes like embellished Birkenstock style sandals are also on trend. However, Paris can be too cold or wet in the spring to wear open toed shoes. In that case, channel your inner Parisian and pull on some tan leather ankle boots.

Due to the ever changing weather in Paris, women wear their ankle boots all year long. If you want to be ready for spring in the most fashionable city in the world, then invest in ankle boots with embellished sides and pointy heels. These styles will carry you through the summer and into the fall.

Invest in the Basics

As you can see, Parisian women love to follow trends. However, they also take pride in their basics. Most French women would prefer to spend a substantial sum of money on the bones of their closet then ten Euro on items that will last only one season. Therefore, you should invest in expensive pieces that will last you for years to come.

Look for quality fabrics in cuts that will flatter your body type. Luxury brands are a great place to shop for quality jeans and tops. However, if you are on a budget, then do not worry because there are still plenty of mid-range brands that offer great basics. You can even shop online auction sites or thrift stores for pieces you love without the hefty price tag attached.

Basics include pieces that will be worn at least once a week like jeans, business dresses, sweaters, and outerwear. However, they also include lingerie. Every Parisian women owns a drawer full of great bras and undies. Lingerie gives you a shape underneath your clothes. It provides the structure on which your pieces lie; therefore, they need to fit well.

Every woman needs a fabulous bra that makes that lifts and smoothes where it is needed. The same can be said for underwear because anything too tight will show under your clothes. Thus, you need to invest in smooth pieces that will perfect your shape. French lingerie is famous for a reason: Parisian women know that is essential to their wardrobe.

As you can see, it is easy to dress like a Parisian once you know and understand the basics of the style. Feel free to follow the trends to an extent; however, you will need to look well put together with nice looking basics if you want to look the part.

Keep your hair and makeup natural to finish off the look as most Parisians never wear more than tinted moisturizer and mascara. If you do want to look more glamorous, then apply some red lipstick. Keep this tips in mind, and you will look Parisian in no time!

Jazz at la Calle del Delfin Verde

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

jazzTwo brothers, one, a jazz fanatic and the other, an avid vegetarian, decided to join forces and invest their time and money in what it is they know best. The result is La Calle del Delfin Verde, a jazz club and restaurant featuring vegetarian food in addition to white meats and fish.

La Calle del Delfin Verde in Santiago de Chile opened its doors many years ago but as yet, has no clear defining lines. It is a place still forging a niche for itself in the busy section of Calle Suecia. Ricardo, one of the brothers, jokingly described the Delfin Verde as a “joint with serious personality problems”. After spending some time there you will understand what he meant.

If there is one theme coursing through the club, however, it is jazz. It looks, tastes, and sounds of jazz. It is everywhere, from the life-size black and white mural of a jam session at the entrance, to the colorful manner in which the menu is laid out. They offer a medley of dishes ranging from international plates to sandwiches cleverly categorized under musical themes. We chose the Mexican Jam Session (delicious taquitos) and a saxophone sandwich from the Instrumentos Musicales section, all washed down with a Tito Puente (margarita). The food is tasty and certainly abundant but unquestionably, the main attractions are the musicians and their music.

Delfin Verde, according to the owners, is becoming a place where local musicians go to hang out and are often incorporated into the “nocturnal jam”. We were witnesses to this last Friday, when the Angel Parra Trio, a jazz spin-off of Los Tres (a well-known Chilean rock group), casually took over the stage and played some exceptional tunes. The Angel Parra Trio, in fact, recorded Piscola Standard live at the Delfin Verde. Cristian Cuturrufo, a famous Chilean saxophonist (for a quintet of the same name) is also a regular at the club and occasionally takes the stage.

The club contracts groups on a weekly basis, from Monday to Saturday, with a new group each week in an attempt to offer variety.

“Our doors are open to any and all manifestations of jazz,” confirms Ricardo, “any group, national or foreign, can present themselves so long as their music is rooted in jazz.” La Calle del Delfin Verde hopes to show the public the richness and idiosyncratic styles of jazz. Last month, for example, Irazu played lively Latino jazz while a few weeks later, the Sammy Dominguez Quartet demonstrated the intricacies of “standard” jazz. (Describing any jazz as “standard”, however, is contrary to the flowing ideas of jazz itself.)

“We want to demystify jazz,” Ricardo explained, “rid it of its conception as mellow, even depressive music…move it away from smoky, dark, and alternative clubs.”

The public is quickly catching on. Increasingly, more and more Chileans are beginning to foster a real appreciation for jazz. This is apparent in the number of people who come to Delfin Verde regularly. They are a mixed bag of university students, curious folks who frequent Calle Suecia, and traditional jazz lovers. Surprisingly, a growing number of 15-16 year olds constitutes part of the crowd. Like jazz itself, the clientele at Delfin Verde is neither homogeneous nor can they be described in simple or general terms.

La Calle del Delfin Verde is open Monday through Saturday with live music everyday beginning around 10.30 p.m. The kitchen is open from lunch until 2.00 a.m. There is no cover charge (a surprise for Calle Suecia yet consistent with Ricardo’s and Leonardo’s vision). There is, however, a minimum consumption of 2,500 pesos per person with no obligation to order more.

After all the talk, though, it is best to simply go and experience it for yourself. Jazz, like the club, is personal and this may be the root of the club’s perceived identity problem. It does have a distinct personality but one that you, as a client , will feel and know.

As the pioneer, Mr. Louis Armstrong said, “if you have to ask what Jazz is, you will never know.”

My trip to Vegas

Saturday, July 21st, 2012

Oh I am super excited about my reporting of the ESC, I was tweeting as it would have closed its doors and I’m still at the airport in Chicago. In fact I got home super happy, super frustrated and over jetlagged since Monday. I finally landed at the Paris Hotel Casino, Las Vegas. Nadia inviting me, put the dishes in the great, limousine waiting for me at the airport and large double room on the Vegas Strip, just minutes from the Venetian and its dedicated lounges at CES.

I wake up on Wednesday, July 5 in the morning at 7:00 local time. Great shape to start this show of a few thousand square meters. I go down to take a well deserved breakfast buffet when the cruel reality of America and the Sin City caught up with me. To the question of where can I find an espresso, the waitress dressed in traditional costume from Greece (one is at the Paris Hotel and while smelling the false France, like any fake environment expected in a casino city) therefore answers “Not here” with a big smile sorry or even a small trace of sadism on the edge. I start to cry all the tears in my body, wondering where I could find a real coffee.

So armed with a closed cup, filled with a flavored water arabica, with American, I’m heading on foot towards the Venetian Casino and its first conference. In fact I see the CEO of Nvidia Tegra will speak to his ARM chip associated with a graphics chipset for the brand. Big conference packed with people, about 500 devices that seek to suck Fi network in parallel for live-blogging or twitter the word. I cook the big print in the middle of the appetite of all those small-Fi networks, microwave atmosphere. Everyone is on edge and rightly so, everyone sniffs the arrival of the Tegra 2 double heart and its performance. This is powerful for gamers or online poker players.

It does not miss and I frankly find it difficult to remain calm in my chair when we are planning a live video tour of a smartphone Tegra 2 which displays a 3D multiplayer game based on the Unreal Engine. Nothing unusual except that a priori a large PC and PS3 were running right next to the same game, or 3 players found themselves in competition. Nvidia promised performance-type console for its chip, the brand has not lied. It’s pretty amazing to see a phone from a few millimeters thick, powered by a tiny battery, provide the performance of PlayStation 2 network.

With the arrival of Android 3.0 is a whole armada of machines that can compete with today’s portable consoles that will sweep the market. Apple iPad after his very casual, Nintendo and Sony will be faced with manufacturers like Samsung, Asus, Motorola, Acer and many others who will benefit from a common pool of gaming development that has already proven itself. Flagship titles on the Market of Google or Appstore have proven direct profitability of an investment well worth it to current conditions of the developers console. A gene pool of true originality, novelty, where a single individual with talent and a good idea can hold its own in the game. These devices are leading a revolution in online gaming and online casinos are fiercly trying to grab their market share.

This was indeed a great trip to Las Vegas.

Gambling in Macau

Saturday, February 5th, 2011

Stanley HoMacau is an interesting mix of Portuguese and Chinese culture. It is a good example of how history is ever present, as Macau is one of the reminiscences of 16th Century history when Europe and China clashed. Even more interestingly many hundreds of years later it became the Asian capital of gambling, and three recent news highlight this fact.

First it was reported that some of the top poker players in the world congregated in Macau to play against wealthy businessmen in million dollar duels. Prominent members of Full Tilt Poker such as Phil Ivey and Tom Dwan as well as Titan Poker Sam Trickett made the trip in pre-organized games. Tom in particular is rumored to have won over 6 million dollars in one particular match.

As Full Tilt was closed for a long time, Titan Poker meanwhile remained the home of Sam Trickett since 2010. Note that the Titan Poker bonus for new players is one of the largest in the industry, register and you can see these pros playing online poker and learn from them. The story is that Las Vegas used to be the place where the highest stakes ring games were played daily, but now it is said that these games are drying up. But the action is moving to the East and with the economic rise of China, successful and wealthy Chinese businessmen are keen on challenging the best players in their home turf at high rollers casinos in Macau.

The second piece of news goes in the same vein as it was reported that the profits from gambling in Macau are skyrocketing while Las Vegas is still in a deep recession. By some measures the profits of Macau would be currently a few times the profits of all casinos in Las Vegas. Here again this shows how the tide is moving to Asia in many aspects of wealth creation and spending. The nouveau rich from China are big spenders and big gamblers and as casino gambling is illegal in Mainland China and Hong Kong, they come to Macau in droves, as well as other Asians.

Finally the third relevant news that came out in the past few weeks is about Stanley Ho, who is the tycoon controlling the casino monopoly in Macau (shown in the picture). He is in the middle of some legal battles against two of his four wives and ex-wives with regard to his inheritance and how it will be split among his 17 children. At 91 years old, he remains the leading and most recognized figure of Macau, but his relatives are not waiting for his death to start already trying to get a share of his many billions.

Stanley Ho is certainly one of the savviest businessmen from Asia, as he managed to obtain the gambling monopoly from the Macau Government in 1961 and still owns it to this day.

Playing Poker while traveling

Monday, August 23rd, 2010

Although poker has remained consistently popular ever since its inception, over time different variations of the game rose to prominence. Three games in particular could be said to have dominated the poker scene at different points in history and defined what the majority of gamblers were playing.

The complexity of poker has certainly increased from the earliest variations, leading to the ultimate dominance of one particular type of poker that today is the most popular and frequently played at online poker rooms.

The game of 5 Card Draw, although not particularly popular during the Civil War, suddenly shot to prominence following it and became the most popular variation of poker for almost an entire century. Difficulty arose when the morality of gambling was being questioned, as it often still is, and the state of Nevada decided that running a betting game was a felony. A law was passed to enforce this, supposedly making all forms of poker off limits.

However, the Attorney General of California questioned Nevada’s legislation. It was proposed that as Draw variations of poker were based on skill rather than on luck or chance, the anti-gambling laws could not apply to them. Stud poker, on the other hand, which was definitely a chance based game, was deemed illegal. Since Draw was the only legal game left on offer, Draw poker games had a great opportunity to develop and grow, until eventually Nevada reversed the law in 1931 and casino gambling was legalised.

Just prior to the start of WWII, the 7 Card Stud variation of poker increased in popularity and overtook 5 Card Draw as the country’s favourite game. For about forty years 7 Card Stud remained top of the table, riding the booming business that flooded into the newly developed casino industry of Las Vegas.

It was during the 1970s that the so called “Cadillac of poker” arose. Texas Hold’Em shot into the public eye when it was featured as the important title game in the World Series of Poker, and since then it has remained the top dog of poker variations. Although other types of poker are still played such as Omaha, Manila and Razz, it is almost impossible to compete with the popularity of No Limit Texas Hold’Em.