Day: August 19, 2019

Build that hotel Trump family eyes massive hotel expansion under a newBuild that hotel Trump family eyes massive hotel expansion under a new


first_imgBuild that hotel: Trump family eyes massive hotel expansion under a new name Share Tags: America, Donald Trump, Trump Hotels By: Bernard Condon and David Koenig Source: The Associated Press NEW YORK — The Trump family is launching a new hotel chain in a bold expansion of a company that critics say is already too big and opaque for an enterprise whose owner sits in the Oval Office.The chain, called Scion, will feature the first Trump-run hotels not to bear the family’s gilded name. The hotels will feature modern, sleek interiors and communal areas, and offer rooms at $200 to $300 a night, about half what it costs at some hotels in Trump’s luxury chain.And they’ll be dozens of them, possibly a hundred, opening across the country in just three years. Or at least that’s the plan.“It’s full steam ahead. It’s in our DNA. It’s in the Trump boys’ DNA,” said Trump Hotels CEO Eric Danziger. The “boys” are Eric and Donald Jr., who are running their father’s company while he is president.The bold expansion plan raises some thorny ethical questions.The Trump family won’t be putting up any money to build the hotels. Instead, their company, the Trump Organization, plans to get local real estate developers and their investors to foot the bill, as do most major hotel chains.One of the first going up could be in Dallas. A development company there originally planned to raise money from unnamed investors in Kazakhstan, Turkey and Qatar, but recently told the Dallas Morning News that it now will tap only the company’s U.S. partners.ETHICS CONCERNSGovernment ethics experts say turning to outside money, whether foreign or American, raises the spectre of people trying to use their investment to gain favour with the new administration – like contributing to a political campaign, but with no dollar limits or public disclosure.“This is the new version of pay-to-play, ‘Get in there and do business with the Trump Organization,”’ said Richard Painter, who was the chief White House ethics lawyer to President George W. Bush.The Trump family will have to overcome some political obstacles, too. Already, politicians in a few cities mentioned as possible sites have vowed to fight the first family, raising the prospect of a struggle to get zoning and other permits to start building.The son of German and Polish refugees from World War II, CEO Danziger is no stranger to long odds. He never went to college, instead taking a job as a bellman at a San Francisco hotel at 17. He worked himself up over the decades to CEO spots at several major hospitality companies.When Danziger led Starwood Hotels and Resorts in the 1990s, he expanded the number of hotels from 20 to nearly 600.The 62-year-old executive has similar ambitions for the Trump family. He said he hopes to open 50 to 100 Scions in three years, and already has letters of intent with more than 20 developers, the last three signed in just one week earlier this month. He said he also is planning to add to Trump’s existing line of luxury hotels.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckDanziger took over Trump’s hotel business in August 2015 with hopes of adding to the company’s string of properties abroad. A review of trademark databases by The Associated Press shows the Trump family has applied for rights to use the Scion name in several countries, including China, Indonesia, Canada and 28 nations in Europe. An application for trademark rights in the Dominican Republic was approved as late as December.Then President Trump held a news conference the next month and basically killed the international plans. A week before he took office, he pledged that his company would strike “no new foreign deals” while he was president to allay concerns that foreigners might try to influence U.S. policy by helping his business abroad.PROJECTS GET NEW LIFECritics note that hasn’t stopped his company from expanding one of its Scottish resorts, pursuing two Indonesian projects that are largely unbuilt and looking to revive an old deal for a beachfront Dominican Republic resort that appeared dead years ago. The company has said these were already in the works, so they don’t fall under the president’s pledge.At a panel discussion at a recent hotel industry conference, Danziger said the U.S. offers plenty of opportunity for expansion. As possible cities for new hotels, he mentioned Seattle, San Francisco, Denver and Dallas.That didn’t go down well with some local power brokers.Mark Farrell, a San Francisco supervisor who heads the land use committee, scoffed at the idea of a Trump hotel getting permission to build in his city, telling a CBS affiliate “Good luck with that.”In Seattle, councilmember Rob Johnson told the AP he’d be “shocked” if any Trump hotels got built, calling his city “ground zero” for Trump resisters. In January, thousands took to the streets there to protest the president’s first attempt at a travel ban and the city council passed a unanimous resolution denouncing it.St. Louis, another possible Scion target, may prove a tough sell, too. A few days after the presidential election, protesters marched in front of a building that had been rumoured as the site of a new Trump hotel as they chanted “No to Trump Tower.”The developer of the St. Louis project, Alterra Worldwide, is also the company behind the possible Scion hotel in Dallas. It announced soon after the St. Louis protest that it would use the building there to open a hotel under the Marriott name.Despite the St. Louis trouble, Alterra President Mukemmel “Mike” Sarimsakci said, he expects no trouble with his Dallas project.For starters, he appears to have much of the local approval needed to move forward. Both Sarimsakci and a Dallas city hall spokeswoman said Alterra is not seeking rezoning or tax incentives, which will avoid any need for a vote of the city council to approve the hotel.More news:  Can you guess the one and only hotel company to rank on Indeed’s Top Workplaces in Canada list?Sarimsakci doesn’t think anti-Trump sentiment will hurt the Scion chain.“I think it’s passed. I think people had really strong feelings prior to the election,” he said. “I don’t see that as being an issue moving forward.”Sarimsakci spoke to the AP last month. He did not respond to requests to confirm that he no longer plans to use foreign investors.THE LURE OF TAX REVENUE, JOBSDanziger also shrugs off the danger from anti-Trump folks. Stopping a Scion from opening would hurt a city, he said, just as surely as it would hurt the Trumps.“Why would a city because of political views, a city councilman’s views, prohibit tax revenue from coming to the city and employment to the people?” Danziger said. “It doesn’t make sense.”He also expressed confidence Scion will avoid ethical trouble. He said any new investors in Scion go through an “exhaustive, thorough” review to make sure, for instance, they’re not offering sweetheart deals to the Trump family to curry favour with the president.Before Trump took office, he hired an outside lawyer to vet his deals for conflicts. Critics say his company shouldn’t be striking any new deals at all and that he should follow the precedent of modern presidents by selling his interest in the company. He has refused to do so.Politics aside, Trump’s new chain faces stiff business challenges.The U.S. president is a tiny hotel operator, with just 14 properties that he either owns or licenses his name to or manages for others, according to his company’s website. This puts it at a disadvantage compared with, say, Marriott International, which has more than 6,000 hotels and can get deeper discounts when purchasing insurance and food and linens. The bigger companies have powerful loyalty programs to lure travellers, too.“Why do people stay at Marriotts all the time?” said Bjorn Hanson, professor of hospitality and tourism management at New York University. “They’re earning points.”Trump’s Scion chain also faces a fight for customers against an array of new chic “lifestyle” chains from Marriott, Hilton and other rivals. Furniture retailers West Elm and Restoration Hardware are opening hotels to appeal to young travellers. Even the gym chain Equinox recently announced plans to enter the crowded field.Danziger said he’s not worried. “Every industry on the planet is crowded.”He won’t name the developers with whom he has letters of intent, or where they hope to build, noting that they’re tentative deals that could easily fall though. Pressed, though, he rattled off a long series of cities seemingly at random, including Cincinnati, Milwaukee and Louisville, Kentucky.“The list of places Scion can go,” he said, “is virtually limitless.” Friday, March 24, 2017 << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


Four months later Excellence Punta Cana reopens with a brand new lookFour months later Excellence Punta Cana reopens with a brand new look


first_img Thursday, November 2, 2017 Share PUNTA CANA — Excellence Punta Cana by the Excellence Group has reopened its doors following a four-month, US$45 million dollar renovation.The property now boasts completely renovated and new onsite food and beverage offerings, an upgraded Club Lounge complete with an elevated front desk and concierge service, a new beachfront pool, in-room renovations with improved layouts, new furniture and an enhanced experience in the brand’s renowned Excellence Club.In addition to the suite’s existing offerings that included private plunge pools, terraces, and panoramic ocean, mountain, or garden views, the improved suites have upgraded lounge furniture, plush mattresses, and soaking tubs. The resort will also introduce a new room class, the 950 square feet Excellence Club Suite with Private Pool. The opulent new room category comes with a private pool, separate living room, furnished terrace, marble spa bathrooms with jet whirlpool tubs, and the usual luxe amenities and standards that guests have come to expect from the brand.More news:  Beep, beep! Transat hits the streets with Cubamania truckThe Excellence Club now offers express check-in, a private VIP lounge reserved exclusively for Excellence Club members, daily in-room fresh flowers, premium minibar offerings, and Bvlgari bath amenities. Following the renovation, the Excellence Club will feature two private pools, an exclusive restaurant, Magna, and a members only bar and lounge. Following the renovation, the Excellence Club will now encompass an entire wing of the property, providing the ultimate in private luxury.Previous and first time guests will find a myriad of new food and beverage options, alongside renovations to the resort’s most beloved outlets. Included in the all-inclusive experience are the aforementioned Magna restaurant, Sports Bar offering elevated bar bites, Las Olas on the beach, an authentic Mexican eaterie, and a romantic French restaurant. Coffee lovers will also enjoy the resort’s new coffee house, Aroma, which will offer fresh baked pastries and gourmet sandwiches alongside fresh coffee and artisanal beverages. Excellence Punta Cana will also be introducing Grill, a chic steakhouse offering aged meats in a fine-dining atmosphere. Tags: Excellence Group Travelweek Group center_img Posted by Four months later, Excellence Punta Cana reopens with a brand new look << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


TWA Hotel Empire Outlets Statue of Liberty Museum all new in NYCTWA Hotel Empire Outlets Statue of Liberty Museum all new in NYC


first_imgTWA Hotel, Empire Outlets, Statue of Liberty Museum all new in NYC Posted by Friday, May 17, 2019 NEW YORK — The new TWA Hotel is now open at JFK Airport, completing the transformation of Eero Saarinen’s landmark 1962 former Trans World Airlines terminal into the heart of the new 512-room hotel.Thousands of guests took part in the grand opening this week, including New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and Tyler Morse, CEO and Managing Partner of MCR and MORSE Development. Based in New York City, MCR is the sixth-largest hotel owner-operator in the U.S. with a US$3 billion portfolio of 86 premium-branded hotels, including The High Line Hotel in Manhattan.Guests at the event were surprised by a flash mob dancing to 1960s tunes, while TWA alums came out in droves, wearing their uniforms, reuniting with friends and sharing memories. Tags: Empire Outlets, Statue of Liberty Museum, TWA Hotel Travelweek Group Share The iconic TWA terminal, designed by legendary architect Eero Saarinen, opened in 1962 and was designated a New York City landmark in 1994. It closed in 2001 and was listed on the National and New York State Registers of Historic Places in 2005.The massive restoration project included the construction of two brand new hotel wings behind the terminal, plus a 50,000-square-foot events centre.“Eero Saarinen’s cathedral to aviation has always looked toward the future,” said MCR’s Morse. “We restored and reimagined his landmark with the same care that he devoted to his design. No detail went overlooked — from the millwork by Amish artisans to the custom font inspired by Saarinen’s own sketches to the one-of-a-kind manhole covers. Starting today, the world can enjoy this midcentury marvel for many years to come.”More news:  ‘Turn around year’ for TPI brings double-digit growthHighlights of The TWA Hotel, JFK Airport’s only on-airport hotel, include…. The Paris Café by Jean-Georges, a 200-seat restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from an open kitchen in collaboration with Tastes on the Fly. The Sunken Lounge, a cocktail bar operated by Gerber Group and located in the historic chili pepper red-carpeted lounge. A Lockheed Constellation ‘Connie’ L-1649A transformed into a cocktail lounge operated by Gerber Group. Departures Hall grab-and-go dining operated by Fooda, including restaurants such as Antico Noè, Empanada Republic, Fresh&Co, The Halal Guys and Playa Bowls. An Intelligentsia coffeebar and coffee carts throughout the hotel grounds. 50,000 square feet of event space, including a 15,000-square-foot ballroom. A rooftop infinity pool and observation deck with views of runway 4 Left/22 Right plus The Pool Bar operated by Gerber Group, serving cocktails and meals. The world’s biggest hotel gym: a 10,000-square-foot fitness center operated by The Wright Fit. Authentic split-flap boards manufactured by Solari di UdineMore news:  Le Boat has EBBs along with its new 2020 brochure. Iconic flight tubes featured in Catch Me If You Can that connect to JetBlue’s Terminal 5. The TWA Shop, selling apparel and gear honouring Trans World Airlines’ legacy. Museum exhibitions on TWA, the Jet Age and midcentury modern design curated by the New-York Historical Society. BLADE helicopter service to ManhattanThere’s always something new happening in New York City, and this week really proves the point, with the opening of the TWA Hotel plus the grand opening of Empire Outlets, New York City’s first-ever outlet centre.With 340,000 square feet Empire Outlets’ list of stores includes Banana Republic, Brooks Brothers, Columbia Sporting Goods, Gap Factory, H&M, Jockey, Nike Factory, and Old Navy.Additional retailers, including Nordstrom Rack, American Eagle Outfitters, Crocs and more will open their stores throughout the spring and summer.Also this summer, a 40,000-square-foot food and beverage deck with sweeping views of Manhattan, will open with dozens of food concepts including MRKTPL, Staten Island’s first-ever artisanal food hall.Also this week, the brand new Statue of Liberty Museum opens, the biggest addition to Liberty Island since the Statue herself. << Previous PostNext Post >>last_img read more


US awaits landmark Supreme Court judgment on gay marriageUS awaits landmark Supreme Court judgment on gay marriage


first_imgNo related posts. WASHINGTON, D.C. – The marathon legal battle over same-sex marriage faces its moment of truth on Wednesday with the United States Supreme Court poised to issue rulings whose impact may be felt for years to come.Unless the justices fail to agree on two same-sex marriage cases before the court, and decide to revisit the matter when they reconvene later this year, the final opinions will be issued on Wednesday.With the court shrouded in secrecy, a frenzy is expected when the panel presided over by conservative Justice John Roberts divulges whether the definition of marriage can be extended to include same-sex couples.In a country where 12 U.S. states plus the capital allow gays and lesbians to marry, the top court is due to take a stance on two appeals and decide whether the principle of equality defended by the Constitution has been violated.In the first case, a gay widow from New York, Edith Windsor, backed by the Obama administration, is challenging the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).That controversial 1996 law denies gay and lesbian couples the same federal rights and benefits that heterosexual married couples take for granted, from tax breaks and welfare benefits to access to a hospitalized spouse.The second case deals with the constitutionality of California’s Proposition 8, a 2008 ballot initiative that saw the nation’s most populous state ban same-sex marriage.At its hearing at the end of March, the top court seemed ready to repeal DOMA but reluctant to legalize gay marriage in California.The court could rule on California alone, on the states that have similar legislation on civil unions, or on those that still ban gay marriage.Analysts say the decisions could go either way.“This term, in particular, it’s very risky to bet on what the Supreme Court will do,” said lawyer Elizabeth Wydra of the Constitutional Accountability Center.As with most of the important cases, Justice Anthony Kennedy, who usually votes with the right, “could be the deciding factor,” she said.David Cruz, law professor at the University of Southern California, said it was very unlikely that the court would adopt a broad ruling that strikes down all gay marriage bans.“I think seeing all same-sex couples being able to get married in every state is probably not going to happen immediately … because of the tradition in the court: the Justices often move in steps, they rule incrementally,” he said.Thomas Keck, political science professor at Syracuse University, said that whatever the justices decide, “it is going to be high-profile and it is going to get lots of attention.”Fifty-three percent of U.S. citizens support gay marriage, according to a recent survey by the Gallup polling institute.A Pew Research Center survey found that 47 percent of nearly 500 gay marriage news stories studied between March 18 and May 12 – a period marked by Supreme Court deliberations – primarily focused on support for the measure. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


Are Costa Ricans headed to the polls or the altarsAre Costa Ricans headed to the polls or the altars


first_imgRelated posts:Costa Rican plaintiffs disappointed, but not surprised, by president’s IVF proposal President Solís legalizes IVF despite doubts from the Caja  Pope Francis arrives for historic first US visit Commenting on Zika virus, Pope Francis calls abortion ‘a human evil’ We Costa Ricans have an important date this Sunday, but I’m still not clear as to whether we’re headed to the polls or the Christian altars. Without a doubt, this electoral campaign has been more than saturated with religious morality.Each presidential candidate – especially in recent weeks – has taken pains to publicly express his religious faith in order to pocket the votes of the faithful, from the formerly agnostic leftist José María Villalta to the traditionally Libertarian Otto Guevara, not to mention the four-times-divorced Johnny Araya.All of them, without exception, have recited Bible passages on television, mentioned God in speeches, recalled encyclicals and cited Pope Francis.Each assures us that his social policies are based on the doctrine of the Catholic Church, or at least on the Christian principles taught by Jesus.This campaign is the most unpleasant and undeniable proof that in Costa Rica, politics and religion are only separated on paper and not in reality. In fact, they are immodestly joined.The Catholic Church hastily entered the electoral scene, presenting at the end of 2013 an official document to “illuminate” its faithful voters, advising them not to support candidates who promoted a “culture of death,” or in other words, those who support in vitro fertilization, which unlike any other country in the hemisphere, is illegal here.Evangelicals, who have their own presidential and legislative candidates, weren’t to be left behind, and invited other candidates to religious events. It was a courtesy the candidates happily accepted so that pastors could pray with them and lay their hands on their heads. All of this was transmitted live on a Christian television station.Religion is so deeply rooted in Costa Rica that the party accused of being communists has two former priests as candidates to the Legislative Assembly. And the so-called Libertarian candidate has flip-flopped on the pro-gay-rights position of his previous campaigns, declaring himself to now be “pro-life.”Luis Guillermo Solís repeats time and again that he wants a “secular state, but with God,” while Araya passes out fliers claiming his total harmony with the Christian values that define Costa Rican society.“We Costa Ricans are people of faith. We value the millennial traditions and customs that we’ve inherited from Our Lord Jesus. Our God is the God of Love and Solidarity. He is not (the God of) atheist materialism of the F.A. (Broad Front Party),” the PLN flier claims.But even the ranks of the Broad Front Party defend their agenda with the same language: “José María Villalta is a man of faith, as well as the majority of members of the Broad Front Party. Two former catholic priests in Limón and Guanacaste head the list of legislative candidates,” the party states.Tomorrow, thousands of Costa Ricans will head to the polls as if they were temples after being guided by spiritual leaders offering religious arguments instead of rational political ones. They will elect a government that has commitments to power groups organized by religious faith.The line between politics and religion here isn’t blurred – it simply no longer exists in this confessional state.Nancy De Lemos is a journalist and former director in Costa Rica for the news agency EFE. A graduate of the University of Costa Rica, she now works in communication for global environmental NGOs. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


From the Trenches exhibit illustrates World War I at Alianza FrancesaFrom the Trenches exhibit illustrates World War I at Alianza Francesa


first_imgRelated posts:TEOR/éTica offers different views of urban life Fausto Pacheco exhibit recalls Costa Rica of yore ‘Chunches’ exhibit showcases inventive Guatemalan artist Group show ‘Valoarte‘ surprises and impresses at Avenida Escazú The legend is startling: After the Armistice of 1918, crops on the eastern French border grew at an unprecedented rate. The soil was so saturated with the blood of dead soldiers that the nutrients from their slaughtered bodies fertilized the fields. Whatever the truth of this story, World War I was among the most devastating episodes in human history. Europeans once thought of war as a glorious expression of courage and loyalty. “The Great War” changed all that, annihilating landscapes, ruining economies, reordering society, and traumatizing an entire generation. In countless ways, it was World War I that ushered in the modern era.It is fitting that the Alianza Francesa presents “Desde Las Trincheras,” a small exhibit dedicated to the French artist and author Jacques Tardi, to commemorate the centennial of World War I. Tardi published his history of the war, “C’Était la Guerre des Trenchée” (“It Was the War of Trenches”) in 1993. The Alianza Francesa has hung large prints of his drawings in its one-room gallery and provided an introduction to his work, along with Spanish translations of the French text. The drawings are not photo-realistic, but their portrayal of trench warfare is gritty and vivid.In recent decades, “graphic novels” have become powerful tools for nonfiction storytelling. The term “sequential art” has elevated the form from superhero comics to works of literature. Art Spiegelman’s “Maus” is among the most celebrated books to document the Holocaust. Had Marjane Satrapi written a regular memoir about her childhood in Iran, U.S. readers might have ignored her, but her “Persepolis” has become a global sensation and even an animated film. There is something about the still drawings, rendered in stark pen and ink with an all-too-human hand, that stirs readers differently than words or photographs. Artists portray exactly what they want to portray, and they reimagine the true story with a personal style and flourish.Tardi spares no detail. His drawings are filled with severed limbs, disfigured faces, and muddy wastelands. In one sequence, a man is shot through the face. For France, World War I was a particularly bitter experience; the nation lost more than a million soldiers to fighting, plus hundreds of thousands of civilians, and the scars of war lingered for years. But Tardi provides the specifics of daily life that history books often leave out:It was a respite. Some days, in the back of this village, [we felt] security compared to the trenches and the possibility of being slightly alone, to escape… meanwhile, this country house where they were going to arrive, it was like a barracks room, the “buddies” greeted each other obscenely, the congestion of bodies, the heaviness of their spirits, and throughout… the odors.It’s hard to imagine a country more anti-war than Costa Rica, but “Trenches” is also a good opportunity to remind patrons why wars should not be fought. Tardi gives the subject the gravity – and humanity – it deserves. The Alianza Francesa recently hosted a similar exhibit of “Tintin” comics, and Hergé’s adventuresome journalist is certainly worthy of display, but “Trenches” is far more serious and moving. World War I was not “the war to end all wars,” as so many hoped. But thanks to artists like Tardi, we can still learn its lessons 100 years later.“Desde las Trincheras” continues through Oct. 30 at Alianza Francesa, Barrio Amón. Free. Info: Alianza Francesa website. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


5 questions for a Costa Rican painter How a prison sentence sparked5 questions for a Costa Rican painter How a prison sentence sparked


first_imgRelated posts:5 questions for a Costa Rican cartoonist 5 questions for Costa Rican street artist MUSH 5 questions for Costa Rican painter Man Yu Fung 5 questions for a Costa Rican singer “I was born in Puntarenas, The Pearl of the Pacific,” saysNavil Leytón, 44, with pride. The first painter in his family and a musician since the age of 14, Leytón specializes in the spatula technique and was recently accepted at the Mondial Art Academia in France.Leyton, who believes that “knowledge is nothing, if not shared,” has also been participating since the start of this year in ongoing painting workshops for inmates at Costa Rica’s La Reforma prison, through artist Juan Carlos Chavarría’s Foundation for Transformation in Violent Times. The project is particularly meaningful to Leytón because he was once an inmate, too, and discovered his own love for painting while behind bars after meeting artist José Fernández and eventually building a painting workshop at La Reforma. He continued to follow his passion after leaving prison and has found success.By being part of this project, Leytón wants to support the men at La Reforma and show them there are ways to achieve their dreams after they serve their time.“Art in general is a state of freedom,” he says. “Man has always sought to make art. The point is to give him the space to make art; if the person feels that he has that opportunity, he will do it.”The Tico Times visited La Reforma and talked to the artist about his experience in prison and his identity as an artist. Excerpts follow. “Imposing” (Courtesy of Navil Leytón)What was it like to learn and to paint while you were incarcerated?We painted in the impressionistic style, houses, meadows, rivers …. and with that I provided sustenance to my family while I was there [in prison], because we had the opportunity to present our works on Sundays and people bought them. We had to sell them really cheap, because the prisoner can not sell like he would on the street. There is no other way for him to support himself. So many people, because of the economic opportunity, sometimes are lucky and find very good works.When we started painting, we sent a letter through a pastor to a hardware store asking for donated material. Since I’m an industrial welder we were given materials, and we built the first painting workshop in Puesto Diez. Four of us started painting there, and I spent the four years there, in that workshop.When you left prison, how did you start your career as a professional painter?Once I was on the outside, I wanted to continue painting, but I had to work, and I didn’t have time to paint. In Costa Rica, people do not really live off of art. I worked as a welder and began to paint from time to time when someone placed an order, or just to hang out… from 2007 to 2010.Then I decided to paint in a more professional setting. My friend and renowned painter Armando Fallas had an exhibition at the Louvre Museum almost three years ago. He came back and told me, “Navil, you can, too. You just have to develop your own identity in art. ” “Natural Reality” (Courtesy of Navil Leytón)How did you develop that identity?I was static for a while; I didn’t know what to do. But I’ve always been a good reader and I graduated in theology, so I made the decision to read more deeply about philosophical topics. A little more of Nietzsche, of Homer, Plato, Aristotle. And my mind boomed.Then I bought Nietzsche’s book “Thus Spoke Zarathustra” and Aristotle’s “Metaphysics,” and it was even better. I gave up television, soccer, and all the things that human beings normally do and that the world wants. I began to read a lot and began to paint using totems or other elements for personal representations: for example, planets or spheres for human thoughts, stairs as the development of the educational system, women as society. And I developed the technique of using a spatula. I owe to reading what I am today as a painter. “Homicidal society” (Courtesy of Navil Leytón)What kind of topics have you developed in your paintings?The first exhibition was about social inequality, 13 works. There were two pieces that weren’t accepted. One is called “Homicidal Society”… It is the face of a woman crying, which is society, and a wall dividing the social classes between abysses, and blood spilled in the street. Some doors with stairs reach darker parts. So it’s a very strong social critique, and although I was not given the chance to exhibit it. The other one is a woman lying on her back, arms and feet tied, in the air, above a chess table with a pawn. That means a gagged society, and as it happens, that’s what they did: they gagged me, covered my mouth and told me I couldn’t exhibit the work.How did you get involved in this project at La Reforma?In January there was an exhibition and the stand of [artist and La Reforma project organizer] Juan Carlos Chavarría was next to mine. We began to make conversation. I don’t like sharing the fact that I was imprisoned, but in this project I like to do it to show the boys that a person who was imprisoned can go on to do what he wants if he manages to find the “superman” inside himself. So, I shared my story with Juan Carlos and he told me about this project, and here I am collaborating, trying to give a message of hope to the boys. We want to start another workshop to Puesto 10. I would like to make pictures of literary figures. We can paint feelings, but each feeling is based on knowledge. “Sabana,” stained glass work. (Courtesy of Navil Leytón) (Courtesy of Navil Leytón)Read more Weekend Arts Spotlight interview here.Our “Weekend Arts Spotlight” presents Sunday interviews with artists who are from, working in, or inspired by Costa Rica, ranging from writers and actors to dancers and musicians. Do you know of an artist we should consider, whether a long-time favorite or an up-and-comer? Email us at kstanley@ticotimes.net. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


Highway to Limon partially closed until SeptemberHighway to Limon partially closed until September


first_imgRelated posts:On Afro-Caribbean Day, government promises new cruise ship terminal in Limón Limón holds community peace march in response to recent shooting PHOTOS: Hurricane Otto begins path of destruction through Central America Men caught with one ton of drugs in Costa Rica allowed to walk free, police say If you live in the Southern Caribbean or plan to visit between August and September this year, watch out.Highway 32 San José – Limón will have partial closures starting coming Tuesday until September. The reason is that the National Laboratory of Materials and Structural Models (Lanamme) will do a series of studies on the pavement structure on this national route.Partial closure is done for the safety of both users and specialists since the activity consists of an excavation in an area of half a meter by half a meter. This is done in order to extract the material and determine the thickness of each layer. The extracted materials will be replaced and compacted later.From August 7 – 10The first closures will be from 7 to 10 August: In Matina, 500 meters towards Limón, near the bridge over the Río Chinilla, and between the entrance to Estrada and the entrance to Zent.In Siquirres between Rio Hondo and Río Madre de Dios.From August 21 – 24In Siquirres, between La Herediana and the Fructa Costa Rica PlantAt Guácimo, about 1 kilometer to LimónThe bridge over the Río Parismina 800 meters towards Limón.From September 4 – 8 In Pococí, at the Río El Molino 300 meters towards Limón.After the Río Jimenez 700 meters to Limón.Between the Río Costa Rica and Río Blanco, 250 meters to Limón.And between the Guápiles river and Maxi Palí.Please be aware of road blocks, especially during the rains and at night. Drive safely. Facebook Commentslast_img read more


A Guanacaste seascapeA Guanacaste seascape


first_imgRelated posts:Flying away Tan lindo Tamarindo Enjoying the vibes from Ocaso Bright as a veranera This ocean view near Playa Brasilito, Guanacaste, offers up a typical dry-season Guanacaste panorama: slopes dotted with vegetation and dry grass, with a backdrop of deep blue.The view was photographed at the home of U.S. citizens Rob Pisani and Nadine Hays, at Mar Vista Developments.Would you like to submit a photo to our #TTPicOfTheDay series – the view from your home or favorite Costa Rican spot, or any other image you care to share? Please send horizontal photos at least 1100 pixels wide to kstanley@ticotimes.net. We’d love to see the sights with you. Facebook Commentslast_img