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Weinenfrei: Pay What You Want in Berlin

Jurgen Strumpf never used to think of himself as an entrepreneur. He didn’t even regard himself as a businessman. He was a wine seller who liked to invite his friends over to his shop for wine tastings and some food. He couldn’t bear to charge them full price, so instead he asked them to pay what they could afford. Very quickly, this concept of Pay What You Want became a Berlin institution.

The Wine Bars

Jurgen Strumpf owns two Pay What You Want wine bars in the city: The Forum and Perlin. With paintings by the owner on the walls and the kind of furniture you would find in a 1950’s German living room scattered throughout, both create a homey feeling unlike any other bar in the city. The main difference between them is their clientele. Perlin is popular with the locals and has only 40 seats, so you have to book in advance. The Forum is far bigger, catering to the tourists that flood in from the nearby hotels in Berlin, especially the Mitte district. The Forum is a lot rowdier than Perlin.

The Concept

When you walk through the door from 8PM onward, you pay only two euros for a wine glass, which you can refill with as much red and white wine as your stomach and head can handle. The catch? At the end of your night you throw what you think you owe into a huge tip jar at the entrance.

The Menu

In keeping with their laid back attitudes, neither bar has a set menu. The menu is usually decided on that day and one thing that’s for certain is that any food served will be fresh and organic. The wines, all brought in from a nearby weinerei, or wine shop, include Spanish Tempranillo and Bavarian prosecco. There’s also a popular house wine from Strumpf’s hometown of Franken.

Weinenfrei, like so much of Berlin, does not discriminate. Whether you are staying in an expensive Berlin hotel such as Das Stue or a budget Berlin hotel like Mark Apart, at Strumpf’s bars anyone can afford a quality night out and a true cultural experience.

Top photo: uchansichan.com

When You’re at the End of Your Rope with Your Troubled Teen

teen boy

You feel like a bomb has gone off in your home and it is impossible to pick up the pieces. Your teenager is out of control, going out at all hours, running with a crowd that spells ‘trouble.’ You have found evidence of drinking and drug use and when you confront them, they react with violence. The police have already been to your home a few times due to domestic disputes. You don’t want to lay a hand on your child, but you feel threatened. Something has got to give. You fear for your teen’s life if something doesn’t change, but you don’t know what to do.

Find Out Where Your Teen is Going

If your teenager has a cellphone, you can track where they are at all times with a little help from the phone company. Otherwise, pay attention. Watch your teen closely, and when possible, follow them from a distance or hire someone who can. It may seem extreme, but you need to know exactly what is going on before you can come up with solutions. Get proof of what your teen is doing in order to form a plan of action.

Allow the Authorities to Handle the Situation

If your child is picked up by police for getting in trouble, don’t bail them out. Let them stay at the police station and wait it out for the night. It’s tough love, but it could make a world of difference. They need to realize that there are serious consequences for their actions. You might see them turn around if they realize that their life is heading in the wrong direction and you’re not there to bail them out of the trouble they get into.

Try Boot Camp for Teenagers

Drastic times call for drastic measures. Turn to a facility like the Wood Creek Academy, a therapeutic boarding school and teen wilderness program for young men. Consider a boot camp program that is intense and places your child in a supportive, yet restrictive environment. Remove access from all sources of temptation and negative influences. Your troubled teen needs to take charge of their life and recognize the fact that they are headed for a dead end. With the assistance of professionals, your teen will band together with other young people who are also struggling. You need to act swiftly before it is too late in order to set your teenager on the right path again.

4 Awesome Spots to Eat Sushi in Honolulu

sushi
whiterose_kana/Flickr

There is so much to do in Honolulu — the capital city of Hawaii, located on the island of Oahu. People come from all over to swim, sunbathe, surf, stay in Honolulu’s famous beach hotels — like the legendary Moana Surfrider — and learn more about Hawaiian history. There are countless places to eat great sushi in Honolulu, and we’ve rounded up some of the best.

1. Doraku

Located just around the corner from the Trump International Hotel Waikiki Beach Walk on Kalakaua Ave., locals and visitors alike agree that Doraku may have the island’s best sushi. An outpost of a restaurant originally started in Southern Florida, Doraku serves upscale sushi in a Japanese gastropub environment. The restaurant has a selection of sushi rolls, but regulars of the restaurant say you must try the Nigiri and Sashimi — the fish here is just too fresh to pass up.

2. Tokoname Sushi Bar and Restaurant

Tokoname, located near the University of Hawaii at Manoa, is an excellent choice of sushi restaurant in Honolulu. Tokoname offers quality sushi in a quiet and cozy atmosphere — all at an affordable price. If you want to learn more about different neighborhoods in Honolulu and escape to a place that feels truly local, there’s no better sushi spot than Tokoname. The restaurant offers a full bar that stays open late for students in the area, so make sure you try one of their signature cocktails.

3. Sansei Seafood Restaurant and Sushi Bar

Sansei is a restaurant dedicated completely to seafood. The sushi they serve is touted to be some of the best in all of Hawaii, and there are additional locations on Maui and the Big Island. They tout their special rolls like the Kapalua Butterfly Roll, made up of salmon, crab, fresh shiromi, and veggies in a crisp deep-fried panko crust, and the crab salad handroll. Come to Sansei, right around the corner from Hyatt Place Waikiki Beach, for a vibrant and relaxed atmosphere.

4. Hakone

Located at the Hawaii Prince Hotel Waikiki is Hakone, a sushi restaurant that is known for its food and its views. The restaurant serves up an extensive menu of high-quality sushi in an elegant atmosphere. What makes the dining experience at Hakone so unique, however, is the idyllic view of the Ala Wai Harbor that patrons can enjoy as they dine.

Given its proximity to the ocean, it’s no surprise that Honolulu’s sushi is a culinary draw for visitors to the town. The fish served at the best sushi restaurants in town is so fresh, it is often pulled out of the water the same day it is served!

4 Reasons You Should Experience the Arts Scene in Singapore

Singapore
leonid_yaitsky/Flickr

In January of 2015, Singapore celebrated 50 years of its independence. This time frame renders the country ripe for momentum in its arts scene — still young enough in its independence to exude that fresh, liberated energy through arts and culture, yet mature and modern enough to have something to say. From galleries and museums to festivals and art hotels, here are some of the key reasons you should take the time to experience Singapore’s evolving arts scene.

1. Incredible National Museums

Singapore has five national museums for the art lover to tour and appreciate. They include the Singapore Art Museum (SAM), the 8Q SAM extension for multi-disciplinary, community-oriented art, the Peranakan Museum, the National Museum of Singapore, and the Asian Civilizations Museum. Each of these five major museums brings a different flavor to Singapore’s arts scene, showcasing unique facets of the country from both historical and cultural perspectives.

2. Minor Museums and Galleries

In addition to these five main national museums, there are at least 15 other smaller museums, plus dozens of compelling public and private art galleries located in Singapore. Exhibitions range from visual art and sculpture to performance art that will rock your senses.

3. The Singapore Arts Festival

This annual festival lasts for a month in late summer each year and showcases just about every type of art form you can imagine. Visual art, music, dance, theater, and more are available to see and enjoy at the festival. While many local Singaporean artists participate, a large percentage of the artists are from other countries, making the festival and truly eclectic, international experience.

4. Artistic Hotels

Of course, you’ll need a place to stay as you drink in the Singaporean arts scene. Fortunately, there are some very creative and inspiring Singapore hotels to choose from. The Patina Capitol Singapore in the Colonial District just opened in 2015, and it is one of the best hotels in Singapore. For Singapore glitz and opulence, stay at the Shangri-La’s Rasa Sentosa Resort & Spa. If you’re looking for cheap hotels in Singapore that still have plenty of flair, the Holiday Inn Singapore Atrium might just be the perfect choice.

The Singaporean arts scene is a truly enriching cultural experience that you should definitely experience. Consider these four reasons to immerse yourself!

Freshen Up Your Outdoor Space with Summery Pops of Color

This is a sponsored guest post created in partnership with eAccountable and contains affiliate links. Incentive was provided.

Nine Space decorative pillows

Sometimes changing things up and giving your space a fresh, new look is as easy as adding pops of color.

Spending time entertaining and relaxing in your outdoor space should be a huge part of your summer days and nights, and nothing livens up an outside living space like pillows. Decorative pillows add a fresh level of style and functionality to an outdoor space that isn’t often thought of. You can change the entire look with fun, modern, graphic, bold pillows that also add that touch of flair and comfort. By mixing, matching, and playing with color, you can change the look of your space again and again. You really can’t go wrong — especially once you add family and friends.

Nine Space Solana beach towels

You can also add some beach-inspired towels to help perk up your bathroom or poolside deck or patio. Wrap yourself in luxurious comfort with soft, beautiful, absorbent towels that add subtle nautical flair with stripes in muted colors.

But it’s not just about your outdoor space. A simple, breezy tablecloth with an unexpected dip dye look adds an unexpected splash of whimsy to your dining experience. Casual, yet elegant, this modern tablecloth is perfect whether you’re dining indoors or entertaining alfresco.

These simple, colorful updates from ShopNineSpace.com have a bold impact and give you that fresh, updated, stylish feel that comes with summer.

What are some of your favorite ways to freshen up your outdoor space for summer?

Spend Less Time Standing in Line with These 4 Airport Security Tips

airport
kalleboo/Flickr

It’s a familiar scene: Two lovers cling to each other in a tearful embrace, exchange one last hand-squeeze before one of them picks up a bag and walks… two feet to the airport security line. They then proceed to stand idly for the next 20 minutes while their partner awkwardly looks on and frets about getting home before rush hour.

It’s time to rewrite the script. Skip the drawn-out goodbyes and breeze through security with these four time-saving strategies:

1. Become a Trusted Traveler

Programs like TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, Nexus, and Sentri allow so-called “low-risk” travelers to move through participating airports more efficiently. As part of the pre-screening process, you’ll cough up personal information (and a fee) in advance of flying. Fees range from $55-$122.25 for a five-year membership; if you book flights often, the time savings may be well worth it. Learn more here.

2. Get the App

The TSA has created a helpful (and free!) app that features security wait times, a guide to TSA rules, airport status updates, and instant answers to the question: “Can I bring _____?” It’s available on iPhone and Android. Download it here.

3. Pack and Prep Correctly

Practice the 3-1-1 rule for carry-on liquids. Gels, creams, liquids, etc. must be in 3.4-ounce or less containers; stored in 1 quart-sized, clear, plastic bag; and limited to 1 bag per passenger. Keep the bag near the top of your carry-on so you can easily place it in a screening bin.

  • Leave prohibited items and foods at home (or in your checked luggage) to avoid being detained by security.
  • Pack large electronics (e.g. laptops and video game consoles) near the top of your bag; you’ll need to remove these for separate X-ray screening (unless you have a checkpoint-friendly laptop bag).
  • Dress right. Wear easy-to-remove shoes (when it comes to airport security, velcro is so in). Avoid wearing a belt, heavy coat, or lots of jewelry, since you’ll need to remove these items for screening.
  • When approaching security, have proper identification and your boarding pass in-hand.

4. Pick the Right Line

Before entering security, take a moment to observe which line is moving fastest, then join in. It’s smart to avoid queuing up behind large families, as it’ll take them a while to move the whole clan through security. Instead, get in line behind people who aren’t carrying much luggage and/or have already removed their shoes and coats; this signals they’re ready to cruise on through.

This post was published by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on June 5, 2015 and has been republished with permission.

Sultry Hair How-To: The Snake Braid

snake braid

Looking for a braided hairstyle that stands out from the crowd, but isn’t a killer to recreate? May be present the ever-so-sultry snake braid. This braid is a great way to change up your braided look and even better, it’s ridiculously easy (and fast!) to do. If you can do a basic three-strand braid, you can master the chic snake braid. Here’s how:

snake braid tutorial

  1. Create a diagonal forward section of hair behind your ear.
  2. Split the section into three equal subsections. Apply a bit of pomade to your hand (about half the size of a dime) and smooth out each section. This will help make a smooth, clean braid. Begin braiding (a basic three-strand braid) this section, keeping medium tension on the braid. You do not want this braid too tight or too loose.
  3. Braid almost all the way down to the ends of your hair, leaving one to two inches left below where you stop the braid.
  4. Take two of the sections and combine them to make one larger section (you will not have two sections, one small and one large).
  5. Take the smaller section and carefully slide it up the braid.
  6. Keep sliding the smaller section up to the top of the braid.
  7. Now slide the section back down to create a looser “s” pattern braid.
  8. Wrap the snake braid around the back of your head and pin in place. Spray with a medium hold hairspray to add extra hold and tame any flyaways.

TIP: Lift a small section of hair up and pin your snake braid below it. Drop the hair down so it conceals where you pinned the braid in place.

This post has been republished with permission and provided to Woman Tribune by Latest-Hairstyles.com guest contributor Jennie Kay.

Summer Travel Planning: Go to Slovenia. Done.

When flight searches to Slovenia increased by 306% in 2015, we decided to investigate. Nestled between Italy, Croatia, Hungary, and Austria, Slovenia is a crossroads of European cultures and offers the opportunity to explore all four of them from the comforts of a single hotel. You can experience the tastes and traditions of four countries at once with a little bit of travel planning. We took the liberty of getting you started.

Go to a Vineyard

Slovenia
emwilska/Flickr

Spanning Northeastern Italy and Western Slovenia, vineyards in the Gorizia Hills are producing world class wines. Those vineyards on the Slovene Brda side are harvesting distinctive reds and whites without the Italian prices or crowds. Now, all you have to do is learn the word for wine in Slovenian (easy, it’s “vino”).

Spelunk through a UNESCO Cave

Postojna Cave Park
michaelrperry/Flickr

Postojna is the most famous and second longest cave in Slovenia, attracting thousands of visitors a year with its underground train system. But ŠKOCJAN boasts the title of a UNESCO world heritage site. It has the highest cave hall in all of Europe, gorges, waterfalls, and footbridges. The next question is, do you know the difference between a stalactite and a stalagmite?

Be Royal at a Slovene Castle

Predjama Castle
klmircea/Flickr

Most castles in Slovenia are built on a hilltop, making them worth a visit for the views alone. However, built into the side of a cliff in a cave’s opening, Predjama Castle in Postojna is by far the most novel. Legend has it that the knight and renown robber baron, Erazem Lueger, fended off Habsburg soldiers by pelting them with cherries for a year, gaining supplies from a secret chamber that lead in and out of the castle.

So there you have it, a Slovenian getaway in the making. If you are feeling inspired by Slovenia, we already started the planning process for you (you’re welcome).

This post was published by Fiona Moriarty on Hipmunk’s Tailwind blog on April 22, 2015 and has been republished with permission.

Making Sense Out of Recent Direct Real Estate Investment Trends

real estate
Sherwood CC/Flickr

Investors with extremely high net worth have started to take a second look at real estate according to some recent market figures. A recent survey found that over half of wealth managers and private bankers feel that the amount of money their clients put into real estate will double over the next five years. Less than 10 percent of wealth managers expected to see less money put into direct real estate investment funds.

North American Real Estate

Despite many news stories that would suggest otherwise, North American real estate remains quite popular with wealthy international investors. The same study suggested that more money would be spent on direct real estate investments in the United States and Canada than in any other nations. Some financial experts feel that this kind of maneuvering will ultimately lead to higher prices in domestic real estate markets.

Domestic Investors Chime In

Domestic investors were quick to note that this kind of movement has actually happened several times in the past. Consider the case of Louis Ceruzzi. He purchased a house on Nantucket back in 2004 during a property bubble when fewer and fewer high-end homes were available to rent. He ended up taking the plunge and purchasing a home on the island as property values continued to rise. There was still a way to get a good deal on a home, however.

He purchased the house for considerably less than it was originally worth because it had been on the market for so long. Ceruzzi was able to get a deal as a result, and ended up saving quite a bit over renting. Rental costs have a tendency to spiral out of control whenever regular property values begin to rise.

Looking at Market Trends

Nothing is permanent, and the Nantucket example serves to prove that everything comes in trends when looking at the real estate market. That being said, these market studies seem to suggest that the North American property market should remain strong for some time to come.

Most of these figures seem to suggest that high-end homes will see the biggest appreciation when it comes to property values, but there’s no reason that this rising tide shouldn’t raise everyone’s values as well. Those who are interested in taking advantage of a temporary increase on prices might consider putting their houses on the market. They should be aware of a few things first, however.

Rising prices can also mean higher fees and taxes when it comes time to actually close on a house. Interested parties should always be sure to speak with appropriate agents before making any big decisions.

Those in the field of business might also be interested. Developers could soon be looking at purchasing existing high-value homes and putting them back on the market. This might be a good deal for them if they can avoid overpaying for properties that they wish to later turn around and sell.

Other people might end up taking Ceruzzi’s example and purchasing expensive properties in lieu of renting existing ones. That could end up saving them a substantial amount of money depending on what they pay for the property. They might also consider the fact that he was able to purchase a home that had stayed on the market for quite some time.

Why Polka Dots Will Never Go Out of Style

polka dots
shandilee/Flickr

Polka dots have been around for a long time, and there’s not much chance of this playful pattern going out of style any time soon. Polka dots aren’t just fun to wear on their own, they pair well with wardrobe staples like denim for a comfortable, new look. If you’re one of the many polka dot fans looking for new ways to incorporate these spots into your wardrobe, there are many different pieces to choose from, like dresses, tops, pants, and even swimsuits; plus a slew of accessories in every color of polka dot you might imagine.

American History of Polka Dots

Marilyn Monroe
Americans have been fans of the dot since 1926 when Miss America wore a polka-dotted bathing suit. A couple of years later, Minnie Mouse arrived in her iconic red polka dot dress. After that, a trend was born and spotted dresses for little girls, teens, and adult women began to appear in dress shops around the country. Then, several movie stars and musicians got into the act:

  • Frank Sinatra sand a hit song in 1940 called “Polka Dots and Moonbeams”
  • Christian Dior released a line of clothing speckled with spots that became popular with actresses, namely:
  • Another hit song was released in 1960 called “Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini”
  • In 1962, Polka-Dot Man was introduced as a superhero by Marvel Comics

Even Earlier in World History

During Medieval Times in Europe, wearing dots was frowned upon, because they reminded people of dreaded diseases and medical conditions such as small pox, the bubonic plague, and blood spots on handkerchiefs due to tuberculosis.

Where the Name Came From

In the middle of the nineteenth century, dotted fabric was named after the spots on dice and the shape of coins, and went by several names, including:

  • Dotted Swiss (English)
  • Quiconce (French)
  • Thalertupfen (German)

The name is also related to the dance step. While WWII was going on, polka music spread like wildfire, and polka-themed products were born, such as:

  • Polka pudding
  • Polka hats, curtains, and shoes
  • Polka sauce

The Dots in Fashion

polka dot bikini
Today, polka dots still decorate many wardrobes. Because this is such a whimsical pattern, it’s usually reserved for more casual attire, although formal gowns are sometimes made from black and white polka dots. You’ll find spots on:

If you love polka dots, you’re in good company. This snappy pattern still has such a large following and will probably stay in vogue for many years to come. If you want to add some dots to your wardrobe, there are tons of stylish options to choose from.