Mexico’s Velas Resorts to celebrate Frida Kahlo

Mexico’s Velas Resorts will offer special food and beverage tasting menus dedicated to Frida Kahlo’s favorite dishes and ingredients in honor of her birthday, July 6. Each of the resorts is offering a unique menu included in the nightly rate with beverage pairing consisting of Mexican wines, beer or ancestral spirits. Highlights include a Bean Cappuccino Soup with cotija cheese foam and Braised short rib in Mole de Olla. Mole de olla is a traditional soup made of prickly pear, squash, zucchini, green beans, corn, and potato, submerged into a broth of guajillo and pasilla chili, seasoned with garlic, onion, and epazote. Fish dishes star too such as Pulque-marinated Trout served with seasonal vegetables and handmade tortillas and Salmon “Al pastor” with roasted pineapple puree and red wine-braised onions. Dessert favorites include a Chocolate and Mole Mousse, Cottage Cheesecake with Caramelized Poblano Chili and a Corn Mousse stuffed with huitlacoche (corn fungus) and pinole ice cream. Pinole is ground dried corn which is then mixed with a combination of cocoa, agave, cinnamon, chia seeds, and vanilla. Available at Grand Velas resorts in Los Cabos, Riviera Maya and Riviera Nayarit and Casa Velas in Puerto Vallarta, the culinary offering is part of the resorts’ commitment to ongoing innovation and unique experiences inspired by Mexican history, culture, and traditions. Velas Resorts’ all-inclusive rates include luxury suite accommodations, a la carte gourmet meals at a variety of specialty restaurants, premium branded beverages, 24-hour in-suite service, fitness center, taxes, gratuity and more.

New 3,000 room hotel for Cancun Hotel Zone

The Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources has given the go-ahead for another mega hotel project for the city of Cancun. The authorization is for the construction of the mega 3,000-room hotel Grand Island. The hotel is set for Kilometer 16.5 the hotel zone of Cancun with an investment of 10 billion peso by company BVG World. According to the Environmental Impact Statement, “Based on ecological ordering, the proposed project is in line with its environmental policies and the Ecological Planning Policy for Sustainable Use, making the project on the proposed land viable from the environmental point of view,” even though the project is located in the vicinity of the Nichupté Mangrove Protected Natural Area. The project consists of the development of a hotel in two stages, the first consisting of the construction and opening of 2,000 rooms with their respective common areas, swimming pools, amenities, service areas and parking. The second stage contemplates the same for 1,000 more rooms, which will also have its common areas, pool, amenities and service areas. The entire project is estimated to be complete in 39 months.

‘Cows On Parade’   Coming Home To Chicago

If you were around Chicago back before the turn of the century, chances are you saw a cow, or two, “running” loose throughout the city.  Well, they’re back! In honor of 20 years since the original Cows were on display, The Magnificent Mile Association will assemble several of the original sculptures in Jane Byrne Park – alongside the historic Water Tower – for a month-long installation this July of “Cows Come Home”. The 1999 exhibition was a project of the City of Chicago and its Department of Cultural Affairs led by Lois Weisberg. Inspired by local businessman, Peter Hanig, the public art campaign garnered international attention and spurred similar displays across the nation. “I first saw the cows on a trip to Switzerland, and I was struck by their mass appeal. The art pieces were pure whimsy – unlike anything I’d seen, and yet so familiar,” Hanig recalls. “We are thrilled to bring this free art installation back to The Magnificent Mile.” The original exhibit ran from June 15, 1999 to October 31, 1999 and featured 306 cows across the city and is it estimated that nearly 10 MILLION people saw the original exhibit!  If you were one of them, come out and see them again as the “Cows Come Home” to Chicago!

End of the road for Volkswagen beetle as production ends in Mexico

Volkswagen is halting production of the last version of its Beetle model this week at its plant in Puebla, Mexico. It’s the end of the road for a vehicle that has symbolized many things over a history spanning the eight decades since 1938. A symbol of Germany’s postwar economic renaissance and rising middle-class prosperity. An example of globalization, sold and recognized all over the world. An emblem of the 1960s counterculture in the United States. Above all, the car remains a landmark in design, as recognizable as the Coca-Cola bottle. The car’s original design — a rounded silhouette with seating for four or five, nearly vertical windshield and the air-cooled engine in the rear — can be traced back to Austrian engineer Ferdinand Porsche, who was hired to fulfill German dictator Adolf Hitler’s project for a “people’s car” that would spread auto ownership the way the Ford Model T had in the U.S. Re-launched as a civilian carmaker under supervision of the British occupation authorities, the Volkswagen factory was transferred in 1949 to the German government and the state of Lower Saxony, which still owns part of the company. By 1955, the one millionth Beetle – officially called the Type 1 – had rolled off the assembly line in what is now the town of Wolfsburg. The United States became Volkswagen’s most important foreign market, peaking at 563,522 cars in 1968, or 40% of production. Unconventional, sometimes humorous advertising from agency Doyle Dane Bernbach urged car buyers to “Think small.” “Unlike in West Germany, where its low price, quality and durability stood for a new postwar normality, in the United States the Beetle’s characteristics lent it a profoundly unconventional era, in a car culture dominated by size and showmanship,” wrote Bernhard Rieger in his 2013 history, “The People’s Car.” Production at Wolfsburg ended in 1978 as newer front drive models like the Golf took over. But the Beetle wasn’t dead yet. Production went on in Mexico from 1967 until 2003 — longer than the car had been made in Germany. Nicknamed the “vochito,” the car made itself at home as a rugged, Mexican-made “carro del pueblo.” The New Beetle — a completely new retro version built on a modified Golf platform — resurrected some of the old Beetle’s cute, unconventional aura in 1998 under CEO Ferdinand Piech, Ferdinand Porsche’s grandson. In 2012, the Beetle’s design was made a bit sleeker. The last of 5,961 Final Edition versions is headed for a museum after ceremonies in Puebla on July 10 to mark the end of production.

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