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Friday, May 31, 2013

Wealthy #Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides to bypass lines at #Disney

Nothing ceases to amaze me..  This is over the top. Then they ask why they hate the 1%...

Rich Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides so kids can cut lines at Disney World

They are 1 percenters who are 100 percent despicable.
Some wealthy Manhattan moms have figured out a way to cut the long lines at Disney World — by hiring disabled people to pose as family members so they and their kids can jump to the front, The Post has learned.
Rich moms shamelessly hire disabled tour guides so their kids can cut long lines.
The “black-market Disney guides” run $130 an hour, or $1,040 for an eight-hour day.
“My daughter waited one minute to get on ‘It’s a Small World’ — the other kids had to wait 2 1/2 hours,” crowed one mom, who hired a disabled guide through Dream Tours Florida.
Dr. Wednesday Martin, social anthropologist who discovered scheme.
“You can’t go to Disney without a tour concierge,’’ she sniffed. “This is how the 1 percent does Disney.”
The woman said she hired a Dream Tours guide to escort her, her husband and their 1-year-old son and 5-year-old daughter through the park in a motorized scooter with a “handicapped” sign on it. The group was sent straight to an auxiliary entrance at the front of each attraction.
Disney allows each guest who needs a wheelchair or motorized scooter to bring up to six guests to a “more convenient entrance.”
The Florida entertainment mecca warns that there “may be a waiting period before boarding.” But the consensus among upper-crust moms who have used the illicit handicap tactic is that the trick is well worth the cost.
Not only is their “black-market tour guide” more efficient than Disney World’s VIP Tours, it’s cheaper, too.
Disney Tours offers a VIP guide and fast passes for $310 to $380 per hour.
Passing around the rogue guide service’s phone number recently became a shameless ritual among Manhattan’s private-school set during spring break. The service asks who referred you before they even take your call.
“It’s insider knowledge that very few have and share carefully,” said social anthropologist Dr. Wednesday Martin, who caught wind of the underground network while doing research for her upcoming book “Primates of Park Avenue.”
“Who wants a speed pass when you can use your black-market handicapped guide to circumvent the lines all together?” she said.
“So when you’re doing it, you’re affirming that you are one of the privileged insiders who has and shares this information.”
Ryan Clement runs Dream Tours Florida with girlfriend Jacie Christiano, whom the rich Manhattan mom indicated was her family’s guide.
A working phone number for Christiano couldn’t be found, and Clement refused to put The Post through to her. A message left on Facebook was not immediately returned by Christiano.
Clement denied that his gal pal uses her disability to bypass lines. He said she has an auto-immune disorder and acknowledged that she uses a scooter on the job.
Disney did not return repeated requests for comment.

Wealthy Manhattan moms hire handicapped tour guides to bypass lines at Disney World -

________________________ The MasterLiving Blog

#Chinese #tourists spent $102 Billion worldwide in 2012, world's highest spenders

 The Rise of the Chinese Tourist : The New Yorker

On Monday, Club Med, the French resort company, received a seven-hundred-million-dollar buyout offer from the Chinese conglomerate Fosun International. As with the acquisition yesterday of the American pork processor Smithfield Foods by Shuanghui International Holdings, the offer, put together by Fosun and a French insurance company, reflects a global shift in investments to the expanding Chinese market.
It’s a smart target to aim for. As Evan Osnos has written in the magazine, China has joined the Grand Tour tradition of newly wealthy countries exploring Europe. And according to a report issued last month by the United Nations World Tourism Organization, the pace of those tours has accelerated. Chinese travellers have become the world’s top spenders, spreading a hundred and two billion U.S. dollars around the world in 2012. China is also the fastest-growing source of tourists over the past decade, with the number of international trips taken by its citizens growing from ten million, in 2000, to eighty-three million last year.
The rest of the world has been spending more on travel, too, led by economies that have already begun to recover from the global recession. Travellers in Germany and the United States, ranked second and third among tourism sources, spent around eighty-four billion dollars each in 2012, and, altogether, international tourism receipts grew by four per cent last year. The climate for some of Europe’s other international tourists, though, like France and England, has not been as favorable, and the tourism industry’s economic itinerary is likely to plan even more Chinese departures next year.
Illustration by Larry Buchanan.

The Rise of the Chinese Tourist : The New Yorker

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

#India Is Now the Unofficial Home of the #Vintage Italian #Scooter |

21 Gun Salute Vintage Rally 2012
Vipin Kumar / Hindustan Times / Getty Images
A child with a vintage Lambretta 150 scooter during the 21 Gun Salute Vintage Rally on Dec. 9, 2012, in New Delhi

India Is Now the Unofficial Home of the Vintage Italian Scooter |

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If you’ve heard of Lambretta or Vespa scooters, chances are they conjure up on-the-road scenes from vintage movies, or images of British mods of the 1960s sitting astride these cultish Italian machines in two-tone suits as they vie with leather-clad rockers for control of the highways. But today, the real home of these stylish marques — which are to scooter lovers what Triumph or Harley-Davidson are to motorcycle fanatics — lies a long way from the design capitals of Europe. It’s found, instead, in India — in teeming New Delhi, to be precise, home to several workshops like Vespabretta, a vintage-scooter restoration company in the city’s Nitholi district.

There, a beautifully refurbished red-and-turquoise Lambretta from the 1970s and several older Vespas wait in a gleaming row to be shipped to buyers all over the world (but especially in the U.K. and Europe). “Scooters have been popular in India for ages,” says Vespabretta owner Sunny Anand. “We’ve all grown up knowing and loving scooters. And that is probably why we can restore them with perfection.” The shop ships about 150 a year.

Although Vespa scooters have a quintessentially Italian image, they have been part of the Indian streetscape since 1948, when they were imported by Bajaj Auto. Offering aspirational style at an affordable price, they were a huge hit, and by 1960, Bajaj was producing Vespas in India in collaboration with the brand’s Italian manufacturer Piaggio. (The Italian firm had another joint venture with India’s LML Motors from 1983 to 1999.) Lambretta scooters — originally manufactured in Milan by Innocenti — closed up shop in Europe in 1972, finding it impossible to cope with competition from manufacturers of small cars. An Indian state-owned company, Scooters India Limited, bought the manufacturing rights and during the 1980s was churning out as many as 35,000 Lambrettas annually. Production ceased in 1997 as the firm began to concentrate on more lucrative three-wheeled vehicles, but a large pool of scooter expertise remains.

This long association with the world’s two most sought-after scooter brands, plus the ready availability of spare parts, cheap labor and experienced mechanics, has given India a huge advantage when it comes to scooter restoration. “The automobile revolution started in India late — till the 1980s, Vespas and Lambrettas ruled the Indian roads,” says Ranojoy Mukerji, a Delhi-based auto expert with a special interest in vintage models. “So there is a huge vintage-scooter base in India. There are many more professional restorers now and expert mechanics who can still work with the old technology.”

(MORE: What Must India Do to Realize Its Economic Potential? Think Big, Act Bold)

The work of restoring vintage scooters is arduous. The companies have scouts looking for vintage models all over the country. When an old scooter is acquired and delivered to the workshop, mechanics will work on it for a month or even more. But because wage costs are relatively low, and spare parts locally available, buying from India is cost effective. Restoring a vintage scooter in Europe can cost as much as $6,000; the same work in India, including shipping, comes to about $2,000.

Some enthusiasts look farther afield — to countries like Thailand and Vietnam — for even cheaper restoration work, but India offers by far the most experienced Lambretta and Vespa mechanics. The only drawback is a stringent government policy on the re-export of vehicles, especially old models manufactured before the 1970s. Mukerji explains that the regulations are in place to prevent the export of valuable antique cars and vehicles. Nonetheless, he is optimistic that the rules regarding scooters will be relaxed before long. “The future of the Indian vintage-scooter restoration industry is looking very good, especially as there is a growing demand from European countries for restored vintage vehicles,” he says. “I have no doubts that the industry will grow phenomenally in the coming few years.” That’s good news for New Delhi’s restorers and the world’s scooter enthusiasts — who will finally have to come to terms with the fact that their “Italian” scooters are as Indian as chapatis and cricket.

Read the article online here: India Is Now the Unofficial Home of the Vintage Italian Scooter |

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Why Are #Jews So Obsessed With #Bacon? by

Bacon is more than a pig product. It’s a cultural statement. The fetish, the joke, and the irony justify consuming bacon, though it is fattier than fat, and the trayfiest of trayf. Did the Post ask an ex-Hasid about an innocuous non-kosher food like Starburst Fruit Chews or Jell-O? No. Because who cares about Starburst Fruit Chews and Jell-o? They went right to the bacon. Bacon carries cultural currency.

Read the whole article here: | Why Are Jews So Obsessed With Bacon? by


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