0 2138

Fly Brother is proud to announce that it is an official media partner of the 5th annual New York Travel Festival (NY Trav Fest), happening April 20-23, 2017, at several locations in Manhattan. The festival is a series of engaging, educational events for people whose lives are touched by travel: members of the travel industry, travel media, lifelong travelers, long-term travelers, college students, and people in career transition. The festival provides attendees with the opportunity to participate in workshops, network with industry professionals, and attend panel discussions and presentations about trending topics in travel. These events also facilitate professional development opportunities for those in the travel industry, or wanting to join it, as well as inspirational talks to offer ideas about an array of destinations and types of travel.

NY Trav Fest is partnering with Tisch Center at New York University to host the Borough Tourism Summit on Thursday, April 20th, and the 3rd annual Travel Unity Summit, at NYU Woolworth Building (15 Barclay Street) on Friday, April 21st. Saturday and Sunday events of NY Trav Fest will take place at Bohemian National Hall (321 East 3rd Street) and Hostelling International NYC (891 Amsterdam Avenue), respectively. Doors are open from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM on Thursday through Saturday, with registration beginning at 9:00 AM; Sunday starts one hour later (at 11:00 AM).

The Czech Republic is this year’s main sponsor, but many other destinations and travel industry brands from around the world will be represented as well. There will also be expert-led sessions and consultations throughout the event. Don’t miss this chance to discover, connect, and grow within the travel industry. Join Fly Brother and NY Trav Fest this April!

Ticket Options:

$130 – All Access Pass (early bird price until March 31, 2017)
$170 – All Access Pass (regular price)

Passes include access to all presentations, panels, workshops, and networking events part of the New York Travel Festival.

$50 – Borough Tourism Summit, April 20
$40 – Travel Unity Summit, April 21

$100 – Weekend Ticket, April 22-23
$40 – Sunday-only Ticket, April 23


A tentative schedule of events is available at bitly.com/NYTF2017Tentative
To order tickets, visit Eventbrite – bitly.com/NYTF2017Tickets

0 1791

Forty-three years ago today, my parents got married. As high school teachers, they had to wait until summer break before jetting off for the honeymoon, and some kind of way, they heard that it was better in the Bahamas. Well, that’s debatable, but my parents seemed to have enjoyed it (I’m not 43, by the way…or maybe I am and just look damn good for my age ;-)). Personal logistics aside, many of the world’s airlines sold fantasies of post-nuptial holidays to eager newlyweds back in 1970, and I unearthed a few of the contemporary travel posters used in trafficking exotic destinations to would-be travelers in bell-bottomed trousers.

Eastern Airlines travel poster 1970

Royal Air Maroc travel poster 1970

National Airlines travel poster 1970

Pan Am travel poster 1970

TWA travel poster 1970

El Al airline poster 1970

Braniff travel poster 1970

United airline poster 1970

BOAC travel poster 1970

Mexicana travel poster 1970

Japan Air Lines travel poster 1970

BONUS: The #1 radio hit on April 29, 1970? That’s easy:

Please don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @FlyBrother, and “like” me on Facebook! You can subscribe, too! ;-)

Back in 2009, I took a three-month round-the-world trip to a planned five continents, and with the help of Fly Mother and some Zip-Lock bags, I was able to squeeze an adequate amount of clean underwear and other necessities into two very light-weight carry-ons. Observe:

That would be: One dress shirt and a pair of khakis, some jeans, 6 pair of draws, four pair of socks, 3 white tees, swim trunks, gym shorts, four short-sleeve t-shirts, two long-sleeve tees, and a pair of size-13 loafers.


Gracias, Mamita!

Please tweet your comments @FlyBrother, or email me (see About page). And don’t forget to “like” me on Facebook!


I’m participating in Vai Via’s 15 Day International Travel Challenge, but doubling-up, as I’m not a daily blog poster. So…

Day 06 – What does “home” mean to you?
Of course “home” will mean wherever my family is, but I consider my circle of good friends as family as well, so there’s no geographic limit to “home” for me anymore. There’s also the feeling of belonging to a place, of walking down the street and being claimed by that place. For the moment, that place is São Paulo.

Day 07 – Besides people, what did/do you miss from home?
Barbecues, driving through cities at dusk with the perfect music for each place, cheap domestic airfares, cheap everything.

Day 08 – A favorite food from another country/culture
Mangú (mashed plantains) from the Dominican Republic. Yum! And a nice, flavorful chai from India (though they sell that at Starbucks here).

2 482

Hello good people:

I’ve been in New York this week taking a much-needed vacation and finally decided to stop trying to force myself to sit still long enough to finish my assessments on the last two episodes of Black in Latin America. I fly to Portland, Oregon, tomorrow evening to attend the World Domination Summit and will have plenty of sitting-still time on the flight.

Meanwhile, if you’re in New York or Portland, drop me a line and let’s make a meet-up happen!

Fly Bro

4 544

Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates’ PBS series Black in Latin America looks into the African element of Latin American societies and investigates both the accomplishments and disappointments of Afro-Latinos in Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru. In the second instalment of the series, he visits the largest of the Greater Antilles, sitting just 90 miles south of Florida: Cuba.

I’ve been to the island three times – in 2001, 2002, and 2005 – each time falling under the spell of majestically-crumbling Havana. I’ve walked down arcaded streets, photographing buildings and old people and kids (known locally as ‘futuro’). I’ve snapped sea-sprayed lovers and sanguine sunsets along the Malecón, the waterfront promenade fronting the Florida Straits. I’ve danced to salsa and merengue and reggaeton and hip hop at a New Years’ Eve party in the shadow of drab, Communist-era housing blocks. I’ve been mistaken for an American spy. I’ve been blocked from entering my own hotel when the security guard thought I was Cuban. I’ve run out of money and bartered clothes and a camera for the fifty dollars I needed to change my flight. I’ve left clothes and books and money in exchange for food and conversation and memories. I’ve made friends and I’ve made love in Cuba. God, how I miss that place.

Enough poetic wax; regarding this episode, I enjoyed learning more about black Cuban heroes like António Maceo than the little bit I knew from the history books I’ve read about Cuba. I also loved the footage and photographs of Havana’s past and present, visually conveying the cosmopolitan energy of what’s arguably the most sophisticated city in the Caribbean, before, during, and even after the revolution. Watching the interviews – especially of the professor who went into the countryside as a girl to teach people how to read – the sense of excitement, of expectation, of infinite possibilities that the revolution promised, still seems palpable.

I was a bit annoyed that Gates pointed out the propensity of black Cubans for putting country before race, contrary to black Americans, without offering context: that a communist system inherently ascribes nationhood to each citizen under the trope of egalitarianism, whereas the United States has consistently denied full ‘nationhood’ to a number of citizens (the current president, for instance). In other words, black Cubans, at least since the revolution, have been taught that they are just as much a part of the national fabric as anyone else. Black Americans, at least in my opinion and experience, have rarely been extended that sort of mainstream societal inclusion in the 235 years that the US has existed as an independent nation; why wouldn’t we see ourselves as black first and Americans second? Gates did mention, however, that the Cuban intellectual establishment began embracing African cultural elements as integral to cubanidad in the 1940s (some even earlier), a time during which black Americans were still trying to earn respect from white America on far-flung battlefields and atolls.

I definitely appreciated Gates’ inclusion of the two-tier economy, a discrepancy that clearly works against darker-skinned Cubans as they have less access to tourist dollars/euros and less access to remittances from abroad, as it was mostly well-educated, well-placed white Cubans that had the means to escape Castro’s dictatorship (many of whom were conspicuously silent as Batista imposed US-style racial segregation in posh hotels and restaurants to appease white American visitors in the ’50s). While yes, most of the island’s population is racially mixed, this isn’t socioeconomically proportionate. And, as we see with the young rapper at the end of the episode, there’s a political price to pay for speaking that unpleasant truth.

Oh yeh, and though Castro’s homeboy says that no white person in Cuba will say their daughter can’t marry a black guy or vice versa, best believe there are plenty of Cubans in Miami that will – and do – say just that. I’ve heard it.

Overall, I liked this episode better than the first; I felt enlightened and entertained, the music was correctly identified, and Gates’ Spanish pronunciation was less ruinous than in the Dominican Republic. However, I strongly disagree with his last statement, that after speaking with Cuban intellectuals, he thinks racial discrimination will disappear. If it hasn’t after 500 years, why would it ever? Racism, sexism, ageism, homophobia, classism, xenophobia will always be present in every society on some level: there will always be douchebags. That’s not to say that things won’t get better – they have and will probably continue to – but only when people confront these demons in all their manifestations (including ‘positive’ remarks about things like black sexual prowess) and realize that just because something hasn’t happened to them personally, that doesn’t mean the thing doesn’t exist.

Gates also didn’t venture into speculation, either on his own or with the people he interviewed, about the state of race relations in Cuba after Castro. I do not believe the opening of the economy to foreign investment and the mass return of exiles to be a wholly positive development. In many ways, Cuba has an incredibly inclusive society, in spite of historical and current inequalities. I wish I could be more hopeful for the future.

My grade: A-

I’ll review Episode 3 next week. Thoughts? (By the way…these are my personal opinions as an educator and editor living in Latin America. If you don’t like ‘pedantry,’ carry yo’ ass on over to a stupid person’s blog. A well-funded PBS documentary by a Harvard professor should be academically accurate and intellectually responsible).

Watch the full episode. See more Black in Latin America.

Read my review of Episode One.