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Billy Bulletin June 15-22: A Boston Art Heist, Toronto’s Broadview Hotel, and Ai Weiwei in DC

The Billy Bulletin appears every Thursday with news about travel and the cities we cover, to help our readers and passengers navigate the week ahead.

Here’s what’s going on this week …

Boston

The plot thickens in the great Gardner Museum art heist: As The Boston Globe reports, evidence is missing! Evidence that might contain DNA clues! And just last month, the museum doubled its reward for information to $10 million!

To get visitors up to speed: Back in 1990, two men posing as police officers stole 13 precious European artworks from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, including two Rembrandts and a Vermeer. More than a quarter century later, the museum still wants them back. If you’re up for solving the mystery, the intriguing details of the heist – and information about the reward – are posted here.

Washington

A political town gets a political show! Ai Weiwei is almost certainly the world’s most famous living artist, thanks in large part to his ongoing battles with authorities in his homeland of China. His newest exhibition, Trace, pays homage to Ai’s fellow dissidents, and is said to be shaped by his own period of imprisonment in 2011. It opens June 28 at the Hirshhorn Museum – like all the museums on the National Mall, it offers free admission – but for a related June 27 talk by Ai you’ll need tickets, which go on sale at noon on Monday, June 19.

Courtesy Ai Weiwei Studio

Toronto

It’s June, so Luminato is back, for its 11th edition. The all-disciplines-at-once festival has had its ambitions somewhat curtailed due to some funding cutbacks, but there remain a gazillion events to check out, and we’re especially excited about the return (at last!) of The Famous Spiegeltent, a Belgian-style portable circus tent for grownups that first appeared way back at the first Luminato in 2007. It will set up in David Pecaut Square and feature concerts and other performances daily until June 25.

The Famous Spiegeltent / Luminato

The former strip club re-emerging as the Broadview Hotel continues to take shape, and will open any day now. (For the benefit of non-Torontonians, the opening of a boutique hotel may seem like ho-hum news, but in this town, certain ones play an unusually prominent role as cultural destinations. And the Broadview is in the east end instead of the west for a change!) For now, details trickle in, such as: The local vinyl slingers at Tiny Record Shop have revealed in a tweet that they will curate the in-room analog music selection.

Broadview Hotel

New York

New York is replete with Gilded Age mansions, but you can’t often gain access to their interiors. (Not without an invitation to, like, a fancy ball, we suppose.) Thanks to the New York Adventure Club’s pop-up music series, there’s an opportunity coming up for the masses: Tickets are on sale for a concert featuring Beautiful Small Machines and Adam Ahuja at the Van Alen Mansion, which was built in 1917 – probably by a family who made a fortune turning orphan saliva into horse medicine, or something like that.  

The New York Adventure Club

Fishing and seafood enthusiasts, mark your calendars for early 2018: One of Japan’s oddest restaurants is coming to Chelsea, Time Out New York reports. Zaou – the name means “sit fish” – is a place where you borrow a rod and try to hook your own dinner, out of tanks full of unfortunate fish that are destined to end up on a plate quite soon. Speaking from an experience back in Tokyo, Zaou is a heck of a time, if you’re not squeamish about the concept. The staff even sing you a little song when you hook one!

Travel tip!

We’ve written before about the shocking dryness of airplane cabins. Now, Food & Wine magazine dishes out the details on the actual quantities of moisture you lose while in the air, and it turns out to be a lot: “In an average 10 hour flight, men can lose approximately two litres of water and women around 1.6 litres.” Mind you, for a short-haul flight out of Billy Bishop, those little bottles of water they give away at the snack counter should do you just fine.

Published Thursday, June 15th 2017

Header image credit: Courtesy Ai Weiwei Studio

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