World Cities & Harbors

Dubai at Night

featuring the Righteous Brothers and Etta James

A successful port city with a history as a trade center, Dubai on the south edge of the Persian Gulf is one of the world’s fastest-growing cities and has become one of the world’s leading tourist destinations.

Significant foreign investment and revenues from oil and tourism have financed several amazing development projects. Several sets of artificial islands have been built and developed for residential projects and resorts. The spectacular Dubai Fountain, featured in this eScapes episode, is the world’s tallest “dancing fountain” and is located outside the Burj Khalifa, the world’s tallest building with a height of 2,717 feet.

Links

Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Burj Khalifa: The Tallest Building in the World
Wikipedia article: Dubai


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Ambassador Bridge (Detroit, Michigan)

featuring Teddy Pendergrass' "Come Go With Me (Interface Mix)"

American truck drivers taking cargo “south of the border” would likely be on the way to Mexico. But from Detroit, Michigan, they could also head to Canada across the Ambassador Bridge, which carries more than 25 percent of all trade between the United States and its northern neighbor.

Thanks to a dog leg in the Detroit River, this is the only border crossing at which Canada lies to the south of the U.S. In this sample video, a parade of trucks crosses the bridge in both directions as the sun sets in the west.

Silhouetted in the foreground is the Detroit Princess riverboat, which offers dinner and pleasure cruises along the river for public and private functions.

Teddy Pendergrass was a prominent R&B/soul singer and songwriter. First rising to fame as a member of Philadephia’s Harold Melvin and the Blue Notes, known for the hit “If You Don’t Know Me By Now,” Pendergrass began his successful solo career in 1977. He garnered a total of five Grammy nominations and was one the top R&B artists in the late 70s and early 80s. In 1982, Pendergrass was paralyzed in a car accident and confined to a wheelchair for the rest of his life. Despite his injuries, he continued to generate hits and perform even after his official retirement in 2006. In 2010, Teddy Pendergrass died at the age of 59. The Teddy Pendergrass Alliance continues his work to help others with spinal cord injuries.

Links

Vist Detroit: Official Tourism & Travel Site
Detroit Historical Society: Ambassador Bridge
The Detroit Princess
Teddy Pendergrass Official Site


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Auckland, New Zealand (Albert Park)

featuring Matt Marshak's "Seduction"

New Zealand’s capital, Auckland, is one of the most scenic large cities in the world. Surrounded by beautiful harbors, lush volcanic hills, and even a rainforest, the city also has beauty within its limits. Striking architecture is everywhere, framed by city parks that provide attractive relaxation spaces.

This eScapes scene takes you to Auckland’s Albert Park, adjacent to downtown. A notable feature here is the bronze statue of Queen Victoria, erected in 1899. Looking towards the city, the impressive Sky Tower can be seen towering above the skyline, from the grounds of the SKYCITY Auckland casino resort.

Matt Marshak is a contemporary jazz guitarist from Long Island, New York. A musician who strives to keep his music evolving, Marshak’s style blends jazz, blues, and R&B. Since his album debut in 2001, Marshak has spent his time in the studio, playing live shows, teaching, occasionally writing TV jingles, and volunteering for multiple sclerosis and autism causes.

Links

Official Auckland Tourism Site
New Zealand Official Travel Information
SKYCITY Auckland
Matt Marshak Official Site (in German)


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Saint Jean de Cole, France

featuring Gregg Karukas' "Para Los Niños"

Surrounded by lush hills and filled with historic architecture, the village of St. Jean de Cole is widely appreciated as one of the most beautiful in France. While the village holds many quaint restaurants, hotels, shops, schools, and offices, its standout buildings, seen in this eScapes video, are the Chateau de la Marthonie and the medieval church of St. Jean Baptiste.

With such beautiful scenery and a population of only about 350 people, Saint Jean de Cole is a great destination for a relaxing getaway.

Gregg Karukas is a contemporary jazz keyboardist. After launching his solo career in the 1980s, Karukas formed a band that featured Dave Koz and Boney James, and became the original keyboardist for the Rippingtons. Now a genre favorite, Karukas has released a dozen solo albums.

Links

St. Jean de Cole on the Web
Chris Standring Official Site


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Gstaad, Switzerland

featuring Doc Powell's "Together We Can"

One look at the Swiss town of Gstaad leaves no question why the area is known for its many ski resorts. Though the town itself is small and only lightly populated, the surrounding mountains provide plenty of dramatic views, dozens of hiking trails, and clean white slopes for the area’s most famous pastime.

In addition to skiing, Gstaad is also known as a relaxing getaway for the rich and famous. Countless celebrities have lived or kept homes in the hills around the village, and plenty of expensive boutiques cater to the elite. Despite this, the town maintains an accessible and laid-back atmosphere, true to its early roots as an medieval agriculture and trade center. One reminder of Gstaad’s long history, prominent in this eScapes scene, is the chapel of St. Nicholas, which was completed in 1402.

Doc Powell is a Grammy-nominated guitarist who has built a legacy as a musical chameleon. His signature guitar sound has been featured in over 140 recordings by some of the premier stars in pop, R&B, jazz, and gospel music; a critically-acclaimed gospel project; and ten top-charting contemporary jazz solo projects with guest appearances by some of the genre’s biggest artists.

Links

Official Gstaad Tourism Portal
Official Website of Switzerland Tourism
Wikipedia article: Gstaad
Doc Powell Official Site


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Chester, England

featuring Chris Standring's "Bossa Blue"

Founded as a Roman fort in the first century, Chester, England now blends its historic atmosphere with modern attractions and luxuries.

Nicknamed “the walled city” for the two miles of stone walls around it, Chester has made a conscious effort to preserve its heritage. History is reflected around every turn: in medieval buildings and cathedrals and in street names like “Eastgate” and “Foregate” that hark back to the city’s origins.

A relatively recent addition to the city is the Eastgate Clock, built in 1899 to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee. The second-most photographed clock in the United Kingdom (after Big Ben), the clock is a tourist attraction and a worthy complement to the Victorian-era timber-frame buildings common in the town.

Tourists are also attracted to the city’s famous Rows, a series of retail shops nestled within historic buildings, some of which can be seen in this eScapes scene.

Chris Standring is a jazz guitarist who has distinguished himself in the contemporary jazz realm with adventurous, lyrical compositions leavened with pure-pop perfection, dazzling guitar solos and thick beats. Though predominately influenced by jazz, Standring has expanded his sound with rock, blues, R&B and electronic elements.

Links

Visit Chester: Official Tourist Information
Wikipedia article: Chester
Chester: A Virtual Stroll Around the Walls (history and photos)
Chris Standring Official Site


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Miami, Florida

featuring Marc Antoine's "Palm Strings"

A tropical metropolis set beside the Atlantic Ocean, Miami is a destination for anyone looking for sunshine, entertainment, and culture. A quickly growing city with one of the most impressive skylines in the United States, Miami’s location has been instrumental to its success. With an ocean on one side of the city, and rich natural spaces on the other, Florida offers residents and visitors the best of urban and natural wonder.

Miami is also home to great cultural diversity, particularly from Latin American immigrants. The mix of cultures in Miami has made the city known for its music, food, and nightlife. The Port of Miami is also the busiest cruise ship port in the world.

Marc Antoine is contemporary jazz guitarist. Though gifted from a young age, his playing was threatened by a serious accident to his left hand while he was a teenager. Despite a grim prognosis, Antoine recovered to become one of today’s leading jazz guitar acts. Currently living in Spain, Antoine frequently tours with other contemporary jazz greats including David Benoit, Dave Koz, and Chris Botti.

Links

Greater Miami and the Beaches: Official Tourism Guide
City of Miami
Visit Florida: Official State Tourism Guide
Marc Antoine Official Site


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Dubai (Skyscrapers & Skyline)

featuring Peter White's "Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow"

Rich from oil, shipping, and banking revenues, the city of Dubai has entered the 21st century as a Middle Eastern boomtown. Tourism and real estate development are now major sectors of Dubai’s economy. Although development has slowed in the wake of the global financial crisis, at one time the city was estimated to have up to a quarter of the entire world’s construction cranes.

Dubai is now a vertical metropolis filled with impressive modern skyscrapers, including the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, which opened in 2010.

The ubiquity of construction cranes across the skyline has led some to give them an affectionate nickname: the “birds of Dubai.”

Peter White is an English smooth jazz guitarist who played with several artists, including a 20-year span as accompanist and writer for Al Stewart, before launching a solo career in 1990. With several Top 10 jazz albums under his belt, White is a frequent winner of the National Smooth Jazz Award for Best Guitarist.

Links

Dubai Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing
Official Portal of Dubai Government
Wikipedia article: Dubai
Peter White Official Site


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Lucerne, Switzerland

featuring Herbie Russ' "Story of My Life"

Lucerne is one of Switzerland’s largest cities and most popular tourist destinations. Centered in the center of the country on the Reuss River, Lucerne is known for the Chapel Bridge, a wooden footbridge built in 1333. Unfortunately, much of the bridge has been reconstructed since 1993, when it was gutted by a fire alleged to have started from a discarded cigarette.

This eScapes scene brings you an afternoon view of the Chapel Bridge and its Water Tower, a building that houses dozens of paintings that recall events from Lucerne’s history. In centuries past, it was also used as a treasury, library, prison, and torture chamber.

Also featured in this video is Lucerne’s Jesuit Church, another famous city landmark that dates back to 1666.

Herbie Russ is a Michigan native and an accomplished saxophonist, keyboardist, vocalist, producer, and songwriter. His melodic style combines smooth jazz, urban contemporary, and pop music, and his performances can often be seen across Michigan and beyond.

Links

Lucerne Official Tourism Site
Wikipedia article: Lucerne, Switzerland


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Bangkok, Thailand (Chao Phraya River)

featuring Acoustic Alchemy's "Playing for Time"

Like most great cities, Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, is situated on a great river: the Chao Phraya, which runs 231 miles from the center of the country into the Gulf of Thailand.

On a typical afternoon, the waters of the Chao Phraya are bustling with boat traffic. Ferries, river buses, and traditional longtail water taxis connect the two sides of Bangkok while freight barges move cargo up and down the river.

The banks of the Chao Phraya are home to relatively sparse but impressive skyscrapers. Prominently featured in this eScapes video are the three towers of the Chatrium Riverside hotel and residence, where a 1248-square-foot condominium sells for about $300,000. The towers are part of a recent development boom along the river, away from the busier districts of Bangkok.

Acoustic Alchemy is a smooth jazz group from London. Originally a duo of acoustic guitarists, the band has expanded and renewed itself over the decades to accommodate artistic choices and lineup changes. Now a group that mixes genres, styles, and influences, Acoustic Alchemy is a favorite adult contemporary and new age act.

Links

Chatrium Bangkok Hotels and Residences
Tourism Authority of Thailand
Bangkok Tourism Division
Acoustic Alchemy Official Site


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