Traveler's Advisory

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North America
New York
When it first emerged in New York City in the late 1970s, hip-hop-with its loping rhythms, sound sampling and rhyme-speak-was labeled a fad. Today, it's America's dominant soundtrack. "Hip-Hop Nation: Roots, Rhythms and Rage," at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, explores the development of a cultural phenomenon through the musical and sartorial styles of artists such as Run-DMC, Missy Elliot, Puff Daddy, and the late Tupac Shakur and Notorious B.I.G. (both killed in drive-by shootings in the '90s). Also featured in the 400-item exhibition are interactive deejay stations, magazine covers, and court documents from 2 Live Crew's obscenity trial. Through Dec. 31.

Harry Lime's desperate bid to evade justice in the underworld of postwar Vienna is one of the most memorable episodes in 20th century cinema. More than 50 years after Orson Welles played the amoral charmer in the Graham Greene­scripted classic, the chase is on again for The Third Man. Torchlight tours of Vienna's sewer system, guided by canal workers, include recreations of Lime's pursuit and shooting (people with heart ailments or claustrophobia are advised not to participate). The 25-minute tours, limited to groups of 10, are offered daily through October and from Sunday to Tuesday between November and March, and can be conducted in English on request. For more details and to book, tel. +43 1585 6455.

Travelers who want to freshen up en route no longer have to travel business class. From mid-October, economy-class passengers flying into or out of London's Heathrow airport can take a shower, have their clothes pressed and shoes cleaned and access facilities including the Internet and e-mail in Heathrow's classless lounge-all for a $37 entrance fee. Run by British airports operator BAA, which opened its first pay-as-you-go lounge at Stansted Airport in Essex last year, the lounge will also provide a range of drinks and snacks, including hot breakfasts, and a relaxation area with reclining seats.

Mount Kumgang
The sight of athletes from North and South Korea marching together at the Sydney Olympics opening ceremony was good news for the Hyundai Group. South Korea's largest corporation has spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing deepwater docks and tourist facilities at Mt. Kumgang, a few kilometers north of the demilitarized zone. Hyundai, which has exclusive rights to develop tourism in the region for the next 30 years, is offering cruises to Mt. Kumgang for Japanese tourists and Korean residents of Japan starting Oct. 20.


The day before the women's under-49-kg taekwondo competition, Lauren Burns looked drawn and tired. Having shed 2 kg to compete in the sport's Olympic debut, she had fasted for 24 hours to ensure she made weight. She was hungry, lethargic, nursing a chronic knee injury-and about to begin the toughest fights of her career. Team manager John Kotsifas was worried, but counted on her mental toughness. "She's more determined than most," he says, "and she's had her doubters-but she's proved them wrong."

That she did Sept. 27 with a 4-2 victory over Cuba's Urbia Melendez Rodriguez. A martial art where points are scored for kicks to the head and kicks or punches to the torso, taekwondo demands aggression and speed. Grim-faced under her helmet, Burns had both. The 12-time Australian champion survived a ferocious early attack to seize the lead in the first round with an axe kick to her opponent's head.

The 26-year-old's path to the gold medal saw her edge past two of the sport's brightest stars-Taipei's Chi Shu-Ju, who took bronze, and Denmark's Hanne Hoegh Poulsen. To beat Melendez Rodriguez, she said, "I gathered everything I had and I put my heart and soul into it." Even claims by the Cuban and Chi of biased judging couldn't take the smile from Burns' face-or the glory from her win.