Fly In-Flight Entertainment

This post was inspired by TMF and her quest for fly IFE. Just make sure your seatbacks and tray-tables are in their upright and locked positions… ;-)

Night Flight 121 – The City to Sampa

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In this episode of the Fly Brother Podcast: Night Flight 121 – The City to Sampa

Journey with Fly Brother on an ethereal, all-music flight from “The City” to Sampa – New York to São Paulo – featuring recent and classic house, downtempo, acid jazz, and electro-samba. Whether its to work out, chill out, or make out, this compilation will transport you each time you listen. Download and get lifted.

Playlist:
“Saturday Night Experience” – Jody Watley
“Voodoo Bliss (Aaron Bingle’s Azure Mix)” – Janice hosted by BSG
“Bedtime Story” – Madonna
“Down” – Herbert
“Night Over Manaus” – Boozoo Bajou
“Amazodiac” – Audio Lotion
“Waltz for Koop” – Koop
“My Endless Journey” – Imada
“Samba do Gringo Paulista (Bigga Bush Reconstruction)” – Suba and Bigga Bush
“Playground do Brasil” – Imada
“Love and Happiness (São Benitez Sunset Mix)” – River Ocean f. La India
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Night Flight 695 – The Trance-Atlantic

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In this episode of the Fly Brother Podcast: Night Flight 695 – The Trance-Atlantic

Journey with Fly Brother on an ethereal, all-music flight from Little Havana to the Latin Quarter – Miami to Paris – featuring recent and classic house, downtempo, acid jazz, soul, and electro-samba. Whether its to work out, chill out, or make out, this compilation will transport you each time you listen. Download and get lifted.

Playlist:
“Vazilando (Rasmus Faber Mix)” – La Oreja de Van Gogh
“Cerca de Mí” – Louie Vega f. Raúl Midón
“The Way That I Feel” – Vikter Duplaix
“Casa Batillo” – Brazzaville
“Late Night Swing” – David Borsu f. Damia da Costa
“La Femme d’Argent” – Air
“A Day in December” – Manoo and Francois A.
“Girls & Boys” – Prince & The Revolution
“Leaving Monte Carlo” – Physics
“La Rhythme et Le Cadence” – Dimitri from Paris

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Fantasy Flight 525 – The Black Gold Express

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In this episode of the Fly Brother Podcast: Fantasy Flight 525 – The Black Gold Express

Journey with Fly Brother on an ethereal, all-music flight from the capital of oil- and culture-rich Venezuela to the capital of oil- and culture-rich Nigeria—Caracas to Lagos—featuring recent and classic house, salsa, downtempo, acid jazz, and funky Afrobeat. Whether its to work out, chill out, or make out, this compilation will transport you each time you listen. Download and get lifted.

Playlist:
“Intro/Arepa 3000” – Los Amigos Invisibles
“Got to Be in Love (Dub)” – Barbara Mendes
“Bruja” – Los Amigos Invisibles
“Guaio a Caracas” – Paul & Mark
“Llorarás” – Oscar d’León
“Cashmere” – Audio Lotion
“African Loungesters” – The Dining Rooms
“Opposite People” – Fela Kuti
“Ezuku Buzo” – Bola Johnson & His Easy Life Top Beats
“Lagos Speedway” – Captain Planet

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Fantasy Flight 324 – Mumbai to Buenos Aires

[PLAY] (01:01:01)

In this episode of the Fly Brother Podcast: Fantasy Flight 324 – The Bhangra-Milonga Express

Journey with Fly Brother on an ethereal, all-music flight from the gem of India to the jewel of Argentina—Mumbai to Buenos Aires—featuring recent and classic house, bhangra, downtempo, acid jazz, tango, and milonga. Whether its to work out, chill out, or make out, this compilation will transport you each time you listen. Download and get lifted.

Playlist:
“Coast 2 Coast” – N1
“Indian Summer (Groove Lickers Remix)” – Olav Basoski
“Threads of Identity” – Fusing Naked Beats
“Sunrise” – Lh1
“Milan” – Karsh Kale
“Walk of Ju” – Sweetback
“4AM” – Night Flyte
“Otonal” – Audio Lotion
“Unspoken” – Paul & Price
“Resurrección del Angel (Libertango Mix)” – Fantasista
“Adios Nonino (Electronic Mix)” – Hi Perspective
“Ese Cielo Azul” – Supervielle

Hope you enjoyed the ride! You can also get lifted with Seasons 1 and 2 of the Fly Brother Podcast here, and at the podcast page.

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

Afar Magazine, Pretty Damn Close to Actual Travel

Can you guess which city is the most interesting in South America?

Though there is no substitute for actual travel, there is something you can buy at your local bookstore or newsstand that’s as close as you can get to scarfing down a Turkish döner in Berlin, catching an Argentinean documentary in Quito, hanging ten off the coast of Bangladesh without actually coughing up the airfare: Afar.

Based in San Francisco (check out the minds behind the mag), the bi-monthly magazine focuses on “experiential travel,” which it defines as being connected with “the authentic essence of a place and its people.” This theme pervades every page of the magazine, from feature stories that take you into the dumpling kitchens of Shanghai and Lee Harvey Oswald’s former apartment in Minsk to double-page spreads featuring the beer cans, national birds, and traditional hats from around the globe. The articles, expertly-written and as respectful of other cultures as I’ve ever seen in print media, keep me in perpetual wanderlust, tinged with a bit of envy at the caliber of the text and slight annoyance that the editors haven’t tapped me for one of their “Spin the Globe” features (where they drop you in a foreign place with nothing but a few dollars and your own travel wits; I’m available, Afar…I’ll call in sick to the day job if I need to! *wink*).

And in the vein of experiential travel, Afar sponsors educational excursions and youth development programs through its foundation, coupling social change and personal development with international travel.

So if you haven’t already checked out a copy of Afar, run to the nearest B&N, or better yet, subscribe through their website to get your bimonthly dose of travel porn, stuffed with gems like this (from “When Being a Good Traveler Means Being a Bad Guest” by Chris Colin, May/June 2011 issue):

“The poignancy of a place lies at the intersection of its virtues and its flaws…
To care only for the airbrushed version of a place is not to care much for it at all – it’s hardly love if your partner knows your charming smile but not your bad breath. So, too, with a place: Your affection takes on depth only after you’ve glimpsed the imperfections and made room for them in your embrace.”

Amen.

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

Miss Universe + Vivica (is) A. Fox

Here she is, folks…Miss Universe 2011, the breathtaking Leila Lopes of Angola.

As they say in Nueva Yol..."una Barbiela!" (Photo: Manuela Scarpa/Photo Rio News)

I definitely have to say that I had expected a Latina to win – Puerto Rico was my personal favorite, and the pageant industry in Latin America is just that…they make Misses. Still, the Philippines!, USA, France, and Venezuela all represented well. Brazil? Meh. The buzz down here is surprisingly positive, though; people feel the judges (which included Connie Chung and Vivica A. Fox, both looking good!) were fair in their scoring.

Unfortunately, I was relegated to the press tent behind the auditorium (aka WiFi Central) and couldn’t see the goings-on live and in person, but it was fun chilling with journalists from around the globe (including the boisterous team from Colombia’s Caracol network). I did, however, get to line up along the red carpet and snap this photo of outgoing Miss U, Ximena Navarrete of Mexico.

Miss U 2010, wrappin' it up for the '11.

The coup of the night, though, was my one-question interview with Judge Fox as she glided into the auditorium. Obsoive:

(I swear, y’all…I wasn’t trying to cut off La Fox! Her media escort said I could only ask one question, was giving the ‘wrap it up’ and was tugging on her elbow. I got nuuuuurvus.)

On the whole, it was a good, good night.

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

Beauty: A Triptych

Brazil's candidates for Miss Universe, 2001-2011

Candidates for the annual Rio & SP Carnival Muse competition.

For good measure, the USA's candidates for Miss Universe, 2001-2011

The 2011 Miss Universe Pageant is Monday, September 12th, here in São Paulo.

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

Surviving 31 Hours of Standby Hell -or- Brazilians Make Everything Better

Entrance to the Non-Revenue Containment Area at São Paulo’s international airport

4:15pm– Arrive at São Paulo’s international airport for your 11:55pm flight to Miami. The standby list opens four hours before departure time and you get there seven hours early so you can be #1, having learned the hard way. It’s a Thursday and you’ve left work early, hoping to beat the weekend rush. And you are #1 for your departure time – theoretically – , but you’re really #6, behind five people who didn’t make the morning flight.

4:20pm – Easy conversation starts to flow between you and your fellow non-revs (i.e. relatives and friends of airline employees who’ve paid a ridiculously reduced fare in order to fly on a space-available basis and are therefore “non-revenue” passengers), and you find out where they’re from (Cuiabá, Goiânia, Fortaleza) and how long they’ve been waiting for a seat (48 hours, 24 hours, 16 hours).

4:25pm – A rowdy bunch from tropical beach town Recife pulls up six-deep, excited and, well, loud. Bless ‘em, you all think. They’re insane if they think they’ll all get on the flight together. Everyone signs The List, securing their place according to arrival time, which will be used as a quasi-legally-binding document (because if you disrespect The List, thas yo ass) once the standby list officially opens.

4:30pm – The Non-Rev Containment Area on the ground level of the airport quickly descends into chaos as flights from other parts of Brazil arrive, depositing eager, already-tired folks into the confined space with the low ceiling and the soul-sucking fluorescent lighting. The horror stories start to circulate: a woman and her son have been trying since Sunday to get to Paris. 25 seats were available on the last flight to Milan but no non-revs were boarded. “Usually, it’s the Orlando flights that are booked solid; this is the worst I’ve ever seen for Miami.” Aw shit.

4:31pm – Light-hearted, enjoyable conversations ensue about culture, prices, shopping (EVERYone was flying with an empty suitcase and one clean pair of draws), and “seu português é ôtimo, cara.” Brazilians are hard-wired for unfailing affability and you’ll have 18 Facebook friend invites before you get outta there.

6:53pm – Word works its way through the Miami folks that the ominous-looking redhead who just arrived is an employee – The Employee – who will automatically have priority over everyone else, no matter how long they’ve waited. Word is, she’s also traveling with husband and teenager. She can smell the ire.

6:55pm – Haunches up, everyone queues (love that word) hastily next to their luggage, which has already been queuing silently for a few hours, and the Miami flight opens; 21 non-revs list for a flight with zero seats un-purchased, but that also isn’t overbooked, so there’s hope for a few. Hunger descends like a sledgehammer.

7:25pm – You follow #s 2 and 3 through the labyrinth of hallways in the “employees only” area of the airport to the Employees Only Snack Bar, which has a limited selection of eats priced at near-real world levels (though still one or two reals more than what you’d pay at the corner snack stand). You flirt with a couple of the check-in agents who ask where you work. You laugh nervously, then walk away before they call sekurrity.

9:05pm – Laughs and jokes all around as you get to know your listmates a bit better…the cool-ass couple from Cuiabá who had Sawgrass on the brain, the husband-and-wife jokesters from Belém who could do every regional dance that exists in Brazil, the thick-accented gaúcho businessman who’s skin was turning green because he hadn’t eaten meat all week due to a diet imposed on him by his wife. Mad coolness. Mad Brazilianness.

9:25pm – No non-revs make the Madrid flight. People are not liking that.

9:40pm – Two non-revs make the New York flight, from a list of 15. Campers not happy.

10:15pm – Milan, none.

10:50pm – Miami? None. Not even The Employee, who almost made it.

10:51pm – Furniture moving.

10:52pm – You purchase an over-priced bottle of water at the coffee shop near where you were sitting (you thought somebody had a chair thrown at them, didn’t you?).

10:53pm – The group is advised to try again in the morning at 6:30 for the 10:30am flight. A list is organized by the passengers, as it’s not the airline’s responsibility, to keep things as civilized as possible; you’re still #6. You’re also the only person among the group – besides The Employee – who lives in the city, but if you expect to be #6 in the morning, you better put in the time.

10:55pm – The Orlando people get told there aren’t any seats on the plane.

11:00pm – Nobody gets to Paris, either. Not even the lady and her son. All the people waiting for flights to Europe have another 23 hours to go.

11:05pm – The captain of the Orlando flight comes down to the Non-Rev Containment Area and snags, oh, about 12 people and takes them on his flight. Campers damn shole ain’t happy, now.

11:43pm – You drop into a fitful sleep under the now-very-bright fluorescent lights, supported by your suitcase and a luggage rack. The temperature drops into the upper 40s.

11:53pm – You wake up and squirm around a bit.

12:03am – You wake up and squirm around a bit.

12:13am – You wake up and squirm around a bit.

3:53am – You wake up and squirm around a bit.

4:03am – Fuck it. You get up and start doing some of the work you should have been doing since 4:15pm yesterday.

6:10am – Everyone’s up and the list has grown. There’s anxiety as everyone wonders if someone’s going to try and jump the line (and receive the subsequent beat-down).

6:31am – Listed!

10:29am – The Employee shows up.

10:31am – Zero go Miami way (Nelson-from-The-Simpsons-style “ha-ha” to The Employee & Fam).

10:50am – Numbers 1, 2 and 3 drop out and decide to either stay in São Paulo for a few days or go back to their hometowns. You, the couple from Cuiabá, and the Recife crew say screw dat…we gettin’ to Miami!

12:03pm – Can…barely…keep…eyes…open.

2:03pm – Can…barely…keep…eyes…open.

4:03pm – Your Portuguese is getting good as hell, since you’re getting more practice in one day than you’ve gotten since moving to Brazil.

4:15pm – You’ve hit the 24-hour mark. There’s a gang of people on the list behind you (ha-ha) and the Europe flight wannabes are getting restless in their blazers and skinny jeans.

4:50pm – Shift #3 takes over and the manager gets yelled at by the disgruntled non-revs regarding last night’s Orlando debacle. He tells some kind of lie about jumpseats and whatnot, but he says it so commandingly, people believe him. You, of course, don’t and yell “I’m somebody’s son, too!”

6:20pm – Almost that time…natives, restlessness and whatnot.

6:32pm – Listed #3. No sign of The Employee, though two random old ladies try to Bogart their way up to the front, talkin’ bout they “stayed at the airport for the last three days.” Yet no one from the last day seems to remember these people, lyin’-ass old ladies.

7:20pm – You and the thick-accented gaúcho businessman go for some McDonald’s: you’re craving meat and it’s the cheapest thing in the airport, after the Employees Only Snack Bar. You bond over crazy regional accents in Brazil and the States, him teaching you a few gauchisms and you teaching him how to say “Pahk yo kah aht in na yahd” the way you say it in Nawf Flah-da.

8:20pm – Tired, exhausted, fatigued, and worn out, everybody waits, trying to avoid even having to consider a Plan B, but considering one anyway. The fourteen possible seats have been whittled down by half.

9:25pm – A few people make the Milan flight, but there’s shade because the dancing couple from Belém don’t make it, though they were slated to. Something about people in the line behind them knowing someone who knows the captain’s cousin’s sister’s best friend’s former roommate. Frowns all around.

9:28pm – In a somewhat botched attempt to quell the swelling angst among the masses, one of the ground staff members says, basically, if a captain comes down and chooses his cousin’s sister’s best friend’s former roommate over the 15 people ahead of her in line, she will indeed get to board and there is nothing you can do about it, bwa-ha-ha-haaaaaaaaaa!!!!!

10:40pm – The gaúcho makes Frankfurt and the lady and her son get Paris. Everybody cheers.

10:55pm – Success! You, the couple from Cuiabá, and one of the Recife 6 make the cut! But weren’t there supposed to be seven spaces on the list?

10:56pm – Saying goodbye to six or seven of your newly-minted friends does indeed suck, but all good things must come to an end; onward and upward, literally.

11:02pm – The Employee and Family are spotted passing through exit immigration. They didn’t even bother to come downstairs, the sneaky fiends! It’s all good, though…you’re finally off to Miami.

Epilogue – You help the cool-ass couple from Cuiabá change their rental car plans upon arrival at MIA, switching from Portuguese to English to Spanish and screwing it all up. They give you a ride to meet your peeps up in Fort Lauderdale. That’s what friends are for!

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