Apologies up front for not having more information than the bare minimum I'm about to share, but if you live or work in New York City and have a chance to be anywhere near Grand Central Station tomorrow, stop by for a chance to win a trip to Bermuda. According to the tourism website GoToBermuda.com, the powers-that-be are giving away 50 round-trip airline tickets to Bermuda tomorrow, February 16, from 7am-6pm in Grand Central's Vanderbilt Hall. The Department of Tourism did the exact same thing last year, hosting a festive daylong event featuring live Gombey dancers and Bermudian food favorites, so I imagine tomorrow's shin-dig will be much of the same, but unfortunately, that's all I've got folks.
Remember Matt Morris' documentary film Mr. Happy Man, about a well-known Bermudian who greets Hamilton commuters each morning? Well, the director has just placed the full version of the award-winning short film online, which means you too can see the smiles Johnny Barnes brings to islanders each day. The film won the Audience Award for Best Short Film at the AFI/Discovery Silverdocs, Best Documentary Short Film at the Sidewalk Motion Picture Festival, Honorable Mention at the Nashville Film Festival and an Ideal Award at the Adventure Film Festival. Even better, it's also playing on Outside Television, the American cable network I'm also an on-air correspondent for (click here to watch my interview with Matt Morris live from Mountainfilm in Telluride). Go on, get happy.
Looking for a major nautical thrill? Then toss your hat in the ring for this year's Newport Bermuda Race, a biannual regatta that departs from Newport, Rhode Island and ends in St. David's, Bermuda every other June (this year it shoves off on the 15th). Founded in 1906 as the first ocean race for amateur sailors, the regatta has since become one of the world's premier sailing events—a 635-mile open ocean contest, most of it out of sight of land. Although the entry process for the 48th annual Newport Bermuda Race has only been open for three weeks over 100 boats have submitted entries, including past champions Sinn Fein—Peter Rebovich's Cal 40, winner of the coveted St. David's Lighthouse Trophy in 2006 and 2008—and Llwyd Ecclestone's Frers 68 Kodiak (Editor's note: This is a big deal within sailing circles. Get excited people). It's a much-anticpated week among sailors, but even more so for us islanders—after all, the much-anticpated race is yet another excuse to drink copious amounts of Dark 'n Stormy's while watching the ships pull in harborside. If you're interested in entering visit the Newport Bermuda Race official website. Or if you just want to party in June, well, visit Bermuda.
In case you missed what's been happening in Bermuda—because clearly I have due to some off-island travels—here's a little recap of the local headlines. Did you hear that the Florida Marlins moved to Miami? And that its owners built a brand new ballpark? Well, its 110,000-square-foot-field was officially covered with Bermuda grass, a type of sod that's shade-resistant, which will be helpful in case the team has to close the park's retractable roof due to inclimate weather. Now you know. In other news, the good folks at the Bermuda Sun asked the public a very good question recently: Should we start growing our own crops? Considering spinach costs upwards of $14 a pound and even local squash is astronomical at times, my vote is a wholehearted yes. Now, I understand that farming in Bermuda is expensive since there's no local source of fresh water and the price of 1,000 gallons is $28 as opposed to $6 in 1996, but come on people. I need me some fresh local fruits and veggies. From the disappointing news desk, word has it the PGA plans to pull the Grand Slam of Golf from Bermuda after this year's tournament. Not cool PGA. Didn't you see this super-cool video I filmed from the tournament two years ago? Was that not enough to keep you at beautiful Port Royal Golf Course for another year or two? Whatever. Finally, it looks like Presidential candidate Mitt Romney is finally declaring some of his millions. Ya know, the cash he avoided paying taxes on by setting up a paper company in Bermuda. What a stand up guy.
is a Bermuda-based travel writer and television correspondent. To read his work visit DavidLaHuta.com or to follow him on Twitter visit Twitter.com/DavidLaHuta. Visiting Bermuda? Read his story, 36 Hours in Bermuda, which appeared in the New York Times travel section in September 2009 (http://bit.ly/36HoursBermuda) and Jetsetter's The Many Faces of Bermuda, which ran in January 2011 (http://bit.ly/FacesOfBDA).