Stetson. Today the brand is almost synonymous with Texas itself, despite the fact that only some of the hats are made here, and the company started in Philadelphia. Since the beginning of the Stetson Hat company in 1865, the company has grown to be the largest hat manufacturer in America. Many of its hats are made in a Garland factory, along with those of Dallas’ home-grown Resistol brand which it acquired. You can tour the process and come away with a better understanding of what goes into making each hat. It takes many highly skilled artisans using some modernized equipment but mainly relying on older machinery which is no longer manufactured and, even if it were, using outdated designs replacement of which would be extremely costly. Upgrading a single sewing machine capable of specialized stitching (and there are rows of them), for example, would cost about $25,000.
Two and one-half hours of easy driving north of New York City, on the fashionable east side of the Hudson River, you hit the town of Hudson, N.Y. You can reach Hudson by train using Amtrak, too.
What you’ll find is a town that has, in recent years, been discovered by people who once lived in Brooklyn and those who like to get away from Brooklyn for a weekend. They have flooded the town creating a Mecca of sophistication in the middle of rural New York. Because they have bid up prices, don’t expect to find real estate here for a steal anymore. You missed those days. But if you’re looking for an unusual, quiet, rural town for a vacation, Hudson is a place that hasn’t yet been overrun by tourists.
Layover in Dallas-Fort Worth? Near DFW airport, take time to visit the #1 attraction rated by Trip Advisor in the area. You’ll need to take a taxi to arrive. Make advance arrangements to visit this little-known, off the beaten trail, one-of-a-kind place that is a hidden treasure, a place steeped in history, an attraction that you skip at your peril, a Texas Historic Landmark since 2004. It’s also a place where in the 1930’s a huge treasure passed hands nightly, reputedly ½ million dollars—worth a lot back more back then!
One year after President Obama opened relations again with Cuba after 50 years of isolation, and one year after my first visit to the island, I returned to see what had changed and was surprised to find the answer: a lot has changed.
There is a lot of bad information around about Cuba. The tour books, for example, report there is a $25 per person airport exit tax. But this tax no longer exists. Demand for Cuban travel is not as high as anticipated, keeping prices low. American Airlines will soon switch to flying smaller planes. Jet Blue has cut some of its flights.