HEMINGWAY LOOK-ALIKES, YOUR TIME IS COMING
Key West commemorates one of its most famous residents July 15-20 with the annual Hemingway Days celebration.
Ernest Hemingway lived on the island throughout the 1930s. The July event includes a look-alike contest, readings and presentations, and a three-day marlin-fishing tournament.
The festival's biggest literary event is a Hemingway short story competition. The "Papa" Hemingway Look-Alike Contest traditionally draws as many as 125 stocky, bearded men to compete at Sloppy Joe's Bar, 201 Duval St., one of the author's favorite local watering holes. Details at www.hemingwaydays.net.
New names, new behemoths
Royal Caribbean International has announced the names of two new cruise ships, which will be the world's largest.
The Miami-based cruise operator said that Oasis of the Seas and Allure of the Seas were chosen in a "Name that Ship" contest. The names were submitted by George Weiser of Livonia, Mich.
Oasis of the Seas will hold 5,400 passengers. It is scheduled to launch in late 2009 and dock at Port Everglades. Allure of the Seas will launch in 2010.
Both are part of the brand's "Project Genesis." The ships will be more than 35 percent larger than the current largest cruise ship, based on volume.
Biking in New Orleans
New Orleans' first bicycle lane has opened, taking riders through neighborhoods scarred by poverty and Hurricane Katrina, but also representing the kind of progressive thinking planners hope will bring people back to hard-hit areas.
The 3-mile white-striped path winds along St. Claude Avenue, through the Lower Ninth Ward and to the St. Bernard Parish line, past areas slowly recovering from the August 2005 storm.
"It's one of the most tangible signs of recovery: a means of sustainability, a means of livability, a means of connectivity between neighborhoods," said Karen Parsons, senior transportation planner for the Regional Planning Commission.
Parsons hopes to see 50 miles of dedicated or shared bike lanes in the city within the next five years.
Shuttling in the Grand Canyon
Grand Canyon National Park has begun testing a free shuttle service designed to ease traffic in one of the busiest spots along the South Rim.
The National Park Service is starting the shuttle between the nearby community of Tusayan and the park's main information plaza. It will run every 20 minutes from 8 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Parking is a perennial problem at the Grand Canyon. During the busy summer season, about 6,000 cars enter the National Park and compete for fewer than 2,000 spaces.
People using the new shuttle to enter the park will stop near the visitor center and bookstore. They'll be near a system of trails, and they can connect onto another bus system that travels throughout the park, Martin said.
The shuttle service will be available through Sept. 1.
Compiled from Times wires