Impressionists drawing crowds

TRAVEL SMARTS

Shows are going strong in Boston and Baltimore

May 05, 2002

The art of the impressionists is making a big hit in the North-east this spring. Museum shows have already taken place in Springfield, Mass., and Hartford, Conn., and exhibitions are still going strong in Boston and Baltimore:

* Through June 9 at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston is "Impressionist Still Life," 90 paintings created by 16 artists in the last 40 years of the 19th century. Included are 15 works by Cezanne, nine each by Monet and Manet, and seven each by van Gogh and Gauguin. The show's timed tickets are $20. For reservations, call 617-542-4632. For information: 617-267-9300; www. mfa.org.

* Here at home, the "Age of Impressionism" at the Walters Art Museum runs until May 26 and shows 80 works from the Ordrupgaard in Copenhagen. This overview of 19th-century French art, including some 60 impressionist and post-impressionist works and several Danish paintings, features landscapes by Courbet, Monet, Sisley and Pissarro. The museum is closed Monday. Admission, by timed ticket, is $6-$12; reservations recommended. Information: 410-547-9000, www.thewalters.org

A blossom of a deal

Can there be a sweeter word than "spring"? A variety of deals, discounts and packages can help make the blues of winter vanish quicker than April showers. In New York City, the Doral Park Avenue Hotel's Spring Flowers weekend package starts at $159 a room per night for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday night stays. The package includes a deluxe double room, complimentary Continental breakfast for two, discounts at nearby Macy's and the Morgan Library Gift Shop, a free copy of Frommer's Born to Shop New York, and a Metrocard Fun Pass providing a day of unlimited bus and subway rides. (The fine print: The package is only valid through May 31.)

For more information, call 212-687-7050, see a travel agent, or visit www. doralparkavenue.com.

Adventure on two wheels

Here's a ticket to hog heaven that you can find right in the airport: Harley-Davidson motorcycles for rent. EagleRider Motorcycle Rental says its new outlet at Palm Springs International Airport is the only motorcycle rental at any U.S. airport. These are not cheap thrills. Renting a full-size Harley costs $166.88 per day. Smaller bikes go for $50 to $75 per day, plus taxes and insurance. You can also rent bikes one way, with drop-off fees that start at $100 in California. Contact: 760-251-5990, www. eaglerider.com.

JOIN THE JET SET -- AT $109,000 A YEAR

So you don't have the $6 million you need to buy a small jet? No problem. For just $109,000 a year, you can get the aircraft and the crew. As an alternative to chartering a plane, Marquis Jet Partners of New York recently began offering travelers 25 hours of flying time a year, "wheels up to wheels down," as Marquis CEO Alan Clingman says.

Planes are available 24 hours, seven days a week, with 10 hours' notice. The plan, called the Marquis Private Jet Card, is a bit like a flying time share, Clingman says, but with one important difference:

A jet is available when you want it, so there are no messy arguments over who gets, say, Memorial Day weekend. Larger jets are available and cost as much as $329,000 a year for 25 hours of use.

Marquis is affiliated with NetJets, a company offering fractional jet ownership whose fleet of 400 planes Marquis uses. (NetJets, in business for about 15 years, requires buyers to make a five-year commitment and also charges an hourly rate.)

For information: 212-499-3790, www.marquisjet.com.

Think of it as jet-propelled time sharing, in which $109,000 entitles you to 25 hours of flying.

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