Urban Art Walk: Eat, Drink, Stroll, Admire - United Hub
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Urban art walks: Eat, drink, stroll, admire

By Bob Cooper, July 29, 2016

Monthly art walks are blossoming like Monet sunflowers nationwide. Hundreds can be found in art-oriented small towns, the art districts of midsize cities and the art-rich downtown hubbub of major metropolitan locales.

Most art walks let you stroll among many venues — not just galleries and artists' studios, but also spaces as diverse as hair salons, bars and churches. Visitors are often treated to hors d'oeuvres and wine, live music and the opportunity to chat with the artists about their work. Perhaps most appealing of all is that art walks are free, require no advance planning and take place every month.

With such a rich offering across the country, we had a hard time narrowing the list. Here are the five oldest, largest and most popular U.S. art walks, from the boulevards of L.A. to the streets of Philadelphia. These cities have plenty more to offer, too, but dropping by an art walk will enrich your appreciation for the creative energy of each city's art crowd.

First Fridays: Richmond

The monthly art walk in downtown Richmond, Virginia is simply called First Fridays (5 p.m. - 9 p.m.), and marks the night when thousands of visitors flock to the city's arts district downtown. They wander among galleries, four performance spaces, a cafe, a music store, and the newly opened Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia. Beyond just taking in the fine art, spectators are exposed to the broader arts and enjoy live music, theater, comedy and poetry performances. Most of the approximately 30 venues — showcasing more than 100 artists — are clustered in the heart of the city on a six-block stretch of historic Broad Street.

Second Thursdays: Los Angeles

About 10,000 art lovers convene at the Downtown Los Angeles Art Walk on Second Thursdays (6 p.m. - 10 p.m.). They travel from all over L.A. County to the city's core — encompassing the Bunker Hill, Little Tokyo and Gallery Row micro-districts — to visit about 40 galleries and art complexes, including the Fine Arts Building and Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. Eighteen murals are also showcased along the route, and don't be surprised if you stumble into impromptu spoken-word recitals, fashion shows or live street music. The 12-year-old event even has a visitor center, the Art Walk Lounge, where you can go first to pick up a map and get a glimpse of each month's artwork.

First Fridays: Phoenix

First Fridays (6 p.m. - 10 p.m.) in Phoenix, Arizona, started small in the late 1990s, but the event has evolved to include much of historic Grand Avenue, the Warehouse District and the Central Arts District — particularly Roosevelt Row (commonly known as RoRo). About 10,000 to 20,000 people come each month to take in the art at 71 galleries, artists' studios, restaurants and bars with live music, and other venues — from the Heard Museum and Phoenix Art Museum to a vintage clothing shop and a Lutheran church. Altogether, about 400 visual and performance artists participate in the art walk. Don't be deterred by the considerable distance between some venues; a complimentary First Friday trolley runs every 25 minutes for your convenience.

First Wednesdays: Jacksonville

The Downtown Art Walk (5 p.m. - 9 p.m.) infuses some excitement into “hump day" in Florida's most populous city. An average of 10,000 people each month peruse 60 venues, including unexpected spots such as a bank, a day spa and a cigar lounge. Besides displayed art, you may witness a mural in the making, a hypnotizing belly dance performance or a poetry reading. Live music, food trucks, a beer garden and a kids' zone are also in the mix. All sites are within a five-block radius of the town's heart, and Art Walk After Dark (9 p.m. to “late") keeps the party going at many downtown restaurants and bars.

First Fridays: Philadelphia

Sylvester Stallone famously sprinted up the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in “Rocky," but visitors to Philadelphia's 25-year-old First Friday (5 p.m. - 9 p.m.) can go at a more leisurely pace in pursuit of art appreciation. The historic buildings of Old City, a former waterfront and industrial district-turned-artists' haven, boast Philly's largest concentration of art and design studios, where most First Friday artists display their work. The neighborhood — nicknamed America's most historic square mile because it includes Independence Hall, the National Constitution Center and the Liberty Bell — is also brimming with theaters, restaurants and nightlife, so your night can continue after the art walk.

If you go

United Airlines offers many nonstop flights to all five cities. Visit united.com or use the United app to plan your art-walk getaway.


10 tips for spring travel

By The Hub team, February 24, 2021

Whether you haven't flown with us for a while or just need a quick refresher before your spring trip, read this list of tips to know before your flight and arrive at the airport travel-ready:

1. Download the United app for contactless bag check, travel assistance and more

Before your flight, download the United app to view your flight status, check in, sign up for flight notifications, locate departure gates, access our free personal device entertainment when available and more. We've also updated our app with new features that can make your trip a little safer, including contactless bag check.

Don't forget to use Agent on Demand for help with any and all questions you may have before your flight. This new capability is available at all our U.S. hub airports and allows you to use your own mobile device to contact a customer service agent via phone, video or chat to help with day-of-travel questions while you're at the airport. Learn more about Agent on Demand here.

2. Check out the Travel-Ready Center

Our Travel-Ready Center makes it easy to get a personalized overview of everything you need to do in preparation for your flight. Just enter your confirmation number or MileagePlus® number and you'll find detailed information on all the documents, tests and more that you'll need for your trip.

3. Read and sign the Ready-to-Fly checklist

Before completing check-in, all United travelers will need to read our Ready-to-Fly checklist and confirm that they understand and agree to our policies. These include:

Acknowledging that you haven't had any symptoms of COVID-19 in the last 14 days

Agreeing that you will not fly if you have tested positive for COVID-19 within the last 21 days

Confirming that you will follow all policies regarding face masks, social distancing and other health and safety measures we've adopted

4. Arrive early; avoid the stress

Airports can be busy, especially during peak travel periods like spring break season. The TSA advises arriving at the airport two hours before your flight for domestic travel and three hours for international travel in anticipation of long security lines. This can help ease the stress when navigating busy check-in areas, security lines and crowded boarding gates.

5. Get familiar with CleanPlus

United CleanPlus℠ is our commitment to delivering industry-leading cleanliness as we put health and safety at the forefront of your experience. We've teamed up with Clorox to redefine our cleaning and disinfection procedures and Cleveland Clinic to advise us on enhancing our cleaning and disinfection protocols, like:

Disinfecting high-touch areas on board and in the terminal

Using electrostatic spraying, Ultraviolet C lighting wands and more advanced measures to clean aircraft cabins before boarding

Redesigning our mobile app to allow for touchless check-in and contactless payment, along with enhanced travel assistance features

Implementing high-efficiency (HEPA) filters on our aircraft that completely recirculate cabin air every 2-3 minutes and remove 99.97% of airborne particles, including viruses and bacteria

Studies show COVID-19 exposure risk is minimal when air filtration systems and masks are in use, so you can rest assured that the steps we've taken to keep you safe truly make a difference.

6. Wear your mask

Federal law requires all travelers to wear a face mask in the airport, including customer service counters, airport lounges, gates and baggage claim, and on board during their entire flight. Make sure you review the requirements for face masks, including what an acceptable face mask looks like.

7. Get ready for a safer boarding process

To make boarding even safer, we now have travelers board their aircraft from back to front. At the gate, just listen for your row number to be called – we'll ask a few rows at a time to board, starting with the last row of the plane. This helps everyone maintain a safe distance from each other during boarding without slowing things down. As you step onto the plane, flight attendants will hand each passenger a sanitizing towelette, which you can use to wipe down your seat to ensure it's extra clean.

8. Pack smart

Before packing your bags, check to see what exactly you can carry on and what you should plan to check. You can also copy your confirmation number into our Baggage Calculator tool to learn about the bag allowance included with your reservation, as well as the cost of checking any additional bags.

9. Check your flight status, important notices and weather

Check the United app regularly for the latest updates on weather conditions, flight status, gate numbers and seat assignments. You can also visit our Important Notices page to find essential information and updates about travel waivers, international travel, TSA and security, airports and United Club locations.

10. Relax and enjoy your flight

Once you're on board, it's time to sit back and enjoy your flight. Our flight attendants will be happy to help you with anything else you need.

United joins UNICEF COVAX initiative

By The Hub team, February 19, 2021

This week, we were honored to become the first U.S. airline to join the UNICEF Humanitarian Airfreight Initiative to combat the COVID-19 pandemic by transporting the vaccine and other critically needed supplies to underserved areas of the globe.

"We are committed to helping the global community in any way we can, and we all must work together to do our part to bring this health and humanitarian crisis to an end," said Director of Cargo Specialty Products Manu Jacobs.

We will leverage our expertise to transport these critical pharmaceutical and healthcare shipments around the world safely, efficiently and expediently. We are proud to partner with the United Nations to support this global effort and provide equitable access to COVID-19 vaccines.

United cargo-only flights transport critical goods

By The Hub team

When the pandemic began, United Cargo knew it would be critical to utilize its fleet, network and industry-leading pharmaceutical handling processes to transport a COVID-19 vaccine when the time came.

Connecting vaccines to the world: United responds to mass distribution effort

December 22, 2020

On November 27, United Airlines became the first commercial airline to safely deliver the first batch of Pfizer and BioNTech's COVID-19 vaccine into the U.S. thanks to a coordinated effort between United's cargo, safety, technical operations, flight operations, regulatory and legal teams.

Now as the entire shipping and logistics industry bands together to widely distribute vaccines, United is leveraging all of its flights, including cargo-only and those carrying passengers, to transport millions of vaccines to destinations throughout our network, including Honolulu, Guam and Saipan – the first of any carrier to do so.

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