Need to Know

Furnishings fit for a queen

An exhibition on the life and legacy of doomed French Queen Marie Antoinette runs through June 30 at the Galeries Nationales du Grand Palais, just off the Champs Élysées in Paris. Although the Grand Palais exhibition includes many of the paintings and busts the pretty young queen posed for, it focuses on the flowery, gold-gilded French Rococo style she promoted. Included in the show are the queen's mother-of-pearl desk from Fontainebleau Palace and a theatrical evocation (complete with bird song) of her Petit Trianon country home, created by opera director Robert Carsen. Info: In keeping with the theme, Concorde Hotels & Resorts is offering a Marie Antoinette exhibition package at seven hotels in Paris, including the Hotel du Louvre and the Hotel Lutetia on the Left Bank. Rates start at $300 per night, including free admission for two to the exhibition. A two-night minimum stay is required. Info: (800) 888-4747,


Susan Spano

Sun blocker

Go ahead and coat yourself with sunscreen. But that may not be enough to avoid the sun's ultraviolet rays, which, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, increase the risk of skin cancer and premature aging. That's why Lynn Rose, owner of Soleil Chic in Marina del Rey, started manufacturing hats and umbrellas made of a special fabric that blocks 97% of the sun's ultraviolet rays. The floppy, wide-brimmed hats, which sell for $39.95, have durable chin straps and can be washed by hand; the lightweight, fold-up umbrellas, priced at $35.95, come in deep purple, white and yellow. For info: (888) 296-7673,



Service to Japan

Taiwan-based EVA Airways began nonstop flights from LAX to Osaka, Japan, late last month, making it easier to reach Kyoto and other parts of southern Honshu. Flights, on Boeing 777s, leave Los Angeles on Tuesdays, Fridays and Sundays, stopping in Osaka before continuing to Taipei, Taiwan. The flight is nearly 12 hours long, but economy class passengers will have seat-back monitors (with SMS text messaging capability at $1.50 per message) and an audio/video on-demand entertainment system to keep them occupied, an airline spokeswoman said. Round-trip fares begin at $1,299 for weekday flights; higher on weekends. Info: (800) 695-1188,


Vani Rangachar

Happy birthday

"Anne of Green Gables," one of the best-loved heroines of millions of girls -- even 2007 Oscar nominee Abigail Breslin is a fan -- is turning 100 this year, and Prince Edward Island, Canada, the setting of the 1908 novel, is planning to throw a big blast. Starting in June, the party goes all summer long with many events, including a conference (June 25 to 29), country fair (July 3 to 6), readings (Wednesday evenings) and tours (at author Lucy Maud Montgomery's home in Cavendish), among other events, to honor the bestselling book. Info: (902) 566-3346, PEI is offering packages too; info at



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