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October 19, 2003|Jane Engle

Satchmo's home opens for visitors

New York

The Queens house where jazz great Louis Armstrong lived and died opened for tours last week after a $1.6-million restoration.

The house is furnished as Armstrong and his fourth wife, Lucille, left it. It includes gold-plated bathroom fixtures, a walk-in closet where some of Lucille's dresses still hang and Armstrong's den with desk and tape deck.

Lucille bought the red brick house in the Corona section of Queens in 1943 and decorated it, all without Armstrong, who was often on the road.

When the trumpeter returned home from a tour, "he came inside, fell in love with the place and lived here for the rest of his life," said Michael Cogswell, director of the Armstrong archives at Queens College.

Louis Armstrong died in 1971. Lucille continued to live in the house until her death in 1983. The house was later given to the city to be administered by Queens College.

The home, at 34-56 107th St., is open Tuesdays through Sundays. Admission is $8 adults, $4 students and seniors. (718) 997-3670,

Associated Press

Four Seasons

climbs to top

rung in Miami

Four Seasons has staked a claim on the Miami skyline with its 70-story hotel project, which it says is the tallest building in the Florida city.

Besides 221 guest rooms, condominiums and offices, the Four Seasons Hotel and Towers in the financial district offers a Vegas-style two-acre tropical oasis on its seventh floor, with palm trees, chaise longues, three swimming pools and, of course, a poolside bar. A Sports Club/LA is to open later this year. Room rates begin at $325 per night.

Still to come this year are the 183-room Four Seasons Resort-Great Exuma at Emerald Bay in the Bahamas (Nov. 24) and the 144-room Four Seasons Resort-Jackson Hole in Wyoming (Dec. 16). For reservations or more information, (800) 819-5053 or

Bush vows to

crack down on

illegal Cuba trips

President Bush has asked the Department of Homeland Security to more strictly enforce restrictions on U.S. citizens traveling to Cuba.

U.S. law bars most travel to Cuba, with some exceptions, such as for visiting family, doing research or delivering humanitarian aid. "Those exceptions are too often used as cover for illegal business travel and tourism or to skirt the restrictions on carrying cash into Cuba," Bush said.

Only a fraction of the estimated 22,000 to 60,000 Americans who travel illegally to Cuba each year have been caught. The Treasury Department last year stepped up enforcement, penalizing about 450 alleged violators. Civil fines can range up to $55,000; criminal penalties can include 10 years in jail or a $250,000 fine.

For a summary of Cuba travel rules, visit (Click on "Sanctions Program and Country Summaries," then select "Cuba.")

Times staff and wires


Stay, shop and

save in Santa Fe

Room rates in Santa Fe, N.M., typically drop Nov. 1 for the winter off-season. As an added inducement, 12 bed-and-breakfast inns this year are giving their guests discounts at dozens of museums, shops, galleries, restaurants and salons. Savings on rooms vary. La Tienda Inn and Duran House, for instance, offer winter rates starting at $80 versus $115 in summer, plus $50 off the third night of a stay. (Note: Many deals don't apply to Thanksgiving and the Christmas-New Year's periods.)

For details on "Shop 'til You Drop" savings, call (505) 989-8259 (La Tienda Inn and Duran House) or visit


Tracing steps of

Lewis and Clark

Although not quite free, the new "Lewis and Clark Trail" map-guide is useful for retracing the explorers' steps. A cross-country map of the trail, with museums and interpretive centers, is on one side. The story of the 1804-to-1806 expedition to the West is on the other side.

Send $3 for postage and handling to the National Park Society, 5335 Whip Trail, Colorado Springs, CO 80917-2670; (800) 578-1883.

-- Compiled by

Jane Engle

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