Why Boxing Is the Hot Workout of 2019

HIT PARADE Title Boxing Club’s redesigned gyms feature classes inspired by pro pugilists’ workouts.
HIT PARADE Title Boxing Club’s redesigned gyms feature classes inspired by pro pugilists’ workouts.

At Rumble, a Manhattan fitness studio that could pass for a more hardcore version of SoulCycle, a swanky white entry decked in emoji-like logos and pop art leads to a crimson-lit workout room. Instead of bikes, however, the room is filled with bags, swinging under heavy assault.

Rumble—which launched in New York in 2016 before expanding to Los Angeles and San Francisco, and last year sold a minority stake to luxury mega-gym Equinox—is at the forefront of the boutique-ification of boxing, a sport more likely to evoke the sweaty ambience of “Rocky” than a Victoria’s Secret outlet. The combat sport has evolved into something a casual gym-goer might try. Among the catalysts: social media-savvy supermodels like Gigi Hadid, Kendall Jenner and Adriana Lima, and stylish male celebs like David Beckham, Chris Hemsworth, and Scott Eastwood—all of whom happily Instagram jabs and crosses.

“Celebrities started showing that boxing didn’t have to be grungy,” said Andy Stenzler, Rumble’s CEO. “That you didn’t have to hit each other to get a great workout.” Boxing may be a centuries-old sport, but the combination of inviting spaces, trainers who aren’t bullies and circuit-style classes feels fresh.

The action at Rumble.
The action at Rumble.

Aspiring sluggers spend half of each session clobbering the bags, the other half executing strength exercises using body weight, dumbbells and lighter brass knuckle weights ($36/class, including gloves, rumble-boxing.com).

At Rumble, the glossy leather gloves don’t reek of sweat; they’re stored on ski-boot heaters that kill bacteria. The teardrop-shaped bags don’t hurt your wrists; they’re filled with water, more forgiving than sand. And the sequences—described in punchy graphics beamed along the crown of each studio’s wall and synchronized to music—are easy to follow. There’s no fear of getting struck in the face by a classmate, either. “We want it to be fun, not intimidating,” said Mr. Stenzler.

Subtract the combat and boxing is still a killer total-body workout. “You’re constantly moving,” explained Chris Gagliardi, a certified personal trainer with the American Council of Exercise. “It’s challenging muscular endurance, strength, flexibility, body composition, your brain. You’re working on power, speed, balance, agility, coordination. It’s a lot of bang for your buck,” he said.

“You’re exhausted, dripping sweat, and have worked so hard you can’t hold your arms up,” added account executive Minna Ramos, 26, who trains at Rumble in New York. “But you walk out feeling confident, inspired. That’s what keeps me going.”

People just want to go hit something, and boxing is great to alleviate that stress in a very healthy way.

Americans have re-embraced boxing for reasons beyond the appeal of smart marketing and body benefits. “The world is more stressed than ever,” said Susan Boresow, president of Title Boxing Club, which was founded in 2008 and now operates more than 175 studios in the U.S. “People just want to go hit something, and boxing is a great way to alleviate that stress in a very healthy way.”

While Title’s gyms were originally designed with cage paneling and a dark, gritty atmosphere that paid homage to pugilists, the chain undertook a redesign influenced by the success of boutique gyms when it began franchising in 2012. “We rebranded with a brighter, cleaner look,” said Ms. Boresow—better lighting, light wood floors, pops of red. Title’s noncontact HIIT (high-intensity interval training) classes are inspired by workouts performed by pros like WBA welterweight champ Manny Pacquiao. And for today’s fitness-tracking nerds, some clubs feature bags with innovative sensors that measure how hard and how frequently you hit, displaying scores on wall-mounted TVs (memberships from $59/mo., titleboxingclub.com).

Meanwhile, Rumble is taking things further with At Home 360, a Peloton-esque venture that combines a Technogym boxing bag ($1,700, technogym.com) with a $39/mo. subscription for live and on-demand Rumble classes streamed to your smartphone.

Other cleaned-up gyms offer noncontact circuit classes: There’s Everybody Fights, in Boston and Kentucky; Shadowbox in Brooklyn, Dallas and Austin; and L.A.’s Mayweather Boxing + Fitness, owned by former world champ Floyd Mayweather, which plans to add 500 gyms in the next five years.

“It was just a matter of time before it became more appealing to the masses, thanks to the popularity of UFC and MMA,” said Mr. Gagliardi. “Now you have bright, open environments where you can still be hardcore”—a classic one-two punch.

PUNCH UP YOUR GYM BAG // Breaking in Your Own Boxing Gear Can Lead to a Better Workout
Why Boxing Is the Hot Workout of 2019

Everlast 1910 Gloves The name of these classic mitts pays homage to the year the iconic brand was born, but details, like premium leather, a ventilated palm and a flexible fit, are all modern. $80, everlast.com

Why Boxing Is the Hot Workout of 2019

Sanabul Elastic Pro Boxing Wraps Hand wraps keep sweat from KO’ing your gloves, but often harbor that stench instead. This set is made of a breathable polyester blend that won’t irritate skin. $7, sanabulsports.com

Why Boxing Is the Hot Workout of 2019

Reebok Boxing Boot Rereleased in 2018 with a new mid-cut design to allow for more flexibility, these boxing boots are crucial for nailing all that Ali-esque footwork without rolling an ankle. $100, reebok.com

Why Boxing Is the Hot Workout of 2019

Title Weighted Plastic Speed Rope Skipping rope is one of the most effective forms of cardio for improving endurance, balance and footwork; weighted handles add an extra challenge. $13, titleboxing.com

The Best and Worst U.S. Airlines of 2018

The Wall Street Journal’s annual ranking of eight major U.S. airlines tracks flight delays, mishandled baggage and formal complaints, so you don’t have to. WSJ’s Scott McCartney hands out the awards. Photo: Drew Evans/The Wall Street Journal.

Delta Air Lines is flying in one direction, American Airlines in the other. While Delta’s operation was best among major airlines, American remains stuck near the bottom when measuring its reliability against rival airlines.

How the Airlines Stack Up

The overall performances of the largest U.S. airlines on the Middle Seat scorecard, from 2016 to 2018.

The largest carrier ended up next-to-last in the annual Middle Seat scorecard ranking of eight major U.S. airlines. Only Frontier, dragged down by a contract dispute with pilots, performed worse overall in 2018.

This marked the 10th time in 11 years that American end up last or next-to-last in the scorecard, which ranks airlines on seven operational measures important to travelers. American’s results for 2018 were worse than 2017 in five of the seven categories.

The Best and Worst U.S. Airlines of 2018
Illustration: Rob Wilson

Delta has been in the top three every year since 2010, when it finished last. Over the past eight years, Delta has proved that a big airline can operate punctually.

Delta canceled less than 1% of its flights in 2018. American’s cancellation rate was nearly three times as high. Delta’s rate of lost or delayed baggage was half as bad as American’s. About 7% of Delta flights were late by 45 minutes or more. At Frontier, 15% of all flights suffered what are considered extreme delays.

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Alaska placed second overall, trailing Delta mostly because of higher rates of mishandled baggage and involuntary bumping of passengers.

Scorecard data come from the Transportation Department and from masFlight, the flight-data analytics unit of Global Eagle , which supplies services to airlines, cruise ships and others. (We don’t include Hawaiian Airlines because it doesn’t face the same mainland weather challenges.)

Frontier responded to questions about its last-place 2018 ranking with a statement saying the “operational disruption” resulted from contract negotiations with its pilots union. Negotiations took more than two years. Pilots ratified a new five-year contract last week. “While the disruption went on for longer than we had expected, we are pleased to be starting 2019 with a ratified collective bargaining agreement with our pilots,” company spokesman Jonathan Freed says.

Spirit, a low-cost carrier known for its low fares and high fees, showed significant improvement after placing next-to-last the previous three years. Spirit ranked fourth in 2018. It had the lowest rate of mishandled bags and nearly matched Delta’s rate of canceled flights.

2018 Airline Scorecard

Sort through the rankings of major carriers in key operational areas, best to worst

*JetBlue and United both ranked fifth in overall ranking

Sources: On-time, canceled flights and extreme delays data for full year 2018 from Global Eagle’s masFlight Analytics Platform; includes regional affiliate flights and international; Two-hour tarmac delays, mishandled baggage and consumer complaints from Transportation Department, based on 12 months ended in Oct.; DOT involuntary bumping based on 12 months ended September

Overall, last year was a challenging one for airlines and their passengers. This year may be even more turbulent if the government shutdown drags on and sporadic long security lines turn into major checkpoint meltdowns. In 2018, airlines didn’t run into big hurricanes like 2017, but last year persistent bad weather caused lots of delays at hub airports. United says nearly 7% of its flights during the year were affected by thunderstorms. Atlanta, Delta’s largest hub, had more than 70 inches of rain in 2018, the second-wettest year on record, according to the National Weather Service.

Delta repeated as champion in the Middle Seat scorecard rankings.
Delta repeated as champion in the Middle Seat scorecard rankings. Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto/ZUMA Press

The eight major carriers included in the scorecard posted an on-time arrivals rate of 78.9%, down slightly from 79.6% in 2017, according to masFlight. The airlines canceled about 5,000 more flights in 2018 than in 2017.

The good news: Fewer bags were mishandled, fewer passengers were bumped from flights and fewer complaints were filed with the DOT.

United ended up in the middle of the pack, in a tie with JetBlue for fifth place. The carrier says its “controllable” cancellation rate—cancellations from airline problems, not weather—was the best in its history. But weather weighed heavily on operations. Storms were more powerful and lasted longer, says Jim DeYoung, vice president of network operations.

“We’re very happy with our performance in 2018,” he says.

Delta says it had 143 days without a single cancellation among its mainline and regional flights, up from 90 no-cancellation days in 2017. In 2018, the airline saw only 55 flights canceled because of maintenance problems. In 2010, it had more than 5,000 maintenance cancellations, says Gil West, Delta’s chief operating officer.

Spirit, a low-cost airline known for cheap fares and high fees, significantly improved its operations last year, moving up from seventh place to fourth place among major carriers. Spirit was best in baggage handling and had almost the same rate of canceled flights as No. 1 Delta. But it still is near the bottom in complaints.
Spirit, a low-cost airline known for cheap fares and high fees, significantly improved its operations last year, moving up from seventh place to fourth place among major carriers. Spirit was best in baggage handling and had almost the same rate of canceled flights as No. 1 Delta. But it still is near the bottom in complaints. Photo: Saul Martinez/Bloomberg News

But the key to reliability last year, he says, was how each airline performed during bad weather. “Even though our weather’s gotten worse, our gap to the other carriers has increased quite a bit,” Mr. West says.

One example: Delta spent more than $20 million last year to buy a dozen additional deicing trucks in Atlanta and build more deicing pads where airplanes get sprayed with chemicals that are collected in drains. That reduced cancellations and delays, Mr. West says.

“In one day, we’ll save 100 cancellations during a deicing event in Atlanta,” Mr. West says.

American and United say their hubs also got hit hard by bad weather. Dallas-Fort Worth, American’s largest hub, had the second-wettest year on record, with record rainfall in February, September and October, according to the weather service. The summer also was tough for American. In June, a lengthy computer outage at a regional subsidiary piled up delays in Charlotte. In addition, engine fan blade inspections required across the industry after a fatal accident on Southwest chewed up a lot of time for mechanics, delaying some nonessential summer prep work.

As a result, American says cancellations and delays from mechanical issues increased. But performance improved in the fall and during winter holiday periods, says Kerry Philipovitch, senior vice president for customer experience. “It’s not our plan to remain in last place” among the big three U.S. carriers, she says.

American finished next-to-last in the 2018 airline rankings. It was the 10th time in the 11-year history of the rankings that American placed in the bottom two.
American finished next-to-last in the 2018 airline rankings. It was the 10th time in the 11-year history of the rankings that American placed in the bottom two. Photo: Christian Van Grinsven/SOPA Images/Zuma Press

American says it is undertaking a number of initiatives to improve. The carrier is standardizing procedures at airports to speed up unloading and reloading planes. It’s also standardizing planes so that each 777-200, for example, has the same number of seats and can be used interchangeably when one breaks down.

“We’re starting to see some really good traction with some of the initiatives that we’ve launched,” says David Seymour, American’s senior vice president for integrated operations.

American says it is still working through some aspects of integration with US Airways. Delta merged with Northwest and United merged with Continental several years before American and US Airways combined, and American executives argue that’s a big reason why operational improvement lags behind rival airlines.

Yet Delta and United showed improvement within four years of closing their respective mergers. American’s merger closed five years ago.


Write to Scott McCartney at middleseat@wsj.com

Appeared in the January 17, 2019, print edition.

The Easiest Way to Eat More Healthy Fish

It’s hard to argue with a dish so simple its name is essentially the recipe. The third Slow Food Fast contribution from chefs Colin Stringer and Jeremy Wolfe of Nonesuch in Oklahoma City combines roasted sardines with freshly baked flatbread, creamy yogurt and a scattering of herbs and radishes.

At Nonesuch, the chefs use only ingredients they can source within the state, and that does not include sardines. This is more the sort of meal they would throw together at home, when they’re off the clock.

Brief, Foolproof Itineraries to Six European Cities

Producer Mike Todd and actress Evelyn Keyes in Venice on location for the 1956 film ‘Around the World in 80 Days.’
Producer Mike Todd and actress Evelyn Keyes in Venice on location for the 1956 film ‘Around the World in 80 Days.’ Photo: Everett Collection

After a week of road-tripping through the Alps that landed us in Verona, Italy, for a few days, a friend in our group announced he’d never been to Venice, an hour train ride away. The rest of us gasped, “Never been to Venice?” It was so close but—alas—too far to make us anything but day-trippers in one of the world’s most complex cities. “So what?” said the friend. “So what?” said we all.

The next morning, we boarded a gondola after arriving at Stazione Santa Lucia, headed for St. Mark’s Square to have coffee with the pigeons. We strolled past the Campanile, peeked into the plush Daniela hotel, and stared for a while at iconic Santa Maria della Salute. We even took time for a tour of St. Mark’s Basilica and also found our way to the Rialto Bridge, where we loaded up on sausage and cheese from the surrounding market for the return trip to Verona. Nothing felt rushed. It was an inspirational day for all of us. And now when asked, “Have you been to Venice?” our friend can say with confidence, “Yes, I was there for a while. Quite a while.”

You too can play this game: Visit a European bucket-list city in 18 hours or less. Overnights are not required. Perhaps your cruise ship is docked nearby. Or you’re staying in another city, but the high-speed trains make a day trip awfully tempting. The rules: 1. Make your destination a big, swoon-worthy city that notches up your travel cred. 2. Come back with bragging rights, but nothing so crass as a souvenir. Instead, pick up a Learned On Location (LOL) observation that shows you were paying attention. 3. Feel no guilt. The use of these bucket-list supplements in no way constitutes cheating.

Brief, Breezy and Foolproof Itineraries to 6 European Cities
Photo: Alamy

The Eurostar from Paris or Brussels arrives at St. Pancras, a beautifully restored Victorian station with little of interest immediately outside its doors. The solution is to grab a cab (or take the Tube) to Liverpool Street Station and climb onto a No. 11 bus. Sit in the front seat upstairs and watch London roll by like a movie, as you pass the Royal Exchange, Bank of England and St. Paul’s Cathedral; chug along Fleet Street; scoot around Trafalgar Square and down Whitehall to the Houses of Parliament and Westminster Abbey—all the way to Chelsea and along the King’s Road. The trip might take an hour; never do it at rush hour. It’s the closest thing to a guided tour without the shame.

Quick Bite St. Pancras is such a showplace since its 2007 renovation, you’ll want an excuse to spend time there. Dining is easy at more than a dozen places: Prime Burger (with a kids menu); Betjeman Arms (upscale pub grub); or the Gilbert Scott, an elegant dining room from top-chef Marcus Wareing (prime-burger.co.uk, thebetjemanarms.co.uk, thegilbertscott.com).

LOL Observation To return to St. Pancras, consider a spacious black cab. You’ll not only ride in high style but you’ll gain the right to crow about how much money you saved on these notoriously pricey taxis—the British pound is close to a 20-month low against the dollar.


The Spanish conveniently located the Museo del Prado—loaded with paintings by Velásquez, Goya and El Greco—just up the leafy Paseo del Prado from Atocha Station, where the high-speed trains from France pull in. More modern works are just across from road from the station, at the Reina Sofía and, farther along the Paseo, at the Thyssen-Bornemisza. If you feel like gorging on art, this is the city in which to do it.

Quick Bite Lunch at the Westin Palace (across from Thyssen-Bornemisza), under the stained-glass dome of La Rotonda. Alternately, grab sashimi and tapas in the hotel’s Green T Sushi Bar (7 Plaza de las Cortes, marriott.com).

LOL Observation Buy stamps at the main post office, a Baroque landmark, on the Paseo, and load up on postcards of your favorite works from some of the museums to reinforce your art-history lesson. Send them to friends. Postcards are the new Instagram; you heard it here first.

Brief, Breezy and Foolproof Itineraries to 6 European Cities
Photo: Alamy

Start at Karlsplatz, not far from the main rail station, and stroll the half-dozen pedestrian-only blocks through a wonderland of pastel houses, stepped gables and windows dripping with geraniums, on down to the Rathaus. Up in the tower of Munich’s City Hall, the Glockenspiel pops out carved historical figures. It’s a revolving rock-around-the-clock with jousting knights and a happy Medieval couple at their royal wedding. All along the route, the green onion domes of the Frauenkirche watch over Bavaria World like twin guardian angels who’ve never heard of Disney .

Quick Bite Halfway to the Rathaus, Zum Augustiner Restaurant und Bierhalle serves its own beer—originally brewed by the Augustine monks—and feeds you half-roasted chickens with mounds of nap-inducing potato salad (27 Neuhauserstrasse, augustiner-restaurant.com).

LOL Observation Only servers in beer halls and restaurants sport dirndls and lederhosen—which like any flight attendant’s garb, are uniforms for work.

Brief, Breezy and Foolproof Itineraries to 6 European Cities
Photo: Alamy

Never let the Seine out of your sight. Get yourself to the Île de La Cité, the historic heart of Paris, where you’re officially on the Right Bank but really between Left and Right. You can walk to Notre-Dame; the Conciergerie, where Marie Antoinette was imprisoned; and lose yourself in the Place Dauphine, a secret courtyard halfway across the Pont Neuf that’s easy to miss. At the western tip of the island, a triangular park known as the Vert Galant juts into the Seine like the prow of a ship. There, you can stay put and let Paris flow by.

Quick Bites Pick a place on the Place Dauphine such as La Bar du Caveau and lunch with lawyers from the Palais de Justice; its dignified facade walls off one side of the square.

LOL Observation Ogle the books and literary knickknacks at the oft-photographed, weathered green stalls of the booksellers that line the stone walls along Île de La Cité. In Paris, you must break the no-tchotchke rule and buy a little something; after all, souvenir is a French word.


Michelangelo’s perfectly proportioned Piazza del Campidoglio, home to Rome’s City Hall, puts you at the top of history’s most remarkable junk heap—the glorious if crumbling marble arches and columns of the Roman Forum. From behind City Hall, the Colosseum is clearly in view, and you can survey the Seven Hills (you’re on Capitoline). Michelangelo built on the spot where the Emperors received the chariot-driving legions, back from battle with the good news that they went, they saw, they conquered. And what exactly is that enormous marble “wedding cake” devouring the cityscape in the other direction? A 20th-century monument to Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of a unified Italy, which speaks—loudly—for itself.

Quick Bite Grab a panini at the snack bar in the Capitoline Museum, next to City Hall, with 360-degree views from the terrace (Palazzo dei Conservatori, museicapitolini.org).

LOL Observation The letters SPQR embedded in the manhole covers all over the city stand for Senatus Populusque Romanus, the emblem of the Roman Empire and still used today by the municipal authorities.

Brief, Breezy and Foolproof Itineraries to 6 European Cities
Photo: © Wiener Staatsballett / Ashley Taylor

Check into the Hotel Sacher, melodically located on Philharmonikerstrasse, where Graham Greene is said to have written “The Third Man,” the classic noir mystery set in postwar Vienna. The concierge will have tickets for whatever is playing at the famous opera house, across the street. Do not worry if performances are sold out; the Sacher will have tickets, very expensive ones. Window-shop down to St. Stephen’s Cathedral along car-free Kärtnerstrasse. (from about $500 a night, sacher.com).

Quick Bite A Sacher torte and kaffee mit schlag, coffee with whipped cream, at the Sacher.

LOL Observation The Wiener Staatsoper, one of the grandest of the world’s grand old opera houses, is enormous, but the actual theater is almost cozy—1,700 seats—for an opera house. In contrast, New York’s Metropolitan has 3,800 seats, which can make some performances feel more like well-sung soccer matches.

‘Black Monday’ Plays the Wall Street Crash for Laughs

Andrew Rannells, left, and Don Cheadle, center, star in Showtime’s new TV series ‘Black Monday.’
Andrew Rannells, left, and Don Cheadle, center, star in Showtime’s new TV series ‘Black Monday.’ Photo: SHOWTIME

Ever since the movie “Wall Street” fixed the world of cutthroat stockbrokers in the popular imagination more than 30 years ago, screenwriters have returned to that setting for stories about money and power.

That, plus scenes of excess and debauchery, which was the bigger selling point for the creators of Showtime’s new comedy “Black Monday.” Set to premiere on Sunday, the series conjures its own version of what led to the market crash of 1987, complete with a long con, piles of cocaine and jokes that would trigger human-resources investigations in today’s workplaces.

Don Cheadle stars as an impulsive trader who captains a misfit firm with his more levelheaded lieutenant, played by Regina Hall.Andrew Rannells plays a square who lands with the firm after he and his computerized trading program fall flat.

‘Black Monday’ creates its own version of what led to the market crash of 1987, with a cast that includes, from top left, Yassir Lester, Eugene Cordero and Paul Scheer; from bottom left, Andrew Rannells and Regina Hall.
‘Black Monday’ creates its own version of what led to the market crash of 1987, with a cast that includes, from top left, Yassir Lester, Eugene Cordero and Paul Scheer; from bottom left, Andrew Rannells and Regina Hall. Photo: SHOWTIME

“Black Monday” revels in period status symbols such as suspenders and double-breasted suits. Mr. Cheadle’s character is ferried around New York in a Lamborghini-limousine hybrid and boasts about hiring Don Henley to perform at his birthday party. Showtime, whose other high-finance series, “Billions,” is set in the 21st century, joined in the ’80s shtick for “Black Monday” by resurrecting a vintage logo and jingle (“It’s Showtime tonight!”) for the new show’s title credits.

The show’s producers say the stock-market setting gave them a way to make a comedy with high stakes. “At most jobs, getting fired would be the worst day ever. On Wall Street, you can lose everything and be penniless by the end of the day,” says executive producer Jordan Cahan, a creator of the series with writing partner David Caspe, whose father was a Chicago-based commodities trader in the ’80s.

Filmmakers and TV producers have often portrayed financiers as aggressive and reckless as a way to illustrate Wall Street’s flaws. As Gordon Gekko in Oliver Stone’s “Wall Street,” Michael Douglas made “greed is good” one of the memorable lines of the 1980s. More recently, Leonardo DiCaprio’s drugged-out pump-and-dump scammer in 2013’s “The Wolf of Wall Street” represented director Martin Scorsese’s reaction to the financial crisis.

In contrast, “Black Monday” seeks to lampoon the types of characters who typified Wall Street then and linger in the working world today. “We really tried to be careful to make it clear that we’re satirizing that culture, not celebrating it,” says Mr. Cahan.

In the first episode, for example, traders riff on the similar nicknames they have given the cocaine they buy and the prostitutes they hire. However, while “Black Monday” depicts drug use aplenty, producers of the pay-cable series say they chose not to depict any female nudity.

“That was a way to illustrate the problem without having to also be part of the problem as television producers,” Mr. Caspe says.

Mr. Cheadle, an Oscar nominee for “Hotel Rwanda,” was recruited for “Black Monday” by David Nevins, head of Showtime and chief creative officer of parent company CBS, along with “Black Monday” executive producers Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg. The show’s creators, who had written the pilot script seven years ago, rewrote it around Mr. Cheadle and the angle of an African-American investment whiz taking on blue-blooded rivals, including fictional Lehman Brothers twins who are both played by Ken Marino.

“That’s an opportunity to talk about and deal with things we wouldn’t have if the casting goal was, ‘Get me Gordon Gekko 2.0,’ ” Mr. Cheadle says.

In the mid-’80s, he was starting his career with parts in films such as “Hamburger Hill” and “Colors,” when a booming and soon-to-bust stock market produced a new template for heroes and villains. “Black Monday” gets into the human flaws behind that, he says, though he’s not analyzing any of it too deeply.

“It’s not a polemic on greed,” Mr. Cheadle says. “It’s more like, ‘Watch these idiots try to navigate this insane time when people were wilding out.’ ”

Beyond ‘Wall Street’

  • “The Big Short”: Director Adam McKay’s 2015 film tackles complex instruments of finance as it follows a hedge fund manager (Christian Bale) and other players who discover a way to exploit the bursting of the housing bubble.
  • “Margin Call”: Singled out by Wall Street hands as one of Hollywood’s most realistic depictions of their environment, this 2011 thriller by writer and director J.C. Chandor captures 24 hours inside an investment firm facing disaster.
  • “Boiler Room”: Long before “The Wolf of Wall Street,” this 2000 movie starring Giovanni Ribisi and Ben Affleck explored the investment world’s underbelly of cold calls and pump-and-dump schemes.
  • “Working Girl”: Melanie Griffith led director Mike Nichols’s 1988 urban fairy tale and time capsule of yuppie fashion. She plays a secretary whose boss (Sigourney Weaver) steals her idea for a merger, so she pulls a ruse of her own to get ahead.
  • “Trading Places”: From “Animal House” director John Landis, this 1983 comedy starring Eddie Murphy and Dan Aykroyd hinges on a social experiment and a surprisingly detailed plot involving orange-juice futures.

Write to John Jurgensen at john.jurgensen@wsj.com

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What to Know About Airport Security During the Government Shutdown

This year is off to a turbulent start because the government shutdown has led to fewer TSA screeners on duty, lengthening lines for some travelers. Atlanta, seen here, saw delays on Monday morning.
This year is off to a turbulent start because the government shutdown has led to fewer TSA screeners on duty, lengthening lines for some travelers. Atlanta, seen here, saw delays on Monday morning. Photo: Elijah Nouvelage/Bloomberg News

Airport checkpoints staffed by the Transportation Security Administration are the retail face of the government—a place where the public interacts directly with federal employees. The government shutdown has left travelers with many questions. Here are some answers.

What should I do if I’m traveling?

Show up early, although that can backfire if it means arriving in the early-morning hours when staffing may still be sorting out and a crush of passengers arrives for the first departures of the day.

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If your airport has multiple checkpoints, ask airline ticket-counter agents or airport customer service reps if one has a shorter line than another. Sometimes walking to an alternate checkpoint can save time.

Check your airport’s website to see if it posts TSA wait times. Many do now, although the information can be dated. You may see no wait when you leave home but encounter a long wait when you arrive at the airport.

How much have wait times increased?

Think of it as summer crowds at the checkpoints. TSA says that on Monday, 94.3% of passengers waited less than 15 minutes in standard lanes and PreCheck passengers on average waited less than 10 minutes.

After last summer, TSA said during peak days 97% of passengers waited less than 20 minutes in standard lanes and 94% of PreCheck passengers waited less than five minutes.

The time periods are different, but the experience seems comparable. What’s different now is that there seem to be pop-up problems when a bunch of screeners at a particular airport call in sick.

On Monday morning, for example, Atlanta had a maximum wait time of 88 minutes at standard screening lanes and 55 minutes at PreCheck, according to TSA. Dallas Love Field had a maximum wait of 41 minutes for standard, but only five minutes maximum for PreCheck.

But for the most part, there were quite normal operations Monday. The maximum wait at Chicago O’Hare, for example, was 16 minutes. Denver, which often has long lines, was only 14 minutes. Seattle was 20 minutes.

In San Francisco, screeners work for a private contractor and are still getting paid. Monday’s wait times had SFO right in the mix with airports that did have increased sick calls. SFO’s maximum standard-screening wait was 18 minutes and its maximum PreCheck wait was four minutes. Orlando, Fla., and Las Vegas had exactly the same wait times. New York Kennedy was 18 minutes for standard and three minutes for PreCheck. Philadelphia and Phoenix were both 17 minutes for standard and five minutes for PreCheck.

Following typical traffic patterns, security lines moved faster on Tuesday, the TSA says.

Are PreCheck and private security-line services like Clear affected?

If this doesn’t convince you to sign up for Customs and Border Protection’s Global Entry program, which includes PreCheck, or to just sign up for PreCheck, I’m not sure what will. PreCheck waits remain shorter than standard. Clear is a service that gets you to the front of PreCheck or standard screening, depending on what you qualify for, and can save some time. As always, if you want to avoid long lines, pay up.

Is there a difference between domestic and international trips?

No, we all go through the same TSA screening. Be aware that some checkpoints near gates with lots of international flights may be very crowded in the afternoon before departures to Europe.

Also, if booking international flights with connections, you might want to leave extra time to clear Customs. There haven’t been reports of any shortage of CBP officers, but if the shutdown drags on, it’d be prudent to plan accordingly.

Is there a difference between big hubs and smaller airports?

No, there doesn’t appear to be. The longest wait on Monday at Los Angeles International was 14 minutes. Hartford, Conn., far smaller, had a maximum wait of 19 minutes. But Austin, Texas, also smaller than LAX, had a maximum of 11 minutes.

How much has airline travel been disrupted in general due to the shutdown?

Not much. Thankfully, this is a very slow travel period in terms of passengers per day. January was the slowest travel month in 2018—things start picking up in February with school vacations and Presidents Day weekend.

This January may be even slower because the shutdown is reducing business travel. Delta Air Lines , for example, says government contractors and employees are canceling trips, and the shutdown cost the airline $25 million in reduced revenue this month.

Air-traffic control operations have been relatively normal. Controllers are deemed essential and are showing up even though they won’t be paid until after the shutdown ends. There are speed bumps that don’t directly affect travelers, such as a freeze on new aircraft certification, new licenses for mechanics and other workers.

The sickout by TSA screeners, who are also deemed essential, has been significant. It has created occasional very long lines at some airports, particularly in the early morning when lots of passengers show up. And the problem for travelers is you don’t really know when or where the long line might be. Most everything else has been normal.

Is it safe to travel during the shutdown?

As safe as any other day. Much of TSA screening no longer requires much human decision-making. Dogs are very effective at detecting explosive materials and are more widely deployed. Software in screening machines flags things for screeners with more precision. The agency is running checkpoints with all key posts filled, so the screening you get should be standard. Lacking employees, it’s shutting down some lanes and creating longer lines, not skimping on screeners on lanes that are open.

(Get Scott McCartney’s weekly look at the ups and downs of airline travel in The Middle Seat newsletter.)


Write to Scott McCartney at middleseat@wsj.com

Manolo Blahnik on Andy Warhol, His Men’s Collection and Sneaker Culture

Designer Manolo Blahnik.
Designer Manolo Blahnik. Photo: David Hughes

“Every second, I am looking for one thing: beauty and happiness,” says Manolo Blahnik. “Okay—two things!” Since opening his first shop in London’s Chelsea neighborhood in 1973, the designer’s business has grown into a global brand with more than 300 points of sale worldwide, four women’s collections per year and a fervent fan base. And while women have been the primary beneficiaries, lining up for shoes and personal appearances from Blahnik, his label is now expanding to include shoes for men.

In February, he will launch a full men’s collection in the U.S. comprised of 10 styles, including classic brogues and ponyhair evening slippers. WSJ. spoke with the designer to discuss where he finds inspiration and his thoughts on the proliferation of the sneaker.

WSJ.: Some of your very first designs in London were for men.

Manolo Blahnik: Oh yes. Before the ladies, I started doing men’s shoes. In the ‘70s, it was a different kind of London, so I did crazy shoes. There was so much freedom and it was very spontaneous. We had no idea how much we were going to make, or who was going to buy them. At the time all my friends, my colleagues, designers never thought about how this shoe or this dress or this bag was going to make money. That’s the feeling we had—whatever you had in your head, you put it in your pen. David Bowie and Mick and Bianca [Jagger]—all those boys were wearing them.

How did the relationships with some of your first clients like Andy Warhol develop?

Manolo Blahnik on His New Men’s Shoe Collection
Photo: F. Martin Ramin/The Wall Street Journal, Styling by Anne Cardena

Oh my God, Andy was wonderful. When I opened the first time on Madison Avenue—a very tiny shop—Andy used to come in and ask how we were doing. People never impress me, but Andy did have something extraordinary. You say that when people are dead and it sounds so fake, but he did have something special. He was very generous with me.

New York at the time was very different from now. It was much more like a little village in the sense you knew everybody in seconds. It was all about people having parties, people going places. Maybe now too, but I find young people difficult to understand. Now they’re all in this technological world. It’s very cold, very horrid.

Your business has grown immensely since the 1970s and will now include a men’s collection—how did you approach expansion?

I never really approached it thinking I was “building” a business because I was having a wonderful time and I loved what I was doing. At the time it was very innocent, kind of childish. I went to the bank to borrow money and they asked if I had any collateral. I said, “Not really, I have my apartment, but it’s not collateral.” Of course now it’s a proper, serious-minded collaboration with a lot of people. My niece is the person building things and developing the business in other countries. I don’t care so much about that stuff. I like beautiful things and beautiful people. Beautiful drawings. Shoes. These are the things that interest me.

You’ve said you never have an inspiration block. Where do you start?

I’m such a visual person. Sometimes I’m consciously seeking inspiration and sometimes I’ll just be reading a book and it strikes. And paintings. Paintings do the trick for me. 18th and 19th-century paintings—the things nowadays that may not be considered modern. A bit bonbon.

But it’s harder these days. You can’t evoke a moment in history or a feeling because everything is so global, everyone is doing something that is being done somewhere else. I find it very disturbing. When I was young, I went to see Jefferson Airplane in Washington, D.C. Can you imagine I went to see Jimi Hendrix in London a year before he died?

I’ve been through many periods in my life and each has been prescient in my work. That’s why I use so many references from the past—because I’ve been there. American culture at the time was the most extraordinary thing to a European young man or woman, especially the musicians of that late ‘60s and early ‘70s. I very much enjoyed this culture that is now gone.

And you work alone? How do you collaborate with the factories?

Oh yes, I would go mad if I worked with a team. I cut the first heel or I do the first sample, then someone helps develop it. I can’t stand in front of the machine too long.

When I go to the factory in Tuscany, I have a team. I have wonderful people. Many have been doing this all their lives and have an incredible knowledge. They’re fifth generation, I believe.

Many of your women’s shoes are quite opulent and whimsical. Is that in store for men’s?

I don’t see too much difference nowadays. Male culture is different, yes, but I see something changing. I’ve been doing color oxfords and derbies. Really shocking colors. And they’re selling! I have a new young customer who would buy these things. Not everybody wants trainers. Those gaudy, vulgar trainers with gold and jewels and things. I find them really unacceptable. In that respect, I’m very old-fashioned. Prehistoric, even. But I do understand they have a novelty.

They’ve moved way beyond a trend. What are your thoughts on the culture of sneakers?

What I find really obscene are the prices for these ugly things. And some of the designs are grotesque, some are way too much. This is the nature of fashion though. It changes. But how can it be possible to run in them?

This interview has been edited and condensed.

‘Dynasties’ Focuses on the Family Drama of Lions and Penguins

A Bengal tiger in India’s Bandhavgarh National Park in the new BBC series ‘Dynasties.’
A Bengal tiger in India’s Bandhavgarh National Park in the new BBC series ‘Dynasties.’ Photo: BBC America

Like so many of their counterparts working with human characters, wildlife filmmakers are tapping into families to inject their footage with some drama.

“Dynasties,” a five-part television series produced by BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit and narrated by David Attenborough, follows different animal clans in each episode, showing how lions, chimpanzees, tigers, painted wolves and emperor penguins survive through pivotal changes.

Producers asked behavioral scientists to help identify animal communities facing a turning point, then embedded film crews with those clans to document it. One unit in Kenya spent 420 days filming a lion pride abandoned by adult males and led by a matriarch whose cubs weren’t yet old enough to hunt. A crew in Senegal walked up to 15 miles a day to shadow a troop of chimpanzees, including one with a mangled ear that fought and forged alliances to retain his alpha-male status.

‘Dynasties’ follows groups of penguins and other animals on the brink of change.
‘Dynasties’ follows groups of penguins and other animals on the brink of change. Photo: BBC America

It was a risky strategy to focus on relatively small groups of animals after the success of shows such as “Planet Earth” that take an epic, sweeping approach to depicting nature.

“Dynasties” executive producer Michael Gunton, who also produced “Planet Earth II,” says he wanted to draw on the audience demand for meaty TV dramas. “These are observational documentaries, but ‘casting’ them and finding the right characters that were likely to have these tensions allowed us to sort of exploit that dramatic form.”

At the same time, the filmmakers say they were careful not to anthropomorphize their wildlife stars. Footage is presented in the order it was shot and doesn’t include re-creations or scenes in which one animal stands in for another, Mr. Attenborough says.

“In the past, there had been attempts to make the equivalent of this story, and that would involve all kinds of devices and taking liberties with the footage,” says the 92-year-old narrator, who started making natural-history films in the 1950s.

Thanks to marathon field work and advances such as drone-operated cameras, Mr. Attenborough adds, “the type of shooting now is quite different than the theatrical style that we had done before. This is the reality. This is what happens, and the surprise is that the stories are as thrilling and unexpected and as riveting as they are.”

“Dynasties” premieres Saturday on AMC Networks ’s AMC, BBC America, IFC and Sundance.

Write to John Jurgensen at john.jurgensen@wsj.com

For Children With Cancer, Hope for New Treatments

Louie Wallace and his 6-year-old daughter, Avalynn, who is battling an aggressive form of leukemia.
Louie Wallace and his 6-year-old daughter, Avalynn, who is battling an aggressive form of leukemia. Photo: Cayce Clifford for The Wall Street Journal

The health-care industry is preparing for a new law that researchers say will mean more treatments for pediatric cancers, which are the leading cause of death from disease among children.

The legislation, which requires pharmaceuticals companies to test potential cancer drugs on children as well as adults, goes into effect in 2020. Companies already are ramping up and some plan children’s drug trials this year.

“It is an incredibly exciting time,” said Crystal Mackall, a pediatric-cancer researcher and professor of pediatrics at Stanford University School of Medicine. “We have lots of drug companies who want to speak with us suddenly. Before, we went hat in hand, cajoling.”

For years, pharmaceuticals companies balked at trials of children’s cancer drugs, which they viewed as risky and unprofitable, some pediatric-cancer doctors said. While adult cancer drugs can be lucrative, drug companies said kids’ cancer drugs aren’t profitable because of the relatively small market. Of the estimated 1.7 million projected new cases of cancer in the U.S. in 2018, 10,590 involved children age 14 and younger, the American Cancer Society said.

Dr. Norman Lacayo, with his patient, Avalynn, will run a clinical trial of an adult leukemia drug on children whose leukemia has relapsed.
Dr. Norman Lacayo, with his patient, Avalynn, will run a clinical trial of an adult leukemia drug on children whose leukemia has relapsed. Photo: Cayce Clifford for The Wall Street Journal

Dr. Mackall’s colleague, Norman Lacayo, a pediatric oncologist at Stanford’s Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, said Europe has been much tougher than America on getting drug makers to test therapies on children.

“We were jealous of Europe, where they forced all companies to have pediatric investigational plans for all drugs and we didn’t have that,” Dr. Lacayo said.

In the U.S., the landscape is changing. This summer at Stanford, Dr. Lacayo will launch a clinical trial of an adult leukemia drug made by Roche on children whose leukemia has relapsed. The trial may help some of his patients, such as 6-year-old Avalynn Wallace, who contracted an aggressive form of leukemia two years ago. Following many chemotherapy rounds, Avalynn kept relapsing and developed infections. She had a stem-cell transplant in September.

“I don’t think there are many options for us,” said her mother, Nicole Wallace. “I think that it is important for drug companies to offer trials for drugs that could cure these horrific diseases children go through.”

More than 80% of children with cancer are cured. However, some pediatric cancers resist treatment and doctors have few courses to recommend. “It is a nightmare for families who have no options. When I see these poor families walk in with their children, you see on their faces their suffering and despair,” Dr. Lacayo said. The trial of Roche’s drug—and similar tests on children elsewhere in the U.S.—will offer hope, he said.

Dr. Hubert Caron expects new therapies for children with cancer to emerge in the next five to 10 years.
Dr. Hubert Caron expects new therapies for children with cancer to emerge in the next five to 10 years. Photo: Roche

Hubert Caron, who leads the pediatric oncology team at Roche, called the legislation “a game-changer” that will yield more treatments for children with incurable cancers. Roche, of Basel, Switzerland, had already been focusing on kids’ cancers globally, Dr. Caron said, but the U.S. legislation is spurring his company and others to do more, such as the coming trial at Stanford. The drug, Idasanutlin, also will be tested this year on children at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York. MSK and Stanford are working on the trial with Genentech, Roche’s U.S. pharmaceuticals unit. “We will be seeing major changes in therapies for children in the next five to 10 years,” Dr. Caron predicted.

In 2017, Congress passed the Research to Accelerate Cures and Equity for Children Act, requiring companies to run clinical trials on targeted cancer drugs for kids. Targeted drugs aim to attack genes or proteins specific to cancer cells without harming healthy cells. The RACE for Children Act followed years of advocacy by Nancy Goodman, who lost a child to brain cancer and founded Kids v Cancer, a nonprofit, to push for more research.

Given few cancer drugs for children, pediatric oncologists said, they have been using ones intended for adults on their young patients. “Most of the drugs we use to treat and cure childhood cancer were developed in the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. It falls off pretty quickly after that,” said Peter Adamson, a pediatric oncologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. “There have been cancer drugs developed primarily for children, but the list is quite short.”

Avalynn developed infections after having chemotherapy. She had a stem-cell transplant in September.
Avalynn developed infections after having chemotherapy. She had a stem-cell transplant in September. Photo: Cayce Clifford for The Wall Street Journal

Ms. Goodman, whose son, Jacob, was diagnosed in 2007, said she kept hearing about advances against cancer in grown-ups: “I wondered why new treatments were only being developed for adults, not children, with cancer.”

While other legislative efforts tried to get drug companies to do more kids’ research, the firms invariably found loopholes, researchers said; RACE is expected to change that.

Seventeen-year-old Mary Tankersley, who was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a cancer of the bones, when she was 11, is optimistic about the legislation. She beat osteosarcoma and now is an advocate with the Rally Foundation for Childhood Cancer Research, an Atlanta-based group promoting and funding pediatric-cancer research. “I am not scared of my cancer coming back,” she said. “But if it did—that I could have better treatments: that brings a lot of hope.”

Giselle Saulnier Sholler, director of pediatric-oncology research at Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, Mich., said drug companies have contacted her, offering treatments they consider worthy of clinical trials. Dr. Sholler said she is talking with Amgen , a biotech firm in Thousand Oaks, Calif., about testing a drug to tackle a type of brain cancer in children. “I do think hope is on the horizon,” she said.

Dr. Giselle Saulnier Sholler with a patient, Lily-Mae Morrison, in March 2018. Lily-Mae was treated for cancer and recent scans showed no sign of the disease’s return.
Dr. Giselle Saulnier Sholler with a patient, Lily-Mae Morrison, in March 2018. Lily-Mae was treated for cancer and recent scans showed no sign of the disease’s return. Photo: Chris Clark/Spectrum Health Beat

Lisa Bollinger, a vice president at Amgen, said her world is changing. She is meeting with pediatric-cancer researchers at academic medical centers to brief them on coming therapies and hear which ones are of interest for testing on children as well as adults.

Some researchers support the legislation, but worry about raising expectations. Dr. Adamson, chairman of the Children’s Oncology Group, an international consortium of more than 220 kids’ cancer centers, supported by the National Cancer Institute, fears “overpromising patients and families.” The law will mean more clinical trials of treatments for kids’ cancers, which has a “high value,” Dr. Adamson said. But breakthroughs aren’t a given. Typically, “we have small steps,” he said. “Cancer is a challenging problem.”

Appeared in the January 16, 2019, print edition as ‘New Law Raises Hope For Therapies to Fight Cancer in Children.’

Cambodia: The Hottest New Beach Destination in Asia

OVERLOOKED NO MORE Cambodia's Six Senses Krabey Island resort, slated to open in March, is one of a crop of new resorts on the country's southern coast.
OVERLOOKED NO MORE Cambodia’s Six Senses Krabey Island resort, slated to open in March, is one of a crop of new resorts on the country’s southern coast. Photo: Six Senses

Mention Cambodia to a reasonably worldly traveler and she’ll invariably picture Angkor Wat, the sprawling temple complex in the jungle’s depths. Tourists tend to squeeze the millennia-old site into a grander tour of Southeast Asia, their sole whistle-stop in the country. But for a 21st-century perspective on Cambodia’s assets, you’d be wise to look to the coastline, which unfurls some 275 miles between Thailand and Vietnam. Over the past few years, the southern stretch, dotted with islands, has been morphing from bucolic backwater into a bona fide beach destination, with resorts rapidly materializing.

The area’s main gateway is Sihanoukville, a port city named for a former king. An increasing number of regional flights bring in a hodgepodge of sunseekers—weekenders from the capital Phnom Penh, European tourists on package holidays and backpackers looking to disconnect on the beach. Not too long ago, this small seaside city had the languor of a sleepy beach town. Now, casinos with names like Wisney World dot its blocks, the constant whine of grinders and circular saws backdrops conversation and new construction is swallowing up public beaches. Fortunately, you needn’t stay long: High-speed ferries deliver visitors to nearby islands and the hotels that line their powdery, more meditative beaches.

A beach villa at Alila Villas Koh Russey, which opened in November.
A beach villa at Alila Villas Koh Russey, which opened in November.

Take the island of Koh Russey and its new Alila Villas Koh Russey resort, a 15-minute speedboat ride from the mainland. Opened last November on a previously uninhabited nature reserve, it’s Singapore-based Alila Villas’ first high-end property in Cambodia. Since guests catch the boat on a jetty just outside Sihanoukville, they can largely avoid the noisy city en route to the resort’s 63 beachfront rooms or villas rooted among the pines, coconut and ironwood trees and thickets of bamboo. (Koh means island and russey means bamboo in the national language, Khmer.) In each room, vast glass sliding doors open to the sounds of waves and views of the Gulf of Thailand’s jade-green water rolling until the horizon (from around $575 a night, alilahotels.com).

This March, the hotel group Six Senses—known for combining wellness with upscale swellness—will open its 16th resort (its first in Cambodia) just a hot stone’s throw from Koh Russey on a neighboring island. Spread across 30 acres on a forested rocky hill, the 40 villas, all free-standing and chicly modern, come furnished with private plunge pools. The 21,000-square-foot spa and fitness center will offer aerial yoga (practitioners contort within hammocks) and facials with a gold-leaf mask, among all the more standard fare (from $663 a night, sixsenses.com).

Alila Villas Koh Russey resort's main pool.
Alila Villas Koh Russey resort’s main pool.

Just under an hour’s high-speed ferry ride from Sihanoukville lies the Koh Rong archipelago. Spread over a dozen or so islands, the accommodation options range from cheap-and-cheerful beach bungalows to Song Saa, a glamorous all-villa retreat housed on its own pair of private islands (linked by a footpath). Song Saa, which opened in 2012, may well have kicked off coastal Cambodia’s makeover as a luxury travel scene. Some of the 27 villas, all with sea views, are overwater; others have private beaches. There’s a spa and a waterspouts center; the poolside-restaurant surprises by offering “Cambodian Street Food” (From $1,440 a night, all-inclusive, songsaa.com)

On Koh Rong, the archipelago’s largest island, the main village reliably lures backpackers. It’s filled with affordable places to swig a beer, arrange boat tours and eat beachside coconut-milk curry. On the island’s Long Set Beach, you can swim at night with the bioluminescent phytoplankton that light up in the dark as soon as you brush past them. And now, for travelers who enjoy the backpacker vibe but not their lodging choices, there’s the Royal Sands resort. Opened last year on another of the island’s bays, it brings a touch of Santorini to Cambodia, with its 67 whitewashed bungalows facing a long stretch of deserted beach (from $450 a night, royalsandskohrong.com).

Cambodia: The Hottest New Beach Destination in Asia
Illustration: JASON LEE

Back on the mainland, a couple of hours east down the coast from Sihanoukville, sit a couple of equally attractive destinations. At Kampot, on the Tuek Chhou river, you can stroll around the old town’s grid of French colonial buildings or take a sunset cruise for an unprincely $3 a person. Kep, a 30-minute journey past Kampot, was a trendy haunt during the French colonial days, then was all but destroyed during the brutal Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970s. Today Kep is making something of a comeback thanks to its picturesque national park, vital seafood markets (fresh crab is a big deal here) and a clutch of fine resorts. Among the most stylish, Knai Bang Chatt, a seaside compound of renovated modernist villas, was one of the lone high-end hotels in the region when it opened in 2006. Now, it’s just one of many reasons why travelers may choose to linger in Cambodia a little longer.