Villa Palagonia, Sicily’s Baroque garden of monsters

Villa Palagonia, Sicily’s Baroque garden of monsters

  Monsters, mirrors and 18th century excess all meet at Villa Palagonia, one of Sicily’s strangest attractions.  Villa Palagonia is one of the earliest examples of Sicilian Baroque architecture, begun in 1705 by architect Tommaso Napoli as a summer residence for Don Francesco Ferdinando Gravina, fifth prince of Palagonia. Located in the seaside town of […]

24.12.2016 · Filled under: Architecture, Art, Europe · Tags: , · 2 Comments »
Circumnavigating Manhattan by boat, rare vistas of NYC

Circumnavigating Manhattan by boat, rare vistas of NYC

Have you seen northern Manhattan from the Harlem River yet? One of the best things I’ve done in New York City is to circumnavigate Manhattan by boat. It’s relaxing to escape traffic and see sides (literally) of Manhattan you’ve never seen before. Manhattan is completely surrounded by water, and there are many ways to get […]

26.03.2015 · Filled under: Architecture, Legendary Landscapes, New York, United States · Tags: , · 10 Comments »
The Lost Dhow exhibition, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto

The Lost Dhow exhibition, Aga Khan Museum, Toronto

“…for I was a merchant and a man of money and substance and had a ship of my own, laden with great stores of goods and merchandise; but it foundered at sea and all were drowned except me who saved myself on a piece of plank which Allah vouchsafed to me of His favour.” – […]

19.12.2014 · Filled under: Architecture, Art, Toronto · Tags: , , · 12 Comments »
Lucy the Elephant, America’s oldest roadside attraction

Lucy the Elephant, America’s oldest roadside attraction

Lonely Planet named the Jersey Shore a Top 10 U.S. destination for 2014. What’s the big attraction? Lucy the Elephant, of course! Located about four miles south of Atlantic City, Lucy the Elephant has stared out to sea since 1881, making her America’s oldest roadside attraction. The six-storey novelty architecture was built by James V. Lafferty, Jr., a […]

10.09.2014 · Filled under: Architecture, United States · Tags: , , · 11 Comments »
Dining at London’s top churches

Dining at London’s top churches

Did you know that some of London’s most famous churches have on-site restaurants? Modern British cuisine comes with a side of atmosphere at: CELLARIUM CAFE & TERRACE, WESTMINSTER ABBEY:  A great discovery on my last visit to London was the Cellarium Cafe and Terrace at Westminster Abbey. Accessed through the Abbey’s Dean’s Yard, the restaurants […]

03.08.2014 · Filled under: Architecture, Food, Spirituality · Tags: , · 9 Comments »
Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater to get UNESCO world heritage site status

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater to get UNESCO world heritage site status

The world’s most famous (non-royal) house is being considered for UNESCO world heritage site status, along with ten other buildings by American architect Frank Lloyd Wright (1867-1959). Perched over a waterfall in Bear Run Creek, Mill Run, Pennsylvania, Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater (1936) was famous even before it was finished. Designated a National Historic Landmark in […]

06.07.2014 · Filled under: Architecture, United States · Tags: · 9 Comments »
An ode to classic American diners

An ode to classic American diners

Do you collect diners? I do. Their gleaming lines – reminiscent of old Airstream trailers – inspire dreams of the open road. Their association with travel comes naturally as the first diners were mobile lunch wagons. Often they were old rail dining cars, parked by the side of the road, serving as inexpensive all-night eateries. […]

03.05.2014 · Filled under: Architecture, Florida, Food, New York · Tags: , , , , · 16 Comments »
Atlantic City’s cool new Arts Garage

Atlantic City’s cool new Arts Garage

I often wish I were in Atlantic City. No more so than today, at the ribbon-cutting ceremony of the new Arts Garage. When I toured the site a few weeks ago, workers were just putting finishing touches to the complex that marks phase one in the creation of a new Arts District in the heart […]

25.11.2013 · Filled under: Architecture, Art, Destination Guides · Tags: , , , · 11 Comments »
A stroll in the treetops, Kew Gardens, London

A stroll in the treetops, Kew Gardens, London

From its 18th-century Pagoda to its magnificent Victorian glass conservatories, the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew contain wonders of garden architecture as well as nature.  A new experience for me this year was the Xstrata Treetop Walkway, an exhilarating stroll in the treetops of the Gardens’ arboretum. Xstrata was designed by Marks Barfield Architects, who […]

13.09.2013 · Filled under: Architecture, Legendary Landscapes · Tags: , , · 12 Comments »
Brussels’ fabulous Atomium

Brussels’ fabulous Atomium

It was immense fun to visit the Atomium in Brussels, Belgium, one of Europe’s top landmarks and icon of mid-century design. Gleaming under beautiful Belgian skies, the Atomium is both symbol of Brussels and the space age. Constructed as centerpiece of the 1958 World Exhibition, the Atomium’s mid-century architecture expresses the optimism and confidence of […]

05.08.2013 · Filled under: Architecture, Belgium, Europe · Tags: , · 11 Comments »
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