Key West for culture trippers

Key West for culture trippers

Like Alice passing through the looking-glass, I entered the Florida Keys through a dissolving veil of rain. The summer squall cleared as fast as it had blown in and I spent several sunny days exploring Key West’s unique architecture and thriving arts scene. There’s always something raffish about a port town. With its strange past […]

Santa Fe for culture trippers

Santa Fe for culture trippers

There’s a kind of hush over Santa Fe, New Mexico, a hush quite remarkable for a UNESCO Creative City and the third-largest art market in the U.S. (after New York and Los Angeles). Located at the foot of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains at an elevation of 7,000 feet, the color and beauty of New Mexico’s […]

29.06.2012 · Filled under: Architecture, Art, Destination Guides, New Mexico · Tags: , · 8 Comments »
Myth and water around Lamezia Terme, Calabria, Italy

Myth and water around Lamezia Terme, Calabria, Italy

We’ve been using Calabria as a back door to Sicily for a few years, preferring direct flights to Lamezia Terme to non-direct flights to Palermo.  Car rental is a lot easier at Lamezia, too. This time we stayed in the area for a few days to decompress and explore.  Our first stop is always the quiet […]

Amsterdam for culture trippers

Amsterdam for culture trippers

Amsterdam charms with history, her lovely canals lined with houses that resemble gingerbread cookies piped with white icing.  And with more museums per square kilometer than any place else on earth, it would be easy to imagine the city as an open-air museum of Holland’s Golden Age.  But the spirit of adventure, tolerance and freedom that built […]

20.04.2011 · Filled under: Art, Destination Guides, Europe, Netherlands · Tags: , , · 5 Comments »
Song and sin in Santiago de Cuba

Song and sin in Santiago de Cuba

It’s easy to get into mischief in Santiago de Cuba.  Closer to Haiti and the Dominican Republic than it is to Havana, this city on Cuba’s rugged south coast is famous for its July Carnival and the earthy Caribbean street party atmosphere that pervades year round. Son, salsa–just about every Cuban music genre originated in Santiago’s narrow alleys. From Afro-Cuban drumming in Parque Cespedes […]

01.03.2011 · Filled under: Cuba, Destination Guides · Tags: , · 2 Comments »
Buffalo’s electric cultural scene

Buffalo’s electric cultural scene

There’s something Gotham-esque about Buffalo, New York, at night. The moon rises through cold crisp darkness over monuments to its past wealth and importance: the ghost-white Electric Tower, the floodlit ladies atop the Liberty Building, the magnificent Art Deco pile of its City Hall. In dark streets below, the city’s legendary nightlife carries on until a […]

26.11.2010 · Filled under: Architecture, Art, Destination Guides · Tags: , , , · No Comments »
Changing Sicily

Changing Sicily

Having married into a Sicilian family and visited it often enough to consider it a second home, I still succumb to Stendhal syndrome within an hour or two of arrival, willing victim of its beauty and exoticism. At the crossroads of the Mediterranean but on the fringe of Europe (it’s closer to Africa than Rome), […]

Beautiful downtown Pittsburgh

Beautiful downtown Pittsburgh

When Visit Pittsburgh invited me to come and see the city’s private and public art collections, I jumped at the chance. My expectations were high but were exceeded many times over. Yes, the Warhol.  Seven storeys of work by one of the 20th century’s most influential artists, including something you’re not going to see anywhere […]

31.07.2010 · Filled under: Architecture, Art, Destination Guides · Tags: , , · No Comments »
Oh, Ottawa!

Oh, Ottawa!

Four days in Ottawa last week – which I almost backed out of for fear I’d be bored – wasn’t enough as I ran out of days before I ran out of things to do. Toronto Mayor Miller recently asked: who would want to live in Ottawa? Well, I wouldn’t mind. Perhaps it takes a Torontonian […]

Oh, Oahu!

Oh, Oahu!

Finally, Hawaii. We’re kicking ourselves for not having gone before. Why didn’t we? Too expensive? Not in April. Too far? Not bad if you fly during the day (jetlag doesn’t seem to happen flying east). With only a week we stayed on O’ahu, wanting the quintessential Hawaiian vacay, headquartered in touristy–and, yes, gorgeous–Waikiki.  The Hawaiian Islands […]

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