A ghostly tour of the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre, Toronto

A ghostly tour of the Elgin & Winter Garden Theatre, Toronto

Step up to the birdcage, buy a ticket for a tour of the last operating double-decker Edwardian theatre in the world.  It’s cool and dark inside.  The Elgin below, all red velvet with leering gilt satyrs, the Winter Garden a fairylit birch forest above.  But if you think something beckoned from behind an old backdrop, […]

31.10.2012 · Filled under: Architecture, Canada, Myths & Legends · Tags: , , · 6 Comments »
Free Hawaiian culture classes and concerts in Waikiki, Honolulu

Free Hawaiian culture classes and concerts in Waikiki, Honolulu

Glamorous Waikiki Beach was once the retreat of Hawaiian royalty. Here at Helumoa, a royal grove of coconut palms, Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop (1831-1884) wrote a codicil to her will establishing Kamehameha Schools dedicated to educating children of Hawaiian descent. Today the Royal Grove is a garden at the heart of the Royal Hawaiian shopping center, the […]

28.10.2012 · Filled under: Art, Hawaii, Legendary Landscapes · Tags: , , · 2 Comments »
Lagoon dreams: Venice, Burano & Torcello

Lagoon dreams: Venice, Burano & Torcello

I’ve dreamed of the lagoon since returning from Venice, dreamt of jade water shivering as it crosses sandbars, spangled with sun diamonds. Though we rented a car for several days to explore, we left it at the hotel that Sunday morning and took Bus 19 (about a 15-minute ride, 1.30 Euro) from our hotel in Campalto […]

The delight of Miami’s Art Deco architecture

The delight of Miami’s Art Deco architecture

Surrounded by curving white lines, steel balustrades and porthole-shaped windows, I could easily imagine I’m aboard an ocean liner steaming out to sea.  After all, I’m in Miami, the world’s largest cruise port.  Instead, I’m on the roof-top Spire Bar of The Hotel of South Beach surrounded by the best in Tropical Art Deco. With […]

International Couscous Festival, San Vito lo Capo, Sicily

International Couscous Festival, San Vito lo Capo, Sicily

Sicilian food, like its history, is a stew of cultural influences. Closer to Africa than Rome, and under Arab rule for 200 years during the Middle Ages, it’s not surprising to find couscous on menus in Sicily, especially in the western end of this Mediterranean island. Each September, the beach resort of San Vito lo […]

11.09.2012 · Filled under: Europe, Festivals & Events, Food, Italy · Tags: , , · 9 Comments »
ArtSmart Roundtable: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

ArtSmart Roundtable: The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood

The former gallery guide in me couldn’t resist a regular appointment to chat about art so I’ve joined the ArtSmart Roundtable, a group of travel bloggers with a contagious passion for art. On the first Monday of every month, each member of the Roundtable publishes a piece on a chosen topic. This month’s topic is […]

03.09.2012 · Filled under: Art, ArtSmart Roundtable, Europe · Tags: , , · 6 Comments »
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 […]

Life lessons from the Papas: Hemingway Days, Key West

Life lessons from the Papas: Hemingway Days, Key West

It’s a sea of red berets outside Sloppy Joe’s Bar in Key West, Florida, headquarters of the Ernest Hemingway Look-Alike Society and their annual running of the bulls. A bwip-wip from a motorcycle escort parts the crowd and, to the tune of Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy), the fist-pumping Papas roll out. Earlier that day, […]

29.07.2012 · Filled under: Festivals & Events, Florida · Tags: , , , · 6 Comments »
Cruising around Albuquerque and Route 66

Cruising around Albuquerque and Route 66

The drum is a heartbeat, faster than mine. Apache Crown dancers pace the circle, bodies painted, pine boughs bobbing at their hips, bells the size of tangerines adding an edgy jangle. With cotton sacking disguising their human features, feathers dangling from where their eyes should be, the dancers are eerie, otherworldly. My heartrate rises to […]

14.07.2012 · Filled under: Architecture, New Mexico · Tags: , , · 12 Comments »
Taking the 506 streetcar to little India

Taking the 506 streetcar to little India

Toronto’s 506 Carlton streetcar is one of the best sightseeing bargains in the city, rambling past many of Toronto’s most colourful neighborhoods – Cabbagetown, Kensington Market, the original Little Italy and two separate ‘Chinatowns’ – on its way to and from its western terminus at High Park. A few days ago I hopped on the […]

02.07.2012 · Filled under: Canada, Festivals & Events, Food · Tags: , · 6 Comments »