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 »
Investing in beauty: The European Fine Art Fair, Maastricht, Netherlands

Investing in beauty: The European Fine Art Fair, Maastricht, Netherlands

If TEFAF Maastricht is the mother of all commercial art fairs, she is a gracious hostess with a salon full of fresh flowers and the best-informed minds of the international art world. Often described as an incredible once-a-year museum in which everything is for sale, TEFAF this year hosted 260 of the world’s top art and antiques dealers showing everything from classical antiquities to crave-worthy jewellery by Lalique and […]

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 »
Boxing Day in High Park

Boxing Day in High Park

I’ve never understood people who follow up a day of getting stuff with a day of shopping for more stuff.  According to some people interviewed by CTV News, lines had begun forming in front of some Toronto stores by 11 p.m. Christmas night! Even if December 25 is not a big day on your calendar, […]

27.12.2010 · Filled under: Canada · Tags: · No Comments »
El Anatsui at the ROM

El Anatsui at the ROM

I had heard of Ghana-born sculptor El Anatsui before – he has exhibited at the Venice Biennale, the Met (New York), the British Museum (London), the National Museum of African Art (Washington, DC), the Pompidou (Paris) – so couldn’t wait for the opening of  El Anatsui: When I Last Wrote to You about Africa at […]

13.12.2010 · Filled under: Art · Tags: · 1 Comment »
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 »
Of the Factory Theatre, Off Bathurst Theatre Marathon and Halloween

Of the Factory Theatre, Off Bathurst Theatre Marathon and Halloween

Did I spend a typical Toronto Halloween? I think so. First brunch at vegetarian Sadie’s Diner (really, really good), then a matinee of Ronnie Burkett Theatre of Marionettes “Billy Twinkle: Requiem for a Golden Boy” at the Factory Theatre before racing home to toss treats at the kiddies. What can I say about Ronnie Burkett […]

08.11.2010 · Filled under: Canada · 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), […]

Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto, Ontario

Scarborough Bluffs, Toronto, Ontario

I’ve never understood the mass weekend exodus to cottage country when here in Toronto we’re already on beautiful Lake Ontario with miles of coastline and plenty of clean, swimmable beaches. This summer I’ve been communing with nature right here in Toronto’s east end at the Scarborough Bluffs: wading through wildflowers on top of Cathedral Bluffs with a […]

22.08.2010 · Filled under: Canada · Tags: , , · No Comments »
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 »