Posted at 12:06 pm , on February 1, 2016
This post is one part Chicago love, one part “get off your frickin’ smart phones and talk to people (people!)!”
Why? Because Chicago is a beautiful city and you should enjoy it. Look around, wander, even if it’s too cold or too hot (be ready: it’s usually one or the other).
It’s also a friendly city. Chicago is in the middle of the mid-west and, let’s face it, midwesterners are just friendlier than the rest of us. That means people will actually say hello and talk to you, answer questions, and offer advice — if you let them. It’s not weird, and it’s not phony. It’s Chicago, and you’d see that if you stopped Yelping or Foursquare-ing or doing whatever it is you do online.
Posted at 4:40 pm , on January 24, 2016
4-stop Mitte map
Berlin is an enormous city. With a population of 3.4 million, and spanning 344 square miles, Berlin is nine times the size of Paris and fifteen times the size of Manhattan. That’s no joke.
The city is so large you could spend months there and still only cover a fraction of it, let alone even dream of getting to know it. However, if getting a feel for Berlin is your goal, your best bet is to take the city on neighborhood by neighborhood, as each district is completely different from its neighbor and has its own unique character. Given that Mitte (pronounced MITT-uh), is the historical core of Berlin and its geographical center, it is the perfect neighborhood to begin.
The point of this walking tour of Mitte is to help bring some of Berlin’s history — which is commemorated around the city by massive monuments and memorials — to a more personal and human level.
Posted at 5:45 pm , on December 6, 2015
New Orleans has been on my bucket list of places to visit for …. let me think now ……. oh …… my entire life! The music, the culture, the whole “laissez les bons temps rouler”*** sentiment — all of that has always called out to me. A little birdsong of a place like no other, where anything goes, with brilliant jazz on the side.
Posted at 4:59 pm , on November 15, 2015
This post is inspired by the road trip taken by British comedic actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydan in the 2010 film, The Trip. In the movie, the two characters drive through the beautiful landscape of the Lake District in England, staying in and dining at gorgeous Bed and Breakfasts recognized for their haute cuisine. Ever since seeing the film, I’ve wanted to recreate Coogan and Brydan’s trip. Finally, this year we did our own version, in the Irish countryside, finishing the trip off in Dublin. Be warned: these Bed and Breakfasts don’t come cheap, so this is the kind of trip I’d recommend for a special occasion.