Tuesday - August 16, 2022

A Gem of a City

April 13th, 2007

Antwerp has had a long reputation as one of the world\’s great diamond markets, but in recent years, this Belgian city, just 45 minutes from the capital of Brussels, has become something of a gem itself. Once home to artists Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony Van Dyck, Antwerp has now become a center of fashion and home design, and a modern city that still honors its medieval heritage. In its very early history, Antwerp was a maritime city, owing its very existence to the river Scheldt. Through the centuries, the city center and the port eventually diverged, and today Antwerp\’s... Read More

North of the Border

March 5th, 2007

I have to admit that I was not one of the legions of readers of the popular “Anne of Green Gables” books. Yet somehow, the appeal of Nova Scotia, the setting for the fictional childhood series, has always fascinated me. So when I was looking for a quick getaway recently and found out that nonstop flights were now available from Dulles International Airport to the capital city of Halifax, I wasted no time in booking a flight. Once on the plane, I was across the border in less than two hours and ready for my Nova Scotian experience. After picking up my rental car at the very... Read More

A Fling in the Land of the Bagpipes

November 14th, 2006

Given that one of my all-time favorite movies is “Brigadoon,” and one of my favorite television programs, “Highlander”-the story of the immortal “Duncan MacLeod of the clan MacLeod”-it was surprising that I had never made it to Scotland before, a lack in my travels that I had been intending to remedy as soon as possible. So when my friends said they were going to Edinburgh to visit their son who was spending a semester abroad, and suggested I join them, it didn\’t take much to convince me to take them up on their invitation. It was to be a short... Read More

A Theaterlover\’s London

October 11th, 2006

If you love theater, two destinations come to mind—New York, of course, and also London. If you\’re planning a trip to London, like I recently did, indulge your “culture vulture” side and enjoy the London stage, but from a different vantage point—behind the scenes. To set the stage—so to speak—for your theater-loving experience, choose a hotel that\’s in the very center of the West End, London\’s theater district equivalent to Broadway. For me, that meant the Savoy. This historic hotel first opened its doors in 1889, the vision of Gilbert & Sullivan impresario... Read More

Following in the Footsteps of Jane (Austen, that is)

September 15th, 2006

“Bath is the finest place on earth, for you may enjoy its society and its walks without effort or fatigue,” wrote 18th century Scottish essayist James Boswell of this English town that dates to Roman times. I daresay should Boswell visit Bath today he would find those walks somewhat more tiring as he dodged the throngs of tourists and vehicles alike, but once he took those in stride, he would likely discover that Bath is still indeed a fine spot for a visit—as I recently found out for myself. Bath is just a 90-minute train ride from London (whether you\’re coming or going,... Read More

Next Stop…Brussels

July 1st, 2006

Been to Brussels lately? If you routinely bypass this hip, trendy city in favor of that other French-speaking city nearby (oui, I\’m talking about Paris), then it\’s time to re-think your next itinerary.That\’s right…I said hip and trendy. Probably not the first adjectives that would have come to mind, right? Well, Brussels is no longer the dowdy stepsister. This centrally located European hub is enjoying a Renaissance and, believe it or not, has become a lively cosmopolitan center that draws students, businesspeople, political leaders, and even artists and fashion designers... Read More

The Pleasures of Providence

May 1st, 2006

When you think of Rhode Island, the first thing that may come to mind is the colonial charm of its island town of Newport. But if you haven\’t been to the capital city of Providence, you\’re missing out on a city that has enough big-city attractions to keep any urbanite happy, but with the small-town feel that makes you instantly feel right at home. I\’ve been to Providence several times and I never fail to be won over by the friendliness of its residents, the top-notch caliber of its thriving arts scene—from galleries to museums to theater—to its first-rate restaurants—and... Read More

Bienvenue a Paris

April 1st, 2006

For many, Paris is about museums and monuments; for others, it\’s about wining and dining; for still others, it\’s about shopping (even if only gazing through the windows). As a frequent visitor to Paris, I usually try to do a bit of everything, but truth be told, unless there\’s a special exhibition I want to see, I generally skip the major sights such as the Louvre. You don\’t need me to tell you what the must-sees are in Paris—especially on your first trip—any guidebook can do that for you. So here instead is a list of some of my personal favorites—some I return... Read More

The Greatest Show on Earth

March 6th, 2006

Who doesn\’t love the circus? At The John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art (www.ringling.org) in Sarasota, Florida, you\’ll see the genius behind “the greatest show on earth.” John Ringling was not only a circus entrepreneur, but also an art collector and financier whose estate now includes the Museum of Art, Circus Museum, and Ca d\’Zan mansion, all located on 66 acres overlooking the sparkling Sarasota Bay. Ringling\’s art collection, which included paintings by Peter Paul Rubens, Velazquez, Poussin, Van Dyck, and other Baroque masters, was left to the people of the... Read More

Today\’s Hotels Offer More Than Just A Room

February 1st, 2006

Providing their guests with comfort and service is the goal of most hotels. But cooking classes? Flower-arranging workshops? Fly-fishing school? You bet! “We\’ve seen a significant increase in educational travel in recent years,” says Dean Andrews, vice president of Orient-Express Hotels Trains and Cruises, North America. “Today\’s sophisticated travelers expect a beautiful place and great service…but many are also now looking to walk away with even more lasting impressions beyond photos and memories of sunsets and vistas.” What that means is that you can now, for example,... Read More