Category Archive for 'General'

Paris Every Moment

The French Aren’t American They’re thinner, for one thing. They dress better. They work to live, and they make living an art. They know food and wine and cooking, but they aren’t food snobs. It isn’t just foreigners gobbling Big Macs in the hundreds of McDonald’s across the country. But with time and funds, they [...]

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Staying Put

“Gather ’round, people. I have some housekeeping announcements. In the morning, have your bags packed and outside your hotel room by 5:30. I know that’s early, but we have a long ride tomorrow to Wherever and only 45 minutes to see the Whatsis. Then we’re on to Someplace to have lunch at 2:30. Yes, that’s [...]

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On The Edge

We do our big-deal travel in “edge seasons”, taking to the road just before or after the high months of the destinations we covet, when prices are lower and crowds are thinner. That means early December in Florida, when the weather is as good but room rates are as much as 40% lower than after [...]

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One of America’s favorite destinations for reasons too obvious to mention, it would seem there is little about the 50th state that might not be known to even a first-time visitor. Check them off – leis, the hula, luaus, resplendent sunsets, beaches of sugary white (or silky black) sands, palms fronds ticking in voluptuous breezes, [...]

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My Pyjamas

This Was Then Most of what I know about food I learned in Spain.  After all, Spaniards eat just about anything that trots, swims, sprouts, crawls, flies, or germinates.  (Nearly anything, at least. They aren’t fond of corn or hot peppers.)  That isn’t a revelation.  Most of the world’s great cuisines began as peasant food, [...]

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London Losing Luster

After a few days in London fore and aft of our two weeks in Paris, I came reluctantly to the conclusion that it is a city in chaotic decline. It wasn’t the famously awful weather, which actually was fine, with temps in the high 60s (shrieked one tabloid headline, LONDON SWELTERS IN HEAT WAVE!). Always the [...]

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Why Americans Are Fat: Tradition

From The Big Oyster, describing a celebratory mid-19th Century banquet in New York: “The first course consisted of three soups, including oyster ‘potage‘, and fish – trout, bass, and shad – all products of the Hudson River.  The second course offered six different cold dishes, including oysters in aspic, as well as roasted sirloin, saddle [...]

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In The Big Oyster,  Mark Kurlansky wrote about the monster bivalves of the 19th Century New York estuary: “In truth nobody really wanted to eat a foot-long oyster. British novelist William Makepeace Thackeray complained that eating an American oyster was ‘like eating a baby’.”

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Fly Them

Most frequent travelers in Europe have heard and probably booked flights on one of the low-cost airlines that have recently clogged airport departure gates. Ryanair and easyJet have high profiles, but they have over one hundred competitors, among them (at last look) such upstarts as Air Berlin, Estonian Air, Alpi Eagles, and, believe it or [...]

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