Category Archive for 'Sights'

Save a couple of hours for the people at Ô Chateau. They are purveyors of wine-slanted events – three-course dinners, champagne cruises, day trips to wine country, grand cru and paired chocolate tastings, many of them taking place in cellars that once stored thousands of bottles held in the name of Louis XIV. (Not the blueblood [...]

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New Yorkers are different from other Americans. Millions of them don’t own cars and never learn how to drive, depending instead on public transportation and their feet. Don’t ask them about local hotels – they don’t use them, except for bar mitzvahs and weddings.  They sleep in their homes. (They call their apartments their “houses”.) [...]

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Paris: Famous Dead People

A couple of years ago, we spent a fruitless time searching the Cimetière de Monmarte for the grave of Jim Morrison. Wrong cemetery. That bit of bad research eventually led us to the Cimetière du Père-Lachaise. It’s in Belleville, a multicultural district in eastern Paris. In Catholic France, few monuments to the dead followed the [...]

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Paris Anytime

Out & About Only a handful of other world cities can equal the wealth of diversions, monuments, and cultural repositories of this capital on the Seine.  It contains elegant parks and gardens, both spacious and compact; more than sixty museums of grand ambition or narrow iconoclastic mission; a dozen prominent dance venues and scores of [...]

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I hate transfers. That is, the time spent getting from one place to another. Packing. Taxis. Traffic anxiety. Airport. Security. Gate changes. Delayed flights. Airplane seats designed by little people for little people. Circling airports. Passport control. Taxi to hotel. Sullen desk clerks. Room not ready. Unpacking. Jet lag. What’s to like? I’m not a control freak [...]

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The Triangle Dalí

Who better to design and build the perfect monument to his genius than the eccentric Surrealist Salvador Dalí himself. That he did – the Teatre-Museu Dalí, in Figueres. That otherwise largely undistinguished town was his birthplace, about 120 miles northeast of Barcelona in the far northeast corner of Spain. He put it on the cultural [...]

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Machu Picchu is a destination to rival Luxor or Angkor Wat, and ever-growing numbers are making the pilgimage to the lost mountain redoubt of the Inca kings. (The suppression of the once-deadly Maoist guerrila group Shining Path helped a lot.) Many of those visitors make the journey with little foreknowledge of what they may encounter. [...]

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Alhambra Under Snow

Granada was the last major Spanish city held by the Muslim armies which once occupied the entire Iberian peninsula and marched almost to the gates of Paris. They were rolled back over nearly eight centuries, but the pace of the Reconquest was agonizingly slow, and the cream of the Arab mercantile and artisan classes migrated [...]

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Normally, people don’t visit Montréal for the weather, but in spite of it. But by happy circumstance, we arrived there under porcelain blue skies and temps in the 70s, leaving sixteen days of continuous rain back in the Lower Hudson Valley. It stayed that way for six days. I’ve been writing about Québec since 1991, [...]

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That’s the name of my favorite TV travel series ever. It stars the unlikely pair of mega-chef Mario Batali and Oscar-winner Gwyneth Paltrow along with NY Times food columnist Mark Bitten and the adorable Spanish actress Claudia Bassols. They drive around Spain for thirteen episodes, eating and talking. As each of them have careers to [...]

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