Monthly Archive for December, 2008

So were we advised by a writer in Food & Wine magazine shortly before our departure for our three-week dream vacation in Venice. Wanting to blend in to the degree possible in a city where every native has tourist radar activated within thirty meters of any stranger, we left the shorts at home. The sandals, [...]

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Valencia Through Other Eyes

Sliver Every city has a “narrowest house”, structures usually squeezed into alleys between normal buildings. The one on the left, the slender red band with windows, holds the title for Valencia. That city was also the assignment for Cindy Loose, a reporter for The Washington Post. She produced a syndicated article that is a casebook [...]

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Travel Tip: Laundry

Packing light has never been more wise than when airlines actually have the nerve to charge for checked bags. If you need further motivation, understand that the less weighty your luggage the easier it is to get around. Need incentive for resolving to escape your hotel with your dirty clothes and find a neighborhood laundromat or dry cleaner? [...]

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The Last Resort

In December of 2005, Key West was shaking off the enormously destructive effects of Hurricane Wilma.  A water surge variously estimated at 13 to 21 feet had thundered across the island, which is only 16 feet above sea level at its highest point. After the storm, the streets were lined with ruined cars, furniture, appliances, [...]

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Below Bolivia

It is useful to think of Chile as comparable to the West Coast of the U.S., a narrow, 2,000-mile strip running from Alaska to Baja – only in reverse. There is the same wondrous diversity, from the snow-capped Andean spine that forms its eastern background to the crashing surf of its endless coastline, the two [...]

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To The Rim Of The World

Rapa Nui is the name the inhabitants gave their language, their land, and themselves. A Dutch explorer stepped ashore on a Christian holiday in 1722 and named it Paasch Eiland. The Spanish translated that to Isla de Pascua, and we call it Easter Island. It is one of the most isolated places on earth. Thousands [...]

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Most cellphones sold in the United States don’t work overseas. Here’s a big, fat, four-star recommendation: The Mobal World Phone. It’s a universal cellphone that works in 150 countries. The cheapest model is only $49 (with tax and shipping $63.35). There are no minimum fees, service charges, or usage requirements, even if you use it [...]

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Tall Ships In Newport

Few sights thrill as much as a flotilla of frigates, barks and whalers tacking into a harbor under bellying canvas, or moored at rest, sails furled, only the hawsers creaking as if eager to challenge the sea again. So on impulse, we drove to Rhode Island for the annual July visit of 22 tall ships [...]

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Chowda

Rhode Island makes the most of one of its principal edible products, and it often goes its own way. Newport has three or four polished purveyors of high cuisine, a half-dozen pretenders and at least a score of mid-level, middlebrow eateries. But Geezer never misses a chance to eat at Flo’s Clam Shack in Middletown, [...]

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Easy Paella

Traditionally, paella is prepared in an almost ceremonial manner, staged in hours over a charcoal brazier, then presented at table in the round, flat-bottomed pan in which it was cooked. Diners then spoon their food directly from the pan. Components are far from obligatory. While Americans tend to associate paella with seafood, the earliest versions [...]

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