November 1, 2016

Rialto Living: My Happy Place

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Rialto Living

There’s nothing that puts a smile on my face faster than landing in a beautiful place with great shops. Retail therapy sounds suspect but I’ve found after 30 years in the business of fashion there’s some truth to it. The weather can suck so loud you hear it, but if the window shopping or actual shopping is good I don’t care if a tornado is on the way. Palma de Mallorca was just that sort of city; an unexpected treat with some world class shops!READ MORE >

October 31, 2016

Mallorcan Meltdown

Big rock cliffs with the Balearic Sea below
Big rock cliffs with the Balearic Sea below

Let’s be honest. No trip is ever completely hassle free. No matter how beautiful, exotic, or intoxicating a new place can be, we tend to pack our petty squabbles and short fuses along with the shoes and underwear(too much of the former too little of the latter). There’s always room for our bad behavior no matter what the weight limits or numbers of bags allowed. I’m not proud to admit that I’ve been miserable and inflicted misery, in this case Anton my long suffering mate, in some of the most beautiful spots on the planet.READ MORE >

October 28, 2016

Istanbul: Hamams

Kiliç Ali Pasa rooftop with sky lights
Kiliç Ali Pasa rooftop with sky lights

One of the oldest most satisfying traditions from the Ottoman Empire and even further back is the Hamam. Historically the Hamam is the traditional Islamist or Turkish bath which derives itself from its precursors, the Greek and Roman baths. Originally, they were for men only but now admit women separately or on separate days. These ritual baths are the ultimate in cleansing, scrubbing and massaging the body and all performed by adult male attendants. READ MORE >

October 27, 2016

Istanbul: Grand Bazaar

The Grand Bazaar Istanbul
The Grand Bazaar Istanbul

The Grand Bazaar is the largest covered bazaar in the world. With about 4 thousand shops selling everything from gold, precious jewels, antiques, fabrics and carpets, to spices, tea merchants, faux designer merchandise and Viagra, this place has it all and every merchant is approaching you to come into their shop to buy. READ MORE >

October 26, 2016

Istanbul: Standing on the East and West

The Bosphorous and Atatürk Bridge in Red
The Bosphorous and Atatürk Bridge in Red

Istanbul is a city in 2 halves divided by water and facing Asia gleaming on the opposite bank of the Bosphorous sea. The old and the new city are joined by bridges; the Gallata Bridge, the Ataturk and the Metro bridge which carries people and trams. There are also tons of ferries that carry people and cars to and from the Asia side with an enormous bridge a ruby  necklace joining the last of the “West” and the entrance to the “East”.READ MORE >

October 25, 2016

Istanbul: City of Cats

Gallata Tower right down the street from the hotel
Gallata Tower right down the street from the hotel

Gregg St.Onge, my friend and the author of our personal travelogue, suggested a few hotels in the new and old parts of the city and we chose the Georges Hotel, a chic boutique hotel near the Galata Tower in the heart of Coolsvile.

The Georges Hotel Istanbul
The Georges Hotel Istanbul

The fact that the streets were only wide enough for one car at a time and at angles up and down best suited for a sure footed cat, of which the city is teeming; feral cats that are like domesticated ones only they live everywhere in the city except inside people’s homes. READ MORE >

October 24, 2016

Istanbul: Ottoman Dream

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The courtyard of the Blue Mosque

My arrival in Istanbul went exactly contrary to what I preached in an earlier post as I prepared my trip. With my Wallpaper City Guide in hand and a comprehensive list of tips from my old friend Gregg St. Onge, who’d lived in the mysterious city and stating categorically that it is his favorite in all the world, I barely took the time to really read it or do any research on line before landing at Atatürk Airport.READ MORE >

October 14, 2016

Friday: Hola Chicos from Palma De Mallorca

Hola Chicos!!!
Hola Chicos!!!

Forgive me for skipping over the last 5 days in Paris. I’ll share them shortly as they were EPIC, but for the sake of time and time lost, here are some moments in Palma. Getting here yesterday, from cold and enchanted Paris was a bit of a shock. Think tropical weather, Palm trees everywhere and a medieval city complete with  castles and a walled old city within. Last night we strolled through winding cobble stoned streets with galleries, shops and enticing tapas bars and restaurants every other step. I had no idea the charm of the place would be so instantly infectious,think plague, but in a really good way.

Anton prepared the nicest breakfast on the balcony of our sweet apartment on the top of an old house situated directly in Plaza de Cort. It looks over the square and out to the mountains and a beautiful castle in the distance. The Cathedral is directly across the Plaza from here. Cafe con leche and warm croissants will fuel the beginning of our day. Here are a few visual moments. More soon !

October 4, 2016

Take a Hike: The Reality Check

At base camp, the parking lot
At base camp, the parking lot

Before leaving NYC to come to Germany, I shared a story ” Take a Hike” that was planned for a mountain in Switzerland; Säntis in Scwägalp. I’d been hearing about the Bronner family hikes up this mountain as a family tradition for the last 30 years. Anton, his sister and brother and parents hiked it together, his father with a prosthetic leg and cane well into his 80’s… When his sister had children, they too made the hike as early as 4 years old. Surely, if they all did it it must be easy.READ MORE >