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Womantraveler
Northern California
Interests: travel, writing, reading, food
Recent Activity
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As a business traveler, looking for the comforts of home while working with clients in small and mid-size cities, I opt for local bed and breakfasts, especially if the destination also happens to be a college town, like Corvallis, Oregon, home of Oregon State University. Typically in these communities there are not enough hotels and cookie cutter mid-range national brands accessible to all pocket books, dependable and efficient but devoid of much charm. Bed and breakfast inns today offer far more than get-away romantic retreats. With the growth of the entrepreneurial "share" culture of HomeAway/VRBO and Airbnb, they must create... Continue reading
Posted Jan 6, 2018 at womantraveler
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Miami is constantly reinventing itself, and over the past year, I discovered that Coconut Grove - hip and cool 30 years ago, then declasse and "tired," has been remaking itself in the classic "boom-bust-and-boom" Miami style. Its funky, artsy personality remains as glass-wrapped high rises line up along South Bayshore Drive. Here's more of what to find today in Miami. Continue reading
Posted Jul 22, 2017 at womantraveler
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Forget the Cape. For a low-key weekend journey, explore the FarmCoast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island - and its villages, creeks and farmlands within an easy day's getaway from Providence or Boston and a weekend journey from Manhattan. Tucked out of the way south of Interstate 195 that heads to Cape Cod these tiny communities along Buzzards Bay, Rhode Island Sound and the tidal Westport and Sakonnet rivers happily let you find them. Continue reading
Posted Jun 26, 2017 at womantraveler
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National Independent Bookstore Day the last weekend in April is a regular reminder that indie bookstores are travel destinations And why not? Writer Ann Patchett, who owns the Nashville, Tennessee Parnassus Books I've visited, wrote about this eloquently in the recent special New York Times Travel section on bookstores. (There are several fascinating articles in this special section of Dec. 6, 2016 about literary adventures and bookstore destinations, starting with Ann Patchett's personal guide of favorites. Additionally the National Independent Bookstore Day link provides a long list of some but not all indie bookstores around the U.S.) When I'm on... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2017 at womantraveler
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If you think of designer Rei Kawakubo's current exhibit at the Met ("Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the 'In-Between'") as a commentary on life, it's a lot more palatable than thinking of the clothes as something you'd run out in for the evening. (Well, some do - keep reading.) Not to be missed either is the Irving Penn retrospective (Irving Penn: Centennial), more than 150 photos representing all his genres, including his elegant fashion photography for Vogue. You might call this the polar opposite of Kawakubo's imagination. Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2017 at womantraveler
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Up at 6250 feet, with the wind blowing and the snow on the way, I'm feeling the rush of the fresh air and the heights, all which promote opening one's imagination. The book at hand is fiction drawn from the stories of the women journalists who bucked all odds in World War II to be on the frontlines. Who is a Womantraveler, if not one of them? The trip across country from Miami was easy but the stories were abundant. The couple from Rochester who had selected the United flight because - to celebrate his 80th birthday - he wanted... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2017 at womantraveler
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Terry McDonell, author of the new memoir, The Accidental Life, has edited some of the best writers of our generation -- and likely some of them are better because of him. Yet he opened his remarks at the independent bookstore Book Passage in Marin County, California with a confession - "I could not get a good job as a writer, so I began to tumble my way into editing jobs." Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2017 at womantraveler
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My Womantraveler pal and I have a routine before and after the San Francisco Ballet matinees on Saturday - food, like dance, is at the center. For brunch we arrive by 12 noon (no later than 12:30 pm) at Monsieur Benjamin (451 Gough Street, 415.403.2233), a bustling French bistro in Hayes Valley, a few blocks from the War Memorial where the ballet begins promptly at 2 pm. It's really smart to book a reservation at this neighborhood spot, although if you're lucky you can squeeze in at the counter. The scene is entertaining like any other French bistro - and... Continue reading
Posted May 28, 2017 at womantraveler
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Testimony, the memoir by The Band's guitarist and principal songwriter Robbie Robertson, ends with The Last Waltz, the group's final concert in 1976 and often called "the end of an era" for the melange of rock, blues and folk that fueled the '60s and '70s. Forever etched in memory as the pulsating, doe-eyed virtuoso guitarist in the magenta scarf that iconic evening, which was captured on film by Martin Scorsese, Robbie Robertson drew several hundred aging rockers and younger people to Dominican University just 25 miles north of San Francisco's Winterland, where the The Last Waltz was performed. Continue reading
Posted Dec 4, 2016 at womantraveler
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Hog Island has always delivered some of the most delicious West Coast oysters but with climate change's colossal effect on Pacific Ocean seafood its farmed oyster beds not far from San Francisco are ever-more vital. Continue reading
Posted Nov 2, 2016 at womantraveler
Thank you, Eileen Fisher, for reminding us of what's important besides beautiful and practical clothes for travel - and to the League of Women Voters for this important service. Whether you travel for business or pleasure, fill out this form and act now! Continue reading
Posted Nov 1, 2016 at womantraveler
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I have strong women on my mind in these recent weeks as courageous women have been petulantly (and liberally) dismissed or vilified in some quarters, so my brief encounter with Misty Copeland, the American Ballet Theatre's first African-American female principal dancer, was all the more significant. Continue reading
Posted Oct 30, 2016 at womantraveler
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Channeling MFK Fisher, the remarkable sage of food writing and gastronomic pleasure, I took off for Glen Ellen in Sonoma County about 40 north of San Francisco, California, knowing the limitations of my adventure even before I started. First of all, Fisher died in 1992, and second of all, her cottage retreat, “Last House,” is now part of the Audubon Canyon Ranch’s 535-acre Bouverie Preserve and is not open to the public - yet. Continue reading
Posted Oct 16, 2016 at womantraveler
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Little Beet Table's vegetable-forward menu is a refreshing change from the rich, heavy fare often layered on at dinner in Midtown Manhattan. The vegetable plates and carefully selected fish, poultry or meat are complimented with 3-4 unusual ingredient combinations that result in tasty but not overwrought dishes. The casual decor also brings with it easy-going, friendly, personalized service - the care that goes with "from my garden to your table." Continue reading
Posted Oct 12, 2016 at womantraveler
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Bo CaPhe is a delicious Vietnamese-American restaurant in New York's Soho, where you should go for real Vietnamese food - and some yummy American eating, too. Continue reading
Posted Oct 10, 2016 at womantraveler
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Hearth Restaurant's Italian-inflected cooking in Manhattan's East Village is, of course, organic and proudly supportive of local, family farms. They recognize that the closer the farmers are to the table, the fresher the food. I look at the restaurant title and can't help noting that the word "Hearth" incorporates "earth" and that you feel here, close to the ground, real. Continue reading
Posted Oct 9, 2016 at womantraveler
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One of the pleasures of living in South Florida and the West are the small neighborhood restaurants featuring regional cuisines. So in Dallas, searching for something more inventive near Love Field, we discovered Gloria's Latin Cuisine, whose menu blends Salvadorean specialties and Tex-Mex fare and their cross-over, called "Salvatex." That means meats carefully marinaded in aromatic spices before grilling, additions of yuca, Spanish rice, grilled vegetables and sweet fried plaintains along with the traditional Southwestern fare that includes tacos, enchiladas, beans and pico de gallo. Salvadorean food is distinctive for its Mayan, Spanish and Native American influences. Continue reading
Posted Oct 8, 2016 at womantraveler
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Parnassus Books, co-owned by writer Ann Patchett and one of the nation's premier independent bookstores, sits in the most unamazing location in a strip mall, tucked in among Chipotle, The Vitamin Shoppe, Ten Thousand Villages and other small businesses whose exteriors are dull caramel trimmed in dark chocolate. Like other independent bookstores, which represent the souls of local communities, you might pass it a couple of times before you actually find it. But persevere on as a reader and you will be home again. Continue reading
Posted May 25, 2016 at womantraveler
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A chef I know uses coffee shops to assess what's hot in the local food scene when he's traveling. So in Nashville, we follow the coffee trail to two neighborhoods that are turning Music City into the next "food destination" in the South -- Germantown and East Nash. Continue reading
Posted May 22, 2016 at womantraveler
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I'm not sure which was more breathtaking - sweeping views in one vast room from the Hudson River on the west to Chelsea rooftops on the east - or the sheer immensity of the new Whitney Museum's dramatic 5th floor gallery.It's nearly one-third the size of a football field - at 18,200 square feet, the largest column-free museum gallery in New York. To celebrate the close of its first year in its new downtown location, the Whitney invited installation and performance artists to realize the grandeur of this one-floor expanse in the five-part "Open Plan" exhibit that closes May 14, 2016. Regardless of timing, check out the space. Continue reading
Posted Apr 11, 2016 at womantraveler
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"Bonnie Raitt at the Ryman Auditorium in May?" What a combo!! A legendary lady of a certain generation and a legendary venue for the best of country, rock and rockabilly. From iconic performers to modern-day interpreters, Bonnie - like the experiences of most Baby Boomers - bridges both sensibilities. Continue reading
Posted Apr 9, 2016 at womantraveler
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As a frequent traveler to a food-powered city like New York, the question is - do I return to a favorite neighborhoody spot or try something new? Ideally both. Here's why Cookshop (at 10th Avenue and 20th Street in the West Village) is on my list as a regular go-to dining experience. Continue reading
Posted Feb 22, 2016 at womantraveler
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If you travel to cities with great museums, enjoying them like a local refines the experience. On a tip from another Womantraveler, I joined the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City with a reasonably priced "National Associate" membership. Then, after more research, I discovered that certain museums closer to home provide reciprocal memberships with those across the country, so, for example, my membership to San Francisco's Museum of Modern Art admits me to the new Whitney in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, the Guggenheim and more than 30 others in the US and Canada. Continue reading
Posted Jan 29, 2016 at womantraveler
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Southern Vermont is sturdy in every season, its winding roads passing both quaint and gourmet country stores, year-round Christmas shops, challenging ski slopes and mountain hiking trails, local playhouses where famous actors guest-star in "the season" and brook-powered grist mills displaying the fundamental engineering of modern technology. Like these snapshots from the 18th century, Southern Vermont reminds us that timeless is good, but updating for modern tastes where pragmatic is OK too. Continue reading
Posted Jan 26, 2016 at womantraveler
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Everyone wants to be close to clients for quick travel across downtown DC, but I've been trending toward a few hotels - both downtown and on the edges - that stand out for personalized service, often offer more spacious rooms, are usually quieter and still afford easy access to anywhere in the nation's capital. Here's why I recommend The River Inn, Sofitel at Lafayette Square and Ritz Carlton Pentagon City... Continue reading
Posted Dec 8, 2015 at womantraveler