Cycling in New York City

“Aren’t you nervous about cycling around here?” a neighbor asked as we waited for the elevator, eyeing the Bianchi bike by my side. It was a fair question. There’s plenty to be nervous about when it comes to cycling in New York City. Taxis that refuse to use their blinkers. Drivers texting. Other cyclists that…

Solo in Tokyo

It’s Saturday morning. You pick up the newspaper and open the travel section. As a travel writer, this weekend ritual can be research, but once in a while, there’s also regret. Regret that you did not pitch the story that is now in front of you, often written beautifully. Regret that you did not take…

Cucina Tipica Romana

The first place I set foot in Italy, was Rome. I remember smelling freshly pulled espresso when my plane touched down in Ciampino Airport after dark. At lunch, wine was often cheaper than bottled water. A whole pizza could be devoured for 5 euros. I walked and took photographs, connected dots on maps to visit…

Seen in Tokyo

  I landed in Tokyo 24-hours before a typhoon hit. After sleeping off the jet lag, I donned my raincoat and headed out into the rain — I couldn’t wait to explore the city streets, and plus, rain is the perfect weather for soup. Almost every day of my trip I ate a big bowl…

A Food Tour of Athens

Some friendships just make sense from the beginning. For Peter and I, the connection was food. Or more specifically, the pleasure of sharing food deeply rooted in place with someone who appreciates it just as much. This was the foundation of a recent day spent in the capital of Greece, with my friend and Athens…

Writer in the Kitchen: Daniel Boulud

“Do you speak French?” Daniel Boulud, the award-winning chef and cookbook author asked me. We were seated at a quiet table in the corner of Cafe Boulud in the Four Seasons Toronto for a talk about New York, travel, and cooking. “I wish I did, but fortunately my partner does, which comes in handy during…

Seen in Toronto

It started with a post called Seen in Amsterdam. Continuing along the same vein, here are some things I saw in Toronto at the St. Lawrence Market. Kids lined up at a counter eating their lunches. Sliders made from different types of game meat. Fresh spinach pasta. Piles of oysters on ice. Even bigger piles…

Seen in Amsterdam

One of the great pleasures of traveling alone is no one to distract you. Instead of chatting with a travel companion while strolling the streets or sitting in a cafe, the focus shifts to observation. I was reminded of this recently during a winter trip to Amsterdam, when I found myself with two, cold, January…

The Spritz

I was awake before school children singing songs came barreling down the lane. Closing the door quietly behind me, I entered a labyrinth of laneways without a map. I crossed bridges over still water, peered into cheese shops with the shutters still down. On this February morning, Venice was still very much asleep. The few…

The Streets of Bratislava

This weekend in the New York Times travel section, there was an article on Bratislava, Slovakia. The images and descriptions of this city — just an hour from Vienna without the crowds typical of Vienna — brought me right back to these streets where I spent a few blissful, wandering days. I had just come…

My First New York

One book laying around my apartment is  My First New York: Early Adventures in the Big City. In essays as short as a single sentence or rolling on for several pages, artists, chefs, comedians, rockers, and writers who all call New York home describe what it was like to arrive in the Big Apple and…

A Snowy Breakfast in Stockholm

This morning I woke to the first snowfall of the season in New York City. Before it turns to slush, when there’s still just a few footsteps crushed into powder, snow in the city can be beautiful. A few years ago during a winter trip to Stockholm, I woke to six pristine inches of snow….

Restaurant Report: Tastes of the Mediterranean

New York City can meet any food craving at any time. For me, growing up in a household with an Italian background, that craving is often Italian. I want to walk into a restaurant and be smacked in the face with slow-cooked aromas that remind me of home. I want to read a menu that…

Where to Stay in Dublin

I became a traveler again, faced with all a traveler’s problems. I was in the center of Dublin — the city I called home from 2008 – 2010 — and instead of a resident, I was a visitor with a visitor’s worries: where to stay, where to eat, what to do, how to manage my…

Crossing the Pond

Tomorrow, I’ll be on the red eye to London. This city was the first place my Dad took me to Europe as a pre-double digit child. Where my plane landed when I studied at Oxford. Where my Grand Tour of Europe began. Yet what surprises me every time I touch down in Heathrow is how…

Pleasures Along the Pacific

Traveling is full of unexpected surprises. Sometimes, a meal we are anticipating is a complete disappointment. Sometimes, a simple breakfast can be elevated to something truly memorable. During my trip to San Diego last week I was reminded that no matter how much you plan and research, travel will find a way to venture off…

Planning a Picnic in Dublin

We might already be complaining about the heat, but I’ll take sunshine over snow any day. When the sun comes out there can be an infectious atmosphere of craving time spent outdoors. I recently wrote a post over on the Traveler’s Way about planning a picnic in New York City. This got me to thinking that…

Not Vertical in Paris

Every article you read about Paris is magical. This is not one of those stories. While I have had my fair share of wonderful Paris moments (leisurely lunches at sunny sidewalk cafes, decadent molten chocolate cake at 2 in the afternoon, strolling over a bridge with that signature accordian music in the background) I was…

The Affordable Side of Dublin

Things have changed in the city that used to be called one of  ‘the most expensive capitals in Europe’. It’s affordable again. During the boom years of the Celtic Tiger, you had to search to find value, but now the city can once again be called affordable. Cheap flights and packages have made trips to…

All Eyes on Ireland

Last week for St Patrick’s Day, all eyes were on Ireland. Now that the green beer is a distant memory, you might have a leftover curiosity about the Emerald Isle. I write frequently about the capital city of Dublin and Ireland in general on this blog, and recently I’ve had a few readers asking for…

Six Months of Brunch – Part II

Were you craving a leisurely brunch after last week’s post? If the descriptions of spicy, decadent, and gooey brunch dishes from last week weren’t enough – here’s the final three to round out my favorite six brunch spots in NYC over the last six months. Do you have any suggestions of places I should try…

An Experiment in the Italian Unknown

I had vowed to spend 1 week only ordering food with names I did not recognize. This simple vow spiced up a trip to Florence in February 2008 as I ate my way through traditional Tuscan cuisine at affordable trattorias throughout the city. The most memorable dish came on Valentine’s Day, in the form of…

An Itinerary Just for You

Have you ever wanted a travel writer to design an itinerary just for you? Keep reading. If you have been to Dublin before (or even if you haven’t) you may be one of the readers who has sent me an e-mail asking what to see beyond the major tourist sites. Once the Book of Kells…