Archive for the ‘Housekeeping’ Category

A New Manifesto

Friday, May 4th, 2018

As a traveler, you do not occupy any kind of moral high ground.
Places don’t exist for you and owe you nothing.
Your view is worth something, but it isn’t the only view.
Don’t take photos of strangers or their children.
Don’t gawk at poverty or tragedy. And if you’re genuinely out to learn or understand something, be discreet, polite, and utterly unintrusive.
Do your damn homework.
Always look for context.
Check your privilege. Always.
You don’t need a ton of money to travel — but it helps if you spend what you have wisely.
Stop overpacking. You don’t need all that shit.
Don’t expect famous sites to be uncrowded.
Things will go wrong.
If your relationship with someone is strained, don’t travel with them.
Everywhere is someone’s home.
Everything is travel.

I’m All over the Place

Tuesday, January 4th, 2011


Some fun news: A couple of my pieces have been featured on web sites other than this one. Please give your traffic to the following:

100 Macarons from Matador Network
If you’ve known me for half a minute, you know of my obsession with these little French pastries. How did I learn about them? By eating mountains of them.

The Dead City from On a Junket
This is about a visit I took with my sister to the Capuchin Catacombs in Sicily.

If either of these pieces look familiar, it’s because they both had healthy, thriving previous lives on this blog. So if you’re a regular reader, consider yourself an ahead-of-the-curve insider. Happy reading and happy travels!

Hey I’m Going to TBEX

Friday, June 25th, 2010


So. I’ll be at TBEX this weekend, talking up L’Americaine and trying not to appear really awkward, which is how it usually goes with me and networking events.

It’s in NYC this year, so I figured it would be fun to go. If you’re going to be there, please say hello.

I’ll be the brunette standing the corner clutching her business cards, wondering why she’s taking herself this seriously.

Also, I just got back from Italy. A monster trip. Venice and lots of Sicily–the Aeolian islands, Palermo, and the area around Catania, which is where my father is from. So you’ll have some things to read, at least.

Happy trails, as always.

Travel Sundries: NYC and Beyond

Wednesday, June 3rd, 2009

Protective Measures

I was told by a friend that I’m not allowed to complain too loudly about last summer. (I was backpacking the Mediterranean, so.) But I missed New York City terribly while I was gone—I’m allowed that much—and by the time I returned to it in August, most of the Fun Summer Stuff here was winding down or done. In short, I am psyched about my summer. And I’m psyched to write about it. Here’s a smattering of travel-related and sort-of-not-travel-related stuff I’ve had my eyes on.

  • My sister’s photography is in Review Santa Fe this month and they’ve set up a nice page with her work. Check out her photos from our little trip to Mont Saint Michel in the north of France last spring.
  • My friend Ola at DiverseTraveller wrote about travel companions on her blog, and she wrote a bit about traveling with me. We hardly knew each other when we set out for Dalmatia together in April, and it really was a wonderful experience. I’ve traveled with some incredible people—many of whom were strangers at the beginning of the journey and good friends by the end. This is, to be sure, one of my favorite things about solo travel.
  • My favorite New York City recession special of the moment is the $35 chicken dinner for two at Smith’s on Macdougall.
  • Recently discovered: Locomotoring. A travel site after my own heart.
  • I think my next trip will be Turkey? It’s shaping up that way.
  • A year ago today, I left Paris for the south of France and continued onto the rest of the Mediterranean. It was maybe the best thing I ever did. The photo is from the top of the hill in Marseille, near the basilica of Notre Dame de la Garde. The guidebooks tell you that you won’t like Marseille as much as other places on the Riviera, but we loved its weird combination of frenetic and chilled out, its very un-Parisian grit. If I ever went back to France to work (or play), I would go to Marseille.

That Would Be Helpful

Wednesday, May 27th, 2009


Recently, someone made a really good point about this blog, and about travel blogs in general. As a writer of a travel blog, I probably should, in fact, tell people a little bit about how to see and do the things I describe here. Fancy that.

Although some things in this travel blog are probably great examples of things you should avoid while traveling, I will, in the future, include things like addresses (online and off) and phone numbers. If you stumble across an old entry that doesn’t include this information and you want it, give a holler. I can add it, or send the information along to you. If I still remember it. Which I may not.

Incidentally, that photo is from Les Puces—the flea market—at Clignancourt in Paris. To get there, take the Metro 4 to Clignancourt, which is pleasantly difficult to pronounce.

Things to See and Do

Thursday, May 21st, 2009


It’s warm in New York City. I’m happy about that. A couple of travel-and-blog-related updates:

  • I wrote a little piece for recently about what you should leave home when you travel. I wrote about one of my gorgeous-but-useless scarves. Or, useless isn’t the word. Superfluous. In this circumstance.
  • I’m really happy to report that my blog posts are now appearing on the awesome site WorldReviewer. Please nose around there and read some of the other excellent writing. I think you’ll enjoy.
  • I’m heading off to Ocean City, Maryland this weekend with some friends. Look out for posts about that little trip, plus more on Croatia and Sicily (as always) and maybe even a few tidbits about the lovely Apple herself.
  • I’m going to be moving this blog soon. I’ll warn you in advance, don’t worry.

Stay cool,

A Word About Subsidized Travel and This Blog

Sunday, April 26th, 2009

As you’ve probably sorted out, I’m currently traveling in Croatia and thought that you should know the following information:

Five of my 12 days of travel on this trip were subsidized by the tourism board of Istria, Croatia with the agreement that I would write about my experiences there. The agreement is informal and I’m not required to write positively about Istria, or to cover any specific topics. But I want you to know that I will always alert you to these kinds of situations so you can best evaluate the context of my writing.

While I review specific restaurants, hotels, and other travel-related amenities only occasionally in this space, I plan to expand this blog’s focus in the future and I want you to know when my experiences are funded by businesses or organizations other than me.

Here’s my rule of thumb: For any subsidies with a cash value of over $40, you’ll see this line at the bottom of the post:

[Item] provided by [Organization].

Where possible, I’ll provide the organization’s web site address (or addresses).

Thanks so much for reading, and if you have any questions about this new policy, please let me know. Also, if my $40 rule changes, you’ll read about it here.

Future Travel

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

I Like This Typeface

Well, my trip to Croatia is shaping up. Unfortunately, I’ve had to ax my plans to go back to France this year. The economy is too uncertain and my vacation time is too dear. Plus, I wondered if Paris would make me sad. Even thinking about the neighborhood where I lived—a not-so-elegant sliver of the 18eme, but I loved it—puts a kind of cramp in my chest. I’ll write more about Paris someday—the classrooms at the Sorbonne that had no computers, the tearoom upstairs at Dalloyau, all my sleepy walks across the rainy Luxembourg. I’ll be back. Just not yet.

For now, though, it’s new cities. Edinburgh and northern Croatia (Pula, Rovinj) in a quick little jaunt. More soon.

Briefly, on a Sunday Morning

Sunday, February 8th, 2009


Hi everyone! A few things before I set out to buy donuts on this splendid New York City morning:

  • I’m going to be traveling again soon! I’ll be in Scotland, briefly, and then in Croatia and back to France for a bit. Yay for whirlwind travel! Yay for new things to write about! The Croatia portion of the trip is pretty much covered, but if you have suggestions for things to do and see in Edinburgh, or in the south of France in April, give a holler. You know what I like: tangly little villages, art, books, pastry.
  • I’m going to start doing some “real”—that is to say, useful—travel writing. Maybe here. Maybe elsewhere. Stay tuned.
  • The last entry was the first blip of a much larger project I’m working on—a piece about meeting my father’s family in Sicily last April. You’ll be seeing more snippets of it in the coming months. I have to say. It’s really hard to write about things that feel both very personal and very important.
  • Are there other travel blogs that you like reading? Please do share. My new favorite is Prêt à Voyager. It’s not so much a travel blog, but I like Paris Breakfasts a lot, too.

Look out, as always, for more writing.

Good News, She Said

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

Dear Reader,

I’m happy to report that The Beaches, about the extraordinary La Maddalena Archipelago, is featured in the January/February issue of Eclectica. It was originally published here, in a slightly different form, under the title A Day at the Beach.

Please grace the amazing Eclectica with your traffic and time.

New essays coming soon…