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The Atlas

North America

20 Aug

Los Poblanos Ranch

There are so many hidden gems around the world, and one of the great pleasures of working in the world of travel is that friends generously offer me their favorite picks of hotels and restaurants.  This happens frequently, and it gives me the greatest pleasure to be led to these special finds. Here is the latest.   Los Poblanos is a 20-room historic...

25 Jul

Oliver in a New York Summer

There was a story this week on the cities with the happiest residents.  The top three were in Louisiana; the city with the most unhappy people was said to be New York. It is foolish to say, “How is it possible?” because we are a city of millions, with millions of different histories, millions of different dreams, and with different hands...

17 Jun

The Frick Collection

One of the lovely things about summer in New York is the loosening of life’s constrictions.  From one day to the next the city seems to empty out and life flows:  traffic flows, breezy light clothing flows, and even time seems to become more fluid.  This is the time to read under a tree, to walk a neighborhood, to explore Central Park, to visit...

14 Jun

NY’s Central Park From Another Viewpoint

David Cobb Craig is a journalist, editor, photographer and former guide for the Central Park Conservancy.  He is also a long time friend of mine, a curious, articulate collaborator on the various travel projects we have shared over the years.  I joined him and a small group of diverse – mostly transplanted – New Yorkers on a beautiful...

19 Apr

The Beauty of Facades

I rushed off to see a lovely show at the Met of  Charles Marville’s mid-18th century photographs of Paris streets.  While beautiful in their subtle black and white tones and evocative of another era, they don’t speak fully to me because I cannot connect to the locations.  So much of what we enjoy is because of intangibles –  the...

10 Apr

Betony

The ceilings soar, the service impresses and the food enchants.  The architects of this trifecta are Executive Chef Bryce Shuman, former Executive Sous Chef of Eleven Madison Park, and General Manager Eamon Rockey, formerly of Eleven Madison Avenue as well.  Located just off Fifth Avenue on 57th Street, the food is billed as Modern American and it...

31 Mar

Please Adopt a Friend

I joined my son and his girlfriend on a day’s outing to find a dog to adopt. Val, Justin’s wonderful adopted chow, died 7 months ago.  The healing has taken place and they are both ready to take on a new creature. We went to the North Shore Animal League and Manhattan’s ASPCA.  It was probably the most emotionally draining, difficult...

30 Mar

EN Japanese Brasserie

In restaurants I usually go for the smaller, more intimate spaces rather than the splashy stage sets of which Jean George’s Spice Market was an early, successful example.  But EN Japanese Brasserie on Hudson and Leroy doesn’t sacrifice its food to the textured, dramatic, warm interior design.  A large restaurant, it offers three types...

19 Mar

Heavenly Horse

Officer Fang’s Barbarian Horse Barbarian steed, pride of Ferghana, All jags and angles, well-knit bones; Two ears cocked, sharp as bamboo spikes, Four hoofs light, riding on the wind. Galloping away into boundless distance, Rightly you trust him with your life and death Highborn steed, delight beyond compare You fly through space over a thousand...

5 Mar

Airstream2go

If you are a traveler with a sense of adventure and a sense of style, a traveler who likes her independence and spontaneity, this could be the great travel changer for you – at least if you are adventuring in the US.  Airstream trailers are an iconic vehicle, THE rv that marries timeless glamor with efficiency of design.  And Airstream2go have...

18 Feb

It’s All in the Approach

The umpteenth snowfall, garbage hidden under mountains of plowed grunge, sidewalks slicked with black ice.  What to do?  Get yourself a dog and head to the park! There is nothing like sharing the joy of another to change the viewpoint.  Oliver, who finds something glorious in most seasons and weather, is my ticket to mental and emotional balance....

15 Dec

The Dominican Republic’s North Coast

I have spent the last few days on a reconnaissance trip on the north coast of the Dominican Republic.  What a gorgeous surprise!  My last visit was to Punta Cana on the east of the island, an enclave of pretty private houses and Oscar de la Renta’s hotel, Tortuga Bay. The East’s dry, flat landscapes, white sand beaches and peaceful Caribbean...

23 Nov

Pure Thai Cookhouse

PURE Thai Cookhouse is a genuine Thai shophouse style restaurant in NYC’s Hell’s Kitchen that features homemade noodles from a prized family recipe. Pure also specializes in signature dishes you would find from the many vendors and shophouses from the farmlands of Phayao, in the North, to the floating markets of Ratchaburi in Central Thailand,...

25 Oct

A Morning at the Cloisters

15 minutes from the UES where I live is a world remote in time and place, a world of great beauty and sincerity.  The Cloisters, a branch of the Metropolitan Museum of Art devoted to the art and architecture of medieval Europe, is set on a hilltop with commanding views of the Hudson River.  John D. Rockefeller Jr. provided for the building, the setting...

17 Oct

The Todd English Food Hall

Market dining is the fashion of the moment.   Diverse cuisines, open kitchens, counter and family table seating offer today’s foodies the opportunity to have celebrity chef-designed menus composed of fresh, artisanal ingredients in a  casual, stylish environment.  And in some Food  Hall dining venues,  you can follow up your meal by purchasing...

7 Oct

Shibui: Japanese Antiques

Walking along Water Street in Brooklyn I happened across a warehouse space filled to the gills with Asian pieces.  Japanese, it turns out, with just a smattering of Chines architectural elements and screens.  “Just Japanese?” I asked Dane Owen, the owner.  “Yes, these days just Japanese,” he replied.  “There is an...

5 Oct

Shalom Japan

Offering an outrageous and seemingly random fusion of Japanese and Jewish cuisine, South Williamsburg newcomer, Shalom Japan, quite simply, works. Don’t let the cutesy name and strange menu deter you; the restaurant is small and simple, the ambiance pleasant, and the food is outstanding. The menu is seasonally focused and changes daily, but items...

29 Sep

The Met

The Metropolitan Museum of Art is New York’s preeminent storehouse of riches.  Fronting Fifth Avenue in the lower 80’s and backing on to a glorious Central Park, The Met fills many spaces in the lives of New Yorkers.  On sunny days the graded steps to its main entrance become part sunbathing perch, part amphitheater.  There is always...

23 Jul

Restaurant Ease in Manhattan

CATA, my new favorite Spanish restaurant in lower Manhattan, is a delightful find.  Easy on a summer evening, this is a tapas spot with all the delicious bites you would expect from the country of origin:  slices of iberico, pan tostada with delicious fresh tomato salsa, grilled peppers with sea salt, prawns, chickpea fritters, grilled wagyu.  It’s...

19 Jul

Ippudo West Side

I ran.  Well, not really ran as the heat index was 107 at 5:30PM when I set out from home, and I more slid than ran to 51st between 8th and 9th to beat the crowds.  The soft opening was on the  12th, but Ippudo didn’t need any soft opening.  It burst on to the Hell’s Kitchen scene and, when I arrived at 6:15, the restaurant and bar...

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