This is the fifth and final post in guest contributor Myles Stone’s reflections on his recent two-month stay with his family in Hoi An, Viet Nam, more than 40 years after the end of the war that roiled America and in many ways changed baby boomers’ lives and world views forever.
But now it’s a new era in this beautiful Southeast Asian country, where the vast majority of the population was born after what they call the American War. (Even when I visited Viet Nam in 1997, there was little anti-American resentment.)This is the fifth and final post in guest contributor Myles Stone’s reflections on his recent two-month stay with his family in Hoi An, Viet Nam, more than 40 years after the end of the war that roiled America and in many ways changed baby boomers’ lives and world views forever.
Myles offered eloquent observations about the history of… Continue reading
During our recent visit to Charlottesville, Virginia, where our daughter, Lia, lives and works, my wife, Catharine, and I had the chance to leave the city a bit and explore the attractions of the nearby region.
Since it was our third visit to Charlottesville, we had already toured Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello, and the Jefferson-designed University of Virginia campus, sporting some of the country’s finest architecture. Both are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Now it was time to see some of the nearby cities, take some scenic drives, negotiate some hiking trails, absorb some additional culture, visit some wineries, and even make a pilgrimage to the factory that produces my favorite potato chips. (Special thanks to Lia, her boyfriend, Mike, and their trusty Prius for chauffeuring us around.)
So here are my top… Continue reading
Fourth in a Series:
During my week on the Greek island of Milos, I saw no Mexican restaurants, no sushi bars, no French bistros, or even a Chinese take-out joint.
Yes, there were casual cafes that served pizza, burgers, or crepes as part of their offerings, but no dedicated ethnic eateries or American fast-food places.
All this was fine with me. My family and I ate Greek food three times a day — more if you count the occasional snack — and never got tired of it.
Not only was it almost invariably fresh and delicious, but the variety in selection and preparation far surpassed what you might expect to find in a Greek restaurant in the United States. Our diet went way beyond the familiar gyros,… Continue reading
Milos — one of Greece’s sun-soaked Cycladic islands that include the better known Mykonos and Santorini — had not been on my radar until a Greek-American friend of ours suggested it might be the perfect place for a three-generation vacation.
The three generations? My wife, Catharine, and I — first-time grandparents as of six months ago — our son, Grael; daughter-in-law, Nona; and our young grandson, Conrad, making his first trip abroad, brand new passport in hand. (Well, not in his hands — though he would have liked to have gotten hold of it, along with anything dangling and shiny.)
Because we’d all be traveling with a baby, we didn’t want anything too hectic and crowded — that eliminated Mykonos and Santorini — but we did want a good choice of lodgings, restaurants, cafes, and beaches, as… Continue reading
What city in the U.S. can claim the first American:
- Public school (1698)
- Residential street (1702)
- Library (1731)
- Independent hospital (1731)
- Fire-fighting company (1736)
- Meetings of the U.S. Congress (1774)
- First university (1779)
- Public Bank (1780)
- Daily Newspaper (1784)
- Stock exchange (1790)
- Circus (1793)
- Manned air flight (1793)
- Art museum and school (1805)
- Carbonated water (1807)
- Theater (1809)
- Natural history museum (1812)
- African American university (1837)
- Advertising agency (1869)
- Zoo (1874)
- Merry-go-round (1867)
- Ice cream soda (1876)
- Cafeteria-style restaurant (1902)
- Funeral home (built as such) (1905)
- Thanksgiving Day parade (1919)
- Totally air conditioned building (1932)
- Cheesesteak (1932)
- Girl Scout cookie sale (1932)
- Fully electronic computer invented (1946)
- Slinky (1948)
- Polio vaccine (1960)
Not to mention (though I’m mentioning them anyway): the first U.S. Mint, the first department store, the first botanical garden, the first opera… Continue reading
My recent post on The World’s Top 10 Cities took food into consideration, but also considered many other factors — such as scenery, sights, general ambiance, ease of getting around, friendliness of the residents, etc.
My list of The World’s Top Seven Food Cities includes several of those listed in my Top Cities post, but eliminates some and changes the rankings of others. (Like my Top Cities post, I’m sticking with international cities only, eliminating American cities because I’m partial to my former homes — San Francisco and New York — and would also have to include New Orleans and maybe Savannah, and by then I’d be more than halfway through my list.)
For starters, I’ll axe Jerusalem, Barcelona, Budapest, Venice, and Florence from my international food list, even though I’ve had some very… Continue reading
Second in a Series:
My wife, Catharine, and I always like to arrive one or two days in advance at the embarkation point of a cruise, partly to explore and get acclimated to a new location, and partly just to plain avoid missing the boat.
We also like to seek out the ship wherever it may be docked, if it’s arrived in port a day or two early. We were looking for the Sagitta, the Island Windjammers’ 24-passenger sailing vessel where we would spend the next week, sailing from St. Lucia to several other Caribbean islands.
And so Catharine and I walked down to the Rodney Bay Marina — on the far northern end of St. Lucia — from our hotel, the Bay Gardens Inn. (Which, by the way, I heartily recommend; it’s small,… Continue reading
First, the recipe:
Two boneless chicken breasts, cut thin
1 tsp. unsweetened or semisweet cocoa powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp. paprika
a dash of cayenne pepper or chili flakes
lemon juice (enough to make mix “goopy”)
some cilantro or basil, chopped
melted butter (you choose the amount)
optional: cumin or garlic powder
whiskey for flambeing
Mix above ingredients together (except whiskey if flambeing).
Wash chicken and coat thoroughly with mix.
Let sit for awhile while you figure out what to serve with it, or have a cocktail (optional, but if flambeing, don’t use up all your whiskey).
Cook chicken — grill it, fry it, bake it, saute it, stir-fry it, flambe it, whatever you like, but do make sure to apply sufficient heat that it isn’t raw and you get sick from it. I don’t want that… Continue reading
When you think of European beer, Germany may spring first to mind, but the real capital is the Czech Republic.
Czechs are said to drink more brew than any other nationality in the world: 40 gallons annually for every man, woman and child in the country. I’m guessing that the average is somewhat higher than that for adult men.
The very word “pilsner” derives from the city of Pilsen in the Czech Republic, where the country’s best known export — and my longtime favorite beer, Pilsner Urquell — is brewed. It was the first golden pilsner ever made.
On my recent Insight Vacations tour of Prague, I discovered that Pilsner Urquell is only the beginning of what Czech beer has to offer.
Along with 30 other journalists from around the world, I was fortunate to join the… Continue reading
My first encounter with Aroma Thyme Bistro, located in the town of Ellenville in New York’s Hudson Valley, was at a fundraiser for our local public radio station. Called Foodstock because of its proximity to the original Woodstock concert site, the event brought together restaurants from around the region to give out free samples (once you paid your way in) and perhaps lure you to come dine with them in the future.
Aroma Thyme Bistro stood out for two reasons.
First, they didn’t just hand out any old samples. They handed out samples of one of the two most expensive items on their menu, rare sesame crusted albacore tuna with Sriracha and peanut glaze. It was so good I came around twice, hoping they wouldn’t recognize me from the first time.
Second, they gave out free… Continue reading