Monday, April 16, 2018

STAR-CHITECTS BUILD LARGER-THAN-LIFE SCULPTURES


BY JANET STEINBERG

I am often asked, “What is your favorite museum?”  The answer is simple…my favorite museum is the world!  

This amazing world that we live in is an open-air museum, filled with fascinating structures created by world-renowned architects.  When traveling around the world, I make it a point to experience as many architectural masterpieces as possible.  They come in a variety of amazing shapes and sizes, from medieval to modern.  Allow me to share with you a few intriguing structures that, in reality, are museum-quality, larger-than-life, sculptures. 

MUSEO GUGGENHEIM BILBAO: From a distance, the splendid bizarrely shaped $100-million Guggenheim Museum of Modern Art in Bilbao, Spain looked like a massive steel sculpture. And then, all of a sudden, there it was…renowned architect Frank Gehry's masterpiece in flowing titanium and limestone.  Gehry described his building, on the banks of the Nervion River, as a ship that has run aground.  The museum, which opened in 1997, reflects Bilbao's heritage with its suggestion of maritime shapes and sails.  Others have likened the silhouette of Bilbao’s Guggenheim to a roller coaster, a mermaid, a waterfall a hula girl, and a fish.  The building is covered with over 35,OOO titanium tiles and pieces of glass strategically placed to catch the natural light.  Maman, Louise Bourgeois' huge bronze spider, stands in front of the museum.    
        
MAMAN, A HUGE BRONZE SPIDER, STANDS IN FRONT OF THE MUSEUM       
                   

Monday, March 26, 2018

BY THE SEA, BY THE SEA, BY THE BEAUTIFUL SEA

Ahhhh…the romance of the “Seven Seas”! 

The term “Seven Seas”, dating back to medieval times, referred to all of the world’s oceans.  Since the 19th century, the term has been taken to include the Arctic, Antarctic, North Atlantic, South Atlantic, North Pacific, South Pacific and Indian Oceans.  By the end of 2018, it is estimated that 314 cruise ships will be sailing approximately 537,000 passengers on the “Seven Seas”.

Cruising those “Seven Seas” can take you to all seven continents in the world. Though it may not afford you hours of leisure time for people-watching or long lingering lunches, cruising will give you a comprehensive glimpse of the whole wide world.  The following are suggestions unforgettable port stops you might want to include in your itineraries on each of those seven continents. 

1. AFRICA: Though chaotic and crowded, CAIRO, EGYPT is one of the most exciting and exotic capitals in the world.  The largest city on the African continent, Cairo is so vibrantly alive that even the most jaded traveler must yield to its magic. Arriving in Cairo is like falling through the looking glass and ending up in history. Cairo’s over-all flavor is still very much that of the Middle East.  Egyptians in their flowing galabeyas and traditional black robes often make their past seem more vividly alive than their present. The Pyramids of Giza exude an excitement just by the very virtue of being there.  They have been considered to be the greatest of the Ancient Seven Wonders of the World…that they alone would survive the passing of time.  “He who has not seen Cairo,” said a traveler of old, “has not seen the world.“ 

THE PYRAMIDS OF GIZA

Monday, March 5, 2018

NOT YOUR RUN-OF-THE-MILL EATERIES

BY JANET STEINBERG



They aren’t pretty…they aren’t fancy…they aren’t expensive.  They are unsophisticated…unpretentious…and unlikely to get any Michelin stars.  They are restaurants where china, crystal and silver are supplanted by paper, plastic and stainless.

They are also restaurants that get their fair share of notoriety on TV shows and in the movies.  And, for some reason unbeknownst to me, I seem to end up at many of the same places as do the cameras of movie makers and those of Guy Fieri’s TV show “Diners, Drive-ins and Dives”. 

GUY FIERI LEAVES HIS MARK WHERE HIS MOUTH IS

Once you have chowed down on their house specialties, these unconventional eateries will remain on your go-to list whenever you happen to be in their neighborhood.  So, don your jeans, tie a bib around your neck and head out for some low-maintenance culinary treats.

BLUE ASH CHILI: A Cincinnati, Ohio institution since 1969, Blue Ash Chili dishes up the ultimate chili challenge dubbed “NO FREAKIN’ WAY”.  Humongous portions of spaghetti, chili and Cheddar cheese, framed with deep-fried jalapeno caps, are piled together to create an 8-pound masterpiece that causes onlookers to gasp “NO FREAKIN’ WAY”. 

NO FREAKIN’ WAY...8 POUNDS OF CHILI HEAVEN

If you clean your plate in 60 minutes your meal is free and you’ll receive a free T-shirt that
reads: “NO FREAKIN’ WAY…WILL YOU BELIEVE WHAT I JUST ATE.  They will also add your picture to their Facebook Hall of Fame.  However, if you fail to finish every single morsel on the platter within 60 minutes, you’ll be added to their Wall of Shame and you will owe them $39.99.


WILL YOU BELIEVE WHAT I JUST ATE

So, if you are wondering If I cleaned the plate all by myself in 60 minutes, there can only be one honest answer…NO FREAKIN’ WAY!

THE APPLE PAN: This Los Angeles landmark is my first stop for comfort food whenever I’m in LaLa Land.   The Apple Pan is an anything-but-glamorous, circa 1947 eatery with its original U-shaped counter (no tables), original 26 red naugahyde stools, brick and plaid walls and the original cash register.  Even the family ownership is original. 


THE APPLE PAN’S TRADITIONAL BRICK AND PLAID WALLS

The only things that have changed at the Apple Pan since the 1940s are the prices. But you can still indulge on a fabulous high cholesterol quarter-pound steakburger, a platter of sinfully good French Fries, and a mega-caloric slice of fantastic fresh Apple Pie.  At lunchtime, get there before noon because the wait can be 3-deep around the counter.

THE APPLE PAN ON W. PICO BLVD.

DOUMAR’S: This Norfolk, Virginia hole-in-the-wall serves up mouth-watering barbeque sandwiches and ice cream cones at its Hampton Road landmark diner.  It also comes complete with curbside service and carhops.


DOUMAR’S...A NORFOLK LANDMARK 

Doumar’s is the home of the original waffle ice cream cone and their handmade waffle cones are rolled right in front of your eyes on the original four-iron waffle machine built in 1904.

WORLD’S FIRST CONE MACHINE AT DOUMARS 

RICK’S WHITE LIGHT DINER: PO-BOYS are a must-try at Rick’s White Light Diner located in the Frankfort, Kentucky Historic District. There’s the Scallop Po-Boy, the Shrimp Po-Boy, the Cajun Andouille Sausage Po-Boy, the Alligator Po-Boy and the Oyster Po-Boy. I couldn’t try them all, but as the saying goes: “You pays your money and you takes your choice”.

OYSTER PO-BOY AT RICK’S

Rick’s White Light Diner is small, offbeat and quirky.  It is also good eating and fun!  In his kitschy, memorabilia-decorated diner, chef/owner Rick Paul has captured the spirit of popular Cajun and Creole dishes.   

RICK’S WHITE LIGHT DINER


IN-N-OUT: In 1948, Harry Snyder introduced California’s first drive-thru hamburger stand in a space barely 10 feet square at Baldwin Park in Los Angeles, California. The introduction of his unique two-way speaker box let In-N-Out offer true drive-thru service.  Six years later, the original “No Delay” sign was replaced by the iconic In-N-Out arrow.

THE ICONIC ARROW SIGN “POINTS TO PRIDE”


In 1961, the “Animal Style” burger was created from mustard-cooked beef patty and a choice of hand-leafed lettuce and tomato, plus pickle, extra spread and grilled onions.  The In-N-Out “Animal Style” burger is one of In-N-Out Burger's most popular "secret menu" items.  But be prepared, eating an Animal Style burger can get a bit sloppy.


IN-N-OUT IS HOME OF THE “ANIMAL STYLE” BURGER

And don’t forget to order one of their fabulous chocolate, strawberry or vanilla milkshakes.  If you just can't decide which flavor milkshake you want, order an In-N-Out Neapolitan Milkshake also on their “secret menu”.  It’s a milkshake that has been blended with all three flavors! 

PINK’S HOT DOGS: This Hollywood eatery, founded by Paul and Betty Pink in 1939 as a pushcart near the corner of La Brea and Melrose, is a Hollywood love story where a $50 loan became a Hollywood legend.  The city fell in love with Pink’s tasty chilidogs and friendly service, and 79 years later, Pink's has become a Hollywood landmark.  Whereas the Pinks were lucky to sell 100 hot dogs a day from their perambulator cart, today’s number exceeds 2000 hot dogs and 200 hamburgers a day.  Their celebrity-named hot dogs are often versions actually ordered by their namesakes who love to eat there.  Featured in movies and TV shows, this family-run success story may well be the most famous hot dog stand in the country…it certainly is that in Los Angeles.

Pink’s is often referred to as “A Hollywood Legend Since 1939” but the Pink family likes to say: “We are the little hot dog stand that could.”

STEINBERG is the winner of 43 national Travel Writer Awards. She is also a Travel Consultant with The Travel Authority in Cincinnati, Ohio

Monday, February 12, 2018

GRAB YOUR VALENTINE AND GO


BY JANET STEINBERG

CAUTION: DO NOT READ THIS (unless you believe in love!)


My car’s disc player was serenading me with Placido Domingo singing a medley of Billy Holiday's “Blue Moon” and Johnny Mercer’s “Moon River”.  With Valentine’s Day on the horizon, I couldn’t help but feel that Domingo was singing the story of my second life…a life that began 30 years ago when a then-young widow met the recently widowed man of her dreams. 


“Blue moon”, Domingo crooned, “you saw me standing alone, without a dream in my heart, without a love of my own.  Blue moon, you knew just what I was there for, you heard me saying a prayer for someone I really could care for.  And then there suddenly appeared before me the only one my arms will ever hold.  I heard somebody whisper ‘please adore me’ and when I looked, the moon had turned to gold...” 

“…AND WHEN I LOOKED THE MOON HAD TURNED TO GOLD”

Thursday, January 18, 2018

MOTHER NATURE WEARS MANY COLORS



BY JANET STEINBERG

Richard Of York Gave Battle In Vain (ROYGBIV).  This mnemonic (pronounced nemonic because the first "m" is silent) is a memory device that will help you remember the colors of the rainbow… red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.  However, Mother Nature needs no such device.  She wears, and paints, these colors around the world 365 days a year.  The following are some of her best renditions of those colors.



BUTCHART GARDENS located on Vancouver Island is near the city Victoria, BC, just off the mainland city of Vancouver.  Victoria is the city known as "The Sunshine City of Gardens". During the summer months, a blaze of blossoms in front of the magnificently domed BC Legislative Building, spell out the words: "Welcome To Victoria".  Roses bloom at Christmas and, in early March, tulips and daffodils are shipped all over Canada from this area.   There are flowers everywhere, but you haven't seen anything until you've seen Butchart Gardens.    

BUTCHART GARDENS