Monday, July 25, 2016

IRVING, TEXAS: A HIDDEN GEM

BY JANET STEINBERG


Part 1 of a series

My version of the Texas Two-Step is a little different than the version you might expect to see on any dance floor in the Lone Star State.  For me, the stars in this western partner dance are two Texas cities that meld together as one.  Just 15-minutes apart, Irving and Dallas are so intertwined that part of the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport lies inside the city limits of Irving. 

The Las Colinas flower clock is a landmark that takes its inspiration from those prevalent in some of Europe's magnificent gardens.  The clock welcomes visitors as they approach Las Colinas, Irving’s premier planned development community. The clock's flowers are changed every three months to ensure that the display retains the vibrant character for which it is famous. 

LAS COLINAS FLOWER CLOCK

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

THE BEST WEDDING TO WHICH I WAS NOT INVITED

BY JANET STEINBERG


NAMASTE!  I have been to India twice, and both times I returned home with many unforgettable experiences. 

In Agra, I hired an elephant named Lakshmi and his mahout (elephant driver) to give me an unforgettable 1.5-mile ride from my hotel to the Taj Mahal. Lakshmi stopped for veggies at her favorite food stands; elderly bystanders clasped their hands in the traditional namaste greeting; and children screamed with delight when they saw me sitting in a rickety howdah atop the lumbering pachyderm. 

That was a fun experience not to be forgotten. 

On the western bank of the Ganges, in the ancient city of Varanasi, I witnessed shrouded bodies being washed in the Ganges River in preparation for the riverbank cremations that are thought to liberate their souls from their bodies. 

That was a sobering experience not to be forgotten.

However, there was one Indian tradition I had missed.   I never had the pleasure of witnessing an Indian wedding.  That is until now.   Only this time I did not have to fly half way around the world for that memorable experience.  I merely had to be in the right place at the right time.  And, believe it or not, that right time and right place was 11 AM on a Saturday morning in the lobby of the Downtown Hilton Hotel in Columbus, Ohio.  I began to suspect something was about to happen when the first group of exquisitely dressed Indian women, wearing a maharani’s ransom in jewels, descended the spiral staircase into the hotel lobby.
INDIAN BEAUTIES DESCEND INTO THE HOTEL LOBBY   

Monday, June 27, 2016

COLUMBUS, OHIO: SIX IN THE CITY

Part 3 of a Series

BY JANET STEINBERG

The innovative Columbus culinary scene has come a long way since my first visit to Columbus many moons ago.  The creative chefs and entrepreneurial restaurateurs of  “C-Bus” offer an outstanding culinary experience from dawn through dusk.  Let me begin with breakfast and show you how I ate my way through a recent visit to Columbus.

1. KATALINA’S CAFÉ, a little café with lots of local goodness, is housed in a 100-year-old gas station that Katalina brought back from the brink. Known as the Dine Diva, Katalina slings “local homemade food with attitude –but no pretense”.  Her mantra is “Peace, Love & Pancake balls”.  It is said that people “line up for miles and enter with smiles” for her pancake balls (sales number over a million to date).  These little round balls from heaven can be filled with dulce de leche or jam. However, the all time favorite filling is Nutella.


NUTELLA FILLED PANCAKE BALLS

Monday, June 13, 2016

COLUMBUS, OHIO: THE CITY WHERE FASHIONS ARE HAUTE, TREATS ARE COLD, AND ART IS GREEN

PART 2 OF A SERIES 

BY JANET STEINBERG


Let me tell you about a hidden gem of a city where the fashions are haute, the sweet treats are cold, and a world-renowned work of art is green.  

HAUTE: It is not surprising that New York and Los Angeles are the number one and two fashion capitals of America.  However, you might be surprised at what city ranks third, behind those two cities.  The #3 fashion hub of America is not in California...not in Florida…not in Texas.  Surprise! Surprise!  It is in the mid-western state of Ohio.  Welcome to Columbus, Ohio. 

WELCOME SIGN AT COLUMBUS MUSEUM OF ART

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

COLUMBUS, OHIO: A 21ST CENTURY DISCOVERY

BY JANET STEINBERG

Part 1 of a Series 


“Columbus is a town in which almost any thing is likely to happen,
and in which almost everything has.”
                                                                                    James Thurber

A long time ago, Columbus discovered America.  A short time ago, I discovered Columbus!
Although this capital city of Ohio is only 100 miles from my home, I had not been there in decades.  And, when I finally returned some twenty years later, I was amazed at the bustling, creative, fun city I discovered.  One of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest, redevelopment sparked some significant changes in Columbus (aka CBUS).   First and foremost was development of the riverfront. 

According to Beth Ervin, Director of Communications for Experience Columbus, prior to the riverfront development the downtown had a dammed "old sludgy" river that Ervin described as a "chocolate pond that was awful."  But then, she added, "they took the dams down, reclaimed 33 acres of parkland and added walking trails and a beautiful promenade along the river".
THE OLD SLUDGY SCIOTO RIVER IS  NOW THE NEW BEAUTIFUL SCIOTO RIVER