Photo by Trey Ratcliff

Monday, May 22, 2023

An Art-Focused Luxe Hotel in Lisbon

Whether you’re an art lover, a gourmand, or someone who wants to connect with nature in a placid environment, a stay at the luxe Valverde Hotel won’t disappoint. Despite being located in the ever-buzzing Avenida da Liberdade, this hotel is a true sanctuary that appears relatively unremarkable from the outside, yet the interior feels like a cross between a private club and an art gallery, along with a courtyard resembling a botanical garden. This is my latest article for ForbesLife on the Valverde Hotel.

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Sunday, May 21, 2023

Harbour Village Beach Club on Bonaire

On Bonaire, the Harbour Village Beach Club is just a five-minute drive from the buzzing capital city of Kralendijk, yet the vibe couldn’t be more bucolic. With a private sandy beach and colorfully landscaped gardens, it’s easy to relax and connect with nature. In addition, you won’t tire of the stellar sunsets, whether from the beach or the al fresco restaurant, La Balandra. 

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Saturday, May 20, 2023

Travels in Bonaire

On the south coast of Bonaire, this is an example of the huts made of coral stone that remain as reminders of where the enslaved people slept after toiling in the salt pans all day. The slave huts were open to the air, housed multiple people, and were barely five feet high.

In the busy capital city of Kralendijk, it seems that St. Bernard Church was the only place where I found myself delightfully all alone.

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Sunday, May 14, 2023

Creative Wanderings in Toronto

Even biking the Toronto Islands off-season is a delight. Taking a guided tour with Toronto Bicycle Tours, I discovered a pristine, undeveloped stretch of sand.

Sculptor Duane Linklater created this series of concrete gargoyles that are replicas of those found around Toronto. This series that’s set in a green space populated with box elder, maple and hickory is referred to as Monsters for Permanence, Beauty and Individuality. It’s along a section of the Lower Don Valley Trail that’s well used by everyone from walkers to cyclists.

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Sunday, April 30, 2023

Toronto’s Street Art Scene

Parts of downtown Toronto, such as the Queen Street West area, are awash with exciting street art. These creations can be found at the condos that border the well known nexus of graffiti and street art, Graffiti Alley (aka Rush Lane). I got the low-down on the scene, thanks to Tour Guys Canada. 

This work was created by Toronto natives Nick Sweetman, Poser and others in the Montreal-based artist collective called En Masse.

The vivid boar in this work that’s found along Graffiti Alley (aka Rush Lane) was created by Nick Sweetman.

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A Toronto Sculpture Garden in an Unexpected Location

At the Max Tanenbaum Sculpture Garden, some two dozen colorful pieces of art bedeck a terrace outside a hospital in Toronto. Created by William Lishman, each one reflects a vibrant, active human, something that’s inspirational for all.

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Sunday, April 16, 2023

The Scenic Toronto Islands

Bicycling the Toronto Islands (with Toronto Bicycle Tours) in the off-season couldn’t be more idyllic. This scenic chain is a short ferry ride from downtown and is car-free. 

Among the many discoveries I made: 19th century St. Andrew’s Anglican Church. The stained glass, visible also from the exterior, is quite impressive. Interestingly, it was moved to this current scenic location without anything breaking!

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Sunday, March 19, 2023

Off-Season Travels in Spring Lake, New Jersey

Spring Lake, New Jersey is a mere two hours by train from New York City. Yet, no matter how many times I visit in the off-season and no matter the weather, I always notice something new in the nature-scape that calms the soul.

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Friday, March 17, 2023

Wanderings in Lisbon - Part 5

In Lisbon’s Amoreiras neighborhood, this 18th century aqueduct with its immense stone arches is part of the Water Museum in Lisbon. It treats visitors not only to a deep cistern in a cavernous, vaulted space, but also art exhibitions.

In the city’s water-centric Parque da Nacoes neighborhood, this tile wall is a contemporary riff on traditional Portuguese azulejos.

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