Biking Denmark’s islands couldn’t be more idyllic. But on my last couple of days, I discovered a new restaurant on the island of Aero that captured my heart. Not only was the cuisine creative and tasty, but the entire ethic of the establishment, Marstang Mad and Vin, revolved around sustainability. I recently interviewed the two young owners about why they feel so strongly about locally sourced ingredients, how they established their wine list, and what are must-see and must-do activities and sights on the island. I recently wrote about them and their restaurant for ForbesLife.
Thursday, December 29, 2022
A New, Sustainable Restaurant on Denmark’s Aero Island
Thursday, December 22, 2022
A Cozy New York City Wine Bar
I love finding a cozy, atmospheric, informal wine bar with a variety of selections by the glass. That’s what I found at Kurant, a Midtown east wine bar in NYC that also has some wonderful food options, including the cheese platter, the guacamole with chips, and the sweet potato fries that are accompanied by a delightfully smoky (and spicy) huancaina sauce. And now they’re all decked out for the holidays.
The art hanging on the exposed brick walls depicting old world New York City contributes to the cozy vibe at Kurant that’s noted for its warm and welcoming vibe.
Sunday, December 18, 2022
Scenic Photos In My Backyard
As a photographer, I’m all about presenting even tried-and-true destinations from a completely different perspective. I’m captivated by color and form. But, I don’t need to travel to locales that are far-afield. I find treasures right in my backyard — sometimes literally — as these images reveal. Of course, all my photos are available for purchase, whether as any occasion note cards or photo prints.
There are abundant botanicals to be found on New York City’s Roosevelt Island that’s a short tram ride from Midtown east.
These were the dramatically-hued leaves on my neighbor’s tree.
After 15 mph winds, blowing most of those leaves off my neighbor’s tree, this is the picturesque scene nature left for me on my lawn.
I found this scene when I set foot on a wooden deck in the backyard of a tiny coffee shop in New York City.
Thursday, December 15, 2022
Exploring New Jersey’s Walkable Downtowns
Over the past several months, I’ve been exploring walkable downtowns in New Jersey. I discovered the Bourbon Street Beignet in Westwood. This is an atmospheric coffee shop with a New Orleans vibe and plenty of scrumptious baked goods.
As I walked through downtown Maplewood, a glass of Tempranillo called out to me one sunny afternoon.
In downtown South Orange, I found some captivating street art.
Friday, November 25, 2022
Travels in Saint Eustatius
On Saint Eustatius, I found many reminders of times gone by, including the ruins of this 18th century Dutch Reformed church, located in the Upper Town of Orangetown, the capitol. Also nearby is a dirt path leading to the ruins of a centuries-old synagogue.
Tuesday, November 22, 2022
A New Resort on St. Eustatius
I couldn’t resist lounging beside the asymmetric pool at the new Golden Rock Resort on St. Eustatius (Statia), a tiny Caribbean island that’s a short flight from St. Maarten.
At this resort, Breeze, an aptly named restaurant, has plenty to see inside with its stellar interiors, and outside with the abundant floral landscaping and ocean views beyond.
Sunday, November 20, 2022
Travels Around Prince Edward Island - Part 2
Walking along the Black Marsh Trail in western Prince Edward Island couldn’t be more idyllic. You’ll see dramatic cliffs, curious botanicals, numerous bird species and this signature rock that’s red, like much of the land on PEI, because of iron oxide.
Whether in the forests with their dense canopy or the red rock cliff tops with stunted foliage and towering wind turbines, I ambled this trail, feeling like I was wandering through a wonderful dreamscape with butterflies fluttering about, delicate orchids growing near my feet, the azure sea crashing far below, and the occasional eagle soaring overhead.
The clouds swell and the sea churns as a prelude to the arrival of Hurricane Fiona in Prince Edward Island. Here, I notice the rustling of the tall grasses, and the humming of a wind turbine that rises in the distance.
Saturday, November 19, 2022
Travels around Prince Edward Island, Canada - Part 1
On Prince Edward Island, sunrises can be quite dramatic, as seen here behind the 19th century Tignish Church.
The deep water harbor of Miminegash appears relatively calm.
Friday, October 28, 2022
A Scenic, Low-Key Hotel in St. Croix
As you know, I have a fondness for under-the-radar locales. And though St. Croix is hardly undiscovered, the eastern end of the island has a more remote vibe that I found quite attractive. Unlike the rest of the island that has lush foliage, the east side is quite arid. But the vistas are expansive and the vibe is low-key. And that’s why I chose the Grapetree Bay Hotel and Villas that’s located on the island’s eastern end as my favorite accommodation. I recently wrote about this hotel for Forbes Life.
Saturday, October 22, 2022
Biking in Denmark - Part 5
Biking on Fyn (Funen) Island in Denmark couldn’t be more idyllic.
No matter the island where I bicycled, I found that Denmark is one of the most bike-centric countries in the world.
When biking and island hopping, I never tired of the dramatic interplay of sky, clouds and the water-based landscape at dusk.
Thursday, October 20, 2022
Biking In Denmark - Part 4
At the Thorseng Nature Resort on Tasinge Island in Denmark, I arrived weary and departed refreshed, thanks to a comfy and spacious glamping tent, organic wines, creative vegetarian fare and, most importantly, a warm and welcoming vibe. I never tired of watching sunsets like this one from the beach that’s a short walk through a wildflower laden meadow.
On Langeland Island, this was one of several pieces of contemporary art I discovered at Hotel Rudkobing Skudeneshavn. It’s conveniently located near the ferries that course to the lovely islands of Aero and Stryno.
Sunday, October 16, 2022
Biking in Denmark - Part 3
On Aero Island in Denmark, these charming cottages, including one with a thatch roof, line a stretch of sand in Marstal at Erik Hale Beach.
One thing that made my travels on Aero Island especially lovely was staying at the Aero Guesthouse and Cafe where breakfast is a warm, welcoming and sunny affair. This is one of the two rooms — along with the plant-filled outdoor terrace — with contemporary art where you can enjoy a wonderful cappuccino or a filling and tasty vegetarian breakfast.
Saturday, September 17, 2022
Biking in Denmark - Part 2
On the island of Aero in Denmark, every summer, established artists and art students put on an exhibition around the scenic Soby Harbor. This delightful seahorse was created by Christian Aagaard Ovesen.
As an artist who’s in love with nature, I was delighted to explore Tickon - Tranekaer International Center for Art and Nature on Langeland, Denmark. Trails weave through the 200-acre forested grounds of the Tranekaer Castle. Like all the naturalist installations here, this one - by artist Alfio Bonanno - was created from materials found in the park itself.
Friday, September 16, 2022
Art and Artists in St. Croix
When I met artist Barbara Gelardi in St. Croix, I fell in love with her vibrant paintings. So, I was thrilled to see she was commissioned to do most if not all the art at the lovely Grape Tree Bay Hotel on the island’s East End. Next time I visit, I intend to stay at this contemporary, low-key accommodation.
Whether driving, walking or biking, you’re bound to discovery myriad examples of St. Croix’s vibrant street art.
Thursday, September 15, 2022
More Street Art In St. Croix
Among the many street murals on St. Croix, “Change the Cycle” by Taj Francis depicts how the goddess of the seas protects sharks, which are sadly killed for their fins. This dramatic work of art embellishes an apartment complex in Frederiksted.
This striking mural by artist Kelly Spencer is aptly named “A Beautiful Death.” Though the coral displays vibrant purple hues, it’s their last gasp. Already bleached, the fragile coral produces these vivid pigment as a desperate attempt to protect themselves from the sun.
Wednesday, September 14, 2022
Biking in Denmark - Part 1
Biking around Denmark’s scenic Fyn (Funen) Island, I made many art discoveries, including in the town of Faaborg. This creative mural by Els Cools references the city’s bell tower. (In the foreground are mini bell tower sculptures in flowerpots, an art installation by Bruno MacDonald.)
As I bicycled along serene country roads on Tasinge Island in Denmark, I found a delightful abundance of nature around each and every turn. (This is the estate of the 17th century Valdemar’s Castle.)
Saturday, August 20, 2022
Botanical Gardens and Monuments on St. Croix
This Millennium Monument — a sundial of sorts — designed to celebrate the new millennium in the U.S. is sited on Point Udall, the easternmost part of St. Croix, my favorite part of this island, and it’s also the easternmost part of the U.S. territories. With waves crashing below, coral reefs visible, and a nearby hiking trail down to a peaceful cove, it’s worth driving out here and staying a while, especially if you have the place all to yourself.
It’s easy to spend hours soaking up the bucolic vibe at the St. George Village Botanical Garden in St. Croix. I didn’t run into a soul as I explored the myriad specimens, including the Egyptian lotus floating in this lovely pond.
Friday, August 19, 2022
St. Croix’s Street Art
On St. Croix, I found the vibrant street art, whether murals or sculptures, captivating. These pepper building facades, sea walls and even garbage receptacles, especially in Frederiksted and also Christensted.
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
Visiting St. Croix - Fort Frederik
Strolling through 18th century Fort Frederik (including the art gallery) first thing in the morning is an atmospheric experience when you have the place all to yourself. This fort is located on the waterfront of Frederiksted in St. Croix.
The Fort Frederik Museum is hosting an art exhibition until mid September. “The Revolution Is Not A One Time Act” honors Emancipation Day on St. Croix.
Sunday, August 14, 2022
Some of my fave cafes/restaurants on St. Croix in the Caribbean
On St. Croix, USVI, by far, my favorite place to hang out in Frederiksted was Polly’s At The Pier. I could linger for hours at their atmospheric courtyard in the rear with a slice of lemon cake and an iced latte.
With twinkling lights strung about, tiki torches flickering, and carved walls dripping with foliage and inset with lighted niches, the outdoor courtyard at Savant, a St. Croix restaurant that has a romantic vibe.
Friday, July 29, 2022
More Wanderings In A New Jersey-Based Sculpture Garden
With its Giverny-inspired landscaping, this fine-dining restaurant at Grounds for Sculpture is also perfect for sipping a chilled Pinot Grigio or an iced coffee on the shaded terrace.
As I walked through a particular grassy expanse at this sculpture garden in Hamilton, New Jersey, I was captivated by this giant that appears buried in the lawn. (I took a separate photo of his foot.) This striking sculpture by Seward Johnson was cast in aluminum.
Tuesday, July 26, 2022
An Expansive Sculpture Garden In New Jersey
It’s easy to spend the whole day at Grounds for Sculpture, an expansive and ultra creative sculpture garden in Hamilton, New Jersey. After all, there are surprises aplenty in niches, alcoves, beside bodies of water or snuggled in the woodlands. This is “Birth of the Messenger” that was carved from granite by the American sculptor, Viktor who was born in Odessa.
Surprises galore await as you roam the trails networking this 40-some-acre property. This bronze set in a mist-laden venue is “Redon’s Fantasy of Venus” by Seward Johnson.