Forget the Cape. For a low-key weekend journey, explore the FarmCoast of Massachusetts and Rhode Island - and its villages, creeks and farmlands within an easy day's getaway from Providence or Boston and a weekend journey from Manhattan. Tucked out of the way south of Interstate 195 that heads to Cape Cod these tiny communities along Buzzards Bay, Rhode Island Sound and the tidal Westport and Sakonnet rivers happily let you find them. Read more →


If you think of designer Rei Kawakubo's current exhibit at the Met ("Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garcons: Art of the 'In-Between'") as a commentary on life, it's a lot more palatable than thinking of the clothes as something you'd run out in for the evening. (Well, some do - keep reading.) Not to be missed either is the Irving Penn retrospective (Irving Penn: Centennial), more than 150 photos representing all his genres, including his elegant fashion photography for Vogue. You might call this the polar opposite of Kawakubo's imagination. Read more →


National Independent Bookstore Day the last weekend in April is a regular reminder that indie bookstores are travel destinations And why not? Writer Ann Patchett, who owns the Nashville, Tennessee Parnassus Books I've visited, wrote about this eloquently in the recent special New York Times Travel section on bookstores. (There are several fascinating articles in this special section of Dec. 6, 2016 about literary adventures and bookstore destinations. Additionally the National Independent Bookstore Day link provides a long list of some but not all indie bookstores around the U.S.) When I'm on the road and happen upon an indie bookstore, my experience changes entirely. In fact, sometimes I change my experience to accommodate the bookstore. And often there's a two-fer (such as a cafe or cultural series) inviting me in often and keeping me there for hours. In Miami's Coconut Grove, I walk from my hotel to The Bookstore +... Read more →


Testimony, the memoir by The Band's guitarist and principal songwriter Robbie Robertson, ends with The Last Waltz, the group's final concert in 1976 and often called "the end of an era" for the melange of rock, blues and folk that fueled the '60s and '70s. Forever etched in memory as the pulsating, doe-eyed virtuoso guitarist in the magenta scarf that iconic evening, which was captured on film by Martin Scorsese, Robbie Robertson drew several hundred aging rockers and younger people to Dominican University just 25 miles north of San Francisco's Winterland, where the The Last Waltz was performed. Read more →


Up at 6250 feet, with the wind blowing and the snow on the way, I'm feeling the rush of the fresh air and the heights, all which promote opening one's imagination. The book at hand is fiction drawn from the stories of the women journalists who bucked all odds in World War II to be on the frontlines. Who is a Womantraveler, if not one of them? The trip across country from Miami was easy but the stories were abundant. The couple from Rochester who had selected the United flight because - to celebrate his 80th birthday - he wanted to fly on the Dreamliner. It could have been a huge disappointment but for the attentive crew on this flight. If only he knew what we frequent fliers do. Bless those flight attendants this trip! A couple of turnaround days and here we are 3 hours drive into the Sierra... Read more →


Terry McDonell, author of the new memoir, The Accidental Life, has edited some of the best writers of our generation -- and likely some of them are better because of him. Yet he opened his remarks at the independent bookstore Book Passage in Marin County, California with a confession - "I could not get a good job as a writer, so I began to tumble my way into editing jobs." Read more →


Channeling MFK Fisher, the remarkable sage of food writing and gastronomic pleasure, I took off for Glen Ellen in Sonoma County about 40 north of San Francisco, California, knowing the limitations of my adventure even before I started. First of all, Fisher died in 1992, and second of all, her cottage retreat, “Last House,” is now part of the Audubon Canyon Ranch’s 535-acre Bouverie Preserve and is not open to the public - yet. Read more →