Just in time for baseball season to begin, I have a new piece in National Geographic Traveler about my (latest) hometown. It’s a big year for Boston: Fenway turns 100, we’ve got gorgeous new museums, and our food scene is only getting more delicious day by day. Find the whole 48 Hour itinerary here.
Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category
I’m exhausted from a whirlwind visit to San Francisco this weekend, but this photo makes me feel contemplative and at ease. It’s actually a color photograph taken at the gorgeous Pier 24 photography museum, a 28,000 square foot space that only allows in 20 guests at a time. The current exhibit has some of the masters from the 20th century: Arbus, Friedlander, Eggelston, and Evans, among others, and its white walls are unadorned—without nameplates or explanations. It’s an aesthetic explained on its website with the simple phrase: “A place to view and think about photography.” It was just exquisite.
In the second talking head moment for me in a week, I was invited up to Syracuse this past weekend to speak at the journalism school about travel writing–which went off really well despite being a somewhat surreal experience.
It feels like I was just sitting in graduate school, watching panels and dissecting the creation story of the unwitting journalist who was chattering in front of me, trying desperately to imagine a point where I’d actually be employed by a magazine or news outlet instead of being an intern for the rest of my life. Suddenly I had 80 sets of eyes on me as I was espousing my love for Joan Didion and telling people that they had to be good writers first–that being a travel writer was a perk for great writers who were smart enough to find interesting angles about places that travel editors know through and through. And that it was work–reporting a travel story is not vacation–no matter how good it sounds. It was kind of great.
I made my television debut this weekend, appearing on Weekend Sunrise, a morning show based in Australia. They asked me to speak about some our new World Heritage travel guides — many of which were selected by National Geographic readers. I learned that the odd thing about doing television is that you’re in an empty room staring at a camera and you have no idea what’s appearing on screen. Or when they’re looking at you or running a clip of some lovely Italian hillside. Luckily, they showed lots of clips.
Had a itty bitty little (yet fun) item in the New York Mag Winter Travel issue on the lovely hilltop town of Santa Teresa from my recent trip to Rio. And they made this fun little illustration to go with it! Here we go:
Taking a Trolley to the Action in Rio
To get to the drop-dead-sexiest neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, you need to ride a little yellow time machine. Lurching away from the city’s bustling business district, nineteenth-century trolleys, or bondes ($.40; www.sectran.rj.gov.br), make a precarious pass along the Carioca aqueduct on their way to Santa Teresa, a hotbed of restaurants, bars, and, of course, samba. Bar do Mineiro’s (Rua Pascoal Carlos Magno 99; 55-21-2221-9227) gallery-cum-restaurant serves feijoada and pasteis—addictive fried cheese snacks—into the wee hours. Samba spills into the streets outside Simplesmente (55-21-2508-6007), while Asia Restaurant (asia-rio.com) has the honor of bringing quality dim sum to Brazil. Stay at the new Hotel Santa Teresa, a sleekly remade former coffee plantation (from $450; santa-teresa-hotel.com).
I had a chance to meet up with the terrific team at National Geographic Traveler China while in Beijing, including their fabulous editor Maggie, and the adorable and sweet Zoe, Moon, Luo Luo, and Tracy, who were amazing hosts and were eager to show me the insider’s Beijing. Thanks so much to everyone for making me feel so welcome!
UPDATE: I blogged about meeting up with the team over at Intelligent Travel, and they blogged back. I don’t know Chinese, so I relied on Google translate: “Janelle is a very fresh and lively American girl, and very talkative.” Pretty much sums it up.
Oh, what’s that you say? When you go to Louisville you should go to the Brown Hotel and get a dish that was created for drunken dancers back in 1926? That is (rather unfortunately) named the Hot Brown? Ok, fine. Fine.
Turkey, bacon, bread, Mornay cheese sauce, and tomatoes. Delicious. This will probably not make it into the article I’m writing on my visit. But it did make it into my stomach.
This morning: Gross thunderstorms which make me want to stay in bed. One month ago, this was my view from my hotel in Picinguaba, Brazil. Sigh.
I’m still kind of shocked at myself for not posting anything on either this or my work blog about my trip to Morocco (it was in November!) and I really realized this was ridiculous when I had the pleasure of sitting next to a new Moroccan friend on my bus trip up to New York. As he and I discussed our love for Essaouria, I wanted to go back and look through all of my pictures again and relive my trip. And today I was listening to the audio clips I took in Djemmaa el Fna, Marrakech’s main square, wanting to drop everything and head back.
Perhaps it was the simple need for a bit of privacy, as I was starting to feel like every step I took became a blog post. But I realize that means I’m keeping a lot of really great stuff all to myself. So I swear I’ll get some of the posts and videos I’ve started up at Intelligent Travel soon, and in the meantime, here are some photos of lovely Essaouria.
|Blue is the color of this city. All of the boats and doors are in varying shades.|
|Beneath our fish lunch, one of the country’s many stray cats enjoyed his own.|
|There are entire books of photos devoted to the doors of this city, I’m sure.|
|This little guy was bawling when we saw him in the street.|
|One of the woodworkers who carved the thulia wood, traditional to the region.|
|The wall that surrounds the city can be a bit desolate in places.|
|A scene from our cooking class at l’Altier Madada.|
I’m back from Alaska, and while I have many lovely things to write about my trip, I first have to get this ridiculous story out there. Because the combination of my foolishness plus the U.S. Postal Service can only end like this:
On our second night on the Aleutian Islands ferry, it stopped in the tiny village of Sand Point, Alaska around 10:15 pm, so it was rather late to stroll around. But I got off to stretch my legs, along with my dad, a girl I ended up befriending on the ferry and her mom. My friend said her coworker had grown up there, and had told her own mother to look for the ferry when it arrived. We noticed a small woman standing alongside a SUV at the dock, and sure enough, she was the mom, and she offered to give us a tour of her village. The tour was pretty simple: Here’s the “big shop,” here’s the health clinic, here’s the pool where I finally learned to swim when I turned 60 (which is crazy, because can you imagine growing up on an island and not knowing how to swim?). Anyway, she had a little gift shop, so I asked if we could stop and buy something to thank her for our tour. I bought four glass Japanese float balls, these beautiful orbs that wash up on the beaches in Alaska after they detach from the fishing nets of Japanese fishing boats. They’re gorgeous, and almost totally worth the rest of this story…