Bannerman Island: Debunking A Suburban Myth

Bannerman Castle

I grew up believing this abandoned structure on an island in the Hudson River was the home of the Wicked Witch of the West and her flying monkeys in the classic film “The Wizard of Oz“. Learning it wasn’t didn’t ruin my 4th of July. And neither did the grey skies and persistent drizzle that accompanied my tour of Bannerman Island. Continue reading

A Glutton’s Paradise: Eat Your Way Through Amsterdam on a Dutch Food Tour

Death by tram.

City street in Amsterdam with tram on an Eating Amsterdam Dutch food tour.

The trams come from the left and the right in Amsterdam – pedestrians beware! Photo: The Open Suitcase

It’s not the way I wanted my obituary to read. I stepped out of Amsterdam’s Centraal Station onto a cloverleaf of tracks, heading for the #5 tram across the yard. What I didn’t notice was the #12 aiming for me.

“Drop the suitcase!” my husband and friends hollered. I blinked, stared and froze like a piece of bad, government-commissioned public art. Then the adrenaline kicked in and I darted back to the curb. Continue reading

Savannah in the Rain

“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet.” – Roger Miller

KehoeHouse Savannah Georgia

Built in 1892 by a foundry owner, the home features grand exterior ornamentation that looks like wood but is made of cast-iron. It was later owned by quarterback Joe Namath.

“Is it empty because it’s Sunday?” my husband asked the museum clerk as we purchased our tickets. “It’s empty ’cause it’s raining. No one goes out in the rain.” Sun-dappled squares full of bubbling fountains and trees dripping with Spanish moss. It’s the image that comes to mind when you think of Savannah, a city made for strolling to best savor the meticulously preserved historic townhomes and manses. So what do you do when it rains?

I needed to execute Plan B on a recent visit due to torrential downpours forecast for the last day of my trip. Don’t despair. There’s plenty to keep you occupied and Southern hospitality takes the edge off limp hair and damp pant hems. Continue reading

Say Goodnight, Gracie

After touring Gracie Mansion post-Election Day, my immediate thought was, “If the de Blasios move in, I believe they’ll redecorate.”

Situated on the East River at the intersection of 88th Street and East End Avenue, the house is lovingly maintained by The Gracie Mansion Conservancy.  Sporting a color palette that could easily be described by a paint manufacturer as Federal Frolic, it’s an elegant reminder of our revolutionary past.

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