Sunday, March 31, 2013

Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Eats: Buena Tierra Communidad, Condesa, Mexico City, Mexico

Buena Tierra Communidad  Atlixco 94, in Condesa, 5211 4242.  Located in a leafy neighborhood at a five-point corner, this popular spot has a large sidewalk patio.  Sitting here provides great views of passersby and even of waiters and valets taking a break for a spiffy shoeshine.  Drinks are large and icy, and menu options at lunch include rolled fish tacos, large Italian panini, refreshing salads, vegetarian options, and plenty more.  Waiters are patient and helpful, and a few speak English. 

More things to do in Mexico City.

More things to do in Mexico.

More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.
 
image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Monday, March 25, 2013

Sights to See: Museo Frida Kahlo/Frida Kahlo Museum, Mexico City, Mexico

Museo Frida Kahlo/Frida Kahlo Museum  Londres 247, in Coyoacán, 55/5554-5999.  Tu-Sun 10am-5:45pm.  75 pesos, senior rate.  No cameras allowed inside; ok in garden.  Frida Kahlo was born on July 7, 1910 in Casa Azul, the cornflower-blue house that is now her namesake museum.  She grew up here and later lived here with husband Diego Rivera from 1929 until she died in 1954.  Kahlo spent her life in physical pain--first from polio contracted when she was 6, and then from a streetcar accident that pierced her spine when she was 18—and life with her husband was both passionate and tumultuous.  Though during her lifetime she was best known as the wife of muralist Diego Rivera, today Frida Kahlo is probably more famous for her own art--striking images and self-portraits into which she painted her pain.  Some rooms in this house museum are used as galleries and display a small collection of Kahlo’s work as well as paintings by artists she admired.  Others are preserved as they were when she died, providing a peek into the domestic life of these two famous artists.  I especially enjoyed viewing the tiny clay Tequila-tasting cups hanging on the kitchen wall and spelling out “Diego and Frida.”  Her wheelchair remains in her studio next to an easel holding a partially completed painting, and paint brushes, books, and photographs are scattered about.  Here and there are examples of her colorful traditional clothing and the pre-Columbian art and terracotta figures from Teotihuacán and Tlatelolco that the couple collected.  It is interesting to note that Trotsky also lived in the house for a while, and that much of the 2002 movie “Frida,” starring Salma Hayek in the title role, was filmed here.  Outside, a spacious garden planted with green ferns and blooming flowers looks particularly brilliant against the deep blue walls.  It holds a mock temple Kahlo had built to display some of her pots and statues as well as several skulls from Chichén Itzá.  A small garden cafe serves light refreshments, and an adjacent gift shop purveys relevant books and souvenirs.

 
image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Friday, March 22, 2013

Good Eats: Karisma, Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico

Karisma  Ave. Campos Elisccos 219, in Polanco, 5280 1872.  This popular cantina serves up bar drinks as well as a few traditional dishes, and the outside patio located on a busy corner of the street is quite the scene.  Most people come to drink and move on. 

More things to do in Polanco.

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image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Good Eats: Kaffe Bondy, Polanco, Mexico City, Mexico

Kaffe Bondy  Galileo 38/Newton, in Polanco, 5281 7028.  Tu-Sun 9-10pm.  Popular for breakfast, this attractive cafe serves a large selection of both Mexican pastries (from their bakery inside) and Mexican egg dishes. 

More things to do in Polanco.

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More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.
 
image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Monday, March 18, 2013

Sights to See: Tourist Information Center, Jaffa, Israel

Tourist Information Center  17 Mazal Dagim St., +972 3 5184015.  Reservations advised.  “Jaffa Tales” takes you on a multi-sensory tour of an archaeological site that was just recently enclosed and converted into an indoor museum.  In addition to actual excavations, visitors sit on colorful acrylic swivel stools while watching a 4-D virtual performance that brings the past to life.

More things to do in Jaffa.

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image courtesy of Tourist Information Center website

Friday, March 15, 2013

Great Sleeps: Hacienda de Cortes, Cuernavaca, Mexico

Hacienda de Cortes  Plaza Kennedy 90, Col. Atlacomulco, Jiutepec, 10 minutes by cab from downtown, 52 777-315-8844.  23 rooms; 2 stories.  All fireplaces.  Unheated pool; 2 unheated hot tubs; fitness room.  Once owned by conquistador Hernan Cortes, this grand hacienda was built by him for his Indian interpreter and lover, Malinche.  It is believed to be the second-oldest post-conquest building in Mexico (the oldest is reputedly the nearby Hacienda San Gabriel de las Palmas).  The exquisitely romantic setting is built around the remains of the original sugar mill and features mature trees and protective high stone walls that surround the property.  Gardens are extensive and well-tended and include long-lived sea grape and banana trees, and you can hear the water that still runs through ancient viaducts.  A dramatic pool features stone pillars and resembles a ruins.  Guest rooms have stone floors, whitewashed adobe walls, high ceilings, antique furnishings, and a sofa serving as an additional bed.  Suites also get a large marble bathroom with a step-down whirlpool tub-shower combo (the tub/whirlpool can be awkward to use since it is square and made of stone).  All rooms have both air conditioning and ceiling fans.  Suites have magnificent wrought-iron-encased glass doors that open to the beautiful grassy central courtyard (#19 and 20 are favorites), while studio balconies look over the street.  The spectacular Shaw Suite, where the Shaw of Iran once holed up, features vaulted ceilings and thick stone arches.  New rooms are being completed in a 4-story unit behind the pool. 
The shell of the 400-plus-year-old hacienda’s main building is overgrown with roots and vines and now serves as the stunning La Casona/The Old House restaurant.  A spectacular soaring skylight ceiling is grown over with the lacy branches of very old strangler figs (amate trees) that have encased themselves in the crumbling stone walls.  The menu is composed of refined Mexican dishes, and prices are reasonable.

More things to do in Cuernavaca.

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More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sights to See: Ilana Goor Museum & Gallery, Jaffa, Israel

Ilana Goor Museum & Gallery  4 Mazal Dagim St., 972 3 683 7676.  Sun-F 10-4, Sat 10-6.  Built in the 18th century as the first Jewish hostel in Jaffa, this house welcomed pilgrims.  Then, in the 19th century, an Arab family that made olive oil soap lived here.  Curator/artist Ilana Goor--a native of Tiberius who moved to NYC when she was 20 and designed belt buckles for Bloomingdales--now lives part-time upstairs in this 270-year-old house that since 1995 has served as a gallery and museum (she divides her time between here and NYC).  This intimate home museum puts no glass between you and art.  Reflecting the curator’s personal taste, the eclectic collection displays different mediums, combines old and new, and includes functional art such as ancient Egyptian plows turned into benches.  Goor’s image is seen throughout.  Her puffy hair, big sunglasses, and oversize jewelry are reminiscent of Howard Stern and Steven Tyler, and it is interesting to know that Robert DeNiro stayed here in the upstairs guest room known as the Christianity Room.

More things to do in Jaffa.

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More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Monday, March 11, 2013

Sights to See: St. Peter's Church, Jaffa, Israel

St. Peter's Church  The largest building in Jaffa, this Franciscan Catholic church has been re-built several times upon the site of a medieval citadel.  It commemorates the miracle of Saint Peter raising Tabitha from the dead.

More things to do in Jaffa.

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More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways. 

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers 

Friday, March 8, 2013

Misc.: photograph collection--Wonderful Women Round the World


To celebrate International Women's Day, Journeywoman.com has created an online collection of images titled "Wonderful Women Round the World."  The photographs were taken by travel bloggers who each provide a short tale about their image.  A photograph by me (see left) is included.  The story that goes with mine:  "This 90-year-old Hmong mother of 10 was resting outside her house in the Highlands near Chiang Mai, Thailand. She was very cooperative about photographs and did not accept money but appreciated that we bought some handicrafts"

More photograph collections.

More things to see and do in Thailand.

More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways.  

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers   




Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Sights to See: Jaffa, Israel

The 4,500+-year-old city of Jaffa is the oldest working port city in the world.  Filled with ancient sandstone buildings, it is older than Jerusalem and, in fact, the Holy Land.  Named for Noah's son Japheth, it is where Jonah sailed from to be swallowed by a whale.  Andromeda was chained to a rock here, and in 1799 Napoleon conquered it in just three weeks. The city center is now an artists’ colony with upscale galleries and shops and is also home to a popular flea market.

More things to do in Jaffa.

More things to do in nearby Tel Aviv.

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More travel articles to inspire you and help you plan some spectacular getaways. 

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Sights to See: Leipzig Central Station, Leipzig, Germany

Leipzig Central Station  With 26 platforms, this is circa 1915 railway terminal is Europe’s largest.  Lines radiate out to the main cities in Germany and the rest of the Continent, and it has 140 shops on three floors. 

More things to do in Leipzig. 

More things to do in Germany.

More things to do in Mexico. 

image c2013 Carole Terwilliger Meyers

Friday, March 1, 2013

Great Sleeps: Westin Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany

Westin Leipzig  Gerberstrasse 15, (+49)341/9880; www.starwoodhotels.com/westin/index.html.  Pool; fitness room; health spa.  2 restaurants.  5 stars.  Featuring the largest hotel swimming pool in the city, this hotel is conveniently located beside Leipzig's central railway station and is just a short walk from the city’s popular zoo.  Formed from two former DDR buildings, it was built by a Japanese company in the 1980s.  The central city is reached easily on foot, and a tram stop is just a three-minute walk away.  The stylish rooms and suites are soundproofed and offer superb views of the city.