Jun 29, 2009

D.C. Bound

I’m heading to D.C. tomorrow for a few days. I was last there for the inauguration and haven’t taken in the sights since childhood despite traveling to D.C. for business on a semi-regular basis over the years. Those trips would be one-day marathons interviewing potential candidates for the D.C. bureau of the news organization for which I worked for many years.

Naturally I’ll be photographing the nation’s capital. D.C. is now in vogue for travelers thanks to Obama.

Photograph: Inauguration Crowds

Jun 27, 2009


I know I’m going somewhere in Asia in the fall and Seoul is on the shortlist so when travel writer and guidebook author Anja asked me to write a guest post for her wonderful Ever the Nomad blog I chose Koreatown one of Manhattan’s lesser known neighborhoods. I’ve been following Anja’s travels for a while now and always find her writing style, perspective and travels breathtaking. She recently returned from the wilds of British Columbia.

Elsewhere on the Web thanks to Heather of Heather on Her Travels for including this blog among her favorites. Heather’s blog is also one of my favorites and we have similar taste in travel destinations. Heather recently returned from Lebanon.

Meanwhile I have finally joined the Twitter fray. A little late to the party perhaps but fashionably so I hope. You can find me there at @EscapefromNY.

Jun 23, 2009

Travel Photography Site

I thought I’d share my travel photography Web site that underwent a major redesign earlier this year. You may recognize some of the photos from this blog. Choosing roughly 100 images from tens of thousands is no easy task.

Right now it’s mainly a portfolio site but I plan to add the ability to search my archive online. The next site that gets a major design overhaul is this one. It’s long overdue. So much to do!

Jun 19, 2009

Manhattan’s Little Red Lighthouse

You probably wouldn’t expect to see a lighthouse in Manhattan. Located underneath the George Washington Bridge overlooking the Hudson River is the Little Red Lighthouse. A historic and literary landmark it was made famous by the children’s book The Little Red Lighthouse and the Great Gray Bridge.

Officially it is called the Jeffrey's Hook lighthouse. Erected in the 1880s it moved to its current site in 1921. The lighthouse is located in Washington Heights and open for tours from the spring to fall. To reach it take the A train to 181 Street. Walk west on 181st street toward the Hudson River to Fort Washington Park. Walk over the pedestrian bridge and follow the path into the park.

Jun 16, 2009

Museums From Around the World

Museums house the world’s treasures. Often the architecture is artwork in itself.

The modern aesthetic of the Shanghai Museum is home to many collections. But its roots are traditional. The building was designed in the shape of an ancient cooking vessel.

The architecture of the Museum of Fine Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico maintains the region’s true style.

The National Museum of Beirut sits on both sides of the Green Line. During the civil war priceless ancient artifacts were hidden and kept safe. It took years to restore after the war ended and is one of Lebanon’s national treasures.

It would take a lifetime to explore all that the Vatican Museum has to offer. You could rest in one of its beautiful gardens in the process.

My favorite museum is in my hometown and walking distance from where I live. I could spend days at the Metropolitan Museum of Art traveling through the ages in one of its many wings.

What’s your favorite museum?

Jun 12, 2009

Street Scenes: San Pedro, Guatemala

The small village of San Pedro on the shores of Lake Atitlan in Guatemala sits beneath a volcano of the same name.

Its population is mainly Mayan people. San Pedro’s tranquil setting is popular with travelers, particularly the hacky sack set. Many come here to learn Spanish or just live cheaply for a spell and enjoy the scenery.

Jun 7, 2009

Church of the Golden Altar Panama City

Its name sounds like it could be the title of an Indiana Jones movie. The legend that surrounds it could certainly be a decent plot.

The tale of the Church of the Golden Altar involves Welsh pirate Henry Morgan. He sacked the original Panama City in the 1670s. To save the altar a priest painted it black to hide its true worth. Today it is located in Iglesia de San Jose in Panama City’s San Felipe District, also know as Casco Viejo, where the city was rebuilt. The church is open to visitors.

Jun 1, 2009

City Icons: Portsmouth New Hampshire

Portsmouth, New Hampshire’s icon is vintage and elegant and something you will see other versions of throughout New England. You’ll find it perched on top of the North Church of Portsmouth. The roots of the church date back to 1671 and the present structure was built in 1855.

Dotting the landscapes of New England you will see white church steeples throughout the region. The spires are simple in form and most often made of wood. They are in a sense the obelisks or minarets of Christianity.

In recent years some churches are allowing cellular antennae to be hidden inside steeples to bring in income. Not a bad idea considering how expensive they are to restore. A recent renovation of the North Church Steeple cost $1 million.