That Other New York
I have the good fortune of living in the hamlet of Cheviot Landing, in upstate New York, and can unequivocally say that Gary Shteyngart “really gets it!” What makes living here so special is that it’s real—every day, we witness the stuff of life: an eagle soaring over a bright red barge; the train passing to remind us that the city is just two hours away; even the cement plant on the opposite shore of the Hudson greets us each sunrise in rose-colored radiance. The best part of Cheviot? All the like-minded people who love it. —travelandleisure.com member Hamletdweller
Coming Into View
I rarely ever send a letter to the editor, but found myself compelled to after reading Reggie Nadelson’s article . Nadelson’s writing left me adrift in images from my own travels. I agree that Venice tops the list for startling arrivals, but another breathtaking one is the small, originally Etruscan city of Pitigliano, in southern Tuscany. To reach it, you have to drive miles of twisting, hilly roads, with no end in sight. It isn’t until you’re within half a mile, after the last sharp curve, that it juts majestically from the ground, hugging the steep cliffs. —Jeni Moretti, Lompoc, Calif.
Your “Best Travel Websites” article was a fantastic list of websites, some of which I’d never heard of before (but will be sure to bookmark!). A new site that has fast become a necessity for me is secrethotelsrevealed.co.uk. It does just what it says: reveals the many “top secret hotels” available at reduced rates when you book blindly at lastminute.com. —travelandleisure.com member Frank101
The Sky’s the Limit
In Karrie Jacobs’s article, “World’s Coolest Observation Decks,” I wish she’d mentioned the Tour Montparnasse, a skyscraper that provides the most striking view of Paris (and totally beats the Eiffel Tower). —travelandleisure.com member Rnyanjom
As someone with an irrational fear of heights, my stomach was in knots when I read Karrie Jacobs’s story. I couldn’t help being intrigued, though, and by the end could actually see myself journeying to those heights—even the glass-floored Willis Tower Skydeck. Thanks, Travel + Leisure, for calling my attention to the world’s most amazing views. —Megan Schoenbaum, South Orange, N.J.
Hot Topic: Burning Bridges
Watch Your Step
To a T
A lot of people in and around New Orleans won’t cross the Huey P. Long Bridge. It was built for Model T cars (i.e., narrow), there’s no shoulder, and it shakes when a train passes. —TravelandLeisure.com member Gusgretch
One More for the Road
Reader’s Find: South Africa Rising
We were lucky enough to head to Cape Town for the World Cup and had an amazing experience at Excellent Guest House (doubles from $86). Just 10 miles from the airport and 20 from the city center, the property not only is affordable but also has the coolest interior design I’ve ever seen, including wall-mounted rotary-dial phones; wooden ceilings; a basketful of wines. The owner is super friendly and baked bread from scratch to share with us. There’s a thatched structure along the pool with braai (barbecue) facilities, and breakfast is served in the open-air courtyard. We’ll definitely be back one day. —Sebastian Bednarski, New York, N.Y.
New This Month at TravelandLeisure.com
America’s Favorite Cities Read the full results of our annual survey (which town has the best barbecue? Most attractive people?) at TravelandLeisure.com/Americas-Favorite-Cities.
Best & Worst Airports: You Tell Us Rank them all (and enter for a chance to win a dream trip) at TravelandLeisure.com/airport-survey.
T+L Photo Contest: Views Submit by December 31 at TravelandLeisure.com/photocontest. Winner takes home a set of Britto Butterfly luggage!
Luxury Hotels for Less Get great offers from the world’s most exclusive hotels and resorts at Vacationist.com. Use promo code: TLMAG.
T+L Asks: What’s Your Holiday Dream Trip, and Why?
Egypt—because it was on my 2010 “to-do” list, and I haven’t done it yet—yikes! —Lourdes Diaz
I always go to Venice in summer, but would love to see it without the throngs, in the misty winter, going from bàcaro to bàcaro just tasting my way around the canals. —Peter Francis Battaglia, Jersey Shore
Playa del Carmen, Mexico, on the beach with an umbrella drink in hand. Of course, in this fantasy, I’m 40 pounds lighter. —Terry Morris
I’d visit my family in San Diego, California. —Terri Lundberg, Ras Tanura, Saudi Arabia
It will be Aruba, a special place for a special occasion...our honeymoon! —Nancy Walton
Ringing in the New Year at Sri Panwa Resort, in Phuket, Thailand, with family. —Paul Boardman Abhamongkol, Washington, D.C.
I’d backpack through Peru and Chile and forget that it’s winter in the States. —Vasthy Flores, Los Angeles, Calif.
Munich, Germany, for the famous Christmas markets, glühwein, sweets, and nearby Alps for skiing. —Heather Aivaliotis
Morocco. For the culture, crafts, and bedouin hospitality. —Wynne Kwan
Christmas in Naples, Italy. My stockings would be filled with mozzarella and Chianti! —Jamie Watts
For more holiday travel ideas, download T+L’s free Holiday Edition on the iPad, available in the App Store now.
Coming Next Month in T+L Asks: What’s your travel resolution for the new year?
The T+L Hit List
The most-searched countries on TravelandLeisure.com last month.
Excellent Guest House
Just 10 miles from the airport and 20 from the city center, the property not only is affordable but also has edgy interior design, including wall-mounted rotary-dial phones; wooden ceilings; a basketful of wines. The owner is warm and bakes bread daily for guests. There’s a thatched structure along the pool with braai (barbecue) facilities, and breakfast is served in the open-air courtyard.