I appreciated Tom Austin's in-depth review of Portland in the August issue ["American Eden"]. My husband and I live close by and know the city's many personalities firsthand. Austin carefully covered Portland's multiple layers, from the local food–focused dining options to the colorful music scene. Visitors should also see the Portland Classical Chinese Garden, in Old Town. The botanical center has hundreds of native Chinese plants. It's a calming sensory experience and just one more beautiful addition to the city's eclectic landscape.—Carla Damman, Vancouver, Wash.
It's All in the Sauce
Recently, I traveled to Tunisia and discovered harissa, the country's signature sauce. Every restaurant, it seemed, used its own personal recipe. In the northern region, the flavor had less heat and more garlic and cumin. In the south, harissa tasted of chili pepper and coriander. Since returning home, I had been craving the spice but had no luck finding it. Imagine my surprise when I read "Fired Up!" [August] and discovered Matt and Ted Lee's delicious recommendation. I can't get enough of it! .—Kimberly Holland, Birmingham, Ala.
All Wrapped Up
I own 11 of the Carol Cassidy–designed wraps featured in "The Silk Road" [August]. I wear them with everything from T-shirts (in India) to suits (in Paris). I also recommend another Cassidy creation: long, single-color silk scarves in a looser weave that are perfect for traveling—they're machine washable and dryable and virtually indestructible.—Alison Fields, Washington, D.C.
I've visited a handful of the seashores detailed in "20 Great American Beaches" [ July], always looking for new scenery and activities. One question, however: Where are Michigan's lakeshores in your package?The white sands along the state's western coast rival Florida's, and many of the towns celebrate the warm weather with festivals, blueberry picking, and antiques fairs. I love the ocean, but give me Lake Michigan's freshwater anytime! —Emily Devries, Lexington, Ky.
Top Photo Tips
My wife and I always drag around our big Canon Digital Rebel on vacation. I like taking pictures of landscapes, parks, people, and whatever pops up. The best part is compiling the shots when we get home. We referred to T+L's "Photography 101" [August] for printing-service tips, and had great luck with your Shutterfly recommendation. In three days, our memory books came back—beautifully bound, with high-quality paper.—David W. Brinegar, Mt. Jackson, Va.
When packing for a trip, I try to bring versatile items that don't take up room and that launder easily. For practical travel-clothing suggestions, I frequently find myself going back to T+L's Stylish Traveler section. My latest favorite?The "9 Easy Pieces" article in August. I'm off to buy the metallic Stuart Weitzman flats—for my trip to France this fall!—Kelly Lewis, Boston, Mass.
Reader’s Find: London
My wife and I stayed at the Rubens hotel [39 Buckingham Palace Rd.; 44-20/7834-6600; doubles from $490] in London this past July. Our room was well-lit and comfortable, complete with framed coats of arms and views of Buckingham Palace. The staff was courteous and friendly. Best of all, central London was right at our doorstep. We visited the Queen's Gallery [Buckingham Palace Rd.; 44-20/7766-7301; royalcollection.org.uk] and Paradiso e Inferno [389 The Strand; 44-20/7836-7491; dinner for two $84], our favorite spot in the city for Northern Italian. —John Binden, Long Beach, Calif.