Full disclosure: I used to be a Radio City Rockette. And even though I retired a decade ago, this time of year always brings back memories of the start up of rehearsals and the build of excitement as kicking season approaches. I still like to check in on the ladies, just seven blocks up from our offices, and each year I am amazed that I was ever a part of that giant, glittery, moving entity that I always think of as a hyper-size, surreal, living version of a Hammacher Schlemmer music box.
Sure, sure, Siesta Key, Florida, is known for having one of the world’s nicest beaches, but it's also home to some of the world’s best breakfasts. The Broken Egg (140 Avenida Messina) came recommended to my breakfast-deprived boyfriend and me upon our arrival at our Sarasota hotel after taking one of those ridiculously early LGA to TPA flights.
“It’s where the locals go,” said the hotel manager (and sure enough the BE’s website plays “Where Everybody Knows Your Name”).
When not out and about in the world, I am a modern armchair traveler—vicariously visiting the corners of the planet online. I’ve spent whole evenings in South America via GoogleEarth on my iTouch; am addicted to the TravelandLeisure.com and NYTimes.com slideshows; and check in on my bookmarked travel blogs with religious regularity.
Right now, TheAccidentalExtremist.com, a collection of tales of trips gone bad (or somewhat awry) by writers both amateur and celebrated, curated by adventure writer Christian DeBenedetti (with whom I worked at National Geographic Adventure magazine), has me hooked.
I just returned from my third trip to Monte Argentario, a dramatic peninsula two hours north of Rome on the Tuscan coast. My sister married a Roman who grew up going to a place called Cala Moresca (or the Moorish Cove), and he's since introduced us to the area, which is better known to Italians than to Americans. (It's a place locals save for themselves.) Here are some of our favorite stops, plus a couple new discoveries:
I'm getting to know the Stoke Newington area in the borough of Hackney in London, and I better like it. My sister and her family relocated there from San Francisco last year when my brother in law got a new job. She told her husband they would have to stay put for the next ten to 12 years, until the boys went off to college.
So, this is where I’ll be headed at least three or four times a year. If I do the math, that’s 48 visits—see why I better like it? Lucky for me this neighborhood in the northeast part of town has plenty to see and many bars and restaurants to sample. They also call it “up-and-coming,” so there’s little chance I’ll exhaust the possibilities. On my most recent trip I discovered the following gems: