United Front

I’ve lived in cultural epicenters like Paris and New York but found some of the most exciting—and, oftentimes, authentic—food, fashion, art, and design in newly hip cities like Portland, Maine, and Marfa, Texas. So I especially appreciated Bruce Schoenfeld’s November story. His evaluation of this country’s “hometown boosterism” is right on point, as our melting pot continues to be stirred by roving visionaries from coast to coast. —Sarah Storms, Far Hills, N.J.

America’s Favorite Cities Face Off

As a working actor in Washington, D.C., I was dismayed to see our theater scene ranked at number nine in “America’s Favorite Cities.” Over the past decade theater has exploded here. There are now more than 70 professional organizations premiering plays that move on to Broadway; they also sell the second-highest number of tickets in the U.S., after New York City. To me, this indicates the fortitude of our theater community. I hope it will change your 2010 rankings. —Gia Mora, Washington, D.C.

It amazes me that Pittsburgh was not on your “America’s Favorite Cities” survey. It consistently tops America’s Most Livable and Green City lists; has one of the country’s best symphonies, numerous museums, several esteemed universities and colleges, and three clean rivers; and is home of the Steelers, the Penguins, and the Pirates. I could go on and on. How was it overlooked? —Daniel Zajdel, Pittsburgh, Pa.

Editor’s Note: Every year, we consider new destinations for our America’s Favorite Cities poll; we’ll certainly keep Pittsburgh on our radar for 2010.

Satisfying Wanderlust

After reading your “6 Fashion Trailblazers” article, I would love to buy clothing from Wanderlust, Elizabeth Kiester’s shop in Cambodia. How can I do so from the U.S.? —Julie Schaible, Phoenix, Ariz.

Editor’s Note: You can e-mail your order to Elizabeth at, or leave it in a message on the “Wanderlust in Cambodia” Facebook page. Items will be shipped directly to you.

World’s Best Trip

My wife and I want to thank Amy Glass, our T+L A-List agent, for putting together the perfect East Coast itinerary—the second prize (a $2,500 trip) in your 2009 World’s Best Sweepstakes. Starting in New York City with the ideally located Blakely New York Hotel (doubles from $275) as our base, we saw a couple of shows, ate some excellent food, and caught up with old friends. Then, after five days, we rented a car and drove up north to New Hampshire, where we spent three days photographing the foliage around Lake Winnipesaukee. We had a great time. —Gary & Fredrica Greene, Tiburon, Calif.

Reader’s Find: Peru

My husband and I just got back from a magical three weeks in Peru. We ended our trip in Paracas national reserve, across from the Islas Ballestas on the southern coast, an area that’s picking itself up after it was destroyed by an earthquake in 2007. Probably the greatest evidence of this was where we stayed: the Hotel Paracas, a Luxury Collection Resort (doubles from $235), which opened this past November in a spectacular modern building on Paracas Bay. The staff was most helpful, from Daniel, our personal butler, to Giacomo, the head of activites, who took us on a special tour of the Candelabro of the Andes, 15 minutes away. Of course, there are many exciting offerings right on the premises, from kite-surfing in the bay to a treatment at the spa. —Marjorie Deane, New York, N.Y.

For more on Peru, see “A Trip Through Peru.”