Saturday, January 23, 2010

Meeting My Favorite Blogger

David Lebovitz

When I started reading "The Sweet Life in Paris: Delicious Adventures in the World's Most Glorious - and Perplexing - City", I couldn't put it down. So I read on through the last page. And then I wanted to read more of David's works. I thought I would have to wait for his next book to be published but no! Luckily Mr. Lebovitz is one of those rare writers whose works can be easily accessed. He has a blog, http://www.davidlebovitz.com/, he's on Twitter and Facebook and his photos are on Flicker. At a book signing in San Francisco last year, David graciously autographed our books and talked to us, his fans, about his upcoming book, Ready for Dessert: My Best Recipes.

David's blog is as colorful as his life in Paris and the dishes and desserts he features with recipes to boot. The stories he shares on Facebook are novel and interesting. And his tweets are one of a kind.  Here's a sample: "Had a terrific evening. Till that bird relieved itself on my shoulder". 

Oh s___!

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Image by Charie

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Masterpieces from the Musée d'Orsay: The Birth of Impressionism

Exciting times for art enthusiasts are on the calendar for 2010. The De Young Museum in San Francisco will be presenting consecutive exhibitions beginning with Birth of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the  Musée d'Orsay which runs from May 22, 2010 to September 6, 2010 followed by  Van Gogh, Gauguin, Cézanne and Beyond: Post-Impressionists Masterpieces from the Musée D'Orsay from September 25, 2010 to January 18, 2011. Some 100 paintings will be on display in the first exhibition including Les Raboteurs by Gustave Caillebotte, Saint Lazare Station by Claude Monet, The Dance Lesson by Edgar Degas and Portrait of the Artist's Mother by James McNeill Whistler. Other artists in this show are Bouguereau, Manet, Morisot, Pisarro, Renoir, and Sisley. The Post Impressionists' collection consists of 120 canvases foremost of which are The Artist's Bedroom at Arles by Vincent Van Gogh, Portrait of the Artist with the Yellow Christ by Paul Gauguin and selections from the Pointilists namely Seurat and Signac and the Nabis like Bonnard and Vuillard.

Concurrent with these exhibits, the Palace of the Legion of Honor will host an exhibition Impressionist Paris, City of Light consisting of artworks and photographs of and about Paris during the period of Impressionism, circa 1874. This will commence on May 22 and run through September 6, 2010. The Japanese Print in the Era of Impressionism follows and traces the influence of Japanese print on the works of Impressionist painters.

San Francisco is the only venue for both of these exhibitions from the Musée D'Orsay while the latter undergoes renovation. Tickets will be available to the public on April 6, 2010. 

For more information on these exhibitions check these links: http://www.famsf.org/ and http://www.famsf.org/legion.


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Saturday, January 16, 2010

Volunteer Travel

Many of us have read Greg Mortenson's  Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace . . . One School at a Time, his story about traveling in Pakistan and the profound effect it had on himself and the people he met along the way. Today more travelers are seeking to reach out to the communities they visit, whether as a family or as an individual, and to incorporate sightseeing or relaxing at a nearby beach resort with volunteer projects that match their interests.  There are opportunities in teaching English or arts and crafts, building schools or restoring a Tuscan village, working at an archaelogical dig or at an orphanage and studying the ecosystem, among others. Frommer's 500 Places Where You Can  Make A Difference lists various way to serve communities around the world along with detailed contact information and costs of meals and accommodations.

Volunteer vacations may be short or long term depending on the traveler's requirements. But it may become intoxicating. Giving is one of the most satisfying things one can do.

"We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give." Winston Churchill

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

The New York Times' 31 Places to Go in 2010


The Strip, Las Vegas

And now the much awaited list of places to go in 2010 from The New York Times is out and here are their top 10 picks:
1. Sri Lanka
2. Patagonia Wine Country
3. Seoul
4. Mysore
5. Copenhagen
6. Koh Kood
7. Damascus
8. Cesme
9. Antarctica
10. Leipzig
Also making the list are Los Angeles and Las Vegas, Istanbul which is the 2010 European Capital of Culture, South Africa where the 2010 World Cup games will be held, and Shanghai, the site of Expo 2010. Frommer's and NY Times both include Copenhagen (the venue of the recently concluded Climate Change Conference) on their lists while Las Vegas appears on both the Lonely Planet and NY Times lists. It's interesting to note that the NY Times list of destinations has been pared down from 44 in 2009 to just 31 in 2010. It gives us more time to immerse ourselves in the cultures of these recommended destinations if we are lucky enough to see all of them in 2010. Happy travels!

For the complete list of the 31 Places to go in 2010 visit this link:
www.nytimes.com/2010/01/10/travel/10places.html/?em

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Photo by Charie

Friday, January 01, 2010

Where to go in 2010


Louvre Museum, Paris

Here are Frommer's picks of top destinations for 2010:
Tunisia, Copenhagen, Hanoi, Santiago de Cuba, Abu Dhabi, Big Island Hawaii, Salta Province Argentina, Isles of Scilly, Melbourne, Florida Panhandle Beaches, Mexico City, Kerala in India.

Frommer's readers voted Paris as their Reader Favorite for 2010.
For more on this check the link below:
http://www.frommers.com/trip_ideas/arts_and_culture/article.cfm?ideaID=ARTCULTURE&articleID=6469&t=Frommer%27s%20Top%20Destinations%202010

Happy New Year and may you have many fun travels in 2010!

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Photos by Charie