Culinary Culture

California’s Lodi Wine Region

May 19, 2016
Lodi, CA Vineyard

One of the many vineyards surrounding Lodi. Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Exploring Northern California’s Wine Country is a quintessential pleasure in the Golden State. The Napa and Sonoma Valleys are justly renowned and favorite destinations of wine enthusiasts. But they’ve become so popular they’re sometimes quite crowded; the roads clogged with traffic and tastings rooms packed with tour groups. Fortunately for wine lovers there is a superb alternative that is convenient, yet still rural and relaxed – the Lodi Wine region. In fact, Wine Enthusiast Magazine named Lodi the Wine Region of the Year for 2015.

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The Arts

New York’s Shakespeare in the Park

May 17, 2016
NYC Shakespeare in the Park

Magic in the moonlight – Shakespeare in the Park. Photo: Public Theater

Summer in New York brings one of the city’s finest cultural delights – Shakespeare in the Park.  Every summer, two new stagings of Shakespeare’s plays (or occasionally other works) are presented in an amphitheater in the heart of Central Park…completely free of charge!  Gathering with 1900 people to savor great theater under a canopy of stars is a magical experience.

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Festivities

Cordoba’s Fiesta de los Patios: a Celebration of Andalusia

April 28, 2016
Cordoba Patio Festival

A classic patio of Cordoba. Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Every Spring the city of Cordoba throws open the doors to its gorgeous courtyards for the Fiesta de los Patios (Courtyard Festival). During the festival (which UNESCO declared an Intangible Cultural Heritage site), visitors can tour approximately 50 of Cordoba’s private courtyards (los patios), which are brimming with colorful flowers, plants and traditional decor. Adding to the festivities are concerts, flamenco performances, street parties, and lots of tasty tapas.

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The Arts

New York’s Guggenheim Museum

April 1, 2016
New York Guggenheim Museum

New York’s Guggenheim Museum is housed in Frank Lloyd Wright’s landmark edifice. Photo: Jeff Dobbins

New York’s Guggenheim Museum holds one of the nation’s finest collections of modern and contemporary art. But more famous than the artworks is the collection’s home – Frank Lloyd Wright’s novel architectural landmark. A visit to “the Guggenheim” allows one to explore its distinctive collection and structure, as well as superb exhibitions.

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Festivities

The National Cherry Blossom Festival: Washington, DC’s Spring Fling

March 18, 2016
Cherry Blossom Festival

Washington DC’s Tidal Basin in bloom. Photo: Jeff Dobbins

Washington, DC’s National Cherry Blossom Festival is the nation’s grandest springtime celebration. In addition to its dazzling cherry trees, the nation’s capital gets decked out in pink and white and hosts three weeks of events and entertainment. Japanese cultural programs, parades, fireworks, concerts, exhibitions and great food are all part of the festivities.

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