Archive for the “America” Category

21 Amazing Restaurants From My Road Trip Across the United States

In the past five months, I’ve driven over 12,000 miles on my cross-country book tour. I visited over 40 cities and ate hundreds of meals of varying quality: some were good, some thankfully very forgettable, and others of “OMG I can die happy now” quality. These meals — whether in a high-quality sushi restaurant or a hole in the wall — showed me how delicious and diverse the food in America is. After all those meals, here are my top […]

7 Things I Learned While Driving Through the American South

The American South has a mixed reputation in U.S. popular culture: it’s home to sweet tea, greasy but delicious food, country music and the blues, friendly and helpful people, and beautiful and diverse landscapes. However, it’s also supposedly filled with guns, racists, bigots, and rednecks, and it’s the subject of other negative stereotypes. The first time I visited the South was in 2006 on a road trip across the United States. As a liberal Yankee, I wanted the negative stereotypes […]

How to Spend 4 Days in New Orleans

New Orleans. NOLA. The Big Easy. A city by many names, all conjuring the jovial “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (“Let the good times roll!”) attitude towards life the city is famous for. New Orleans is filled with scrumptious French-inspired Creole and Cajun food, live jazz music, street performers, and an appreciation for all the temptations of life. Life is lived well here in the Big Easy. I first visited in 2006 on a road trip across the country. It […]

Living Les Bons Temps At Mardi Gras

As I threw beads over the wrought-iron balcony of Bourbon Bandstand in the French Quarter, I looked down at the crowds: strangers in elaborate costumes toasted drinks, laughed, and danced with each other as streets bands performed jazz. Everyone moved as if part of a well-rehearsed stage production performed countless times before. “Mardi Gras is certainly wild,” I thought. “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (“Let the good times roll!”) Mardi Gras (Fat Tuesday) is the day before Lent, on which […]

The Great American Road Trip (Part Deux)

To Americans, there’s nothing that hold more appeal than the classic road trip. It’s built into our cultural DNA dating as far back as the 1920s. In Jazz Age America, the car was a symbol of freedom – a chance to escape your small town and the watchful eyes of parents. It allowed men and women to sneak off together in a way never possible before. As the highway system was developed in the 1950s, a wave of kids set out […]

A Prohibition Bar Crawl Through NYC

Warning: This is not a budget-friendly post, but it will make you thirsty! I love the 1920s—a lot. Midnight in Paris is one of my favorite movies. I had a Prohibition-era themed birthday party this year. I own vintage clothes. I listen to a lot of jazz. I’ve started taking swing classes. If I could live in any other time, I would pick 1920s NYC or Paris. The Jazz Age and I are buddies. And that’s one of the reasons […]

Historical Walking Tours of New York City: The Good, Bad, and Amazing!

New York City has many walking tour companies—from free tours to food tours to neighborhood tours to expensive private walking tours. This place has it all, and with so much history and culture and so many nationalities represented here, it’s not really that surprising. New York seems to have a walking tour for everyone’s needs. Now, I love walking tours. I think they’re a wonderful way to see a city, get your bearings, and learn about where you are from […]

14 Ways to Safely Hitchhike Across the United States

My first experience with hitchhiking was in Belize. Back in 2005, I hitchhiked the entire country as it was the most common way locals got around. If they were doing it, why not me? It was a lot of fun and much easier and safer than I thought it would be. Since then, I’ve hitchhiked around a handful of countries and met some interesting (and not so interesting) people. Hitchhiking is still a popular and common way many people worldwide […]

How to Spend Three Days Touring San Francisco

San Francisco is one of the most eclectic cities in the United States. It’s home to liberals, hippies, hipsters, techies, immigrants, yuppies, one of the oldest gay scenes in the States, that big red bridge, Alcatraz, delicious Chinese food, seafood, and, well, food in general (this is a great city to be hungry in). To me, it’s a magical place. While it lacks that certain je ne sais quoi that would convince me to pack my bags and live there, […]

I Didn’t Like Curacao (But I Didn’t Hate it Either)

The oil refinery I saw on the way to my apartment rental in Curacao was a harbinger of things to come. The Caribbean conjures up images of white sand beaches, palm trees, coral reefs, and tropical drinks. This summer, I planned to travel much of the Caribbean (spoiler alert: I didn’t). At the top of my list of places to visit was Curacao, located in the Dutch Antilles, a part of Holland, and famous for its casinos, nightlife, and eponymous […]