Travel

03/18/2014 | | Travel Writer | Travel

When did Santa Monica, the laid-back hub of Los Angeles’ beach communities, turn into Bourbon Street?

I pondered this as Oggi and I spent an hour and a half inching our rented Nissan along jam-packed beachside lanes that reminded me less of California and more of Manhattan’s 14th Street at rush hour. Thousands of young people — many clad in green on St. Patrick’s Day, others draped in gaudy strings of beads — strolled in leisurely herds along Main Street and Broadway. In some spots, the sidewalks were as jammed with pedestrians as the roads were with cars.

03/11/2014 | | Travel Writer | Travel

Like valleys everywhere, the San Fernando Valley of Los Angeles is defined by its surrounding mountains. Smoky purple and taupe, the jagged peaks are visible through the smog from every vantage point.

03/04/2014 | | Travel Writer | Travel

The night clerk at my hotel in Lisbon’s port district was complaining. Too many immigrants, he groused. Brazilians, Cape Verdeans, Angolans — the breadth of Portugal’s erstwhile empire is visible on every street in downtown Lisbon. The clerk darkly suggested a link to increased prostitution.

02/25/2014 | | Special To The Jewish Week | Travel

There are a few reasons why a New Yorker will feel at home in Buenos Aires, Argentina, the second-largest city in South America: he has to negotiate busy streets and assertive natives, and take the “subte” (the subway) to get around. He can always find pizza and he gets to choose from an abundant roster of cultural events. But with its decaying colonial architecture and unique blend of gentility and bellicosity, Buenos Aires is also a true mix of Europe and South America.

02/18/2014 | | Travel Writer | Travel

It may be the heart of the beleaguered Rust Belt, but don’t underestimate Cleveland. A recent visit to Ohio’s Jewish and cultural capital revealed a downtown in its second renaissance of recent decades, with enough urban energy to warrant exploration even during these freezing months.

02/11/2014 | | Travel Writer | Travel

It’s safe to say that 20 years ago, your odds of seeing a band of mariachis playing klezmer-style Chanukah music in a Mexican resort were slim to none.