There are plenty of Jewish neighborhoods around New York where the community tends toward a certain religious outlook, a predominant level of observance or a majority ethnic leaning.
And then there is Riverdale. Leafy and elegant, its stately Tudors and postwar high-rises perched along the banks of the Hudson, this corner of the northwest Bronx is cherished by residents for its religious and ethnic diversity — both within and outside of the Jewish community.
Just a few hours’ drive east from Venice, one of the most-visited places in Europe, lies a magical land that few Americans ever consider: Slovenia.
While Europeans have discovered Slovenia in droves, there are reasons for its obscurity among us Yanks. Slovenia’s capital, Ljubljana, is hard to pronounce — Lyoo-blee-YAH-na — and impossible to spell. Many of us secretly sympathized with President Bush when he confused Slovenia with Slovakia, another country that didn’t exist when most of us learned geography.
My mother always counseled us not to have a nervous breakdown in August. “That’s when all the psychiatrists go on vacation,” she explained. If you needed medical guidance in the month before Labor Day, she added, your best shot was to hang out on the beaches of Cape Cod and the Islands, because that’s where they all went.
There’s something about the sight of snowy peaks that instantly cools you off, even in the midst of a long, hot summer.
Whether wandering around the stately red-brick buildings of downtown Denver or prowling its pretty Victorian neighborhoods, one never loses sight of the shimmering Rockies that make the Mile-High City so picturesque. Amid the bright, clear mountain sunshine, Colorado’s capital offers a breezy, verdant summer retreat, along with plenty of culture to fill the non-skiing months.
Barcelona may be famous for its elegant and surrealistic architecture, but in summertime all the action is out of doors.
The city has its interior pleasures too, of course, but its museums take second place compared to the allure of its beaches, parks and neighborhoods adorned with Gaudi buildings. (Madrid, in contrast, is an indoor city the way New York is: its top sites are museums, and I once spent a half-hour vainly searching for a park — even just a shady bench — to enjoy a picnic lunch.)
If you prefer the strains of Mozart and the strokes of Picasso to the feeling of sand between your toes, head to the Berkshires this summer.
New England’s most storied arts retreat is nestled into the deceptively rural swath along the New York-Massachusetts border, a region named for its lush green mountains. I say deceptive because the bucolic setting, with its fresh breezes and homespun clapboard buildings, has a low-key vibe that belies the intensity of its fine-arts scene.
More options for Jewish community
as East End takes on a more year-round feel.
Special To The Jewish Week
Summer in and summer out, the fabled sandy beaches and cocktail crowds of Long Island’s East End draw a reliable mix of celebrities, high flyers and city folk escaping the urban grind.
But in recent years, an increasing number of Jewish families — parents of young children, retirees and a growing crowd of dedicated weekenders of all ages — have been calling the Hamptons home for all four seasons.
If you enjoy mystery novels, you’ll love planning a trip this summer.
Prices are on a rollercoaster, the euro is diving and the Icelandic volcano periodically throws a little entertainment into the mundane business of flying. There are terrific bargains out there, but the rapidly shifting travel scene is a bit disorienting.
Orthodox-heavy L.I. area moving
beyond its traditional borders.
Special To The Jewish Week
When Stuart Katz moved into North Woodmere 18 years ago, his neighbors in Long Island’s Five Towns area were mostly Jewish families with children, and a lot of them commuted to Manhattan every day from this peaceful waterfront enclave.