Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

Return Trip

03/29/2016 - 09:56
Travel Writer

Don’t look backward. 

That’s my advice for all the nostalgists who long to return to the scene of an early, life-changing overseas adventure. That first whiff of exoticism, the shivery thrill of unfamiliar smells and foreign accents, the picturesque dilapidation of the Old World — all of it intoxicates in a way no successive trip will.

And should there be a successive trip, disappointment is all but inevitable.

Return visitors to Israel, or anywhere else, will enjoy sights, like the Design Museum in Holon. Flickr

Vermont; A Vacation With Socialist Leanings

Sanders phenomenon has cast a fresh spotlight on the rugged, quirky, individualistic tradition of Jewish New Englanders.

03/15/2016 - 13:28
Travel Writer

Bernie fever has reached such a pitch in the green hills of Vermont that at farmer’s markets around Manchester you can buy Bernie Sandwich Bread, a marble rye that pays homage to the democratic socialist senator’s Brooklyn roots.

The gift shop at the Ben & Jerry’s Factory, in Manchester. credit: Flickr

‘In 5 Or 10 Years, It’ll Be Like St. Martin’

03/08/2016 - 18:08
Travel Writer

You wouldn’t know it from all the breathless articles about the wide new world of Cuba travel, but tourism in Castro’s paradise is still illegal in the eyes of Uncle Sam.

Still largely undeveloped, Cuba offers scenes of simple charm. Wikimedia Commons

New Dawn For An Old Jewish Center

Visiting Wrocław, a European Capital of Culture for 2016

03/01/2016 - 15:40
Travel Writer

One of the proudest buildings in Wrocław, a European Capital of Culture for 2016, is the White Stork Synagogue. Its white-brick neoclassical façade fairly shimmers since a restoration was completed in 2010, the bittersweet revival of a structure that outlived most of the community it today represents.

Wroclaw’s old city, a jumble of cheery Baroque facades in pink, pistachio and daffodil yellow. Wikimedia Commons

Touring Europe, One Jewish Festival At A Time

02/23/2016 - 12:17
Travel Writer

It’s nearly 60 degrees as I write this column. Spring is on the way and school will be out before you know it, which means now is the ideal time to start planning a European summer vacation. Book in March, and you’ll snare the best airfares (and they are good right now), the best lodging values (the Airbnb steals go fast), and take advantage of an incredibly strong U.S. dollar.

The Szeroka area of Krakow will be the base of this summer’s annual Jewish Culture Festival. Wikimedia Commons

Don’t Let The Bedbugs Bite

02/16/2016 - 12:45
Travel Writer

Recently in this column, we discussed kosher locusts. This week I will address a bug that is absolutely not kosher under any circumstances, not literally and not figuratively, either.

Style is no guarantee of a bedbug-free hotel room. Hilary Danailova/JW

Prairie Culture, Jewish And Otherwise

02/10/2016 - 09:14
Travel Writer

The caucuses are over. The candidates have moved on to New Hampshire and South Carolina. Iowa’s cornfields lie still under a layer of snow — flat, vast expanses of white punctuated by the bare limbs of a tree, a farmhouse, a silo.

The resurgent downtown of Des Moines, framed by the Iowa State Capitol. Wikimedia Commons

Days Of The Locust: Adventures In Kosher Food

02/02/2016 - 17:50
Travel Writer

Note: This is the second of two stories on kosher travel.

Over three decades of globetrotting, Rabbi Ari Zivotofsky and Dr. Ari Greenspan have cultivated a career as kosher adventurers — and accidental entomologists.

The “two Aris” in an underground grotto matzah-baking facility in Ptigliano, Italy. Courtesy of Ari Greenspan

A World Of New Food Options

01/26/2016 - 18:30
Travel Writer

Note: This is the first of two stories on kosher travel.

Whenever she travels, Rhoda Farbowitz of Staten Island always packs a fallback kosher “meal” — a pack of tuna, cheese, challah rolls. “You just never know,” said Farbowitz. “You always have to carry something in your pocketbook.”

A kosher McDonald’s in Buenos Aires. Wikimedia Commons

Art Scene Leads Renaissance

01/19/2016 - 10:57
Travel Writer

Tel Aviv — The grungy walls of South Tel Aviv are splashed with color and visual playfulness: two-story-high monsters, fantastical creatures smoking pipes, Technicolor clowns. Punctuating the imagery are lines and lines of scrawling Hebrew text, gashes of black on dingy concrete, arresting the eye at street level.

Street art in South Tel Aviv that has helped spark a cultural renaissance in this long-neglected district.  Ross Belfer
Syndicate content