Hilary Larson's travel tales and tips.

High Art

12/15/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

A few years ago, when a series of health crises sent me into a whirl of alternative-medicine panaceas — meditation, chi gong, hypnosis — a friend laughed and told me, “Sounds like soon you will be living in Sedona.”

The red rocks of the Senoran desert loom over Sedona.  Wikimedia Commons

Latkes (And Okra, Anyone?) In The Big Easy

12/08/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

New Orleans is famous for knowing how to party. And while Mardi Gras is the best-known annual festivity, the Big Easy — as this renascent Louisiana city is called — puts on quite a show for Chanukah, too.

What’s frying in New Orleans? It’s latkes, ubiquitous there during Chanukah, a few months before the city’s famed Mardi Gras.

Travels With Zelda (And Other Babies, Too)

12/01/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

Regular readers of this column have probably observed that in addition to my husband, Oggi, another family member has begun to make an appearance: our baby daughter, Zelda.

The author’s daughter contemplating the JetBlue destination map. Hilary Larson/JW

Making A Pitch For Hamptons-Style Zionism

East End rabbi’s Herzliya condo project aimed at those who want to ‘own a piece of Israel.’

12/01/2014 - 19:00

If they buy it, they will come.

That’s the philosophy behind a new luxury apartment project in Israel called The Hamptons in Herzliya Pituach that’s attempting to link two very swanky locales in the service of strengthening diaspora Jews’ connections to Israel — and selling high-end apartments.

A seaside marina in Herzliya Pituach as seen in video ad for The Hamptons condo project. Courtesy of The Hampton Synagogue

On (And Off) The Jewish Heritage Route

11/24/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

‘You can’t tell Americans how to pronounce Kosice,” my husband, Oggi warned me.

We were planning an excursion to Slovakia’s second-largest city, a former European Capital of Culture with a stunning historic center and a well-preserved trove of Jewish heritage sites. But Kosice has the misfortune to be graced with a name whose middle syllable, for English speakers, is the kind of vulgarity that elicits titters from my inner 8-year-old.

Kosice’s Pushkinova Street synagogue is a center of Jewish life in the Slovakian city’s Jewish community. Wikimedia Commons

Sosúa, Then And Now

11/17/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

If Sosúa, an idyllic beach town on the Dominican Republic’s north coast, looks like paradise to us, one can only imagine how pleasant a sight it was for European Jewish refugees in the early 1940s.

A typical street scene in Sosúa. Wikimedia Commons

A Walk In The Park

11/10/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

Between the museums, palaces, theaters and pubs, it’s easy to spend a week in London entirely indoors. Given the famously drab weather, it is often preferable to do so.

Hyde Park is London’s answer to Central Park and the largest of its royal lawns.  Amy Larson

An Air Of Fear

11/03/2014 - 19:00
Travel Writer

I was sitting in LAX about a month ago when a fellow traveler asked me, “Are you scared to be flying, with Ebola?”

For the cautious traveler, a bit of sensible precautions can allay travels fears. Above, the Halifax Airport.  Wikimedia Commons

The Core Of California

10/27/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

High up in the San Bernardino Mountains, I found all the apples I needed to ring in the Jewish New Year.

An apple store and a farm store make for good shopping in harvest season in rural California.  Hilary Larson/JW

Seattle After Dark

10/20/2014 - 20:00
Travel Writer

Given all the coffee its residents drink, it shouldn’t be surprising that Seattle stays up late.

I was tipped off to this by my sister, an inveterate night owl and Seattlephile who starts her day when most people are winding theirs down. She and my brother-in-law take their morning coffee around 5 p.m., then look for things to do while everybody else is at dinner. And that’s how I discovered that Seattle’s most hallowed attractions are all the more attractive after dark.

A Dale Chihuly sculpture set against the Space Needle at night. Amy Larson
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