Last year, I wrote about Chanukah activities in San Francisco.
This year, the topic is Christmas.
Yes, Christmas. Those ever-hip San Francisco Jews not only know how to celebrate Chanukah in wildly original style; they’ve also got Christmas covered. An array of events around town ensures that no bored Jew, in town for a visit and staring into closed shop windows, has to make do with Chinese and a movie.
It’s already November, which means that if you haven’t yet booked your holiday in Punta del Este, you had better get moving.
The Southern Cone’s premier beach resort, Punta del Este, Uruguay, is the favored getaway for well-to-do Jewish families from Montevideo and Buenos Aires. Both capitals are a short hop from this favored spit of coastline, where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Río de la Plata, and where beaches can feel as glitzy as nightclubs.
My mom is used to me trotting around the world. But the relentless news about European unrest has gotten her worried, and she’s not alone: I’ve heard a lot of fretting in recent months from would-be travelers put off by riots in Madrid, cars set on fire in Athens, anti-Semitic speeches in Budapest, and British university protests.
A stop on the global Israeli travel circuit, this time in Cusco, Peru.
If you’re not familiar with the international Israeli travel circuit, then it may come as a surprise that Cusco, Peru — fabled city of the Incas and gateway to Machu Picchu — has one of the liveliest Jewish scenes in South America.
What’s more, that scene is almost entirely itinerant, composed of visiting Israelis and the businesses that cater to them. Lima, the capital, has a settled Jewish community with synagogues and museums; Cusco has Hebrew-language tour guides and hummus on the menu.
Melbourne boasts a tight-knit, tradition-bound Jewish community and an elegant dining scene.
It’s a facile analogy, Nina Bassat acknowledges, but in Australian shorthand, Sydney is the country’s San Francisco; Melbourne is its Los Angeles.
A sunny, sprawling cosmopolis on one edge of the world, Melbourne at first glance has quite a lot in common with L.A., explained Bassat, president of the Jewish Community Council of Victoria, the state of which Melbourne is capital.
Cool adobe nights, fiery hot chili peppers: in Santa Fe, some things are classics. As 2012 winds down, New Mexico is celebrating its first 100 years of statehood, and the emphasis is on what makes this region timeless.
Much of the festivity takes place in Santa Fe, where the contrast between New Mexico’s relative youth and the city’s 400-year-old heritage is particularly sharp. A century ago, after all, the Palace of the Governors was already three centuries into life as America’s oldest public building; the plaza had bustled for generations with artisans and traders.
Having spent time in Taranto, Italy, I am a member of a very small club. Whenever I mention I was writing about Taranto — even when I take care to emphasize the first syllable — people immediately confuse it with the better-known (and more-visited) Canadian burg.
There isn’t much information online about Taranto, an Italian naval base that sits at the northwest entrance of the Apulian peninsula. What little press Taranto does get is usually negative: corruption, pollution, the usual Southern Italian scourges.
Michael Weil opened my eyes to a different way of looking at New Orleans’s most beloved landmarks.
The executive director of the Jewish Federation of Greater New Orleans talked me through an itinerary of his favorite Jewish sights in his adopted hometown, which also happen to be the icons that every visitor wants to see. As he did, he made me realize how deep the city’s Jewish roots actually go, and how thoroughly Jewishness permeates the post-Katrina landscape.