April 27, 2005
Re "A Twist for an Ancient Tongue Trying to Survive," April 24: I read with some amusement your front-page article on the English language being removed from Irish road signs. My wife and I drove across Ireland, from Galway Bay to Cork and back, some four years ago. Between us, we saw about a dozen road signs, total. This profound lack of directional aid caused us to navigate by the scientific method. For example, "I hypothesize that this road here is the R590. As a test of this hypothesis, I propose that we turn left.
September 21, 1986
Peter Greenberg's Aug. 17 article on the resurgence of afternoon tea was informative of a new social pattern, but authenticated a common American misconception about a simple occasion called tea. High tea may sound better to someone who, quite properly, wants the best, but its only connection with tea, apart from the beverage, is that it occurs at about the same time of day, and is seldom followed by anything very substantial. It is what we would call a light supper and, in Great Britain at least, may be not that light.
February 19, 2012 |
"Don't go there," a well-traveled friend said when I mentioned my plans to visit Capri, a sunny island off southern Italy. Why? "You're not going to want to come home," he said. I laughed. My friend, a know-it-all author, loves to give advice. I didn't need it; I already knew I would fall in love with Capri. It's been one of Europe's favorite island getaway for more than 2,000 years, enthralling a cast of characters ranging from Roman emperors to 21st century luminaries and A-listers.
March 18, 2012 |
As many a Peruvian traveler can tell you, climbing Machu Picchu is easy, especially if you take one of those tourist buses that do most of the work. It's embracing Cuzco that can be hard. Cuzco (often spelled Cusco) usually is the Peruvian city you fly into before catching the train through the Sacred Valley to those famous mountaintop ruins at Machu Picchu. But Cuzco is much more than a gateway. In the 15th century, it was the capital of the Incan empire, a wealthy city whose stone buildings, which still form the skeleton of the city, were chiseled and placed with astounding precision.
July 24, 2011 |
"I used to win like crazy," my friend Juanita Mendonca would tell me. "Every slot machine turned to gold. I'd come home and my purse would be stuffed with money. " Juanita, a retired parochial school teacher with a magic touch at the slots, loved to regale me with tales of her exploits at Valley View Casino. I had never been there, so when my husband, Lou, suggested we take a quick trip to Las Vegas, I proposed an overnighter to check out Valley View's new hotel instead. So there we were, driving into the hills of Valley Center in north San Diego County's backcountry.
March 24, 2013 |
MÉRIDA, Mexico - Until this winter, Mérida had just been a busy city I passed through on my way to the ancient Mayan ruins. Then, in mid-December, I made it my destination. I pretty much had to: I'd been hearing the city's name all fall, from house-hunting shows on TV to acquaintances in Minnesota trading tips about winter getaways. Even my new dog groomer turned out to be renovating a house here. Was Mérida, the capital of Yucatán state, going to be Mexico's next big Yankee magnet - a new Ajijic or San Miguel de Allende?