Category: United States

It Took Me a Lifetime to Get to the Kittle House, and Now I Need to Go Again

Despite being back in Westchester county for a good long while, I’d never gotten around to going to Crabtree’s Kittle House in Chappaqua until last evening. Now I’m regretting all the lost time. The Kittle House—a former roadhouse (oh so…

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Remember the Plaza?

Plaza Hotel Rose Club

The Rose Club at the Plaza Hotel provides a perfect refuge from a winter afternoon. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

Plaza Hotel Rose Club ladies lounge

The ladies’ lounge at the Plaza Hotel’s Rose Club was surprisingly in disarray on a recent afternoon. Photo credit: L. Tripoli

After a carriage ride through Central Park, crossing 59th Street for a cocktail at the Plaza Hotel seemed a logical next step. There in the land of Eloise, though, the reality was not quite as perfect as my memories of the place. The Oak Bar is closed, the result of some apparent arrears in rent payments. (It should reopen in a couple of months, a concierge maintained. For now, padlocks remain on its doors. There’s a lawsuit.) The Palm Court just seemed crowded. Tea is okay in the Champagne Bar, but, really, I just wasn’t up for cocktails in the lobby.

Up to the Rose Club we went. The ambience was perfect for a wintry Saturday afternoon. Dark and paneled, the place offered refuge with nice lighting. My mistake was heading for the ladies’ lounge. Trash bins were overflowing and the place was a mess. The attendant just commented, “We’ve been busy.” Doing nothing, apparently.

I was soothed by our Irish coffees, which were perfect and overflowed with freshly whipped cream. Refrain from using the facilities, and you’ll be just fine.

© Lori Tripoli

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The First Thanksgiving Was in Florida

Sitting on the patio of the golf clubhouse at the Rosen Shingle Creek Hotel in Orlando and watching the pastel-clad golfers, their carts, and the sand traps, Florida’s dark history seems remote, a dream. Brutal Spanish explorers, Protestants killing Catholics,…

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Survived the Apocalypse? Head to Disney

The Brawny Sherpa and I were more than grateful to head out of town after weathering Hurricane Sandy incredibly well—lost power for a few days, had only very minor damage to the purple bungalow, and temporarily hosted some of our…

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Columbus Day, Etc.: Pocahontas Was Just 10 Years Old?

I travel to get a better understanding of the present and of the past, but reading Tony Horwitz’s A Voyage Long and Strange: Rediscovering the New World reminds me that history is told by those who survived it. When contemplating…

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Cold Spring, N.Y.: Geo. Washington Drank Here

Cold Spring, N.Y. on a snowy day Photo credit: M. Ciavardini

The Brawny Sherpa and I headed to the Hudson House Inn in Cold Spring, N.Y., for a weekend away from the stress of our daily existence. The Inn, built around 1832, overlooks the Hudson River, and features a cozy formal…

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Getting Out of the House and Staying Put

Venice, Italy

I travel because I want to try out different lives. Could I remember the names of all the trees and remedies to become a shaman? Would throwing my slop into the streets of medieval Rouen be too much for me?…

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Are Historical Sites Honest about Slavery?

The global tumult of the last week—the killing of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and global unrest stemming, allegedly, from disgust with a video about Muslims made by a film maker in the United States—makes the celebration of the U.S.…

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Note from the Brawny Sherpa: What I Did in Chicago

On our last trip to Chicago, I was going to have some free time while the Bashful Adventurer was bringing home the tofu bacon. Normally I go on a food feast. Gibson’s is the best place for steak in Chicago…

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