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La Belle Époque: Splendor in the Past

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Whether 1900 or 2000 every generation has its Belle Époque as past centuries end and new ones begin. For author Thomas Mann’s character Gustav Aschenbach in Death in Venice, an obsession with Beauty leads him to the luxuriousness of the Grand Hotel des Bain on Venice’s Lido. Closed for many years, last year COIMA, a […]... READ MORE
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2019 Carnevale Venezia: Blame it on the Moon

Travel
Since my Venice architectural reconnaissance was planned as a pre-Carnivale miss-all-the-crowds jaunt, imagine my surprise arriving to find Venice SRO, and then some. Fortunately, decided on the out-of-the-way Santa Croce district’s Hotel San Cassiano, away from the festive, sort of, and far from the 21st century and the 19th. Very olde Venic... READ MORE
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My Valentine from Paris

Travel
Dear diary, on the 25th I will be 63 and I have finally been to The City of Light! It’s thanks to two charming young friends. It was a glorious gift and Paris is certainly astonishing! But, I ought to have gone so much sooner. How splendid, though, that on St. Valentine’s Day, dining alone, […]... READ MORE
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A taste of London now; wining & dining at the new Annabel’s

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January is a tough month. After the excess of the holiday season, January is marked by temperance, fasting and long, dark nights. One cure for such malaise is having the opportunity to partake in a wine dinner at Annabel’s nightclub in London featuring vintages by Château d’Yquem and Château Cheval Blanc. Annabel’s nightclub on Berkeley [&h... READ MORE
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Treasures of China’s Heritage, Part VII

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Treasures of China’s Heritage: Touring with the Global Heritage Fund (Seventh of a Seven-part Series) Taiyuan Some of my best memories of the “Middle Kingdom” include my nine-day tour of historically significant sites with the Palo Alto-based Global Heritage Fund (GHF)—an organization devoted to supporting underdeveloped rural areas worldwi... READ MORE
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Mother Photographing Son 9,000 miles from home

Travel
When you haven’t seen your son for months, what’s 22 hours on a plane? Nothing. And when you get there, a 1,400-mile road trip across islands that were among the last to be inhabited by humans? Irresistibl. My New York clothes stayed in my closet; I packed for the back of beyond.  My son Peter […]... READ MORE
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AFMO: A Weekend in Paris

Travel
Photographs by Krystal Kenney Coco Chanel had helped cure the writer’s broken heart, recounts Justine Picardie, Editor-in-Chief of Harper’s Bazaar UK, in a recent talk in Paris about the famous couturière. Ms. Picardie’s then husband and father of their two sons had just announced that he had fallen in love with someone else, putting a [&hel... READ MORE
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Save Venice Celebrates Tintoretto’s 500th birthday

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Tintoretto, the Venetian master, wouldn’t roll over in his grave, he’d burst out of it if he knew of Save Venice’s glorious celebration for the painter’s 500th birthday. Born in Venice, living and working there all his life, his work is spread over the whole city in museums and churches as well as in exhibits […]... READ MORE
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13th Annual Festival Napa Valley Opening Weekend, Part I

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13TH ANNUAL FESTIVAL NAPA VALLEY OPENING WEEKEND 2018 Part I – THE OPENING NIGHTS Festival Napa Valley recently “uncorked” its 13th season. I made my annual summer pilgrimage, one of a delighted 10,000 attendees who enjoyed wine, food, and cultural events over ten days at a multitude of venues throughout the Valley’s Wine Country. A [&h... READ MORE
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American Friends of Versailles in Paris, Part 2

Travel
On Friday, we recounted several exclusive events from the four-day trip to Paris with the American Friends of Versailles (AFV), including visits with the first lady of France, HRH Prince Charles de Bourbon des Deux Siciles, and the American Ambassador to France. But the trip’s high point was private time at Versailles Palace away from […]... READ MORE
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American Friends of Versailles in Paris, Part 1

Travel
On a four-day visit to Paris, members of the American Friends of Versailles enjoyed several exclusive events, including roaming around the Élysée Palace with France’s vivacious first lady, Brigitte Macron; dining with HRH Prince Charles de Bourbon des Deux Siciles, Duke of Castro, head of the royal house of France; sipping cocktails with US Amb... READ MORE
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Southern Comfort: Central Park Conservancy to Charleston

Travel
Recently, several members of the Central Park Conservancy Women’s Committee Benefactor board and their spouses joined together for a trip to “the belle of the south,” Charleston, South Carolina. Our previous group trip took us to Cartagena, Colombia, which was hard to beat! With so much to explore in Charleston, the CPC planned we... READ MORE