I've been going to Richardson's as my favorite neighborhood local since they opened over 20 years ago. Great southwestern food, seafood and margaritas. They opened a sister restaurant a few blocks away called Rokerij a few years ago. It was really good, although I still preferred the original. And then the original Richardson's burned down. What did they do? They rebuilt a replica of the original Richardson's right next door to the Rokerij. Skeptical? I was, but it turned out amazing! They connected the two properties together with an outdoor bar/courtyard and made the overall experience even better. And don't miss the cellar bar in the basement!
Another of my favorite diners, which is close to Newark, NJ. This one is right next to the river and with a full bar you can have a bloody mary with your bacon and eggs at midnight!
A buddy of mine and I rode 1400 miles from San Francisco through Yellowstone, Death Valley, Lone Point, Las Vegas, San Bernardino, Santa Margarita, Monterey, and Highway 1. The idea for the trip started with plans to reconnect with friends in Vegas to celebrate a big moment in another close friends life, and the road trip added a path to that. We rode through snow capped mountains, rolling hills, 110 degree blazing desert heat, gusting winds, and ocean side highways. The dangerous moments in the ride ( barley making it through a sand storm! ) just added to the trip and reminded me of how dynamic life can be, and how you get to those moments in life are as important as the destination.
I can't get my day started without coffee from the lovely Christopher, Carley, and Tommy at Réveille. If you're ever in the North Beach area or Financial District in San Francisco, check it out–everyone's doin' it (by that I mean AFAR employees)! They also have delicious pastries, but those usually sell out by 11am. The truck closes at 4pm. They are also opening a café location on Columbus and Pacific.
This tiny, unassuming deli-like place is right next to our office and is a lunch-time favorite. The owners are super sweet. We are addicted to the $4 udon-to-go, green tea gingerale and Bugles here. Cash only.
Fun fact: the chefs at nearby Quince come to get their noodles here too!
If you're anywhere in the neighborhood... don't miss the Days of '49 in Greybull, Wyoming next weekend! The rodeo and Lisa's Restaurant are the two must-dos in Greybull.
One of Seattle's landmark buildings, the downtown public library is a dramatically asymmetrical, 11 story glass-and-steel 'sculpture' that takes up an entire city block. Designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, the interior features a continuous 'book spiral' that allows access to the collections. With a coffee-cart and natural light pouring in, it's the perfect place to spend part of a rainy day.
Just 25 miles east of Seattle, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, is Snoqualmie Falls. Winter and spring are the best times to see the thundering 268-ft waterfall; summer brings sun (believe it or not), but less rain and snowmelt.
Although the hiking path down to the base of the falls is currently closed (scheduled to re-open in 2013), the view from the top is well worth the drive out of Seattle...and depending on the wind, you're just as likely to get wet from the spray up there...
(In the Coast Salish language, 'snoqualmie' means 'moon;' the mist from the falls was believed to connect heaven and earth.)
Land's End in San Francisco is an easy hike with huge payoff. This labyrinth sits just below the Legion of Honor parking lot and the Lincoln Park golf course. You can then scramble down to a beautiful rocky beach.
The colors in Bryce Canyon were astounding. I've never seen reds, greens, and blues quite so vivid in my life. The dazzling sun there intensified the colors so much that I felt as if I had somehow dropped into a Photoshopped world, where all hues were set to full saturation.
Everyone travels to D.C. to see the noted Government buildings we all grew up knowing. This cathedral and its garden is a hidden gem no one should miss. From the outside, it looks like a classic, Gothic church from France, but look closely and it's a wild mixture of spiritual symbolism intertwined with American iconic imagery.
Whether you go for the traditional lobster roll or not, Portland, Maine is a little city with plenty of delicious food to offer. One of our favorites is J's Oyster House.
J’s Oyster House is situated right on the water. The building looks like its been there for hundreds of years, beaten and worn overtime by crisp New England air. It’s small and dark inside, but packed with people, all competing for a place to sit and chow. When we finally got a chance to sit down, we started with fresh, raw oysters and a cup of New England clam chowder. The oysters were succulent and the chowder was chunky and delicious.
Next, we ordered a bucket of steamers. The man sitting next to us recommended we do so. A local and loyal J’s customer for some fifty years, he said the steamers were the best. So we felt we just had to have them too. I’ve never been so content. They were incredible! Not only was the...
While walking through Hoboken last April, Paul caught a photo of this cruise ship, voyaging from Point A to Point "somewhere warmer than Hoboken". Something tells us they weren't headed for Carlo's bakery.
At any time of day this forest feels enchanted. As you walk along, what are now, well marked paths there are phases of to this coastal journey. Depicted is the cypress forest which leads north to the tide pools and south to Three Palm, which needs no explanation once you are there.
What may feel like a secret, the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve is a sanctuary for lots of wild life. It has be available to cinematographers for films such as Memoirs of A Geisha. My best friends parents even got married in this forest in 1985.
What is not obvious from this photograph is that the seaside cliff is yards away. At points along the trails there is access down to the beach but at other spots please believe the signage when it tells you to "stay back from the cliff".
Whatever the occasion is that finally brings you to this hidden treasure, please be respectful to the land and animals because this is...
This is another view of Black Sands Beach, which probably should be named "Black Rocks Beach."
For the next 24 miles from Black Sands Beach, the Lost Coast Trail is primarily on the beach. The crunch of the black stones while walking was quite loud. But we were quite lucky. The Lost Coast has very few people, and is the most isolated stretch of coastline in the entire West Coast of the United States. And what person doesn't enjoy walking along miles of isolated beaches?
I took this photo before around sunrise using a 30 second exposure to get the misty look in the waves. You can see a bank of fog way out in the horizon.
Few places in the world have as many people per day pass through it in an attempt to get "there" as Grand Central Terminal. Home to a host of rail and subway lines connecting residents and tourists to their desired destinations, it's a flurry of activity at any hour.
hiking through mesquite dunes in death valley is an amazing communion with mother nature. One knows civilization is directly south once out in the middle if dunes, but the feeling of being completely lost is overwhelming among the high dunes and far horizons...
Up 100+ stories, you'll feel on top of the world at the skydeck of the Willis Tower in Chicago. The city is extremely beautiful, and especially awesome from up here. On a pretty clear day like this one was, you can see quite far in all directions. This is a must for anybody visiting Chicago and any resident here.
Yosemite is a only a few hours from San Francisco, but it seems like worlds away while you are standing up near My Hoffman and looking down at the immense granite landscape. It truly feels as if you are on top of the world..... Once in the park, get out of the crowds and head up Tioga Pass toward the east end of the park. A two lane road, which is only open in spring and summer, winds through some beautiful, pristine forest and leads all the wat to Eastern entrance and passage to Mono Lake. after a little over an hour from the start of Tioga Pass you 'll come to a pull out for May Lake. Park the car, hike in about 30 mins to this gorgeous high altitude lake of a deep blue color. You can fish, camp relax. You do have to be aware of bears and treat your food accordingly with the bear boxes. At the lake begins the trailhead to Mt Hoffman above the lake at over 10,ooo ft and 360 degree...
only 4 hours up north of san francisco is Burney Falls State Park. The 129 ft falls is a beautiful Oasis set among pristine forest area. There are campgrounds not far from the falls and you can catch Rainbow Trout in the picturesque river..... The hike down to the falls are about 30 mins down a series of easy switchbacks, and the falls seem almost fake, they are so nice.
This shot was a long exposure on a tripod at dawn....
The Chuang Yen Monastery is 55 miles north of Manhattan but a million miles away from the city.
The monastery grounds contain several prayer halls, dormitories, a dining hall, a memorial area, and a library. The perfect antidote to Times Square.
The main hall contains a 37-foot statue of the Buddha Vairocana, encircled by 10,000 small statues of the Buddha on a lotus terrace.
The larger Buddha statue is said to be the largest of its kind in the West.
Visitors to the monastery can enjoy a vegetarian lunch at the Dining Hall on Saturdays and Sundays between noon and 1:00 pm.
The lunch service in the monastery is provided by volunteers who cook and serve lunch for everyone.
For more information visit: http://www.baus.org
The Annenberg Estate in Rancho Mirage -- also known as Sunnylands -- has been hidden from the public's eye behind a pink wall for decades. I got a special look at the main home, and the unique mid-century modern architecture. The estate is going to be used as a place where world leaders can come together and work toward world peace and the resolution of global conflicts. For me, it was a respite from a busy day. Sunnylands is open to public tours as of March 1, 2012.
Although a very popular hike in the Yosemite Valley, the hike past Vernal Falls up the mist trail to Nevada Falls is magical in the Springtime. Personally, I think this is the best spot to stop and have lunch. However, Be sure to check the signs at the bottom since there can be snow at the top which might close down the John Muir trail.
On a video shoot in Jersey Shore and shooting for the whole weekend... From sun set to sun rise. One thing on the checklist was to get an amusement park with all the lights, rides running, families enjoying themselves. I flew in for this shoot and only had two days to get it right. The big 'fiasco' that caused so much extra stress was arriving to the rides just 5min left before closing. We had to persuade the workers to run the rides so we could get our shots. But... No one was on them :/ but, we we t along with it and having empty rides created a whole new/different feel for the video.
David Wright introduced me to pu-erh tea at his happy, mellow, stimulant-infused palace of tea culture in Santa Cruz. I went to the city with this stop in mind, and am so glad we made it a priority.
David let me taste teas, and even made "tea" (a whole drop of tea at a time in tiny cups of hot water) for my young daughter. She felt like a Chinese princess.
I took some pu-erh home, along with a tiny Chinese tea pot and a few teeny cups. It became something that I cherished, and relished. Now I see why it is called "tea culture." Not only does Wright create a gathering place for reflecting and socializing at his shop, but the tea itself--even when enjoyed alone--brings about a mellow state of mind, even as it stimulates. I love it!
Wright is knowledgable, approachable, and good-humored. A bit of his wisdom rises in the interview, below. The interviewer is completely unprofessional, but I...
Hiking in Arizona during the summer is a grueling, and, quite honestly, horrible ordeal when temperatures reach well over 100 degrees. But in the winter or spring, it's ideal! Sabino Canyon is popular for a reason, with saguaros standing guard along the many trails in this park. It's also one of the few places with water flowing which makes it all the more unique for us desert dwellers.
Sabino Canyon lies in northern Tucson off Sabino Canyon Road.
There's one spot along the road headed north where one can get a good view of the lighthouse. Last year the road was redone and we almost missed our usual look-out - they had moved the road!
We found it though and the view was as good as ever.
More posts from this month along Lake Superior's North Shore can be found at: http://thetravelgal.blogspot.com/2012/03/north-shore-summer-weekend-in-march.html