• North America

    Fantasies of the Season

    I wanted to traipse around the city today. For another gander at the holiday windows along Fifth Avenue. But a run and high-intensity workout followed by a session of packing suitcases (we leave for France tomorrow) has done me in. I have been daydreaming while writing this post because oh travel brings with it sweet anticipation (even though my family did make some pother about it because we head to Paris and Strasbourg), so it took some time to get about putting up these vignettes of NYC’s famed holiday windows from last season and this. The champion of all the narratives was that of Saks Fifth Avenue. They come up…

  • North America

    The Spell of Halloween

    I don’t know about you, but I have had a banging day. What, already? Why yes, you see it started with a serene morning of writing and then marinating Cornish hens in a buttermilk bath for a roast dinner. It was rather smooth going. I kept thinking about our night last year in the city and wishing that Halloween had placed itself strategically around the weekend, instead of dab in the middle of the week. It would have been neat if we could have caught Christine and the Queens performing in Brooklyn tonight. You know, the French singer Héloïse (I have shared videos of her below). She of the phenomenal abs, badass…

  • North America,  Travel

    Cades Cove

    The hunting grounds of the Cherokee people once, Cades Cove is an isolated valley of supreme beauty within the Great Smoky Mountains. The Cherokees called it Tsiya’hi. Translated, it means Otter Place, hinting at the fact that otters did abound here before European settlers arrived in the 1800s to dispossess the tribes of their land. They say that Cades Cove was named for the wife of a Cherokee chief, but no one really knows how it came about. The road to the cove was straight out of my dreams. I have a weakness for those that curve through old forests, where the trees tower and look like they have a…

  • North America

    Vegan Thoughts of a Non-Vegan

    A non-sequitur of a start, but a cheery hallo, dear friends. We have been away for a week, hovering around the blue misty mountains y’all know as the Smokies . We had pecan ‘pah’, we were called ‘sugah’, and we soaked in the drawl of the warm Southerners. It was all as heartwarming as the lavish drizzle of maple syrup on a stack of fluffy pancakes. I am always in serious danger of losing focus as you must know by now, so here let me get to the crux of this post. It is to share my experience of dipping my feet gingerly into the world of a vegan, as…

  • North America,  Travel

    DC En Couleur

    The need to craft words about the city falls away, for once you walk its wide open boulevards, there is no escaping the aura of power that envelopes it. Tangibly at that. Classic row houses lined up on broad, leafy avenues, impressive buildings of embassies and trade unions, grand hotels and saloons, followed by resplendent federal buildings and museums with their decided partiality for classical architecture, the many Ionic column, the mythological figures carved upon the facades… oh, but our senses were awash with these visions of grandeur. And all this, the conception of a Frenchman who in the late 1700s came upon a rolling landscape of hills and plantations,…

  • North America,  Travel

    One Sizzling Day in Washington DC

    If only there were two Tuesdays in a week, I would have been here more often banging on about my thoughts. But we steal what moments we can from life, and here I am,  words fuelled by the mellow gorgeousness of a red wine spreading itself slowly but surely through my senses (written last night). Enough has happened in the last few weeks. In reverse, my in-laws left yesterday, we did a random day trip or two into the American countryside, walked around the city with our noses in the air, primed for the scent of good food, earned myself a second-degree burn while baking eggs (I mean the ignominy…

  • North America,  Travel

    Oh But This Summer of Fiery Sunsets and Fireflies

    Every evening as the sun sets in a riot of colours upon the mighty Hudson, and I saunter along the river, I find myself revelling in the wonder of nature. Adi comes with once in a while. Together we spot so many pinpricks of yellow and orange in the twilight hour. The park is swarming with fireflies and it is difficult not to feel as gleeful as a child. The chubby squirrels of winter have procreated in the last few months it seems. Their tiny summer offsprings have the run of the park, their thin tailed bodies priming up for the harsher months with nature’s nutty offerings. Meanwhile I have…

  • North America,  Travel

    The Strange Appeal of Disused Railroads

    What is it that draws us to old places that have been abandoned? It could be about the vastly different era they have been a part of, the stories they quietly harbour, or just plain old nostalgia for the past. Nostalgia is after all a sort of release into a utopian world for most of us. I suppose one cannot lay a finger upon the nub of the matter but I can tell you with conviction that railroads are lonely, lonely places. On this particular afternoon after a gander through the town of Phoenicia, and before we set out on the trail of covered bridges, we stopped at a tiny…

  • North America,  Travel

    Phoenicia in the Catskills

    The day we drove into the Catskills, the freshness of the foliage was a balm to the senses. It is the kind of lushness that you see as summer sets in, a vibrant shade of green that makes you hum with barely contained joy, when the sun might beat down upon you with all its strength, but humidity is still at bay, so you slap on some sunscreen and shades, and gaze upon the world with benevolence. A world that is ripe with possibilities because you are off to explore parts of it that you have not seen before. And you know the kind of thrill I am talking about,…

  • North America

    A Place Under the Sun for Everyone

    Would it not be utopia realised if we accepted each other just a little more? For the most part, scouring the newspapers every day has become an act of trampling through a swamp of wretchedness. But yesterday, June 24, there was hope on the roads of NYC. At some point in the afternoon, which was slowly turning oppressive with the forecast of a thunderstorm later on, we found ourselves in the middle of the LGBT parade in the city. We had stepped out for a bite at Wagamama. There were cops everywhere. Barricades transformed the avenues. People pranced down them, instead of cars. The mood was carnivalesque, an explosion of colour…