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Arts & Culture Patrol

Arts & Culture Patrol

Join Marian, a noted travel writer who has visited 54 countries, as she educates us on the history and arts of the many cultures around the world.

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  1. Vilnius Panorama

    A Cultural and Jewish Heritage Tour to the Baltic States

    $0.00

    Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia in the year of the 25th Anniversary of these nations’ Independence from the Former Soviet Union, August 25-September 2, 2016

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  2. A Historic 110 Year-Old, New York City Italian-American Bakery Reopens in the New Jersey Suburbs

    A Historic 110 Year-Old, New York City Italian-American Bakery Reopens in the New Jersey Suburbs

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    On my way home from the Chiropractor, two towns away in in Clifton, NJ, I made a detour to visit Allwood Bakery for some treats for my family. Allwood has been a fixture in Clifton for over forty years. Unfortunately, it was just after 6 pm, and they were already closed.  At the same time, however, I noticed that literally next door was a new bakery-café that I had never seen before.  It was still opened and quite busy (even though they too were supposed to close at 6 pm).  I stopped in and discovered they had authentic baba-rums, cannolis, Napolians, Pignoli tarts, Cassatine Siciliane, mini and full-size cheese cakes, and other Italian classic pastries that were not among the more “contemporary” and “American” baked goods that are Allwood’s specialties. 

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  3. Marian Goldberg

    Arts & Culture Patrol

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    Join Marian, a noted travel writer who has visited 54 countries, as she educates us on the history and arts of the many cultures around the world. Learn More
  4. Atami & Shuzenji Hot Spring Resorts:  A Relaxing and Cultural Alternative

    Atami & Shuzenji Hot Spring Resorts: A Relaxing and Cultural Alternative

    $0.00

    Tokyo to Hakone to Kyoto is the most popular itinerary for first time travelers to Japan.  As such, it is often called the “Golden Route.”  It covers the modern vibrancy of Tokyo, the historic serenity of Kyoto, and the relaxing hot spring resorts (onsen), with views of Mt. Fuji. 

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  5.  Sitting at the long metal table waiting to be served

    Bangkok: Where the Food is the Culture

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    It was about 8 pm in Bangkok, but things were only just getting started. My friend and I hopped aboard our extra secure “Smiling Tuk-tuk” – ones that actually feature metal mesh on the sides to prevent passing motorcyclists from grabbing your bag or purse -- and zoomed around Bangkok on a night-time culinary adventure organized by Bangkok Food Tours. The experience allowed us to both experience the best local eats of the city's restaurants and night markets – some neighborhoods specialize in certain dishes – and also safely explore the city at night. We stopped at four restaurants/food stands in different neighborhoods, including a dessert specialty place, and we also visited the flower market before ending our evening atop one of Bangkok's coolest roof-top bars, enjoying a Thai beer, while looking out over Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn. 

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  6. Other riders in front of the Forbidden City

    Beijing by Motorcycle Side-car

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    Yves du Parc, Vice President and General Manager of Beijing Sideways, sized my helmet and adjusted my lap belt in the side car of his “Chang Jiang,” literally "The long River" motor bike. He then took my photo, hopped onto his seat, turned the ignition key, and we were off. Although I had traveled through Beijing many times in the back seat of a taxi, this was a new experience, in-fact my first ever motorcycle experience!

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  7. Central Japan’s Takayama Festival

    Central Japan’s Takayama Festival

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    Marian visits the Takayama Festival in Central Japan.

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  8. Korean Celadon Tea Set

    Ceramic Arts in Korea

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    Since ancient times, Korea has been famous for its ceramics. In fact, while many travelers visit Japan for its pottery, they often overlook the reality that Japanese ceramics, which spread north through Japan via its southern island of Kyushu, was actually “introduced” from Korea. Honestly, “introduced” is too mild a term. When the Japanese invaded Korea during the 16th Century, they abducted the great Korean potters and forced them to work in Japan. One Korean potter taken to Japan at this time was referred as “the god of pottery.” Korea's great Ri Sam-pyeong, known in Japan as Kanegae Sampei, actually established the world famous pottery village in Arita, Japan, near Fukuoka City. Yi was originally from the Geum River Basin in Korea. As recently as 1990, a memorial was set up at the entrance to Donghaksa Buddhist Temple in Gongju, South Korea, with the inscription paid for by the people of Arita, Japan. 

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  9. Branch Brook Park

    Cherry Blossom Festivals in the US East Coast

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    The National Cherry Blossom Festival in Washington DC kicks off on Saturday, March 26 with world renowned performers in the historic Warner Theater and a free Family Day at the National Building Museum. The celebration continues through April with: A Blossom Kite Festival at the Washington Monument on April 2, the Southwest Waterfront Fireworks on April 9, the Cherry Blossom Festival Parade at Constitution Avenue between 9th and 15th streets, the Japanese Street Festival at M Street and New Jersey Avenue, SE (Capitol Riverfront), and “Cherry Blast Spotlight events,” including anime, cosplay, and gaming at the Carnegie Library at Mt. Vernon Square on April 16.  

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  10. Cruising New York Architecturally on Classic Harbor Line

    Cruising New York Architecturally on Classic Harbor Line

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    New York City may not be the official capital of the United States, but it is certainly our cultural capital. From museums to live theater, galleries to concert halls, historical landmarks to innovative cuisine, New York has it all. Even New York's architecture – both historic and brand new (One World Trade Center) attracts visitors – rivaling Chicago in its draw.  What better way to experience the Big Apple's jaw-dropping architectural landmarks than from a relaxing architecturally-themed cruise?

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  11. Statue at A-Ma Temple

    Cultural Travels in Macau

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    Macau, with its famous “Cotai Strip”, is often considered the Las Vegas of the East. Nevertheless, I went to Macau for five nights; stayed at the Sheraton Macao (3,896 guest rooms) the largest hotel in this entire Special Administrative Region of China, and did not gamble once! Instead, I discovered the destination's cultural side. 

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  12. Thomas Alva Edison

    Discovering the Life and Work of Thomas Alva Edison

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    Discovering the Life and Work of Thomas Alva Edison, America’s Greatest Inventor … in New Jersey, Michigan, Washington DC, and Florida

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  13. Encounters with Mexico's Flavors and Landscapes in Yucatan, Baja California, and Oaxaca

    Encounters with Mexico's Flavors and Landscapes in Yucatan, Baja California, and Oaxaca

    $0.00

    Mexico’s cuisine is far more than tacos and burritos. It’s full of flavor from indigenous plants and grains, and regionally distinctive. Tia Stephanie Tours, a premier operator of cultural and culinary tours to Mexico, has now created three geographically-targeted gastronomic itineraries to Mexico, specifically: Yucatan, Baja California, and Oaxaca. Each tour offers unique experiences emerging from the vibrant food culture, landscape, personality, and community of the particular locality. Notes Stephanie Schneiderman, Founder of Tia Stephanie Tours, “As a specialist in cultural travel to Mexico, we can’t think of a more important expression of Mexico’s culture, than its culinary heritage; its food.  We are delighted to expand our culinary immersion offerings beyond our original Culture and Cuisine of Mexico, which we launched in 2009.”

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  14. Excursion to Xochimilco (Photo by Stephanie Schneiderman)

    Explore Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit, New York, and Mexico City

    $0.00

    This is the year of Diego and Frida.  A historic exhibition, with 70 of the most passionate works by these iconic Mexican artists, opened on March 15 at the Detroit Institute of Art.  On May 16, the first solo exhibition of Frida Kahlo’s work to be seen in New York City in 25 years will open at the New York Botanical Gardens in the Bronx.  The New York exhibition will be the first to focus exclusively on Kahlo's intense interest in the botanical world. The Detroit show is a wonderful introduction to Diego and Frida and their time spent in Detroit (1932-1933).  But there’s so much more …

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  15. Japan’s Ukiyo-e (Woodblock Print Art)

    Japan’s Ukiyo-e (Woodblock Print Art)

    $0.00

    Japanese Ukiyo-e, which translates to “pictures of the floating world,” is a genre of art that flourished in Japan from the 17th through 19th centuries. Thanks especially to the advancement of woodblock printing, Japanese artists such as: Toyokuni Utagawa 1769-1825 and his disciples Kunisada Utagawa and Kuniyoshi Utagawa, Kitagawa Utamaro 1750-1806, Ando Hiroshige 1797-1858, and Hokusai Katsushika 1760-1849, became famous both in Japan and abroad. They heavily influenced the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist artists of France and America, with their expressive curves, bold use of colors, and liberal designs.  Ukiyo-e subjects included: female beauties, kabuki actors, sumo wrestlers, historic scenes, folk tales, travel scenes and landscapes, flora and fauna, and erotic.

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  16. Jikabuki – Local Kabuki Theater – in the Mountains of Central Japan

    Jikabuki – Local Kabuki Theater – in the Mountains of Central Japan

    $0.00

    Kabuki is a traditional Japanese performing art, registered as an "Intangible Cultural Heritage" by UNESCO. In Gifu Prefecture, part of the Shoryudo, Central region of Japan (http://shoryudo.go-centraljapan.jp/en/index.html), a couple of hours north of Nagoya, you can experience Edo-period (1603-1868) style Jikabuki or "local Kabuki" theater up-close-and personal. You can even have a chance to watch a local townsperson actor(s) get ready before a performance – makeup, costume, wig, and all.  Or, you can even try getting made up as an actor yourself!

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  17. Sacred child of the Gion Matsuri

    Kyoto's Gion Matsuri

    $0.00

    One of the most exciting experiences in Japan is the opportunity to witness or even be a part of a local festival. I did this two summers ago in Kyoto City, Japan. Kyoto was the imperial capital of Japan from 794 to 1868, and it is still known today as the cultural capital. Saved from bombings during World War II, its1600 Buddhist temples, 400 Shinto shrines, 17 UNESCO World Heritage sites, and numerous palaces, gardens, museums, and machiya(traditional merchant houses), are well preserved and continuously being renewed and restored. Kyoto is home to three of the most famous festivals in Japan. These include: the Aoi Matsuri or Hollyhock Festival, held every May 15, the Jidai Matsuri or Festival of Ages, held every October 22, and the grand Gion Matsuri, which takes its name from the city's Gion geisha district, and runs for the entire month of July.

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  18. Le Marais Steakhouse - New York’s only Kosher French brasserie, Releases New Cookbook

    Le Marais Steakhouse - New York’s only Kosher French brasserie, Releases New Cookbook

    $0.00

    Le Marais Steakhouse is historic, so naturally the restaurant’s new cookbook:  Le Marais: a Rare Steakhouse Well Done, released on July 18, 2016 is historic as well.  Located in Manhattan’s theater district for 21 years, Le Marais remains the only Kosher French brasserie in New York City. Observant Jewish and even non-Jewish clientele have been coming since inception to dine on its French cuisine with North African and Portuguese influences. I personally had never been to the restaurant before, but I had passed it many times over the years. Finally, I was inspired by the cookbook launch to fully immerse myself in this multi-cultural yet very New York, dining experience. 

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  19. Gremi Castle

    Looking Forward to a Cultural, Culinary, and Jewish Heritage Tour to Georgia and Armenia with My 80-year-old Mother – Part I: Georgia

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    Georgia and Armenia, now starting their 26th year since independence from the former Soviet Union, are full of culture and very affordable -- even with four and five star hotels. This May, I will be taking my 80-year-old mother on a new Cultural and Culinary tour to these two Caucasus mountain countries. The tour is organized by Sophia’s Travel and will include an additional emphasis on Jewish heritage. The starting price is an amazing $2,650 per person double occupancy for Georgia (10 days /9 nights) with an additional $1,420 per person double occupancy for Armenia (5 days / 4 nights). The full dates are May 27-June 9, 2017. I booked airfare on Qatar Airways for $688 per person, including flight delay/cancelation insurance!

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  20. Armenia

    Looking Forward to a Cultural, Culinary, and Jewish Heritage Tour to Georgia and Armenia with My 80-year-old Mother – Part II: Armenia

    $0.00

    Last week, I shared the Georgia part of a culinary, cultural, and heritage tour that I will be taking May 27-June 9, to Georgia and Armenia with my 80-year-old mother. This week, I want to highlight what we will experience in Armenia, June 5-9, 2017. This portion of the trip is just $1420! 

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  21. Master Onda at work

    Making an Edo Period Paper Lantern in Tokyo

    $0.00

    It was a rainy autumn day in Tokyo, as my companions and I shuffled out of the Toei Chikatetsu metro line at Asakusa Station.  Emerging onto the street level, we quickly opened and raised our large, red, paper umbrellas, on loan from our escorts, and made our way down a few alleys to the Ohshimaya Onda Chochin Lantern Shop.  Here, we were greeted with bows by Mr. Shunji Onda himself, a fifth generation master of the Japanese paper lantern.  Mr. Onda’s business was founded 160 years ago by his great-great grandfather, when Kyoto was still the official capital of Japan and “Edo” was ruled by the powerful Tokugawa shogunate.          He both custom makes and hand paints the lanterns. He uses patterns, designs, letters, characters, and family crests from the Edo period as well as some more modern designs upon request.

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  22. Bukhara Navruz (Photo by Zulya Rajabova)

    New In-Depth Educational/Cultural Tours to Central Asia

    $0.00

    Silk Road Treasure Tours is offering a series of two different educational group tours for 2015-2016.  These include: Following the Central Asia Silk Road (2015: June 2-19, July 10-27, August 14-31, September 18-October 4; 2016: June 2-19, August 4-21, September 15-October 2), and a Silk Road Study Tour to Uzbekistan (2015: June 3-12 and July 29-August 8; 2016: May 20-30, June 16-26, September 15-25).

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  23. New Jersey's Holiday Wine Trail Weekend

    New Jersey's Holiday Wine Trail Weekend

    $0.00

    New Jersey may not be the biggest wine growing state in the country, nor the biggest  state at all. (It's the fifth smallest.) However, the Garden State Wine Growers Association is working hard to raise the profile and awareness of New Jersey's home grown, bottled reds and whites via public events. November 27th-29th, Fridayto Sunday, is the annual New Jersey Wine Trail Weekend. Here, wineries statewide, from Sussex to Cape May, will kick off the holidays with tastings, food pairings, entertainment, discounts, giveaways, & more! 

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  24. Who's Next

    Off the Beaten Path Florida Arts Tour

    $0.00

    So many of my friends think of Central Florida as a cultural wasteland known for theme parks and retirees but, there IS art and culture in Central Florida, you just have to look. 

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  25. Museum - Jomon

    Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture: History and Culture in the Suburbs of Tokyo

    $0.00

    Narita International Airport, also known as Tokyo Narita Airport, is the most popular gateway to Japan, but in reality, it is not in Tokyo at all.  It is a 60-minute express train ride (80-90 minute bus ride) outside of Tokyo in Chiba Prefecture. If you are stuck by Narita Airport, because of a long flight connection, there is still lots to do.  Sakura City is a twenty-minute taxi or train ride (JR or Keisei lines) from Narita Airport.  Overflowing in history, it is renowned for its well restored former samurai residences and the National Museum of Japanese History, whose exhibits reveal the story of Japan from archaeological discoveries to modern times. From an artistic perspective, Sakura boasts two distinctive art museums: Sakura City Museum of Art and Kawamura Memorial Museum of Art.  The former was previously the Sakura City branch of Kawasaki Bank and its entrance way is a prefectural cultural property. It displays work by local artists from Sakura and Chiba's Boso Peninsula. The latter museum is heralded for its rich collection of European masters, including: Rembrandt, Renoir, Monet, Chagall, Picasso and Braque, as well as 20th Century Japanese sensei, such as Korin Ogata. 

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