Stay tuned . . .

Barring any breaking news

We’ll return at the end of the month refreshed, with the #40B440 series and some Southern Charm

Until then, happy summer!

 

Out of office. Concept image in the sand on Hawaii beach.

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RIP Tony Bourdain

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Kitchens will be a little dimmer today, and wanderlust more appealing.

One of those people you’d want to have a meal with.

The Sunshine State

fortybefore40Being a New Yorker, it’s a given that one would travel to the southern state that borders both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, at some point in their life if not on a regular basis. Whether it is for spring break, Easter vacation or being a snowbird, Northern residents tend to flock to where palm trees sway in warmer weather and the living is easy.

While some of the most headshaking news stories can come from Florida, it’s also a place where you can eat, play, shop and explore your way from coast to coast

EAST COAST

Welcome to Miami. The east coast of Florida covers the spring break checklist: sun, beach, drinks, food and beautiful people. However, do beware of hotel packages that do not live up to their descriptions. Make sure the hotel is within walking distance of the restaurants. Sites like Expedia however, will compensate for vacations gone awry.

Stay

Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Courtesy of Fontainebleau Miami Beach

The freshly renovated Fontainebleau Miami Beach is a must. If the walls could talk at this luxury hotel, they would sing – croon that is. A known hang out of the “rat pack” in the 1960s, this iconic destination is situated ideally on Miami Beach.

Eat

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Courtesy of Joe’s Stone Crab

A visit to Miami isn’t complete without a stop at Joe’s Stone Crab (11 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, FL 33139). Originally a lunch counter started by Joe Weiss, who moved to the tropical area per doctor’s orders, to help with his asthma. After he and his wife got into the society crowd, with their homegrown lunches, he discovered the bay was full of crabs. The lunch counter grew and it’s still a family-run business. A perfect dinner at this landmark would be stone crabs, hash browns, creamed spinach and of course, key lime pie for dessert.

Have a hankering for stone crabs, and more, at home? Packed on dry ice, they can be shipped north (and elsewhere)! Visit joesstonecrab.com for more information.

WEST COAST

Nestled along the Gulf of Mexico in southwest Florida is the formerly sleepy city of Naples, now known for its world-class culture and sophisticated dining. It is also welcoming to families and nature lovers. No wonder it was ranked the happiest place in the United States, according to Gallup, two years running.

Shop

Situated by miles of fine white sand beaches, the adventure in Naples begins at the intersection of Fifth Avenue South and Third Street, where high-end shopping within a historic district is found. There are numerous art galleries, over 100 chic clothing boutiques, and home décor shops.

Browsing the windows in this charming and elegant, southern section of Naples, can work up ones appetite. When it comes time for lunch or dinner, choose a chic resort or funky bayside bar.

Play

GolfGet outside before it becomes too warm, and there are plenty of activities to choose from. Whether it’s a walk, golf, or the ever-growing popular Pickleball. The US Open Pickleball Championships are held in Naples, and it attracts the best players in the sport, as well as Pickleball enthusiasts of all ages and ability. The company responsible for creating the event recently launched the US Open Pickleball Academy, which will offer destination camps, day clinics, lessons and leagues all with top instructors.

Explore

Pack the camera and the kids and head to Naples Botanical Garden (4820 Bayshore Dr., Naples, FL 34112) where 170 acres and 10 gardens welcome you. Naples Botanical Garden is a paradise that features plants from around the world. Take a journey through different ecosystems and delight in the Smith Children’s Garden where a brightly colored cottage garden invites the smallest patrons to play in water fountains, and watch butterflies flittering above in the Pfeffer-Beach Butterfly House.

Relax

After all this activity enjoy some downtime at the Ritz-Carlton. Local residents and non-resort guests* are welcome to enjoy traditional salon services and facials at the The Salon, located on the Lobby Level. Open seven days a week, the atmosphere is enough to immediately transport clients to a luxury experience that includes hair, nail, waxing and facial treatments.

*Membership may entitle clients to a full menu of options.

Visit ritzcarlton.com for details.

 

 

One of the original thirteen

150d3c7ebff90ca4454b7851b116f3f9Today Delaware may be best known for its tax breaks, being home to the school that set the stage for “Dead Poets Society” and its gem of a coastline, but the most delicious fact about the second smallest state in the country (and most densely populated) is something from its past.

Scrapple, a pot pudding made from meat scraps and grains, became the staple cuisine for the area by Quakers in the early 1700s. It was created due to their Puritanical ways, and generations since have carried on the tradition.

Eat

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Courtesy of the Food Network

Scrapple is primarily sage and pork, (the cornmeal is tasteless) but hot peppers can be added. Many season it with ground black pepper. It’s pan-fried and usually served as a side at breakfast. While scrapple appears to be exotic, it seems as though it can be found just about anywhere in Delaware Valley region.

Served in quartered slices, plain or with sweet or savory condiments: apple butter, ketchup, jelly, maple syrup, honey, or mustard.

Go

 

19990320_1606483366042919_2054618816285320953_n (1)Embrace your inner fall festive and attend the 26th annual Bridgeville Apple-Scrapple Festival October 13-14. This small town has some of the best apples in the mid-Atlantic region and organizers expect 25,000 to attend. Start the morning with an all you can eat scrapple breakfast, followed by carnival rides, kids’ games, scrapple chunkin’, scrapple carving, live entertainment, car show, trade show, two craft show and food, including a BBQ, oyster sandwiches, apple fritters, scrapple sandwiches, hamburgers, hot dogs, ice cream and more.

For more information visit applescrapple.com.

 

Page-to-Pantry

Scrapple

6 servings

 

1-cup white or yellow cornmeal

1-cup milk

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 ¾ cups boiling water

8 oz bulk pork sausage, cooked, drained and crumbled

All-purpose flour

2 tbsp butter

Maple syrup, optional

In a saucepan, combine the cornmeal, milk, sugar, and salt; gradually stir in water. Cook and stir until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook, covered, 10 minutes longer or until very thick, stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in sausage. Pour into a greased 7 ½-inch by 3 ½-inch by 2-inch loaf pan (the pan will be very full). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerator.

To serve, unmold and cut into quarter slices. Dip both sides in flour. In a skillet, melt butter over medium heat; brown scrapple on both sides.

Serve with maple syrup if desired.

 

Excerpt from “Taste of Home,” Originally published as Cornmeal Scrapple in Country February/March 1992, p49

Buffalonians: Prepare to be pampered

Screen Shot 2017-08-23 at 12.21.18 PMThe Woodhouse Day Spa, the ultimate full-service luxury day spa, is opening in the Village of Williamsville. The spa will offer invigorating, rejuvenating and results-oriented spa services to provide the utmost relaxation to its guests. American Spa Magazine voted The Woodhouse Day Spa “Best Day Spa” every year since 2012. It is set to open in the Village of Williamsville in late summer and is located at 5933 Main Street.

21122382_192547644619737_5924836803262352571_oThe Woodhouse Day Spa, known for its dedication to wellness and stress relief, will offer guests a chance to relax and renew themselves in its elegant facilities in their “own backyard.” The use of innovative products combined with a serene spa environment and handcrafted spa treatments have made The Woodhouse Day Spa a popular place for a luxurious getaway where guests can enrich the mind and delight the senses. With a firm belief in the link between health, well-being, and beauty, The Woodhouse Day Spa will offer over 70 stress-relieving, soothing services, including The Woodhouse Signature Minkyti Facial, The Woodhouse HydraFacial, Himalayan Salt Stone Massage, in addition to body treatments, sleep treatments, manicures, and pedicures.

One step into The Woodhouse Day Spa and guests are transported to a calming place. From the serene fragrance, soothing music, dark wood accents, soft lighting and tearoom, the entire atmosphere is designed to put the guest into an immediate state of relaxation, even before the treatment begins. The Woodhouse Day Spa offers guests from the Buffalo-area a five-star quality relaxation and rejuvenation within minutes of home.

20108569_176684442872724_5454858881192058680_nMichele Zimmer, owner and general manager of The Woodhouse Day Spa in Buffalo selected the Williamsville location because of its close proximity to its surrounding suburbs. She is hoping The Woodhouse Day Spa in Buffalo will become a Zen destination for individuals, couples or groups of friends to unwind and leave feeling fully relaxed and rejuvenated.

“In many parts of the United States, spas are viewed as a necessity, not a luxury to de-stress, unwind and return back to our busy lives refreshed and renewed. This is the mission of The Woodhouse Day Spa,” Zimmer said.

The opening The Woodhouse Day Spa in Buffalo team consists of 15 employees, including hospitality concierges and coordinators, massage therapists, estheticians and nail technicians. Zimmer plans to add additional full and part-time employees as the business grows.

For more information about The Woodhouse Day Spa in Buffalo, including events and scheduling a visit, please visit buffalo.woodhousespas.com.

KENAN CENTER PRESENTS ERIE CANAL – SPIRIT OF STRUCTURE

kenan_50logo_finalThe most recent exhibit at the Kenan Center is appropriately at home. The “Erie Canal – Spirit of Structure: Platinum/Palladium Images” by Dennis Stierer and Tillman Crane, will be on display through October 1.

Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Monday – Friday, and 2 – 5 p.m. Sunday. Saturday hours resume September 16. The Gallery will be closed Labor Day weekend, and September 9, 17 and 30.

About the artists

A name familiar to Lockportians is Dennis Stierer, a former photojournalist for the Lockport Union Sun & Journal/Greater Niagara Newspapers who now keeps a studio in the lock-city. He is a self-taught photographer whose work has encompassed a broad subject range including fashion, editorial, nature, and fine art portraiture. His work has been exhibited nationally and is included in numerous permanent collections. He has also juried many art exhibits and served two terms as president of the Buffalo Society of Artists. His preferred medium is black and white film, using a large format camera as represented in the current exhibit.

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Tillman Crane’s distinctive platinum photographs combine 19th-century materials with a 21st century aesthetic. Tillman’s photography career began in 1978 as a photojournalist for The Maryville Daily Times . He began teaching the craft of photography in 1988. His passion for photography continues to evolve as he embraces new technology while furthering his mastery of the platinum/palladium print. The focus of his imagery remains on the unique sense of place in the ordinary, everyday locations where he lives and teaches.

A skilled teacher, his workshops offer a variety of locations for all levels of expertise and camera formats. Tillman’s own workshops include north Alabama, the Erie CanalMontanaNorth Dakota and the Orkney islands. He currently leads workshops for the Maine Media Workshops and Santa Fe Workshops. With his extensive knowledge of platinum printing, he has taught in China, Mexico, Scotland, England and throughout the U.S.

Tillman has published four limited edition books: “Tillman Crane/Structure “(2001), “Touchstones” (2005), “Odin Stone” (2008) and “A Walk Along the Jordan” (2009). For the discriminating collector, Tillman collaborates to create one-of-a-kind handmade books of your choice of platinum/palladium prints.

His photographs have been exhibited around the world and are included in major collections throughout the U.S., China, England, Ireland, Italy, and Scotland. Tillman’s images are also included in several important books on contemporary photography. His resume can be viewed here.

A Tea & Tour will take place from 1 – 3 p.m. September 17, the event features light luncheon fare, dessert, and tea followed by a conversation with photographer Dennis Stierer. There is a $25 per person fee and advance reservation required by calling 716-433-2617.

For more information about”Erie Canal – Spirit of Structure: Platinum/Palladium Images” and other Kenan Center events, visit kenancenter.org or call 716-433-2617.

 

Connecticut – it’s better in fiction

The New England states can get a bad rap – standoffish people, preppies, and an overpriced experience, to name a few. But still, nothing says summer like time in the Northeast.

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Courtesy Boston Globe

Through the sea of khaki pants, button down shirts and dock shoes, there’s a beautiful coastline in Connecticut to be found, giving way to an abundance of seafood restaurants. So if you can’t stand the attitude, eat and drink your way through the trip. However, if lobster and clams don’t tempt your palate, the pizza cannot be refused.

Eat: Best known for a pizza place, Mystic, Conn. still has the nostalgic restaurant Mystic Pizza that inspired the 1988 movie by the same name. Located at 56 W Main St., squeeze into this small space and enjoy a fresh slice – made with their “secret sauce,” and a unique blend of spices, there is a zesty flavor in each bite.

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Matt Czuchry as Logan, Gilmore Girls

Another pop-culture craze set in Connecticut is Gilmore Girls, about a fast talking, coffee drinking, mother-daughter duo living in a quaint New England town and making weekly trips to Hartford for a visit with their old money grandparents. Chances are if you visit Connecticut, you will just be passing through this capital city.

Fly: Bradley International Airport is small but functional. Surrounded by major hotels, it’s convenient to stay within minutes of the airport, especially at The Sheraton Hartford Hotel at Bradley Airport. Located in such close proximity you can walk from the gate to the front desk.

Settle in with a nightcap overlooking the runway. There are numerous bars offering food and drink.

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Mystic Seaport, courtesy of Visit Connecticut.

Explore: Take the Metro North to the Old Greenwich train station, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Past the farmers market and tennis club, experience small-town America, complete with a main thoroughfare that leads to an unbeatable shoreline. This town was the first area settled by Europeans and does feature a picturesque green space known as 32-acre Binney Park. The duck pond and footbridges are quaint, but it isn’t Greenwich.

Page-to-Pantry

Forget the seashell souvenirs, frozen Mystic Pizza is available to go, and grill at home.

 

South by Southwest

fortybefore40Southwest states are among the most open and least neurotic places you can find, but they also tend to be home to the least extroverted. As someone who can suffer from introversion, a place like Colorado is ideal.

Colorado has the highest elevation of any state, with more than 1,000 Rocky Mountain peaks over 10,000 feet high and 54 towering above 14,000-foot Pikes Peak. A quiet yet vibrant city among the Rocky Mountains is Denver – the mile high-city, one mile above sea level and offering shopping, rest and relaxation. The state’s capitol is convenient, affordable and sunny – and home to unique history.

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DEN via Denver International Airport Facebook page

Fly: The Denver International Airport aka DEN is one of my favorite arrivals. The circus tent appearance from the sky would be enough, but there’s also conspiracy theory allure surrounding it. The 18th-busiest airport in the world and sixth-busiest airport in the United States has 58.3 passengers traveling through each year. Thanks to the internet, many wonder if it’s a tolerable place to be during a layover or a post-apocalyptic hangout?

Explore: The original daughter of adventure Margaret “Maggie” Brown better known as the “Unsinkable Molly B.”, was an American socialite and philanthropist. Her claim to fame was exhorting the crew in Lifeboat No. 6 to return to the debris field of the 1912 sinking of RMS Titanic to look for survivors. Her house on Pennsylvania Street is a museum and enhances Denver’s appeal through her activism, philanthropy and passion.

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Courtesy of the Molly Brown House Museum

The Molly Brown House Museum stands as an enduring symbol of the turn of the 20th century in Denver. In the 1880s the lucky few who made millions in the mountains, railroads or trade moved to this prestigious neighborhood. After the silver market crash the Browns purchased the house and when Margaret was traveling she would rent it to wealthy families. While they were on a world trip it became the governor’s mansion and she continued renting it until the declining neighborhood and Great Depression forced her to turn it into a boarding house. It eventually became a home for girls until citizens saved the house from demolition through a grassroots effort, in 1970.

Shop: Downtown and the surrounding neighborhoods offer an abundance of retail experiences, making Denver the shopping capital of the Rocky Mountain West. In a single afternoon it’s imperative to visit one of the best bookstores in the country, Tattered Cover. With three locations, it’s impossible to miss.

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The Monaco lobby

Relax: At the Aveda salon you get more than a menu of treatments. It’s here your technician will read your personality and your tarot cards. For an afternoon of pampering and entertainment, it’s a must.

Stay: The Kimpton hotel chain always gets a thumbs-up, and the stylish Monaco in Denver is no exception. The friendly staff makes up for tiny rooms; and even if they are cozy, it’s more of an incentive to hang-out in the plush lobby and enjoy happy hour.

“Forty Before 40” is a travel blog series about visiting 40 of the United States before turning the age of 40, in 2018. Additional information can be found here.