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A view of Light Field at Freedom Plaza. Photo by Valérie Blanchard
Travel Reviews
Valerie Blanchard

The Light Field at Freedom Plaza

In Freedom Plaza, artist Bruce Munro crafted a Light Field that is a gentle pageantry of glowing synesthesia enveloped by buildings on three sides and open to the expansive view of the East River. Walking calmly through this window box of light and hope, one imagined a beautiful garden with tall flowers reaching upwards to the clear sky. At the same time, one sensed a serenity gleaned from a cambric of fond memories cradled in this dreamy, sumptuous chiaroscuro celebrating those who have gone before us.

Via Quadronno (Photo from ViaQuadronno.com)
Dining
Sora Vernikoff

Via Quadronno off Madison

While Via Quadronno is best known for its cappuccino and panini sandwiches, they boast an extensive menu to impress tourists and locals. And, if you’re an early riser, you can drop by for an adorably decorated cappuccino and a chocolate croissant.

An artistic depiction of guests at the 18th-century Mount Vernon Hotel in New York City. Photo by Valerie Blanchard
Museum Reviews
Valerie Blanchard

Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden

Just north of the Queensborough Bridge in Manhattan I recently discovered the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum and Garden while hurrying to an appointment on East 68th Street. Once I saw it, I stopped and could hardly take my eyes off this cozy, charming, well-maintained, 18th-century hotel. Its locked gates and imposing stone wall were mysterious, and I knew I must get inside to see the gardens and building.

The Roman Theater in Amman, Jordan. Photo by Sora Vernikoff
Travel Reviews
Sora Vernikoff

Amman Jordan

I arrived in Amman, Jordan, on a tour two days before the war between Israel and Gaza broke out. You can imagine the shock that I was in when I got news of it.

The Main Bar at Keens. Photo from Keens.com
Dining
Valerie Blanchard

Keens Steakhouse

Keens Steak House serves fantastic meal options in a beautiful, historical setting where the likes of Teddy Roosevelt and Albert Einstein dined

White lions at the African Lion Safari in Ontario Canada. Courtesy LionSafari.com
Travel Reviews
Sora Vernikoff

African Lion Safari and Niagara Falls

I recently took a three-day trip to Ontario, Canada, to visit The African Lion Safari and then Niagra Falls. Furthermore, I must admit that it was way too long a distance to do in three days, and I highly doubt that I would take this kind of trip again.

A whimsical landscape portraying London England's history and world stature.The Thames winds through the landscape. Large statues of historical figures like William Shakespeare and Admiral Horatio Nelson dot the landscape. In the distance, see the unmistakable silhouette of Big Ben, the Tower Bridge, and the Houses of Parliament. The sky above is filled with floating landmarks like the London Eye and St. Paul's Cathedral. Digital Art by Edward Kliszus
Travel Reviews
Sora Vernikoff

A New Yorker’s Long Weekend in London

I attended the Global Woman Summit at The Hilton London Bridge Tower Hotel for what was to be A New Yorker’s Long Weekend in London.

Penguins of the Valdes Peninsula, Argentine Republic. Photo by Sora Vernikoff
Travel Reviews
Sora Vernikoff

Walk with the Penguins

Part of the tour’s fun was our visit to the Estacion Pinguinos de Magallanes. The Magellanic penguin (Spheniscus magellanicus) is a South American penguin bred in coastal Patagonia, Argentina, Chile, and the Falkland Islands, with some migrating to Brazil and Uruguay. They appear as far north as Espirito Santo and are the most numerous Spheniscus penguins.

A shipboard view of Antarctica. Photo by Sora Vernikoff
Travel Reviews
Sora Vernikoff

Antarctica in its Majesty

On Day 5 of my NCL cruise on the Norwegian Star to Antarctica, we began to find ourselves closer to one of our planet’s coldest and least populated continents. The Antarctic Sheet is the largest mass of ice in the world and is up to four miles thick. The continent contains about 90 percent of the planet’s freshwater ice and nearly 70 percent of the total fresh water on Earth. No humans permanently inhabit Antarctica. The folks there are mostly scientists focused on research.

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