LONDON WELCOME BASKET (a mini-guide from a London neophyte)

I just found out that one of my most favorite people ever is moving to London, and I couldn’t be more excited. Firstly, because that means an exponentially greater chance of meeting up with Annie again, and secondly, because with every new visit since my first excursion back in 2010 London is quickly – and quite…

MASLENITSA MADNESS IN SUZDAL

What? Maslenitsa (“butter week”) is a half-Christian, half-Slavic pagan celebration of the soon-to-come end of winter that takes place for a week before Lent. Think Mardi Gras, or carnivals of Rio de Janeiro and Venice, but instead of ball gowns, beads and nudity you get traditional Russian games, folk music and dance concerts, a lot…

AMSTERDAM MAD DASH

Can Amsterdam be done as a day trip? Only if your day starts at 6 am and ends at midnight, or if your whole plan for the city involves a stop at a “coffee shop” and grabbing a beer along one of the canals. If you want to get more out of the Dutch capital,…

BRUSSELS REVISITED

“Brussels? Really?” is the kind of skeptical response I usually get when listing Belgium’s capital as one of my favorite European cities. I am not sure what people’s beef is with Brussels, but I was charmed by it on my very first visit more than a decade ago, adored it through the subsequent Christmas season,…

WHAT I ATE IN CRIMEA: Farmers’ Markets

For weeks before my Crimea trip my mother was imploring me to check out the farmers’ markets in Novy Svet and Sudak, for the freshest fruits and berries in all the land! The markets did not disappoint, and I tried everything from the in-season strawberries and raspberries, to homemade cheeses and sausages. I cannot even…

WHAT I ATE IN CRIMEA: Street Food

Here’s a little taste (hehe) of what the food and drink you can grab on the go in Crimea. Not pictured — all the draft beer, wine and kvas (traditional Russian bread-based soft drink) sold by the glass at small stands all throughout town and along the beach. All the cold beer you want, all…

MY MOSCOW: 5 PLACES

To date, I have lived in five wonderful cities: Moscow, New York, Washington DC, Paris and Madrid. This is my take on the best things to do, places to visit and treats to try in each of them. While this is not an exhaustive compilation by any means — and a rather subjective one at…

MOSCOW EATS: STREET MEAT

Among the many foods I like to gorge on – beef, Russian mayo-based salads, bread, spicy pasta – street food is pretty high up on the list. First of all, it’s like they save all the best greasy, cheesy, meaty, bready stuff just for the on-the-go folks. Secondly, everything just tastes better when you have…