maria russo

Tranquility In Madagascar: Uncovering Precious Manafiafy

Friday, August 13, 2010

Since the release of French rule in 1960, Madagascar has struggled with ominous periods of civil unrest and environmental destruction. Yet there is no question that this small African island remains one of the most beautiful places on Earth.  A geographic collage of white sand beaches straddled by resplendent turquoise waters, stark desert juxtaposed with […]

Dining In Chicago Where “Pop Rocks” And Sneakers Are Welcome

Thursday, August 5, 2010

There is a deep, dark secret that many foodies keep tucked away in the depths of their food-loving souls. Actually, it is more of a psychological obsession that hijacks all decision-making functions when one comes face-to-face with choosing a place to dine. In my case, the infatuation usually surfaces during conversations with my husband that […]

The Emergence Of Global Cuisine In Madrid

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

When most food-loving people ruminate over “meccas” of global cuisine, cities like New York, Tokyo, Singapore, and Barcelona conjure instant salivation. Being a foodie is serious business, so for most, traveling to these cities for the culinary experience is not a matter of if, but when. In a recent article in the New York Times, […]

My Quest For Enlightenment; First Stop: Baan Thai Cookery School

Monday, August 2, 2010

By Maria Russo Is it possible to find enlightenment in a bowl of soup? Who knows, but it’s certainly worth a try, don’t you think? During a two-week journey to Thailand, I set out on a quest to prepare my soul for the preliminary stages of enlightenment. I wished to be free from the vicious […]

Appreciating A Quieter Paris In August

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

If you love Paris but despise the crowds, then August may be the perfect time to travel to The City of Light. Yes, it’s true that many restaurants, businesses, and cafés shut down during this month, but with half of Parisians leaving the city for annual vacations, you may just enjoy the extra leg room. […]

Exploring Cambodia And Vietnam Through The Eyes Of “La Marguerite”

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Most cruise lines seek to provide its customers with what I call the “Best Of” trip (e.g., “See the Best of the Mediterranean: From Scenic Livorno to the Seascapes of San Tropez”). While this is probably a very lovely way to sail and explore, I often want to experience all of what a country has […]

When In Barcelona, Please Stay In Your Designated Lane

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Some let their frustrations out through screaming, others by crying or pouting silently in a corner. In Barcelona,  one pissed-off Catalan graffiti artist lets his frustrations out by painting the streets of the Gothic Quarter creating lanes: one labeled  “tourists,”­ the other labeled “normal” for the locals. It is no secret that “The City of […]

“The Isle Of Forgetfulness”: Tunisia’s Forbidden Fruit Can Now Be Easily Explored

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

When Ulysses stumbled upon the shores of Djerba in Homer’s epic, The Odyssey, his warriors nearly deserted him after being fed the hypnotic lotus flower by the women of the island. Seduced by the intoxicating powers of the forbidden fruit, the men remained hypnotized and unable to depart. 3,000 or so years later, this whimsical […]

In Search Of “Pura Vida” In Costa Rica

Monday, June 21, 2010

Finding the “pura vida” in Costa Rica these days takes a little patience and some luck, but once found, well worth the wait. By Maria Russo As beads of sweat trickled across my forehead, I could not help but feel that I had made a mistake coming back to Manuel Antonio National Park. The humidity […]

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