By Darryn Shewchuk
“There is gold in them thar hills”. I’m not certain where that phrase came from, it’s been a century since Western Canada’s last “great Gold Rush” brought hoards chasing the dream, but it strikes a chord in me every time I hear it. In the last decade another “rush” has surfaced in British Columbia – the rush to open up BC’s backcountry skiing, the rush for “white gold”. Not the kind you put on her finger, the kind that blankets the mountains out west; deep, dry powder snow.
By Maxine Albert
Wouldn’t it be fun to get out of the cold in a tropical locale without changing flights, money or language? Life is hard enough, shouldn’t we treat ourselves well and cherish each moment? That is the motto of my yoga teacher. And those were my thoughts when I decided that Puerto Rico, with its white sandy beaches and warm blue water, was the place to go. It’s close by, easy to get to, we use the same currency and it has everything one could want in an island getaway. I packed my bathing suits and headed off to swim in the sun.
By Rachel Bowie
Treat December as a throw-away. January marks the start of a new month, a new year, a new decade, and, most importantly, a new you. Since your body is your temple, we have a few tips for getting back on track in 2010. Let the post-holiday detox begin!
By Lisa Loverro
The world is filled with wonderful destinations but often when planning a vacation the hardest part is deciding where to go. That’s why, on a recent trip to Europe, I opted to combine two magnificent cities for a quick five-day jaunt.
By Maxine Albert
“Bonjour Madame” says my driver Andre, and with a big smile tells me about the customs, traditions and how life is lived on this Fabulously French tropical island. “More champagne is consumed here than in all of France,” he exclaims. “Birthplace of Napoleon’s Empress Josephine, site of the island scenes in The ‘Thomas Crown Affair’ and Gauguin’s famous landscape paintings,” Andre extols. As Rum Capital of the world with blends comparable to fine cognac, I learn, a rum punch is customary in Martinique before both lunch and dinner, and many establishments pride themselves on their own special homemade mix.
By Stephanie Teller
In honor of former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, I have decided to dedicate this month’s column to “rogue renting,” or “renting on your own terms.”* Contrary to popular belief, you can indeed have your apartment and enjoy it too--you just have to make sure the law is on your side. The way in which both parties--landlord and tenant--enter into the lease agreement can mean the difference between financial peace of mind and end-of-month anxiety attacks. In month-to-month tenancy where there is no lease, the landlord can raise the rent at his or her will, as long as he or she gives 30 days’ notice. With respect to security deposits, it is mandated by New York State law that landlords of buildings with 6 or more apartments put all security deposits in New York bank accounts earning interest at the prevailing rate. One percent of the interest on the deposit is redeemable by the landlord for annual administrative expenses. All other interest earned on the deposit belongs to the tenant. Security deposits are essentially trust funds set up for you in the landlord’s name. Think of them as CD’s for which the maturity date is the day you move out. For your protection, it is highly recommended to walk through the apartment with the landlord before you sign the lease, taking photos and notes along the way to document pre-existing conditions.
By Pamela Jacobs
The holiday season is a time to really get creative, and make a home sparkle. From Christmas trees to garlands to lights of every color, most people love holiday décor. A blah space can easily become spectacular with just a little touch of holiday magic.
By Pamela Jacobs
I don’t know many people who don’t like a spa. It’s one of the best luxuries a person can indulge in, and it’s relatively accessible. Many New Yorkers will skip lunch in order to get a quick pampering. The city is full of nice places to get a treatment. However, just as there are burgers vs. filet mignon, and haircuts at Supercuts vs. at Frederic Fekkai, there are nice spas, and then there is Canyon Ranch, which is in a league all its own. It’s the platinum, best-of-the-best, super-spa that puts all others to shame.
By Kristin Vukovič
Ivica Kalček was impatient; it was his 52nd birthday, and we were late. Not to his party, but for a truffle hunting expedition in the Livade forest of Motovun, Croatia. Mr. Kalček was dressed for the excursion in rubber boots and a hunting vest, holding the leashes of his three eager dogs: German Bloodhounds Biba and Jackie, and Bobby, an English Setter still in training to hunt truffles. Kalček told us that the best time to search for truffles is sunrise or sundown, because the dogs don’t pant from the heat and it is easier for them to use their noses to find the truffle scent. “Croatian truffles have a stronger aroma than Italian truffles,” he said in Croatian, smiling proudly.
By Pamela Jacobs
The holidays are the time of year that people like to get together with friends and family, and experience great food and drinks together. Between holiday parties and New Year’s Eve (possibly the grandest party of the entire year), a lot of good eating gets done. And often people treat themselves to certain delicacies and luxuries that they may not indulge in frequently during the rest of the year. Champagne, fine cheeses, chocolates…and my personal favorite (and what many consider the greatest delicacy of them all), caviar. The great thing about having caviar infrequently is that it remains so special.