September 16, 2014

New York, NY. July, 2011

If you hadn’t read the location above, would you have guessed this photo was taken in Manhattan? Nick and I came across this great store (staffed by a Latvian man) as we were taking an evening stroll. Everything Central American, especially Mexican. And, because it’s in NYC, everything more expensive than it would be in Mexico, por supuesto. Still, beautiful to look at. And to remember something a wise friend once told me: “Just because you like something, doesn’t mean you have to own it.” Words to live by.

September 15, 2014

Lunenburg, MA. July, 2013

A thorn among the lilies. Or water lilies to be precise. My friend TJ was the first in the water on this hot afternoon. But he was soon followed by many others, guests at my friend Chris’s BBQ event at his childhood, lakeside home.

September 14, 2014

Coimbra, Portugal. October, 2009

On our way to Lisbon from this lovely university town, Dr. Blake cannot resist the urge to make his “moose face” when I attempt to take his picture. We’d been through Spain and northern Portugal and were making our way to the capital, and I was looking at our luggage in this picture. Far left is the purple sports bag that fell apart in Lisbon a few days later. Anyone know how to say “duct tape” in Portuguese?

September 13, 2014

Sintra, Portugal. October, 2009

I’m a sucker for Islamic architectural influences. In Istanbul. In Andalusia. And even here in Sintra, the tourist-attracting former summer retreat of Portuguese nobility. When we spied this archway, well....

September 12, 2014

Cascais, Portugal. October, 2009

One thing I learned early in my European travels: Once the official summer season ends (September 1), the locals rarely go into the water. Only the foreign visitors. It was true in Italy. And also true here in Portugal. In this resort town favored by British and German tourists, there wasn’t a single Portuguese bather to be found.

September 11, 2014

Lisbon. October, 2009

Dr. Blake loves this praça in downtown Lisbon, commonly known at Rossio Square. In spite of the cobblestone work that makes any newcomer lose his balance and feel seasick. To lengthen the experience, we managed to find a refrigerator magnet that features a photo of this wavy pattern, resting now in his Gloucester, MA, kitchen, a room with a real view of the real sea.

September 10, 2014

Barcelona. November, 2010

Molecular Gastronomy. Barcelona is its birthplace, its home. And so, we settled into Comerç, 24 for our grand tasting menu. There were many courses. Lots of foam, lots of geometry. A teeny-tiny flower here and there. Everything was pretty. And precious. And while it was a memorable and once-in-a-lifetime experience, I kept thinking of a friend’s warning when I’d told him we were planning to dine here: “Eat first.”