Traveler's USA Notebook

News,  Discoveries and Pleasures


Lehigh Valley
Hot Springs
Little Rock
Los Angeles
Rosemary Beach
Thimble islands

The Astrology  of Travel
Health on the Road
Luxe Guides




Norman Schreiber

Special Correspondent: Debbi Kempton-Smith

Pacific Rim Correspondent

Jan Prince

Contributing Editors: April Burbage, Robert Rattner, Fern Siegel, Debra Griboff


Traveler's USA Notebook

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That Philadelphia Freedom

Independence Hall PHOTO by B. Krist for GPTMC

Traveler had a few unscheduled days. Ahh freedom! So where was Traveler to go? Visitors from abroad always rave about two American cities—Las Vegas, because it's, well, crazy; and Philadelphia, because it's beautiful and its got an old culture imbued with a certain slowness and softness. It’s civilized here. It's a big, small town. And it’s the birthplace of American independence. Where better to celebrate freedom than Philadelphia.  [more]


The Tropical Allure Of Curacao

Known for its blue liqueur and hurricane-free climate, Curacao is part of the Dutch Antilles — Aruba, Bonaire, Curacao and St. Maartin – but the most interesting of the islands.

This tropical paradise, which retains its Dutch identity, stays 82 degrees and sunny year-round; its turquoise-blue waters and luscious palm trees beckon. [more]


Posted 1/14/18

Maestro, reviewed  by Fern Siegel for


Maestro, the latest work from Ensemble for the Romantic Century, takes place over a specific eight-year period, 1931-1939, one of the darkest in human history. The focus is the great conductor Arturo Toscanini.

Starring John Noble and now playing at the Duke, Maestro is part solo show, part concert. Be forewarned: This isn’t a bio of Toscanini’s life or a celebration of his conducting triumphs. He is already a stellar figure in the classical music world. Instead, via letters — aided by frightening historic footage — this is Toscanini’s rumination on the horrors of pre-WWII as fascism and Nazism engulf Europe. [more]


Choir Boy

Posted 1/14/18

Choir Boy, reviewed  by Fern Siegel for

When they work, musicals about teenage struggles can be enlightening as well as entertaining. Dear Evan Hansen examined youthful despair — and how fictional creations on social media take on a life of their own. Broadway’s Choir Boy, now at the Samuel J. Friedman Theater, is a chamber piece that exposes the vulnerabilities and struggles of teenage boys coming of age.

Here, African Americans at the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys, specifically those in the choir, wrestle with friendship, sexuality, desire and their futures. The ensemble is uniformly excellent; all possess strong voices and solid acting chops. [more]

The Astrology of Travel

If you're planning to run away and play, it's exciting to bring along a friend. You never know whether you will still be speaking when the trip is over, but this only adds to the fun. In selecting an earthling to travel with, remember that any of these people could be your companions. Heed well our guide to... SIGNS ON THE ROAD


Vancouver --Aerial view

courtesy Tourism Vancouver

There’s much to explore in Vancouver, a laid-back amalgam  of natural wonders and cosmopoltan panache. Five special tours give visitors a chance to see the “City of Glass” in new ways. Here’s a brief guide to the tours.

Sea Vancouver. This 90-mnute Zodiac ride zips  though the Vancouver waters and begins a new season in April.  (t starts at the Westin Bayshore Hotel .From your splendid maritime perch, you’ll get a splendid view of the Coal Harbour, Burrard Inlet, English Bay, False Creek and Stanley Park neighborhoods. You’ll see skyscraper skyline and beaches  You may even see seals, bald eagles, and orher wilelife specimens. offers a different perspective on city skyscrapers, runners on the seawall, offshore freighters and sun-tanners on Vancouver’s beaches. Sightings of harbour seals, bald eagles and other marine animals are a possibility. For more info, click here.

The Hippie to Hipster Tour, offered by Tours By Locals, is like a fresh cup of Joe.  The guide (a certified local) leads a small group (1-6) for about three hours around th ecity  that gave birth to Greenpeace and AdBusters (the magazine that ignited the “Occupy” movement).The tour starts downtown and make its way through Gastown, Chinatown, , the downtown Eastside, Commercial and Main Street. You’ll taste the culture, vibes, street art and all the highlights of alt-Vancouver. For more info, click here.

Coffee isn’t  all that’s brewing in Vancouver as the Brewery Tour will reveal.  It’s a three-hour cycling tour through fascinating neighborhoods with stops at three craft breweries. The behind the scenes glimpses and the nine beer tastings and light nibbles will make you hopping glad. For more info, click here

Speaking of yum, Vancouver Foodie Tours offers a special two-hour amble through the vibrant  Granville Island Market. As you leer at the fruits, vegetables, baked goods, cheeses, etc. words like luscious, fragrant, succulent, alluring will take over your mind. There are 20 tastings included in this tour. Say the word, and they’ll make it vegetarian friendly for you. For more info, click here.

To learn more about Vancouver, click here.

The Beautiful Sea Rocks:   Connecticut's Thimble Islands



Captain Kidd is said to have sailed the waters of the Thimble Islands in Long Island Sound and, legend has it, buried treasure on Money Island (hence its name).Tom Thumb came to Cut in Two Island to court Miss Emily, the similarly statured daughter of the island’s owner but, as the story goes, P.T. Barnum broke up the romance.President Taft made Davis Island his summer White House for two years though, according to some, he actually only spent one night there. Their colorfully blended history and lore – the two often indistinguishable from each other – just add to the natural charm of the Thimbles. . . [MORE]

To learn about other places Traveler has visited, click here