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New York

KEY WEST – The Florida Keys have always been a favourite for me. I’ve always driven down from Miami in the past and enjoyed watching the colour of the water change and checking out the odd tiki bar along the way for a beer and a blackened fish sandwich. Usually I drive, but this time I flew in with some other Canadian travel writers, landing on the short runway at the airport in Key West. Someone on our very short bus ride into town was telling me they find it hard to describe the feeling of coming from a cold ... continue reading →

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NEW YORK – There’s Mario Batali leading a New York Jets cheer in his trademark orange sneakers. Oh, look, it’s Giada Laurentiis and her nuclear powered smile. And, BAM, there’s Emeril Lagasse boiling up some southern-style magic in front of a high-powered crowd. The city that never sleeps doesn’t do things on a small scale. They recently staged a truly massive New York City Wine and Food Festival that took up acres of empty piers on the Hudson River and featured hundreds of events with some of the biggest names in the biz, including Rachel Ray, Michael Symon and actor ... continue reading →

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NEW YORK – Had a chance to spend a couple days in The Bronx the other day, which was terrific. But I also managed some time in Manhattan, taking in the scene in Greenwich Village and the Lower East Side. There are few places more cool to hang out on a warm spring day than Washington Square Park in Greenwich Village. The tulips were a blaze of pink and red and the cherry trees were blossoming and the sky was blue and folks were suntanning on the grass and the jump-rope folks were out showing people how to skip. I ... continue reading →

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FINGER LAKES OF NEW YORK – We have wineries. And we have lakes. But I think it’s fair to say Ontario doesn’t have anything to quite match the total Finger Lakes package in upstate New York. Only an hour or so east of Buffalo, which means maybe three hours from downtown Toronto, you’ll find gorgeous lakes surrounded by hills covered with pretty vineyards ahttp://jimbyerstravel.com/wp-admin/post-new.phpnd thick forests. Not to mention tremendously attractive small towns and stately white homes. The town of Geneva is one of those solid if not hugely beautiful towns. Probably it’s seen better days. But the surrounding area ... continue reading →

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JIM BYERS PHOTO. The Richardson Olmsted Complex near downtown Buffalo is being restored and turned, in part, into a boutique hotel and architecture centre. BUFFALO, NEW YORK – Mea Culpa. For years, as I recall, the head of media/public relations for Buffalo Tourism had been bugging me to come on down and check things out. I envisioned cool architecture and chicken wings and a nice Frank Lloyd Wright building Ihad heard about. I covered the Buffalo Bills off and on for the Star’s sports section in the early 2000’s, but I didn’t have a strong mental image of the city in ... continue reading →

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