5 Things You Must Eat, See & Do in Austin, Texas

Absent the pretension of Dallas (well, mostly), Austin is not only a college town, but situated in some of Texas’ prettiest hill country, so sometimes we would just drive around enjoying the vistas around Lake Travis. From taking in a sunset at The Oasis restaurant to climbing Mt. Bonnell to stocking up on olives at the first Whole Foods ever, I was endlessly fascinated with Austin’s hipster-before-hipster-was-mainstream DIY vibe.

8 Places to Stay, Eat & See in New York City

I’ve been to New York a dozen times, but never completely on my own. I was alone the first night, waiting for my friend Mandy to arrive from upstate on the train the next day. No problem. Have feet, will walk. I found the perfect midtown hotel from which to start my solo journey…

New York City: Photography Class at The Met

I took my first photography class in November and this is what resulted. The seasoned and snarky Zim of New York Photo Safari urged me to compose thoughtfully and push my angles. I am forever grateful. I highly recommend this class — it pleasantly filled my solo afternoon in Manhattan. And who can beat $100 for private lessons? (There was only one other person in my class.)

Pershing Square, New York

I had never stumbled upon Pershing Square before but I couldn’t resist the turn-of-the-century charm of neon lights. Food wasn’t bad either. I felt like I was lunching in the dining car of a locomotive.

Grand Central Station, New York City

Shooting at Grand Central Station is a no-brainer. It’s both a fully functional transportation hub and an architectural masterpiece. Shout-out to my friend Mandy, who made me look good despite not being a professional photographer. I feel very “Sherlock” in this trench, which is always a good thing. So glad Benedict Cumberbatch and Co. are back on PBS with Season 3. It’s all the wit, arrogance, and genius of Sherlock Holmes without the gratuitous violence of “Elementary” (love Jonny Lee Miller; hate the gore).

5 Things You Must Do in Cairns, Australia

Cairns city center is a hip metropolis jam-packed with shops and cuisine of every kind. Walking around downtown Cairns affords opportunities to shop, dine, and even swim in the manmade lagoon (the surrounding ocean contains stinging jelly fish so heed warning signs). Pick up plump, red strawberries at Rusty’s Weekend Produce Market, then stop to…

5 Things You Must Do in Dallas

Lose Your Voice at a Mavs Game My brother Gabe, an avid Mavs fan, and I enjoyed every minute of the Kobe-less Lakers vs. Mavs at American Airlines Center. It’s a beautiful Deco-inspired stadium in downtown Dallas with first class accommodations. There’s truly no bad seat in the house. I splurged on seats that allowed me…