GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES & LIVING ROOM

IMG_0017The cafe is all for the good.
Good deeds. Good coffee. Good treats. Good place to be.
According to head baker Nate Larson, the cafe’s backstory involves his dad, Barry Larson—the founder of Bridges, an organization providing support services to people with physical and cognitive disabilities. Seems Barry bought a used coffee roaster for a lark, started roasting coffee as a hobby, and saw a way coffee and service could couple. In 2009 he opened Arthouse Coffees,  a wholesale, small-batch coffee roasting company that hired those “with barriers to traditional employment.” And in December, 2014, he brewed up the Living Room, blending Arthouse Coffees with a small, high-quality coffee cafe.

Menu Living RoomLocated in Maplewood, Missouri, in the space of a former theatre, Living Room features a clean-cut contemporary decor with exposed brick wall, floor to ceiling windows, and mellow-wood display cases. All is kept to the sophisticated simple. Baristas hand-craft each cup of coffee, using beans freshly roasted in house. Menus feature uncomplicated, flavor-filled items, such as a breakfast sandwich, great granola with yogurt and fruit and assorted baked goods, with everything made from scratch on a daily basis. Specials include “bento-boxes,” (bread, meat, cheeese, nuts and fruit) and weekend offerings of quiches and country-style galettes.”
As to good deeds, the Living Room creates “job opportunities for people with unrecognized potential,” as well as donates all baked goods left at end of day to a homeless shelter.

Nate Larson

Nate Larson

With a motto that states, “The folks at Living Room welcome and cherish all people.,” Living room creates good will all around and works to the good of coffee lovers, the disability community, and the St. Louis public who get to sample the goods.

When asked for a recipe, Nate said “ Sure. A recipe is for everyone to copy and build upon. Sharing is caring.”

Good spirit. Good karma. Good recipe. Great cookie.

 

GLUTEN-FREE CHOCOLATE CHIP PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Yield: 6 jumbo cookies.

2 tablespoons granulated sugar for topping
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Peanut Butter Cookies1/8 teaspoon kosher salt for topping
1 cup crunchy peanut butter
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1-1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 egg
1-1/2s teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper; set aside. Put sugar and salt for topping in a small bowl and mix well; set aside.
Put all remaining ingredients except chocolate chips in a large bowl and beat with electric beaters until mixture is well blended and holds together.
Divide dough into six portions. Roll each portion into a ball. Roll balls in sugar/salt topping and place on the paper-covered baking sheet. With the palm of your hand, flatten each dough ball into a 1/3- to 1/2-inch round, keeping edges in a circle shape.
Bake in a preheated 375°F oven until large cracks form on top and cookies just barely begin to brown, 8 to 12 minutes. Remove baking sheet from oven and set on a rack to cool.
Let cookies cool completely before removing from baking sheet.

 

 

 

FORT LAUDERDALE, LOBSTER OMELET, RUM RUNNER COCKTAIL

Remember the Fort Lauderdale of spring break madness—-with paradise lost to swarms of college students hoarding the town? Well hallelujah, today the spring-break kids go elsewhere, leaving Fort Lauderdale’s delights to locals and tourists wanting a comfortable, non-crowded, spring, winter, or anytime warm-weather break.

What does the Greater Fort Lauderdale area offer visitors? Easy answer:

SUNSHINE, SAND AND SEA

Florida Beach by Susan Manlin Katzman

WATER WATER EVERYWHERE

Water Water Everywhere Collage

Water Water Everywhere College by Susan Manlin Katzman

GREAT PLACES TO EAT AND DRINK

Inside Johnny V outside Anglins Beach Cafe

Inside Johnny V and Outside Anglins Beach Cafe

From trendy places on Las Olas Boulevard to little-known, water-side favorites, the restaurant scene rocks!
Click HERE for suggestions.

HISTORY

The Bonnet House Museum & Gardens
Originally built in 1920 by artist Frederic Clay Bartlett and his second wife, composer/poet Helen Birch—and later embellished by Bartlett’s third wife, Evelyn Lilly—the 35-acre Bonnet Estate is now on the U.S. National Register of Historic Places and open to the public. Guided tours take visitors to see Bartlett’s studio and home, both filled with art and whimsy. The Bonnet House captivates those interested in history, South Florida’s flora and fauna, and the lifestyle of early Fort Lauderdale’s rich and elite.

Bonnet House and Garden College by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Cap’s Place
In 1928, when prohibition prevailed, “Cap” Knight, a well-known rumrunner, opened a restaurant/speakeasy on an island accessible only by boat. Ever popular, Cap’s Place served celebrities, presidents, gangsters and most of the famous and infamous who landed in South Florida. (Guests included such diverse personalities as Al Capone, Winston Churchill, Walt Disney, Barbara Stanwyck, Joe DiMaggio, Mariah Carey and John F. Kennedy.) Now on the National Register of Historic places, Cap’s Place still serves good food garnished with history to guests who still must take a water shuttle to the restaurant. Specialities include local seafood, hearts of palm salad, and, of course, a rum runner cocktail.

Fort Lauderdale Cap's Place Dining Room and Bar

 

Rum Runner Cocktail from Cap's Place  by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

CAP’S PLACE RUM RUNNER COCKTAIL

Combine 3/4 ounce each: Bacardi rum, Myers’s dark rum, blackberry brandy, crème de banane, Rose’s lime juice and Rose’s grenadine. Add 4 ounces Franco’s Lemon Mix (or sweet lemonade). Serve on the rocks garnished with a slice lemon and maraschino cherry.

 

CULTURE

Fort Lauderdale is both a casual beach/boat community and a cosmopolitan city containing a variety of impor cultural institutions.
Venues to enrich the spirit include:

The Museum of Art with rotating shows, small cafe, and gift shop,

Museum Of Art Fort Lauderdale by Susan Manlin Katzman

and the Broward Center for the Performing Arts with rotating shows and restaurants.

Broward Center for the Performing Arts

 

A PLETHORA OF GOOD HOTELS

Exterior of The Atlantic Hotel & Spa in Fort LauderdaleOur choice: The Atlantic Hotel & Spa, a beach-facing, AAA Four Diamond property. The hotel’s spacious suites include a large bedroom, big bathroom, and substantial living room holding a mini kitchen and balcony overlooking either the beach or town. Gracious lobby, lovely pool, tranquil spa, and friendly staff help guests feel pampered.

 For an unbeatable breakfast, sit overlooking the sea, on the terrace of the hotel’s Beauty and the Feast restaurant and order the signature Lobster Omelet. Sigh! A perfect way to start a sunshine day.

Breakfast on the Terrace of Beauty and the Feast Fort Lauderdale

 

THE ATLANTIC’S LOBSTER OMELET

Yield: 1 serving.Lobster Omelet from The Atlantic Hotel Fort Lauderdale by Susan Manlin Katzman

3 free range eggs
1 tablespoon butter
3 ounces chopped cooked lobster meat
1 tablespoon Boursin cheese
2 two-inch long strips of fresh chives (for garnish)
Additional lobster meat (for garnish)

Crack eggs into mixing bowl and whisk vigorously until well blended and fluffy.
Melt butter in an 8-inch non-stick pan over medium heat. Add lobster meat and sauté until meat is warm, about 1 minute. Again, beat eggs vigorously. Add eggs to pan with lobster. Using a rubber spatula, push eggs from bottom of pan to top until eggs are barely cooked through. Crumble the Boursin into the omelet and allow to heat for 30 seconds. Fold the omelet onto a plate. Garnish with chives and lobster meat. Serve immediately.

 

 

 

WHERE TO EAT IN GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE

It’s only natural that Sweet Leisure asked Deborah Hartz-Seeley to suggest places tourists would like to eat when visiting Greater Fort Lauderdale. Debby knows all about South Florida’s unique cuisine. After all, she spent over 20 years as the prize-winning food Deborah Hartz-Seeleyeditor for the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. That’s a Tribune Co. newspaper serving the greater Fort Lauderdale area and beyond.
Debby’s food experience began early. She worked in a pizza kitchen and a steakhouse to put herself through school, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Wisconsin and a Master’s of Science in food journalism from the University of Wisconsin. 
Although Debby retired from the newspaper, she still lives and dines in the area. And she still writes about food for publications including The Coastal Star and The Miami Herald.
To answer Sweet Leisures request, Debby generously sent the following list of her favorite Fort Lauderdale area restaurants along with a caveat:  “I have a lot of experience in the food world. And I’ve found as I’ve gotten older I don’t take a lot of joy in going to hip and trendy spots. They tend to be noisy, expensive and more hype than anything else. I prefer relatively inexpensive local places that are casual but offer reliably good food.”
Casual, inexpensive, good—thank you, Debby.

 
FAVORITE PLACES TO EAT IN GREATER FORT LAUDERDALE

by Deborah Hartz-Seeley

IMG_0075_2NY Deli

3916 N. Ocean Dr., Fort Lauderdale, 954-566-2616                                                                                                                         Kosher-style delis are a dying breed in South Florida. So thank goodness for this newly opened family-owned business that is our go-to place for a late Sunday breakfast or midweek lunch.The women behind the counter are the owner’s wife, mother-in-law and often young daughters. On Sundays a cousin pours coffee. Here you can order lox (salt preserved salmon) as well as nova (smoked salmon) to put on an authentic bagel that’s boiled not steamed. Kippers are a taste of the old country. Fresh salads and big deli sandwiches are here too. There’s also a whole menu of other breakfast and lunch favorites including hearty soups, burgers and just about anything else you want.The atmosphere will have you thinking of Manhattan replete with subway signs, black-and-white photographs and the NY Post available for reading. The deli is open daily for breakfast and lunch; dinner is served Tuesday through Saturday until 7:30 p.m., when the regular menu plus specials such as brisket, meatloaf and stuffed cabbage are available.

IMG_0082

 

Greek Islands Taverna  

3300 N. Ocean Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 954-565-5505
Down the street you will find a traditional taste of the Mediterranean a block off the Atlantic Ocean. You can sit indoors at this taverna with its checked tablecloths. It is always bustling.
If you prefer you can sit on an outdoor patio that the owners have done what they can to camouflage from the major street that passes out front.
Partial to eating light, we select a few meze including scordalia, melitanosalata and taramosalata. And we follow that with a horiatiki salad made the right way without lettuce. For those with heartier appetites there’s plenty of well-prepared lamb, seafood, chicken and pork dishes. My granddaughter ate her first roasted squab here and has been a fan ever since. You won’t go wrong.

Mai Kai  

3599 N. Federal Hwy, Fort Lauderdale, 954-563-3272
Sven Kirsten 2010 018For a quintessential Fort Lauderdale experience, drive over the plank bridge at the entrance of this Polynesian pleasure dome called the Mai Kai. Anyone into tiki culture will know the place with its islander revue of dancers, drummers, musicians and fire eaters.
It’s filled with authentic finds such as spirit filled wooden gods, carefully turned sailor’s knots and skillfully woven grass. You can almost believe you’ve been transported to the islands. The Molokai Bar is designed to resemble the lower deck of a ship or perhaps the captain’s quarters. Out back a waterfall is the centerpiece of a tropical garden.
Enjoy a Cantonese-inspired meal or just pick out a rum-laden cocktail from the oversized libations menu. This is a true touch of Old Florida.

Il MulinoIl Mulino

1800 E. Sunrise Blvd, Fort Lauderdale, 954-524-1800
The dependably good Italian food served by a professional staff has been drawing crowds to this family-owned restaurant for many years (at least the 25 I’ve lived here).
We go for hearty bowls of pasta e fagioli served with the crusty house rolls. I like mine without garlic; my husband likes his heady with the stuff. This is also one of the few places you can find a meaty Bolognese sauce. And it was one of the first places in town to serve burrata cheese.
They go a little trendier in nightly specials. But here you can’t go wrong if you stick with tradition.

conch salad at Calypso RestaurantCalypso Restaurant Raw Bar and Restaurant

460 S. Cypress Road, Pompano Beach, 954-942-1633
In an unassuming strip mall you’ll find this touch of island life. The couple that owns it knows the regulars and will make you feel welcome.
The place can be noisy as people tuck into conch fritters, beans and rice, Jamaican fish cakes called Stamp and Go, cutters (sandwiches) and a variety of fresh catches served fried or grilled. There’s also jerked chicken, pepper pot soup, island curries and grilled (not fried) conch. Check out the blackboard to see what’s freshest and best.

 Les Amis

Interior of Les Amis by Susan  Manlin Katzman626 S. Federal Hwy., Deerfield Beach, 954-480-6464
Head a little farther north to find two French women serving classic bistro fare. The world has become so hip and trendy it’s difficult to find these old favorites including vichyssoise, duckling a l’orange, filet of sole Meniere and frogs legs Provençale.
You can order complete meals (includes dessert and coffee or tea) or a la carte. When snowbirds descend, this place is popular with French Canadians. My husband is partial to the beef bourguignon; I like the pan-seared salmon with dill sauce. Many entrees come with two vegetables (purees are popular) and potato (often mashed).
The room itself isn’t fancy but is nice enough that you feel like you’ve been out to dinner. And the owners, who serve as wait staff, are happy to chat. That brings up another plus: the place is quiet enough for conversation.

Casa MayaCasa Maya

301 S.E. 15 Terrace, Deerfield Beach, 954-570-6101
In a large shopping center called The Cove, you’ll find Casa Maya tucked among the shops. This restaurant was started by a young couple in 2008 and has since become a neighborhood favorite.
Booths and tables fill the small interior decorated with items that owner Emilio Dominguez has brought back from Mexico with him. When it comes to food, don’t think plates groaning under oversized burritos smothered in cheese. And flabby refried beans.
The food here is much more refined featuring many of the dishes and sauces that Dominguez learned to prepare from his grandmother growing up in the Yucatan area of Mexico.
A favorite is achiote-marinated pork, slowly roasted and served with pickled red onions. Here burritos can come filled with lean white meat chicken topped with a pumpkin seed and cilantro sauce. The chile rellenos is filled with seafood and baked not fried. Or try the fajitas of sour orange marinated pork loin.
They don’t have a liquor license so margaritas are made with wine not tequila. So go ahead and have two with or without salt.

Nauti Dawg Marina Cafe  

2841 Marina Circle, Lighthouse Point, 954-941-0246
You can’t come to Fort Lauderdale without eating some place with a water view. Our choice for a casual meal is the Nauti Dawg set Nauti Dawg Marina Cafein a marina on a canal just off the Intracoastal Waterway.
You may have trouble winding your way through Lighthouse Point to find this spot. But it’s worth searching out. Forget about sitting indoors; be sure to wait for a spot on the wooden deck.
There’s often live Caribbean music and, after dark, the kids will enjoy watching fish swim by where the water is lighted.
Come for breakfast if you are up early enough and you’ll choose from omelets, breakfast sandwiches and an assortment of other eye openers including coconut French toast.
At lunch or dinner there’s a nicely filled lobster roll (yes, they use Maine lobster) or you can have the lobster served as a salad. Fresh fish is always available as are hearty burgers, salads, pasta dishes and more. Nightly specials are listed on a blackboard by the front door and these items tend to be trendier.

IMG_0319El Tamarindo Café

3100 N. Federal Hwy., Lighthouse Point, 954-532-7773
Part of a family-owned group of local restaurants, this eatery features Mediterranean, Cuban, Mexican, Peruvian, Argentinean, and Asian dishes including sushi.
This mix offers something for everyone.
And what it offers is good food at reasonable prices in a surprisingly upscale atmosphere. Even the service overseen by the wife/owner is professional.
I go for the pollo a la plancha that is a pounded and grilled chicken breast with sautéed onions. It covers the plate. My husband likes the churrasco, grilled skirt steak with chimichurri. I’m also partial to the aquadito soup that’s cilantro-based and studded with seafood.
There are other outlets in Fort Lauderdale (233 Florida 84, 954-467-5114) and Deerfield Beach (614 E. 10th St., 954-480-9919). I’ve heard good things about the Fort Lauderdale location but this Lighthouse Point location is the newest and our favorite.

 

 

 

 

PARADISE COVE MALIBU CALIFORNIA

Nice is a word that applies. Easy-going too, and comfortably uncrowded (except on gorgeous-weather weekends and holidays). In fact, Paradise Cove on the Pacific Coast Highway in Malibu, just might be the best-kept-secret sunshine place for L.A. families and friends to enjoy a beach/cafe experience without the razzle, dazzle hoopla of Hollywood or a touristy overload.

Beach at Paradise Cove by Susan Manlin Katzman

Perhaps the quiet is due to the property being privately owned and charging $40 per day for parking.
But not to worry! The public is welcome and insiders know that parking charges drop to $3 for four hours by spending $30 at Bob Morris’ Paradise Cove Beach Cafe (which is easy to do and very much part of the experience).

Paradise Cove Beach Cafe
The cafe is open seven days a week and serves breakfast, lunch, snacks, dinner, drinks and food to go.

So here’s how regulars approach the $3 four hour parking:
Pull into the parking lot at 28128 Pacific Coast Highway and pick up a parking ticket to be validated later. Walk through the cafe to the beach, stopping on the way to reserve an outside table which is set directly in the sand under a canopy to shade the sun. (Indoor seating is also available.)

Outdoor seating at Paradise Cove Cafe

 

Enjoy the beach while you wait for a table—or eat first and beach later.

Enjoy Beach at Paradise Cove

The cafe provides Adirondack chairs for free and beach beds and private cabanas for a fee.

At Paradise Cove

 

Beds at Paradise Cove

Tropical drinks sold at the bar, must be consumed in the restaurant, but beer, wine and Champagne are allowed on the beach.

Paradise Cove Drinks

So what to order in the cafe?
The most popular items on the lunch/dinner menu are large enough for sharing and include:

Crispy Calamari at Paradise Cove

Crispy Calamari ($17.95)

 

Sampler Platter at Paradise Cove/Susan Manlin Katzman

The Hot Combo Sampler with macadamia coconut shrimp, BBQ baby back ribs, BBQ shrimp, fried fish strips, beer battered chicken tenders, fried calamari, and French fries ($26.95)

 

Cobb Salad at Paradise Cove/Susan Manlin Katzman

Classic Cobb Salad ($15.95)

 

All three dishes can be ordered with the cafe’s house-made (house-named) 1003 Island Dressing, for which Paradise Cove’s owner, Kerry Morris, shared her recipe:

PARADISE COVE’S

1003 ISLAND DRESSING

Paradise Cove 1003 Island Dressing by Susan Manlin KatzmanYield: about 2 cups.

1 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup Heinz ketchup
1/4 cup sweet pickle relish
3 tablespoons shredded sharp cheddar cheese
Salt to taste
Ground Pepper to taste
Granulated garlic to taste
Combine all ingredients and refrigerate until ready to serve. 
 

 

 

Surf Boards Paradise Cove

 

 

 

 

 

WORLD’S BEST BEER BARS BY BILL YENNE

Bill Yenne Bill Yenne has been writing about beer for a quarter century and is among the world’s leading authorities on beer and brewing history. Then again, he’s an authority on many topics, having contributed to encyclopedias of both world wars as well as having authored more than three dozen non-fiction books with topics ranging from aviation to biography (Julius Caesar, Alexander the Great, Sitting Bull). 
He has traversed the globe collecting material for his books and has appeared in several documentaries broadcast on the History Channel, the National Geographic Channel and ARD German Television. Condé Nast Portfolio Magazine listed his recent history of Guinness among the top business books of the year, and as its top pick for “Cocktail Conversation.”Beer The Ultimate World Tour Cover (hi-res)

Today Bill lives in San Francisco with his wife, Carol, and uses his background in history and travel to delight the reading public.

His latest book, “BEER: The Ultimate World Tour” offers a “global survey and a global celebration of beer” that brews excitement on many levels. 

Bill takes both beer travelers and armchair beer lovers on a journey through 288 pages, detailing not only the beer brewing regions of the world and their bests beers, but also the history of beer and overviews of beer styles and glasses.
As Bill has experienced the best, Sweet Leisure asked him to pick his personal five favorite places to drink beer around the world. He generously sent us the following:

 

MY FAVORITE BEER BARS

by Bill Yenne

Narrowing a list of favorite places to drink beer to a mere five is an impossible fool’s errand, but when the word “impossible” comes up, I regard it, not as an end game, but merely as a challenge.
The criteria in this list include a geographic range of places (in many a town, I could name five within an easy pub crawl of one another), and that intangible feeling one gets of having arrived within a unique and singularly remarkable setting. There are certain places from which one takes stories that will be elements of one’s own special folklore forever. Going without saying among criteria is an assurance of beer that is sublimely gratifying both to the palate and to the mood.
Finally, there are the intangible criteria of this being a place that speaks of ease and comfort, a place filled with memories of good friends and good times, a place where I would go this afternoon if I could.

Hofbräuhaus München

HofbräuhausPlatzl 9, Munich, Germany

You should, at least once in your life, visit the cathedral of beer. To enter it for the first time is breathtaking. Like a great Gothic cathedral it is so vast that one is dwarfed by the scale, filled with awe and left speechless. Most who write of it use the word “cavernous.” Most who go there, use the word “fun.” Like a great Gothic cathedral it is filled with music, a live band or two thundering with German traditional Bavarian drinking songs.
Those who write about it remind you that it was founded in 1589 by Wilhelm, Duke of Bavaria, as the royal brewery, and that both Mozart and Lenin drank here – a lot. But these things are easily forgotten when you are surrounded by a swirling mass of humanity, each man or woman hoisting a full-liter maßkrug, and your immediate goal is to get one of those in your hand. If you come in the warmer months, there is an equally enormous beer garden just outside the beer hall. Come for the maßkrug, and stay for the plates, overflowing with wurst and schnitzel. The variety of beer styles is limited, mainly to helles and dunkel, but Hofbräuhaus also brews (now at an offsite production brewery) Delictor doppelbock, Münchner Weisse hefeweizen and Festbier Märzen for Oktoberfest, among others.

Staminee De Garre

Staminee De Garre

De Garre 1, Brugge, Belgium

In a tiny country that calls itself “Beer Paradise” without hyperbole, where you could drink in a different world class beer bar every night for a year or two, this is the one where I would go if I could go to only one. You should too. I insist. But first, you have to find it. It is located in the heart of Belgium’s most picturesque city (alas more touristy now than when I first started going). Brugge is a Medieval time capsule that is a feast for the walker as Staminee De Garre is for the beer lover. On your first pass, you’ll probably miss De Garre, the tiny pedestrian alley that leads to the front door.
When you find the alley and find the door, you’ll probably ask your companions whether this can really be the right place, but as you step inside, you’ll know that you have arrived, and that you have arrived in a place where you can relax in the rich, intimate, understated atmosphere with the three things that make such an experience sublime – extraordinary beer, a bite to eat, and good friends. You supply the latter and your hosts will supply the rest. There are “only” around 130 beers on the menu, but they are carefully selected from throughout Belgium. You’ll see old favorites and usual suspects, but best of all, you and your friends will meet new friends among the selections that are offered. You’ll find yourself thinking that it gets no better than this.

Toronado

547 Haight Street, San Francisco, California

Inside ToronadoSan Francisco is a city with a beer scene as lively and nuanced as any in the world. This is, after all, where Fritz Maytag crafted Anchor Brewing into the first modern craft brewery, and ran it as such for more than a decade before Jack McAuliffe, Allen Paul and Buffalo Bill came along. Amid San Francisco’s constantly refreshing tapestry of microbreweries, nanobreweries and beer bars, there is one bar that is always on the list – as it has been since Dave Keene took it over a quarter century ago. To say that Toronado is the quintessential beer bar, is an understatement in the extreme. With a constantly changing selection of around four dozen handles, it is a place where even the most experienced connoisseur can always find an esoteric “something” or three that he or she has never sipped before. And speaking of handles, Keene has been collecting them for decades and has them displayed throughout the bar. I tried once, but had to stop counting at around a thousand.
Just about every beer ever brewed in the West has passed through these doors, as has just about every notable brewer. Vinnie Cilurzo from Russian River Brewing, the inventor of Pliny the Younger, a beer on most “top five in the world” lists was best man at Dave’s wedding – and yes, when Pliny makes his annual two-week appearance, they line up around the block at Toronado.

 U Fleku Pivovar

U FlekuKremencova 11, Prague, Czech Republic

How can you put a bar that serves only one kind of beer on a list of pubs that includes Staminee De Garre and Toronado? When that bar has been brewing and serving its beer ever since the third voyage of Christopher Columbus!
In business since 1499, it got its name from Jakub “Flek” Flekovsky, who bought the place in 1762. U Fleku is the world’s oldest brewpub, and their five prevent ABV Flekovsky Tmavy Lezak 13° dark lager gets a “94 outstanding” rating from RateBeer.com.
Step through the door beneath the old square clock on a cobbled street in Prague’s old town and you’ll find yourself in a jumbly-tumbly King Arthur’s castle labyrinth of rooms and hallways that lead you back into another century. One room is dark and mysterious, another bustling with music and dancing. One room is a high ceilinged beer hall, another is small and cozy. In one room they’re dining on Opékaná klobása and Flekovský guláš. In another, they are singing football songs. One moment, you discover that you’re hopelessly lost, but in the next, you realize that you don’t care. You’re at Flek’s, and they’ll take good care of you here. They’ve had half a millennium of practice.

Kauai Island Brewery

4350 Waialo Road, Port Allen, Hawaii

Kauai IslandSomeone asked me recently what beer I would take to a desert island. I asked whether I had a choice of islands. If I did, it would be Kauai, the least populated and most laid back of the main islands of the archipelago that is the fiftieth state. If I was able to pick the island, I wouldn’t take any beer. I’d just head out State Route 50, make a left on Waialo, and find myself – metaphorically as well as literally – at the “westernmost brewery in the world.”
I discovered the brewpub closest to this side of the International Dateline some time ago when they were about five miles farther west at an old coconut plantation in Waimea. A couple of years ago, Bret Larson and Dave Curry moved their operation to the present location across the road from Captain Andy, who has a tour boat operation not unlike the one that the Captain and Gilligan would’ve had if they hadn’t been – well, you know the story.
I recall with great fondness the day that Mike Bolos and I spent with Dave Curry in the cool fermenting room just before they reopened, sampling the whole lineup, and savoring especially his 3.8 percent ABV South Pacific Brown which had earned him a second place ribbon at the West Coast Brewers Festival.
In a few weeks, give or take a month or so, I expect to be laid back on Waialo Road, watching the sun crawl through the cumulous on the horizon and settle into the fiery red Pacific while I sip a 6.3.

 

 

 

 

BEST EVER CARAMEL APPLE PIE

What can one say about apple pie?

Carl Sagan said,
“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

Honeycrisp Apples

Honeycrisp Apples

Eugene Field said,
“But I, when I undress me
Each night, upon my knees
Will ask the Lord to bless me
With apple-pie and cheese.”

Golden Delicious Apples

Golden Delicious Apples

Jane Austen said,
“Good apple pies are a considerable part of our domestic and happiness.”

Braeburn Apples

Braeburn Apples

Johnny Cash said,
“Of emotions, of love, of breakup, of love and hate and death and dying, mama, apple pie and the whole thing. It covers a lot of territory, country music does.”

Granny Smith Apples

Granny Smith Apples

Today, in honor of Carl, Eugene, Jane and Johnny, Sweet Leisure tells you how to make an out-of-this-world—truly heavenly apple pie that will insure domestic and other dining happiness and have everyone singing your praises.

 

BEST EVER CARAMEL APPLE PIE

Yield: One nine-inch pie.

CRUST
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt
14 tablespoons hydrogenated vegetable shortening
6 tablespoons ice water
Additional flour for rolling dough

FILLING
6 to 10 (depending on size) firm pie apples, peeled, cored and sliced (See NOTE)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 firmly packed cup brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 cup water

NOTE: Apples to use: Either all Granny Smith or a mixture of Granny Smith and Honeycrisp, Braeburn, andGolden Delicious.

Apple Signs

Make dough for crust: Mix flour and salt in a medium-size mixing bowl. Distribute shortening over top of flour mixture, putting each tablespoon in a different place. With a pastry blender or finger tips, quickly and lightly work shortening into flour until particles are in coarse crumbs.
Sprinkle ice water over crumbs, putting each tablespoon in a different place. Stir lightly with a fork to form a dough. Knead dough once or twice until it is smooth.
Cut dough in half, form each half into a ball and flatten slightly. Wrap each flattened ball in waxed paper and refrigerate until well chilled.

Lightly sprinkle flour over a flat surface. Put one portion of chilled dough on the surface and roll into a circle, about 11-inches in diameter. Transfer dough to a 9-inch pie pan/plate by rolling dough onto the rolling pin and unrolling it into the pan, letting excess dough hang over edge of pan. Gently press dough into the pan.

Fill dough-lined pan with apples, mounding apples slightly.

Make lattice top. (Keep in mind, the top does not have to be professionally perfect. The homemade look works for a homemade pie.) On a floured surface, with a floured rolling pin, roll remaining dough ball into an 11-inch circle. With a pizza cutter or small sharp knife, cut the circle into even 1/2- inch wide strips.

Roll Dough and Cut Into Strips
Remove one long strip of dough from the center of the cut circle. Place the strip over the apples in the center of the pie. Remove every other strip of dough from the cut circle and lay the strips, over the top of the apples equal distance from each other, in the same direction of the of the first strip, with the longest pieces in the center and shortest piece at the edge of pan.
Now gently fold every other strip on the pie back halfway from the center.
Remove the longest remaining strip from the cut circle and place across the center of the pie at right angles to the strips already there. Pull the folded strips back straight over the new strip.

Making Lattice Top
Fold back the strips that were not folded before and lay another strip crosswise over the pie and replace the folds. Repeat alternately folding, adding strips and unfolding, filling one side of the pie and then the other.

Weaving Crust
With a knife trim excess dough edges of the pie pan. Crimp around the edge of the pan, pressing the top crust to bottom crust in a tight decorative pattern.

Heat oven to 450°F.

Melt butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Slowly pour hot mixture over apples through holes in the top of the lattice dough.

Caramel Filling
Place a square of foil on bottom rack of oven, directly under pie to catch juices.
Place pie in the center of the preheated 450°F oven for 15 minutes, then reduce the heat to 350°F and bake until top of pie is golden brown, about 45 minutes more. (To prevent over browning and insure apples cook properly, place foil or an empty pie pan upside down on pie for last 10 minutes of baking.)

Best Ever Caramel Apple Pie by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

 

 

 

THE BERLIN WALL

BERLIN

As you know, after World War II the United States, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and France divided Germany into four occupied zones. 

Berlin was encased in the Soviet section, but due to the importance of the city as the capital of Germany and center of the Nazi regime, the allies also divvied up the city. The United States, Great Britain and France took West Berlin. The Soviet Union claimed East Berlin.

Flags of the Allies
West Berlin flourished. East Berlin did not, and hundreds of thousands of East Berliners fled to the West.
To stop the exodus, the German Democratic Republic (GDR), in 1961, closed all borders and built a 100-mile concrete wall running through the center of Berlin and encircling West Berlin. Life behind the Wall in East Berlin became prison-like repressive and remained so for the next 28 years.
And then on November 9, 1989, Berlin’s border doors burst open as suddenly as they had slammed closed, releasing a surprised and euphoric public.

Painting in East Side Gallery
November 9, 2014, marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the the Wall. Of course, much has happened in the past 25 years, but the Wall remains a key piece of world history and an important component to understanding not only Berlin and the Cold War, but also the horrors of repression and joys of freedom.
If you are lucky enough to be touring Berlin—between eating, drinking, clubbing and letting loose, you must visit some of the Wall sites and attractions. Don’t miss the:

BERLIN WALL MEMORIAL 

This main memorial site of German division—an open air complex stretching 1.4 kilometres along a former border strip—shows a section of the Berlin Wall left from 1989, a watchtower and the death-strip area, helping visitors understand the many-layered system of the East German border fortification. Exhibits include a tribute to the Victims of Communist Tyranny and a Window of Remembrance.

Berlin Wall Memorial

 

At the Berlin Wall Memorial

 

BERLIN WALL MUSEUM AT CHECKPOINT CHARLIE and the BLACK BOX COLD WAR

Situated within sight of where the famous Checkpoint Charlie border crossing stood, the Berlin Wall Museum charts the Wall’s history and showcases the different methods people used to escape from the East.

Checkpoint Charlie
A few steps away, an information pavilion, named for the airplane black box that reveals recorded information after an accident, provides in-depth information about the Cold War and it’s effect on world.

Black Box Kalter Krieg by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

BERLIN-HOHENSCHÖNHAUSEN MEMORIAL (STASI PRISON)

This facility offers a fascinating, if disturbing, look at the main political prison run by the East German Ministry of State Security, known as the Stasi.

Former Stasi Prison by Susan Manlin Katzman

The complex’s museum, opened in 2013, offers nearly 500 objects retelling the experiences of those imprisoned.

Museum at the Former Stasi Prison

 

TRÄNENPALAST (PALACE OF TEARS)

On the site of a train, S-bahn and U-ban station used as a border crossing, this museum is named the “palace of tears” as it was the border crossing where western visitors said good-bye to their East German family and friends forbidden to travel. Exhibitions here illustrate the impact of division on everyday life in Germany through personal stories.

College at the Palace of Tears by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

EAST SIDE GALLERY

This much photographed open-air memorial features a nearly mile-long portion of the original Berlin Wall painted, in 1990, by 118 artists from 21 different countries (and a slew of others who added graffiti). The paintings document not only the Wall, but also the joy of freedom.

East Side Gallery by Susan Manlin Katzman

Panels at the East Side Gallery

Collage of panels at the East Side Gallery

Save Our Earth from the East Side Gallery 

 For more information visit: wall.visitberlin.com.

 

 

ST. LOUIS HIDDEN TREASURES

Randy TankersleyRandy Tankersley is a self confessed history nut. He is also a complex, creative man with a gift for storytelling. His storytelling takes many forms. He used storytelling while working as a broadcast photojournalist for ABC News Midwest bureau—a job that brought him to St Louis in 1988. He excels at “visually branded storytelling through social media,” for Tankersley Productions, Inc., his own video production company specializes in corporate communications and commercial and industrial marketing. And he brings his love of history and storytelling together in STL Lost and Found, an entertaining audio walking tour guide of St. Louis that he created for locals and tourist alike.

Product-ShotHand held and easy to use, STL Lost & Found divulges the fascinating facts and backgrounds of St. Louis’s top attractions. One can buy STL Lost & Found at many retail outlets throughout the city and from iTunes. Check  HERE for more information.
Last but not least, Randy shared his storytelling magic with Sweet Leisure. In Randy’s own words:

St. Louis Lost and Found© – True Tales of St. Louis

St. Louis is a treasure trove of historical tidbits and interesting facts. The St. Louis Lost and Found walking tour explores many of these interesting tidbits as guests explore the Gateway Mall area in downtown St. Louis. I’ve included some of that information here below and other things I just didn’t have room enough to include on the actual tour. So I hope you enjoy your abbreviated tour of interesting facts about St Louis.

Wainwright Building

IMG_0164Edison’s lightbulb, Henry Ford’s model T and Louis Sullivan’s Wainwright Building all have something in common? They are all firsts! In each of these cases others had made significant progress in their discoveries, yet it was these men that achieved what actually and practically worked. Edison didn’t invent the first light bulb, he invented the first practical light bulb that worked. Henry Ford didn’t invent the automobile, nor was he the first to use an assembly line. He was the first to put these two things together and the result was a revolutionized American industry. Louis Sullivan didn’t design the first tall building. He designed the first modern skyscraper to which all other skyscrapers would be modeled.
You can find Edison’s light bulb and Ford’s first Model T at the Smithsonian in Washington D.C.. But the only place you can see Louis Sullivan’s Wainwright Building is in downtown St. Louis at Seventh and Chestnut Streets. Although it seems quite simple today to look at a building and know what a tall building should look like, just remember, that was not always the case. There always had to be a first and St. Louis has it.

Planter’s Punch

Planters Punch 2Here’s an arguably St. Louis first. A fruity mellow rum cocktail called planter’s punch. Although today you may not be aware of this drink, it was popularized in the United States over a century ago. Like many cocktails of late it seems to be making a resurgence. So why does St. Louis claim this particular cocktail, you may ask?
It so happens that on the corner of Fourth and Chestnut a grand hotel called the Planter’s House Hotel once stood. During the 1800s anyone who was anyone stayed there. Such notables included Abraham Lincoln, Charles Dickens and Buffalo Bill. Inside the hotel was a popular watering hole where everyone met for drinks. Behind the bar stood a heavy set gentleman with a jolly disposition and a handle bar mustache who greeted each fellow with, “Hey gent, what’ll ya have?” His name was Jerry Thomas, the bartender at the Planter’s House Hotel. He wrote the book on serving cocktails, really! He wrote the first book ever on mixing drinks, The Bon-Vivant’s Companion. This is the same guide many bartender’s use today.
After tending bar at the Planter’s House for a few years, Thomas left St. Louis and tended bar in many of the major cities of the U.S. before returning to his native New York. Because of his outgoing personality, Mr. Thomas became extremely famous and his drinks were unmatched. Captains of Industry and celebrities alike referred to Mr. Thomas as “The Professor.” Although there is no direct evidence other than the 1933 edition of Bon Vivant’s Companion stating that planter’s punch was created here in St. Louis, it only stands to reason because it bears the name of the hotel of which he was employed. Although others lay claim to the drink, a plaque commemorating Mr. Thomas and his drink has been placed on a granite slab outside the Bank of America building where the hotel once stood.
The Planter’s House Bar located at 1000 Mississippi Avenue bears the same name of this historic hotel and serves many of the cocktails in Mr. Thomas’ book, including of course, you guessed it, planter’s punch. A soon to be revived St. Louis favorite, or so they hope, me too.

Chief Pontiac

Pontiac-chief-artist-impression-414pxDowntown St. Louis is currently undergoing major change with the construction of the CityArchRiver project. Included in the project are plans to demolish the Arch parking garage and relocate parking to other garages in the downtown area. Among those garages is the Stadium East Garage. That in and of itself is not interesting. What is interesting however is that beneath the Stadium East Garage is the burial site of Chief Pontiac. While most American’s are not familiar with the Chief, they may remember that an automobile was named after him and they would be right.
Chief Pontiac was an eighteenth century Osama Bin Laden. Pontiac was responsible for organizing Indian tribes from the Great Lakes to the lower Mississippi Valley. With the help of the French, these tribes were organized to fight the British army and push back British incursion into Indian lands. United, he was convinced tribal nations could limit further British expansion. That same territory would one day become the western United States and unfortunately for him, he failed. Not only did he fail, but shortly after signing a peace agreement with the British, a member of the Peoria tribe murdered him in Cahokia, IL. Pontiac was then buried in disgrace where the East Stadium Garage now stands.
So… when visitor’s park their car in the East Stadium Garage, they are parking on top of Pontiac’s grave, a disgraced Indian Chief who dedicated his life to limiting western expansion into tribal lands. Individuals parking there are there to commemorate that westward expansion, adding insult to injury to Chief Pontiac who fought against that very thing… and so it goes.

Henry Shaw and City Garden

Being “green” is nothing new to St. Louis. It all began in the mid 1800’s with an implement merchant by the name of Henry Shaw. Shaw made his fortune in St Louis as a young entrepreneur selling hardware to early pioneers who set out from St Louis to conquer the West. Having made his fortune, it was his desire to give back to the people of St Louis by creating an unrivaled world class Botanical Garden. Located at 4344 Shaw Boulevard, “The Garden”, as it is affectionately referred to by most St. Louisans is officially known as The Missouri Botanical Garden and is ranked by the Travel Channel as the best Botanical Garden in America. It features 34 unique gardens, the least of which include the English Woodland, Japanese and Victorian Gardens.
The influence of the Garden can be seen throughout St. Louis in its home and institutional landscapes. No better example of this is the popular City Garden at Eighth and Market in downtown St. Louis. The Missouri Botanical Garden assisted in designing, creating and implementing this urban oasis. It is a joy to the senses alive with native flowers, refreshing fountains and creative outdoor works of art.
Mr. Shaw may not have understood today’s idea of what being “green” is, but he certainly was among the first in St. Louis to understand the importance of a “green” community. He felt urban dwellers needed a refuge from the City and an escape to Mother Nature. Locals and tourist alike can sample a little of that here at the City Garden just a few blocks west of the Gateway Arch. You won’t be disappointed.

City Park

 

Liberty Bell on Gateway Arch grounds

St. Loios ArchAsk most people and they will tell you that you will find the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia and that is true. But were you aware that you could also find it in St. Louis? You can! But not for much longer. Eero Sarrinen, the designer of the Gateway Arch, hid the Liberty Bell in his original design. Although most St. Louisans are unaware, you can still find it there today. The Arch ground renovations however are now underway and will permanently alter that design. So you will need to hurry if you would like to take one last look before it’s gone. What you’ll need to do is go down and take the tram to the top. Once there, find an open window facing the City. Look directly down and you will see sidewalks leading to the present day entrance’s on both the North and South legs. Did you notice the shape of the sidewalks outline the shape of a bell? Eero said that bell outline represented the Liberty Bell. Still, don’t see it? Look to the crest of the hill closest to the City. At that crest the sidewalk suddenly ends for no apparent reason. From the ground it looks like a mistake, but from the top of the Arch you can see that it is the yoke of the bell. Have fun. Take a look for yourself. But hurry, it won’t be there much longer. After it disappears you will have to rely on imagination.

 

 

 

BEST DESIGN-RICH PARIS HOTELS

They are like fraternal twins with features in common, but totally different looks.
As to similarities, both hotels sit in the spiffy Eighth Arrondissement of Paris, a short stroll to the Champs Elysées. Both are relatively new or newly recreated and boast five star designations. Both offer comfortable, luxurious stays at rates less than “palace” hotels and both wear divine, design-rich decor.
That said, each hotel sports a unique personality.
One is large and multi-purposed; the other small and intimate. One reflects the glamour and sophistication of 1930s Paris; the other couldn’t be more 21st century, au courant contemporary.

First let’s talk about

L’HÔTEL DU COLLECTIONNEUR  

L'Hôtel du Collectionneur

Located at 51-57 rue de Courcelles, the seven story L’Hôtel Du Collectionneur contains 478 rooms and suites; a full service spa; an elegant restaurant; a chic bar; a large central garden; a slew of meeting rooms and event venues; and an “executive lounge,” available to those staying in certain rooms and suites.

Lobby

Lobby

 

Stairway at Hôtel du Collectionneur by Susan Manlin Katzman

Stairway to Lobby

 

Garden

Garden

 

Restaurant Le Safran

Restaurant Le Safran

 

Purple Bar

Purple Bar

Built in 2004, the hotel operated under the Hilton banner as the Hilton Arc de Triomphe until the owner, Albert Cohen, reclaimed the property in 2012. One might think that the Hilton image and prior business focus would linger, but au contraire, Cohen swept away all remnants of the chain and polished the property to a brilliance. Today, the hotel is a member of the prestigious Preferred Hotels & Resorts brand, which represents distinctive properties around the world, and it’s glamour is reflected in two intertwining themes of the 1930s: transatlantic liners and Art Deco. 
One sees the ocean liner motif represented in architectural details throughout the hotel.
As to Art Deco, it shows up everywhere—even in the hotel’s new name.
(The original Hôtel d’un Collectionneur refers to a pavilion built for the Paris Exhibition of 1925 to showcase new art labeled “Art Deco.”)
The hotel’s decorators filled both guest rooms and public spaces with Art Deco objects and artifacts, some original, others reproduced. Of special interest are custom-made items that designers created for the hotel using contemporary materials and authentic designs.

Hall And Art Hanging in Hall

Hallway to Guest Rooms

Hall and art that hangs in hall.

Decor details

Decor Details

L’Hôtel Du Collectionneur appeals to a wide variety of travelers for a ton of different reasons.
Groups like the lovely lobby, accommodating staff, well-appointed rooms and bountiful buffet breakfast.

Comfortable Rooms

Comfortable Rooms

 

Lobby Flowers

Lobby Flowers

Business people like the free Wi-Fi, the business facilities, the knowledgeable and accommodating concierge. Families like the the connecting rooms as well as the kid-friendly promotions and programs. And sophisticated leisure travellers like the Deco decor; the great bouquets of flowers filling lobbies; the room amenities; the user-friendly bathrooms; the breakfast, snack and cocktail service in the executive lounge;….well…let’s cut to the chase…most guests like everything.

 Three words to describe the vibe of L’Hôtel Du Collectionneur: graceful, artistic, multidimensional.

HOTEL VERNET

 Hôtel Vernet

Hôtel Vernet

One certainly can’t tell from looking at Hôtel Vernet from the street that inside would yield such light,bright contemporary pizzaz. It’s only after walking through the glass doors at 25 rue Vernet, and standing for a moment in the lobby, for the juxtaposition of old and new to reveal its magic. 
Built in 1913, the structure functioned as a traditional hotel until Besse Signature Group (a family-owned French company specializing in design hotels) bought the property in 2013. The savvy new owners hired famed interior designer François Champsaur to reinvent the space and the result is striking.
Elements of the original structure remain intact. Marble floors and lobby colonnades, high ceilings, a majestic skylight designed by Gustave Eiffel and stained-glass windows in a curving stairwell provide an elegant frame for the new decor.

 

Gustave Eiffel's Glass Dome

Gustave Eiffel’s Glass Dome

With 50 rooms and suites and public space limited to a discreet reception area, several salons plus a bar and restaurant, the property retains an intimate air. Staying at the hotel feels like staying in the private home of a wealthy grande dame who let her hipster, art-loving grandchild move in and take over.

Reception

Reception

 

Salon

Salon

Contemporary art fills the hotel, showing up here, there, everywhere—in carpets and ceiling frescos—in framed prints hanging on mirrors and walls—in pleated copper screens and inventive lighting fixtures.

Hall

Hall

 

Ceiling Fresco

Ceiling Fresco

 

The undulating bar seems sculpted from a slab of marble.

Bar

Bar

Blue and green dining banquettes circle the hotel’s restaurant, drawing guests into sacred space of color underneath Eiffel’s stained-glass dome.

The V Restaurant

The V Restaurant

Oak dominates guest rooms. Massive oak doors provide entrance, divide room space and close closets. Oak panels cover walls and stand in as bed headboards. The oak, combined with shades of grey carpeting and white linens, table tops and wall inserts, provide a restful pallet accented with splashes of stimulating color in woolen throws and decorative pillows. 

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bedroom

Bathrooms of wood and Carrere marble maintain the clean-line luxury theme.

Bathroom

Bathroom

And in keeping with the five-star designation, Hotel Vernet’s guest rooms sport the latest technology, e.g., state-of-the-art flat screen T.V.s, coffee makers and dramatic futuristic brass bed lamps.

Decor Details

Decor Details

The haute modern Vernet attracts such guests as interior designers, fashionistas, hipsters and sophisticates.   Three words to describe the vibe: trendy, hot, urbane.

 

 

 

RED STAR LINE MUSEUM, ANTWERP, BELGIUM

Poster from the Red Star Line MuseumWhat do Albert Einstein, Vito Corleone, Irving Berlin, Golda Meir and U.S Navy Rear Admiral Hyman Rickover have in common?

All immigrated to America on the Red Star Line, an ocean-crossing passenger line transporting some 2.5 million European emigrants to New York and Philadelphia between 1873 and 1934. 

How do I know this?

I visited the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium, and so should anyone in the vicinity, as the museum is not only informative, but also interesting and important to understanding the world as it is today.

Exterior or the Red Star Line Museum

Officials call the facility a “European migration museum,” and displays do feature human migration in general, but the museum’s scope is larger, focusing on the history of the shipping company (an ancestor of today’s cruise ships), and emphasizing the emigrant experience.

Although first class first-class travel receives mention, steerage takes center stage, as the museum occupies the space of the shipping company’s original departure warehouses for third-class passengers and exhibits follow the footsteps of the huddled masses yearning to breath free from troubled Europe to the door of America.

Photo of Emigrants on Display at the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium

 

Through photos, memorabilia, testimonies, maps, and a variety of interactive displays, visitors learn that many of the passengers, seeking relief from poverty, prejudice and persecution, came from Russia, Eastern Europe and the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Antwerp Central train station built between 1895 and 1905.

Antwerp Central train station, built between 1895 and 1905, was first stop for many Red Star Line passengers.

 That they purchased tickets (which is said to have cost the amount a laborer earned working 75 days—or the equivalent of $1,300 in today’s money) at agencies located in various parts of Europe, buying a “packaged deal,” that included a train trip to Antwerp and a modest hotel.

 

 

Once at the dock, third-class passengers left all of their belongings to be fumigated and sterilized, while they endured a rigorous cleansing program and meticulous medical exams that determined it they were fit for the journey.

Photo of Passengers at the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgiium
Ship models and model-cross sections shed light on of life aboard the vessels, which was luxurious in first class, but difficult for steerage, where passengers shared cramped, communal cabins for journeys that could last 10 or more days.

Ship model at the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium

 

 

Passenger photos at the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium
A walk through the museum helps us understand the melting pot of emotions that must have been shared by the travelers—fear, excitement, despair, hope, sadness and joy associated with spirits unshackled and sent soaring.

Irving Berlin's Piano on display at the Red Star Line Museum in Antwerp, Belgium

Irving Berlin’s piano sits in the room at the end of the historic displays symbolizing success of the emigrants.

Marketers are quick to claim there would be no “White Christmas” or “Easter Parade” without the shipping line. But the world would lack so much more—perhaps even you, as millions of Red Star Line passengers landed in America and planted the roots of family trees that populate our great country from sea to shining sea.

As to Vito Corleone, of course we know that he is fictional, however in the movie “Godfather Part II,” he wore a Red Star Line company identification badge upon arriving in New York, attesting to the importance of the line to the times.

From the Movie "Godfather Part II"

 

 

 

TOP FAVORITE

PLACES TO EAT IN:

Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

Ann Arbor, Michigan

 

Bangkok, Thailand

 

Cody, Wyoming

Cody It's Fun by Susan Manlin Katzman 

 

Denver, Colorado

 

Dijon, France

 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Fort Lauderdale at Night 

 

Little Rock, Arkansas

IMG_0004_4

 

Los Angeles, California

 

Milwaukee, Wisconsin

 

Nashville, Tennessee

 

New Orleans, Louisiana

New-Orleans by CHRIS GRANGER.

 

Rome, Italy

 

Seattle, Washington


Stuttgart, Germany

 

Tel Aviv, Israel

 

Tucson, Arizona

 

PLACES TO DRINK IN: 

Brussels

 

Paris

Paris at Sunset by Susan Manlin Katzman 

 

DESTINATIONS:

 Albuquerque, New Mexico

 

Apalachicola, Florida

 

Canal de Bourgogne, France

 

Door County, Wisconsin

 

Fiji

 

Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Florida Beach by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Hot Springs, Arkansas

Hot Springs National Park by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Moss Landing, California

Moss Landing Harbor by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Seattle, Washington

 

Taos, New Mexico

 

Tel Aviv, Israel

 

Turks and Caicos

 

PLACES TO STAY:

Adler Thermae Spa Resort, Tuscany, Italy

Adler Thermae Spa Resort

 

Arlington Resort Hotel,  Hot Springs, Arkansas

The Arlington Resort Hotel & Spa by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Ashford Castle, Cong, County Mayo, Ireland

Ashford Castle

 

Atlantic Hotel & Spa, Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Exterior of The Atlantic Hotel & Spa in Fort Lauderdale

 

Capital Hotel, Little Rock, Arkansas

Exterior of The Capital Hotel by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Captain’s Inn, Moss Landing, California

The Captain's Inn in Moss Landing California

 

Château De Cîteaux La Cueillette, Meursault, France

Château De Cîteaux La Cueillette

 

Coombs House Inn, Apalachicola, Florida

Coombs House Inn

 

Grand Velas Riviera Maya, Mexico

Grand Velas

 

Lake Yellowstone Hotel, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Facade of Lake Yellowstone Hotel by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

Mandarin Oriential Paris, France

IMG_0084

 

Rosewood Little Dix Bay, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Serving Beach Drinks at Little Dix Bay

 

Saxon Hotel, Johannesburg, South Africa

Saxon Hotel

 

Tongabezi, Zambia, Africa

Tongabezi 

 

Wald & Schlosshotel Friedrichruhe, Germany

Wald & Schlosshotel Friedrichsruhe

 

TRAVEL COMPANIES and

GREAT PRODUCTS:

Rail Europe

RailEurope Train by Susan Manlin Katzman

 

La Fresh Travel Products

IMG_0002

 

St. Louis Walking Tour

STL Lost & Found

 

 

 

Copyright 2009-2013 by Susan Manlin Katzman. Author retains all electronic and publishing rights, except where express given permission has been granted. For information about utilizing any material from SweetLeisure.com please contact Susan Manlin Katzman through the contact page listed above.