Perfect Gift: Italy All Year

Nine trips to Italy and I’ve just planned the next one.  This year I spent New Year’s Eve in Venice, my birthday in Tuscany (below), and Easter in Rome, but I’m asking Santa for an extended holiday in the land I love. Thanks to Chef Paulette‘s just-released book,  Italian Cooking Party, this tour will last for…

Jazzed about Josephine and Riad Star

Play Me When people ask How? Why? I moved to Morocco sight unseen, I think to myself, I didn’t.  Though I’d never been to Africa, my soul brimmed with vivid images from exotic Arabian tales my grandmother read to me from my dad’s childhood book. I was lured by sultry desert tents, regal riads, and secret gardens where princes…

Roaming Romantic Rome

There’s a power struggle going on across Europe these days. A few cities are competing against each other to see who shall emerge as the great 21st century European metropolis. Will it be London? Paris? Berlin? Zurich? Maybe Brussels, center of the young union? They all strive to outdo one another culturally, architecturally, politically, fiscally….

Gallery in the Sky: MB6 Street Art

Some use walls to keep people out. Others use them to invite people in.   “Inclusion rather than exclusion is the driving force behind the festival,” says MB6: Street Art Curator Vestalia Chilton of ATTOLLO.  Responsible for a myriad of murals in the medina created for the Marrakesh Biennale Edition 6, Chilton said the global collaboration began…

Dream Riad in Marrakech for Weddings, Writing, Wellness

Making a grand entrance must have originated in Marrakech. Crossing that first threshold from the manic Medina into a roofless riad respite– blue skies or stars above—is a moment no one ever forgets. I am still thrilled every time I follow surreptitious streets snaking through the medieval city… duck archways and dodge motorbikes, donkey carts,…

Painting Party at Project SOAR

Surrounded by olive trees, lavender bushes, and mustard-colored blooms, we painted, stretched like yogis across the tent panels of the Project SOAR art area. Too cold to fan their plumes, the namesakes of Peacock Pavilions perched, watching us work to Dave Matthews with a rooster crowing as backup.  Maggie requested a Lionel Ritchie encore. Maggie O’Neill,…

Saturday American Artists To SOAR

I can hardly wait for Saturday to return to Project SOAR, this time to paint alongside master American artists like Maggie O’Neill of Swatchroom. She and other creatives are flying in to decorate welcoming spaces at Peacock Pavilions and the non-profit’s new Dourar Ladaam village center.  There girls and their moms will take classes in health,…

Summer Art and Play Dates

Like freebirds we picked up bright and shining things along the way…good conversation, laughs, leisure. We met artists who reminded us we are all made in the image of the Great Creator. By honoring their inner children with their work, they invited ours to join and play.

I Am Love…a Two-Sided Tale

The movie was eleven years in-the-making. It raises questions that have plagued us for centuries. As the intensity crescendos toward the climax and the resolution resonates with the deafening score, we’re moved to look at our lives to be sure we’re not one of Thoreau’s “mass of men (and women)who live quiet lives of desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”

What I Learned On My Summer Vacation

I’ve been in school since I was five. And though in two short weeks I’ll begin my 30th year of teaching, I’m still thrilled to be as much a student as when I walked into Mrs. Monday’s Head Start Class–minus the dog ears and knee socks. As I tell my kids, the purpose of education…

Staycation #12: The Beauty of Belcourt

It’s cool to be one of the Village People…sans YMCA hand motions. Whether you’re high art, low brow, or slapstick… Steve Martin, Prince or Igor Stravinsky, Belcourt Theatre, Nashville’s most majestic and eclectic art house, has patrons still huddling round the hub of its culture and history. Dating back to silent films in the 20s…