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Latest from Helen Anders

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A Scottish sampler
 It’s all uphill from here. Literally and steeply. Everywhere I look in this city founded in the 12th century on the slopes of a dormant volcano, sharply graded cobblestone streets wind. Now and then, alleyways pop up, leading to immense, calf-shattering staircases. These alleys are called closes, and what they are is shortcuts. While...

Posted: 23 days ago

It’s all uphill from here. Literally and steeply. Everywhere I look in this city founded in the 12th century on the slopes of a dormant volcano, sharply graded cobblestone streets wind. Now and then, alleyways pop up, leading to immense, calf-shattering staircases. These alleys are called closes, and what they are is shortcuts. While...
Austin haunts: Old buildings along Congress Avenue invite ghost stories 
 This article was originally published Oct. 28, 2007. Shirley MacLaine gasped earlier this month when she took her first step inside Austin's Paramount Theatre, where she would be appearing that night.  "Oh, my, what a lovely theater. It has such great energy, " she told executive director Ken Stein. "You have ghosts, don't...

Posted: 28 days ago

This article was originally published Oct. 28, 2007. Shirley MacLaine gasped earlier this month when she took her first step inside Austin's Paramount Theatre, where she would be appearing that night.  "Oh, my, what a lovely theater. It has such great energy, " she told executive director Ken Stein. "You have ghosts, don't...
Love festivals? Consider Alabama
 A merry few thousand of us at last fall’s Oyster Cook Off and Craft Beer Weekend were, appropriately enough, drinking beer and eating oysters. Nobody got unruly, music emanated from a stage, and the sun was shining in a harmless, 80-degree way. As an Austinite from the land of festivals, I was pleased to find here, on the white-sand...

Posted: 30 days ago

A merry few thousand of us at last fall’s Oyster Cook Off and Craft Beer Weekend were, appropriately enough, drinking beer and eating oysters. Nobody got unruly, music emanated from a stage, and the sun was shining in a harmless, 80-degree way. As an Austinite from the land of festivals, I was pleased to find here, on the white-sand...
The mysteries of London
 Don’t you just love a good murder? Fictional, I mean. Curling up with a whodunit is one of my simple pleasures, and I’m fascinated by the people who make their living writing mysteries. I was fortunate to have interviewed P.D James back in the late ’70s, and I’ll always remember the way other diners leaned in when...

5:00 AM Saturday, Sep. 23, 2017

Don’t you just love a good murder? Fictional, I mean. Curling up with a whodunit is one of my simple pleasures, and I’m fascinated by the people who make their living writing mysteries. I was fortunate to have interviewed P.D James back in the late ’70s, and I’ll always remember the way other diners leaned in when...
waff
File photo. Helen Anders/AMERICAN-STATESMAN

1:37 PM Monday, Sep. 11, 2017

File photo. Helen Anders/AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Getting to the art of the matter
 The view from my hotel window shows the reason I’ve come to this city: the Denver Art Museum’s two buildings, one a modern hodgepodge of jutting roof angles and, across the street, the original building that, to me, has always looked as though the Wicked Witch of the West should be circling it on a broom. That’s appropriate...

5:00 AM Thursday, Sep. 07, 2017

The view from my hotel window shows the reason I’ve come to this city: the Denver Art Museum’s two buildings, one a modern hodgepodge of jutting roof angles and, across the street, the original building that, to me, has always looked as though the Wicked Witch of the West should be circling it on a broom. That’s appropriate...
Uncovering the simple charms of Cajun country
 People come to this part of Louisiana to see alligators, but it’s the heart of the Cajun people that keeps them coming back. Steeped in the swamps and marshland, this culture takes nothing for granted and everything as a blessing. Here in Terrebone Parish, about 65 percent water or wetlands, locals build houseboats by hand and revel...

5:00 AM Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017

People come to this part of Louisiana to see alligators, but it’s the heart of the Cajun people that keeps them coming back. Steeped in the swamps and marshland, this culture takes nothing for granted and everything as a blessing. Here in Terrebone Parish, about 65 percent water or wetlands, locals build houseboats by hand and revel...
texas
File photo of a waffle in the shape of Tennessee. I mean Texas.
 (Helen Anders/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

1:17 PM Tuesday, Aug. 08, 2017

File photo of a waffle in the shape of Tennessee. I mean Texas. (Helen Anders/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
An Oregon sampler
 It’s hard to decide which Oregon to explore. Do we gape at the Columbia Gorge waterfalls? Scarf seafood overlooking the rocky coast? Devour a serving of Shakespeare in a small town? Plunge inland through deep forests to Crater Lake? Or revel in Portland’s food scene? All. We want it all. We’re off in a rental car for a two-week...

6:27 PM Wednesday, Jul. 19, 2017

It’s hard to decide which Oregon to explore. Do we gape at the Columbia Gorge waterfalls? Scarf seafood overlooking the rocky coast? Devour a serving of Shakespeare in a small town? Plunge inland through deep forests to Crater Lake? Or revel in Portland’s food scene? All. We want it all. We’re off in a rental car for a two-week...
texas
(Helen Anders/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

3:52 PM Friday, Jul. 14, 2017

(Helen Anders/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
Getting cheesy in Wisconsin
 Here in Northeast Wisconsin, fried cheese curds are on virtually every restaurant menu, and grilled cheese sandwiches are on most. Cheese tops not just pizza and burgers, but also soups, salads and hash browns. So I supposed it shouldn’t have surprised me that the bloody Mary at Kitty O’Reillys Irish Pub in Sturgeon Bay arrives...

3:05 PM Friday, Jul. 07, 2017

Here in Northeast Wisconsin, fried cheese curds are on virtually every restaurant menu, and grilled cheese sandwiches are on most. Cheese tops not just pizza and burgers, but also soups, salads and hash browns. So I supposed it shouldn’t have surprised me that the bloody Mary at Kitty O’Reillys Irish Pub in Sturgeon Bay arrives...
What’s new in the Dallas hotel scene
 Here we go again, bobbing and weaving our way up Interstate 35, trying to see how close we can come to making it to Big D in three hours despite eternal construction and people banging into each other’s cars. The good news is that when we get there, there’ll be plenty of hotel rooms to choose from. The crane-filled Dallas skyline...

5:00 AM Saturday, Jul. 01, 2017

Here we go again, bobbing and weaving our way up Interstate 35, trying to see how close we can come to making it to Big D in three hours despite eternal construction and people banging into each other’s cars. The good news is that when we get there, there’ll be plenty of hotel rooms to choose from. The crane-filled Dallas skyline...
ARCHIVE: Where is Rachel Cooke?
 Tuesday will mark the 10th year since 19-year-old Rachel Cooke went for a run near her Georgetown home and never returned. Her parents' hearts still pound when the phone rings. When their daughter, who ran cross country and hoped to someday start her own fashion line, first disappeared, that ringing phone kindled hope. Now, it provokes dread...

2:57 PM Friday, Jun. 09, 2017

Tuesday will mark the 10th year since 19-year-old Rachel Cooke went for a run near her Georgetown home and never returned. Her parents' hearts still pound when the phone rings. When their daughter, who ran cross country and hoped to someday start her own fashion line, first disappeared, that ringing phone kindled hope. Now, it provokes dread...
A stroll through Savannah
 Savannah is about strolling. Meander down brick sidewalks and admire the magnolias and azaleas, the moss-draped oaks, the 19th century homes, the elegant churches of every denomination, the 22 lushly landscaped squares that interrupt its streets in a carefully plotted design. Don’t walk too fast. You might miss the cast-iron fish-shaped...

9:40 PM Wednesday, May. 24, 2017

Savannah is about strolling. Meander down brick sidewalks and admire the magnolias and azaleas, the moss-draped oaks, the 19th century homes, the elegant churches of every denomination, the 22 lushly landscaped squares that interrupt its streets in a carefully plotted design. Don’t walk too fast. You might miss the cast-iron fish-shaped...
An unlikely partnership in Lake Charles
 L’Auberge set the bar high when it opened here in 2005 as the area’s first luxury casino resort, complete with golf and a big pool complex. When the Golden Nugget plopped down just 1,000 feet away in 2014 with similar amenities, L’Auberge could have given it the cold shoulder and tried to pry guests’ eyes from the...

5:00 AM Saturday, May. 20, 2017

L’Auberge set the bar high when it opened here in 2005 as the area’s first luxury casino resort, complete with golf and a big pool complex. When the Golden Nugget plopped down just 1,000 feet away in 2014 with similar amenities, L’Auberge could have given it the cold shoulder and tried to pry guests’ eyes from the...
Hit the beach in South Padre Island
 Runners drop the day’s first footprints as an orange-streaked sky throws sparks across the Gulf of Mexico at sunrise. In the evening, friends sip cocktails and watch the sun set over the bay on the west side. In the intervening hours, an expansive beach entices visitors with rich, beige sand perfect for forming sandcastles, and waves...

9:13 PM Friday, May. 12, 2017

Runners drop the day’s first footprints as an orange-streaked sky throws sparks across the Gulf of Mexico at sunrise. In the evening, friends sip cocktails and watch the sun set over the bay on the west side. In the intervening hours, an expansive beach entices visitors with rich, beige sand perfect for forming sandcastles, and waves...
A good case of the blues
 At its ugliest, the Blue Ridge Parkway is spectacular. And in late March, we were seeing it at its ugliest: trees starkly leafless, their green finery stolen by a hard freeze after an early arrival of springlike weather in February. Rhododendron, robbed of their lush pink and purple blooms, appeared exhausted, their leaves drooping in resignation...

4:00 AM Saturday, Apr. 22, 2017

At its ugliest, the Blue Ridge Parkway is spectacular. And in late March, we were seeing it at its ugliest: trees starkly leafless, their green finery stolen by a hard freeze after an early arrival of springlike weather in February. Rhododendron, robbed of their lush pink and purple blooms, appeared exhausted, their leaves drooping in resignation...
An Asian immersion in Sin City
 I have played pai gow, and I have emerged victorious. It seems the Lucky Dragon, the newest from-the-ground-up hotel in Las Vegas, lives up to its name — or did for one particular weekend, anyway. Lucky Dragon, which opened in December on Sahara Boulevard, near Stratosphere and Circus Circus, is China-centric and aims to lure Asian...

4:00 AM Saturday, Apr. 08, 2017

I have played pai gow, and I have emerged victorious. It seems the Lucky Dragon, the newest from-the-ground-up hotel in Las Vegas, lives up to its name — or did for one particular weekend, anyway. Lucky Dragon, which opened in December on Sahara Boulevard, near Stratosphere and Circus Circus, is China-centric and aims to lure Asian...
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