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Latest from Helen Anders

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Back to the bay
 From my hotel balcony, I watched in flummoxed fascination as huge flocks of birds — primarily gulls and pelicans, thousands of them — swirled over this crescent-shaped Pacific bay, landing on the water to create a floating, screeching, Hitchcock-esque bird island at sunset. I would later learn that when the water warms in this...

Posted: 21 days ago

From my hotel balcony, I watched in flummoxed fascination as huge flocks of birds — primarily gulls and pelicans, thousands of them — swirled over this crescent-shaped Pacific bay, landing on the water to create a floating, screeching, Hitchcock-esque bird island at sunset. I would later learn that when the water warms in this...
Big fun in the Big Easy
 The good times have been rolling here for 300 years, and the 2018 Tricentennial presents a perfectly good excuse for a visit to the Crescent City. As if you needed one, or as if New Orleans needed another reason for a party. But inasmuch as we’re all in a festive mood again, why not celebrate the mushrooming downtown New Orleans core...

6:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 23, 2017

The good times have been rolling here for 300 years, and the 2018 Tricentennial presents a perfectly good excuse for a visit to the Crescent City. As if you needed one, or as if New Orleans needed another reason for a party. But inasmuch as we’re all in a festive mood again, why not celebrate the mushrooming downtown New Orleans core...
Escape to the burbs
 Hey. Let’s spend the weekend in the burbs. Hear me out. There is fun to be had and great food to be eaten in Frisco and Plano, the suburbs north of Dallas where the population is blowing up faster than a marshmallow in a microwave. It’s easy to put together a kid-pleasing trip or and adult shop-and-dine-a-thon. Let’s start...

6:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 09, 2017

Hey. Let’s spend the weekend in the burbs. Hear me out. There is fun to be had and great food to be eaten in Frisco and Plano, the suburbs north of Dallas where the population is blowing up faster than a marshmallow in a microwave. It’s easy to put together a kid-pleasing trip or and adult shop-and-dine-a-thon. Let’s start...
tump
(Helen Anders/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)

2:44 PM Wednesday, Dec. 06, 2017

(Helen Anders/AMERICAN-STATESMAN)
The lights, sights and sounds of Maine
 Weathered old salts in knit caps stride amid tourists peering into red-brick colonial buildings in this working harbor off Penobscot Bay. Just a stone’s throw south of highly manicured Camden, Rockland is more low-key and casual. At first glance, you wouldn’t think of this as the Arts Capital of Maine, but it earns the title it...

6:00 AM Saturday, Dec. 02, 2017

Weathered old salts in knit caps stride amid tourists peering into red-brick colonial buildings in this working harbor off Penobscot Bay. Just a stone’s throw south of highly manicured Camden, Rockland is more low-key and casual. At first glance, you wouldn’t think of this as the Arts Capital of Maine, but it earns the title it...
Learning to keep calm and carry on with Transcendental Meditation
 In late 2016, I had an inkling that 2017 would be annoying. I had no idea. But, in anticipation of what lay ahead, I pondered the options that might keep me from starting each day screaming, “Noooooooo!” and ducking back under the blankets. Constant Xanax, vats of alcohol, moving to Newfoundland … each had too many drawbacks...

6:00 AM Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2017

In late 2016, I had an inkling that 2017 would be annoying. I had no idea. But, in anticipation of what lay ahead, I pondered the options that might keep me from starting each day screaming, “Noooooooo!” and ducking back under the blankets. Constant Xanax, vats of alcohol, moving to Newfoundland … each had too many drawbacks...
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...

5:00 AM Saturday, Oct. 28, 2017

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...

7:57 PM Monday, Oct. 23, 2017

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...

5:00 AM Saturday, Oct. 21, 2017

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...
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