Songs about Canada—that is, specific places on the Canadian map—are relatively rare. There have been some over the years, but compared to the USA, north of the 49th tends to get short shrift from the recording industry.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Revisiting a memorable trip to Japan, where a cherry-blossom party runs wild and romance cuts short.

Barry Avrich starts each day like famed choreographer Bob Fosse. He looks into the bathroom mirror and says, “It’s showtime!”

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Nature’s Path is North America’s largest family-owned organic, non-GMO cereal brand, led by its impassioned founders Ratana and Arran Stephens.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: Just hours after arriving in Rome I am already perched at my favorite haunt, Caffe Sant Eustacchio. Located beside the church of the same name, the café serves a special variation on espresso called a Gran Caffe, and it’s worth the extra money they ask. From my table I watch two phantoms trotting casually across the square, looking just as they did in the flesh two years before.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: From the next Harry Potter installment to next year’s Oscar hopefuls, it’s all crammed into the holiday season like a big buffet of turkey and fixings. After that, nothing but leftovers.

Bjarke Ingels, with his reputation for challenging the traditional conventions of architecture, is set to make his mark on Canadian soil.

FROM THE ARCHIVE: One day I was grocery shopping with a friend when I picked up a bottle of corn syrup. “Don’t buy that!” she said. “It’s poison!” I know my friend meant well. She was attempting to save me from one of society’s greatest evils, a scourge apparently unmatched since the advent of the smallpox vaccine—high-fructose corn syrup.

I am in the Florida Keys. I am driving a Cadillac equipped with a state-of-the-art navigation system. But there is really only one place to go: the Overseas Highway, running over a long causeway from Key West all the way to the mainland, with the waves of the Atlantic lapping on my right and the warm Gulf of Mexico to my left. My challenge: Can I still manage to get lost?

Christy Clark is on the run. Chased by TV cameras that catch only her retreating back, the British Columbia premier is making her escape through the kitchen of the Hyatt Regency Vancouver while reporters bounce futile questions off her phalanx of handlers, questions about a new poll with some bad numbers. Not for the first or last time, a Canadian politician is running from Angus Reid.

My first visit to San Gimignano does not begin well. A wrong turn in a rental car and suddenly I am driving down narrow stone streets devoid of vehicles. Not cool.

Like most of the world, Canada uses the metric system of measurement. But our closest international partners, the United States and, to a degree, Great Britain, use the old imperial system of feet, yards, pounds, etc. It can lead to confusion. Luckily, there is one system of measurement common to all. Wherever cable, satellite, radio, or wireless signals can reach, everyone recognizes the football field system.

Lately I’ve been listening to “Virginia Plain”, the great 1972 debut single by Roxy Music. “But wait,” Bryan Ferry sings just before the song’s abrupt ending, “can’t you see that horse so lame? What’s her name? Virginia Plain.” It’s a good name for a racehorse. Ferry must have bet money on it, and then down the stretch it came up lame. A sad and poignant ending to a song about living that jet-set life. Except I got it wrong, apparently.

The crowd filing out of Jeremy Gutsche’s lecture do not look hip. Well-dressed and presentable, but not hip. That’s to be expected. The avatar of cool-hunting, the man who created the phenomenally successful website Trend Hunter ( is not here to make you cool. He’s here to make you money.

If you were to identify one significant difference between home life and travel life, it might be friends. Most of us travel to visit museums, temples, and monuments; when we’re at home, we visit friends.

As a venture capitalist, private equity investor, and TV personality, Kevin O’Leary is callous, strategic, and opinionated. For this efficacious businessman, ROI is his only measuring stick.

At one end of the sprawling temple complex known as Kathmandu Durbar Square there’s an open plaza where merchants spread their handicrafts on the ground. Just before you make it past the last beckoning call, you will pass a final blanket. It belongs to the Rai family.

Some weeks before the opening of the new Fairmont Pacific Rim, two people happened to be standing on the sidewalk, looking up at the façade. Wrapped around a corner of the downtown Vancouver skyscraper are letters forming a long sentence that’s repeated on floors five to 22 of the 48-storey structure: “lying on top of a building the clouds looked no nearer than when i was lying on the street.”

Who goes to heaven? Will Freckles the spaniel get in? How about the Goldies, our six consecutive dead goldfish? If flies get in, will it still be heaven? Where does God draw the line?

Someone must love Christmas cake, or they wouldn’t keep making the stuff. Not me—I have always considered it glorified building material. But I do love Siena.

Bhutan is not a casual drop-in kind of country. Located east of the Himalayas, it is bordered by Tibet to the north, and separated from Nepal by India’s Sikkim province. Bhutan recently made news with its voluntary segue from absolute to constitutional monarchy. It is also famous for creating the concept of “Gross National Happiness”.