Oklahoma Secret: Boley Rodeo


I grew up in Oklahoma and never heard of Boley, or 40 other “black towns’ that were formed in the early 1900s by African Americans looking for the “promised land.” Boley, 53 miles southwest of Tulsa, is one of a couple that are still there, and has — for decades — hosted a wonderful three-day Memorial Day Weekend event, Boley’s “black rodeo.” No one … Read on

How to end “table-butting” for good


A VIRTUAL PANEL to discuss people who take cafe tables before ordering Adults can be such children. If you don’t believe me, watch them. Go to a cafe in a busy city like New York — the Starbucks at the northwest corner of Union Square will do. There is always a line there, and few if any empty seats at communal or private … Read on

Travel Channel: Jamaica Bared

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Hey, this happened! Months ago I recorded a segment for “Jamaica Bared” that’s been popping up on Travel Channel lately. Here’s a link to my snippet where I get to liken the touristy Martha Brae River — which I rafted once on a memorable trip at 15 — to Venice, but “without the canals… or the Venetians.” Glad the key detail made the … Read on

How to use a guidebook


Meet travel’s new MVP (same as the old one) While working for Lonely Planet for nearly 15 years, I researched guidebooks in Siberia and Transylvania, trained at Mountie boot camp in Saskatchewan, and even shook hands with Al Roker. But the most eye-opening thing I learned along the way was this simple fact about Americans: ALMOST NO ONE KNOWS WHAT A “GUIDEBOOK” IS … Read on