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  noun 1. The act of immersing oneself in other cultures without crossing national borders. 2. Local cultural diversification. 3. Traveling on a budget. 4. A website that will allow you to accomplish all the above from the very seat in which you sit.


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Marrakech: Riad Dar Vedra

posted by Jamila

Sometimes when I am sad or lonely, I take myself to a cool Riad courtyard.

Or the rooftop, where a dozen white lounge chairs beg, "lay out on me and sun".

Lofty sunning can become dangerous; it's important to stay hydrated and energized... this rooftop kitchen knows just the trick.

A perfect white couch. Nap?

Classical pillars support the structure, moist roses at the pinnacle.

While diners convene for supper, I might just retire to bed... after I spy them from across the courtyard in my coveted curtained room.

Riad Dar Vedra
3, derb Sidi Ahmed ou Moussa
40000 Marrakech Médina
Royaume du Maroc
(0) 24 38 93 70

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Marrakech: Riad Les Jardins de Mouassine

posted by Jamila

About two years ago, I landed in Casablanca. I checked into a hotel to sleep the night before getting on a train for my destination of Marrakech. A cheap hotel. A musty smelling room. A rather unpleasant introduction to Morocco.

But then the train ride. An escape. An inspiring landscape. A short cab ride, followed by a sad lack of dirhams and an apologetic payment in euros. Confusion in the medina (Marrakech's old medieval city, full of intricate passageways). A young man, lowering off a donkey, led the way.

To Riad Les Jardins do Mouassine.

A beautiful view, the riad roof against a bright African sky.

Taking particular pleasure in the bathroom as usual, (with a dash of narcissism):

I was slightly mystified by the bathroom's architecture, shower imitating lantern.

Where are "les jardins", you ask? Why, in the courtyard, of course.

Riad Les Jardins de Moussaine
20, derb Chorfa el Kebir
Marrakech Médina
00 212 72 58 10 78

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India: Manjula's Kitchen

Learning a new recipe is just not the same if you have to read it in a book by yourself. The modern West has fewer and fewer mothers and other relatives who are both knowledgeable and willing to teach us their special secrets of the kitchen. And so there is the Food Network - smiling faces, sparkling HD footage and access to written versions of the recipes with a few easy clicks online. But then the options are limited. Can't we learn more than Southern, American, Italian, and mildly French cuisine? With visual instructions, please?

Thanks to Manjula: we can! Indian delights made easy. Watch her YouTube videos, or visit her decked out website for a well organized collection of recipes. Pakora, puri, masala, paneer, cilantro chutney... the works. You can also read her blog and learn more about her (we just learned Manjula's second favorite cuisine is Italian).

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NYC: this gridded life

Measuring words between parked car spaces spanning meaning and judging potential. If this is progress, it's a slow and deceptive kind. Following the crowd that shifts between each light that monitors this gridded life.

[image © NYTimes.com via Geometries | The Manhattan Grid]

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