Exploring Greenwich Village

(published in Travel and Leisure) As dusk falls over Greenwich Village, I’m at Minetta Tavern, sipping a martini with friends who last drank here 61 years ago. “It’s like night and day,” says Lynn Reiser, a handsome painter, as she assesses the old bar where Wall Street guys now order rye whiskey at 35 bucks a shot. “It’s the people. We were all artists then.” Reiser arrived in the Village in the 1940’s, when young artists and writers started coming for the camaraderie, conversation, …[Read more]

Exploring Trieste

It’s lunchtime in Trieste, the handsome Italian city on the Adriatic, and at Buffet Da Pepi, a genial crowd surges forward toward the serving station, lured by fresh pork simmering in fragrant broth. The steam rises. The three guys serving up the food resemble old-time countermen at a New York deli or maybe Tom Cruise as the bartender in Cocktail. The art is in the speed, the deft theatrical wielding of carving fork and knife as they haul the meat onto a marble slab, carve off slices of fresh pork, …[Read more]

Spoilt for choice

Manhattanite foodie Reggie Nadelson was born and lives in downtown Manhattan, and is always being asked by friends and visitors where they should eat. While the area has been invaded by celebrity chefs, their restaurants are rarely in her recommendations: "I prefer to eat in a place where the chef is actually in the kitchen and not on TV, and where the staff are friendly no matter who you are," she says. "I don't have time to join a six-week waiting list or a table, or the inclination to go to a …[Read more]

Stockholm Syndrome

(for Travel & Leisure) Late on a chilly afternoon, a cold rain is falling. It turns dark. The streets empty. The cobblestones are slick. A man seems to follow you. Suddenly, Stockholm—with its sunny summers, star-spangled winter nights, placid harbor, and beautiful blond youth—is recast as a secret, hidden, frightening place. “A day for murder,” says one of the tourists as we descend on Mellqvist Kaffebar. “This is it,” they whisper to one another—the café where Stieg Larsson …[Read more]

Venice: Inside Il Palazzo

Reggie Nadelson discovers a ravishing boutique hotel Seated in a white leather armchair in her boat, the Phoenix, Francesca Bortolotto Possati looks out at the canal as the wind whips around her. A long-limbed blonde wrapped in a camelhair coat, she has an utterly Venetian face; her large blue eyes look a little dreamy, a little languid, as her driver pulls away from the dock. Behind those eyes, though, is a businesswoman who, like many others in this town past and present, thrives on a mixture …[Read more]

If I were a carpenter…

Did you ever notice how books breed? It’s a well-known fact that when you’re re-doing your bookcases – with me, that means once every 18 years – the books seem, overnight, to reproduce. Books have babies. Old books, even. Young books also produce offspring, often bigger than themselves. I don’t know how this happens. The only solution is to employ a really great carpenter who understands the problem of the book boom. I have one. And I’m keeping him against the odds, because he …[Read more]

Hawaiian Fish Tales

In seafood shacks, at gourmet tables, and especially during a stomach-defying live-fish auction, Reggie Nadelson discovers the true—and a new—Hawaii. It's 5 a.m. at Honolulu's fish auction, and I'm eyeballing a quivering Hawaiian opah, a pink and silver moonfish, round and flat as a plate. Nelson Aberilla, a quality-control manager at the auction, cuts the tail off a tuna, sticks in his hand, pulls out some flesh, squishes it in his fingers: Is it firm enough? Fatty enough? He offers me a fistful. …[Read more]