Desserts »Madecasse Sea Salt and Nibs Bar

Made in Madagascar

In a world over run with sea salt chocolate. This one rules.

Available at the Bedford Cheese Shop and other schmancy places like that, these would make ideal stocking stuffers.

Plus, Madecasse is a company with a conscience.

Born out of peace corp experience, they make the chocolate in Africa where the ingredients come from allowing the local area to benefit from their natural resources.

Read more on their site.

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Posted on December 20, 2011

Books »Things Fall Apart

by Chinua Achebe (1958)

Things Fall Apart was a milestone in African Lit. It was one of the first successful novels about Africa and written by an African. It introduced the world to tribal living in Nigeria, specifically the Igbo culture at the time of the 19th century invasion of missionaries and colonists. It’s no less interesting decades later and no less heartbreaking.

Chronicling the life of a fierce warrior named Okonkwo, author Chinua Achebe is economical in his writing which is matter of fact and without dramatic flourishes and lengthy descriptions. Events, as small as women preparing for a feast and as powerful as the murder of a son are described frankly and simply, which makes them all the more affecting. It reflects the traditional stories that are woven into the novel.

The novel is common high school reading, made clear to me in my used book that includes the scrawled inscription “I hate this book!” from some ninth grader past, but this is the first time I’ve read it. I enjoyed it much, much more than the book’s previous owner.

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Posted on March 24, 2011

Spend a Couple Minutes »Rags to Richesse: Rugs from Morocco

210 11th Ave

It was one of those 90 plus days, I had already been on my feet for a couple hours, but somehow I still managed to waddle all the way over to 11th Avenue to the Cavin Morris Gallery for thier Rags to Richesse show. It was worth the sweat and lightheadedness. These bright, vibrant, unusual rugs, called boucherouite are made from recycled clothing and materials, not necesarily in a move by the Morroccan women who make them to go green but out of necesstty as more traditional materials (wool in particular) has grown scarcer than the demand.

The show’s been extended through August 20 and is a must see. If my purse had allowed it, I would have walked away with a few of these for myself. Here is a great review in the Times.

Click here for the rest of Rags to Richesse: Rugs from Morocco

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Posted on August 8, 2010

Places to Visit »Camping in the Sahara

sahara campingA few months ago my sister embarked on the adventure honeymoon of a life time to Morocco. She are her husband shared the ritzier images of their stay in Marrakesh, but there was also a more adventurous side. Camping and traveling sometimes on camel back through the rugged, other worldly Sahara desert. The photos are stunning and I'd like to share them with you here.

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Posted on August 10, 2009

Places to Visit »Marrakech

marrakeshNorthern Africa, you are welcome here.?Time and time again we were greeted with locals more than eager to show us Marrakech. After traveling through the Sahara near the Algerian border, my wife and I returned to Marrakech.?We were certainly ready for the infamous and ever so detailed and delightful L Mansion.

We were primed for the first class services and privacy it had to offer and we found it.?Our stay could not have been better.?The food was so fresh and delicious and the service so genuine.?We had the palace to ourselves.?The private hamam was a favorite of mine.?The pink plastered walls in contrast to the pale blue skies eased the eyes into relaxation mode.?The mountain views and property walks were how mornings were shared.

After a few days of pampering at the hotel we were again eager to hit the town and do some shopping.?We had a perfect referral from the owner for a guide us through the labyrinths of the Kasbah.?I feel the best money spent, having a private tour guide in Marrakech. You provide yourself the adventures, while focusing on the best places to eat and shop. The best private guide in Marrakech is Anas (“Anas Kezzar ).

Fluent in French, English and Arabic we were able to experience the city with no worries or hassles while attaining so much knowledge of the city.?We gained so much time by being so efficient.? We shopped for antiques.?Carpets, textiles and jewelry were our primary focus, with so many lovely spices we made a few additional stops.?We found just what we wanted and more.

View an exquisite photo album here.

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Posted on May 11, 2009