Navigate / search

The Real Face of Boratstan

As someone who makes a living inspiring travel, I can’t help but feel a little sorry for Kazakhstan, given the flogging it’s taken lately with the success of “Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.” In the optimistic spirit of The Other Iraq (yes, really) and travel ads for Chernobyl, Kazakhstan has launched a slew of TV ads, promoting it as the “heart of Eurasia.” I love a savvy marketing campaign as much as the next gal, but I’m guessing it’s going to take a whole lot more to get people to spend their summer vacations in, say, Northern Iraq. All empathies aside, “Borat” might just be the funniest movie I have ever seen.

Yield, San Francisco’s Organic Wine Bar

Red wine is practically the fountain of youth thanks to resveratrol, a natural substance found in the skin of grapes that supposedly offsets the ill effects of a high-fat, high-calorie diet and extends longevity. But like any other crop, grapes can be grown with loads of pesticides and chemicals. And what’s so healthy about sipping hundreds of chemicals in your Riesling while nibbling on 100% organic Camembert?

With its close proximity to some of the world’s most prolific vineyards, it’s been said that San Francisco has a one-to-one ratio of wine bars to city blocks. Why welcome another? Because this one only pours “green” wines, which are sustainable, organic or biodynamic. Head to San Francisco’s up-and-coming Dogpatch neighborhood and toast the opening of Yield Wine Bar.

Protecting Your Identity While on the Road

I often use this column to talk about how to stay safe when traveling. My aim is not to be an alarmist, but rather to inform travelers of ways to protect themselves. With numerous stories stating that credit fraud and identity theft is rapidly on the rise, I began to think about how this relates to travelers. Then I returned from my vacation abroad and was alerted by my credit card company that my account had likely been breached while I was away. I was fortunate that my credit card company had advised me to cancel the account proactively, before any damage was done. But what if they hadn’t? Imagine checking into a hotel, only to find that your account had been frozen. Safeguarding your identity on the road definitely adds another concern to the list of things to monitor when taking a trip–but it’s imperative. If you don’t, it can cost you dearly.