The Funky Charms of East Austin, Texas

The sign over a gayly painted convenience store in East Austin, Texas, reads, "Beer, Wine, Smokes, Peace." Photo by bf newhall

The sign over the driveway reads, “Beer, Wine, Smokes, Peace.” Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

East Austin has everything it takes to be a first-rate hipster neighborhood — street art, food trucks, farmers markets, coffee shops, affordable (so far) housing, parks, artists’ studios, walkability — and, most important, a carefree, offbeat vibe.

Brooklyn has its Williamsburg neighborhood. Los Angeles has Silver Lake. Portland, [Read more...]

EmailFacebookTwitterStumbleUponPrintFriendlyShare

Christmas Eve in Mexico — It’s All About the Baby Jesus

Hand painted clay creche with Joseph, Mary, Jesus & Star of Bethlehem, Mexican folk art. Photo by BF Newhall

I bought this hand-painted clay folk art creche depicting Joseph, Mary and Jesus a few days before Christmas in San Miguel. Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

If you wanted a Santa-Clausy Christmas this year, complete with tinsel, elves, Frosty the Snowman, and abundant gift-buying opportunities, Santa Claus, Indiana, might have been your destination of choice.

But if it was the Baby Jesus you were looking for, [Read more...]

EmailFacebookTwitterStumbleUponPrintFriendlyShare

A Festive Christmas in San Miguel de Allende

Fresco in atolnico church near San Miguel de allende

We’re just back from Christmas in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, where Santa was no where to be seen — and the baby Jesus was everywhere. Families presented their baby Jesus dolls to be blessed at church — and kissed by the neighbors. This fresco is one of many at the Sanctuary of Atotonilco not far from San Miguel. Photo by BF Newhall

[Read more...]

EmailFacebookTwitterStumbleUponPrintFriendlyShare

For China’s Young Fashionistas the Cultural Revolution Is So Over

Two teenaged Chinese girls gettingt their picture taken in Beijing. One has dyed her hair orange.

These two girls outside Beijing’s Forbidden City wanted us to take their picture . . . Is that a real tattoo? And how did she achieve the orange hair — peroxide? Photo by BF Newhall

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

Until very recently, when I thought of modern-day China, I didn’t think of fun. I thought of the Cultural Revolution of the ’60s and ’70s, when traditional Chinese men were forced to cut off their queues, and intellectuals were banished to the countryside to till the soil and be reeducated into the proletariat. [Read more...]

EmailFacebookTwitterStumbleUponPrintFriendlyShare

Shanghai Chic – Where a Woman’s Style Starts With Her Shoes

Chinese tourists and residents of Shanghai crowd the Yu Gardens Bazaar on a Sunday afternoon in September, 2013. Photo by BF Newhall

Chinese shoppers and sightseers crowd the Yu Gardens Bazaar on a Sunday afternoon in Old Town Shanghai. Photos by BF Newhall

Seen on the streets of Shanghai -- woman wearing lavendar suede high platform sandals. Photo by BF Newhall

Platform shoes today . . .

By Barbara Falconer Newhall

I thought I was traveling to China to explore the mysteries of China’s storied past: The big dynasties with their poetic one-syllable names – the Qin, the Han, the Tang, the Song. The Ming and the Qing.

I thought maybe I’d be spending my two weeks in China ogling porcelain vases and Shang bronzes. [Read more...]

EmailFacebookTwitterStumbleUponPrintFriendlyShare
<?php if ( function_exists( 'yoast_analytics' ) ) { yoast_analytics(); } ?>