Traveling has been a passion for many years. Of course, I take plenty of the usual tourist shots with family and friends in front of well-known sites. But my eyes are also always peeled for architectural details, which I can incorporate into my residential design practice. In this column I will share my travel photos and architectural observations, and even provide a travel tip or two.”
— Diana L Hoffman, AIA – column published in Hometown Quarterly
Big Apple’s Renaissance in Lower Manhattan
Here’s a great day trip with a friend or an overnight with your spouse. On a sunny (or drizzly) day, one can thoroughly enjoy a stroll along the High Line to catch glimpses of the exciting developments along the waterfront. Highlights include recent projects by prize-winning architects and historic structures.
Since architecture school, I have longed to see the works of Antoni Gaudi (1852-1926) because of his freedom of imagination. Seven of his works have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Toronto – Canada’s Sparkling City
Toronto is a great destination. It’s a very manageable city with many attractions in easy walking distance. There are interesting diverse neighborhoods and restaurants, film and jazz festivals, museums, and a theater district!
Napa – Cheers!
Napa Vineyards, Mendocino, San Francisco, wine and chocolate
If you’ve been saying you need “to get away from it all”…Napa might be a perfect destination. The region has beautiful scenery, a relaxed atmosphere, charming shopping plazas with stone walls and Craftsman-style details (image at left) and wine tastings at numerous vineyards at every turn in the road.
Ireland – The Emerald Isle
Stone walls meander through festive towns and past charming cottages along the roads in Ireland
Ireland is a beautiful island with friendly English-speaking people, good road signs, and hundreds of shades of green…(image at left: Ring of Kerry farmland)
The Netherlands – Goede Dag!
Amsterdam, Markt, and Gouda… Canals, cheese and tulips galore
A small country on the Continent with lots of charm and interesting architecture is the Netherlands. Amsterdam in particular is a fun destination with its narrow gabled buildings, and romantic canal-side bistros serving quality food and beers (image at right).
Arizona – Happy Trails!
Cowboy towns, red canyons, and elegant spas in the southwest desert
The sunny Southwest is a great destination for those preferring domestic travel. Arizona is a large state, yet 90% of the population lives in the greater Phoenix area. This leaves much of the land preserved as National Forests and Parks…
Italy – Ciao Italia!
Classic architecture, hillside and lakeside villas, delicious food, sunny dispositions and landscapes
In September of 2009 I traveled in the Lake Region of Northern Italy. It’s a lovely time to visit…while officially part of the peak tourist season, most Europeans are back to work and the weather is sunny and comfortably warm. Italy is one of my favorite countries: the vistas, the quality of light, the colors, and the easy-going people all make for a hard-to-beat experience. Even the language has round, happy sounds. I mastered some basic phrases (and I am foreign language challenged!), which helped in the countryside where fewer people spoke English.