Pasadena’s Norton Simon Museum

For most visitors to Los Angeles, art museums are not on the radar. After all, one has the beaches, Hollywood, a dozen or more ethnic neighborhoods, theme parks, and more to explore. But that shouldn’t lead anyone to believe that the art scene in LA isn’t phenomenal, because, while the city lacks that one must-visit…

Tucson, Arizona

Editor’s note: In my Ultimate Guide to Southern Arizona, I called Tucson more of just a place to stay rather than a place to see. Sam, our wandering rabbi here at The Royal Tour, proves me wrong in this terrific look at the city and region. For more of his stories, click here to visit…

Curacao and the Dutch Slave Trade

Let not woes of old enslave you anew.Nydia Ecury, Aruban-Dutch writer The quotation stands in stark contrast to its surroundings, inscribed on a wall in front of what was once a post meant to chain slaves for public whipping. Smiling docents are likewise a contradiction, escorting tourists through Willemstad’s Kura Hulanda Museum, a series of…

The Miwok and the Mono

Visitors to Oakhurst, California, just outside the south entrance of Yosemite, find a town of 15,000 or so ready to cater to tourists and the lovers of the outdoors. Hotels, restaurants, shops, and supply stores line the streets, all frequented by people eager to see the area. In 1849, at the start of California’s gold…

The Terezin Concentration Camp

Editor’s note: another soul searching piece for me from Sam, our traveling rabbi. Powerful, emotional, Sam captures the essence of a place I haven’t had the guts to visit. For more of his work here at The Royal Tour, click here to visit his index. On January 27, I wrote an article on visiting Auschwitz…

All About Griffith Park

Nestled in the mountains between the trendy neighborhood of Los Feliz and the San Fernando Valley communities of Glendale and Burbank lies Griffith Park, a Los Angeles wonder. At more than 4,000 acres, it is one of the largest city parks in the country (more than five times the size of Central Park in New…

Hagia Sophia: History, Legacy, Controversy

As the old song says, Istanbul was Constantinople. (It was also Byzantium, but our story begins a couple centuries after this first - and less famous - name change.) Few remnants remain in Turkey's largest city from this earlier period. There are ancient cisterns that helped sustain the city through numerous sieges, and some wall…