Restaurant Review: Westward, Seattle

Communal tables, fresh fish and swaying bright lights feel more like small Greek island than high-tech Seattle  (photo Sarah Flotard)

By Ron Bernthal In 2014 Bon Appétit magazine named Westward one of the best new restaurants in the U.S., but even before I had anything to eat I had reason to love it. Located on the north shore of Seattle’s … Continue reading


Streamsong main Lodge

BY RON BERNTHAL Why make so much of fragmentary blue In here and there a bird, or butterfly, Or flower, or wearing-stone, or open eye, When heaven presents in sheets the solid hue? Since earth is earth, perhaps, not heaven … Continue reading

Row 34 Review: New oyster bar and restaurant near Boston waterfront, Financial District and Convention Center

row 34 Raw Bar

This new restaurant on Congress Street, a few minutes’ walk from Boston’s downtown financial district and the city’s Convention & Exhibition Center, was a perfect place for lunch on a bright winter day. A much-needed January sun was shining through … Continue reading

Hotel Review: Staybridge Suites, BWI Airport, Baltimore, MD

Staybridge Suites "extended-stay" property near Baltimore Washington Airport  (all photos courtesy Staybridge Suites/IHG

Staybridge Suites, an extended-stay property brand of the InterContinental Hotel Group, seems to “get it” when it comes to servicing their target market, mostly out-of-town business travelers and utility engineers during the mid-week periods, and weekend leisure travelers and families … Continue reading

Greensboro Journal: Revitalization of Historic Carolina Mill Town

Night skyline of Greensboro with downtown in background, and Amtrak station foreground. (Photo courtesy Greensboro Area Convention & Visitors Bureau)

By Ron Bernthal In the mid 1950′s Greensboro, North Carolina, was the second largest city in the state, only Charlotte had more people, but Greensboro was the state’s industrial and manufacturing powerhouse, where busy textile mills and nearby furniture factories … Continue reading

Hotel Review: O. Henry Hotel & Proximity Hotel, Greensboro, NC

The original O. Henry Hotel in downtown Greensboro had 300 rooms and was one of the largest and most deluxe hotels in North Carolina.  It was closed in the 1960's when interstate highways and suburban growth transformed many American cities, drawing businesses away from downtown.  The hotel was demolished in the 1970's.

Hotel Review: O. Henry Hotel & Proximity Hotel, Greensboro, NC BY RON BERNTHAL During a recent visit to Greensboro, North Carolina, I stayed at the O. Henry Hotel, a locally owned property that opened in 1998. The original O. Henry … Continue reading

Hotel Review: Graylyn International Conference Center

Winston Salem Graylyn Butler Larry

Photo courtesy Graylyn International Conference Center BY RON BERNTHAL   Whenever I hear the words “conference center” in a hotel name, without being followed by “…and resort,” I imagine a sprawling, modern, one or two- story institutional-looking building, a style … Continue reading

Glens Falls Journal: Historic Adirondack Mill Town Brings New Life to Downtown

Warren Square, a mixed-use downtown development project offers luxury apartments in a former carriage and buckboard factory from the early 1900's. (photo Ron Bernthal)

BY RON BERNTHAL In the early 18th century, about a hundred years after Henry Hudson sailed from Manhattan up the river that would be named after him, early Dutch, and then British settlers, began moving into the upper reaches of … Continue reading

Massachusetts Bay Journal: Summer eating in the historic communities outside Boston is still 18th-century oriented, meaning local seafood, farm fresh veggies, and lots of locally grown fruit.

Boston's Fanuel Hall was where 18th-century settlers went for fresh fish, vegetables and summer fruit, arriving on wagons from nearby farms. (Library of Congress photo)

BY RON BERNTHAL At the beginning of the 18th century, Boston didn’t have a central marketplace, so vendors pushed carts through town selling local produce such as seafood, wild game, fowl, apples, nuts, and berries. Cooking traditions were based on … Continue reading