19th century glory restored in Ponce, Puerto Rico

PONCE, Puerto Rico — There was a time not that long ago when visitors to Puerto Rico’s second largest city were cautioned not to stray from the central plaza after dark. Many of Ponce’s ornate 19th century buildings were vacant and falling to pieces, and the poorly lit streets were made even shadier by some of the characters who roamed them looking for handouts or … Continue reading 19th century glory restored in Ponce, Puerto Rico

Little St. Simons: Exclusive island is birdwatcher’s wonderland

LITTLE ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA — It’s just past 6 a.m. on a Monday in May and five early-risers have gathered in a wooden bird blind overlooking Goose Pond. Peering through camera lenses and binoculars, they watch as a stunning avian ballet unfolds. To a symphony of tweets, caws and chit-chit-chitters, black skimmers glide inches above the water, their lower bills dragging the surface to … Continue reading Little St. Simons: Exclusive island is birdwatcher’s wonderland

Picarones: Peru’s favorite late-night snack

LIMA, PERU — Lima is famous for its street food. Anticuchos (beef heart kebabs), pork tamales and arroz con leche (rice pudding) are among the delicacies sold on corners from Surco to Miraflores to the Centro Histórico. But no vendors are more sought-after than those frying picarones – a particular favorite of pisco-fueled night owls roaming the streets of Barranco, Lima’s bohemian nightlife district. At first glance, they look like fat … Continue reading Picarones: Peru’s favorite late-night snack

The fugitive’s sister: Linda Case went to jail for her sister, but the question remains why?

Linda Case admits she did one thing wrong; others say she did two. Either way, at age 66, the petite grandmother who never had so much as a speeding ticket wound up in jail for her connection to a $1.9 billion federal fraud case in which it appears she never received a penny. Her younger sister, Rebecca (Becky) Parrett, benefited handsomely from the criminal bookkeeping … Continue reading The fugitive’s sister: Linda Case went to jail for her sister, but the question remains why?

How musician Daniel Antopolsky once saved Townes Van Zandt’s life

A lot of lore surrounds the brief but colorful career of Townes Van Zandt, the gifted songwriter who died in 1997 from a heart attack at age 52, with much of it dedicated to his unbridled substance abuse. His biographies invariably note the heroin overdose he survived in the early 1970s, but the untold story is how Van Zandt’s life was saved that day – … Continue reading How musician Daniel Antopolsky once saved Townes Van Zandt’s life

Rincón’s laid-back vibe part of its charm

RINCÓN, PUERTO RICO — When the World Surfing competition came to Puerto Rico in 1968, Rincón wasn’t even a dot on most maps of the island. But that November, competitive surfers from around the world descended on the tiny west coast town, along with film crews for ABC-TV’s “Wide World of Sports, ” which was covering the sport for the first time. In an instant, Rincón … Continue reading Rincón’s laid-back vibe part of its charm