Champagne for Everyone

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Deal of the day. In bookstores near you, 2018


I just celebrated two years as a columnist for WSJ covering dynastic wealth and real estate.

Straying too far from travel writing? Not entirely.

Hotel Family Lays Out a Future

A Hotel Family’s Western Pioneer

Robertson’s Legacy from Hedge Funds to New Zealand


I won a fancy award for my Outside Magazine feature story. “Tune In, Give Up, Ship Out/Escaping the Recession by Boat”

The judges said nice things.

Down-markets create buying opportunities. Two brothers in recession America knew that and bought a yacht for half price on Craigslist and then tried to sail it around the world. Their story is one of courage and dumb luck, and it is one heck of an entertaining read.




The Wall Street Journal:

Cook luxury foods without missing a morsel – Chris Kostow

What to do with an abundance of vegetables?

The etiquette of bringing your own meal on a plane – Nancy Silverton

The challenge of cooking in a summer rental – Michael Ferraro



Thomas Keller: Eating His Words



family room

The September 11 Family Room, a private viewing space for relatives of victims, is set to close when the National September 11 Memorial Museum has its debut in May.

The room was given to mourners seeking to watch recovery efforts as the weather turned cold in the weeks after the terrorist attacks. They left behind photos, teddy bears, wreaths, notes, books, report cards and other tributes, which over the years lined the walls, windows, ceilings and floors. Hidden from the public on the 20th floor of One Liberty Plaza, the space had plush sofas, toys for children and a sacred sense of reverence.

[Read More here…]


This story is one of the best things I’m likely to write all year.  

Or ever.


[even more here…]

My first feature for OUTSIDE: 

Tune In, Give Up, Ship Out

When the Great Recession hit, young people found a million different ways to cope with their battered job prospects. Alex and Nick Kleeman found the best way, scraping together enough cash to buy a 32-foot sailboat, then plunging into the Pacific for the adventure of their lives. So what if they didn’t know how to sail?

(read on!)

Wall Street Journal

When Richard Blanco read his stirring poem “One Today” at President Barack Obama’s second inaugural ceremony in January, he spoke of “the last floor on the Freedom Tower jutting into a sky that yields to our resilience.”



That prompted Jordan Barowitz, the director of external affairs for the Durst Organization, a part owner of the tower, to tweet: “Blanco, we like the shout out. But it’s One World Trade Center!”

The tallest building at the World Trade Center site is in the midst of a bit of an identity crisis as it nears completion.

(read on…)

This was my first feature for Departures Magazine, anchoring the  Home+Design issue.



Most days, motorists on the H1 through Honolulu can look up at the cliffs of the Ko’olau mountain range and see a rainbow landing somewhere on Tantalus Mountain. There, overlooking the city, is the Pacific’s most important work of residential architecture, designed by Hawaii’s best-known architect, Vladimir Ossipoff. Rare for a great house, it remains in the hands of the family for whom it was built, the Liljestrands. More than 60 years later, the four heirs have resisted turning their childhood home into a pot of gold, but for how long?

(read on..)

I write for the Wall Street Journal regularly, covering food, travel, health, fashion, gear and spirits. Here are a few columns I’ve been covering:


What’s Your Workout

Space Buff: Lifting Weights in Weightlessness

Opera Singer Builds Up Stamina for Carmen

Running (Biking and Skiing) for Mayor


Tricks of the Trade

 Spicing Up a Brown Bag Lunch

The Bag Makes the Woman


Personal Journal fixtures

The Going Rate: Hotel Beds

Marketing Decoder: Dewar’s Whiskey


And look for upcoming Dynasties columns…


Move Over Bacon: Foodies Just Want the Smoke.


Also: Risks, Rewards of Smoky Shortcut


CBS’ Watch!  magazine has named me Deputy Editor of Glam.  (Best masthead title ever)

I’m launching a new section, covering luxury, fashion, food, beauty, travel, lifestyle and all your favorite CBS celebrities.  Look for it in the November/December holiday issue.

I’ve started contributing to the What’s Your Workout column at The Wall Street Journal, check it out.

May you be kitesurfing when you are 73.

My Robb Report feature on the future of space tourism is a cover story in the annual Travel Issue.

The word is out…look for FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA at a cinema near you.

As online video calls become an everyday activity, a country raised on television is learning how to make good TV at home. – The Wall Street Journal

And I got a shameless plug for For All the Tea in China into the TV segment.

Best book on corporate espionage ever written,” – The Wall Street Journal. (ok, so I said it in WSJ, but if we ever redesign the paperback…)

I’m now contributing to the Tricks of the Trade column at the Wall Street Journal, expect more of these.

““For All the Tea in China” is a delightful read — intrigue, suspense, eccentric characters, dastardly deeds, treachery, exotic locales.”  – Los Angeles Times

Travel sized beauty products at hotels are pleasantly-scented parting gifts or is the bathroom sink the new billboard?for The Wall St. Journal.

More of that pretty smelling stuff please? I appeared on television and radio  

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Hawaii offers celebrity sizzlers, classic experiences, an inn crowd, and hot bikinis for BRIDES Magazine.

The most beautiful road trips in America, you ask?

I answered for Travel+Leisure.

My picks were then picked up by BBC News, MSNBC, and Yahoo Travel. (miles and miles of ink)

When the crowns come off, where do royals let down their hair?  I write about some royal vacations worthy of a King in  Travel+ Leisure

( BBC and MSNBC)

Sarah Rose from Benjamin Halstead on Vimeo.

NGT SharksA dive with sharks near Costa Rica’s remote Cocos Island offers lessons for living – for National Geographic Traveler

This is a dream come true – the paperback of FOR ALL THE TEA IN CHINA is now available in your local Costco.

In fact, it’s a featured non-fiction title in March’s Costco Connection Magazine:

This well written history is fun to read, and I’m sure you, like me, will never look at a cup of tea the same way.

— Joshua Lilly, Inventory Control Specialist, books

I am happy to speak to schools or book clubs, by phone, skype or in person. Just ask!

Chef Stories

I’ve gotten some great food gigs recently:

Martin Picard for Men’s Journal

Cosmopolitan Chefs in Vegas:  Jose Andres, Scott Conant, Bromberg Brothers, David Myers and Costas Spiliadis for Private Clubs Magazine.

My favorite food in Hawaii? A tough choice, but if I smell barbecue I always stop to see if it’s Huli Huli chicken.  – ISLANDS Magazine

Take a detour. Get out of the car. Stretch your legs. And get inspired by America’s Top Roadside Attractions. – Travel + Leisure

(and MSNBC)

The Best of 2010 lists are starting to arrive and  For All the Tea in China: How England Stole the World’s Favorite Drink and Changed History is on them:

Editor’s Choice Pick for 2010 – Booklist

Best Business Book 2010, History and Biography – Strategy+Business Magazine

Top 5 Gift Books for Moms, 2o1o – Travel Savvy Mom

I’ve been doing some work online:

Mostly as a contributor to AOL Travel.

Read about the 10 under 10: Best Boutique Hotels Under 10 Rooms

Or the Best Bars with a View.

Or the Best Beach Bars Around the World

Or the Best Places to Unplug.

And a few other things, here and there and everywhere.

Costa Rica – The Adventure Honeymoon

Tropics of Taste – The Designer Honeymoon

cropped EV coverMy Costa Rica feature made the cover of fall’s ENDLESS VACATION

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