Monthly Archives: January 2015

A Lighter Tomas Berdych Takes Off

Sometime in 2013, Tomas Berdych apparently decided to enjoy the ride, instead of lamenting his fate as one of the have-nots in the Big Four era. While Stan Wawrinka got his famous tattoo to make peace with his role as a foil for the historic achievements of the Big Four, Berdych did something more low key – he joined Twitter. But, for Berdych, a player known for his short fuse on court and his tendency to pull back in key moments, letting the world in on his goofy sense of humor was a way of acknowledging that he had better start having fun with the career he had, instead of mourning the one that had been denied to him by the Big Four’s dominance.

Continue reading at The Changeover…

Winter Weekend Break: Curacao

With JetBlue’s recent addition of a direct flight from JFK Airport to Willemstad, Curacao, the “C” of the ABC islands just got that much closer to those New Yorkers seeking to escape another chilly winter.  While less popular among American tourists than its neighbor, Aruba, Curacao has its share of pristine beaches and rugged coastline ready for exploring.  Even though you won’t see many Americans in Curacao (yet), the secret’s already out with Europeans, particularly Dutch tourists who have long known that Curacao is a cheaper, less crowded alternative to Aruba with a charm all its own.  Here’s how to make the most of a long weekend in Curacao.

1.  Willemstad

Invariably, every guidebook or brochure covering Curacao boasts of the stunning and colorful colonial architecture of Curacao’s capital.  Willemstad is definitely worth a visit, though a day is plenty to experience its charms.  Start early in the day, and stop in Willemstad to see the multicolored houses.  Don’t miss the quirky charm of the Queen Emma bridge.  Separating the Punda and Otrabanda districts of the old town of Willemstad, the Queen Emma Bridge is a pedestrian bridge that turns 90 degrees to let boats pass through.  If you happen to “miss” the bridge when it separates from the shores, don’t worry, there are ferry boats ready to take you across the harbor while the bridge resets.  Punda is the more bustling part of sleepy Willemsted, featuring the requisite duty free and souvenir shops.  Punda is also the home of the floating market, a motley group of stands manned by vendors who sail the 40 miles from Venezuela with tropical fruits and vegetables.  It’s definitely an interesting spectacle, but, as is the case on many Caribbean islands, the produce is less exciting than you would expect.  Also in Punda is the Mikve Israel-Emmanuel, the oldest synagogue in North America.  The synagogue, founded by Spanish and Portuguese immigrants to Curacao in the 1650s, has a unique sand floor, which was meant to remind congregants of their ancestors’ need to hide their places of worship.

Read more

2014 Year in Review: The Best of the WTA

With more twists and turns than an episode of Scandal, the WTA tour’s 2014 season was nothing less than fascinating.  From the resurgence of faded champions to the emergence of new stars, this year’s WTA tour had something for everyone.  Here are my favorite stories of 2014.

1.  Fierce Caroline

After spending the past three years as a part of Wozzilroy and contemplating family life and early retirement, Caroline Wozniacki found herself on the end of a public and abrupt breakup with Rory McIlroy on the eve of the French Open.  Yet, seven months later, McIlroy’s name hardly comes up when discussing Wozniacki’s year, which is a testament to the savvy way the Dane has rebuilt her game and her life.  Though often considered too “nice” to win the big titles, Wozniacki’s upbeat disposition served her well in 2014.  To refocus herself, and, perhaps, the press from the cancelled nuptials, Wozniacki committed to run the 2014 New York City Marathon in support of Team for Kids, and ran it in an impressive 3:26:33, despite having never run more than 13 miles in training.  She also turned a corner on the court, playing tough matches against “bestie” Serena Williams, and out-gritting Maria Sharapova, of all people, at the US Open during her run to the final.  And, she even managed to become part of a more high profile sports couple along the way.

Read more