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Peter Mandel
Peter Mandel is a travel journalist and the author of eleven books for kids including Jackhammer Sam (Macmillan), Zoo Ah-Choooo (Holiday House), Bun, Onion, Burger (Simon & Schuster), Planes at the Airport (Scholastic), and Say Hey! A Song of Willie Mays (Hyperion). A regular contributor to the travel sections of The Washington Post and The Boston Globe, he often writes about the misadventures he's gotten stuck in--including experiencing a coup in Ecuador, trying to hike a suburban strip mall, suiting up as a theme park character, seeing America by metered cab, and kayaking to the Statue of Liberty. Originally from Manhattan's Chelsea neighborhood, Mandel finds himself living in Providence these days with his wife, Kathy, and cats, Betty, Emily and Cecil. He's written cranky essays and op-eds for Reader's Digest, The Los Angeles Times, The International Herald Tribune, and The Wall Street Journal, and has won a few Lowell Thomas awards from the Society of American Travel Writers, including a 2005 gold for adventure travel article of the year. Check him out at or:

Entries by Peter Mandel

England's Swanky, Strawberries-and-Cream South

(0) Comments | Posted May 22, 2016 | 11:11 PM

Recharging batteries. Sampling lots and lots of fine food and wine. Soaking in a tub.

I'm at Gatwick Airport and the ''Welcome to Britain" ads tell me that all of these things are on tap. I am ready. It is springtime, a few years back, and I've come to the...

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New York's Classic Skyscrapers: An Insider's Grand Tour

(1) Comments | Posted April 25, 2016 | 5:03 PM

The idea of the city skyscraper, of building up instead of out, was first dreamt up back in Chicago's frontier days. But to those, like me, who spend a lot of time squinting up at these towers to the sun, Manhattan has the richer and more varied crop of spires...

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Student Activists on the Brink at Brown

(1) Comments | Posted March 30, 2016 | 3:19 PM

It has finally happened. You are adrift.

A raft of badly lashed-together memories and a few fairly buoyant facts: That watercraft is you. But thanks to an article in The Brown Daily Herald, the Ivy League university's student paper, you are listing badly. You are at sea.

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Self-Esteem and Night Bicycling

(0) Comments | Posted March 22, 2016 | 4:30 PM

It's a new strange truth of contemporary life. There are those among us who are immune to accident: safe from slipping on soap, or getting plastered by a passing bus.

You may have glimpsed these super-heroes in the dark. Night bicyclists minus the reflectors and clad in black from helmet-less...

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The Smallest State's Tallest Peak: Is R.I.'s Jerimoth Hill America's Most Challenging?

(0) Comments | Posted February 29, 2016 | 3:31 PM

I've got big news for all you serious outdoor types: Maine's Katahdin isn't the climbing adventure you thought it was. Mt. Mansfield? Mt. Washington? These nubs are a walk in the park.

Nope, you've got to head for Rhode Island for what may be America's most challenging mountain quest. Are...

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Panama: Canal Crawls and a Cup of Perfect Coffee

(0) Comments | Posted February 3, 2016 | 3:19 PM

Panama enjoys a map.

Unfold one and your eye will land on it. This is the spot. The link that keeps us northerners connected to places like Peru. And it's a thin one--stretched like taffy that is ready to be bitten into. Where would you dig your canal from...

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Actually Visiting No. 33 of The New York Times's '52 Places to Go in 2016'

(1) Comments | Posted January 12, 2016 | 5:34 PM

Dear New York Times Travel Section:

I hope things are going well there, what with deadlines and the usual grind. I just wanted to pass along my thanks for selecting Providence, Rhode Island as #33 of your eagerly-anticipated, often-discussed "52 Places to Go in 2016."

Having grown up...

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Biting the Big Apple: A Tour of Manhattan's Street Cuisine

(2) Comments | Posted December 14, 2015 | 1:46 PM

Subways and buses rumble north and south, and elevators rocket workers to their day. But all of these motors mean little in New York. The Big Apple's real life is on foot.

Block to city block, sidewalk to crosswalk, and on into parks with paths, New Yorkers do what they...

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Snorkeling With Seals in the Galapagos

(0) Comments | Posted November 24, 2015 | 2:12 PM

Ecuador. The equator. The Galápagos Islands.

There is unusual magic in these words. You can read and read about the blue-footed boobie. About Darwin's five-week visit here, and about the seals that yawn when you go near them and do not flee.

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The Time of Their LIFE: Fun at the Office in the 1960s

(1) Comments | Posted October 26, 2015 | 3:58 PM

The mysterious, mostly disappeared world of LIFE magazine is all still there: Staffers hacking at typewriters, beefing about the managing editor, draining double Scotches and martinis before lunch.

At least in my mind it's still there.

You want to talk publishing...
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The Appalachian Trail by Rent-a-Car (Part 2)

(0) Comments | Posted September 28, 2015 | 2:08 PM

The Appalachian Trail is back in the news these days, thanks to the release of "A Walk in the Woods," the new movie starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte and based on Bill Bryson's classic book. Some of us have indelible memories of our experiences on the trail. Here's the...

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A Drive in the Woods: The Appalachian Trail by Rent-a-Car

(0) Comments | Posted September 3, 2015 | 3:10 PM

The Appalachian Trail is back in the news these days, thanks to the release of "A Walk in the Woods," the new movie starring Robert Redford and Nick Nolte and based on Bill Bryson's classic book. Some of us have indelible memories of our experiences on the trail. Here's my...

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Battle of the Falls: Is the N.Y. Side of Niagara Better Than Canada?

(1) Comments | Posted August 17, 2015 | 3:08 PM

Will the real Niagara Falls please stand up?

Are you Canada's family destination, its Disney and Vegas tumbled into one? Or are you the lounge club and calzone capital of Upstate New York?

Niagara, you used to have newlyweds in Ramblers with tin cans jangling behind. You had New Yorkers...

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Crossing 'The Pond' to Europe? For Once, Make it Real

(1) Comments | Posted July 27, 2015 | 4:47 PM

Like so much else in life, travel changes its shape slowly. There aren't any announcements from the bridge that things will be different, now that you've sailed or flown into a new world. E-tickets take over from the cardboard kind, upstart airlines elbow out the big traditional names, and we...

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Celebrating July 4th in France

(1) Comments | Posted July 1, 2015 | 2:31 PM

It's the July 4th weekend. My wife, Kathy, and I have a bag full of red, white and blue pinwheels, some Stars and Stripes-brand snack cakes and a packet of mini-flags. We're nearly set for a holiday blowout in the country.

Strangely, none of the stores is stocked with...

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Father's Day: Remembering the LIFE of a Dad Who Died Young

(1) Comments | Posted June 17, 2015 | 2:48 PM

When someone says the word "bravery" out loud it sounds like it's from a book on noblemen or knights. I can almost hear the clank of sword on shield.

Call it medieval if you want, but I believe in trying to be brave.

When I was eight, my...

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The Nine Secret Cities of Newport, R.I.

(4) Comments | Posted May 27, 2015 | 6:18 PM

Getting to know Newport, Rhode Island, is -- how should I put this? -- just a bit different from touring around other famous resorts. You were thinking a quick walk-through of The Breakers or another summer mansion? Think again. Newport, you see, has no less than nine cities to explore....

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Schools That Teach to the Arts, Not to the Test

(0) Comments | Posted May 1, 2015 | 3:28 PM

The houses are haunted
By white night-gowns.
None are green,
Or purple with green rings,
Or green with yellow rings,
Or yellow with blue rings.

--From "Disillusionment of Ten O'Clock" by Wallace Stevens

When it comes to conformity -- to looking and living alike...

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A Tour of 'Mini-Beantowns' Shows the Sprouts From Boston's Seeds

(0) Comments | Posted April 20, 2015 | 5:33 PM

One of the things about Boston is that there's a bit of it wherever you go. Sox caps crop up in Chicago. Harvard T-shirts glide past on the Grand Canal. And when dessert is served in Georgia or Alabama, a chocolate-topped cream pie is liable to appear.

Because of...

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These Unlikely Heroes Are...Wait for It...The World's Top Fact-Checkers

(0) Comments | Posted March 30, 2015 | 2:10 PM

Ladies and gentlemen (or to avoid being gender-specific) members of The American Copy-Editors and Fact-Checkers Guild: It is my pleasure to welcome each one of you and, of course, "you" in the plural sense, to this evening's Hall of Fame Banquet.

This year's slate of inductees is second-to-none--that's a cliché,...

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