Not too long ago, I came across the Moon travel guides while searching for information on Quebec City in our catalogue. A quick Google search led me to the guides’ about us page, which presents a perspective on travel writing that’s off the beaten path, shall we say. The area of ethical travel is a burgeoning one, and I was aware of the growing discourse on traveling responsibly and sustainably but had never come across a series of guides published by one of the five major book publishers in North America (Hachette Book Group) in this vein.
It turns out the Moon guides started in California in the 1970s as an independent publication with humble ‘Xeroxed’ pages. Now, they publish hefty tomes with advice for patronizing local businesses, making the most of the outdoors, strategizing to maximize time spent, and how to focus on sustainability. They also make sure that each author of a particular guide either lives in the places they write about or has spent a significant amount of time in that location. With all this in mind, I thought I would share some of the guides I’ve used and some that I would have used if I’d known they’d existed, all in the hopes that I may inspire you to do your own ethical travelling this summer!
New York City
I have travelled to the metropolitan goliath that is New York City twice now. I enjoyed each of my visits greatly, although sensory overload is an understatement when it comes to the streets of Manhattan. That being said, the level of cuisine, theatre, art, and any other experience you can think of within those 59 square kilometres is unparalleled. I recommend seeing a show on Broadway or off — sometimes the most interesting plays are being shown outside of the mainstream — and finding a local restaurant that is completely unique to the area. To give an example, after attending a particularly entertaining and smart production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City, I convinced my mother to walk a good six or seven blocks out of our way to a restaurant in the West Village. We also caught a glimpse of both Jerry O’Connell and Sigourney Weaver that night after the play had ended, in case that’s of interest. The restaurant was called L’Artusi, and it has impressively survived the devastation that the pandemic brought to the hospitality business in general. Its specialty is simple: modern Italian dishes, excellently prepared and seasoned with an eye for detail. I remember we walked up to the doors, inlaid with a glass panel through which we could spy a dark dining room and flickering candle light. For a moment, we were worried it was closed, but then we pushed open the door to be greeted by friendly staff. There was room for us after all in the dim ambiance. It was a lovely meal.Continue reading