Sarah Stodola

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Sarah is the founder and editor of Flung, the author of Process: The Writing Lives of Great Authors, and a widely published travel and culture writer. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram.

Posts by Sarah Stodola 123 results

6 Great Global Cities Made Affordable by the Strong Dollar

In global terms, it's a great time to be carrying greenbacks. The US dollar's strength against the euro has been on American travelers' radar for some time now, and they've been scooping up economical visits to Europe’s great cosmopolitan centers like Paris and Rome. But the American buck has been having a rip-roaring time of it against a number ...

The Lowdown on Mama Shelter Los Angeles

Prior to this year, the Mama Shelter brand already had five hugely popular hotels in Europe, all but one in France. They’d proven their model there: The draw of staying in a reasonably priced hotel with a ton of personality in a neighborhood in the early stages of buzzworthiness is strong, it turns out (and, by the way, not just among millenni...

Santorini –> Athens on Ryanair

In Flight Reviews, Flung writers provide key information about flights they take in order to leave the flying public better informed in an age of frustration, obfuscation and increasingly unfriendly skies.   JTR –> ATH on Ryanair Flight FR1233 Flight: FR1233 from Santorini to Athens Date and Time of Flight: June 5, 2015, 8:20 ...

LA Desaturated: The Black Cat in Silver Lake

There may be no finer hour in life to sidle up to a long wooden bar than mid-afternoon on a weekday, a time during which we seldom allow ourselves the pleasure, for obvious reasons having to do with slippery slopes. Only when we are traveling does the opportunity present itself unaccompanied by guilt. Entire destinations (Las Vegas, for one) have ...

Among the Very Tall

The drive into Waikiki from the Honolulu Airport takes us first along the city’s notoriously clogged freeways, victims initially of bad design and later an undercalculated influx of people and cars. Stopping, then going, crawling then picking up speed, the torture-device boredom of automobile travel finally sedates us and we sink further, into ...

Home and Away: Patti Smith’s M Train

A recurring dream about a cowpoke with an earthy wit would not seem the best topic with which to open a memoir. And as expected, it makes for an inauspicious beginning to Patti Smith’s latest book, M Train. It’s not so easy writing about nothing, the cowpoke says to her as she enters the dream, and I braced for the worst. Luckily, the book ...

The Decades Collide at Chez Jeannette

We Americans can never get over Parisians’ aptitude for a drifting hour spent sitting at a café, drinking, smoking, talking when the mood strikes, which is often. We want to do it, too, and we try, when we visit Paris. We forego everything that’s been reinforced in us since our school days about the straight line between hard work and ...

A Closer Look at the Broad Museum in LA

Getting into the newly opened Broad Museum in downtown Los Angeles takes some forethought, something I discovered almost too late during a weeklong trip to Los Angeles this September. The free advance timed tickets available via the website were long since fully booked by the time I checked. I called the museum to see about alternatives, and was ...

The Viceroy Anguilla: Hedge Funders and Honeymooners

To get to the Viceroy resort on the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla, I flew first from New York to St. Maarten, where the closest sizable airport is located. During the flight, I sat next to a family of four, each member bursting with the pent-up excitement of an imminent vacation. As we chatted, I learned that the husband/dad worked on Wall ...

LA’s Frogtown, on the Cusp of Change

The Spoke Bicycle Cafe sits on the last lot of the last block of a dead-end Los Angeles street. It can be remarkably sunny here, in a way that makes your eyes hurt. The street stops at a chain-link fence, bringing what little traffic exists here to an abrupt halt. Street parking is generally not a problem. The day of my visit, in fact, I was the ...

Spain’s Unsung Summer Cocktail: Tinto de Verano

The scene was: My mother and I, sitting at an outdoor café in Seville, Spain, taking a breather from a late morning of wandering that had bled into the noon hour on a blistering September day. Yes we did want something refreshing and boozy, but we were also held back by the prospect of all that wandering still looming ahead of us. The waiter saw ...

Saturini: From Hinterland to Hordes in the Greek Isles

Arriving by boat to Santorini, the theatrical C-shaped island in Greece’s Aegean Sea, means first entering the strange purgatory of the port, which of course sits at sea level, 1,200 feet below the villages atop the cliffs that everyone is here to see. Our boat pulled in in the early afternoon of a sunny but hazy day. Even before hitting land, ...

4 Foods Morocco Does Better than Any Other Country

Some conclusions are easy to make right up front, and this is one of them: Eating in Morocco is a delight. But on to the supporting evidence: The signature dishes tagine and couscous get their due praise, and desserts are varied and just right. Moroccans typically do but a few dishes, but they do them well. And while in this mostly dry country, it ...

For the Tourism Sector, a Great Time for a Greek Default?

If Greece defaults on its debts and exits the euro, a scenario that’s become increasingly likely over the past week, one of the world’s biggest summer travel destinations will suddenly find itself mired in economic chaos. At first blush, the timing couldn’t seem worse. July and August constitute the high season in Greece, with well over half ...

The Hotel Maria Cristina: Movie Stars, and Feeling Like One

The first time I went to Spain’s famed coastal town of San Sebastian, I arrived via train, having traveled down from Amsterdam with two Scottish fellas I’d met in a youth hostel there and whom I could understand some of the time. We found a hotel room with three twin beds for something like $50 per night, dropped our bags in it, and most ...

La Boca Grill: Sumptuous Seafood, But First You Have To Find It

We’d rented one moped for the two of us, and I clung to both the seat itself and my boyfriend as he navigated the puddly dirt road. We’d made it away from the condos and resorts lining the sea, away from the restaurant proprietors shoving menus in front of us, away from manicured lawns that made me think of Hilton Head. We were now passing ...

NYC –> Athens on Delta Flight 40

In Flight Reviews, Flung writers provide key information about flights they take in order to leave the flying public better informed in an age of frustration, obfuscation and increasingly unfriendly skies.   JFK --> ATH Flight: Delta Flight 40 from New York's JFK to Athens' Eleftherios Venizelos. Date and Time of Flight: May 25, ...

Inventing Gatsby: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Long Island House

It’s become somewhat of a national pastime to recreate the milieu of F. Scott Fitzgerald, especially in the summer months, when flapper dresses and resurrected cocktails are easiest to flaunt. And so I know I am not alone when I repeatedly fall hard for the mythos surrounding him. That Fitzgerald represents both the apex of glamour and its ...

Keep It Up, Kid: A Two-Part Dalliance

Sometime during the summer that I was 23 years old, my Eurail pass landed me in Copenhagen, where I stayed for a week. One of those fortuitous scenarios unfolded in my chosen hostel, amid days that lasted until Midnight and people that looked like magazine spreads, in which everyone staying there hit it off immediately. Seven or eight of us ...

The Shalom Hotel & Relax: Casual Aplomb and a Slew of Perks

The hotel scene in Tel Aviv until recently has been a bleak one, as overpriced as it was under-renovated, thanks mostly to the row of circa 1960s high rises lining the Mediterranean along an otherwise captivating stretch of sand. If one was traveling for pleasure, they tended to present as the only option, and although they fail utterly in ruining ...