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Sunday, July 31, 2016



My travel writing friend and colleague Tom Brosnahan has created the most delightful site.

It may not be as flashy and graphically-oriented as some sites, but
delivers pure steak -- when other sights barely deliver the sizzle.

Tom has been to Turkey so many times, he should be able to run for office.

His expertise on Istanbul alone is worthy of Hall of Fame honors as an informative sharer of practical information.

Before the events of July 15, I began planning a trip to Istanbul.

There is no shortage of online information about the historic and fabled city.

Read Orhan Pamuk's autobiographical book on his beloved city and you will want to book the next flight on Turkish Airlines.

I research and write about travel all the time, so I think I'm a pretty good finder of facts and hidden secrets.

Let's just say, I barely knew the European side of the Bosphorus from the Asian, nor the Sea of Marmara from the Golden Horn...until I stumbled upon Tom's site.

I'll write more in the coming days.

But I truly don't have words grand enough to endorse this site.

It has the basics, it has the quirky, it has the practical.

Links are logical and allow you to expand from the basics on the Hamam (Turkish Bath) to learning the lowdown on the famous, most expensive, most beautifully-designed and most inexpensive local facilities.

I quite possibly could have, even after my savvy research, been staying on a noisy street, surrounded by tourists and paying $150 per night more for a relatively cookie cutter lodging.

Through Tom's site, I found a place that is well-located, in more authentic surroundings, operated by a family legendary for hospitality expertise and booking for a nightly price that will just about pay for my airfare in savings vs. staying at a chain hotel. has this kind of in-depth information on the entire nation, not just Istanbul.

Even if you have no immediate plans to see the great mosques, museums, vistas and people...Tom's site will over some of the most-entertaining armchair travel you've ever found yourself lost (that's a good thing) in.

click to visit the Istanbul section of Turkey Travel Planner

Friday, July 29, 2016


at 2016 APA Florida Conference

PlusUrbia's Juan Mullerat is honored to present "Affordable Pockets for Healthy Living: Little Havana USA" at the American Planning Association Florida statewide conference coming up in September in Tampa.

Inner city neighborhoods such as Miami’s Little Havana have good bones, but need urban interventions to increase healthy living.  

We’ll explore both assets (including high density to support public transit; affordable housing in close proximity to jobs) and challenges including lack of park space for healthy recreation, limited access to fresh food and a zoning code that prevents infill with small units and no parking.  

For a fraction of what exurbs or new towns cost, the inner city can be retrofitted in a more sustainable manner. 

Wednesday, July 27, 2016



Wheelchair users and others with mobility challenges (plus their companions) know what it’s like to go places that feel like they were created for everyone but us. 

That’s not the case at Universal Orlando.

Here we’re included. 

Whether it’s going to a live action show, walking through the old New York backlot or enjoying a Lard Lad donut (or two), we never felt like we were missing out.  

Virtually every attraction, shop and restaurant is accessible and staffed by people who clearly have been trained in disability etiquette and sensitivity. 

We marveled that just about every restroom facility also featured a family unisex restroom.

These are good for parents with young children, and they’re great for me.

I can help my wife transfer from her wheelchair -- without the uncomfortable feeling of me barging into the women's room or her intruding into the men's room.