I wanted to do something different this winter vacation other than Miami. Yes, Bal Harbour has a street lined with various kosher restaurants and two huge synagogues, but I wanted a new adventure. Panama has been popping up in my Instagram and Facebook feeds as the newest destination for the kosher traveler. I asked some friends who frequent the area and received rave reviews. Since my husband is Argentinean, I knew the language and culture would be familiar to him and translatable to me.

You can’t escape the daily news surrounding anti-Semitic attacks in our very own backyards. Monsey, Boro Park, Crown Heights, and even midtown Manhattan have become hostile territories for Jews. The American Jewish Congress has approached this issue by declaring the day of January 6 as a Jewish Awareness Day. The link I received had instructions on how to participate:

The Hallmark Channel is known for its “happily ever after” movies that are easily digested (like a spoonful of honey) and terminally predictable. I have been a fan of their romantic movies for 10 years, knowing what the plot always entails. Boy meets girl, they have some relationship issues, and the last five minutes of each two-hour movie is the segment where the boy and girl work it out! If only real life could be so straightforward and easy. The Hallmark Channel goes into full gear with their holiday season of all day, everyday movies in the month of December.

It’s sad enough that retail stores are closing faster than Amazon Prime service delivers its packages, but my personal happy place closed its doors this week. The Manolo Blahnik flagship boutique on West 54th Street ended. You could almost hear Carrie Bradshaw sobbing. Manolo Blahnik’s stilettos shot to fame after the premiere of HBO’s Sex and the City in 1998.