Susan and Elan Zingman-Leith
Susan and Elan Zingman-Leith write the CityTravelBlog. Susan is a world traveler who originally hails from Winnetka, Illinois. She spent part of her childhood in the Philippines and sailed around the world as a young girl. Specializing in Art History at Barnard College, Columbia University, in New York City, she went on to work in publishing, film production, systems programming and innkeeping at Leith Hall Bed and Breakfast in Cape May, N.J.. Her interests in art history, Victoriana, antiques, and world travel have lasted a lifetime. “Art history may not provide you with a job but it’s the best background for vacation,” she says.
Elan is a New Yorker who studied history as an undergraduate and at the City University Graduate Center doctoral program. He became an Historic Preservationist at Columbia University (where he met Susan) and worked for the National Register of Historic Places, the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission, and New York Preservation Specialists. Elan wrote the National Register nomination for the South Beach Deco district in Miami Beach and worked in the Greenwich Village, Brooklyn Heights, and Upper East Side NYC historic districts, also consulting on landmarks as varied as the Brooklyn Bridge and Victorian row-houses. He was also the curator of the Emlen Physick Estate museum in Cape May. “Before I met Suzie, I’d never been further from home than Atlantic City, now we spend our vacations overseas,” says Elan. My interest in pastry (eating and making), history and architecture are the perfect background for writing about cities and hosting a bed and breakfast in Cape May.”
Together Elan and Susan have written two books on Victoriana, The Secret Life of Victorian Houses and Creating Authentic Victorian Rooms. Elan has given talks on Victorian life which include topics like séances and spiritualism, clothes and fashions, patent medicine and drugs. Susan has a large collection of Victorian jewelry and chatelaines. Elan and Susan have also written a guide to Rome called The Secret Streets of Rome – Twelve Self-Guided Walking Tours.