Category: Popular Culture

Based in Batignolles 4: Love Locked Down

Posted May 19th, 2017
Based in Batignolles 4: Love Locked Down

The novelist Federico Mocci (b. 1963) published a story in 2006 called Ho Voglia di Te (“I want you”), some variation on the star-crossed lovers theme, in which a doomed pair affix a lock to the Milvian Bridge in the northern suburbs of Rome as a symbol of their eternal devotion, and toss the key…

Based in Batignolles 3: Beyond the Pale

Posted May 13th, 2017
Based in Batignolles 3: Beyond the Pale

Apparently, our neighborhood does not exist. Consult a tourist guide like Eyewitness Paris and there is an empty white space where one might expect to find Batignolles.  The teal-green blob of Montmartre floats in a void separate from the colors that identify the other quartiers of the city. There is the 8ème and not much of…

The Mouth That Would Be President: It Has Been Elected President and I Am Sick

Posted November 9th, 2016
The Mouth That Would Be President: It Has Been Elected President and I Am Sick

When I went to bed, North Carolina had already fallen and I knew the nightmare was about to descend. When I awoke, I watched the numbers on my clock flip toward 6:15 when the radio would click on with the news on WYPR. And it did. And three or four words in, I heard the…

I-35: Minneapolis

Posted October 12th, 2016
I-35: Minneapolis

The Mall of America is… just…horrible. My Dear One suggested we visit. We weren’t in the mood to shop but we were curious about this place that is a destination for visitors from around the world. Parking was well-nigh impossible. There were lots outside and multilevel structures under cover. Having no idea as to how…

Reading Unfriendly: My Barnes & Noble Is Freaking Me Out

Posted June 3rd, 2016
Reading Unfriendly: My Barnes & Noble Is Freaking Me Out

Went to my local Barnes & Noble to pick up a couple copies of Dan Lyons, Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up Bubble (Hachette, 2016).  I had heard most of the interview he did with Terry Gross on NPR’s “Fresh Air” and immediately got the book. Just finished it. It’s not only a great read,…

The Mouth That Would Be President, Take 2

Posted March 7th, 2016
The Mouth That Would Be President, Take 2

It was August 13, 2015, exactly six months and twenty-one days ago as I write this, that I published my anxiety about the campaign of Donald J. Trump for the Republican nomination for President of the United States of America. I was told not to worry, that he was a farce, that his campaign would…

The Mouth That Would Be President

Posted August 13th, 2015
The Mouth That Would Be President

I can’t get him off my mind. Normally I spend precisely none of my time thinking about him, watching his television shows or envying him his wealth. He’s bumptious and loud, though, someone more skilled in getting attention than a spoiled toddler in a toy store and the media keep ratcheting up the volume. I…

In Flanders’ Cities 7: Zaventem is where they park the planes

Posted June 2nd, 2015
In Flanders' Cities 7: Zaventem is where they park the planes

Brussels Airport (BRU), technically in Zaventem, [http://www.brusselsairport.be/en/] is busy enough. Brussels, the capital of the European Union, is a convenient crossroads from pretty much any point to any other point in any of the six inhabited Continents and enjoys a largely captive audience. BRU exemplifies the imperialist and bourgeois core of traditional Belgium and the…

Šeima Means Family 8: The Constitution of the Republic of Užupis

Posted May 29th, 2015
Šeima Means Family 8: The Constitution of the Republic of Užupis

Everyone has the right to live by the River Vilnelė, and the River Vilnelė has the right to flow by everyone. Everyone has the right to hot water, heating in winter and a tiled roof. Everyone has the right to die, but this is not an obligation. Everyone has the right to make mistakes. Everyone…

Šeima Means Family 6: In the Loops

Posted May 24th, 2015
Šeima Means Family 6: In the Loops

You think you know what to expect but you really don’t. I had a vision of the Nemunas Loops Regional Park (Nemuno kilpų regioninis parkas) as a sprawling area, a place needing vigorous hiking skills or better yet a car. The park is 25,171 hectares—a quantity that meant nothing to me. That’s 61.8 acres, though,…