Category: Travel

Based in Batignolles 7: Bienvenue et Adieu

Posted July 1st, 2017
Based in Batignolles 7: Bienvenue et Adieu

Inbound from Charles de Gaulle-Roissy airport, all had gone smoothly until we were in a taxi headed into Paris—at a crawl. The traffic was simply horrific, as bad as anything I have experienced from route 128 outside Boston to any freeway from San Diego to Los Angeles. Our plane arrived at 8:00 am and around…

Based in Batignolles 6: Architecture and Arrondissements

Posted May 31st, 2017
Based in Batignolles 6: Architecture and Arrondissements

“Alistair Horne, Vivid War Historian and Onetime British Spy, Dies at 91.” The headline in today’s New York Times would have caught my eye any morning. Right now, however, I am up to page 306 of Horne’s Seven Ages of Paris, engrossed in his narrative of the years leading to World War I. It’s a wonderful…

Based in Batignolles 5: Same Dish, Different Preparation

Posted May 30th, 2017
Based in Batignolles 5: Same Dish, Different Preparation

We once taste-tested lobster rolls in Maine and coastal New Hampshire. Somewhat to our surprise, the most famous joint did not provide the best. A few days into this trip, we realized a similar project was underway. Having shoehorned ourselves out of those coach-class seats on American Airlines and fidgeted for two hours in gridlock…

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…

Based in Batignolles 2: One Thing After Another

Posted May 10th, 2017
Based in Batignolles 2: One Thing After Another

Gounod’s Faust was the first opera I ever saw, and I saw it at Palais Charles Garnier in Paris in March 1970. As we ascended the massive stair forty-eight years later, studied Marc Chagall’s rainbow of a ceiling and gazed out over the loggia outside the ornate Grand Foyer, it all came back. I was…

Based in Batignolles 1: A Good American

Posted May 9th, 2017
Based in Batignolles 1: A Good American

What good American doesn’t dream of a pied à terre in Paris, especially now that we have elected Donald Trump president, lying, ignorant bully that he is, and the French opted for the rational and articulate Emmanuel Macron over harridan of the Far Right, Marine Le Pen? Not that real estate is cheap. We perused…

The Naples Jaunt 5: It’s My Birthday

Posted April 25th, 2017
The Naples Jaunt 5: It’s My Birthday

Everyone was celebrating my birthday. That morning bagpipes skirled nearby. When I logged in on the computer, I noticed that Google had lit eight candles in my honor. Or maybe for Hanukkah. And just as I started making notes for this post, fireworks exploded in the vicolo Pietro del Pesce, right by our front steps….

Texas Break 1: The River Runs Through It

Posted March 20th, 2017
Texas Break 1: The River Runs Through It

San Antonio is famed for two things: The Alamo and the Riverwalk. Decades ago My Dear One paused at San Antonio, while on route to California, to see them. He was disappointed. Apparently, the Alamo site was barely a building or two, including the chapel, and primarily intrusive hawkers of cheesy souvenirs. The Riverwalk was a short…

The Naples Jaunt 4: Mining and Minding the Past     

Posted March 5th, 2017
The Naples Jaunt 4: Mining and Minding the Past     

Ruins. Antiquities. The bones of the dead. Italy is a place where one culture layers on another, razing, reusing, raising new structures for new orders. Italy has commoditized her archaeological past since long before she was unified as a nation in 1860. Romans collected and copied works of Greek art. Greek, Roman, Egyptian relics were…