Category: United States

La Jolla 1: Sea Lions and Pelicans

Posted January 10th, 2016
La Jolla 1: Sea Lions and Pelicans

Ranks of palm trees, beyond the baggage carousels at the San Diego airport, slender trunks curved like a scoliotic spine, confirmed that we were back in southern California. We expected rain, floods even, and landslides. We arrived to blue skies, temperatures in the high fifties and a hopeful forecast. I chose the white Camry in…

Christmas Letter 2015

Posted December 29th, 2015
Christmas Letter 2015

Dearest all, whoever and wherever you may be: Newscasts from Paris in November would cut to Brussels and all we could think was, “We were just there in April.” We recognized streets, buildings, monuments. We thought about our little apartment on rue Potagère (Warmoesstraat) in Saint-Josse not far from the Botanical Garden, our Halal butcher…

That Is Such Sad News

Posted August 22nd, 2015
That Is Such Sad News

A Facebook friend inquires, “Is death always sad?” The comment followed former president Jimmy Carter’s announcement that he has terminal cancer. A number of people from NPR’s Diane Rehm to ordinary friends have found the news “sad.” My FBF continued: “Although I greatly admire Carter, I disagree. Of course, I don’t want him (or anyone)…

The Dallas-Austin Axis 3: Great Reading

Posted January 19th, 2015
The Dallas-Austin Axis 3: Great Reading

Museum labels—you know, those notes posted next to works of art? What’s not to dislike. More often than not they are written in that impenetrable artspeak (of which curators and critics are so enamored) and filled with “facts” and observations the writer believes are essential to every viewer’s experience of that work. Ironically, many curators…

The Christmas Letter – 2014

Posted December 13th, 2014
The Christmas Letter - 2014

Mercy me—is the year almost ended? 2014 gave us adventure, romance, challenges and sorrow. Suspended as I am among so many feelings, none has gravity sufficient to pull me close. What consumes me now are the tasks ahead from collecting the turkey from Rumbleway Farm where our bird spent the best part of a year…

A Mid-West Triangle 1: Sights along I-70

Posted October 21st, 2014
A Mid-West Triangle 1: Sights along I-70

The Columbus (Ohio) Airport has beautiful restrooms! Well the women’s is beautiful; my Dear One says the gent’s is small. But no mind. I entered a well-lit space both immaculate and ample. The stalls feature locks that work and toilets that flush, seat covers and plenty of toilet paper; there is a shelf on the…

Down to New England 2: The Lobster Roll Project

Posted June 24th, 2014
Down to New England 2: The Lobster Roll Project

Yankees like me favor lobstuh; Chesapeake Bay locals–My Dear One for instance–prefer blue crab. We both love a seafood sandwich and on this trip north we dedicated lunchtime to finding a truly superior lobster roll. A search for “best lobster rolls in Maine” produces countless results, among them a list of seventeen places, arranged in…

The Christmas Letter – 2013

Posted December 14th, 2013
The Christmas Letter - 2013

“And we walked off to look for America…” Well, perhaps not in the way that Paul Simon’s lyric suggests, but our travels in 2013 took us to corners of the country less familiar to us. My Dear One and I fled Maryland’s January chill to Tampa, Florida, and enjoyed gardens, manatees and the company of…

The Middle 4: Walmart and the Business of Art

Posted October 23rd, 2013
The Middle 4: Walmart and the Business of Art

I want to be snarky. I want to be elitist and scorn cultural credibility bought by Walmart money. I am not altogether succeeding. Fact is, the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is pretty damned amazing. It has the best collection of American moderns that I have seen anywhere other than the Boston Museum of…

The Middle 2: A Small Town Time

Posted October 18th, 2013
The Middle 2: A Small Town Time

Once upon a time there was a town called Independence, Missouri. It was famous mainly—at least to us denizens of the right and left coasts of the country—as the hometown of Harry S. “Give’em hell, Harry” Truman, 33rd President of the United States, the Vice-President who stepped up to lead a nation embroiled in wars…