Tag: Vilnius

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…

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 7: The Republic of Užupis

Posted May 29th, 2015
Šeima Means Family 7: The Republic of Užupis

We could not have imagined what a good choice the apartment at Užupio 26-11 would turn out to be. My Dear One found the listing online. We both loved the old-fashioned blue-upholstered furniture and the sunlight flooding in the window. The apartment claimed a view of Gediminas’ Tower, that famous ruin on a Vilnius hilltop….

Šeima Means Family 1: The Family We Choose

Posted April 25th, 2015
Šeima Means Family 1: The Family We Choose

We reached out to Audrius about fifteen years ago as we jumped into the quagmire that is the genealogy of Lithuanian immigrants to the United States. He shares a surname with my Dear One and a rather random Internet search turned him up in Kaunas. We grasped at that straw; it was an article of…

The Christmas Letter – 2012

Posted December 12th, 2012
The Christmas Letter - 2012

In the waning months of my “Year of Present Living” we finally got to Lithuania. Both of us acquired a whole bunch of new cousins in 2012, as well. That’s what happens when you shake those family trees with vigor and a little manic enthusiasm. Our dinner table, however, can always accommodate just one more…

Of Time and Family 3: Barking up the Wrong Family Tree?

Posted August 29th, 2012
Of Time and Family 3: Barking up the Wrong Family Tree?

In genealogy, I have found, it is always easier to see a connection than prove one, to imagine a family than establish one, to design a tree rather than allow it to grow. When we attempted to track down my Dear One’s Lithuanian progenitors, for instance, an administrator at the National Archives in Vilnius sniffed…

Lietuva 10: Random Thoughts

Posted May 28th, 2012
Lietuva 10: Random Thoughts

The fragrance of Lithuania in May is lilac with a hint of lily-of-the-valley. It is best not to start a two-week vacation with a fall and a sprained ankle. It is worse to start a two-week vacation with a fall and a broken ankle, so count your blessings. Wherever you are, locate the nearest Maxima…

Lietuva 9: Rooms and Restaurants

Posted May 27th, 2012
Lietuva 9: Rooms and Restaurants

As it turned out, all the rooms were good and Lithuanian food is just plain delicious. Choosing hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, gîtes/self-catering apartments is something of a crap shoot. You start with the essentials: parking and free Internet. You move on to the important features: the location and configuration of the bathroom, the type of bed, conveniences…

Lietuva 5: Cuckoos, past and present

Posted May 22nd, 2012
Lietuva 5: Cuckoos, past and present

Yesterday as we walked through Grūtas Park, my Dear One halted and said, “Hear that? The cuckoo?” I listened and heard twitters and warbles and caws, but no cuckoo. “It’s just like a clock—can’t you hear it?” No, I couldn’t. But later on, back at Romove Homestead, I thought I had wandered into a Swiss…