• Paris, une fois

    Saturday, July 21, 2018 0 Permalink 0

    Paris never appealed to me. It struck me as sprawling, expensive, pretentious, hard to enter, and even harder to leave. I don't even appreciate Beaux-Arts! (or so I thought) But this summer I must have been ready for the magic. I finally clicked with Paris. Some highlights from five days in the City of Lights: A palatial ...


    Friday, June 29, 2018 0 Permalink 0

    A city so alluring - so filthy and pious and rude and storied and coastal and sweaty and ancient and delicious - that I don't want to share it. I just want to go back!

  • The things we choose to remember

    Friday, June 29, 2018 0 Permalink 0

    Images from the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli To our modern sensibility, what makes one stone rubbish and the next stone precious art is supposed to be a subjective judgment, inherent in the story of the viewer, not in the stone itself. But in the case of Pompeii, the Bourbons and Victorians could not mistake what they ...

  • By a King’s Bier

    Wednesday, May 30, 2018 0 Permalink 0

    The Seed of Envy The monument occupies the singular place of honor in Malta, a massive table overlooking the bay on the highest point of the tip end of the promontory of the entire peninsula of Valleta. It is a King's bier if ever there was one. On it reposes a noble bronze body many times ...

  • Gozo, May 2018

    Tuesday, May 22, 2018 1 Permalink 1

    Probably the most important thing to know about Gozo is that in the middle of the 16th century, in only a few fateful days, a great majority of the population was carted away into slavery and never retrieved. A few brave souls escaped by rappelling down a wall so terrifying that I did not take ...

  • Malta, May 2018

    Tuesday, May 22, 2018 0 Permalink 0

    Our English classes reveled in Malta, though perhaps reveling too much is Malta's great scourge. It is a place so tromped-over for millennia that it lacks much of a soul. The modern English and French and Italian highrise partygoers do not help revive it. I was at times sorry to add to that burden. But the traditional ...

  • Smoky Mountain Trails

    Monday, September 18, 2017 2 Permalink 0

    We learned several things about our current selves and our place in the world on the trail this last full moon: We are too old to hike 20 miles a day on rugged terrain carrying 60-lb packs. We were more sedentary than planned, and there are many more photos of fungus than mountaintop vistas for ...