• Stoommachinemuseum

    Saturday, September 8, 2018 1 Permalink 0

      The virtue of pushiness When D suggested we had time to visit a "small nearby museum on the history of steam power" I nearly spit out my beer on the boatdeck. Yes, yes, yes, and please yes. But I sensed immediately some disinterest among certain shipmates. There was a bit of inexplicable lollygagging on board, wasting time ...

  • Amsterdam in August

    Wednesday, August 29, 2018 0 Permalink 0

    Holland is a mass of contradictions. It is a straightforward-complicated, innovative-traditional, conformist-iconoclastic, supple-rigid, and altogether miraculous culture, a place of tolerated extremes, ancient trade, great learning, and surprising architecture. The oversized, perpetually open, and unadorned windows with a perfect view of everyone's private life within seem in opposition to the high and massive (and one hopes ...

  • On the boat in Medemblik

    Wednesday, August 29, 2018 1 Permalink 0

    One of the more marvelous parts of a summer full of marvels was spending a few days on a sailboat with old friends in the Netherlands during the last week of August.

  • 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 ...