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 the 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 ...