Reminder in a Ukrainian cemetery

Gabryela Zapolska was a feuilletonist. It’s okay, no one else knows what that is either. I only mention it because Gabryela’s name is in the Latin alphabet on her grave at Lychakiv Cemetery… Continue reading

People you meet in train stations

Pasazhyrskyi was exactly the sort of name I wanted for Kiev’s train station. Add the neo-baroque interior with its multi-level chandeliers hanging from cavernous ceilings, and starkly decorative interior levels that were simultaneously… Continue reading

Art and artists in Zacatecas, Mexico

Rafael Coronel was Diego Rivera’s brother-in-law, but that wasn’t the most interesting thing about him in Zacatecas. When the city renovated a former monastery from the 1500’s, Rafael donated his mask collection as… Continue reading

What is Zacatecas?

The sky immediately soothed me. We’d landed in Zacatecas as evening came on, and the airborne vista’s agricultural monotony had caused some slight trepidation, but on the short drive to town I was immersed… Continue reading

And then suddenly: Mexico

On Tuesday I realized I had an empty week. My next gig-job doesn’t start for a bit, the other one I applied for hasn’t gotten back to me yet, and real work has… Continue reading

Thank you California

I have a New Year’s tradition. Always fun, it’s grown even more important over the past three years. When the calendar flips, I look up lists of Things That Went Right that year.… Continue reading

Fitting in between in Lamu

Lamu is too small to be called a town, but too active (and interesting) to feel like a village. It’s not part of Kenya’s steel-and-concrete economic ambition, but nor does it show the… Continue reading

Cranky grandpas and the next election scandal

The two older gentlemen, both volunteer poll workers, could have been best friends. Robert Duvall (at his crankiest) and Clint Eastwood (at his beardiest) could have been Oscar contenders in this heartwarming tale… Continue reading

Riding horses in Tibet

Someone in the train station spoke enough English to get us around the cities of China, but this was the countryside, just across the border into Tibet, and we’d signed up for a… Continue reading

Thanksgiving

Turkeys, football, and construction paper imitations of pilgrim shoes and Indian headdresses, that’s where childhood’s Thanksgiving began. Oh childhood. Oh 1980s.   Then I learned about genetically modified turkeys that can’t reproduce naturally,… Continue reading