Tag Archive: Best of Europe

Back in Holland, and gelukkig about it

I had to take a moment when I walked out of Amsterdam Centraal Station. All around me Italians were burbling, Spaniards were lisping, and the Dutch were clearing their throats with the somehow… Continue reading

The Wizard of Oz and I

“When I was a boy, I knew what I wanted to be.” My assumption was beginning when he filled in the answer. “A cowboy!”

The Wizard of Oz is Italian

The Wizard of Oz doesn’t let you take pictures. Looking around his close-shouldered toyscape of fragile wooden forms and clustered vintage artefacts, that was understandable. Besides, I already had enough photos from outside,… Continue reading

I’m naked, with special guest: Benito Mussolini

“Mi scusi” is Italian for “Excuse me.” You might hear it when someone interrupts, or steps on your foot, or when the maid opens the door to your hotel room without knocking, two… Continue reading

Community of strangers, on one last night in Rome

They have a community, these men. They have formed a new edition of an ancient tradition, society’s subtext of foreigners who do not pertain, but belong anyway.

Okay fine. I give up. I love Paris too.

There’s something terribly cliche about loving Paris. It’s like loving chocolate, puppies, and The Princess Bride. Of course you love those things. So does everyone else. Not interesting. After reading the 10,000th love… Continue reading

It’s always a good time for a French vineyard

“You are going to Beaune?” said the French sisters, their fine Parisian brows lifting in Gallic surprise. “Yes. Why? Is it…not nice?” My slight trepidation. “Non non non!” They reassured. “It is very… Continue reading

Romanticism, revolution, and Riesling, in Bacharach, Germany

The most interesting thing about the Hotel Kranenturm is not that a very active German railway line passes a few meters from your room, periodically shaking the building with the thunder of gargantuan… Continue reading

On the right bus, in Florence

“The Tuscan Frying Pan” had been in fine frying form all week, but at 8:00 AM the air was the sort of warmthy and goldeny and pillowy that makes so many people write… Continue reading

Turns out I like Germany after all, in Munich

“Put your hand up, put your damn hands up! Tonight is my life, because tonight I’m a sinner! Keep your hands up, keep your damn hands up! Tonight is my life, it’s an… Continue reading