On the Frontier

Tianshan Road in PingZhuang, Chifeng Prefecture, Inner Mongolia, is a long way from the familiar – a frontier, on levels too numerous to mention.  But if you squint a little through the hard March light, what comes to mind is a mid-sized city in western Pennsylvania, complete with graying piles of leftover snow and the…Read more »

Time Machine

Cadillac ran a great ad on TV not long ago. Some white-toothed, studley guy zips around joyfully in a silvery, leather-rich Caddy, smug as can be. Things are obviously good. Very good. Then comes the pay-off line: “Life,” the narrator intones, “is just high school with money.” No kidding. And because I’m headed to my…Read more »

Memo from Manaus

“I went swimming yesterday in the Amazon.  It was pretty cool.” I fired off that brief email to my little sister on Friday afternoon while waiting for the TAM flight from Manaus to Miami.  In addition to being gloriously supportive of her brother, she’s got a fine appreciation for the exotic. Rightly so.  For a…Read more »

Why go away?

It’s summer in America, and that means… family vacation! So this week we loaded up the minivan and the boys and made the annual pilgrimage to our house in South Carolina’s Low Country. Sometimes I wonder why. As we traversed the Tappan Zee Bridge, we were granted with the majestic sweep of the Hudson. Despite…Read more »

Magic Bus

Route 4, ‘Pune Highway’, Maharashtra State, India: The signs for Pune start appearing miles before the city outskirts – an endless parade of towering, glossy billboards promising luxe apartment life in this boomtown of New India. “One Home, Numerous Wishes!” “Make Life an Occasion.” “Experience the Delightful Living!” And my favorite, the simple and definitive,…Read more »