Abe & me: When empty fields mean powerful travel

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Do we really need to visit a place just because something big, tragic, important happened there long ago? If we’re really being honest, I bet we often don’t know what to make of an in-person appearance at many historical sites. Just give it a nod, a stare, a photo, and a silent departure. Noisy traffic or faceless office building overlooking a stone marker … Continue reading

Video: Catskills Hike to Rip Van Winkle’s Lair


Rip Van Winkle, who never existed, was a monumental underachiever. Per Washington Irving’s tale from 1819,  he sat around, hated his wife, named a dog Wolf, and just said “screw it” and slept in the Catskills till everyone he knew was dead, including the dog. End of story. But he knew how to pick a hideaway. Recently I drove up the curving Hwy 23A … Continue reading

TV: Talking Marilyn Monroe on the Insider

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Marilyn Monroe died 50 years ago last Sunday, and researching this Lonely Planet piece on Marilyn Monroe sites a couple weeks ago, I surprised myself by becoming fascinated. Here was a poor illegitimate girl raised by a dozen sets of foster parents, while her mom live in a mental institution — she dreamed of Hollywood and became the ultimate star. It’s quite a … Continue reading

Photo of the Week: Goose Attack! (in Oklahoma)


There are so many things I admire about this shot that my sister took recently at Norman, Oklahoma’s Duck Pond. For starters, the look on the expression of the central figure’s face. The duck has clearly just been attacked and physically pushed to the side. But it couldn’t care less. It just ignores it, looks forward, steadfast and true. Don’t you wish we … Continue reading

New York City’s Bowery in 1949

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Been watching videos of US cities in the 1940s. Fun seeing how so much has changed, and sometimes not changed. (This TWA ‘travel video’ of San Francisco in the early 1950s — the heading of the video wrongly calls it the ’40s — pretty much runs along the same Top 10 list most give the city today; cable cars were touristy even then.) … Continue reading