Posts with the category ‘Music, Food, Art and Culture’


A Saturday in Santiago With the City’s Economic Energy On Full Display

February 12, 2018

Guest post by Andrea Lee Negroni – Santiago de Chile For many Santiaguinos, Saturday isn’t the start of a relaxing weekend, its the beginning of another day of hard work. Enterprising folks – the ones without desk jobs – are busy hustling a living in a variety of creative ways. During my five weeks living in Santiago, I’ve come to appreciate the resourcefulness those working outside Chile’s economic mainstream. On any given Saturday, you’ll see manicurists tidying up hands and painting fingernails in pop-up street salons constructed from card tables and cardboard boxes. Some old men have put bathroom scales on the sidewalk so passersby… Read More…


In Bend, Oregon Stone Sculptures Go Flying Out of Creator’s Yard

December 27, 2017

Artist Greg Gifford of Bend, Oregon, sees inspiration where others might overlook it. He finds it on the ground. A decade ago, a hobby for stacking rocks turned into the retired school teacher’s creative second career. “The materials are really cheap,” Gifford said, adding another incentive to using this material over something else for his creations. Gifford first started playing with stones while camping on the beach in Baja with his wife Jan. Mornings they would fish or kayak and in the afternoons they would windsurf. In between, he would make rock stacks, seeking the most challenging, oddly-shaped rocks to see if he could make… Read More…


Around the World, the Holiday Season Transforms With Sugar, Lights and Love

December 12, 2017

The great thing about holidays is the transformation of the ordinary.  Christmas pageants transform ordinary folks into Bethlehem villagers. Lights transform homes into dazzling displays. Butter, flour and powdered sugar are transformed into something delectable (and even thematic). It is a time of transformation after all, especially for Christians who celebrate the incarnation of God through the birth of Jesus. Over the years, I’ve collected photos of the various ways people around the world decorate and celebrate from Ethiopia to England.   So I was especially pleased to see in my inbox today, these holiday-themed photos from hotels in the U.S.A. who are turning the… Read More…


National Park Service Scenes Splash Across Northern California

August 26, 2017

Doris Dalbec is making use of the wheelchair her recently-deceased husband no longer needs; rolling herself back and forth from paint-laden table to the side of the visitors center at Redwood National and State Parks in Northern California. Oh, she can walk alright, but there’s a lot of up and down and side to side action when creating a mural 36 feet across and eight feet high. On the day I meet her, Dalbec was joined by Wanda Kirkpatrick and Nan Marie Stewart, three of many local painters who “leave ego aside” and work collaboratively on one enormous work of art. They are members of… Read More…


Bead By Bead – Travelers Connect in Kenya

July 17, 2017

Sure, you know about the wildlife and the birds of Kenya and you know about the warriors. You’ve probably seen Out of Africa (a few times). Well, the secret, delightful discovery for first-time visitors to the Maasai-populated areas of this east African country, is that men and women, young and old, the Maasai are profligate jewelry wearers and makers. So, in addition your daily searches for the Big Five, plan to spend some time sitting in the shade with a willing Maasai teacher and learn to make something out of beads. Elephant with baby at Maasai Mara National Reserve Maasai women have some magical connection with… Read More…


Time to Forgive, Congratulations to the Chicago Cubs

November 3, 2016

To understand why I’ve rooted against Chicago’s Cubs for the past three decades, you have to know that once upon a time, the Cubs had me arrested.  And not just me, but Richard Isaac (aka Ike) my dear friend and camera man at WGN-TV. I worked as a city hall reporter in Chicago from 1983 to 1988 during the wild days when Harold Washington was the city’s first black mayor. Baseball? Nope, it was the city council that played hardball back then. Anyway, one day when the Cubs were not enjoying a particularly long run of losses, my bosses at Channel 9 sent Ike and me to… Read More…


Iceland Bared, Three Ways to See What It’s Made Of

October 22, 2016

“If you get lost in the forest in Iceland, just stand up,” or so the joke goes. Iceland has many natural wonders, but forests are not among them. You are much more likely to get lost among the volcanic rocks which pile atop each other over vast distances. Covered by snow in winter, lichen in fall and awash in purple Lupina in the summer, the bones of the face of Iceland have a seasonal sameness. I’ve visited Iceland five times in as many years, including a visit in July for this story for The New York Times. But after a conference here this week, I took two days and… Read More…


Prostitute and Papacy Entwined in Lake Constance History

July 6, 2016

She is thirty feet high and weighs 36 thousand pounds and every inch of her voluptuous and barely-concealed anatomy is alluring – except perhaps for the two naked and wizened old men who sit in the palms of each of her upraised hands, one a pope the other an emperor. The statute of the courtesan Imperia by German artist Peter Lenk is not just the most “photographed attraction” in the lakeside resort town of Constance (Konstanz in German) in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, it is the only public sculpture to so conspicuously memorialize a prostitute. Revolving at a rate of once every three minutes to display… Read More…


The Magical Effect of Music and Mozart in Salzburg

July 1, 2016

Tom Hook, the New Orleans jazz pianist, sitting next to me at the Mozart dinner concert my last night in Salzburg, Austria, explained his presence at the event with a smile and probably some understatement, “I am familiar with Mozart’s music.” Sure, there’s a gulf as wide as the Atlantic Ocean between American jazz and the music for which the 18th century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is so famous, still, I have little doubt my dinner companion knew far more than I about Mozart when he arrived in Austria. In a room illuminated by candlelight, two singers, garbed in the costumes of the day sang pieces… Read More…


Nagasaki Survivor and US President On Same Page for Peace

May 30, 2016

Nagasaki survivor Takeo Aizawa, a retired school teacher now living in Tokyo, did not watch President Obama’s speech at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial live, as many other Japanese did. At 77, Aizawa keeps the schedule of a much younger man. He was handling other events in his life, his new grandbaby for one, and planned reunion of old classmates. But he remembers better than most, the events that brought Obama to Japan a few days ago, because Takeo Aizawa lived through them. Aizawa was a six-year-old student attending class when the bomb dropped on Nagasaki, 30 kilometers from where he sat.  “I was not affected… Read More…


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