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Category Archives: Travel Writing

One might ask if breakfasting at Starbucks when abroad is really traveling

One might ask if breakfasting at Starbucks when abroad is really traveling. I ask that myself when I enter one. Believe me, there are plenty of reasons not to enter one. Number one for skipping an English Starbucks is that they don’t have scones, at least not I the English Starbucks I’ve been in so […]

Moving down–and downhill–fast

Jane Austen’s family spent time and rented rooms and floors of rooms from time to time in Bath, Somerset, England. The refurbished Roman baths provided entertainment and a promise of healing any and all ills, while the Royal Crescent and other stone “terraces” (apartment complexes) provided high-status accommodations where the Austen family could promenade in […]

Hotel is in a great location but I wouldn’t exactly say we got lucky

I think we’re the only guests in this hotel. We do hear other people from time to time, but they only seem to  stay one night at a time. And for some UNKNOWN REASON these people are housed right next door to us. Why the staff can’t put at least one room between us and […]

Jack Kerouac and Jack Mormons at the Beatnik Cafe

It was an unassuming storefront with a killer name, Albion Beatnik Cafe, and an unassuming drizzly morning watched a couple of American drowned rats enter the premises. The Beatnik Cafe was the kind of place to peruse, pursue, and, hopefully, purchase for the pleasure of language. Our eyes swept the cubby shelves of literary wonders […]

Art, art, art, art, book

The artist on vacation is not necessarily constantly sketching. I’m not Jack Kerouac with his small notebook, pulling it out, writing it down, stuffing it back into a jeans pocket. Oh, artists observe all right, and we may take photos for future use. The Midlands of England have perhaps every single tint, shade, hue, and […]

St. Pancras Station, Part 2. The statue.

Paul Day’s sculpture is big (over 29 feet tall). It’s garish (its hugeness doesn’t help). But let’s talk about public art. Give anyone anywhere anytime a chance to criticize art, and they will. I was at the Tate Britain yesterday, and there was some absolute schlock–terrible, miserable, ugly, huge misshapen blobs of grossness. But it […]

St. Pancras Station, Part 1. The pianos.

My small hotel in London is close to St. Pancras Station, which, together with King’s Cross Station, organizes certain trains, underground lines, and the Eurostar. Not St. Pancreas. If it were St. Pancreas, I might cross Euston Street everyday, bouquet in hand, to seek release from diabetes. But Pancras himself was a Roman who converted […]

Thelonius Monk and the polka dot scarf

First days in Paris, dazed in Latin Quarter sunshine That’s when I first noticed the polka dot scarf Wrapped around an elegant French neck An icy white background with orange, red, black, and navy spots Evoking the film star on location, the carefree woman I’d like to be. My son and I at a jazz […]

Amtrak, clickity clack

Green River Station. 7 AM Just down from Ray’s Tavern Padlocked, in hock, dry docked on Broadway Historic function mocked, doors locked, platform pocked with age and inattention Misery clocked year by year, maybe a beauty in its day A building now socked in the historical jaw. No place to sit except for a splintery […]

Big talk, small table

It’s another trip to Paris, and I’m different. Single now. Six years older. Living in a different US town. Not blogging everyday like in 2007. Not staying as long this time: five weeks instead of eight. Alone, except for the three-week visit of my middle son, who shared with me many long talks over espressos […]