Our World

Ron, John, Don and Len

MINING OPTIMISM FROM MEMORIES (BITTERSWEET), MUSICAL GIANTS (DECEASED) & AN OLD SOAP SALESMAN Ken Taub I remember December 9, 1980 as well as I remember November 22, 1963. Far less plugged in during my twenties than most of us are today, I had not been watching TV or listening to the radi[...]

That's Ridiculuxe!

HERE’S WHAT YOU GET (MAYBE) WHEN YOU GO LOCO FOR LUXURY James Durston In a cage, in a forest, in the center of Bali, Indonesia, something resembling a cat-raccoon hybrid scratches and snuffles through piles of fresh red coffee beans. Next to the cage are a dozen small cups of hot, dark liquid[...]

Roy. Still Here.

SOMETIMES LOVED ONES LEAVE AND DISAPPEAR. BUT THEY NEVER LEAVE, NOT REALLY. Janine di Giovanni This summer, the summer of war raging in Aleppo, and refugees pouring through Europe’s borders searching for a home, the summer of pre-election hysteria in the United States, there was a fire [...]

Stairway to Hong Kong Heaven

ON THE WAY UP, YOU’LL BE A VOYEUR. ON THE WAY DOWN, YOU’LL SEE ORANGUTANS. James Durston Bruce Lee. Steaming bamboo baskets of dim sum. Stroboscopic neon signs. That amazing skyline. Hong Kong’s iconic images may be easily imagined, even by people who’ve never set foot here, but there’s on[...]

The Stench Of War

What does the war in Aleppo, Syria smell of? It smells of carbine, of wood smoke, of unwashed bodies, of rubbish rotting, of fear. Janine di Giovanni War means endless waiting, endless boredom. There is no electricity, so no television. You can’t read. You can’t see friends. You grow depressed[...]

The Frisbee King Faces the Future

WHAT DO YOU DO IF YOU CAN’T DO WHAT YOU’VE ALWAYS DONE? Curtis Seltzer Getting old requires adapting to changed circumstances. I dislike this as much as anyone, both the getting and the adapting.  Parts that were once just fine now hurt. Some need to be repaired or replaced. Of cours[...]

Indelible Views Amid the Misery

HIKING THE APPALACHIAN TRAIL (THE REAL ONE) Curtis Seltzer At the unpleasant hour of 4:16 a.m. one Monday, I woke up with the mostly pleasant realization that I would never walk the entire Appalachian Trail in one calendar year. This monkey was now off my back.  I was, however, upset that I w[...]