Aug 152016
 
DC Sightseeing: The Lion Statues of the Nation's Capital

What comes to mind when I say “Washington, D.C.”? Aside from politically-charged phrases like “gridlock” and “senatorial quagmire,” I imagine it’s, like me, landmarks like the U.S. Capitol, White House and Washington Memorial. These architectural icons symbolize the beating heart of the Free World. When I moved to D.C., to which I am obligated, as a […]

 Posted by at 7:40 pm
Jun 102015
 
Cold-blooded Volkswagens: Seeking Leatherback Turtles in Trinidad

It was a warm evening even though the sun had disappeared behind the marine horizon hours prior. Thickly vegetated trees—faintly illuminated by the incandescent porch lights—swayed gently in the sea breeze. The waves rhythmically massaged the stretch of sand on the dark, unseen beach beyond, a beach we’d driven three hours to visit, at night. […]

 Posted by at 8:29 pm
Oct 252014
 
The Cars of Cuba

“Cuba.” What comes to mind? For me, cars. Classic cars. And when I booked my trip to (legally) visit the Caribbean island, it’s the first thing I thought of. As a birdwatcher visiting a country that is home to nearly thirty species of birds found nowhere else in the world (including the smallest) that’s a […]

 Posted by at 8:55 pm
Aug 122014
 
"Super Moon" at Robin Lakes

It was our first backpacking trip of the year, and we knew there would be a few cobwebs: an obese backpack, forgotten necessities, atrophied quads, and sore heels. It was already late in the season: the first weekend of August. A social get-together with some out-of-town friends on Friday night compressed our timeline to just […]

 Posted by at 3:56 am
Aug 082013
 
Church Ceilings, Around the World

Grandiose, Ostentatious, Awe-inspriring, Humbling … Such is the way that religious institutions—churches, synagogues, temples, mosques—are described around the world. Their designers created physical tributes to the deities that guided many lives throughout the centuries. Even today, in an age when our attention is torn from one flashing screen to another, these monuments still stop us […]

 Posted by at 1:50 am
Jun 202013
 
French Woman Window Thingy

Sure, it’s a weird thing to obsess over. But once I noticed my first, it was impossible to stop looking for more. And I found them, all over France. This story starts in Port de Vannes market on our first weekend together in Paris. This market is a veritable orgy for the antique browser, tables […]

 Posted by at 9:46 pm
May 022013
 
The 35 Bridges of Paris in an Evening

Three shapes emerge when you look at a map of Paris: a circle, a spiral, and a horseshoe. The peripherique is the 35km circular highway that defines the boundaries of “Paris proper.” The spiral is provided by the twenty arrondissements (or “neighborhoods”) of Paris that—in an effort to disorient tourists—begin in the middle and spiral out […]

 Posted by at 12:51 am
Feb 072013
 
Paris by Night: The Two Arches

Say “Parisian Arch” and most will think of the Arc de Triomphe. For good reason, too: the “Triumphal Arch” is one of the most famous monuments in Paris. The 164 foot stone structure was commissioned in 1806 by Emperor Napoleon after he defeated the Russo-Austrian Army at the Battle of Austerlitz (and completed three decades later). […]

 Posted by at 12:33 pm