București

Pity the poor Nicolae Ceaușescu. His life was the ultimate expression of the homily that the road to hell is paved with good intentions. On the one hand, we have the hardscrabble, but immensely attractive and handsome idealist who clawed his way to the pinnacle of Romanian socialism. […]

Saint-Loup de Varennes

A massive concrete sign outside this village just north of Chalon-sur-Saone in Bourgogne announces that Nicéphore Niépce invented photography here in 1822. For once, one of these weird historical claims appears to be accurate–as long as you define photography as the permanent imprinting of images on light-sensitive materials […]

Oklahoma!

We’ve never visited the State, nor even seen the musical (this picture is from Wyoming and probably looks nothing like the place), but wonder if we should think about replacing the national anthem with this show-stopper. Every time the movie production company breaks out into the song, we […]

Paris

We regret to report that you can no longer recklessly lather up your lips with lipstick and kiss Oscar Wilde‘s tomb in Père Lachaise Cemetery. In an unusual gesture for Paris, the authorities have chosen public sanitation over romance in erecting a plate glass barrier around the grave […]

Milano

In one of the stranger juxtapositions we’ve ever seen, Native American musicians in full costume play New Age music with flutes, drums, and eerie recorded backup sounds on the Piazza del Duomo outside Milan Cathedral. The square is home to an enormous array of street entertainers and musicians, but this act is by far the most popular.

19 x Death Valley

Our first encounter with an American desert came in driving Interstate 15 north from Los Angeles to Las Vegas through the High Mojave. Where we expected to find Lawrence of Arabia waving from atop a sand dune, we instead crossed a moonscape of barren rocks and tumbleweed half-hidden […]