The Streets of New Orleans

The Streets of New Orleans

You first enter New Orleans a little tone deaf and flat-footed, tripping over the broken, heat-stressed sidewalks and the frenetic pace of Bourbon Street. Maybe there’s a Hurricane in your belly. You feel like simmering gumbo, stirred together with so many strange people—your flavors and stenches mixing, mingling with the notes of a distant band. [...]

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Capturing Iceland

Capturing Iceland

This is my Iceland Writers Retreat writing competition submission. While I didn't win this year, I was one of the finalists. I'm including the photos I took during the 2014 layover that inspired this piece. The rules: Iceland – Regard the Moon! Many authors have drawn parallels between Iceland and the moon. Write a max 500-word [...]

American Refugee: 5 Reasons to Visit Inishturk, Ireland

American Refugee: 5 Reasons to Visit Inishturk, Ireland

Last summer I read an article about a tiny Irish island that would welcome American refugees if Donald Trump is elected President of the United States. It was a joke, of course, probably meant to drum up some tourism. During every election season stretching as far back as I can remember, Americans threaten to leave the [...]

Sand Dune Sunset

Sand Dune Sunset

Death Valley, California After looking at routes out of Las Vegas back to Washington State, I decided to drive through Death Valley. I'd never been there before, and I wanted to visit - very briefly - the hottest place on earth. Stepping out of my car to take pictures was like stepping into a furnace. [...]

The Melissani Cave

The Melissani Cave

I wanted to like Melissani Cave, located on the Greek island of Kefalonia. The  Costa Cruise excursion brochure said that our guide would lead a select few down a tunnel and into a subterranean world, where a wooden boat would be waiting on the shore of an underground lake. It sounded like some secret adventure far [...]

Adoration of Dora

Adoration of Dora

First-time director Shu-Ling Hergenhahn-Zhao recently transformed Cass Murphy into a Picasso painting for Lojo Simon's play, Adoration of Dora. AOD is a surreal exploration of the life and work of Dora Maar, photographer, artist, and muse to Pablo Picasso in 1930s Paris, starring an all female cast.  

The Power of Two

The Power of Two

This is how it all ends, I think, doubled over and gasping for air on a sand dune in Southern Colorado, almost 9,000 feet above sea level. Although the altitude didn’t warrant Everest-sized fears, I knew that a wet cough would soon plague me, followed by frothy sputum and respiratory failure. My brother, Anthony, would [...]

Why I Travel

Why I Travel

If you look at the earth from 37,000 feet, you’ll see rivers. You’ll see the scars left by those that dried up, snaking through the deserts. Farmland will be divided into little squares by red gravel roads, and you’ll see the hovering cumulous cast shadows on fields. There will be glowing patches of city lights, [...]