Iro Iro: My Brief Moment as a Japanese Classical Dancer

Kimono? White makeup? Shamisen music? In New York City? I spent a few years as part of a semi-professional kabuki dance troupe here, as a student. Many westerners might think white makeup when “kabuki” is mentioned, but they might be … Continue reading

Road Trip – A Snapshot from the Lincoln Highway in Illinois

First designated in 1913, the Lincoln Highway was the first transcontinental highway across the United States, stretching from Times Square in New York City to Golden Gate Park and the Pacific Ocean in San Francisco. In 2005, I drove the … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday – How I would have loved to take the train to Albuquerque…

But instead, all I got was this tiny seat on a tin-can of an airplane. I investigated the details of how I would possibly get to Albuquerque by train. In the adventure category, it puts plane travel to shame. But … Continue reading

New York Calling – and gets voice mail

If there’s one thing I felt after reading the excellent New York Calling: From Blackout to Bloomberg ( eds. Marshall Berman and Brian Berger, University of Chicago Press, 2007), it was a compulsion to challenge the statement that newcomers to New York … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday – Barcelona

Make sure you slip in that “th.” Bar-thelona. Crazy architecture. Eating dinner at 9:30 pm there means you are dining with the elderly set. It didn’t matter that I had packed my luggage for  hot and sunny, and I arrived … Continue reading

Transit Tuesday – The Shore Line Trolley Museum

Did you know that you used to be able to use local streetcar services to trolley-hop between New York and Boston? That one story should make it clear to you how much public investment we have lost to private enterprise … Continue reading

Argand Lamp – A moment of pause for Barbara Carson

Barbara Carson was one of my professors in The George Washington University’s M.A. program in Museum Studies. I took her American Decorative Arts and Time and Light in the Decorative Arts courses, and was sorry I didn’t get to take … Continue reading

New York Disappeared: The West Side Highway

I love this Super 8 of the abandoned elevated West Side Highway, built in 1937. On December 15, 1973, it collapsed under the weight of a truck that was working on repairs to the road. The abandoned roadway became a place to … Continue reading

Wanderlust Wednesday: Balyeat’s Coffee Shop

Gas was 99 cents a gallon in the Midwest in May of 2005. Driving east across the Indiana state line, my friend Mrs. G and I entered Van Wert, Ohio. There, beckoning to us in hot neon: Balyeat’s Coffee Shop … Continue reading