The Restaurant Review You’ve Always Been Tempted to Write

Pierogi On Thursday evening (Aug. 8), Sandra and I celebrated our 32nd anniversary* at one of our favorite restaurants, Tisza Bistro, just two miles from our home. Yesterday, after getting a request to comment on our dining experience, I wrote a glowing review. I’m supplying a link to it here because I want to demonstrate […]

Cats!

Among the many criticisms leveled at Facebook and other social media is the amount of time so many of us spend watching cat videos. To human eyes (and brains), cats are wonderfully entertaining. Years ago I watched a feline performance, in person, that still makes me smile whenever I see a cat rub against someone’s […]

A Little-Heralded Footnote to Apollo 11

All the attention to the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing on July 20, 1969, reminds me of my own peculiar little footnote to this historic event. At the time, I was a Peace Corps volunteer living in the north-central Indian village of Rajnagar (rough translation: Kingston) where I was working, together with […]

From Bali to Timor — a Memorable Flight

A DC-3 With the 50th anniversary of mankind’s first landing on the moon just days away, I’m reminded of a somewhat more down-to-earth flight that I experienced only a year or so after Apollo 11. It was on my trip home to the United States from India, where I’d been serving in the Peace Corps. […]

National Doughnut Day — Did It Roll Right Past You?

Naomi (here in a forest outside Leningrad, 1977 or 78) in the hooded snowsuit which, with its neck slightly unzipped, prompted a passerby to claim she was “naked” I hope you didn’t miss National Doughnut1 Day this past Friday. If Facebook had not brought it to my attention, I certainly would have. As it turned out, […]

More Mother’s Day Memories

Mollie Daniel, expecting me, 1944 For Mother’s Day this year, I’d like to add a few more recollections of my mom to the collection — a tribute really — that I wrote two years ago. If you didn’t read it back then, and if you’d like to know something about the wonderful lady who brought […]

Look, Mom – Fish Sauce!

Have you ever wondered about fish sauce, the all-but-ubiquitous ingredient in so much of Vietnamese, Thai and several other Southeast Asian cuisines? The one that, when sitting innocently on the table in an unlabeled bottle, looks almost identical to soy sauce but which has a peculiar fragrance and flavor that seem quite unlike anything you […]

‘No-Crash’ Courses in Driving in Italy, England and Japan

Our tiny Fiat The experiences I recounted in last week’s post about driving in Brazil were hardly the only adventures I’ve had behind the wheel. My first encounter with “crazy foreign drivers” took place in Europe in 1965, on the same trip when my friend Arlee and I drove our car — a Fiat so tiny […]

Earning a Ph.D.

Here I am with my Corcel, a Brazilian-made Ford, relaxing in Brasilia in 1972 or thereabouts. I got my bachelor’s degree in Connecticut and my master’s in Massachusetts, but I had to cross the equator and fly all the way to Brazil for my Ph.D. I hasten to add that this doctorate was not in […]

Bud Korengold, 1929–2019, RIP

Last week I lost a friend, Robert J. “Bud” Korengold.* While we were not close, I greatly admired him. I first made his acquaintance when I was a Russian area studies major at Yale, and he was the Newsweek correspondent in Moscow. Back then, our acquaintanceship was one-way. I knew who he was; he had no […]