Archive for April, 2015

I’m always happy to offer Paris travel tips (check out a first-timer’s guide to Paris, a walking/photography tour, and my list of 10 small museums.) But I was truly intrigued when a blogfriend asked me recently about sightseeing in Roman Paris. Here are my top picks — and a quick history lesson to give them […]


As I write this my friends in Freiburg, Germany are gathering to remember the woman we called Gundi. I only vaguely remember the first time I met Hildegund Dörflinger, because I was already wobbly on Christmas-market Glühwein when I arrived at her bar. But I do remember that she made me feel instantly welcome. Gundi, […]


April is National Poetry Month.* I was going to leave this fact unacknowledged, because — though it’s heresy to admit it — I don’t like most poetry. Poetry can be sumptuous and evocative. But too many writers use poetry as a literary Cuisinart, as an excuse to dice up thoughts and mix metaphors. Some poets […]


Ernest Hemingway worked at the Kansas City Star for only six months, but the newspaper’s style guide forever shaped his writing: Use short sentences. Use short first paragraphs. Use vigorous English. Be positive, not negative.” Still, A Moveable Feast didn’t impress me when I read it in high school. The writing seemed simple, almost childlike. […]