Humble Greek Fare

 If I remember correctly, it was during spring break of my first year of grad school that one of my closest friends made "the prophecy." It was one of those whirlwind New York trips I used to take in those days: trips to the theater, an evening dancing at Beauty Bar, enough sugar in two…

Settling In

On a blustery day back in early December, a friend and I went into the hills for a lecture on masala chai (literally, spice tea) at the Berkeley Botanical Gardens. While chai may seem fairly self-explanatory, I was intrigued because the lecture included a tasting of a few different kinds of chai, information about its…

Sweet Home Pennsylvania

 Whenever anybody asks me where I'm from, I usually say Pittsburgh. This, however, is quite far from the truth; I'm actually from a small town, a village really, that is called Fredericktown (if you take a look at the pathetic Wikipedia entry for my hometown, you'll see why I opt for answering any questions about…

Sparkling Lights and Sumac: Istanbul, Part II

On the meeting point of two worlds, the ornament of the Turkish homeland, the treasure of Turkish history, the city cherished by the Turkish nation, Istanbul, has its place in the hearts of all citizens. -Mustafa Kemal AtaturkExactly one week ago I was still firmly caught in the peaceful embrace of that beautiful creature, Vacationland.…

Almost a Memory: Thessaloniki

Writing this post, my last about my trip to Greece, I'm sitting in an air-conditioned apartment in New York City; while the past few days have been wonderful, my legs are more than a tad sore and I'm two shades short of exhausted. There's a part of me that longs for home (oh, to cook…

Happy in the Snow Heap

For a while, what with all this moving and settling I was becoming frantic, schizophrenic, and even, perhaps, necrophilic, combined with anguish, frustration and ill-temper. But, finally getting into the book-work again, I find I work awfully slowly. There is so much that has been written, by people so much more professional than I, that I…

Just Beyond the Pumpkin Patch

I will be the gladdest thing      Under the sun!I will touch a hundred flowers    And not pick one.I will look at cliffs and clouds   With quiet eyes,Watch the wind bow down the grass,   And the grass rise.-Edna St. Vincent Millay ("Afternoon on a Hill")Some days you just want to do something different, go somewhere…