March 15, 2015 |
Eastern Europe has experienced more change in the last generation than any other corner of Europe. With war-era grandpas now gone, across the former Warsaw Pact zone new museums and memorials deal candidly with the dark side of communism - and fascism before that. Here's the latest: In Prague, the National Museum on Wenceslas Square is wrapping up a long renovation. By mid-2015, visitors should be able to see its interior, decorated in the Czech Revival style that heralded the 19th-century rebirth of the Czech nation.
November 11, 2014 |
The fields, at first, appear unremarkable. These mass graves from the Holocaust weren't supposed to stick out. But the Rev. Patrick Desbois has devoted his life to finding them. Slowly, during visits to barren landscapes across Eastern Europe, the French priest will uncover artifacts hinting at the horrors that took place there decades ago: A shard of jewelry left tossed in a bush. A shell casing covered by overgrown grass. What Desbois finds most often, however, are stories from local villagers - witnesses who've remained and told him what they remember.
February 19, 2014 |
Austin Cook shifts his weight onto his back leg as he raises the blade of a hockey stick behind his ear. He brings the stick down onto a rubber puck with the full force of his body, and the disc clangs against the side of a makeshift goal, ricocheting into the family garage. He'd lost count of the number of shots taken that morning after his 300th. When he's satisfied with himself, he scurries inside to grab his backpack and heads to catch the bus to Dwight D. Eisenhower Middle School.
November 20, 2013 |
"Through the skin we let the whole world in. " So begins the poem, written and recited by Karl Mullen, that provides the title for the featured piece in last weekend's program by the Koresh Dance Company at the Suzanne Roberts Theatre. Made up of 15 short segments, the work showcases signature elements of Roni Koresh's choreography, his favorite theatrical effects, and the remarkable technical abilities of his 10 performers. Like many of the pieces Koresh has created over the last two decades, Through the Skin combines jazz-dance staples (jutting hips)
October 16, 2013 |
Investors are witnessing our transformation from a functioning democracy to a dysfunctional political mud wrestle, thus making some emerging markets outside the United States look stable and inviting. Emerging markets, however, experienced a panicky sell-off this year, a plunge that ended around May 1, so it's important to tread carefully. We checked in with Peter Kohli, a portfolio manager who runs DMS Funds in Leesport, Berks County, "just at the end of the Reading airport runway," as he describes it. We wanted to find out why he likes emerging markets so much these days, in particular Central and Eastern Europe, and how investors can put money to work the way he does.
June 3, 2013 |
"This war, like all wars, must end. That's what history advises ... " - Barack Obama, May 23 Nice thought. But much as President Obama would like to close his eyes, click his heels three times, and declare the war on terror over, war is a two-way street. That's what history advises: Two sides to fight it, two to end it. By surrender (World War II), by armistice (Korea and Vietnam), or when the enemy simply disappears from the field (the Cold War). Obama says enough is enough.
February 21, 2013 |
Stuffed cabbage recipes are the realm of grandmothers and winter. I grew up with a sweet-and-sour beef and rice version simmered in lemony tomato sauce, just like many other Philadelphians of Jewish descent. We called it prakas, a Yiddish name with roots in Eastern Europe. Whatever your background, there are likely cabbage roll recipes in your family ancestry. Poles have golabki, Czechs and Slovaks call it holubky; Turks and Armenians eat dolmas. In Quebec you can ask for cigares au chou.
June 13, 2012 |
At the Jewish Genealogical Fair in Cherry Hill, I listen to different voices tell the same story. "I want to find my grandfather. …" "She came here in 1916. …" "He changed his name. …" To the last comment, Steve Schecter, vice president of the Jewish Genealogical Society of Greater Philadelphia, offers a ready observation. "They all changed their names," says the Mount Laurel retiree, 66, whose paternal grandfather came to America from what is now Belarus, shucking his Schullriekter surname along the way. The old names were back on Sunday at Temple Beth Shalom, as 150 people queried representatives of public archives, such as the Camden County Historical Society, and private organizations, including the Jewish Federation of Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem Counties.
March 25, 2012 |
I am on a plane traveling to California for what I know will be the last time to see my father, who is succumbing to congestive heart failure. My wife in her wonderful way, knowing the pain this trip entails, slipped an Inquirer Travel article into my briefcase about a man who traveled with his father back to the small Italian village they were from. As I read it, memories of a similar pilgrimage came flooding back like rereading an old love letter. In my job, I have been fortunate to travel the world - mostly with people who were familiar with the regions and companies I was seeing.
February 17, 2012 |
OF ALL Shakespeare's tragic heroes, Coriolanus has been described as the hardest to warm up to. Not a charmer, that Coriolanus. Didn't have a nice word to say about anyone, except somebody he was determined to kill in battle. The Roman general was remarkably brave in battles fought to preserve the safety of his country's citizens, remarkably full of contempt for those same folks. Shakespeare was fascinated by this contradiction, and wrote some of his best stuff for this character, making Coriolanus the blunt-speaking counterpoint to the silver-tongued Henry V. When Coriolanus (played in this adaptation set in contemporary Eastern Europe by Ralph Fiennes)