July 29, 2013 |
When I was 18, I wrote a postcard to my grandmother from Austria, describing how I slept for free on the porch of a hostel in Innsbruck. While I wouldn't do that now, it's fun to reminisce about my backpacking days. Bars were inundated with smoke, currency changes were required after each border crossing, and it took about nine hours to travel from London to Paris. Despite the changes, the adventure and thrills of good old-fashioned vagabonding survive. One of the most amazing changes over the last decade is the speed and ease with which you can get around.
July 24, 2013 |
YOU THINK we have it bad, caught between a stagnant economy and gridlocked politics? Then take a trip to Europe, where the economy is going not sideways, but backward - and the politics are, too. In the United States, President Obama's much-derided stimulus package helped end our recession in 2009; in Europe, with no comparable stimulus, the recession isn't over. Unemployment in the 17 countries that share the euro is higher than 11 percent, and it's still heading up. Since 2008, Italy's gross domestic product has shrunk by almost 10 percent after inflation; by some estimates, Southern Europe is experiencing its worst drop in living standards since World War II. It all makes the U.S. recovery look positively healthy, even though our 2 percent growth rate and 7.6 percent unemployment feel anemic by modern standards.
July 17, 2013
THE OWLS are taking off for Europe. The Temple men's basketball team announced it will take its first-ever European training trip this summer. The Owls, under head coach Fran Dunphy, will take a 10-day trip that will start in Paris and end in Rome. The team leaves the United States on Aug. 14, and will return on Aug. 23, just in time for the start of classes. The team will play four games while there, and also take in the sights and sounds of two foreign countries. The team also will stop in Nice, France, and Florence, Italy.
June 25, 2013 |
More signs of distress in China's economy and rising bond yields led to a broad sell-off in stocks Monday, leaving the market down 5.7 percent from its all-time high last month. It's the first pullback of 5 percent or more since November. U.S. trading started with a slump Monday. The market recovered much of its loss, then fell back toward steeper losses again. By the close of trading, the big stock indexes were clinging to modest gains for the second quarter. The last day of trading for the quarter is Friday.
June 9, 2013 |
One of the great joys of European travel is eating. If you let yourself tune in to the experience, a meal is a travel thrill in itself - as inspiring as visiting an art gallery and as stimulating as a good massage. I have only a few basic rules for eating my way through Europe: Find places outside the tourist zones. Go for local specialties. Eat seasonally. Most of all, eat fearlessly, trying things you've never had in places you've never been. Begin by looking for welcoming spots filled with locals.
June 8, 2013 |
BUDAPEST, Hungary - The mighty Danube is not the only river in Europe bursting its banks this week, but it packs the biggest punch. Winding 1,777 miles across 10 nations, the Danube is the second-longest river on the continent, making its way from Germany's Black Forest to the Black Sea bordering Romania and Ukraine. Only the Volga in Russia is longer. In the last decade alone, the Danube has been at the center of two major floods, several devastating droughts, and a winter cold snap that froze the vital waterway for hundreds of miles.
May 19, 2013
Mary Stevenson Cassatt was one of the first American-born Impressionist painters. Though we often associate her with Philadelphia, she was born in 1844 in Allegheny City, Pa. (now part of Pittsburgh), and lived most of her life in Paris. Cassatt spent much of her youth in Europe. Her Philadelphia connection began in the 1860s, when she studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She was one of a group of female students who helped to introduce "life" classes - those dedicated to drawing from live models - by posing for one another.
May 14, 2013 |
Before he walked into an honors communications course at West Chester University, Grant Hubbard's ethnic identity was the stuff of skin color and oral history. He was the white guy with European roots whose family came to the United States shortly after the Mayflower arrived. Then science took over. The swipe of a cotton swab inside his cheek and a DNA test indicated that he had ancestors from Europe, and elsewhere. "My results came back 60 percent Southeast Asian," said Hubbard, 20, of Downingtown.
May 12, 2013 |
NEW YORK - Small was beautiful this week. The Dow Jones industrial average closed above 15,000 for the first time Tuesday, then held above that milestone for the next three days. But an index of small-company stocks put the blue-chip gauge to shame for the week. On Friday, the Russell 2000 closed the week up 2.2 percent, more than double the Dow's gain. Small stocks stand a greater chance of surging than those of global companies do if the U.S. economy continues to fare better than those of Europe and Asia.