July 20, 2015 |
Standing at an edge of the eastern Pacific Ocean on sand as white as the moon and as soft as cashmere, I spot scores of sea turtles treading water in mid-wave. They are waiting for the sun to set so they can safely come ashore and bury their eggs. But I won't see their amphibious landing, because like all humans, I must leave the island before dark. This is the Galapagos, and I am merely an interloper, a party crasher. Yet, those minutes I spend on the silky beach, my toes submerged in water the color of blue topaz, are some of the most memorable in my life.
July 18, 2015 |
NEW YORK - When the hymn "Amazing Grace" gets to the line about saving "a wretch like me," it's not routine self-flagellation. The author of the song was a wretch indeed, a slave trader who sent some of his nearest and dearest off to be worked to death, as dramatized in the new Broadway musical Amazing Grace about John Newton, who wrote the song's lyrics as the capstone of his redemption. That title, unfortunately, isn't the only predictable aspect of this show, whose backstory also includes the Broadway debut of Christopher Smith of Bucks County, a former suburban police officer who, seized by Newton's story, spent a decade writing the music and lyrics, and coauthored the book.
July 13, 2015 |
As a little girl growing up in New Jersey, I loved hearing my father tell me stories about his Navy service aboard an aircraft carrier in the Pacific during World War II. The war was already raging when my then 17-year-old dad persuaded his reluctant father to allow him to enlist in the Navy in 1942. It was an unusual choice for a farm boy from the tiny town of De Kalb, Texas, who had never seen the sea. By the time he turned 18, Dad was serving with 3,000 shipmates on the USS Yorktown, the Navy's newest warship.
July 6, 2015 |
The Inca Trail is a rite of passage. It is a religious experience, stretching from Peru's aptly named Sacred Valley, not too far from the city of Cusco, all the way to Machu Picchu. Really, it's only around 30 miles and can be traversed in a couple of days, but what it lacks in distance it makes up for in ecosystems, vistas, and ruins that are in no way ruinous. The trek begins at a small parking lot near a gatehouse that serves as the origin for most hikes to Machu Picchu; travelers must show their entrance tickets and have their passports stamped before beginning the hike.
July 1, 2015 |
Every immigrant's story begins with a journey. Some escape from harsh regimes; some leave for education or employment opportunities; others simply seek the promise of a new life in a new land. Silvana Cardell's Supper, People on the Move pays homage to these stories in a harrowing, captivating dance-theater piece. Filled with symbolism and metaphor, it forcefully conveys the emotional power of the psychological and physical perils that can plague an immigrant's passage. Supper , performed through last weekend at Crane Arts' Icebox space, opens on six performers seated at set of long folding tables, their hands and arms linked, then broken apart in waves, a series of slow gestures that embody the longing of farewell.
June 29, 2015 |
Luis Medina's eyes wandered curiously upward to the stained glass windows of St. Joseph Pro-Cathedral in Camden. He tapped his ring finger repeatedly against his thumb and swayed in the pew. Medina, 23, stood beside his much younger peers, whose eyes were focused on the priest welcoming them into the church on their confirmation day. With very limited language and the cognitive skills of a 4-year-old, Medina, who has autism, is locked in...
June 29, 2015 |
I spent my first semester of college in London making friends, traveling, and having all sorts of unexpected adventures, thanks to a program my university calls the First Year Study Abroad Experience. Lots of cool things happened, but my best story is the time my friend Sara and I got lost in Pompeii at night. We were the last ones allowed inside for the day, and we had only an hour to spend there. They had run out of maps by the time we arrived, so we were left to our own devices to explore.
June 22, 2015 |
During a monthlong European vacation, my husband and I made a detour to the Italian Alps to visit the world-famous "Iceman," Ötzi. There, we found the mummified, centuries-old Copper Age wanderer and much more - a delightfully surprising day among the dead and living. Our destination was Bolzano, a small city tucked into a mountainous corner of Italy near the Austrian border, on the train route from Munich to Verona. Bolzano is home to a museum that showcases the 5,000-year-old Iceman, whose miraculously preserved body was discovered in 1991 by hikers in glacial ice nearby.
June 15, 2015 |
The small plane banked steeply to give us a better view of the remains of a circular hilltop city rising from the wide plain barely a mile below. "Megiddo," the pilot said, pointing. "This is the Valley of Armageddon. " Israel lies at the meeting point of three continents, but it is also a temporal nexus of past and present, where the ages of settlement can be seen and even touched in the layers of its ancient towns. As a teacher of history, I came to Israel seeking its past but found the current events taking place amid its archaeological sites competed for my interest, and in a few places like Megiddo, steeped in Biblical portent, it was the future that cast the longest shadow.
June 8, 2015 |
When you travel to a foreign country, you see amazing sights and beautiful scenery. Sometimes, however, the most amazing and beautiful thing you experience is the people. Most of us in our lifetimes have done something incredibly stupid - something you look back on and think, "How could I possibly have done that?" My friend and I are seasoned travelers. On our trip to Spain, the 12th European country we've visited, we had no reason to believe everything would not be as wonderful as before.