Burlesque Berlin

Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome! Fremder, Etranger, Stranger Gluklich zu sehen. Je suis enchante. Happy to see you. Bleibe. Reste. Stay. Willkommen! Bienvenue! Welcome! Im Cabaret, Au Cabaret, To Cabaret. Cabaret The famed Broadway musical Cabaret starts with this greeting. Based on the Christopher Isherwood novel Goodbye to Berlin, Cabaret confronts the realities of the huge Berlin…

Bonn: City of Beethoven

Sitting in the Music Room, I find myself moved to tears, and not for the first time today. A small circle of seats and a projection on the wall are the sole features of the room, but it an emotional sensory experience. Beethoven’s beautiful Moonlight Sonata is playing over a speaker, and the projection shows…

Goethe in Frankfurt

He is to German what Shakespeare is to English: the master, a writer who transcends mere language to become a cultural and national icon, spoken of with reverence. Johann Wolfgang von Goethe is considered the master of the German language. And this is where he was born. The house feels out of place on a…

A Cool Walking Tour of Pasadena

I’ve walked these streets a hundred times or more. Probably a lot more. And yet here I am, finding myself learning about new features I had never before noticed. I am here in Old Town Pasadena for a walking tour organized through the Pasadena Museum of History. The tour is focused on “saloons and speakeasies,”…

Vancouver, BC

Editor’s note: Vancouver is seriously one of the most wonderful places in the world. My guide, which you can see here, covers some of the same places as this beautiful piece by Sam Spector, although he fills in some important gaps. This is one of the reasons I love having other voices on The Royal…

626 Night Market

There’s an excitement in the air that can only come from people hungrily waiting for food, searching rows of stalls for the next morsels on which to dine. The music is loud, just barely drowning out the sound of my stomach rumbling. It is hardly 5pm, and already the place is crowded, although the line…