My Immersive Van Gogh Experience

Now I understand what you tried to say to meHow you suffered for your sanityHow you tried to set them freeThey would not listen, they did not know howPerhaps they’ll listen nowDon McLean, “Vincent” It’s a bit of a surprise to me that Don McLean’s song about Vincent Van Gogh isn’t part of the Immersive…

Dushi Curacao

Sunset at Marichi Beach in Willemstad’s Punda district is my evening ritual. A fifteen minute walk from my rental apartment in Otrobanda takes me across the Queen Emma Bridge and past the colorful historic buildings to this urban oasis, just a small patch of sand between a couple of parking lots fronting an equally small…

Curacao and the Dutch Slave Trade

Let not woes of old enslave you anew.Nydia Ecury, Aruban-Dutch writer The quotation stands in stark contrast to its surroundings, inscribed on a wall in front of what was once a post meant to chain slaves for public whipping. Smiling docents are likewise a contradiction, escorting tourists through Willemstad’s Kura Hulanda Museum, a series of…

The Soul of the Gold Rush

The Angels Camp Museum is no ordinary small town historical collection, a fact apparent from my first step inside. A fantastically curated exhibit on Mark Twain, the region’s most famous resident, gives way to a hall full of old cars and carriages, which in turn leads to a replica of an old medical office (complete…

Hagia Sophia: History, Legacy, Controversy

As the old song says, Istanbul was Constantinople. (It was also Byzantium, but our story begins a couple centuries after this first - and less famous - name change.) Few remnants remain in Turkey's largest city from this earlier period. There are ancient cisterns that helped sustain the city through numerous sieges, and some wall…

Armenian Culture in Glendale, CA

The line at Zankou Chicken in Glendale, California, a northern suburb of Los Angeles, is out the door, even during Covid and social distancing. Taped Xs on the ground indicate where we should stand to keep away from other customers, especially important since we are all salivating. Zankou is known for their rotisserie chicken, served…