La Vie Bordelaise

The sun is shining, and the wide boulevards are full of people. They walk slowly, smiling, never seeming to be in a hurry. I stroll past beautiful stone buildings, pausing to admire them, stopping here and there to watch the joggers, the skateboarders, the picnickers. The river moves past as slowly as the Bordelais themselves.…

Why Marseille

When I announced that I would be spending a month in the Southern French city of Marseille, it was met with some disbelief and bewilderment. "But Marseille is dangerous," some said. "Marseille is dirty," cried others. As my month here comes to an end, I can safely and confidently share that I made the right…

Measuring a Happy City

Each year, the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network measures world happiness. It takes data from 158 countries, and combines that with surveys, in order to index happiness. It's a fascinating endeavor, and one that undoubtedly leads to a good deal of subjectivity, even if the results are tabulated scientifically. For instance, let's examine the…

The Royal Tour: Spokane

I have been fascinated with the idea of the World's Fair ever since my parents read a children's book to me long ago about the invention of the ice cream cone at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. This excitement only increased when I recently read Devil in the White City about the 1893 Chicago…

The Legacy of Cesar Chavez

California's Central Valley is nothing like the postcard pictures of the Golden State everyone imagines. There are no surfers, no beautiful people sipping designer coffees or juices. This is farm country, some of the best and most productive in the country, and maybe even the world. It is flat, it is dry, it is dusty…

I Am Ashamed To Be American

It pains me to write these words, but silence is even less an option. I am ashamed to be American. Today I should be writing a piece for Travel Medford about my experience in Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument. But here I am, sitting at my desk, and I can't do it. Too much else needs to…