Thursday, August 22, 2013
Day 2: Friday July 19th, Dublin Day 1
So I have well documented on this blog my love for following other people's lists and itineraries. I think it's more adventurous to follow someone else's suggestions, because this way you end up trying different things that you wouldn't necessarily do on your own. For this trip, I tried following one of my very favorite columns, the New York Times' 36 Hours in Dublin. For those who don't know, this itinerary gives you a schedule in a particular city or area from Friday afternoon to Sunday morning. I had a little more than 36 hours in the city, so I decided to combine their regular Dublin itinerary with their literary Dublin schedule.
Wednesday, August 21, 2013
I thought about taking my cue from a classic Clint Eastwood movie and listing the most important points of each day as either The Good, The Bad, or The Ugly. But when I thought about it, this movie title seemed unnecessarily negative. (Has anyone ever noticed this before? Eastwood should cheer up a little bit.) I decided to title my categories The Good, The OK, and The Ugly instead.
Tuesday, August 20, 2013
Now that I have been traveling regularly for the past three years, I've come to the conclusion that it is better to have a sort of theme or plan to your traveling. Just as a literature course is more satisfying if the teacher has some sort of vision for the theme of the class, a person's travels are more satisfying if they at least provide the illusion that the person is learning or gaining something real from the experience.
It was for this reason that I decided to pick a theme for my summer travels this year. I wanted to return to my roots, so to speak, and explore the countries from which my ancestors had escaped due to grinding poverty and religious persecution. I would honor their memories by bouncing around and looking at pretty things, eating a lot, and enjoying a much more privileged existence than any of them ever did. I can't decide how my ancestors would feel about all of this, but if any of them feels like dropping me a line from beyond the grave to let me know, that would be super cool.
Friday, April 5, 2013
I was watching the Woody Allen movie Manhattan recently, and I had a sudden revelation about the difference between seeing a city as a native and seeing a city as a tourist. Both Manhattan and Mr. Allen's more recent Midnight in Paris begin with montages of evocative scenery scored by beautiful music. However, the stunning footage of New York in Manhattan, as well as the power of Gershwin's "Rhapsody in Blue", is undercut by Mr. Allen's voiceover of a pretentious and self-loathing writer trying to compose a serious novel about New York. In Midnight in Paris, the scenery is presented with no other accompaniment other than "Si tu vois ma mere", by Sidney Bechet, which makes the city look like some glistening, rain-soaked paradise out of a tourist's dream.
Mr. Allen, obviously a New York native, brings to his study of the city of his birth a more ironic distance that he cannot hope to achieve when presenting Paris, which is admittedly a city that has the power to turn the most ironically inclined American into a big, mushy ball of goo.
Sunday, March 24, 2013
Monday, August 20, 2012
Saturday, August 18, 2012
I woke up on Wednesday morning ready to try Day Two of Frommer's Day by Day guide to Paris. This itinerary suggested heading straight for the Louvre and spending two hours there. But look at this magnificence photographed above! How could I spend only two hours at possibly the greatest museum in the world? I decided to return to the Day Two itinerary another day and instead spend all day exploring the Louvre's collection.