Turkey, before Syria

Ah, Turkey.  Land of intense and strange landscapes, incredibly delicious food, and lazy sunsets over the Mediterranean.  That is all still true, but today, Turkey is at the center of a migrant crisis and terrorism network hell-bent on taking the luster out of its burgeoning tourist trade.   Even with its hawkish and conservative president,…

Ode to a Great “Third Place”

This essay was written in November, 2015, just a few months after the closure of James’s Gate.   It was published in the Jamaica Plain Gazette on Nov. 20. 2015. It has now been several months since we were all shocked to learn that the James’s Gate Pub had closed. And the sadness hasn’t lessened. Why…

Finding my way to paradise

The instructions from my host to her Airbnb stay were not very specific. A hand drawn map with images of alpacas and roos by the side of curved roads gave hints at a rural location and her artistic streak, but little else. The GPS on my rental car had given up miles ago and I was…