April 24, 2014

Habana, Cuba. February, 2012

The city’s main cemetery seems to stretch on forever and ever. Each pathway filled with ornate memorial statuary, Christian symbols, marble filigree. The day we visited, the skies were troubled, hinting at an approaching storm. Perfect weather for visiting this evocative place.

April 23, 2014

Istanbul. June, 2007

I love markets. And I especially love markets in Istanbul. Thriving, bustling and full of activity. This one is on the Asian side of the city, just up the hill from where the Bosphorus ferry lets you off. And two blocks from my favorite Istanbul restaurant, Çiya.

April 22, 2014

Istanbul. October, 2011

Say the word hamsi and residents of Istanbul are likely to smile. Knowingly. These beloved Black Sea anchovies have a short season, which, happily, always seems to correspond to my visits. This time, I was happy to introduce Jay to the pleasures of fried hamsi at a wonderfully casual outdoor restaurant along the city’s Golden Horn waterway...and then walk him through this fish market nearby to show him the local source.

April 21, 2014

Istanbul. June, 2007

Aya Sofya, the grand old (oldest) building in Istanbul was first a church, then a mosque, now a museum. It’s been around since the days when years were recorded in three digits. And, as the savvy traveler knows, it’s closed Mondays, EXCEPT for the first Monday of the month, when it’s not only open but also remarkably uncrowded, affording you the pleasure of inspecting its many treasures, like this one, in relative peace and quiet.

April 20, 2014

Boston. April, 2013

Jordan Hall at the New England Conservatory. Packed. Each seat taken, people sitting in the aisles on the steps. (Those empty seats were held for “leaders” who filled them in when they returned from some fancy-pants dinner.) The occasion: a “Spring” program of Schumann’s Symphony #1 (titled “Spring"); Borodin’s ‘Polov’tsian Dances’; Stravinsky’s ‘Rite of Spring.’ A thrilling evening with Hugh Wolff and the NEC Philharmonia. The place exploded with applause and shouts at the conclusion. Rightly so.

April 19, 2014

Watertown, MA. April, 2013

Oh, these all-terrain sport vehicles have become so popular these days. This day, April 19, 2013, the streets of my neighborhood were filled with armored vehicles like this, complete with gun turrets on top. All part of the manhunt for the Boston Marathon suspect loose in my quiet town, suddenly famous for a day around the world. And all this scary turmoil seen from inside my home, hearing the helicopters overhead, the climactic capture-prompted gunfire four blocks away, during this multi-town lockdown on a very tense Friday one year ago today.

April 18, 2014

Istanbul. October, 2011

Crossing the Bosphorus from the European to the Asian side of the city on a commuter ferry, these young Turks seem blissfully unaware of the monster cruise ship, one of many, making its way down the storied waterway into the Sea of Marmara and on into the Aegean.