The Newspaper

It’s there

Lying in the fresh cut grass

Wrapped in an impossibly thin plastic bag

Drawn tight against its muscular rolled pages

I feel the strain of those who created this ballet of words and images

Reporters (called by a President the last of the talented poor)

Hoping to turn a phrase and retire to television’s lap of ephemeral luxury

Sullen photographers with purloined badges in windbreaker pockets

World weary editors hacking away the rhetorical underbrush

Remembering their reporting days with harsh judgment

Designers sliding the electrons around

Cutting off the bottom three graphs

To make a photo just a little larger

Ignoring the stack of empty spaces

Where advertising will reside in truculent support

A printer with ink under his fingernails

Who, as a matter of principle, won’t read the paper

Until it is properly presented in his own gravel driveway

Truck drivers hammering water out of potholes

A mother of two, up at four in a busted up Corolla

Flinging a paper into every twentieth ditch, yard, driveway

My ritual begins

Reading, turning pages

A headline and three paragraphs

And they better be good or I’m moving on

Ink rubbing off on my fingers

Always something delightful disturbing lovely bleak hopeful

And, then, its done

The paper, so valuable and mysterious moments ago, dead now

Read, exhausted, spent

Tossed away without a thought

Prague, Czech Republic

What a joy it is to discover a wonderful city of which I had practically no knowledge.

A delightful, complicated clock at the city center.

Breathtaking architecture.

The beauty is in the details.

Interior of the cathedral near Prague Castle.

We enjoyed lunch in this old bell tower converted to a restaurant.

There were once 12 massive bells in the tower. During Nazi occupation, soldier melted down 11 of the bells to make ammunition. This is the only bell that survived.

A delightful treat: Chimney Cakes. Roasted over open flames and filled with Nutella and whipped cream.

One of my most moving experiences was the Old Jewish Cemetery. Room after room with the names of those killed in the Holocausts. The scale and weight of the sorrow stayed with me.

Families who visit the cemetery leave pebbles on the gravestones to illustrate their relatives are not forgotten.

I surprised ruby with a visit to a jazz club.

A visit to the Museum of Communism was an unexpected pleasure.

Delicious roasted meats were on offer at the Christmas Market.

Beautiful details on buildings throughout Prague.

A parting image of Prague, with the old reflected in the windows of the new.

Vienna, Austria

Superb Christmas markets throughout the city. A night out with friends.

Out little Christmas Tree.

Dog-shaped wreath.

Magnificent architectural detail.

We loved this little restaurant with cups and kitchen utensils handing from the chandeliers.

Christmas morning.

A concert by the Royal Vienna Orchestra in an elaborate venue.

Cici Palace.

Elaborate folded napkins.

Budapest, Hungary

New Answer to the Question: If you could live anywhere in the world and had to decide right now, where would you live?

I loved everything about Budapest. Ruby and I play a game where we ask the question: If you could live anywhere in the world where would you live? My answer has always been Florence, Italy. Until I experienced Budapest.

We loved everything about Budapest. The Christmas Market. The center city. The people.

A whole cooked pig at the Budapest Christmas Market.

The baths, fed by natural hot springs, were spectacular.

One of the great meals of our trip, maybe our life, at Bombay Budapest.

Budapest is a sophisticated city with just a little grit.

Zagreb, Croatia

Our first night in Central Europe was in Zagreb. There was a celebration of the national team for its excellent showing in the World Cup.

An artful and ancient city.

Peasant woman.


The umbrella is a national symbol.