Bohemian Paris: Myth or Fact?

How do you imagine Paris? For the artist in many of us, it is a Bohemian Paris we conjure up and even yearn for. But is Bohemian Paris merely an illusion? What is a Bohemian, anyway? In the popular view, she is someone unconventional, carefree, and usually involved in the arts. A free spirit who…

Remembrance of Things Polish: The Power of Art

October 2012. I stood in the Bibliothèque Polonaise on the Ile Saint Louis in Paris, looking at the works of Andrzej Kreütz-Majewski. Captivated. Unsettled. His images haunted me and I had to find out more about him. An operatic and theatrical scenery designer, and professor of the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow, Kreütz-Majewski was…

A Summer Across the Bay From San Francisco

“The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” Recall that famous line? No, Mark Twain never said it quite that way. It turns out that’s a misattribution. If, indeed, Mark Twain (Can you ever just say “Twain”? I can’t) uttered something like it, it might have been in reference to Paris.…

Macau’s Portuguese Legacy

Custard tarts and patterned stone pavements. These are the attractions that stood out for me in Macau when I visited it with my husband before China reclaimed it. Both are Portugal’s legacy to China. You may know that Hongkong once belonged to the British. But it’s neither the first nor the only Chinese region occupied…

Morocco—Seductive, Exotic, Multifaceted 

“Don’t get too close to the entry to the Hassan II mosque — especially you, ladies,” our guide warns us in Casablanca, Morocco. Dutifully, we watch the mosque from afar. But the warning only piques my curiosity more. Why? Because a place with so many arches beckons exploration. Because I’ve never seen the inside of…