Browsing Tag »US travel«

A Devil Among the Apostles: Blood and Betrayal in the Apostle Islands

July 8, 2011

Kaydan awoke in the middle of the night demanding Deet.  I told him to go back to sleep, told him I was not his nigger, which didn’t faze him, close-cropped Kanye-acting black man though he was.  Kaydan was on a roll.  Had been all night.  Earlier he had been demanding Tom’s pup tent, the tent […]

Digging Detroit: Ambitious Plans to Grow a City in Decline

June 24, 2011

On Jefferson Avenue near downtown Detroit there’s a restaurant called Dr. Dre’s Open Pit and Bait Shop whose name pretty much says it all.  The City of Detroit is populated mostly by African Americans, 82% of the population is black.  Of those, nearly half are between the ages of 25 and 54, a demographic that […]

Running on Empty: A Strange Visit to the Pennsylvania Oil Sites

June 10, 2011

It would make your eyes burn.  It would irritate your throat.  Those who tried to use it as a lamp oil ended up with a thin layer of greasy soot on their skin.  Even those who had used it as a patent medicine reported poor results. It was more than useless.  It was a nuisance.  […]

Photo Finish: A Perfect Spring Weekend in Lexington, KY

May 27, 2011

A weekend in April is all you need to fully appreciate the gracious 19th century charm of bluegrass country.  Rolling green hills seamed with plank fences, vast blue skies and thoroughbreds.  Warm-hearted people, great food and the world’s best handcrafted bourbons.  A trip to Lexington in springtime is as invigorating as a photo finish. Day […]

The Wickedest Town in the West: Dodge City and the Wages of Progress

May 6, 2011

The Old West was just the briefest snapshot in time.  It’s odd to think that the era we consider the Rootin’ Tootin’ Wild West lasted all of about 15 years, existing during that brief period of time between the first settlers and the arrival of effective law and order.  Many television programs about the era […]

Going the Way of the Dinosaurs: Surviving a Mountain Biking Trip to Moab

April 8, 2011

It’s true.  Mountain biking is one of the most exciting, gut-checking, adrenalin-pumping sports there is.  It requires skill, finesse, courage and physical strength.  It also requires a comfortable familiarity with pain, a friendly association with contusions, a nodding acquaintance with exhaustion, and a willingness to get cozy with nausea and dehydration. I tried to explain […]

Learning to Love the Mob: A One Day Vacation in Las Vegas!

March 18, 2011

When Chicago mobster Anthony “the Ant” Spilotro started burglarizing businesses in the Las Vegas area, the federal government and the Las Vegas gaming commission had seen enough.  So had the mob.  Spilotro had been screwing up a good thing, drawing unwanted attention to mob influence in the city.  So they beat him with a baseball […]

Angela from Los Angeles

February 25, 2011

The L.A. Lakers were playing the Dallas Mavericks for the Western Conference Championship.  The game had been on for nearly an hour.  I was sitting at a bar that boasted six flat screen TVs, all in high def.  Two were switched off and the others were tuned to Wheel of Fortune and a rerun of […]

Our Broken Asphalt Heart: Reflections on Route 66 (Part 2)

February 4, 2011

A bright, enchanting New Mexico morning.  I pull onto the interstate, old 66 running beside.  The land slides and yaws like water in a bucket, waves of rolling terrain, an ocean of pale grass flecked with sagebrush and streaked with browns and reds.  The mountains heave themselves up, haughty, and then stop abruptly, ending in […]

Our Broken Asphalt Heart: Reflections on Route 66 (Part 1)

January 21, 2011

It was once hailed as “The Mother Road,” saluted as “Main Street U.S.A.”.  There have been songs written about it, books, movies, a television show.  In our collective imagination it carries us back to a more innocent time, when America was young, when entrepreneurialism was grass roots, before cookie cutter chains and faceless corporations, when […]