Quick Jaunt: York

This photo pretty much epitomizes York, England– and, to be fair, most small towns and cities in the UK: They’re sleepy, homogeneous (skewing whiter and older), and nowhere is the prevalence of motorized scooters and mini malls higher. But the quaint scenery and relative calm makes for a nice escape from the big city (and,…

Day Hike: Seven Sisters

England can feel claustrophobic: it’s dense, laced with gray highways and aging malls and hulking supermarkets, and too often straddled by gray skies. The air, even in the suburbs, can be acrid. One of my favorite escapes is just a day trip away from London: the Seven Sisters coastal hike. The Seven Sisters are a…

Laters, East London!

A very belated tribute to the neighbo(u)rhood(s) that launched me into London. I’ve had a soft spot for East London for a while*. On previous visits to the city, it was an affordable but central area to stay in. I liked the cobblestone streets and lamp-posted alleys, the blend of old and new, dusty and…

Grad School in the UK: My Two Pence

Apparently I was totally lying in April when I said I was going to get back into blogging. I find other blogs to be a useful resource, untainted by the cut-and-paste tactics more mainstream outlets increasingly employ, and using this space has been a nice way to connect with likeminded people. So: welcome back to…

London Sunshine (I’m Not Crazy, You Are)

Unpopular opinion: the weather in London is great. Maybe it’s a particularly nice year? Maybe it’s climate change? Maybe I’m from Boston, which has actual shit weather, and so by comparison London is a sunny paradise? Maybe crappy London weather is a myth spread to keep out the tourists? (Sorry Londoners, but as long as there’s…

A Break in the Radio Silence

As much as I like connecting with people via WordPress, I’ve been largely silent, blog-wise, since I left France last year. But I enjoy this platform and I’m in the mood for some idle digital chatter, so… hey there! Since my last post in September, I’ve become local to a new place: London. To make…

Time Travel: October 2009, June 2010, October 2013– Magical Edinburgh

During the high season, Edinburgh can feel very tourist-trappy– perhaps this is inevitable in a place widely known for kilts, Harry Potter, and bagpipes. But like some overplayed songs derided by music snobs, Edinburgh’s tourist epicenter is more catchy than trite, and popular for good reason. Visiting Edinburgh is like stepping into a storybook, but not the amusement park sort of storybook in the…

Scotland Forever

In Notes from a Small Island, Bill Bryson writes, “I suppose everybody has a piece of landscape somewhere that he finds captivating beyond words.” For Bryson it’s the Yorkshire Dales– he can’t quite explain why they resonate with him so deeply. I know exactly what he means. Although I’ve seen more than my fair share of beautiful landscapes,…

Six-Day Wander: London, Again!

Every time I go to London, I love it more. The city is a business hub, but has an enduring reverence for literature, art, and intellectual curiosity. A place of royals, tourists, immigrants, foreign investors, politicians, workers of all kinds, students, and ceremonial cavalry horses “who may bite or kick” (according to actual warning signs), it swarms but accommodates….

Five-Day Wander: London

London, London. I lived in New York City for a few years, and I think my time there predisposed me to fall hard for this city across the pond. London has all the culture of New York with less of the psychotic intensity. Sure, finance types with perfect haircuts and expensive, unwrinkled suits dart about…