Washington DC: Monumental City

“Once the Vietnam Memorial was on the Mall, all the other veteran groups wondered why they did not have theirs as well. If they had not been built we might think of the Mall in very different terms than as a place where we dump all our national war memorials.”

London: World Centre

The official center of London is at Trafalgar Square, marked by a small brass plaque in the pavement beneath a statue of Charles I on horseback. “Stand here and you will eventually see everyone you know in the world,” they say. And it’s true I once bumped into someone I worked with a decade before inContinue reading “London: World Centre”

St Petersburg: Tsarry-eyed Wonder

VISITORS TO FLORENCE will be familiar with Stendhal’s Syndrome, a kind of panic or ecstasy brought about by seeing too many wonders in too short a time, named after the impressionable young 19th-century French novelist. I’m sure the Russians have a parallel name for those overcome by the arguably even greater wonders of St PetersburgContinue reading “St Petersburg: Tsarry-eyed Wonder”

Arlington, Virginia: Past glories

THERE is nothing like Arlington in Britain, a national cemetery for all who have died in the service of their country. London has St Paul’s and Westminster Abbey, with their grand memorials, and the great graveyards of endless war dead in Flanders, Changi and Normandy. But Arlington is all those, and more.

Lower Saxony: High Living

This is an extract from my article in the October issue of Food & Travel magazine: http://www.foodandtravel.com AMERICAN Michael Boyer (pictured) has the glorious title of “Rattenfanger’ in the town of Hameln (better known to us as Hamelin). It means ‘Rat-Catcher’ but he is, of course, the brightly arrayed Pied Piper who famously led the town’sContinue reading “Lower Saxony: High Living”

Melbourne: Alley Cats

FROM the 300-metre Eureka Sky Tower, I can see all of Melbourne spread out below me, shadowed by dark rain clouds sweeping in from the horizon. Neon-bright towers blazoned with the logos of insurance and accounting firms – Ernst & Young, Aon – dwarf those raised to the gods of earlier ages: a sturdy 1950sContinue reading “Melbourne: Alley Cats”