Who Could Ask for More

The “When I’m 64 Beatles Festival” was held this weekend in Prairietown, Illinois, “a populated place located within the Township of Omphghent,” not far from St. Louis. It was a perfect day for it, 75 and sunny. Butch Moore and Alan White, who are often performing down at the Stagger Inn in Edwardsville, were playing […]

Foods of Japan

If you look back through my blog, you will see I was in Japan this summer. For some reason, before I went I guess I thought many restaurants outside of the tourist quarters would serve portions an American might find small, and there would always be rice, and while the food would be tasty, it […]

Travel’s Mixed Bag

I am back from Japan, where I had many beautiful experiences, a couple of weird ones, and some I cannot write until later. “Was it transcendent?” my nephew asked at the barbecue at the lake. He is generous and kind, so he was hoping I would say yes, most of all for my sake. It […]

The New Who: Off to the Races

Doctor Who, “The Ghost Monument.” Series 11, Episode 2. Written by Chris Chibnall. Directed by Mark Tonderai. Starring Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, and Bradley Walsh. Guest Starring Shaun Dooley, Susan Lynch, and Art Malik. 49 minutes. Original broadcast 14 October 2018.   As Doctor Who’s Series 11 unfolds, showrunner Chris Chibnall is following […]

“Chrissy, Manhattan, New York”

I had the strange but wonderful pleasure of meeting Chrissy while taking a stroll on Manhattan’s Lower West Side. At the time of our first encounter, I was creating photographs of city landscapes. Chrissy greeted me in a snarling, defensive manner, with a crude “Hello.” In the weeks to follow, I made repeated attempts to […]

The New Who: I’m In Love with Her and I Feel Fine

Editor’s note: This post inaugurates the first in a series of 11 reviews of the recent reboot of Doctor Who, cast with a female doctor.   Doctor Who, “The Woman Who Fell to Earth.” Series 11, Episode 1. Written by Chris Chibnall. Directed by Jamie Childs. Starring Jodie Whittaker, Tosin Cole, Mandip Gill, and Bradley […]

All That We See or Seem

When Bashō, following Zen, implies again and again that life is a dream, something in me rebels. His entire practice was to capture concrete, sensory details of the physical world, so “dreamlike” seems like a contradiction. Yet even his final hokku, dictated as he was dying, and partial because his assistant did not hear the […]

‘Yamato’ Means ‘Great Harmony’

Fifteen miles down the rail line from Hiroshima, City of Peace, is the Kure Maritime Museum, more commonly called The Yamato Museum, a paean to the greatness of Japan’s navy in WWII. The Yamato, largest battleship ever built, was completed at Kure Dockyard the week after Pearl Harbor and was sunk by the US in […]


As the site of the world’s first atomic-bombing, and a consequence of suffering its horrors, Hiroshima calls itself “City of Peace” and promotes nonviolence and nuclear disarmament. But it is also a normal, mid-century-ugly city, with 1.2 million inhabitants, a diverse modern economy, a symphony, museums, parks, a pro baseball team, and irritable cabbies who […]


It was hot in Kyoto, with the Gion Festival underway, and it would stay hot. Globally it was the hottest month in recorded history. In a week, 57 people died in Japan and another 18,347 were taken to hospital for heat injuries. There was a high-pressure front, the news said. The Gion Festival originated in […]