During the spring and early summer of 2021 in Paris, I made numerous excursions about which I do not write in An American in Pandemic Paris. Chantilly, birthplace of whipped cream, was one of my favorites….
Have you ever had a friend with whom you got along well, well enough to plan a trip together? And then, a few hours into the adventure you realized your misjudgment?…
Twenty years ago, I realized that some of the social moments I recalled with the greatest clarity were the meals I shared with friends or family at our last (unexpectedly last) meeting before they died….
After the End of a Modeling Session, an 1884 painting by Swedish painter Richard Bergh, reveals a lot about the lives of artists during the Impressionist era….
Waldorf Salad (invented—where else?— at the Waldorf Astoria when it was a grand Park Avenue hotel) was one of my mother’s favorite lunches and one of those dishes that my father refused to eat. His favorite lunch was, strangely, a banana sandwich (ideally on Pepperidge Farm white), which naturally I thought was a normal kind… Continue reading Waldorf Salad
Recently, I sat in my office preparing a lecture. New slide, copy, paste, insert text. Powerpoint transformed the lives of art historians when it was introduced at colleges and universities circa 2000. It was revolutionary, life-changing, for that discipline in ways unknown to scholars in other fields. Some older art historians even retired earlier than… Continue reading Vanishing Social Spaces
Here’s a 21 October 2020 excerpt from my forthcoming An American in Pandemic Paris. A Coming-of-Retirement-Age Memoir, available at your favorite book-purchasing location by 25 November. “It’s strange walking to the 8 p.m. Eiffel Tower twinkle in the streetlight-lit night. Instead of studying architectural details, I now focus on shop windows and apartments. I adore… Continue reading An Accidental Martyr
Around 10 p.m., the doorman rang to ask if he should allow a Chinese gentleman up, and a few minutes later, Professor Wu rang my tenth-floor doorbell. Professor Wu spoke little English, and I had trouble understanding why such a well-dressed (he always wore a suit and tie) Chinese bureaucrat would need to crash with a stranger…
The Arc de Triomphe Wrapped offered an inspirational aesthetic experience, a wrinkle in time, that offered a glimpse into an imaginable world of beauty, creativity, harmony, and solidarity….
Before I left for Europe in late February 2020 for what I assumed would be a six-month visit that, due to pandemic circumstances, morphed into an eighteen-month stay, I went to a Fifth Third (my bank) branch in Cleveland and asked it to wire $8,000 to my euro account in Germany. When they told me the wire fee had escalated to some amount exceeding $100, I requested cash…