Behind Closed Doors

Wherever we go in places like Venice, I’m fascinated by what lies behind those ornate doors. And, thanks to the Biennale, we get behind a few doors that are normally closed to the public, but whose owners open them up to the public in the name of art.... read more

Tiramisu Outside Plato’s Cave

Remember Plato’s allegory of the cave? What we see usually is just the shadow of the true world, out in the light is the truth. Or something like that. Down this dark alley, I found the tiramisu that is outside the cave. Tiramisu has never been for me. But here... read more

Our Museums in Venice

A good museum, in my book, prompts you to ask more questions–and to search for answers. And two museums in Venice did that for all four of us. The Fortuny Museum and the Jewish Museum in the Ghetto. The Fortuny was just provoking in a wonderful way, but also... read more

The Art in the Doge’s Palace

I am okay with art museums. But what I really like is art that’s about power. And that’s why I love the art in the Doge’s Palace. It was the seat of power for Venice,  which, although it is a city built on a marsh, was also a republic–not a... read more

Venice Traffic Jam

How do they not crash? I am just starting to discover the secret of Venice and the plan behind the chaos. Some of it, I think, is luck. For example, those early 1500-BC settlers who found refuge from barbarians on these silty islands and started sinking wooden pylons... read more

The View

Our hotel, the Locanda Vivaldi, as is often so true in life, is a double-edged sword. Located in the thick of things, just two bridges down from San Marco, we step out into a maelstorm of daytrippers and international hawkers selling selfie sticks and laser beam toys.... read more

The Philosopher in Seat 1B

The youngish guy who sat next to me in seat 1B (hey, I got a free upgrade) on my flight down to Austin was a tall guy, a baseball cap on his prematurely balding head, and a little overweight. And as our flight bumped through storm cells over Virginia, Kentucky and... read more

Resist Inertia.

Fight Routine.

Play Hooky.