Category Archives: Travel

Postcard: On New York City, Aug. 2017

Rubin Museum, the World is sound

Credit: “The World is Sound,” The Rubin Museum of Art

“Cities, like dreams, are made of desired and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspective deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” – Italo Calvino.

Below is a surreal lyric essay inspired by the Rubin Museum’s The World is Sound” exhibit, and the walk home after. I’ve been thinking lately about how to capture cities–a city like New York is feels especially impossible to capture. 

“What is the sound you hear when you die?”

“What is the sound of the universe being created?”

In one room, a monk chants you to your grave, sweetly.

Every moment passes into another moment like clouds rolling over the moon.

The moon through trailing branches is the moon over a bayou in Louisiana. “Look at the broken castle,” Z says pointing to a building under construction, and the moon is the moon over a castle in Transylvania.

City blocks stretch, each step a step into another time in the life of the city, the moon over a low white wall is the moon over Granada. Continue reading

Postcard: New Orleans, Dec. 2014

Mississippi River

Mississippi River, New Orleans

You see the river, swollen and brown, lapping cake-tongued at the bank. You know it stinks even though you’ve never been to this river before, even though you aren’t close enough to smell it, couldn’t be for another half-mile at least.

The first night, you sit back in a lawn chair and look up at the swamp trees overhung with paper lanterns and light bulbs in Christmas colors trailing from the branches, the way the night falls softly over the patio, which is what they call these big, open spaces here. You lean back into the laughter humming from the tables, wine bottles scraping against metal wire, chairs pushed back and forward like music. This town creating its own beat.

Continue reading

Postcard: On Leaving Culebra, Mar. 2017

Since I don’t write, I often think in imaginary conversations that work like writing. On our last drive through Culebra, I imagined a co-worker asking me if I missed Culebra and how I would be able to say “no.”

Culebra is for tourists and for locals and for perma-tourists living their strange half-life.  It’s not New York or Barcelona or Colombo where you can be a traveler, a stranger for a lifetime. In three days, we saw as much of Culebra as allowed to us, and it was exactly enough. Continue reading