Apr 062014
 
Warsaw's Path of Remembrance

Warsaw’s Path of Remembrance—a walk through the heart of what was once the city’s vibrant Jewish community. A walk through history as it memorializes the people who died fighting the Nazis in the Jewish Ghetto uprising of 1943. It’s impossible not to know the story of the Holocaust, how Nazi Germany systematically killed millions of [...Read more]

Mar 262014
 
I Wish I Were Polish

  Traveling to Poland and learning more about the Solidarity movement and the Warsaw Uprising gave me a whole new view of the Poles … and makes me want to claim some Polish heritage. It’s embarrassing to admit how little I realized the significance of Poland’s Solidarity movement in the 1980s to the ultimate fall [...Read more]

Mar 142014
 
In Search of an Elusive Ancestral Town

Dripping blood, missing rental car, taxi careening through traffic—as I told the rental car agency guy (when we finally found him), “We’ve had a hard time leaving Warsaw this morning.” Once we were on the road though, things proceeded smoothly. Roads were clearly marked and matched my maps from Google. We drove straight to my [...Read more]

Feb 192014
 
Faces of Ukraine: Where Is He Now?

I remember a trip to Ukraine in the spring of 2005, just months after the Orange Revolution shook the streets of Kyiv. Many thousands of peaceful protesters turned out during the cold winter nights of November and December, demonstrating against fraudulent elections that resulted in Viktor Yanukovych being elected president. New elections were held under [...Read more]

Jan 262014
 
The Faces of Ukraine: Why I Care

Visiting ancestral towns is bad. When you travel, you fall in love with some destinations for their natural beauty or wonderful food or interesting culture. When I went to Ukraine to see my ancestral towns, I fell in love with the people. And that’s why what is happening there now is breaking my heart. I’m [...Read more]

Dec 222013
 

I think it was the smallest commercial plane I’ve ever been on. Every seat was a window seat … and an aisle seat. Sitting in 1A, I could just about reach out and touch the pilot. None of that bothered me. I’ve been on small planes before. It was when I realized that the “flight [...Read more]

Dec 082013
 
Connectivity Junkie in Search of Wifi

In 1991, a Greek wanting a new phone usually had to wait several years to get one. I was told that most mid-level managers in the Greek phone company spent the majority of their work hours trying to expedite new phone installations for their friends. (Needless to say, this doesn’t speak well for their ability [...Read more]

Oct 202013
 
Fading Family Roots

I went to a funeral last week and met my childhood. The funeral celebrated the 94 years of life of my friend Sharon’s father. It was held in the church where I grew up, in the neighborhood where I grew up. I recently moved close to my old Ballard neighborhood. Current-day Ballard is a trendy [...Read more]

Sep 112013
 
The Borders Are Closed

I was in Germany on 9/11. While my friends and family started their day with the news of the attack, I didn’t learn about it until evening. For Americans in the U.S., it was a day filled with unfolding horror. For me, it was a day filled with sightseeing in Hannover with my cousin David, [...Read more]

Aug 022013
 
Ancestral Village Homecoming

I’ve found a new reason to love Greece. Of course I love it because I lived there years ago. When you experience daily life somewhere—grocery shopping with a phrasebook in hand so you don’t create a dinner disaster or enduring a monthly bill paying ritual with your landlady because you don’t have time to stand [...Read more]