• Miles From One Year Ago…

    In June 2011, I embarked on a year-long project that would bring me back to each of my hometowns to learn more about the places I’d lived. There were many that had shaped me — from Montreal and Toronto to San Francisco and New York — and I wanted to get a good feel for their

    Continue Reading
  • Happy 75th, Golden Gate

    May 28, 2012, Washington, DC: As commutes go, this one ain’t bad. Any pessimism you may have about the day ahead is easy to shake off as you cross the Golden Gate through the microclimates between San Francisco and Marin. On the morning drive, the bridge’s paint color of international orange will give you a jolt

    Continue Reading
  • Spontaneity in the City

    “Cities make it easier to watch and listen and learn. Because the essential characteristic of humanity is our ability to learn from each other, cities make us more human.” -Edward Glaeser, Triumph of the City April 12, 2012, Washington, DC: That right there describes the draw of these places. These places allow us to crowd

    Continue Reading
  • Documenting Hometown History

    “As we write, so we build: to keep a record of what matters to us.” -Alain de Botton, The Architecture of Happiness March 3, 2012, Washington, DC: We dined two weeks ago Nob Hill Cafe, my favorite neighborhood restaurant in San Francisco. From our little table on Taylor Street, we sifted through old photos that

    Continue Reading
  • A Tribute to the Local Movie Theater

    February 25, 2012, Washington, DC: As celebrities prepare to pile into the Kodak Theater for tomorrow night’s Oscars, it seems like a good time to pay tribute to our tiny old neighborhood movie theaters — local joints that kept us close to home, burrowed into a cramped seat surrounded by fantastic ornamental decor, for a Sunday

    Continue Reading
  • Finding Balance in San Francisco

    “The sea and pine scented air fills me with hope and the belief that all men and women are made better by a visit to this place. The dream of San Francisco is that humanity might live in harmony with nature but at the same time enjoy the benefits of civilization. Call yourself down through

    Continue Reading
  • Coastal Grays: Pacific Edition

    February 21, 2012, San Francisco: I wake up early this morning in a land of grayscale. Cold fog lingers here on the hill on this south slope of Broderick. The severity of San Francisco’s colors have all but disappeared. This place can change on a dime. It won’t last, I know that by now. But I recall too that

    Continue Reading
  • Map of Mornings: Polk Street

    “San Francisco itself is art, above all literary art. Every block is a short story, every hill a novel. Every home a poem, every dweller within immortal. That is the whole truth.” -William Saroyan February 20, 2012, San Francisco: I have the strangest feeling here this morning. I have a feeling I’ve written this post

    Continue Reading
  • On The Slopes of Mt. Tam

    February 20, 2012, San Francisco, CA: We take the high road, the Sun Trail, at its intersection with the Dipsea, winding our way to the wide wooden porch of the Tourist Club along the slopes of Mt. Tam. I gravitate towards the narrow dirt paths that weave through the landscape north of San Francisco, especially this

    Continue Reading
  • My Happy Place

    February 18, 2012, San Francisco: This place is not normal. Did we know that when we lived here? I think so. I hope so. I can’t remember. When we lived here back then, did we ever get used to those vistas like the one today atop the Baker Street steps? Did we know how strikingly beautiful our

    Continue Reading
  • Reminds Me of Home

    “An ardent supporter of the hometown team should go to a game prepared to take offense, no matter what happens.”                                                  -Robert Benchley January 22, 2012, Washington, DC: You know the drill.

    Continue Reading
  • Sunday Football & The Third Place

    “The character of a third place is determined most of all by its regular clientele and is marked by a playful mood, which contrasts with people’s more serious involvement in other spheres. Though a radically different kind of setting from the home, the third place is remarkably similar to a good home in the psychological

    Continue Reading
  • Racing Daylight

    November 3, 2011, Washington, DC: There is a trail in the Marin Headlands, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, that always reminds me of racing daylight. It dead ends at Tennessee Beach facing west-southwest at the Pacific Ocean. If you squint hard enough, you think you just might see the Farrallon Islands. The Tennessee

    Continue Reading
  • Those Hotels Down The Street

    October 21, 2011, Washington, DC: It was Thanksgiving 1990 when my parents first took us to New York City. It was shortly after they announced we’d be moving from Baltimore to the Northeast. At my sister’s request, we visited the Plaza Hotel that weekend, searching its hallways for Eloise, the fictitious character just her age who

    Continue Reading
  • If I Had a Houseboat

    August 14, 2011, Washington, DC: In the early summer of 2001, I arrived in Marin County, California, just north of the Golden Gate Bridge, to begin my summer job. The company was based on a narrow stretch of land on the border of Mill Valley and Sausalito, wedged between the freeway and the water’s edge.

    Continue Reading