Category: Russia

Traveling to Remember

Sitting at an outdoor café three blocks from the Rome Termini one morning 24 years ago waiting for my friend Julie to arrive, I had no appreciation of the folly of our planning. In the days before cell phones, all…

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What I Learned at Doctor Zhivago’s Revolution

It took me a half a dozen tries to get all the way through the three-hour-long 1965 film Doctor Zhivago, a love story set amid the backdrop of the Russian revolution but filmed elsewhere. Starring Omar Sharif as a doctor-poet,…

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Our Perestroika

What’s engaging about the 2010 documentary, My Perestroika, and that was largely absent from my own visit to Russia isn’t so much the views of Moscow but the captured moments of real Russians, those not selling anything to tourists or…

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Roads through Russia

The story in the film Roads to Koktebel, that of a widower trekking to the Black Sea with his young son in the hope of starting a new life, seems emblematic of the Russian experience. The characters are resolute, obdurate.…

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Chewing It Up in Red Square

Eating at Bosco Café, sited in Red Square, is a bit like riding a gondola in Venice: You’ve come so far, are you really going to pass it up just because the adventure is a little pricey? After 10 days…

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The Kremlin: Napoleon Was Here

I’m not sure what I expected to see within the walls of the Kremlin, the centuries-old fortress that is the seat of the Russian government. That old cannons from Russia’s own War of 1812 were there surprised me as these…

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Russia, Contrariwise

Five months back from Russia, I am still challenged to write about my trip, still trying to even begin understanding this vast country. Russia seems to me to be a nation of contradictions, the brute of a country cousin to…

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Standing in the Tracks of Chariots and on the Paths of Heroes

For me, there’s no greater experiential learning than walking back through time via travel. The chariot tracks in the streets of Pompeii made life in the first century that much more real to me. Seeing row after row of crosses…

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Mixing Pleasure with Business

Given my vocation—writing about the environment and law—it’s virtually impossible for me to silo work and play. Most often, they are one and the same, which is the way I want my life to be. I am sometimes surprised by…

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