Béal Feirste; On a Quiet Street Where Old Ghosts Meet

Belfast took its name after the Irish phrase Béal Feirste, loosely meaning the mouth of the river at the sandbanks, and has been the capital of Northern Ireland since the late 1800s. A leading city back in the Industrial Revolution and in textile manufacturing, as well as a great contributor to science and technology, Belfast graciously remains less…

I Found a Sylva Lining

The tiny town of Sylva, North Carolina has been growing. With over 2,500 people in a 3-ish square mile radius, there is a huge serving of diversity and culture.  Sure, it has the usual cluster of cafes-shops-and-restaurants, but it gets better. Feel like checking out a Drag show and dancing the night away to the…

Hot Chicken and Sound Suits

West Nashville is a different side of Nashville than I’m used to, not the gritty East Nashville with dimly lit dives, rock venues, and grub pub types places; certainly not the honky tonks and goth/industrial clubs and late night jukebox bars my friends and I have haunted over the years. My sestra and her hubs…

Geology & Science, or Big-Mouth Giants?

  At the tip top of Northern Ireland, central to the coast of Antrim, is the Giant’s Causeway. You will find this geographic sorcery in the city of Bushmills, UK and it is about an hour’s drive from Belfast. My pick for this entry is Doomsword’s “The Youth of Finn MacCool”: Local lore spins the…

Kuidaore!

The Japanese word Kuidaore means “to ruin oneself by extravagance in food” and we succeeded in our mission. This month for our Eat the World foodie party, we chose Japanese (-fusion), which is Jessica’s specialty. She and Greg recently gave me a lesson in decadent Osaka cuisine when they invited me over to learn to…

Chasing the Bourbon Trail

I have sporadically been chasing the Lexington side of the Kentucky Bourbon Trail, and most recently I ventured to one of my favourite distilleries, Woodford Reserve. Our tour guide Russell had a wonderful slow-burn sense of humour with the right mix of history and technical explanations. There was not a great amount of walking, but you…

The Pliocene Era & Little Chicago

I decided on a whim to take a road trip to Johnson City, Tennessee. I’ve been several times but it was always arriving late for a show at the Hideaway that left little time to explore. Johnson City, as I recently learned, is called Little Chicago and there is a festival each year to back…

Gunther von Hagens’ Body Worlds

  Gunther von Hagens is a brilliant and incredible human. His personal history is just as fascinating as his professional portfolio and contributions to the medical world. He was born in Poland only days before his family set out for Germany in attempt to flee from post-Holocaust disastrous conditions and fast approaching Soviet Communism. The family was…

It’s a Bird, it’s a Plane, it’s…

After visiting my sister and her hubs in Carbondale, Illinois I took a spontaneous side trail through Metropolis en route home. Who wouldn’t have? Metropolis has around 6,500 residents and is a center for archery, fishing, wildlife and game and is home of the Illinois’ First State Park, Fort Massac State Park, Mermet Lake State Fish…

Exploring Moscow: Bulgakov, Brick, and Borsch.

Here is my article that was published in KnoxZine last year. This fall, I was presented with the opportunity to visit Russia, a goal on my bucket list since childhood. After researching, brushing up my language skills, and obtaining a visa, I refined details with a travel companion and a close friend who resides in Moscow. Once…