The Best & Worst of Italy 2010

Following is my serendipitous selection of the Good-Buono, the Bad & the Ugly-Brutto of Life in Italy 2010.  Feel free to add your own. milano buono      Milan’s train station grows up – and starts adding slick services & fancy stores for passengers....more

5 Fun and Free (or Cheap) Things to Do for Summer

Ahhhh summer is coming, and for most of us, that means many more days outside to enjoy the beautiful sunshine and warm weather. Summer also presents many opportunities to have fun for free, or at least on the cheap. I am looking forward to many places and activities that will help me enjoy the day but still preserve my budget. Here are five fun things to do - for not very much money: ...more

Our family enjoys the many free public splash pads around the Valley of the Sun. If you are ...more

The Arts and Blogher '10

Wow, Blogher conference tickets are nearly sold out (  I can't believe it and I'm getting really really excited to attend my first one. One thing I've noticed is people are starting to make lists, picking places to meet up, talk about what's going to be at the conference, etc.  But what I haven't seen a lot of, and please lead the way if I've missed something, is all the arts, crafts, photography, knitting, design etc related bloggers heading to NYC in August. ...more

If Nudity is Artistic Expression, Who Owns the Body Used as Art?

Although the news is frequently disturbing, I still read the newspaper while I eat breakfast. On Friday morning, a news item caught my eye: an art gallery in New York's West Village is displaying a live naked woman. The title told me everything that I needed to know: Hey, Look! She's Naked! But It's Art, So It's All Right. ...more
oh, and with regard to this particular showing... I don't know the artist's intent with this ...more

There's fun to be had at Pretend City!

I had an afternoon free so I took my little chitlins to the Pretend City Children's Museum!...more

I just hate going because it is always so crowded! Even during the week there are school ...more


Yesterday was our one week anniversary.  Or, as Alexis put it, our Week-a-versary.  So we’ve been married for one week.  And boy, it’s been a week.  An amazing week, but a week nonetheless. So, as an impromptu Week-a-versary activity, Chris and I went to the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk.  And also got Chriso’s phone from the Red Cross that he left at work the night before.  Yup.  We were all booked up. ...more

Calling Loudly, “J.D. Salinger”

In 1941, J.D. Salinger had seven stories rejected by The New Yorker. Apparently undaunted, he submitted an eighth the same year, "Slight Rebellion off Madison," which was accepted. BUT, it was about a disaffected teenager (can you guess his name?) nervous about the war, and in the wake of Pearl Harbor was deemed unpublishable - so did not see print for another five years....more

The Down and Dangerous Side of Practicality

I knew it was going to be one of "those days" after I smiled and said "no thanks" to the barista who offered my an extra Americano that another patron left behind, but little did I know that the apparent short circuit in my brain was more than an attempt in moderation.  Typos and misunderstandings plagued my work all morning, urging me to venture off for more caffeine.  Finally back under the sweet song of the starbucks' siren, I purchase an i...more

Facing a Decline in Audience, Museums Reimagine Themselves

Quick--what's the common denominator among the following items? A workshop on how to perform a breast self-exam; a graffiti wall; a microgrant program to support imaginative projects that benefit a neighborhood; a special mental health program for adults with life-threatening illnesses and their caregivers; and studios designed to encourage middle- and high-school students to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. The answer: These programs and projects all take place at museums....more