Sleeping Bear Dunes

In my 50 Hikes in Michigan guidebook, Sleeping Bear Dunes occupies a full ten slots. This spot on Northwest Michigan’s coastline, about 40 minutes west of Traverse City, is renowned for its scenery, characterized by the stunning contrast of undulating sand dunes meeting the flat waters of Lake Michigan. A visit to Sleeping Bear DunesContinue reading “Sleeping Bear Dunes”

Weekly Wanderings: May 13, 2023

Yesterday marked 15 years since a deadly earthquake hit Sichuan Province, causing the deaths of at least 85,000 people and revealing widespread corruption in the local government and construction industries. I wrote about the Wenchuan Earthquake on its tenth anniversary in this post (which I revisited yesterday, checking all the links and updating them asContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: May 13, 2023”

Getting to Know the Gusset

Michigan is referred to lovingly as “The Mitten” for the way its shape resembles one of those cold-weather accessories the state’s residents normally wear from October through April (at least). In the four years since I moved here, I’ve traveled almost the width of the mitten’s cuff, from Detroit in the east to Kalamazoo inContinue reading “Getting to Know the Gusset”

Sweet Home Chicago

I spent the first weekend of 2019 in Chicago, attending the American Historical Association annual conference. Chicago is, relatively speaking, not that far from Ann Arbor—about four and a half hours by train or bus, somewhat less if you can bear the drive, which I can’t—but I have not been there once since moving toContinue reading “Sweet Home Chicago”

The Happiest Place in Shanghai

Well, sort of. If standing in line—a lot of lines—makes you happy, then a visit to the two-year-old Shanghai Disney park will be an unbeatable experience. In eight hours at the park on a Monday earlier this month, I spent roughly two-thirds of my time in one line or another and read an entire novelContinue reading “The Happiest Place in Shanghai”

Speaking Events in Shanghai and Hong Kong

  Early morning jet-lagged greetings to all from Shanghai, where I landed last night. This is my first time in China since the summer of 2016, and I’m very curious to see what has changed in the intervening two years. So far all I can say is that they now take your fingerprints when youContinue reading “Speaking Events in Shanghai and Hong Kong”

Weekly Wanderings: Away We Go Edition

• The “Weekend” alarm clock on my phone is set to go off at 7:00am (usually an ideal, not reality), but today my brain saw fit to nudge me awake at 5:30 in the morning. “Come on, get up, we have so much to do,” it whispered, bringing to the surface of my consciousness aContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Away We Go Edition”

Finding My Way in Seoul

That Old Familiar Feeling I am not, I admit, all that good with maps—the old-fashioned, non-digital kind, that is. I’m generally okay with directions and excellent at using landmarks to re-trace a route I’ve already traveled, but maps and I have never clicked. Before the blessed arrival of smartphones, I spent enormous amounts of timeContinue reading “Finding My Way in Seoul”

Weekly Wanderings: Roadblocks, Detours, and Roundabouts Edition

▪ How many times this spring did I tell myself, “Tomorrow. Tomorrow I’ll get up and start writing again. Tomorrow for sure”? Pretty much every day. But as the near-silence around these parts indicates, I never followed through. The #1 reason for this is that for the past several months I’ve found it nearly impossibleContinue reading “Weekly Wanderings: Roadblocks, Detours, and Roundabouts Edition”