In Search of a Zydeco Trail Ride

My church in St. Martinville

For a really really long time, I have wanted to go on a Zydeco trail ride. Zydeco trail rides have been around for a long time, traditionally as informal cross country rides with neighbors.  Today, hundreds of Creole cowboys may join a ride, which usually ends at a big barbecue picnic with friends and family and Zydeco music. Continue reading

New Orleans Noir — Indians, Social Clubs and Second Lines

During my short stay in New Orleans, I visited the Blandin Backstreet Museum, which has long been one of my favorite museums anywhere.  The Blandin Backstreet Museum tells fascinating stories of Louisiana history that might have been lost forever if it weren’t for one dedicated person:  Sylvester Francis.   Continue reading

Louisiana: Crazy as a Swamp Cat

Voo doo dolls in New Orleans conjure house.

Just before my plane landed in New Orleans yesterday, a recording came on over the PA system.  “You will be provided arrival cards that you must complete before entering the country. ”  Hello? Our flight originated in Dallas.  Texas. The recording was a mistake but it was a relevant one.  Louisiana is not like America, more like its own country. Continue reading

Warsaw Packed

Warsaw’s main square. On top of the pedestal is King Zygmund who was not very good. Used his position to enrich himself. Sad.

Haha.  The title is a pun. Does anyone know what the Warsaw Pact is?  In case you ditched class that day (Kathy), it was the alliance of the Soviet Union with its satellite states, including Poland. Signed in 1955, the purpose of the Warsaw Pact was to defend its member states against the US and Europe, which had its own alliance, NATO. The Warsaw Pact dissolved in 1991 and Poland has been a member of NATO since 1999. I imagine that rankles a certain somebody in Moscow. 🙂  Continue reading

Postcard from Poland

Sometimes I visit cities that are super livable. They are kind of low key with lots of trees, clean air, an arts community, public transportation, and people who seem to like each other. Bonus points for being situated on a body of water and having a university. Places that come to mind are Vancouver BC, Rotterdam, San Miguel de Allende, Stockholm and Hiroshima. Continue reading

Mongolian Style

Mongolia is not generally known for its art or design.  But there is so much here that is beautifully evocative of the country’s land and its people. Mongolian art and design are influenced by the country’s historic relationships with other parts of Asia, including India, China, and Tibet.  The complement is also true — Mongolia has influenced the art of many other Asian regions.

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Wind Horse

Genghis Khan created the largest empire in the history of the world on the back of a horse. He believed in “khiimori,”  or “wind horse” — a human quality that remains essential to Mongolians 900 years later.  Wind horse is the strength of your spirit, your inspiration, your courage.   Khiimori is like the soul of the horse and the spirit of the earth and the sky.  It is these untamed places in Mongolia.   Continue reading