Dec 242010
 
Illegal Thai Fruit, Odd NYC Veggie, and Ghana Intensity

Exactly one year ago, I was almost arrested in Bangkok, Thailand for bringing an illegally smelly fruit onto a public train.

You can read the whole dramatic story by clicking here, but the short version is that durians (giant, monstrously spiky fruits common in Asia) smell so horrifically bad that there are signs all over public transport in Southeast Asia warning against carrying them.  And I did.  And a Thai policeman nearly [...Read More!]

Dec 202010
 
Why You CAN Draw Well, and Why Dumb Doesn't Exist

“Waahhh, I wish I could draw!” is a lament I’ve heard from mouths across the world.

If YOU have this same complaint, listen now and listen good: You CAN draw, and you can, if you work at it, eventually draw WELL. The only thing that’s stopping you is… practice!

As a teacher, I firmly believe that people aren’t born smart. Rather, people work hard and get smarter and more skilled with practice.  So [...Read More!]

Dec 142010
 
How to Run a Successful International Penpal Exchange

So you dream of global understanding, connection, and communication. What better way to create this than to have students across the world write letters to one another?

Ahh, the romanticized International Penpal Exchange idea: so beautiful and so grand!

And yet, as those of us who have tried it often soon realize… so full of potential mayhem and chaos!

During the three months I volunteered in Sogakope, Ghana, I helped run the Youth Creating [...Read More!]

Dec 032010
 
The Glow of Appreciation after 2 Years Without Winter

The resounding song in my universe since returning from nine months of travel has been entitled: “Appreciation!”

There is nothing like being away from something for a time to make you re-see it in its original glory.

That said, life isn’t always a happy-shmappy song. Right now, for instance, I’m in a nutty mood.  My daily 5:30am alarm this morning was not enough to force me out of bed fast enough to catch the [...Read More!]

Dec 022010
 
The Sexiest Buildings in Boston: Part 5

All right, so our chat about Boston architecture has taken a rather irreverent turn, with articles on the Un-Sexiest Building in Boston (about a building so infamous that a Bostonian friend currently living in the Dominican Republic said she knew what the article was about without even opening it), followed by a post on two Sexy-Ugly Buildings.

But let’s get back to pure beauty.

Gaze, my friends, upon Downtown Boston’s Custom House Tower! [...Read More!]

Nov 282010
 
A Fascinating Context Tour of Boston's Big Dig, Part 1

The first thing you must know is that Teachers frequently make atrocious Students.

We’re used to be the ones doing the explaining.  We’re used to being in control.  Our job necessitates that we move and talk constantly in order to be effective, not sit obediently and listen.

Hence, ironically, Teachers can be really annoying folks to have on the other side of a classroom.

This is to say that when a friend suggested that [...Read More!]

Nov 282010
 
Crazy Mystery Thanksgiving Food Photo Contest!

Exactly a year ago, I was spending Thanksgiving alone in Northern Thailand, quietly eating stir-fried vegetables in a Chiang Mai restaurant.  It wasn’t lonely or bad, honestly.  But that said, I truly appreciated that this year I could spend America’s special Stuff Yourself Holiday with beloved family and friends in New York and Philadelphia!

Now on to the contest promised by the heading of this article.

During our New York Thanksgiving awesomeness, my [...Read More!]

Nov 202010
 
Awesome Public Art: a True Gift to our Cities!

I am currently half human and half icicle due to wandering outside in Boston’s winter for 3 hours with a foolishly thin jacket, but that’s all right.

Why?

Because the reason I was outside was to go on a famous Context Tour of Boston’s Big Dig!

I am thrilled to report that thanks to the tour, my noggin is now sparkling with countless new Boston facts, and my camera now brims with 100 fresh [...Read More!]

Nov 152010
 
A Home Decorating Tip to Keep Travel Memories Alive

You’re back from traveling around the world.  Your blog has over 400 articles documenting every single day of the journey.  Now what?

There’s one tip for sure: print out those photos and plaster the walls of your new home with them to remember the loveliness of distant countries each and every day!

Now here’s the awesome part: it is CRAZY cheap to order and print digital photos with a click of your mouse! [...Read More!]

Nov 082010
 
Two Sexy-Ugly Buildings of Boston

We’re deep into our discussion of Sexy Buildings of Boston, but what about those buildings that are sexy because they are so… how shall we put this… freakishly strange?

To explain where the term “Sexy-Ugly” is from, let’s flash back to the 2001 flick, Kissing Jessica Stein.

Specifically, let’s recall the following chat between the two leads, as they discuss Jessica’s inability to find a man who matches her dream:

Jessica: If [...Read More!]