USA

Coney Island, the strip of land at the southernmost end of Brooklyn, is one of the most nostalgic places in New York City. The amusement park, which has been around in some form since the mid-1800's, still has that run-down, old-timey quality to it that defies the modern steel rollercoasters and refurbished boardwalk...

Kyrgyzstan

Along the south shore of Issyk Kul, near the village of Barskoon (Барскон), the single road that hugs the perimeter of the lake splits off to the left. This was once a Silk Road shortcut, providing access over a towering mountain pass into China. Now the road is largely maintained by Canada.

India

Though Cochin's Jewish population has almost always benefitted from that good old Kerala religious tolerance— stunning in contrast to routinely violent anti-Semitism in Europe— their numbers have dwindled through conversion and immigration over time. The remaining Jewish population in the city (as of 2014) is: Six.

UAE

A friend in Kazakhstan once told me: “Don’t go to Dubai unless you have money to spend.”

This turned out to be sound advice, but I went anyway on a two-day stopover between Istanbul and Delhi.

Kazakhstan

With Uzbekistan getting the lion's share of Islamic architectural masterpieces from the heyday of the Silk Road, Yasawi's mausoleum is a jewel in Kazakhstan. Although it was never finished, it bears the signature stunning tile work and onion-shaped domes of all the great monuments of the day.

Kazakhstan

Almaty, the big city to the east, has me living under some majestic mountains and all, but also a blanket of smog that never moves. So my first love poem to Kyzylorda would probably be a hundred pages long and focused entirely on the subject of clean air.

Holidays

International Women's Day is a holiday that American men have been strategically ignoring for a hundred years. Very, very recently, it's started to make a comeback outside Europe and...

Kazakhstan

Winter in Kazakhstan was not something I was entirely looking forward to. I knew temperatures could plummet to -30°C at night (-22°F if it even matters at that point), with far less extreme but squarely sub-zero days. I was aware that the already noticeable air pollution would increase as the heat was turned on (this is done city-wide, all at once).

Estonia

Tallinn is far enough north that it experiences white nights around the summer solstice. Throughout June and July the sun sets, but leaves an early dawn glow in the sky for a few hours until it pops right back up again at 4 in the morning...

Festivals Latvia

Like most big festivals, Positivus is BYO tent and pick your own spot. The big grassy lawn adjacent to the parking area will be your home for three days where you'll join half the Latvian 20-something age bracket, a lot of Estonians and Lithuanians, a handful of Brits and Germans, and the American contingent could very well have just been me.