Athens, Ohio: A love story

You’re not gonna get to Uber in Athens … A First World problem, to be sure. But losing our favorite urban car service is one of the numerous concerns my wife, Lara, and I have as we discuss our impending move from Washington, D.C., to Athens, Ohio. After almost four years in the District, we are completely …

My next gig: teaching at Ohio University’s Scripps School of Journalism

I’m thrilled to announce that I’ll be the Scripps Howard Visiting Professional at Ohio University for the upcoming academic year. Some of the proudest moments of my journalism career came under the Scripps banner. Spending a year at OU teaching journalism seems a perfect next step for me. The Scripps School of Journalism is a …

Diego Rivera, Vladimir Lenin and Rockefeller Center

When Nelson Rockefeller commissioned Diego Rivera to create a mural for Rockefeller Center, he wasn’t expecting Vladimir Lenin to make the scene. And when Rivera included Lenin in the work, Rockefeller came unglued, demanding that Lenin be excluded. Rivera offered to add Abe Lincoln as a compromise. When that didn’t appease Rockefeller, the mural was …

Isabel Allende dazzles D.C.

When Isabel Allende asked how many Latinos were in the audience last night during her interview/book signing at the Washington Post, more than half the audience answered with raised hands. Very impressive. Almost as impressive as the interview. Allende was hilarious, mixing self-deprecating humor with broadsides against the patriarchy, smart women who refuse to identify …

The marvels of ancient Angkor

My obsession with Cambodia began in the early ’90s in a stack of books at the Birmingham Post-Herald. I was ferreting through the review copies looking for something to read when I spotted To Destroy You Is No Loss, which details Teeda Butt Mam’s struggle to survive Pol Pot’s rein of terror in Cambodia. I’d …