104 Slices
Medium 9781609520786

16. Alexanderplatz Revisited

Peter Wortsman Travelers' Tales ePub

THERMOMETER READINGS IN THE LOW TEENS NOTWITHSTANDING, at Alexanderplatz and other prime locations around town, urban mirages have been springing up. Potted palm trees are sprouting out of the cement, ringed by canvas beach chairs, mostly empty and billowing in the chilly wind, a few filled with reclining blondes, sporting skimpy bikinis under unzipped parkas, gazing wistfully at the sky. Alexanderplatz is undergoing a sudden metamorphosis from arctic outpost to tropical beachhead.

Have I missed the punch line of an unspoken joke? Or is this a staged illusion to sprinkle a little Italy, to install a stretch of Balkan beachhead in this northern clime, and so, to tide over Teutonic nerves strained to the max?

Can it be Berlin dropping its pants, cross-culturally speaking, seriously feigning and thereby invoking a sunny disposition? Pale as the prized white asparagus now in season, the minions swarming along the imperial thoroughfare Unter den Linden on the East Side must, I imagine, catch the influence and feel transported to the Dalmatia of their dreams.

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Medium 9781609520588

Traveling to Mary

James OReilly Travelers' Tales ePub


Traveling to Mary

Wandering through London, a young scholar finds inspiration for life and love in warrior women of the past.

At the foot of Westminster Bridge in London rides a bronze woman bent on war. Drawn in a chariot behind two rearing horses, she sweeps her arms vengefully high, clutching a spear and beckoning some Fury from the air. She is Boudicca, Celtic warrior queen. In 60 AD, after Roman soldiers flogged her, then raped her two preteen daughters in front of her eyes, she did her damndest to kill them all. “Let us, therefore, go against them trusting boldly to good fortune,” she shouted to her troops. “Let us show them that they are hares and foxes trying to rule over dogs and wolves.” Boudicca nearly beat the Romans, but when her defeat became inevitable, she poisoned herself rather than accept it. Now she guards the entrance to a bridge, a place of crossing, of something new on the other side. In this city, pressed by a dying first love and the soft clamor of ancestral voices at my back, any bridge might be the bridge I’m looking for.

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Medium 9781609520809

14. Blood and Guts

Paula Young Lee Travelers' Tales ePub

Chapter Fourteen

Blood and Guts

Lawyer Amanda Bonner: And after you shot your husband... how did you feel?

Defendant Doris Attinger: Hungry!

Adams Rib, 1949

Patrick lost another one in the dark and rain. He was very high up the mountain, where the terrain is steep and treacherous. Hed been tracking a buck and took a shot. The hit was fatal, but the kill wasnt instantaneous. Running after it, Patrick found bone, blood, and hair before the pounding rain washed the trace away. A weaker animal would have dropped in its tracks. Five friends came out the next morning to look for it, and all they found was the gut pile left by a stranger whod stumbled across it.

Is it poaching to take another mans quarry? Its not unusual for hunters to lose their animals in the forest. Humans stand out. Animals blend in. Within seconds, the wildlife can vanish, even if you know exactly where they are going. So if a hunter stumbles across a buck felled by another mans bullet, the right thing to do is to dress and hang the carcass, alert the game warden, and have a nice day. To walk off with the deer violates an unwritten code. Its the hunters version of the girl crush. A nice girl never steals a boy that her girlfriend likes. A tramp would hit on him just for fun, and steal him if she could. Its one of the ways you know shes a tramp. Sure, alls fair in love and warbut in real life, its not exactly true.

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Medium 9781609520786

17. But Where Were the Nazis?

Peter Wortsman Travelers' Tales ePub

THE POSTER PLASTERED ON EVERY LAMPPOST LOOKED innocuous enough. Red on one side, white on the other, it featured a Playmobil figurine with beady black eyes and a toothbrush mustache, circled and crossed out in red, casting a thin gray shadow, with the slogans BERLIN GEGEN NAZIS (Berlin Against Nazis) above and BLOCKIEREN IST UNSER RECHT (Blocking is Our Right) below.

May 1, May Day, is the traditional workers’ holiday, the international Labor Day, celebrated with marches, speeches, and picnics by labor unions and parties on the political Left all over Europe. But Germany’s neo-Nazis have sought to capitalize on long-festering resentments. Their May Day march and regularly scheduled clash with an anarchist counter-demonstration had in recent years devolved into a messy Berlin rite, monitored, albeit barely kept under control, by the riot police. This year the clash was to spill over into the peaceful residential neighborhood of Prenzlauer Berg, ostensibly precipitated by an angry demonstration by the Left in the Berlin District of Schöneweide, in front of a Kneipe ominously called Zum Henker (The Hangman), a known hangout of skinheads and rightwing extremists.

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Medium 9781609520847

The Revolution

Lavinia Spalding Travelers' Tales ePub


The Revolution

On the connections born in times of upheaval.

There was an art opening at the Centro Fotográfico the Friday the federal troops came. Before it began I went to the Hotel Victoria for piña coladas with a few friends. The hotel was empty and we had the terrace to ourselves. Below us, the city was an oceanic blue-green at twilight, studded with glinting orange lights. I arrived at the opening slightly tipsy and chicly late, did a round of greetings, and noticed something was off.

“What’s going on?” I asked my friend Carlos. At that time in Oaxaca people’s instincts were fine-tuned to slight changes in vibration.

The week before I’d run a 12k through lingering tear gas after a street battle. The fighting had begun during the pre-race meeting, and the runners had scattered out the side and back doors of the building. I’d called Carlos to come pick me up from the corner of a block that was being taken over by protesters on one side and an advancing wall of riot police on the other. The police had used so much tear gas that it hung in the air the following morning around the city, snug as one of the Sierra Norte’s low-hanging clouds. We still ran: people still gathered and laughed and warmed up for the race, and afterwards the runners ate tamales atop the Zapotec archeological site of Monte Albán, looking out on the crisp October morning and the lachrymal fog shrouding the city.

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