The Trouble With Travel Snapshots


“On the one hand, we have been encouraged to believe that we are no longer the sum of our products (as we were when we were still an industrial economy) but the sum of our experiences. On the other, we lack the ritual structures that once served to organize, integrate and preserve the stream of these experiences, so they inevitably feel both scattershot and evanescent. We worry that photographs or journal entries keep us at a remove from life, but we also worry that without an inventory of these documents … we’ll disintegrate. Furthermore, that inventory has to fulfill two slightly different functions: It must define us as at once part of a tribe (‘people who go to Paris’) and independent of it (‘people who go to Paris and don’t photograph the Eiffel Tower’).”

Petra, The Ancient City Carved From Desert Rock, Had Gardens, Fountains, And A Swimming Pool, Archaeologists Find


“Recent excavations at Petra have revealed a startlingly advanced irrigation system and water storage system that enabled the desert city’s people to survive – and to maintain a magnificent garden featuring fountains, ponds and a huge swimming pool. The engineering feats and other luxuries attest to the ancient Nabatean capital’s former splendor and wealth some 2,000 years ago.”

A Great Broadway Tradition, Lost: Sneaking In For Act Two


“There was a time when ‘second-acting’ – sneaking into a Broadway theater at intermission before the second act – was as common as the cigarette break in the middle of a musical. It was a time-honored rite of passage, practiced by generations of starving actors and students of the theater. … But today, when security is ultravigilant and shows are under pressure to sell out night after night, the practice has all but gone dark.”