Category Archives: International

Places I went in 2013

Standard rules apply — I spent the night, ate a meal at a local establishment or went on an adventure in that location:

Alexandria, Va.
Arlington, Va.
Ashburn, Va.
Burke, Va.
Centreville, Va.
Chantilly, Va.
Clifton, Va.
Fairfax, Va.
Falls Church, Va.
Great Falls, Va.
Mount Vernon, Va.
Mclean, Va.
Purcellville, Va.
Shenandoah National Park, Va.
Sterling, Va.
Vienna, Va.
Nassau, Bahamas
Freeport, Bahamas
Washington, D.C.
Newark, Del.
Lake Buena Vista, Fla.
Port Canaveral, Fla.
Baltimore, Md.
Colesville, Md.
Comus, Md.
Perryville, Md.
Poolesville, Md.
Avalon, N.J.
Stone Harbor, N.J.
Dillsburg, Pa.
Harrisburg, Pa.
Hershey, Pa.
Mercersburg, Pa.
Oakdale, Pa.
Pittsburgh, Pa.
Reedsville, Pa.
Robinson, Pa.
Davis, W.Va.

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Photo exhibit at Canadian embassy

Flashes of MemoryThe Post
I want to check out this photography exhibit at the Canadian Embassy.

They were just moments in time, gone and forgotten, except that photographers from the Black Star Agency were there to catch them on film, and now they’re on display in an exhibit of 330 photographs at the Canadian Embassy.

Founded in New York in 1935, Black Star was one of the great photography agencies of the golden age of photojournalism, supplying many of the classic black-and-white images seen by millions of people in Life, Look, the Saturday Evening Post and other magazines now long gone. Some anonymous philanthropist bought Black Star’s collection of 291,049 photos and donated them to Canada’s Ryerson University, which lent this tasty sampling to the embassy, where they will be displayed until Aug. 29.

Sounds good, perhaps next month.

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Drunk "Vader" attacks Jedi "temple"

Darth Vader spared jail for lightsaber attackTelegraph (UK)

The force was with Arwel Wynne Hughes on March 25 this year, however the courts took a very dim view of him using it on two Star Wars fans.

He donned a black bin bag for a cape and confronted Barney Jones with the metal crutch while Mr Jones and his cousin Michael were being filmed playing with lightsabers.

Hughes, who has a chronic alcohol problem, jumped over a garden wall in Holyhead, North Wales, and bellowed “Darth Vader” as he assaulted the Star Wars obsessives, who were shooting a documentary to promote their Jedi Church which was formed last year.

Please, please, please let this video find the way to YouTube.

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Hello Canada! Hallo Canada!

514
Welcome National Post readers! Earlier today I became aware that my Newseum write-up was featured on a National Post blog.

Bienvenue a tout les lecteurs du National Post! En avance aujourd’hui j’ai prendé cogniscient que mon article au sujet du Newseum avais eté presentée dans un blog du National Post.

Still, Newseum visitors who venture onto the sixth-floor terrace can’t help but glimpse several Canadian flags dangling atop the embassy.”The view of the Capitol building would be absolutely perfect but for the fact there are maple leaf flags all over the adjacent building,” one frustrated local blogger wrote in a Newseum review. “It is a harsh reminder of Canadian domination on American life.”

Perhaps I need to be less deadpan in my writing, eh?

With thanks to Mathieu for the French translation. I would not want to exclude nos amis in Quebec.

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On visiting Grand Bahama Island…

My dereliction of duty earlier in the month was for a pretty good reason — my honeymoon! After five months, Erica and I formally accepted our wedding present from her parents — use of one week of their time share. We spent the week at the Ritz Beach on the south end of Grand Bahama Island. Some observations from the trip:

  • That the Bahamas was once a British colony and is still tied to the U.K. through its government, this is barely noticeable, other than driving on the left side of the road. I was kind of surprised and maybe even a little disappointed by the lack of British influence on GBI.
  • The weather was pretty good — it didn’t snow after all. Friday was probably the best with highs around 80 and sun. Rain showers lasted seconds/minutes, but were fierce during that time.
  • The ocean (actually New Providence Channel) is a beautiful clear blue. There is probably heavier surf on the Potomac though.
  • The sand was the softest I have ever been on.
  • There is still a lot of hurricane damage, to buildings and trees.
  • Like the Bahamas and the U.K., Ritz Beach is somehow affiliated with the Ritz Carlton, but it appears to be in name only.
  • Bahama mamas, a rum drink, are enthusiastically served all day long, everywhere.
  • At Ritz Beach, visitors who participate in even a few activities can expect to win coconut rum throughout the week. We won three bottles.
  • It appears that Kawasaki has yet to engineer a Waverunner that can meet the performance levels needed for someone of my incredible talent. They keep stalling on me; perhaps it was because I neglected to let up on the throttle.
  • We missed out on snorkeling because the day we were going to go, the water was too murky. We should have tried to go before Friday.
  • If you go to a place like Ritz Beach they will probably try to push signing up for the activities on the day you arrive, promising a 10% discount. Given our experience with the snorkeling being cancelled, I recommend not signing up for too much that day, if you miss anything, you lose all the savings.
  • The price of restaurant food is comparable with Greater D.C.
  • The prices at the grocery store about 15% higher than here. Folks from Indiana were overwhelmed.
  • There is a pool bar (in a grotto) at the Ritz Beach. It was my downfall on Sunday night.
  • The waterslide looks nice, but is nothing special.
  • We played beach volleyball on four days of the trip. Fantastic sport.
  • I read three books while I was there — Blue Highways by William Least-Heat Moon (finally!), Why Orwell Matters by Christopher Hitchens, and Crazy From the Heat by David Lee Roth. Look for blurbs about them soon.
  • Freeport International Airport is quaint in that it does not feel like a shopping mall that has airplanes, it actually feels like an airport.
  • We had layovers in Charlotte. Flying in and out of there, it appears that they have a skyline of about 2.5 skyscrapers (including the impressive Bank of America building) and little else. Not bad though, but Charlotte looks pretty small.
  • US Airways does not serve bourbon, so I settled for Jack Daniels. I always have one drink on a flight and make the same toast every time — to happy landings!
  • I got a window seat on the return flight from Charlotte. It was great seeing NC and VA from 30,000 feet at dusk. The Richmond region is a much more populous place than I thought.
  • Our stewardess on that flight (a small Mesa Airlines jet) was goofy and snarky. She has either been doing it too long or not long enough. Her attitude will keep her off the big jets.
  • We really needed the time off, it was a great honeymoon!
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  • BALLPARKS I HAVE SORT OF BEEN TO

    It began innocently enough back in ’99. I was on my last spring break, visiting friends in Colorado. One particular afternoon, we strolled over to Coors Field, home of the Rockies, and my friend took a photo of me standing in front of it.


    Photo: Owen Price

    As you can see, there is nothing extraordinary about the photo. If anything, it is not terribly flattering. I really did not think anything of it at the time and put it in album with all of the others from the trip.

    Three years later, my girlfriend Erica and I, were out near Pittsburgh for a wedding. The day after we had checked out and had a half hour to kill before the next occasion of that weekend. Since we did not have time to take in much of the Steel City, we wound up parking at the sports complex on the city’s North Side. Without thinking of the Coors Field photo, I got a photo taken of me in front of PNC Park, the home of the Pirates.


    Photo: Erica Marker

    Again, no big deal and it too was added to the photo album. Fast foward to 2004. I found out that we were going to a wedding in Vermont and it was decided that we would take the whole week off and stay up North. We added Montreal and Boston to the agenda and I looked to see if either the Expos or Red Sox would be playing that week. It would turn out that the schedule was not in our favor in either city on the days we would be there, so I joked that I would have to get another photo in front of a ballpark that I had never been inside. With that epiphany I decided I would make it my quest to get photos in front of as many ballparks I had never seen a game at as possible. With that decided, we made a slight detour on the way back from the Jersey Shore through Philadelphia. In addition to getting Philly cheese steaks at Jim’s, we made a very quick stop in front of the Phillies new yard, Citizens Bank Park.

    On April 4, 2005, I crossed Citizens Bank Park off the list when I attended Opening Day. It was Phillies vs. Nationals in their first game ever. You can read about the experience here and view the 33 photo gallery of my trip here (pops up).


    Photo: Erica Marker

    A month or two later, we were at it again. This time, we were in Montreal, home of the Expos for at least the rest of the month. This would be most satisfying.


    Photo: Erica Marker

    I displayed a Senators pennant because for five years, myself and other Washingtonians have coveted the Expos. It was apparent that Nos Amours did not have a future in Quebec and the most logical place to relocate them was D.C. I could not resist the urge to do this and thankfully, 23 days later, Major League Baseball announced the Expos would be coming to the Nation’s Capital (pending funding, etc.). I did not do this out of spite, but out of hope that my city would get a team of it’s own. I have nothing but good things to say about Montreal, it is a wonderful city and Olympic Stadium is a facinating structure. The tower is accessible offers stunning views of the city and is accessible via a furnicular and is worth doing if you find yourself up that way.

    Lastly, (for now) I have Boston’s Fenway Park, home of the hated Red Sox (I am the son of a former Yankees employee). We were in Beantown just four days after Montreal and jumped off the T for a quick walk over.


    Photo: Erica Marker

    I added another ballyard in late 2004.


    Here I am standing in front of Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium in Washington D.C. I have never seen a regular season MLB game there.

    After years of waiting in vain, I finally got to see real baseball in the Nation’s Capital on April 20, 2005. The Nats beat the Braves on a Wednesday night. It was joyous. Here is my blog account of that evening.

    I have seen exhibition baseball there on a couple of occasions. Fortunately, starting this year, I should be able to remove this from the list as the Montreal Expos have relocated to D.C. and been renamed the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season.

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    Fête du Travail

    MONTREAL — Just checking in to say, “bonjour.” We had a great time at the game on Saturday with everyone and made it all the way to Newburgh, NY before calling it a night. My cousin Tom’s wedding went off without a hitch (though a little long for my taste) and Vermont was beautiful. This afternoon, we arrived in Montreal where everyone has been friendly, helpful, and most importantly, fluent in English. Erica is taking a quick nap and soon we will be off to see some sights. Adieu!

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