An American Abroad

UNESCO World Heritage Sites

So far this year, I've been to three UNESCO World Heritage sites. And that got me wondering about how many I have been to in total. So here's my list, which I will update from time to time as I notch more of them. Canada Historic District of Old … [Continue reading]

Willemstad At Night

I spent most of my evenings in the Pietermaai district of Willemstad. Until recently, this area was in serious decline and known mostly for its junkies, crack houses, and crime. But a few years ago, a public-private partnership began to turn the area … [Continue reading]

My Old Weird French (Rental) Car

Back when I lived in Tunisia, I became fascinated with old, weird French cars. I rode in them every day back then and saw scores on the roadways. What struck me is that, for good or ill, French car manufacturers go their own way when it comes to … [Continue reading]

Willemstad Public Art

When I first saw these words painted on the side of a two-story building, I thought it was an ad for something. Maybe a local beer - although the "decolonized minds" caption didn't quite fit with that. Come to find out that Tula is a local Curaçaoan … [Continue reading]

By Scooter from Willemstad to Westpunt

On Saturday, I picked up a little no-name Vespa-style scooter from NR1 Scooter Rental to bomb around on for a few days. And so on Sunday, I took advantage of being mobile to get out of Willemstad and see more of Curaçao. I planned a trip to … [Continue reading]

Mundo Bizarro

It was the name that caught my eye first. It's a bizarre world indeed. The name seemed to sum up the last six weeks of my life during which I moved from Toledo, Ohio to San Juan, Puerto Rico, took a spur-of-the-moment trip to the Dominican … [Continue reading]

The Oldest Synagogue in Continuous Use in the Americas

On the day before Yom Kippur, I skipped lunch and walked over to the Mikvé Israel-Emanuel Synagogue here in Willemstad, a temple which holds the distinction of being the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the Americas. It dates from 1732 and is … [Continue reading]

Nine Views of a Green Curaçao Building

I probably won't get hired by the Curaçao tourist board as the photographer for their next brochure. After eight days here, I have taken exactly one photo of the beach and something like 300 photos of the sometimes-grittier side of Willemstad. … [Continue reading]

The Ancient Town of San Germán: Puerto Rico 72 Hours Before Hurricane Maria

Concluding my account of the circumnavigation of Puerto Rico just three days before Hurricane Maria struck . . . . After a brief stop in Salinas and a foray into the jungle in search of the Doña Juana waterfall, I headed west by northwest on Route … [Continue reading]

The Doña Juana Waterfall: Puerto Rico 72 Hours Before Hurricane Maria

Continuing my story of what Puerto Rico was like just before it was ravaged by Hurricane Maria . . . After my quick stop in Salinas, I continued west. Midway between Santa Isabel and Ponce, I swung north on Route 149 and back up into the … [Continue reading]