What Is My Story? by Drew Michael

I never heard the term “decolonization” before. Here are some definitions:

Process by which colonies become independent of the colonizing country

Encyclopedia Brittanica

The undoing of colonialism, where a nation establishes and maintains its domination over dependent territories”

Wikipedia

The process of breaking your identity with and loyalty to this culture—industrial capitalism, and more broadly civilization—and remembering your identification with and loyalty to the real physical world, including the land where you live

Derrick Jensen, quoted at Unsettling America

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Juneau

Sunday, September 3, 2017, 7:45 am

I kind of feel like I should let the pictures do all the talking.

And it started when the plane took off Friday. I had a window seat and got some great photos as we flew out of SeaTac. Landing in Juneau was no less impressive, though the weather was quite changed.

Continue reading “Juneau how pretty it is here?”

Juneau, Alaska

I’m off to spend the weekend in Juneau.

I’ve spent the entire summer in Seattle, which isn’t necessarily a terrible thing. The weather here is beautiful in the summertime.

But it’s nice to have a little getaway, so with the three-day Labor Day weekend coming up, I decided to make a quick trip to the Alaska panhandle. In 2003 I went to the Kenai peninsula, Anchorage, and Denali, but I haven’t ever been to the panhandle. It’s just a 2 1/2 hour flight, so off I go!
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The last time I was in San Francisco, I was in my mid-20s, and I stayed with my sister and her boyfriend at the time, who were living there at the time. My sister took me around to the typical tourist spots. Her boyfriend took me on a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge to Tiburon, up in Marin County. I remember very little of what I saw and I don’t think I got much of a feel for the city.

Although I moved to Seattle 18 years ago and live just 2 hours away by plane, it took me until now to make it back there. I spent the week between Christmas and New Year’s in San Francisco, attempting to get an authentic experience, see some sights, eat some good food, maybe meet some people, and have some fun.
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In most of my travels, I don’t think I’ve stayed longer than three or four nights in one place. And that has always suited me well. Three nights has sometimes left me wishing for one more, but I remember feeling, after four nights in Stockholm in 2012, that I was ready to move on, even though I loved Stockholm and didn’t see everything I would have liked to see.
Continue reading “A Week in New York: Day 6”

Today was a two-show day, and it was on-and-off drizzly all day, so I took it easy in the morning and just took a short walk from the hotel to Union Square, where the Christmas Market is underway. I enjoyed browsing through the kiosks. Then I walked up to Port Authority and met mom, and we saw Dames at Sea. It’s a shame the show didn’t get better reviews and is closing next month; it’s really a lot of fun. No, it’s not brilliant or original or contemporary, but it was never supposed to be. It was written to be a send-up of the big all-singing-all-dancing spectacle musicals of the 1930s, and it succeeded perfectly in evoking that spirit. We smiled through the entire thing.
Continue reading “A Week in New York: Day 4”

A few observations about New York after my first full day:

  • The city is more user-friendly than it used to be. Subways have live infographics displaying upcoming stops and showing how long your ride will be. They also have instructions on how to be a courteous subway rider: my favorite is “Don’t be a pole hog” (it shows a picture of someone wrapped somewhat amorously around a pole). There are maps around town showing points of interest. There are lots of clearly marked bike lanes. Even the taxis look newer and shinier than they ever used to.
  • Both drivers and pedestrians are as aggressive as ever. People do not wait for a walk sign. Cars don’t yield to pedestrians.
  • You can’t walk fast very effectively in many neighborhoods. Pedestrian traffic jams are as common as vehicle traffic jams.
  • There are a surprising number of cash-only establishments.
  • There are many 24-hour establishments, including groceries, drug stores, bars, and restaurants.
  • Even on a Monday night at midnight, jazz clubs and piano bars in the West Village are jam packed.
  • The city feels safer than it used to. Lots of regular-looking people, including single women, are walking around or riding the subway at night. There is a ubiquitous security presence; barriers preventing vehicles from entering a lot of streets (especially around the financial district) and security guards with canine units. Seems like there are a lot more police on foot patrol as well.

Continue reading “A Week in New York: Day 2”

I have arrived in the greatest city in the world, and I’m not leaving for a week!

Even though I grew up on Long Island and lived for four years in the Bronx while I was teaching in New Rochelle, just north of the city, I could probably count on the fingers of one hand the number of times I’ve spent the night in Manhattan. So this is a real thrill for me. I am still not sure how I will spend my days this week, though I do have a list of places to go and things to see. And I will have the opportunity to catch up with some old friends. Evenings (and Wednesday daytime) are devoted to theatre.
Continue reading “A Week in New York: Day 1”