The Man with the Yellow Star

He was wearing a battered leather coat, the kind with pockets with flaps and a belt and wide lapels. Buttons, not zippers. It was brown. 1940s city, not 1950s biker. He had a Groucho Marx ‘stache, still dark, and Einstein hair reaching out in all directions like static. Maybe he was 60, maybe a well …
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Flea Market, Vienna

The guy behind the card table is turning a watch over in his hands. “It’s broken,” he says, to the guy that insists that it’s not, that it’s a good watch, that it’s just the watch band that needs replacement. “No,” says the guy behind the card table, this pin on the side needs fixing, …
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La Luna

There’s a certain way I look at the big mountain that marks the end of the valley when we’re driving the long side of it. If I can get the right perspective on it, I trick myself into thinking it’s the moon, hanging in space, just beyond the horizon. It’s too far to touch, but …
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H is for Haselnuss

Turkey is the world’s number one producer of hazelnuts. Once I’d learned this critical information, the Austrian obsession with hazelnut baked goods began to make more sense. Turkey and Austria have a long and contentious relationship that’s grounded in empirical — as in empire, not as in the scientific method — sibling rivalry between the …
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Cold

It was bitter cold this morning, but the light was irresistible. There was a frozen mist hanging just over the surface of the lake and weird foggy clouds in the sky. We got about six inches of new snow yesterday, so when I looked out the window in the morning, everything was covered in sparkles …
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