Letters From Provence

Letters from Provence

The Kiss Is Back


Thank goodness the French have come to their senses. Terrorism may grip Iraq, Syria and Yemen.  Climate change is forcing Texans to build arks. And we’ll likely all be roasting by July.  But in the shadows and on the open sidewalks of Aix-en-Provence, couples once again are locked in those ever-lasting embraces. The ones frozen…

A Philosophical Return to Aix


I’ve never much cared for eating out alone, even when I tuck a book under my arm to take with me.  But tonight I rather enjoyed it. And I was in no hurry to leave Bistrot des Philosophes, a restaurant Kathy and I never visited during our five months in Aix-in-Provence. Perhaps I took my…

Monet, Renoir and Me


Room 255 saved my sanity yesterday.  No, I haven’t been committed to an asylum yet like the tranquil setting in Saint Remy where Vincent Van Gogh spent much of the last year of his tormented life.  Boston’s cold, snowy record-breaking winter has been really bad this year, but not that bad. Still, after a Friday…

Reading About the 1930s, Thinking About 2014


Political sentiment across the Continent has converged at a grumpy and small-minded nadir. There is anger about high unemployment. There is pessimism about the future. There is irritation at immigration. There is alienation from the European Union. — Roger Cohen, the International New York Times It is against precisely this backdrop that the citizens of…