East/West


great meadows

Our borderlands contain many natural ones.  Some are wildlife refuges that soften the borders between man and animal.  I grew up in one, called the Great Meadows in eastern Massachusetts where my grandfather, Dick Borden, a wildlife filmmaker and conservationist, maintained an entire ecosystem of wildlife, including pet otters, geese, […]


oh link! roanoke, va

The mystique of trains plays a large role in borderland culture.  Here, a museum lovingly rose from Roanoke’s former Norfolk & Western passenger terminal, with an amazing photography collection that captures the dying years of America’s last steam railway. O. Winston Link, a commercial photographer from New York, had a […]


the mfa’s new wing

The MFA, Boston’s premier art museum, received a glorious new wing for the Art of the Americas a handful of years ago.  What a borderland pleasure it is!  The old MFA, like much of Boston, was proper and stodgy.  The modern wing, and the newly enclosed courtyard attaching the buildings, […]


illuminarts at the pérez, miami, fl 1

One of the most compelling artistic adventures in Miami is IlluminArts, a relatively new Vocal Arts organization founded by (Artistic Director) mezzo-soprano star Amanda Crider, which recently received a coveted Knight Foundation grant.  Their latest endeavor is a performance at Miami’s Pérez Art Museum of a haunting piece, titled “the […]


reading in santa monica, ca

Come by for a reading by Ben Batchelder of “Borderlands USA: or, How to Protect the Country by Car” at the delightful coffee shop Primo Passo in Santa Monica, CA. This is the author’s first reading west of the Rockies and he is pleased to return to the borderlands of […]


fish fuel in madison

While surveying the nation’s defenses along the coast, one still needs fuel.  Here I stopped, during a foray in September, in Madison, Conn. at Lenny & Joe’s, a truly fine seafood eatery whose humble roots were a roadside fried clam stand from 1979.  


nyc book event

The book reading in NYC’s Roger Smith Hotel on Sunday, May 17th was quite emotional for me: to see so many old & dear friends, both from while living in the city and from three levels of schooling (only grade school friends were out napping somewhere). Several dear friends from […]


nyc book reading invite

You are cordially invited to a reading & signing by Ben Batchelder of his recently launched American adventure, Borderlands USA: Or, How to Protect the Country by Car, hosted by the Roger Smith Hotel and Earthdog Press. Refreshments will be served in the ground floor Lily’s Room, where a stunning […]


pacific northwest

The Pacific Northwest boasts the most scenic coasts of the States.  US 101, outside of busy California, hugs the coast here, and strings together an endless series of state parks: on a good tourist map their names crowd the entire border line.  Along with the Gulf Coast, this is among […]


south of the border with zeno

In the continuing adventures of Zeno, the border patrol dog par excellence, here we are in the massive South of the Border tourist trap just south of the South-North Carolina state line.  Called “America’s favorite highway oasis,” it is referred to by aficionados as Camp Pedro and Pedroland, due to its […]


Outer Banking

Zeno, the fearless border patrol dog, and yours truly recently scanned the East Coast from North Carolina through Georgia, much of it along the long barrier islands of the Outer Banks. I can report back to you, dear reader, that the coast was clear.  [please hover over images for captions] […]


9/11 Memorial

Before Borderlands USA’s launch, it seemed appropriate to visit where my original journey around the country’s borders began, at the World Centers site in lower Manhattan. The site has been transformed, of course, with the new One World Center reaching 1,776 feet into the heavens (now the tallest building in the […]


9/11 Museum

In this post, the tones darken and the faces become drawn as we descend into the memory of the event that not only changed what it means to be American, but immediately defined the struggle of the new century.  [please hover over images for captions] ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]