the glorious south

My last southern border trip was with Zeno, his swan song adventure out west while he was dying of mast cell cancer.  Here, a year and a half later, I take the southern route once again, returning to the same New Mexican ranch (the destination of Zeno’s first and last […]

trump storms hialeah 1

Love or hate him, Trump is a cultural and political phenom. While Republican midgets debated nearby, Trump swept into Hialeah, FL to whip up his supporters. The man’s energy, gravitas, wit and acumen are amazing. The last time I saw him in a rally was in Miami just before the […]

new world opener

Miami is a border town in so many ways. Despite being in the Free State of Florida, many cultural institutions suffered, succumbing to fear – or borderline panic. Read, here, of the New World Symphony’s (“America’s Youth Orchestra”) pre-season opener as it struggles to re-connect with the audience after onerous […]

zeno’s last border patrol 1

In the last border patrol of his life (six months into mast cell cancer), Zeno performed with flying colors and fulfilled his duty, less than two months before his death. We have patrolled much of the southern border a number of times, especially along the New Mexican and Texan lines. […]

borderlands zeno 2 1

Zeno’s mission in life (2005-2022) was to bring comfort, a smile, and joy to the lives of all he met.  The reason he survived so long – as most Labradors live only 10-12 years – was, I suspect, to give encouragement to the crazy human race during the greatly mishandled […]

borderlands zeno 1 9

Zeno led a remarkable life (2005-2022). For over 16 years he traveled to many ends of the New World.  A quick calculation of his longer roadtrips totals 96,000 miles, or nearly 4x around the Earth’s circumference. This first post provides some highlights of his early roadtrips in the U.S., which […]

miami staytrip

With an ill dog at home, I’ve been renting a car now several weeks in a row.  With the mobility of wheels I decided to take a number of afternoon excursions, treating Miami as if a city visited on a roadtrip. Not surprisingly, Miami reveals herself to be a borderlands […]

all-nighter with pet rescue queen

An old prep school friend asked if I’d volunteer to help receive rescue dogs arrive from Puerto Rico in Miami.  Of course. She’s a Navy pilot veteran and sometimes flies the big bird 767 herself.  She didn’t mention when or for how long I could help, no matter.  I got […]

the desert kingdom of arizona

Deserts are a landscape of hardship.  Yet as has always been my case, “Lucky for me, I love the Desert Southwest.” [Borderlands USA, p.175] As lovely and pampered and touristed as the coast highways are, I felt relieved to be back on empty border tracks, the narrow two-laners connecting remoteness […]

the (border) crossing at its best: review

The Crossing by Cormac McCarthy My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is the best border tale I’ve read, a masterpiece masterfully told, the language and dialogue as taut and radiant as the afternoon desert sun. (Some spoilers below.) Our two teen heroes, living in the frontier of New Mexico’s […]

art miami, take 2

Take II, also from last December’s Art Basel extravaganza in Metro Miami, takes us down a few more Art Miami corridors and then into the Art Context annex.  As always, many attendees put on their own show to compete with the wall flowers.

art miami, take 1 2

Art Basel/Miami Beach has expanded over the years, now including dozens of art fairs and events.  In December a friend kindly invited me to Art Miami, which occupied the bayfront property where the Miami Herald once stood. As always, fascination with the female form, followed by celebrity glam, reigns.  What […]

abita mystery house 4

I visited the Abita Mystery House (or, more accurately, it visited me) in backwater Louisiana a few years back, and it remains the gold standard of roadside attractions. Owner/eccentric John Preble, inspired by Albuquerque’s Tinkertown masterpiece (tucked away in the Sandias), opened up UCM Museum – You See ‘Em or, […]

florida keys 2

The Florida Keys – borderlands on many levels – are otherworldly. Most tourists fly by car down the Upper and Lower Keys, Key West or bust, but I prefer poking along, not only for the spectacular views but for a sense of Old Florida, quirky and friendly. I recently took […]

a latin hallelujah

As a lovely welcome-back to Miami Beach, I recently attended a dynamic, even aspirational, rendition of Handel’s Messiah in a Jewish synagogue. That’s right, music whose normal Yuletide purpose is to emphasize that Jesus Christ was the Jewish Messiah, as predicted throughout the Old Testament, which they missed. To add […]

true grit floridians 2

Your fearless fellow borderlander returned to Miami just in time to ride out Hurricane Irma.  With 6.5 million under mandatory evacuation, it was safer to stay put than add to the chaos of the roads – where gas shortages were prevalent 4 days prior.  Then, a day or two before […]

water ballerinas 3

From the ever-borderland of Miami Beach, here is some water ballet from the Momentum Dance Company, performed at an Art Deco gem, the National Hotel. ★Happy Independence Day!★ ” order_by=”sortorder” order_direction=”ASC” returns=”included” maximum_entity_count=”500″]

border classic: review of alan weisman’s la frontera

La Frontera: The United States Border with Mexico by Alan Weisman My rating: 2 of 5 stars This sprawling journey along the Mexican border is a classic in borderlands literature: it sings the songs of unsung lives while also crossing into identification with our southern neighbors. Identification can help understanding, […]