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The Violence Is Always Now

Last week I wrote an article for The National about the newly ironic question of “where do you feel safe?” That’s the second question people ask when I tell them where I live, as if Abu Dhabi is some terrifying city “over there.”  But this question in the context of America’s gun insanity, now has to stand on its head. I was in a movie theater yesterday, watching Ghostbusters (yay, …

Share a Fridge

Eid mubarak! The long days of Ramadan have passed, and now it’s the time for celebration. We’re in New York already, and still in the hazy fugue-like state of jet lag (compounded by having been in Bangkok ten days ago); I wake up in the middle of the night and am not entirely sure which continent I’m on.  In the Union Square farmer’s market this morning, however, I heard people …

In the suburbs no one can hear you scream

I live in the suburbs now.  From the maelstrom of Union Square in Manhattan to the slightly more sedate “urban” experience of highrise in downtown Abu Dhabi was one shift. But in a weird way the shift from one cityscape to another wasn’t as big a shift as the move from city to the ‘burbs.  It’s so quiet here . . . and when I walk around at night I’m …

mosques

Just at the afternoon adhan today, I was out walking in the neighborhood near my office, searching for candy a nutritious snack to carry me through four hours of back-to-back meetings. I am struck always, in Abu Dhabi, by the juxtaposition of glassy office towers against the ancient worlds summoned up in the call to prayer, the way the modern quite literally bumps up against the old. I am struck …

Everyone Goes to Vesuvius

Did you know that Vesuvius is still considered an active volcano, and a dangerous one? It could blow at any moment, theoretically. That thought gave Caleb the added impetus he needed for the hike to the top of the caldera, a task that sounds more impressive than it was: you drive (or are driven)  to the base of the trail and then walk the 800 or so meters to the …