• Checked Off My Bucket List: Amsterdam


    If you are traveling from London to Amsterdam, there is no better way than an overnight trip on the Stena Line, not only it’s comfortable, inexpensive and pleasant, but it also saves money you would otherwise spend on the night at a hotel.

    After spending few days in Amsterdam I realized that there is a crucial piece of information every visitor should know – all of the online reviews for things to do, eat and see in Amsterdam are written while high. OK, maybe not all of them but a large part; definitely every one that I’ve read while lazily preparing for the trip at home. So just like you automatically add “in bed” to the Chinese fortunes, feel free to add “when high” to anything you read about Amsterdam. With this little secret in mind everything falls in place, things like “the best apple pie in the world” (when high), or “the funniest comedy club” (when high) now start making sense. Since I traveled as a responsible parent who wasn’t high (second-hand high doesn’t count) many of those things seemed a lot less stellar as some clearly euphoric reviewers have suggested. Yet I didn’t find it discouraging, although you had to be really really high to enjoy the aforementioned comedy club.


    Amsterdam is awesome. At the first sight of canals and bicycles a visitor grabs the camera and doesn’t let go until the last-minute in the city (and not because it might be stolen).

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  • Behind The Iron Curtain: Sputnik

    On October 4, 1957 the first artificial satellite Sputnik-1 acted as the starter pistol for the space race.

    Cover of LIFE magazine dated 10-21-1957 of Smithsonian Observatory scientists working at M.I.T. in Cambridge to try to calculate Sputnik's orbit; © Time Inc. Dmitri Kessel
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  • Photographic Interlude: MO Route 45

    I will eventually have a real post with words and stuff, but in the meantime some photos from our trip to the Northwest of the Metro.

    Cue the sad Russian song:

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  • Republican National Convention of 1976 in Kansas City, MO

    I interrupt slow vacation coverage and other musings to report on my recent archaeological trip to the Missouri Valley Special Collections to waste a day off photograph some artifacts from the Republican National Convention, hosted in Kansas City’s Kemper Arena in 1976.

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  • Old Photos: Red Day On The Calendar

    When I was growing up®, everyone knew a poem that started with:

    Day of 7th of November
    Is Red Day in your calendár

    or something like that.

    People who read this blog for a while are well-versed in the holidays that were celebrated in the USSR and the 93rd Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution is not an exception. A whole generation has grown up without seeing a real parade on the Red Square in Moscow but the 7th of November is still remembered by many people around the world and celebrated at a least one suburban dwelling in the Kansas City Metro.

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