First impressions of the Windy City

I was less ignorant of Chicago than I might have been. A friend had advised me to read Michelle Obama’s autobiography before I got to Chicago. I did. The book, especially the first third, describes Michelle Obama’s childhood in Chicago. When you arrive at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, you’re greeted by flags from all over … Continue reading / view photos First impressions of the Windy City

Bill Gates could have been Mexican

I learnt at the Bullock Texas State History Museum that Texas was once part of Mexico, then its own country, and eventually joined the United States in 1845. It’s also difficult to imagine the US without Silicon Valley. California was also part of Mexico. And whilst I knew that the US had purchased Alaska from … Continue reading / view photos Bill Gates could have been Mexican

Austin Central Library

Despite being the home of capitalism, the US has some of the finest free libraries in the world. One of them is Austin Central Library. Spacious, welcoming, and thoughtfully designed, the library was opened in 2017. It’s at the heart of the community and a sanctuary for anyone who wants to escape the outside heat … Continue reading / view photos Austin Central Library

4 July

Whilst planning other places to visit in San Francisco, I wondered where to spend 4 July. In the end, I opted for Austin even though I’d heard the celebrations in Chicago were something special. As it turned out, given what happened in Chicago, I was glad I was in Austin on the 4 July. One … Continue reading / view photos 4 July

Austin murals

Austin is famous for its street art – or murals, as Austinites call them. The murals are colourful and everywhere. Also famous are the many food trucks. I’d not heard of the term until I went to Austin. They’re just motorized vehicles, such as vans, equipped to make and sell food. I suppose the British … Continue reading / view photos Austin murals

Ziker Botanical Gardens

I took a taxi to the Ziker Botanical Gardens in Austin. The driver was surprised that there was an entrance charge. At $3 for non-residents, I thought it was a bargain. Earlier, the taxi driver had something to say to me but had been hesitant. He started by saying, “You probably get this all the … Continue reading / view photos Ziker Botanical Gardens

Keep it weird

Even before I went to Austin, I was regularly listening over the internet to KUTX 98.9, an Austin-based radio station. I found it about a year ago when I couldn’t find any British radio station that I liked. I wanted to listen to random, eclectic, indie/alternative/rock music. A search on the internet suggested KUTX and … Continue reading / view photos Keep it weird

Howdy Austin, Texas

More often than I should, I find myself rushing for the plane no matter how early I’ve gone through security. This time I was the last passenger on the flight to Austin, the capital of Texas. For some reason, they changed my seat as I boarded the plane. When I found my seat, it had … Continue reading / view photos Howdy Austin, Texas

The Broad

The Broad is a contemporary art museum in LA and probably the second most visited after LACMA. Entry to The Broad is free. You have to book a slot to get in. I found out about that and did book on their website. Alas, I missed booking for an incredible installation called Infinity Mirrors by … Continue reading / view photos The Broad

LACMA and La Brea Tar Pits

Art does not reproduce the visible; rather, it makes visible. Paul Klee. LACMA, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, is huge. It has everything from contemporary to Etrustan art. Occasionally, I’m pleasantly surprised that I come across a famous painting or sculpture that I’d seen in books or film but never in reality. This … Continue reading / view photos LACMA and La Brea Tar Pits