Russia’s terribly sweet wine

Great whimsical little piece about Russia by children's writer Brian Doyle, editor of Portland magazine (I concur wholeheartedly about the sweet wine..): I was at a winery the other day, high up on a sprawling hill in Oregon, on a startlingly sunny day, and got to talking to an elderly gentleman who explained that he was from …

Continue reading Russia’s terribly sweet wine


Diaspora Blues

Paradigms shift with geography. "CNN is terrible because they're too Jewish," declared one of my students. In 2008,  Christiane Amanpour gave 60 seconds to Armenia in her 2 hour long documentary on genocide, "Scream Bloody Murder." This April will be the 100th anniversary of the Armenia killings. You're not likely to hear casual anti-Semitism in the west. Then again you probably …

Continue reading Diaspora Blues

Khor Virap – Spiritual birthplace

One look at a cloudless Ararat confirmed our itinerary today: we were off to the spiritual birthplace of modern Armenia, the ancient city of Artashes founded in 180 BC, now known as the monastery of Khor Virap. Legend has it that Hannibal himself founded this city while fleeing his Roman conquerers. Situated right on the …

Continue reading Khor Virap – Spiritual birthplace