Posts Tagged ‘trains’

After spending some time with family and friends in Los Angeles this summer, I headed for Denver and Boulder to visit more family and more friends.  I decided to take the Southwest Chief, an Amtrak line that runs from Los Angeles to Chicago via Albuquerque and Kansas City.  There’s no direct route to Denver on […]

This summer on my quasi-annual return trip to the United States I decided that I wanted to travel by train, rather than flying.  This decision was partially to do with the fact that flying is one of the most carbon-unfriendly activities around, but equally due to the fact that I’ve come to despise air travel […]

Valéry, who had a fine eye for the cluster of symptoms called “civilization,” has characterized one of the pertinent facts. “The inhabitant of the great urban centers,” he writes, “reverts to a state of savagery — that is, of isolation.  The feeling of being dependent on others, which used to be kept alive by need, […]

There is something distasteful about the very bustle of the streets, something that is abhorrent to human nature itself.  Hundreds of thousands of people of all classes and ranks of society jostle past one another; are they not all human beings with the same characteristics and potentialities, equally interested in the pursuit of happiness? . […]

That the eye of the city dweller is overburdened with protective functions is obvious.  Georg Simmel refers to some less obvious tasks with which it is charged.  “The person who is able to see but unable to hear is much more . . . troubled than the person who is able to hear but unable […]

takeno beach


Since autumn is here and I’m just about to start teaching again, I thought I would revisit the glories of summer. Sometime in July, Yo-chan and I took the train to Takeno Hama, which is on the Nihonkai (Japan Sea) side of the island. It was a pretty long train ride — three hours each way […]

My friend Jess flew out to visit at the beginning of May during my Golden Week vacation. Golden Week, which is pretty much like a five-day long Memorial Day weekend, is one of Japan’s biggest holidays and everything (including ATMs!) shuts down for the two official holidays that are the centerpiece of the five days […]