Riga Through A Hailstorm: On The Reporter’s Red-Eye Life

Thursday, 16 July It’s the first time I’ve heard an entire airplane applaud a safe landing, and I’m sure I didn’t sleep through any turbulence. After an early flight out of Edinburgh and over five hours in London’s wifi-less Luton Airport, what I’m convinced is hell’s mop closet, I’m safely in Riga, Latvia, ready toContinue reading “Riga Through A Hailstorm: On The Reporter’s Red-Eye Life”

The Beers and Other Boozes of Riga – From Black Balsam to Baltic Porters

Öö, Põjahla – 10.5% ABV, €5.00 (pub price) (Estonia)  I found Öö at Vest, about a 20 minute walk from my hotel, the Tallinik.  I knew I couldn’t go wrong with the craft beer selection here – the place is a craft kitchen and coffee shop catering to polite bikers, foosball players, even people seeking a haircutContinue reading “The Beers and Other Boozes of Riga – From Black Balsam to Baltic Porters”

Buffalo, Books & Beer

There was, not terribly long ago, something called the “Buffalo Trail.”  In a way it had everything to do with pioneers, but not of the Laura Ingalls Wilder variety.  The Buffalo Trail was a lecture circuit that grew out of the New England “lyceum” debate scene of the first half of the 1800s, and its regularsContinue reading “Buffalo, Books & Beer”

Stirling Castle, featuring a lesson in rugby and several aphorisms

St. Andrew’s Day, celebrating the patron saint of Scotland (the one with the jaunty cross), is for many of us at unis across the country a celebration of the end of our first semester’s classes, and the free museum openings and cultural events from the highlands to the lowlands, from Fraserburgh to the Firth ofContinue reading “Stirling Castle, featuring a lesson in rugby and several aphorisms”

Today’s Brew: “La Fin du Monde,” an Ale for the End of the World

A few nights ago in Buffalo, N.Y., thunder cracked and rolled more sudden and booming than anything I’d heard since the days when I was very young, and I’d sit on my porch for every one of these summer storms, wondering (and thrilling) at the chance that by my proximity to the metal railings on allContinue reading “Today’s Brew: “La Fin du Monde,” an Ale for the End of the World”