Oh, I see! moments
Travel Cultures Language

Angels of Paris

by Meredith Mullins on December 18, 2017

Angel on the Church of Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre in Paris, one of the angels of Paris that serves as a cultural symbol. (Image © Rosemary Flannery.)

The angels of Paris are abundant (from the Church of Saint-Jean-de-Montmartre).
© Rosemary Flannery

The Most Celestial of Cultural Symbols

Happy holidays to all! This festive season surrounds us with sparkling lights, fir trees of all shapes and sizes, menorahs, wish lists, santas, elves, mangers, jingling bells, and heralding angels. We celebrate with a variety of cultural symbols at this time of year.

One of these symbols, however, has more than just a holiday presence. Angels can be full-time residents, finding a home in history and architectural design, especially in a city such as Paris.

What’s in Your Suitcase?

by Joyce McGreevy on October 9, 2017

A souvenir store in Budapest, Hungary leads a writer to seek the locus of travel inspiration and other aha moments. (Image © Joyce McGreevy)

Souvenir stores straddle the border between “this place” and “any place.”
© Joyce McGreevy

Collected Travel Inspiration,
With & Without Souvenirs

Souvenirs—talismans of travel inspiration, mere trinkets, or  trash?  Can they inspire aha moments or only memorialize them?

The very word is a souvenir of 18th century French—from souvenir “to remember.” But I like the ancient Latin even better. Subvenire, “to come up from below,” tips its hat to the subconscious. It makes me think of opening old boxes in a basement and finding forgotten treasure, some silly, small item of no value.  And yet  . . .

Mexico in March—Monarch Butterflies Take Wing

by Sheron Long on March 24, 2015

Students photographing monarch butterflies at their winter home in central Mexico, illustrating the impact that global citizens can have against the threats to the monarch butterfly. (Image © Carol Starr)

Documentary filmmakers meet a golden subject in the central highlands of Mexico.
© Carol Starr

Global Citizens Fly High, Too

Any day now, the eastern monarchs will leave their winter home in the Sierra Madre mountains of central Mexico and begin their epic journey across the US to Canada. Theirs is a know-no-boundaries flight pattern.

These pollinators are crucial to a continued food supply. Yet, like the honeybees, their numbers are dwindling: the 2014–15 estimate is about 56.5 million, a fraction of the 1 billion monarch butterflies that wintered in Mexico in 1996–97.

Who can help these fragile long-distance travelers? Global citizens, who work for monarch conservation with a know-no-boundaries fight pattern.

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