Why Dubai?

I arrived at the world’s largest mall at feeding time in one of the tanks. Did I just write tanks? The aquarium capacity is ten million liters; it purports to contain 33k [sic] fish, so I wasn’t surprised to see I scores of people having their photos taken in front of a Guinness World Record sign…which might mean I took this video at the world’s largest aquarium.

Since it’s practically next door to the Mall, the world’s tallest building, Birj Khalif, was on my A-List . At a little over 800 meters, it does seem iconic of this newly-and-extravagantly wealthy city.

I saw it later that night, and later still (several photos down),watched NYE fireworks



Meanwhile, back at Dubai Mall —
I’d estimate having seen about 1/8 of the 1,200 shops. There are the usual – rows of Van Cleef & Arpels-like shops; every Gap in existence; an entire wing devoted to shoes; two food courts, as well as slow food restaurants; coffee shops, from Starbucks and Gloria Jean’s, to… are you ready, Minnesota( 3rd photo down, & you may have to squint…)?




On New Year’s Day, the beach near where I stay was full of both Emirati and expats, all on holiday.

It wasn’t until walking home from the beach that I remembered how far I was from Kansas. In this video, there is more static than Call to Prayer, but you get my drift

One day I went over, via abra, the wonderful wooden boats that ferry workers and tourists, to visit the gold, spice, and textile souks





I fingered these necklaces, trying to guess where the clasp was, or why the bands holding the beads weren’t elastic, for easier putting on/taking off, then – of course! Realized I was fingering prayer beads.


One last photo of the Lawrence of Arabia-likeness of the place (aka Sean Connery, Alec Guinness):


In NYC with M.I.B.II

Mary Irene is much of what drew me to New York this time, and she is perfect, just perfect.

Mary Irene  is most of the reason I came to New York.

Saturday, overcast and blustery, Mary, Leilani, and I went looking for a little dessert.

At Columbus Circle, I encountered an old Siena friend:


I’m staying in the downstairs apartment, where I count a half-dozen bookshelves, overflowing. Looking over my laptop for something to read, I can of course write the only thing that comes to mind,i.e. that It’s [mostly] Greek to me.
photo-2Byz bks2




This last photo is a sort of Homage to The Briel Kids, for all those times they’ve watched – will continue to watch – Macaulay Caulkin get Lost in NYC: