Escape From Ulaanbaatar

Standing on the wide brick steps of the State Department Store, I scanned the crowd for Khaidavyn Chilaajav, director of the Union of Mongolian Writers, who I was to meet for dinner. Its plaza crowded with taxis and pedestrians, the store is still the hub of downtown, though no longer Ulaanbaatar’s only retail center as […]

Revolutionary Dining

In Marnita Schroedl and Carl Goldstein’s Kenwood home it can be hard to decide where to sit. The living room contains a plush couch, a large oak dining table lined with a bench and six solid chairs, and a low table encircled by five squat stools. The sunroom in back has another couch, while still […]

The Wild, Wild Midwest

Around these parts—north of the Mason-Dixon and east of the Mississippi—rodeo seems like a romantic and quaintly exotic pastime, like bull-running in Spain or céilí dancing in Ireland. “Cowboy” is a costume you wore for Halloween or the role a Hollywood stud pursues to establish his hotness. Yet on a recent autumn afternoon, the University […]

Light of My Life, Fire of My Paddle

Seliga, splitting the water, slipping over its surface. Se-li-ga. Three syllables sliding off the tongue: Se—sibilant and schwa; Lee—light-hearted, quick, cascading into the primitive finale of Ga. That would be Joe Seliga, specifically, a maker of canoes—of craft—for the water. A wood-canvas canoe, generically. The shape familiar: the sides rising from the water, seventeen feet […]

Rake Appeal { Home

The bathroom has long been a solitary place in which to hide out from family holiday gatherings and awkward dates. But only recently has it been elevated to the lofty status of “I-room” by high-end interior designers—a sanctuary where quotidian tasks become rituals and ablutions, where relieving oneself has metaphysical ramifications. No such shrine is […]