Newly married and established in her career as an award-winning newspaper journalist, Maggie Downs quits her job, sells her belongings, and embarks on the solo trip of a lifetime: Her mother's.
As a child, Maggie Downs often doubted that she would ever possess the courage to visit the destinations her mother dreamed of one day seeing. You are braver than you think, her mother always insisted. That statement would guide her as, over the course of one year, Downs backpacked through ...
Author Maggie Downs shares a memory of traveling to Egypt—and the aroma still associated with it, a decade later.
Scent is inexorably linked to memory. Author Maggie Downs explores what makes aromas so enduring—and how we can sniff out more powerful travel experiences.
The soft, gold-threaded scarf in my hands contains a secret. Whenever I bury my nose in the fabric and breathe deeply, the Red Sea greets me. In an instant, I’m transported to a serene ...
Rail riders past and present leave messages for each other, but not the ones you’ve probably heard about.
Connecticut Shorty caught her first ride in the porch of a grainer—the slender, metal cutout on a grain-filled train car—traveling about 200 miles across Northern California, from Dunsmuir to Roseville. It was 1993, and Shorty, then 51, was learning how to hop freight trains from a man known as Road Hog USA. He was a hobo, part of an American tradition that emerged after the Civil War: tr...
Ten mothers define motherhood
When lockdown began, I was still a boozy social butterfly.
I Went to the Hospital to Give Birth…And Tested Pos...
I do not want much this Christmas time
There is but one thing I need.
It is not a gift that can be placed beneath the holiday tree,
The house is fill’d with merriment, I breathe the fragrance of the festivities,
I invite my soul to celebrate.
I do not require to hang my stocking
Thereupon the fireplace
My hair, my tongue, every atom in my body form’d from this air
feeds the Yuletide fire
and the very spread of my thighs proclaims noel.
I would only like for my own—more than you could ever kno...
THE VOLCANOES IN FILM and literature are powerful, muscular, often in the process of erupting.
It makes sense. That’s where the drama is.
I like the other kind. The empty ones. The craters. A volcano open as a throat.
That’s why I traveled 100 miles from where I live to hike into an extinct volcano. I needed to go somewhere, and I chose a place that felt both resilient and vulnerable. I needed to go somewhere, and nowhere was the loneliest place I could find.
California was under strict loc...
At This Unique Flower Show, Weeds Are the Stars | T...
When I moved to California a decade ago, a colleague drove me from one end of the Coachella Valley to the other.
We started in Palm Springs, the stylish desert town known for its sleek modernist architecture and pool party vibe, and drove east. We rambled past Indio’s manicured polo fields, home to the Coachella music festival, all the way to Mecca, a community embedded in one of the most prolific agricultural regions in the nation.
That’s where my colleague stopped the car at a roadside prod...
At a sleek house in the Historic Tennis Club neighborhood of Palm Springs, the chefs are introduced through other senses instead. It’s all about scent and sound. Walk up the driveway, and you already know who’s inside.
There’s the discordant clang of pans pulled from shelves. The shimmy and whistle of a simmering pot. Knives making contact with cutting boards. A cork’s deep sigh as it’s released from the wine bottle.
The air is laced with intoxicating smells. It’s an enchanting mix of renderi...
Vows column: Contributor credit: http://www.nytimes.com/2016/03/13/fashion/weddings/ricky-phung-sharon-zhen-marriage.html?action=click&contentCollection=Weddings&pgtype=imageslideshow&module=RelatedArticleList®ion=CaptionArea&version=SlideCard-1