• Free & Frugal ParisAn insider's guide to the City of Light
  • China Explorer: A Travel Guide
  • Bed and Breakfast on a French Farm
  • Morning Ceremony: Zhiyuan Temple
  • The Unsung Museums of Paris
Free & Frugal Paris1 China Explorer: A Travel Guide2 Bed and Breakfast on a French Farm3 Morning Ceremony: Zhiyuan Temple4 The Unsung Museums of Paris5
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Letter to Elliot

Posted in Uncategorized on May 27th, 2015 by christofino – Be the first to comment

My son wanted to know
if life has meaning.
I said, “Life has the meaning
that you give it.”

But how could he know
what it felt like
the first time I kissed his mother
over a pint of cherry ice cream
or the clap of thunder
that accompanied his entrance
into the world.
The way he looked at us
with eyes
that were so old and yet brand-new.

He’s not yet felt
the internal flight
of a friend with an electric guitar
and another with drums
or the power of the current
that sweeps a canoe
along the churning brown waters
of the Amazon
and the thrill of jumping out to swim
with fresh-water dolphins
who play as people do.

I wonder if
in some hidden corner of his mind
he’s contracting his muscles
already preparing for loss and pain
at age 10.
If he feels childhood slipping away,
cynicism rushing in
to fill the hole that was once
Santa and pets that spoke to you
at midnight.

Hang on, I want to say,
there’s more to it than that.
The sun is just coming up
and its promising pastels
the softness of a mother’s lips
are now lighting up
your entire horizon.

Canyon Song II

Posted in Uncategorized on May 18th, 2015 by christofino – Be the first to comment

You should be listening for
flocks of flamingos
midnight owls
or the song of a canyon wren.
Chasing the flames of a fire
before they become
a mere memory of light.

Can you hold those flames in your pocket?
That is why
you cannot wait.

Spring Thoughts (Li Bai)

Posted in Uncategorized on May 11th, 2015 by christofino – Be the first to comment

Grass ripples like jade-colored silk,
mulberry trees hang boughs of green.
By the time you long for home, dear,
my heart will have already broken.

Strangers with the spring breeze
what business does it have
parting my bedside curtains?

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Canyon Song I

Posted in Uncategorized on May 5th, 2015 by christofino – Be the first to comment

Sleeping on sand
with the echoes of the water
the sigh of the wind
watching clouds drift across
a sliver of deepening blue:
sadness spun from the air
and blown into night.

A tear holds on
to the lip of the waterfall
the plunge –
return to the river
and float from sight.

Lonely Planet Paris Wins Guidebook of the Year

Posted in Paris on November 25th, 2013 by christofino – Be the first to comment

Woohoo! Lonely Planet Paris won Guidebook of the Year at the British Travel Press Awards, held in London on November 20. Amid all the unsettling change in the publishing industry these days, this is a great moment to reflect on how many people it really takes to make a book a success.

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Free Paris: Top Five Picnics

Posted in Paris, Paris for Kids on May 31st, 2012 by christofino – Be the first to comment

The summer weather has finally arrived, and you know what that means – it’s time for a visit to the local market to stock up on the essential French picnic supplies: fresh bread, cheese, charcuterie, a couple of sun-kissed veggies and a bottle of wine.

Choose a destination from the list below, and don’t forget the candles, some sort of musical instrument, and a blanket.

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China Explorer: A Travel Guide

Posted in China, Shanghai on February 6th, 2012 by christofino – 2 Comments

Preparing a trip to China is no easy feat. The country is roughly the same size as the United States, and, for many of us, it is a much less familiar place. It stretches from the Himalayas to sprawling coastal cities, from the Gobi Desert to subtropical jungle. Where do you begin?

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Paris Walking Tours app

Posted in Paris, Soundscapes on May 23rd, 2011 by christofino – Be the first to comment

Heading to Paris? Explore the city like a real Parisian with these new audio walking tours for your iTouch, iPhone or mp3 player. The app includes five neighborhood tours (Latin Quarter, St-Germain-des-Prés, Bastille, Marais, Montmartre), each with over 45 minutes of insightful audio content, an expert guide and audio soundscapes and excerpts from the BBC Archives.
Apple / mp3
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International Year of Forests

Posted in Other, Reading Table on March 25th, 2011 by christofino – 1 Comment

It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanates from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.

–Robert Louis Stevenson

To learn more about the International Year of Forests, visit the United Nations dedicated website. If you liked the video, you also might want to check out the related book, Forests and People, which contains essays by Gisele Bündchen, Don Cheadle, and Wangari Maathai.

And don’t forget to turn off your lights  – and maybe even the basketball game – tomorrow (Saturday, March 26) at 8:30pm local time to mark Earth Hour.

Free Paris: Musée des Arts et Métiers

Posted in Paris, Paris for Kids, Reading Table on March 16th, 2011 by christofino – Be the first to comment

Before The Da Vinci Code and The Lost Symbol, the most famous literary thriller involving coded manuscripts, secret societies, and a gruesome sacrifice was Umberto Eco’s Foucault’s Pendulum. An investigation into conspiracy theories and the Templar Knights, a meditation on symbols and language, a serious poststructuralist joke, there’s no doubt that Eco beat Dan Brown to the punch.

But what does any of this have to do with the Musée des Arts et Métiers?

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