Archive for the 'Culture and Ideas' Category

Gold Award in Culture and Ideas: Decoding Lagom

Monday, August 26th, 2013

By Lola Akinmade Akerstrom Eight of us – six Swedes, one Finn, and me – are gathered in a modest city-center studio apartment in Stockholm’s eclectic Sodermalm district. Next to our dinner table is a small window with a gorgeous view of Stockholm’s history-rich old town, Gamla stan, with its narrow fingerlike red clay, melon, […]

Silver Award in Adventure Travel: Walking the Roof of Africa

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

By Laura Lee Huttenbach An unprepared trek up Mt. Kilimanjaro turns into an adventure of a lifetime. “If you ever make it home from Africa alive, I’m going to kill you myself,” said my mom. She wasn’t happy with my decision to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro without an oxygen supply. “But Mom,” I said, “it was […]

Culture and Ideas Bronze Winner: How I Missed the Punchline in Russia

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

by Kevin McCaughey A traveler to Russian learns he is not allowed to understand Russian humor. “It’s impossible for you to understand.”  That’s what Galina told me.  She was head of the university English Department in a city on the Volga river. Maria, Galina’s sidekick and thesaurus, said: “Unattainable.  Russian humor is very specifical.” These […]

Culture and Ideas Silver Winner: Becoming Dostoyevsky in St. Petersburg

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

by Veronica Hackethal What happens when a New Yorker follows the trail of Dostoyevsky’s characters in wintry St. Petersburg?  A transformtaive tale of literary intrigue peppered with cool humor. During the St. Petersburg winter, dawn sneaks over the unwary night, which fades to a lighter shade of lead.  There is no clock in my budget […]

Culture and Ideas Gold Winner: The Tundra

Saturday, March 10th, 2012

by Kathleen Spivack I am walking with my father in the mountains, high above the tree line. He is telling me about leaving Europe during “The War”…Yet there are secrets he has never spoken of. But today in Rocky Mountain National Park, he is seventy years old and sports a cowboy hat and shirt and […]

Culture and Ideas Gold Winner: The Rarest of Editions

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

by Erin Byrne There is something gorgeous about him, some heightened sensitivity to the promises of life. –  F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby The good man possesses a kingdom. – Seneca, Thyestes.380. If books are humanity in print, he’s the king of the world. The old man sits holding his worn paperback.  His gnarled […]

Culture and Ideas Silver Winner: Rilke Was Miserable Here

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

by Kathleen Spivack “In this hotel,” the plaque reads, “Modigliani lived and worked. Here the Spanish painter Picasso created his masterpieces. Painters Pisarro and Degas derived inspiration. The famous Kikki of Montparnasse held court and modeled for the famous artists of her day. Man Ray and Henry Miller came from afar and did their best […]

Culture and Ideas Bronze Winner: The Marvel of Seville

Tuesday, March 2nd, 2010

by Jennifer Arin Que cara! What nerve! I mutter, exiting the cab with two heavy bags.  It’s almost midnight, and I’m exhausted from the long journey: eleven hours from San Francisco to Madrid, followed by a six-hour wait at the Madrid airport, as the staff of Iberia Air practiced civil disobedience: a strike that left […]

Culture and Ideas—Bronze: Putting on My Fayda Face

Friday, February 27th, 2009

by Gwen Hopkins I imagine it’s reassuring to see your own personal piece of checked luggage appear on the conveyor belt in the middle of this disorienting scene, but I wouldn’t know. In January 2007, I arrived in Dakar, Senegal for my semester abroad. Where my pack should’ve appeared next to the others on the […]

Culture and Ideas—Silver: Mahnmal

Friday, February 27th, 2009

by Mardith J. Louisell As a resident of many camps, I can say that Guzen was the worst. This is not to say that the conditions at the other camps were not dreadful. Compared to Guzen, however, one might almost say that those camps were paradises.” Rabbi Rav Yechezkel Harfenes, Slingshot of Hell (BeKaf HaKela), […]

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