Where I Go: Lithuania’s Vanished Center of Jewish Life

In Vilna, Where Thousands Were Murdered, I Learned How Difficult It Is to Mourn an Absence

I did it all backward. Instead of taking my research trips before writing my book, like any normal historian would have, I’d waited. Only after I had completed my first draft did I finally make my way to Vilna (now Vilnius), the capital of Lithuania during its brief moment of independence in the interwar period.

In June 1941, when German troops overran the country, Vilna was home to 55,000 Jewish residents and 12,000–15,000 refugees from German-occupied Poland. Yad Vashem in Jerusalem, the spiritual and academic center of Holocaust remembrance, described Vilna …

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Where I Go: The ‘Meandering, Beautiful, Dangerous’ Angeles Crest Highway | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: The ‘Meandering, Beautiful, Dangerous’ Angeles Crest Highway

This Pacific Crest Trail Gateway Is Southern California’s Most Accessible Scenic Byway—When It's Open, That Is

The Angeles Crest Highway winds thousands of feet above the Los Angeles basin, a meandering, beautiful, and dangerous road that leads to the hiking trails of the Angeles National Forest …

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Where I Go: Hiking the Mountain That Almost Killed John Muir

Finding an Adventure Story and a Portal to the Past Beneath Mount Shasta

The great outdoor adventurer John Muir—who had skipped over glaciers in Alaska, surfed an avalanche, and gleefully rode a wildly swaying tree in a storm in the Sierras—lay in a …

Where I Go: The Geology of Memory | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: The Headlands of Yehliu

It Took Me 20 Years and Five Visits to Develop My Own Relationship to Taiwan

I was hiking the Port Orford Heads State Park on the coast of Southern Oregon this summer when I realized how closely the rock formations and coastline resemble the rugged …

Where I Go: My Small, Queer Corner of the Internet | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: My Small, Queer Corner of the Internet

After Years of Searching for an LGBTQ Community, I Found it on Discord During the Pandemic

I remember Ángelo Ponce. He was a teenage boy in my hometown of Maracay, Venezuela, whose classmates set on fire for being gay. That was 2012. I was 21 at …

Where I Go: The Poet Sits in the Dentist’s Chair | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: The Poet Sits in the Dentist’s Chair

This Is What Happens When 'Two Mutually Oral Professions' Meet

I have many flaws. I delight in judging my neighbors. I step over the shower drain jammed with a whirlpool of my hair. I read the comments section. I leave …