‘Citizens’ Museum’ of Frankfurt Celebrates 200 Years

In September 2015, I enthusiastically returned to Germany - my adopted home - to visit very many friends but also to catch my breath while en route to three other countries for several story assignments. One of those assignments was at the Städel Museum in Frankfurt. I actually had the idea in 2013 to write about the museum's impressive redesign and expansion but then got sidetracked....And so I was especially happy to finally write the story in 2015, marking the Städel's 200th anniversary.

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Exploring Tule Lake, an Austere Land With a Complex History

For years, I'd dreamed about a road trip across California's Empty Quarter, that northeast quadrant of the state settled more than a century ago by Basque sheepherders. I finally visited the region in September 2014, a remarkable journey that essentially became my reckoning: California's wayward gypsy daughter was reacquainting herself with her ole stomping grounds after nearly 15 years living abroad. The story crystallized in my mind as an examination of loss, family, discovery and acceptance, as I took in the austere landscape and its complex and mostly forgotten history. 

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Drought Tests California Tourism

This travel news assignment came on the fly, with me heading out to Southern California very quickly to report on the Golden State's deepening drought and how it may affect tourism to the state. It had been years since I'd ventured to Los Angeles, decades since I'd rambled across the Magic Kingdom, and it was my first visit to gorgeous though endangered Catalina Island.

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In Paradisiacal Nicaragua, Contemplating a Canal

In January 2015, I visited Nicaragua to learn about the country's plans to build a Pacific-Caribbean canal. Initially, the story was to be strictly a personal travel narrative with the prospect of the canal a quiet backdrop. But as the reporting and writing got underway, it became clear there was more depth, drama and international stakes to it all, such that this piece became my first cover story for the NY Times travel section.

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The Mora River Valley Faces A New Battle

In August 2014, I traveled to New Mexico to write about the quiet, haunting Mora Valley. The impetus was in part to find out more about Mora County, which was the first county in the nation to outlaw fracking. I'd never seen the American Southwest before and was very taken with the landscape, if not a little intimidated by it. This is my first travel story for the NY Times reported out of the U.S.

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Fauna, Flora and Freighters in the Danube Delta

I have deep roots in Eastern Europe, as the daughter of a Hungarian immigrant and as a former Peace Corps volunteer to Poland in the 1990s. As I write in this article, I was keen to revisit Romania in 2013 after ruminating on the story of an Indian investment banker who, almost a decade prior, had built a resort hotel in the country's Danube River Delta.

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Two Tales of Recovery In the Canary Islands

I went to La Gomera to get my bearings following illness, and wrote about that in the context of the island's own recovery from devastating forest fires in 2012.

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The View From a Kayak

My debut in the NY Times travel section, this story may well have been a decade in the making: my fondness for the cornucopia of lakes north of Berlin known as the Mecklenburg Lake Plains

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