Tag Archive for travel

A day in Florence

The rest of the photos are on the camera and so have yo be downloaded, but this was on Jonathan Santlofer’s phone so here it is. After a hot and hectic day, we chillaxed in a sidewalk cafe that was, actually, in the street.



Evening in Assisi

Assisi, like any other, oh, gee, 2,000-year-old place, has some extremely cool things going on. I’ve learned about a few over the years, and they’re too great not to share. Here’s me on an evening walk, running my mouth for the benefit of newcomers about the cloth, brick, and tile measurements built into the wall by the town fathers 900 years ago so you wouldn’t get cheated when you bought your goods at the market in the square. Photo by the sneaky but invaluable Jonathan Santlofer.




The Wizarding World of Harry Potter…

…from my hotel room window at sunrise.


Turtle and giant carp, LA

Just thought you might like to see what’s in the pool at the Hilton.


Greetings, earthlings

SJR coming to you from the Newark Airport United Club, my home away from home in Terminal C. I seem to spend half my airport life in Terminal A, where the short hops go from, and I expected this flight to Cleveland to leave from there, too. Terminal C in my mind has always been for international adventure — the flight I take to Rome (for the Assisi program you’re all going to come study with me in this year) leaves from here, as well as flights to Shanghai, Hong Kong, Seoul (which is for Mongolia as well), Tokyo. And such non-short-hop US destinations as Portland and San Francisco. Love me some Terminal C.

But lo, Cleveland takes off from here, too. This is a good thing, because this is where the Club is — no such comforts in down-market Terminal A — and I need a nice place to sit and drink a nice cup of tea, because I’m 2 1/2 hours early. Which is about an hour longer than the flight. (Remember, I went to Oberlin, I know this trip.) I heard a horror-story report on the news last night about hour-plus waits at security even for TSA Pre-check passengers, and I figured it’s Friday so lots of people would be traveling. So I cleverly left very early. Here’s the thing, though: TSA workers denied it, but the news story smelled to me like an unauthorized work slowdown to protest understaffing. (Apparently TSA has stopped paying overtime, which means fewer workers per security station.) I guess they got their point across, because I breezed through that Pre-check line like grass through a goose and now here I sit.

And by now you’re asking, “That’s all very well, but why are you going to Cleveland?” For this: Sisters in Crime Northeast Chapter’s Death March Conference. I’m giving the keynote, on “Categorization and Its Discontents.” Hope to see some of you there! The rest of you, as the poem has it:

Write right
Right wrong
Sing song
Long gone

I’ll report from beautiful Ohio.

Way down south in the land of cotton

Just got back from a trip behind the Magnolia Curtain.  Thought you might enjoy some photos while you finish baking that plum pudding.  Which I had in Mississippi, and it was delicious.  Along with the catfish tacos and the breakfast kibbee and grits.



Me on the Mighty Mississipp.



Cotton is King, even off-season.



Went to research the Delta Chinese community for a new Lydia Chin/Bill Smith book.



Cotton snowperson in Cleveland, MS.



Baptism mural in Helena, Arkansas.  Lunching in Helena knocked one more off the list of states I’ve never been in.  Down to 4!



The Archangel Michael, though his sword looks like a tie, from a Charles Eames church in Helena.



All is not sweetness and light in Helena, however.



My little cabin away from home, in Clarksdale, MS.



My cabin on left, with the back porch of the Big House on right and the plantation owner, Eric Stone.



Rufous-sided towhee in Eric’s shrubs.



Terra cotta in Helena.  The spirit of Prosperity.  A touch ironic.


The 2016 SJ Rozan Calendars are here!

For your holiday gift-giving pleasure.  You don’t have to deal with Black Friday, Small Business Saturday (though it’s true I’m a Very Small Business), Cyber Monday, or Happy, Sleepy, Doc, or Bashful, either.  Just order your Travel Calendar, your Flowers Calendar, or your Five Snouts of Mongolia, Plus Calendar (and where else are you gonna get THAT?) for a year of photos like these.


From 2016 Five Snouts of Mongolia, Plus



From 2016 Flowers




From 2016 Travel


Happy shopping!




Chinggis is my homeboy

Chinggis Khan would roll over in his grave if he heard me say that, except chances are he was never put in the ground.  In his day people of importance often received “sky burials” — their bodies were taken to a high mountain and left for the birds to devour. It was an honor.

Chinggis is everywhere in Mongolia. The best vodka is named for him, and the best beer.  Whatever it is, if it’s best, it’s called Chinggis.  Outside Ulaan Baatar they’ve built a giant, by which I mean giant, statue of Chinggis on his horse, ready for battle.  Stainless steel, with actually quite a good museum in the underground base.  (Click on any of these to see more on Flickr.) You can go on up in it, like in the Statue of Liberty.  How big is this thing? Back in the day they used to cut the horse’s manes short so they’d bristle.  The bristles in the mane of Chinggis’s horse here are people.

chinggis statue with people-bristles in the horse's mane


The man himself.

royal torso with mongolian symbol on belt


Royal hand with scepter and distant gers.

royal hand on scepter with gers far below


He’s got his eye on you.

royal eye


There is one problem, however. The place where you emerge from the statue into the light is perhaps not as well thought out as it might have been.  Here’s me, emerging.

emerging from the statue

Forty-first Saturday, from Raleigh, NC, one week late*


Sweep of brown oak leaves

Rustling along red walkway

Past black café chairs.


Apple muffin crumbs.

Small brown birds hop hopefully.

Steam rises from tea.


Sun bounces off glass.

Brick-paved plaza’s split in two —

Light here, shadow there.


*because I only just located them, that’s why



May you be written down in the Book of Life…

…for a sweet New Year.  It’s about to be Yom Kippur, so I’m signing off for the next 24 hours, but I wouldn’t want you to miss me.  So here’s something to contemplate: me on a camel in the Gobi Desert.  See you on the other side.