Icing on gingerbread

Reggie Nadelson, January 10 2009 Lovely, scented Santa Fe where in winter the air smells of pine and cedar. Where ristras of bright red chillies hang over every wall. And where, on top of the adobe buildings, the farolitos – traditionally votive candles in brown paper bags, now plastic bags with electric lights …[Read more]

Livingston, Montana

A resolute New Yorker falls unapologetically in love with this western town in the middle of nowhere—or rather, nowhere that writer Reggie Nadelson could have ever imagined. In an art gallery in Livingston, Montana, I meet a man who has been attacked by an elk. He's an art dealer, and as he drove through Yellowstone Park, an elk crashed …[Read more]

Communist Kitsch

Cookies, candy, and cheap shoes are cool reminders of a lost homeland. There are also memorials to its more brutal realities, none more effective than the Stasi Museum, named for East Germany's infamous secret police and housed in the force's former headquarters on Berlin's Normanenstrasse. Spy cameras, including some that were planted in watering …[Read more]

Mastering the Art of Gelato

I love ice cream. I mean, I really love it, as much as sex, almost as much as Frank Sinatra, more than Manolos. I'll eat anything sweet and frozen (and have): yogurty vanilla ice cream in Red Square in the dead of winter as Soviet soldiers ate their own; an exquisite prune-and-Armagnac flavor at Berthillon, on Paris's Ile St.-Louis; Vassar Devils (hot fudge and marshmallow sundaes served on brownies) accompanied by many gin …[Read more]

Books that Transport

One grim winter morning, Kurt Wallander—the cop hero of Henning Mankell's Faceless Killers—gets the news that an elderly couple has been murdered outside the Swedish port town of Ystad. You can feel the damp and cold of the city, the area's melancholy, as Wallander drives across the raw, flat land to their farmstead. Like all the Wallander …[Read more]