Opinion

We can imagine . . . that happiness is real and that the sorrows and suffering of the past have been forgotten. Such a condition can be imagined, but it has never been seen. It has never been seen.     — Leszek Kolakowski...

   The second week of December I was talking with a boy in Guines, Cuba. Guines is about 60 kilometers southeast of Havana. We were standing just outside the Presbyterian Reformed Church, where I was a guest along with Barbara D’...

    Two thousand and twelve has turned out to be a banner year for succession, at least as far as Asia is concerned. The Times recently reported on the politics of the ascent of China’s new leader Xi Jinping, a follower of the...

    Yes, Virginia, Santa’s North Pole is covered with snow and ice. But this just in: Trillions of tons of ice really exist at the North Pole of Mercury, our Sun’s hottest companion.

   Women lie about their age; men lie about their height. Any man who is 5-foot-11 says he’s 6 feet. There is no such height as 5-11 unless the man is 5-10.     I’m 5-foot-10 — or at least I was — so...

   Aside from the familiar (sometimes over-familiar) carols, nothing suits the Christmas season better than blazing choral music of the Baroque. The Choral Society of the Hamptons, under Mark Mangini, has made something of a specialty of...

    One glorious and balmy summer weekend in the late 1990s, I sat in the house my parents built for their retirement, enjoying the spectacular view of Gardiner’s Bay. A flotilla of sailboats lilted in the wind, guided by red...

   I once came dangerously close to becoming a cat hoarder, one of those strange individuals featured in reality TV shows whose homes and yards are overrun with cats of all sizes, shapes, and colors. I never thought I had anything in...

   Everything about this city, country, and culture is new — the food, the language, the transportation, the smells, the religion, even down to the sweetened condensed milk in every beverage, causing me to learn one of my first Thai...