The off side of Berlin
LOS ANGELES TIMES | April 11, 2014 | Diane HaithmanMy husband, Alan, and I were on our way from L.A. to Budapest, Hungary — our first trip to Eastern Europe. We had to change planes somewhere, and that somewhere happened to be Berlin, a frequent hub for travel to Northern and Eastern European destinations.
We had heard that Berlin was an up-and-coming artists’ community, often compared with L.A. Instead of sentencing ourselves to a long layover at the airport, we decided to spend a long weekend in Berlin.
We expected three days of prowling contemporary art galleries mixed with sobering visits to historical sites (the Brandenburg Gate, the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe, a glimpse of where the Berlin Wall once stood). Maybe a little beer, bratwurst and strudel thrown in for good measure. Read the Rest of this Story »
Mushrooms and murals put Hungarian Gypsies on the map
Fresco Village Project strives to assist impoverished Roma villagers by decorating their tiny town with art from Roma artists across Europe.
LOS ANGELES TIMES | February 21, 2014 | Diane Haithman
BODVALENKE, Hungary — I’m not sure what I expected to bring back from an eight-day luxury tour of Budapest, Hungary, and environs. Memories, photos of Art Nouveau architecture, a few extra pastry-induced pounds and a lifetime supply of sweet paprika, maybe.
I never thought I’d find myself, just a month later, Skyping at 7 a.m. about a storm that had recently hit the village of Bodvalenke, about 150 miles northeast of Budapest, not far from the Slovakian border. Hailstones the size of walnuts had caused flooding and decimated the natural vegetation and local crops, one of the village’s few sources of income. Read the Rest of this Story »
They’re just like family, only hairier
At Tanzania’s Mahale Mountains park,
`chimpers’ get to know the local clan on a first-name basis.
LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 16, 2006 | Diane Haithman
Mahale, Tanzania — At age 16, Orion is a handsome chimpanzee, a primate hottie. Despite his status as a creature of the wild, his glossy black coat looks as if it were combed and fluffed by a personal groomer. It gleams in morning sunlight filtering through towering forest trees. Read the Rest of this Story »