All posts by Dora Mekouar


Posted October 8th, 2010 at 1:31 pm (UTC-4)
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There are two kinds of people. With an opening line like that, I could go in a million different directions, but as promised in a recent posting, I want to discuss bed-and-breakfast inns.  On that subject, there are indeed two kinds of people, at least among those who have ever stayed at one: those who […]

The Front Room

Posted September 3rd, 2010 at 7:45 am (UTC-4)
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In a recent New York Times “Opinionator” blog, Joan DeJean, a University of Pennsylvania professor of romance languages, wrote — not about Portuguese declensions or the Indo-European roots of Romanian — but about living rooms, of all things. What exactly IS an American-style living room? the posting asked. But instead of definitively answering that provocative […]

Happy Birthday, Whatsyourname

Posted August 26th, 2010 at 12:48 pm (UTC-4)
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Years ago, the late U.S. senator from Wisconsin, William Proxmire — well, he wasn’t the late senator back then — got good political mileage out of presenting his annual “Golden Fleece” awards to public officials who, in his view, wasted taxpayer money. Winners included the United States Army for funding a study about how to […]

What’s in a (Hyphenated) Name?

Posted August 19th, 2010 at 9:34 am (UTC-4)

Who am I? That’s the kind of question one usually asks while in the midst of existential angst. But every year, untroubled American women pose the question as well. Women rather than men, because we men are born Theodore W. Landphair or John H. Jones and remain Landphairs and Joneses the rest of our lives. […]

Killer Oaks, Seat Hogs, and More

Posted July 23rd, 2010 at 2:16 pm (UTC-4)
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As I, cough, cough, mentioned last time, I, hack, live in the leafy Washington suburb of Takoma Park, Maryland. Our little town calls itself “Azalea City,” which you’d believe if you stopped by in springtime.  And year ’round, gasp, we live beneath a canopy of big, beautiful trees, including, snort, thousands and thousands of killer […]

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Posted July 20th, 2010 at 10:24 am (UTC-4)

Are you into birdhouses?  Barbed Wire?  The flamboyant singer Liberace?  Little flip-open Pez candy dispensers?  How about art made from toast?  Somewhere in America, there’s a museum devoted to it. And another unusual, but grander and eminently justifiable, museum is in the works.  Hundreds of American galleries are devoted to our great cities and the […]

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Island Hopping

Posted July 12th, 2010 at 1:43 pm (UTC-4)

A couple of years ago, Carol and I enjoyed a pleasant visit to the Hawaiian Islands, which form America’s 50th and most remote state about a third of the way across the immense Pacific Ocean.  As we waited at the Honolulu airport prior to flying home, we got to talking with another outbound American. She […]

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Boroughing In

Posted June 30th, 2010 at 2:32 pm (UTC-4)

Last time was the easy part. I’d been wanting to write about New York City, and I focused on the core of the Big Apple — Manhattan Island, whose power, glamour, and jaw-dropping scale form our image of the city as a whole. But there are four other boroughs, or administrative divisions, including one that […]

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The Ginormous Apple

Posted June 21st, 2010 at 7:10 pm (UTC-4)

As the rocker Alice Cooper once put it, I’ve been “Big Apple dreamin’.” For me and anyone else who’s beguiled by New York City’s grandeur and charms, only a few months — a couple of years at most — can pass before the itch to visit again needs scratching. You, too, may have put big, […]

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Posted June 14th, 2010 at 5:33 pm (UTC-4)

While daring dashes into the unknown can be exhilarating, humans by and large prefer comfortable routines. Especially as we age, sharp course alterations threaten, scare, even debilitate us. “There is nothing more difficult to take in hand, more perilous to conduct, or more uncertain in its success than to take the lead in the introduction […]

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Ted Landphair


This is a far-ranging exploration of American life by a veteran Voice of America “Americana” reporter and essayist.

Ted writes about the thousands of places he has visited and written about as a broadcaster and book author. Ted Landphair’s America often showcases the work of his wife and traveling companion, renowned American photographer Carol M. Highsmith.

Ted welcomes feedback, questions, and ideas. View Ted’s profile. Watch a video about Ted and Carol by VOA’s Nico Colombant.

Photos by Carol M. Highsmith


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