Showing Archived Posts

Obama Land in Chicago

Posted November 22nd, 2011 at 12:28 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

  I went to Barack Obama’s favorite diner, Valois, before I left Chicago.  It was too cool — there were photos of him all over the place, smiling alongside the owner, and a big poster of his “favorite things to order.” Apparently bacon, eggs, and pancakes were one of his choice combos. The waiter,  John, […]

Down in Old San Antone

Posted August 10th, 2011 at 5:17 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

It’s “San Antonio,” of course, but I keep thinking of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys, singin’ about “Old San Antone” when it was a sleepy, blistering-hot place far down at the end of the trail. It’s hotter than ever there now, as you know if you’ve heard about the record heat wave and drought […]

‘Most Unusual and Surrealistic’ Central Park

Posted July 12th, 2011 at 5:28 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

The quote in my title is from the Bulgarian-born artist Christo, who, with his wife Jeanne-Claude, erected 7,500 colorful “gates” draped in billowing saffron-orange fabric in New York City’s Central Park over 16 days in the dead of winter in 2005.  Their work was surrealistic, too, as you see: At 341 hectares (843 acres), Central […]

For (Paisano) Pete’s Sake

Posted April 25th, 2011 at 2:55 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

Famous structures have come to symbolize many U.S. cities and towns.  Just about every American knows San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge as well as the Gateway Arch to the West in St. Louis and the Washington Monument obelisk in the nation’s capital. And wherever you are, I’ll bet you, too, have heard and seen photos […]

Fat Tuesday

Posted March 1st, 2011 at 9:45 am (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

Next Tuesday, New Orleans, Louisiana, will officially shut down for the day.  It has nothing to do with a budget crisis or, let us hope, any sort of calamity.  The occasion is a street party, the biggest in America and one that happens every year. It’s Mardi Gras — “Fat Tuesday,” translated from the French […]

Out of Mothballs

Posted February 10th, 2011 at 12:27 pm (UTC-4)

Almost 13 years ago on a Sunday, I walked into a surreal urban setting that reminded me of one of those science-fiction movie scenes in which everything looks normal but there’s not a human being in sight. There were manicured lawns and old, beautifully kept red-brick buildings, something like a college campus without the students. […]

The (Fill in Here) City

Posted February 2nd, 2011 at 3:36 pm (UTC-4)

After today I will, I think, have the “nickname thing” out of my system. I’ve told you about various state nicknames, such as “The Buckeye State” (Ohio) and “The Volunteer State” (Tennessee). And about the exuberant, often animal-related nicknames that colleges and universities have attached to their sports teams, such as “Wolverines” (University of Michigan) […]

First Beach

Posted January 28th, 2011 at 3:13 pm (UTC-4)

America has a First Family, a First Lady, a First State, the First Man on the Moon . . . and a First Beach. Or more precisely, its first beach resort, which is still going strong. I should pause before identifying it to tell you why in the world I’m talking about beaches when it’s […]

The Two Faces of Bawlmer

Posted January 21st, 2011 at 1:38 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

  I get several chances each year to drive to, through, and around Baltimore, Maryland, usually without spending more time there than it takes to watch an Orioles’ baseball game.  But it’s always high on Carol’s and my “bucket list” for exploring, just for the atmosphere.  Not its modern side that I’ll describe, but its […]

Mum(mer)’s the Word

Posted January 7th, 2011 at 12:18 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

No doubt the star of this posting will be Carol’s photographs, so I urge you to hang in to the end to take them all in. She and I spent New Year’s Day in an unlikely place: Philadelphia. Unlikely, because we had long figured that Philly’s cherished New Year’s Mummers Parade would be an earnest, […]

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


June 2024
« Nov