John Muir was right about Yosemite

Back in grad school, I was teaching assistant for a course called History of the American Environmental Movement. Each semester, I would grade perhaps 70 to 80 essays, including a section on John Muir, an advocate of preserving nature for nature’s sake, and Gifford Pinchot, who advocated responsible conservation of resources for human use. While […]

Move Complete

I’ve put enough time and effort into the blog that it felt like time to take it to the next level with its own domain and custom design.¬†This is that new site,¬†hopstrains.com. Your feedback on the design and functionality of the site will only help me make it better. With that said, expect a return […]

Making it Mexican Street Food

Mexico, despite popular misconception, is not the land of crunchy tacos, ground beef, and shredded cheddar cheese. It is the land of chili, lime, cilantro, and onion. Lime, chili, cilantro, and onion (and meat) on a tortilla are the essence of a taco. Likewise, in Mexico, lime and chili (hot sauce, especially Valentina brand) can […]

Xochimilco, Mexico City

Xochimilco is known as the Venice of Mexico for its picturesque canals. It also happens to be the hometown of my wife and thus our home for the holidays during the last week of December and first week of January. The photos included here are from the streets, market, and and show my take on […]

Statement of Purpose

Hand-drawn map from Jack Kerouac’s diary (Source) Journey With Maps. In part, an homage one of my favorite writers, Graham Greene, whose first travels outside Europe led to the travelogue Journey Without Maps, as well as Jack Kerouac, John Steinbeck, and others. As one of the worst winters in memory fades away comes the urge […]