March 2, 2021…

For the next couple of weeks I will be blogging on Facebook about a trip that I have been planning the day I turned 65, which was about a year ago. I am heading to Everest Base Camp and hoping to celebrate my 66th there.

I got the all clear from my amazing wife and life partner, Marjan Saghafi Shallal, whose only advice was telling me to make sure I enjoy every minute of my time there and that things will be fine while I’m gone.

Right now I am at an almost empty Dulles Airport about to depart to Kathmandu in about 2 hours. This is my first flight since the pandemic and it feels a bit eerie.

I will begin my trek as soon as I am cleared of covid restrictions which should take a couple of days after arriving in Kathmandu. The trek is one of the most iconic in the world. It traverses 130km (~80 miles) and elevation change of 5500 meters ending at the base of Mount Everest where the more experienced mountain climbers head to the summit. I will merely be standing next to them soaking their excitement, taking a selfie or two and gazing at the snow covered peaks in the distance. It will take about 10 days or so to do the entire route round trip starting at a little town called Lukla that sits on a cliff and has a tiny strip of an airport runway. It is euphemistically referred to as “the most dangerous airport in the world”. For someone who fears heights, that’s going to be my first and possibly my biggest challenge.

I will be hiking alone with a local guide. I will be staying in tea houses, eating local food and completely immersed in the local culture. Internet and electricity will be limited throughout but I am told there is some. Hope you stay tuned!

Off to Doha – Namaste!

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For Langston Hughes on His 123 Birthday

Speech given on February 1, 2024 in Havana, Cuba In 1927 Langston Hughes walked into a Cuba amid an emerging community of artists, intellectuals, and radicals.  He saw a “sunrise in a new land [– a day – in his words]sic – full of brownskin surprises, and hitherto unknown contacts in a world of color.”  … Continued

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Palestine Week 2024

January 18, 2024 – January 25, 2024 In keeping with our ongoing mission of uplifting racial and cultural connections, Busboys and Poets is hosting Palestine Week (January 18 through January 25, 2024). This week-long series of events will offer a diverse range of programming featuring Palestinian food, music, dance, poetry, discussions, and other enriching events. … Continued

Busboys and Poets Book Review: An American Sickness

Busboys and Poets Book Review: An American Sickness

We’ve all been in that situation, or know someone who has. You find yourself for whatever reason in need of medical attention: a surgery, an exam, etc. And after you leave, you receive the bill. But the bill is far larger than you anticipated and you have no idea why. Elizabeth Rosenthal knows why. An … Continued

10. A visual and sensory feast.

Art percolates throughout Cuba. It shows up on the streets. In alleys. On the veranda at the Nacional. Where live music is on nightly display. Until the wee hours of the morning. It is present in the poorest parts of town. In restaurants. Where the sound of guitars and maracas fills the air. And in … Continued

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State of the People at Busboys and Poets

We’re 30+ days into the longest federal government shutdown in history with no sure sign of when it’ll actually end (reopening for three weeks does not count, Mr. President.) The State of the Union address was scheduled to take place on January 29, 2019, but has never been given during a government shutdown. What should … Continued

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What We Read This Month (July)

Looking for your next good read? Well you’re in luck…Busboys and Poets Books is full of busy little readers! Ellie, Bookstore Supervisor at 5th and K: It’s been a rough month for my attention span, so out of all of the books I started, I finished only two – Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain and The … Continued