Locked in St. Michael’s Tower

It’s not every day that people are allowed to climb to the balcony of St. Michael’s Church, the architectural centerpiece of Cluj-Napoca. So when a visiting friend and I spotted people halfway up the tower, we struck while the iron was hot and took the rickety wooden stairs up. It was surprising how permissive the workers at…

Bury Me Amid Chaos

My grandfather’s funeral was my only encounter with death that wasn’t terrifying. After passing, he was interred in a massive cemetery in Southern California that was exquisitely maintained. It was a neatfreak’s eternal paradise. Germans would love it. The chaos of Romanian cemeteries, on the other hand, is not for the obsessive compulsive of heart. They’re unkempt, asymmetrical…

Cluj City Hall Quits Teasing, Goes Full Nude

As you may recall, the object of my intense desire, Cluj-Napoca City Hall, had been veiled in tantalizing construction lingerie for as long as I’d known her.  So eager was I to peek up her satin nightgown last December that it landed me in the backseat of a police car. Such is the plight of those who find…