Glimpses of London on the Eve of Brexit

Thursday, January 30, 2020 | London, UK

For many visitors, London's authentically local sites pale in comparison to the multicultural imports.
After a torturous 3.5-year saga, the fateful day has finally arrived: Brexit is here. Tomorrow will be the United Kingdom's last day in the European Union; after 47 years of integration, it's back to "splendid isolation"—with all the tradeoffs, missed opportunities, and problems (bafflingly invisible to some) that it will entail.

By this point, most Europeans I know have long since settled on "good riddance." The Brits, by contrast, remain a bitterly divided bunch.

Nina and I have taken two trips to London in the past year or so, visiting this past New Year's and around Christmas a year earlier (my first time back since a trip during college in 2005). Both visits were brief and we spent most of our time catching up with American expat friends rather than pestering the locals about politics. However, my British friends around the world (a very non-representative, cosmopolitan sample) have spent the past few years feeling universally horrified at—yet powerless to stop—their country's willing self-destruction.

Britain won't be weighing anchor and shoving off further into the Atlantic tomorrow, of course. It will still depend on Europe for most of its trade. (And what's so bad

Snow Devils Lurk and Daredevils Soar in an Alpine Wonderland

Sunday, January 26, 2020 | Filzmoos, Austria

Filzmoos's traditional winter Perchten festival dates back centuries.
These days, feats of glory rarely go unrecorded. But on this chilly night high in the Austrian Alps, while Markus arced gracefully through the sky, our cell phones failed us.

For Nina and me, it was the last night of a five-day stay with Markus, his girlfriend Vroni, and his parents at their chalet in the little alpine town of Filzmoos. Eager to make the most of our final day, we had skied since just after dawn—not as early as it might sound, this being winter in central Europe, but early enough to give us over six uninterrupted hours of blazing trails through the deep powder that had fallen steadily during our entire stay.

That evening we had only returned to the cabin well after darkness fell, after closing the day with our usual ritual: We would take one last gondola ride up to the mountain's frigid, windswept peak then, amid the murky dusk and driving flakes, we would glide half by sight, half by feel over the moguls to the lights of the nearest ski hut. Having skipped lunch to maximize our skiing time, there we would dig enthusiastically into some of the doughy, buttery local delights we had