Recently by Todd Pitock:

As in many rural German villages, the public life of contemporary Coburg plays out in the marktplatz, the main square, where locals in cafes linger over tall glasses of cloudy beer topped with two inches of head, cappuccinos, and apfel strudels. They smoke as if news hasn’t arrived yet that tobacco may not be good for you.


Between the town hall with its stucco façade and another building painted with the outline of red blocks resembling mason stones, fruit stall vendors weigh produce for a crowd of picky buyers while a queue forms at a food truck purveying the local specialty — Coburger Rostbratwurste, a marbled gray-black sausage with a cable of mustard hanging over both sides of a palm-sized roll.

I take a seat at a cafe whose specialty is gelato and waffles, and squint hard at the menu… More…


In the mid-1990s, a group of developers in search of a place to build a golf resort cast their gaze upon the 7,000 islands that form the Philippines. Golf course development had thrived under then-President Fidel Ramos, an enthusiastic player who saw the game as an integral part of tourism, and when the developers located a place called Hacienda Looc — a pristine coastal village whose wide plain separated pastoral hills — they thought they’d hit pay dirt.

The plains could be flooded to create a yacht marina. A luxury beach resort would include residential subdivisions. The surrounding hills would be fashioned into four championship courses. Greg Norman and Jack Nicklaus were on board. Hacienda Looc would be the next hot spot. Everyone loved the plans.

Everyone, anyway, who didn’t already live in Hacienda Looc.

No one had bothered… More…