Seventeen years ago I stood on a street in Tokyo and watched a children's Halloween parade, amazed at the internationalization of the holiday.
Seventy years ago my mother, a young bride from Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania, opened the door of her new home in Phillipsburg, New Jersey, and was shocked to see little pirates and cowboys asking for candy. One hundred miles to the west, there was no such thing as trick-or-treat.
The waiter at City Hall had an accent that wasn't quite French.
"I'm from Alsace," he said. "A tiny place called Wissembourg."
I told him I knew it, having once spent a summer working on a farm a little to the south.
As I left the restaurant it occurred to me that I should have said, simply, "Je prefere Haguenau."
Friday, a friend's reading from his new travel book, Borderlands USA, at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. Saturday, Oktoberfest at the German-American Club of Hollywood. Yesterday, evensong sung by the Anglican Chorale at Trinity Cathedral in Miami.