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VICTOR WISHNA

Welcome…

May 9th, 2011

For a complete resume, please click here.

For some links to published articles, please click here.

For my theatre reviews and features at KCMetropolis.org, please click here.

For information on and excerpts from my book In Their Company, please click here.

For my sports-related radio commentary, “A Fan’s Notes,” on KCUR FM, please click here.

For my weekly Kansas City Chiefs commentary on ArrowheadAddict.com, please click here.

For an introduction to and examples of my column “Letter From New York,” please click here.

For an example of my original stand-up comedy, please click here.

For episodes of an audio web series I wrote, please click here and here.


Lesson #6: How to cross the street in Hanoi

September 7th, 2010

In Hanoi, the metropolitan-area ratio of one motorbike for every two people calculates to a total of three million motorbikes, every last one of which seems to be barreling past as you attempt to step off the curb. There are crosswalks here, but no stop signs that I have been able to see; and if they do exist, no one else here seems to be able to see them either. Read the rest of this entry »

Lesson #5: How to enjoy the scenery in China

September 7th, 2010

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but the Chinese seem to have a very objective standard as to what qualifies as “scenery.” On more than one occasion, we have been told by a guide, “This is the end of the scenery,” even as miles of once-in-a-lifetime mountain vistas or cavernous expanses of hundred-million-year-old cave formations stretch out before us-or at least so it appeared to our untrained, un-Chinese eyes. Read the rest of this entry »

Lesson #4: How Chinglish can unlock the secret to eternal life

September 7th, 2010

Seen, on a sign at the entrance to a hiking park near Yangshuo: The itinerary of Immortal, a list of directives which includes, “It is not to climbing on the bad thunderstorming days.” Read the rest of this entry »

Lesson #3: How failure to consider history can ruin your day

September 7th, 2010

During our time in China, much has been made of the death and devastation wrought by the Japanese during their occupation of the mainland from the 1930s through the end of World War II. Every official guide we’ve encountered has made at least one mention of something destroyed by the Japanese.

One bit of history they left out: The Manabe coffee-and-fast-food chain was founded in 1970 in Japan. Read the rest of this entry »

Lesson #2: How to recognize that you are in China

September 7th, 2010

Relying purely on first impressions, there are two ways to recognize immediately that you are in China: Read the rest of this entry »

Lesson #1: When not to start a blog

September 7th, 2010

As many of you who are familiar with the system of tubes that is the internet will know, “blog” is net-speak for “web log.” That’s web as in the World Wide Web, and log as in “a document preserving knowledge of facts or events” or “a written record of events on a voyage”-in other words, a blog is a means by which to create updates and distribute them world wide, in real time. Read the rest of this entry »

Leaving Impressions

August 8th, 2010

Upon cleaning out my desk for the move, I found a tiny notebook labeled “New York - First Impressions - October 1998.” It’s scribbled contents: Read the rest of this entry »

Introduction: Letter From New York

May 18th, 2010

It happened again the other day: I am walking home from my office; the otherwise average-looking man wearing the sandwich board passes me, headed in the opposite direction. “Peace in the Middle East is possible,” his sign reads. “Ask me.”

Perhaps because the headlines of the day are dominated by new violence in Israel, I stop, pivot, and walk briskly to catch up with him. And I am rewarded for my quick action. As this man, Elad, explains, the means for settling the intractable conflict between Arabs and Israelis is really very simple. “Golf,” he tells me, and hands me a flyer outlining, in grammatically inexact English, the ongoing efforts to establish a three-hole course and club south of Tel Aviv that would welcome all people in peace. I thank him and promise to examine his web site, grateful for this moment that I would have missed had I not stopped for a closer look. Read the rest of this entry »

Letter From New York: Manischewitz Destiny

April 15th, 2009

Some names are tough to grow up with. When yours is a little hard to pronounce and—oh yeah—universally associated with the dry, cracker-like stuff made by the company your great-grandfather founded, “it can be a real problem,” says Laura Manischewitz Alpern. “Nine people out of ten can’t help but make some kind of matzah joke, and as a kid, you just want to be like everyone else. It took quite a long time to get used to that and to start feeling proud about the name.” Read the rest of this entry »