Danny Kaye from Brownsville

Actor/comedian Danny Kaye (David Daniel Kaminsky), a marvelous song-and-dance-and-everything man, died on this date in 1987. Kaye was born in 1911 in the Brownsville section of Brooklyn, NY, to Ukrainian immigrant parents who called him “Duvidelleh.” After getting his start as a Borscht Belt entertainer, he would go on to star in seventeen movies, including The Secret […]

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Carl Th. Dreyer’s Film on Jewish Persecution

by Mike Kuhlenbeck INTERNATIONALLY ACCLAIMED Danish film director Carl Theodor Dreyer (1889-1968) is perhaps best known to English-speaking filmgoers as the force behind the 1932 horror masterpiece Vampyr. However, Dreyer confronted a real-life evil that has haunted the world for centuries, the looming menace of anti-Semitism, with Elsker Hverandre — Love One Another. Dreyer’s fourth […]

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January 3: The Great Dane

Danish pianist and comedian Victor Borge (Børge Rosenbaum) was born in Copenhagen on this date in 1909. The son of musicians and a child prodigy, he received a full scholarship at the Royal Danish Academy of Music and played his first major concert in 1926. Within a few years he began interrupting his own performances […]

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O My America: Six Miles Per Hour

by Lawrence Bush SOUTHERN HOLLAND, at least what we’ve seen of it, is like a Richard Scarry book about transportation. If you’ve ever sat a young child on your lap and looked through one of Scarry’s categories-based, vocabulary-building illustrated books, you’ve visited Holland. The landscape is flat for as far as you can see (17 […]

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O My America: Inward Bound

Sailing Down the Canals of the Netherlands by Lawrence Bush THE NOTEBOOK in which I’ve been writing during this vacation (my laptop is almost constantly out of juice) was a recent find as I was cleaning out some of my son’s remaining stuff, some ten years after his departure for college. The notebook has only […]

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O My America: I Could Live Here

by Lawrence Bush IT’S NOT ALWAYS summer here, and there’s not always an international jazz festival going on, but I could definitely see living in Denmark. We’re at the Louisiana modern art museum, about half an hour outside Copenhagen along the North Sea (I think). The collection is rich with American and German artists: Rothko, […]

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O My America: I’d Never Survive

by Lawrence Bush I’M A TERRIBLE, anxious traveller. So many decisions to be made, preparations to be endured, questions and directions to be asked; so much faith in the fundamental benevolence of civilization to be tapped, for this fundamentally faithless person. I’m not a stimulation-seeker, but a safety-seeker. What I’ve done so far in Copenhagen, […]

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O My America: Nice White People

Tivoli Gardens and Middle-Class Pleasures by Lawrence Bush My wife’s about to take a ride on the “Himmelskibet,” the Heaven Ship, swings on cables that fly around a 250-foot tower at various levels of altitude and centrifugal force. She loves this ride, but has never been on one even half this one’s height. She’s a […]

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O My America: Escape to Copenhagen

by Lawrence Bush It was hard to be an American headed to Denmark on July 4th — don’t worry, Danes, I’m unarmed — when I was feeling so very patriotic about the achievement of marriage equality (but Denmark has it, too), and about the lowering of the Confederate flag, and about Obama’s “Amazing Grace” speech, […]

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November 18: Niels Bohr

Danish physicist Niels Bohr, who escaped to Sweden during Denmark’s rescue of its Jews in 1943 and became an important contributor to America’s development of the atomic bomb, died at 77 in Carlsberg, a district of Copenhagen, on this date in 1962. Bohr was awarded the 1922 Nobel Prize in physics for his application of […]

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