The Evolution of Halloween

By | 2018-01-19T21:05:10+00:00 November 1st, 2011|

There are more than a few differences between my current hometown of New Canaan, Connecticut, and the city of New Orleans, but I don’t know that those differences are ever more [...]

Envy and Yogurt Covered Pretzels

By | 2018-01-19T21:06:26+00:00 September 14th, 2011|

Friendly’s has six menus, and one of those menus is dedicated to appetizers and entrees whose principle ingredient is melted cheese. Why they need the other five is beyond me, but [...]

Des Moines, Iowa: Politics and Prose

By | 2018-01-19T21:00:06+00:00 June 15th, 2011|

I was in Des Moines last week (…sorry, for those who don’t speak French, you might know it as “The Moines”) as part of the Des Moines Public Library’s 2011 AViD [...]

Our Man in Amsterdam

By | 2018-01-19T21:01:44+00:00 March 26th, 2011|

When I was doing various interviews in Ireland and the UK, they would ask me where I was heading next. “Amsterdam,” I’d tell them. “Oh – behave!” they’d joke. They said [...]

A Nation of Butlers

By | 2018-01-19T21:01:52+00:00 March 23rd, 2011|

I’ve spent a lot of time in England – really I have – and I have friends and family there. It doesn’t feel exotic; it feels more homey than anything else. I know London well. And yet I cannot go to England and not instinctively think everybody sounds like butlers. They could be selling gum, but more often it’s the ones who are giving directions. The guys at the airport. As them where the baggage carousel is, and it’s like you’re the King of Siam. “Right around the corner there, sir, and make a left. Did you come in from Ireland?” I tell them I did. “Your baggage will be on carousel one or two, then.” How can you not love this country? And why aren’t we all talking like this? I felt like I was about to board a steamer.