«Fiction, Sketches & Profiles»


A selection of short stories, sketches, profiles and ephemera, published and unpublished, starting in 1979.

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Undergraduate Ruminations

Friday, March 2, 2018
Undergraduate Ruminations

Anywhere you can dream is good, providing the place is obscure, and the horizon is vast.—Victor Hugo

One afternoon a decade ago I was on my way to the vegetable market at the corner of 111th street and Amsterdam...

The Encounter

Tuesday, February 18, 2014
The Encounter

Then there is the case of the woman who dressed in cardboard and paper bags. Did she live in the bus station? Where did she go at night? These were some of the thoughts which ran through my mind. I have been meaning to...

The Kerouac Conundrum

Thursday, November 28, 2013
The Kerouac Conundrum

With publication of On The Road in 1957, Jack Kerouac became an overnight celebrity. Not just famous but a phenomenon. The experience brought him to another level of confusion, self-doubt and hard drinking. Kerouac had...

Across The River Revisited

Thursday, October 10, 2013
Across The River Revisited

Taki’s Magazine



Ernest Hemingway's Across the River and into the Trees was published in 1950 to terrible reviews. It became an instant best seller. Despite a considerable...

Archie Peck, Final Thoughts

Tuesday, August 7, 2012
Archie Peck, Final Thoughts

I was sorry not to be able to return this summer to the wonderful Meadow Club Invitational in Southampton. It will mark the first summer that Archie Peck has not been the Tournament Director. He was a fixture at this storied...

The Fitzgerald Revival

Monday, July 2, 2012
The Fitzgerald Revival

[Taki’s Magazine]



I like best what he leaves out of The Great Gatsby. A unique book.

--Gore Vidal, 1974 Paris Review interview.

Art Basel Afterthoughts

Friday, December 9, 2011
Art Basel Afterthoughts

All of a sudden, Art Basel had rolled around again, now for the tenth time. I was vaguely aware of the buzz in the background in November. Then, presto, it hit Miami in early December like an uncharted hurricane. No passes...

Tennis Legend Gardnar Mulloy, Standing Tall at 97

Thursday, January 6, 2011
Tennis Legend Gardnar Mulloy, 
Standing Tall at 97

[Taki’s Magazine]

I do not have many friends who are 97. Tennis legend Gardnar Mulloy is one of them. It is not clear why I should be so lucky to know him, nor why I should have had the opportunity to square...

Best Christmas Movie Ever

Thursday, December 23, 2010
Best Christmas Movie Ever

Taki’s Magazine

Did anyone catch that movie last Sunday morning at ten on the Turner Classic Movies channel? If you did, you know what movie I'm talking about. Like me, you are probably still thinking about it....

With Love, from Harry's Bar

Thursday, September 16, 2010
With Love, from Harry's Bar

Taki’s Magazine

It is quite possible that my favorite restaurant in the world is Harry's Bar in Venice. For one thing, it is the home of the best club sandwich in the world. At this point in time, it is one of...

Controversy on Skellig Michael

Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Controversy on Skellig Michael

Skellig Michael has been in the news recently, and the news is not good. I've never been to Machu Picchu or Easter Island or even to the pyramids on the Giza Plateau, but I have made it to Skellig Michael, off the southwest...

Breathless, Fifty Years On

Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Breathless, Fifty Years On

[Belated update: Nouvelle Vague photographs
by Raymond Cauchetier at the James Hyman Gallery, London.]

Taki’s Magazine

Is Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless the most overrated movie of all time? Of...

The Cresta Run

Tuesday, February 9, 2010
The Cresta Run

This winter marks the 125th anniversary of the St. Moritz Tobogganing Club, known more commonly as The Cresta Run. I cannot be there to celebrate, but some good friends of mine will make up for it. I was never a member...

The Robinson Jeffers - Charles Bukowski Connection

Wednesday, December 12, 2007
The Robinson Jeffers - Charles Bukowski Connection

It must have been via one of Charles Bukowski’s many interviews that I got a lead to Robinson Jeffers of Carmel-Big Sur, California. Jeffers was not a figure I had encountered at prep school or at college. I am delighted...

Vierzehnheiligen

Sunday, November 25, 2007
Vierzehnheiligen

It is a quiet, country road going uphill. I had a beer for breakfast in the train station at the foot of the hill. I’m on the road to Vierzehnheiligen. The professor of European literature from England wanted me to stay...

Mykonos

Saturday, November 17, 2007
Mykonos

Greece was not green like I had expected from Renaissance poetry about Arcadia. Delphi and Athens were a bust. Stones and tourists in the searing, summer heat. So it was off to the islands. I met Count de Stefano on the...

Vince, Icon of a Bright and Bygone Universe

Monday, October 22, 2007
Vince, Icon of a Bright and Bygone Universe

Probably the most authentic human being I have ever known was the father of one of  my classmates in elementary school. That classmate has remained a friend to this day. His father was a handicapper of thoroughbreds, an...

Paris Hilton Crashes The Wies'n

Sunday, July 1, 2007
Paris Hilton Crashes The Wies'n

It’s out of control, all right. Not just the the hijacked governance of the world’s "lone surviving Superpower"--but the entire social and intellectual landscape of America. We are indeed in uncharted territory.

Dinner at L’Incroyable

Saturday, July 17, 1993
Dinner at L’Incroyable

[The European]



Within a small passage just outside the limestone walls of the Palais Royal, at the very center of Paris, there is a very small restaurant called L’Incroyable....

Notes From Klosters

Tuesday, February 28, 1989
Notes From Klosters

Most of the time the snow conditions on the Parsenn--up the mountainside from the Chesa Grischuna--are spectacular. At the moment (February 12th, 1989) the snow here in Klosters is far from spectacular. Elsewhere in Switzerland,...

An American in Zurich

Wednesday, August 28, 1985
An American in Zurich

Zurich has a reputation for being stodgy, but it ain't so, at least not after hours. On one of my first visits, I met a Dublin girl by the name of Mary O’Connell downstairs at the hotel bar, which was an Irish bar and a...

Night of the Mariachis

Tuesday, February 1, 1983
Night of the Mariachis

That Mexican manhole I fell into was, mercifully, not deep enough to swallow me up. My pal from prep school, Charlie Sayers, and Karen, his erstwhile girlfriend, and I were rushing through a bleak back alley past midnight...

Pink, Blue and Gold

Monday, August 31, 1981
Pink, Blue and Gold

The girls played well, but it was not an obsession with them. They were French, beautiful, childlike and sophisticated, lived in the countryside, and had their own tennis court in their backyard and plenty of free time...

3 AM, Paris Time

Monday, June 1, 1981
3 AM, Paris Time

It was on a quiet street near the Étoile. A hostess met me just inside the door. I was standing in a small room, somewhat intimate and rather cozy, with a bar off to my right. Half a dozen jeunes filles sat at the bar talking...

Vaduz, Europa 1979

Tuesday, January 15, 1980
Vaduz, Europa 1979

Before the feudal castle of Liechtenstein, high up in the Alps above the Rhine, thirty-two year old Franz Josef II, last of the 500 princes of the Holy Roman Empire, was invested as sovereign today before most of his 11,500...