(This, from 1989 — the second piece I ever published — was a national scandal, causing Saturday Night, Canada’s oldest and most prestigious magazine, to be pulled from newsstands across the Rockies. It went on to win a National Magazine Award.)
Peerless natural beauty? I’ve always found it annoying. If you’re staying at the Banff Springs Hotel or Chateau Lake Louise, there’s no getting away from it: everywhere you look they put a view in front of your nose.
(Initially published in Travel+Leisure Magazine, this feature won the Lowell Thomas Gold Medal from the Society of American Travel Writers, and was republished by Pico Iyer in The Best American Travel Writing 2004.)
I have made a career out of not enjoying Canada. It is one of the few things I do well. My radical malaise, Canada-wise, is associated mainly with Toronto the Good, and my hellish adolescence in that winter-benighted place.
There are so many reasons to criticize President Obama’s decision to allow his daughter to spend her spring break down Mexico way in the city of Oaxaca. Some of these reasons are depressingly ignorant, but others are refreshingly stupid. Not knowing anything about Oaxaca is a good place to start.
I’m afraid Malia Obama was just not having a Jenna Bush-style spring break.
I CAN’T EVEN REMEMBER when I last experienced the beheading of a close friend. Everyone assumes it must be a weekly, or even a daily event: after all, I live in Mexico. The truth, however, is that you are as likely to have your head removed against your will in my town — Oaxaca — as you are to be murdered by roving, machete-crazed gangs in Martha’s Vineyard.