Here are some links to some of my articles – about Mexico City and other topics – that have been previously published.
Where Everyone Knows Your Nombre: This story, published in Culture + Travel, deals with the comic surprises, culinary treats and impromptu entertainment you can find in Mexico City cantinas. Sadly, El Nivel, one of the cantinas mentioned in the article, closed down in the winter of 2008, apparently for good.
Who’s Afraid of Diana Kennedy?: Originally published in D.F., this is a profile of a British matron and self-described “old sourpuss” who has lived in Mexico since 1957, and who has written the most authoritative books on Mexican cookery — ever, by anyone from any country. To research this story, I took her out to breakfast, lunch and dinner in Mexico City. To say the least, she was hardly flattering about any of the restaurants.
Secrets of Oorale: Popular entertainment in Mexico has reached a level so pathetic that has-been actresses with too many face lifts, show-biz reporters of indeterminate sexuality, and total unknowns can become household names by appearing in programs like Big Brother. The magazine Oorale!, published in Mexico City, is the only publication in the country that gives this “culture” the treatment it deserves. This article originally ran in the magazine D.F.
The Grandeur of La Piedad. For many years this little town in Michoacán was known as the Mexican capital of porcicultura — pig farming. As such, it was famous for its ungodly smell. However, La Piedad’s residents were in the habit of looking around, taking deep breaths of the fetid air, and proudly saying, “That’s not the smell of pigs. That’s the smell of money.” This article was originally published in the Mexican magazine Wow, which has sadly disappeared.
Gastronomic Purgatory. The largest market on the planet is here in Mexico City. It is a nocturnal infraworld in which, on a daily basis, 30,000 tons of food is trucked in from the rest of the country. Thirty percent of Mexico’s comestibles are exchanged here in any given year, for about eight billion dollars, all in cash. This article, first published in Travesías, a Mexican travel magazine, will be posted shortly.
Poor Man’s Paradise. Published in October of 2007 in Gatopardo, a magazine that is the Latin American equivalent to Vanity Fair, this is a chronicle of Coney Island that summer — and the threat that it would be its last season. The operator of America’s most fabled roller coaster, a snake charmer called Serpentina, Coney Island’s premier historian, and the developer who wants to fashion the place after his own dreams all weighed in with their opinions.
Nacho Man. Apart from some more-or-less charming dive bars, an enclave of strip joints known as Boys Town, and some coal mines, the border town of Piedras Negras, Coahuila, just across the bridge from Eagle Pass, Texas, has the distinction of being the place where nachos were invented. The story of their creation is the Rashomon of Mexican cuisine: Everyone has a different version. This article, first published in the Mexican magazine Wow, will be posted shortly.
More than 20 years have passed since I reported my first story. For most of those years I have been a freelance on magazines and newspapers. In the US I have published in The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, Interview, The Village Voice, Culture + Travel, Outside’s Go, and The Forward, among others. In Mexico, I have contributed to Reforma, Letras Libres, Gatopardo, Playboy and Día Siete, and was on staff for over three years at D.F., which was more or less the Mexican equivalent to The New Yorker. Should you wish to contact me with journalistic queries, feel free to write to