Inside the Explorers Club

Gifts from the Dalai Lama. A voodoo drum that it is said will curse those who play it without possessing a proper witch doctor’s credentials. A penis harvested from a dead whale, and the horn of from a narwhal. Tusks from a wooly mammoth.

Aboard the African Queen

In the summer of 2015, I came a little bit closer to my childhood dreams of living an African Queen adventure, thanks to the fact that the actual African Queen ended up, through a circuitous series of events, docked in Key Largo.

Alcohol Professor: The Chairman, The Poet, and The Dancer

To commemorate Frank Sinatra’s centennial, we’re looking at the history of Jilly’s Saloon, the joint Frank used as his home base whenever he was in New York City. When owner Jilly Rizzo retired and sold the restaurant, it passed into the hands of a trio of Russians — including a Nobel Prize winning poet and the most famous ballet dancer in the world — who turned it into a hotspot for Russian ex-pats, intellectuals, and artists. Oh, and Johnny Carson was almost assassinated there by an angry Mob boss

More Macabre Tales

Last year, we took you on a lantern-lit tour of some of the most famous haunted locations in my adopted home of New York City. Once again, we don our novelty cloak and top hat and beckon you come with us for another round of macabre tales and spooky legends. Join me, won’t you, as we visit voodoo queens, gangland massacres, Edgar Allan Poe, and a ghostly garrison in the wilds of northern New York.

Prague’s Vyšehrad Cemetery

There is a whimsical character in so much of what constitutes Prague, a tendency to find the creative, the artistic, and sometimes the absurd in even the darkest of places. That indomitable creative spirit is most evident in the place where many of the Czech Republic’s creative spirits have come for their final rest: Vyšehrad Cemetery, located on a hill high above Prague.

Ghosts of Monte Vista

Our night in Flagstaff was our night to spring for fancy digs before heading on to the Grand Canyon. The kind of place where they leave Aveda products in your bathroom. The kind of place where Clarke Gable and Humphrey Bogart once stayed. Historic. Antique. Old American regal, that combination of elegant class and refined ruggedness. Robert Mitchum made into a hotel. The Monte Vista was just that sort of place.