War God

Kaiju films were old hat in Japan by the 1970s, but elsewhere in Asia the giant monster film industry was only just getting going. Inspired by Japanese movies like Godzilla and, even more so, television shows like Ultraman and Kamen Rider, aspiring (or canny) filmmakers (or hucksters) in Thailand, Hong Kong, and Korea decided they…


Dinosaur Land: White Post, Virginia

To our right were two more dinosaurs, one a brontosaurus, the other one of those two-legged beasts that, because no one knows exactly what it is, simply gets called an allosaurus. They were frozen in mid-menace of an Amoco gas station sign. To our left, just visible on the crest of a hill, was a giant octopus locked in mortal combat with a prehistoric shark.


From Russia with Love

Diamonds are Forever was a bit of a sightseeing vacation for our intrepid 007, a breather author Ian Fleming took in between more substantial books. From Russia with Love finds Bond and the Bond books back in top form for one of the best-loved stories in the entire franchise, films and books. From Russia with…


La Vie Parisienne

It is fashionable, and has been for some time now, for Americans to dislike France. Our one-time close ally, the country that basically bankrolled the American Revolution, that gave the world Brigitte Bardot, Sophie Marceau, and Jean Reno — you surrender early in one little world war, and suddenly the US is holding a grudge…


Diamonds Are Forever

By the time Ian Fleming typed out the last letter of Moonraker, he must have been satisfied with his creation but unsure of where James Bond could go from there. The books were pop culture juggernauts, so not following up with yet another James Bond adventure wasn’t really an option for Fleming. But if Diamonds…


Breakneck Ridge, New York

Jersey is a perpetually surprising place to travel, and while I utterly despise much about driving in that state heading up the Garden State northbound was beautiful. And it only gets nicer as you cross the Bear Mountain Bridge and continue alog 9D to the town of Cold Spring, then finally arrive at the trailhead, just past the train station and a tunnel.


Canoes on the Gowanus Canal

I was supposed to be meeting Owen Foote, the voice at the other end of my doomed cell phone call and the founder of the Gowanus Dredgers, an environmental awareness group dedicated to educating people about the Gowanus Canal and surrounding Brooklyn waterfront by putting them on its surface in canoes and kayaks.