"Columbus", you'll discover when you go to Santo Domingo, is right up there with "ay dios!" and "mierda" as the most popular, all-purpose expletive in the Dominican Republic. It takes just three days in Santo Domingo, city on the verge of a quintecentennial breakdown, before I, too, am tossing the C- word around like a native.

    Several years ago I went to Greenland on a travel writing assignment. Getting there was a trip in itself. First I flew from New York to Ottawa, then from Ottawa to Iqaluit, Canada on commercial airliners. In Iqaluit, I hopped an eight-seater charter jet for the journey over the Greenland Sea.   It was an exciting flight. Halfway there, at 25,000 feet or so, one of the baggage compartments popped open, releasing the Canadian pilot’s gear into the cold, cloudless skies. I couldn’t see what was happening from my side, but I heard him groan, “Oh shit!” and I thought we were...

a scrap of memory from my time at Rolling Stone, circa 1978 I was going through old emails today and found this letter I wrote to Kevin Avery, a writer who is working on a Paul Nelson bio or anthology, can't remember which. He asked me to write my memories of Paul, and I came up with the following letter. While I was writing to remember Paul Nelson, I ended up remembering myself.--dm   It has been 30 years since I worked with Paul at Rolling Stone, and my memories are very sketchy. I did write some reviews for him, but most of...

 
AUTHOR'S NOTE: An oldie from my archives--this article appeared in the 1990s, in a magazine that no longer exists. My calypso career as "Lady Complainer" began in 1984 and continued until 1986. Ah what nights! Singing my calypso number, sandwiched in the bill between a Chinese Trinidadian guy (who was hired as a comedy act because he sang off key and completely out of rhythm), and a pair of singing midgets.

  I flew to Havana from Miami four times between 1993 and 1995. Each trip was an unforgettable, intense, emotional and bizarre undertaking, from the tears, lines and chaos at the Miami Airport, to the experience of trying to move through a city where, in 1994, everyone was surviving on 1,000 calories a day. In this swirl of hardship and sadness, a bright detail drew me in. I took some snapshots, showed them to an editor and voila!--article. Sadly, the marvelous photos taken of the hat ladies by Karen Kuehn (in a studio she set up in a corner of Miami International...