Snippets &

Message from Kampala

Today I received a message from a stranger in Kampala, Uganda, and I made a preemptive strike. I’ll let you know if I hear back!

Ssemwogerere Rchard
hello Chris!

Christina Oxenberg
Hey I’m so glad you got in touch. I have a lot of money stuck in a bank in Kampala. Perhaps you would be kind enough to help me transfer it to USA? I will gladly pay a commission for your assistance. Thank you!

Lunch Anyone?

A long time ago in New York City I met an English gentleman of excellent repute by the name of Alexander Chancellor (yes, that one). He invited me for lunch and I accepted and made a note in my date book. Then an old friend, the fabled Anthony Haden-Guest, also a Brit, also asked me to lunch. Again, I accepted and made another note. Turns out the lunch appointments were made for the same restaurant on the same day, but I wouldn’t know because I never thought about these lunch dates again. Clean forgot. Until late one afternoon when I received a phone call, from one of those gents, telling me they had discovered each other, old friends as luck would have it, slouched at the bar of a certain Manhattan eatery, waiting for me. And since I failed entirely to show up they lunched à deux. Lunch, anyone?

The Coolest NYC Studio

A fortnight ago I shambled north from Key West. I had a plan, initially, and almost immediately this plan split apart, riven as plans so often are by the mere dint of daylight and fate.

From the swankiest of the Hamptons to some antediluvian 5th Avenue cave, followed by a stint up a mountain to stay with the modern day Heidi. My plans re-knitted themselves on the go, like a repairing wound.

Dear friend Patrick McMullan said, “Don’t leave town! I have an empty studio. You’re welcome to stay.” I liked the idea for many reasons, though not because it was a studio. To me, as one who has rented from the lowest echelons of the market a ‘studio’ is a spare affair, usually reminiscent of a jail cell. At best cool and clean, because in NYC, if you don’t have the bucks one becomes familiar and oddly tolerant of the restrictions of a studio.

But, oh ha ha, Patrick’s studio is a super cool entire floor of a brownstone, with a spacious groomed garden with seating and places for a writer to naturally pollinate the flower, so to speak. I’m in shock at the lavishness, it is James Bond land and I like it very much. Thank you Paddy!

Years ago I lost a friend’s Boston Whaler to the bottom of the Great South Bay, off of Fire Island. I was late to catch the ferry and I recklessly disregarded a brewing storm. Slamming over a bumpy choppy sea I made a slight turn and three medium sized waves filled the little boat, and it vanished. Unlike the movies where you can hang onto a toothpick and bob gracefully to safety, the boat and everything in it were gone in an instant. I was suddenly completely submerged in the cold November water. I struggled to rip off my heavy overcoat and boots, and then I saw my black Persian cat floating past my face, locked in her traveling box. I managed to extract her whereupon she clawed her way onto the top of my head (smart kitty) and slowly we washed up to shore (her fur was a wreck for a long time). The boat was found months later in the reeds, its engines corroded beyond repair, all my possessions were lost, and I missed the ferry that day.

Anyone else ever sink a ship?

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