Step Away From the Lion


It’s not easy to play soccer with a full-grown lion, but Kevin Richardson manages. “The Lion Whisperer,” as his quarter-million YouTube subscribers know him, is also comfortable hugging, wrestling, and scratching the large cats, as his videos can attest. More

Hollywood Squares

At Imad Khachan’s shop, chess is serious. So what’s David Lee Roth doing there?

On a recent afternoon at the Chess Forum on Thompson Street, owner Imad Khachan is irked. “It is ridiculous,” he grumbles, “this throwing together of celebrity and chess.” Khachan has just returned from a 45-minute exhibition chess match played in a Times Square television studio between Garry Kasparov, the current World Chess Champion, and Sting. “Why must a rock star play a match on television for people to believe chess is important?”


A Pug’s Life

“My God, this is marvelous!” cried Robert Grayson, as a herd of snuffling, yapping pugs swirled around his ankles. “It’s like some sort of French farce!”

Grayson, who’s from L.A., was riding a bus pask Alta Plaza park one Sunday when he spied the gathering of about 40 pugs and their owners cavorting on a grassy hillside. He immediately did what any self-respecting pug person would do: he got off the bus and joined the fun.


So You Want an MFA?

MFA in kvetching: the truth about writing programs

When I look back on the two years I spent as a graduate writing student in New York, I wish I could say that I spent most of that time writing. In fact, what I recall spending a much greater amount of time doing was worrying.


A College’s New Course

One afternoon during my first semester at Simon’s Rock College, a classmate and I were hanging out in the crammed dorm room of one of our sophomore friends, a girl named Alex. Classes at the small college in Great Barrington were over for the day, so the three of us were relaxing–sprawled on the floor and gabbing–when a knock came on the door.


Across America, Sardine-Style

“Okay, you guys!” Walter shouted to the 12 of us who had gathered behind the back end of the bus. “One…two…THREE!”

Digging our shoulders in and bracing our feet against the ground, we pushed. For a moment I thought I heard a creaking noise, and felt a slight rocking motion under my hands, but that was it. The bus hadn’t budged from where it sat, stuck two-wheels deep in mud at the side of a Tennessee dirt road.