April 20, 2014

American Way: Ultimate Tequila Tour

Tequila barrels on a burro at Herradura hacienda.

Over the course of two whirlwind days in Tequila and one in the highlands town of Arandas, I visit eight distilleries with Julio Bermejo.

Gambling column: NBA title futures


If they stay healthy and new addition Andre Iguodala plays to his potential, the Warriors have a legitimate – if not huge – chance to go all the way.

Wash Post: Dylan Thomas’s Wales


“Listen to (his most famous poem) from a child’s point of view,” Annie says. “His father wouldn’t give Dylan the words he needed like ‘well done’ or ‘I’m proud of you.’ The work between father and son wasn’t finished.”

Making a living as a freelancer

Editors have always appreciated brevity, but today space is tighter than ever. Try to keep stories under 1,500 words, 2,000 tops. A 750-word story has a much better chance of selling than a 2,500-word piece.

The Bird Men of Mazatlan: Cliff divers wait for tide to come in, Mariner

In the fall of 2009, Mariner magazine asked if I’d go to Mazatlan to write about the cliff divers there. I’d watched cliff divers in Acapulco during the ’70s on ABC’s Wide World of Sports but didn’t know they were still plunging into the sea. I spent three days with the divers, who – if […]

Cowboy Junkies keep it fresh


In the early 1990s, Cowboy Junkies lead singer Margo Timmins performed just for me.

Abolish the one-game playoff in baseball

Rainbow over the SF Giants ballpark.

Here’s the larger issue with adding a one-game wild card playoff: it cheapens the 162-game season.

Fed ruling may clear path for legal poker


A bunch of guys in a big room playing poker: a typical scene but one that could have led to jail time for its operator. Until a federal judge said game on – here’s the story I wrote for the SF Chronicle. – By Michael Shapiro, Sept. 6, 2012 Anyone who has played poker even […]

Wild About Kenya: Safari story for Private Clubs magazine


A parade of elephants stomps across the dun-colored plain, giraffes nibble the tops of 20-foot acacia trees, and hundreds of zebras trot across the landscape.

Somewhere Beyond Time: Jan Morris’s Wales in National Geographic Traveler


Jan Morris has been my mentor and a muse. When National Geographic Traveler asked me to travel to Wales to interview her and write about her corner of her beloved homeland, I leapt at the chance. I planned to meet Jan on my first day in Wales and have her set my itinerary, but she […]