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Articles & Essays

Modern Love Podcast read by Catherine O’Hara

New York Times

Have you ever been jealous … of a GPS?

To celebrate their 22nd wedding anniversary, Patricia Morrisroe and her husband traveled to England. While driving through the idyllic English countryside, Ms. Morrisroe found herself in unwanted competition with an electronic device.

Chateau Dior

Departures

The French designer created the most commanding silhouette of 20th-century fashion. Now the house where he found inspiration and respite has been masterfully refreshed and restored.

Handsome young men in straw hats and pristine aprons are tending Christian Dior’s garden.

Romancing The Highlands

Departures

Bewitched by the cult TV costume drama Outlander, Patricia Morrisroe spends nine days driving through Scotland, in search of the breathtaking castles, mystical stones, and folklore that has made the show a smash.

The Ecstasy and the Agony of Robert Mapplethorpe

Departures

Robert Mapplethorpe remained focused on his legacy even from his hospital bed, writing his signature over and over again until it was reduced to a blur. In another example, he turned the “e” at the end of his name into an arrow, as if aiming at a target he could still envision but could no longer reach.

All I Want for Christmas is the Perfect Pair of PJs

Departures

With the holidays approaching, many women are making up their wish lists, noting the beautiful shearling coat they’d spotted in a store, or the Man Ray they’d wanted since Photography 101. They’re dreaming of exotic trips, diamond earrings, Hermès bags, and rare pieces of Chanel haute couture.

The Sovereign State of Extravagance: London’s Mayfair

Departures

Mayfair, between Park Lane and Regent Street, with Bond Street running through, just might be the luxury capital of the world.

I’m looking for Berkeley Square, one of Mayfair’s most iconic locations, but there’s so much new construction I’m totally disoriented.

Me and My Mom, in 5 Pairs of Shoes

New York Magazine

It was the summer of ’61, Kennedy was in the White House, I was in church, and Hannah Howard was in a pair of white Mary Janes. Hannah was the prettiest girl in my school.  She had long platinum hair, bright blue eyes, and a Hollywood pedigree.

You Must Remember This…

Departures Magazine

For the past few years, I’ve bought practically everything online.  It’s easy convenience, and when I open the beautiful box with its multiple layers of tissue paper, I can pretend that a secret admirer has sent me a present. 

Nostalgia: Pleasure Principle

Vogue

A chance encounter with New York City society doyenne Nan Kempner led to Patricia Morrisroe’s education in the art of having fun.

Two summers ago, while strolling around Piazza San Marco, I passed by Missiaglia, the oldest jeweler in Venice.

How Gucci Got Its Groove Back

Departures

Few gave Gucci a fighting chance when Tom Ford left in 2004. But out of the ashes rose creative director Frida Giannini, who has silenced the naysayers by striking a balance between flashy extravagance and understated elegance.

Breaking Point

Vogue

Slender and at risk for Osteoporosis, Patricia Morrisroe began taking medicine daily. Now, ten years later, she wonders: did the drugs do more harm than good? No body would ever call me a daredevil—reading is my favorite pastime—but over the years I’ve tried skiing, surfing, gliding, and horse jumping, and once road a camel across a tiny swatch of the Sahara.

Nostalgia: Swept Away

Vogue

Young and in love, Patricia Morrisroe moved into her boyfriend’s Sutton Place apartment only to have her visions of a romantic summer subsumed by a family drama.

When I was in a used-book store recently, I came across a photograph o a dark haired young woman floating underwater. 

Nightmares Are Welcome Shocks

New York Times

When I was in second grade I saw “Frankenstein” with Boris Karloff on TV. I had nightmares about it for weeks – fitting, since Mary Shelley had modeled the monster after one she’d seen in her own nightmare.

The Academy Rewards

Departures Magazine

The American Academy in Rome promotes scholarship and_ offers a creative haven. PATRICIA MORRISROE spends a heady week where ivory tower meets Eternal City.

Wide Awake in Vegas

Huffington Post

Nobody sleeps in Las Vegas. I know that’s a gross generalization, but having spent nearly a week there for my new book Wide Awake: A Memoir of Insomnia, I came away with the distinct impression that Vegas, at least sleep-wise, was the Village of the Damned.

Long Night’s Journey Into Sleep

New York Times

For my parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, our family went to Ireland to discover our roots and had the best sleep of our lives in a little town in County Sligo. Ten years later, we’re still talking about that incredible night.

The Place Where Dreams Are Made

wowOwow.com

Growing up in the House of Punk Sleep – “punk” was my mother’s favorite synonym for anything “weak” or “below par” – I shared a room with my middle sister, who’d wake me up every morning by bouncing on her mattress.

More Than Enough Hours in Every Day

New York Times

My mother-in-law, Dorothy, is showing me the red spiral notebook that’s almost as precious to her as my husband’s baby pictures. Inside, in Dorothy’s distinctive script, is a list of every book she has read since 2007. For some people waking up in the middle of the night is a terrible curse; unable to drift back to sleep, they’re confronted with a big gaping hole that represents hours of lost time.

Vera Wang’s Fashion Empire

Departures

Vera Wang is staring at a model dressed in nothing but a transparent piece of black tulle and a pair of brightly colored panties. The model is shivering slightly but nobody seems to notice, least of all Wang, who is focused intently on the way the fabric floats over the young woman’s barely-there torso.

Catherine’s Fun House

Departures Magazine

The palace was Catherine’s pleasure dome, where she and her paramour Grigory Orlov could entertain friends, play cards, and enjoy the White Nights.

It may be the most exquisite place in the world that few have ever seen. Catherine the Great’s Chinese Palace is a dazzling Rococo jewel box on the magnificent complex of Oranienbaum, one of the many summer residences of the Russian royals.

A Thousand And One Sleepless Nights

New York Times

In Ernest Hemingway’s short story “Now I Lay Me,” Nick Adams, the writer’s alter ego, stays up at night listening to the silk worms feeding on mulberry leaves outside his army tent in Italy. During World War I, Hemingway had himself developed insomnia so severe that he was afraid to go to bed with the lights out.

Vanishing Points

Travel & Leisure

MY GRANDMOTHER HAD lots of secrets. Even her entry into Ellis Island made for a good mystery. Somehow, en route from London in 1909, she lost her steamer trunk, arriving in the New World as metaphorically naked as Shakespeare’s shipwrecked Viola.

Holiday on Ice

Departures Magazine

I am totally crazy about Christmas. That, coupled with my insomnia, usually resulted in A restless Christmas Eve. Keeping vigil at my bedroom window, opera glasses in hand, I’d stare at the sky searching for Santa’s sleigh. Clement C.

Stephen Sprouse – The Punk Glamour God

New York Magazine

When Stephen Sprouse was working for Halston in the early seventies, he liked to tease the designer. “Okay, here we go,” he’d say. “Another shirtdress for the old ladies.” Sprouse loved Carnaby Street and miniskirts. He wanted to see women’s legs again, and pestered Halston constantly about it.

The Demon Romantics

Vanity Fair

When a Cincinnati museum was charged with obscenity for showing Robert Mapplethorpe’s photographs, his name became synonymous with “deviant” art. In an excerpt from her biography, Patricia Morrisroe untangles the Gordian knot of Mapplethorpe’s work and his sexuality, and examines his relationship with punk-rock poet Patti Smith – a perverse mix of love, jealousy, and ambition…

American Beauty

New York Magazine

People were actually weeping. Anita Gallo, former fashion·merchandising director of Altman’s, couldn’t control herself.  She kept on wiping away the tears with the knuckle of her index finger.

The New Snobbery

New York Magazine

George Carroll Whipple III is running up and down the hallway of the Seventh Regiment Armory, hanging dozens of poster-size photographs of his friends.  “Isn’t this fun?” he asks, letting our a high-pitched giggle.

Bess and the Mess

New York Magazine

Bess Myerson does not keep a near pocketbook. She’s dumping the contents of her purse onto a couch, and little scraps of paper-quotations she’s scribbled from books-are everywhere.

 

Exodus

New York Magazine

When Becky London was growing up in Philadelphia, she dreamed of becoming an actress and moving to New York. “I wanted to have a place like Marlo Thomas had in That Girl,” says London, 27. “I knew I’d have to struggle, and that maybe I wouldn’t find my ‘dream’ apartment.

AIDS: One Man’s Story

New York Magazine

“I could never think about my own death,” says Victor Bender, sitting in his apartment on a clear July afternoon.  “I wanted to live forever.  It was too unimaginable not to be breathing, tasting, smelling, hearing.

Obsession

New York Magazine

“Gyuri had a terrible disease,” says a baldish man huddled over a corner table in the tiny Hungarian Café.  “It was eating him alive.  he was losing weight and his skin was getting paler and paler.  But his eyes, they were burning.”

Restaurant Madness

New York Magazine

The customers are lined up on the street, waiting to get into the newest Italian restaurant on Third Avenue.  Those fortunate enough to reach the bar drink Bellinis, a concoction of champagne and peach juice, and exhale cigarette smoke onto the plates of paste on the tables below.

Forever Single

New York Magazine

“Last night, I had a terrible dream. The weight of the world was on my shoulders, and it was pressing me into the ground. I screamed for help, but nobody came. When I woke up, I wanted somebody to hold me.

Portrait of a Lady

New York Magazine

The digital clock on top of the Apple Bank on West 73rd Street flashes 3 p.m.  At the side entrance of the Fairway Market, a dozen elderly women rummage through several shopping cards filled with day-old produce.

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