Welcome to my parlor, said the spider to the fly. I hope you enjoy the stories and links here.

  • About Richard Sterling

    Travel, food and lifestyle journalist Richard Sterling is one of the foremost practitioners of the literature of gusto. He is the author of more than a dozen books and scores of magazine travel and food stories. He has been the travel editor for a food magazine and the food editor for a travel magazine, and a newspaper and magazine columnist.The New York Times book page dubbed him “Indiana Jones of Gastronomy” for his willingness to go anywhere and court any danger for the sake of a good meal and a good story.

    He has been honored by the James Beard Foundation for his food writing, and he holds the Lowell Thomas Award and the ForeWord Award for travel writing. He currently resides in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Stories

Negrita, Drinking Saigon’s Past

Negrita, Drinking Saigon’s Past

More than half a century ago, some time in the 1950s, a small triangle of vacant land lay at the confluence of Tran Hung Dao and Nguyen Cu Trinh Streets. Its address today is 148 Tran Hung Dao, on the way west to Cho Lon (the Chinese district). Some time back in those olden days, I don’t know exactly when, it might even have been in the waning days of French rule, a billboard size advertisement was painted on the eastern wall of the adjacent building. The ad was for Negrita... 

The Good, the Bad and the Durian

The Good, the Bad and the Durian

The good, the bad and the durian IN PAMPANGA, a small Philippine town, I was traveling to Olongapo City from Manila. I was hungry and had walked into a hole-in-the-wall restaurant, the kind that has a counter for about three and seats for two. The proprietor spoke no English, but I spoke enough Tagalog to say something like, “Give me your best.” He brought me a steaming bowl of something that looked like river bottom mud, the kind that gooshes up between your toes... 

All at Sea – A Tale of Shipboard Romance?

All at Sea – A Tale of Shipboard Romance?

A Tale of Shipboard Romance?   She had one of those names that are so common in the Philippines, like Lucy or Linda. Maybe it was Dinah. I can’t remember. I met her on the Manila waterfront. True to what I had been told, she did look a bit of a tramp, and an older one at that. You might even have called her mannish for her shape. But she was a she to the core, as any good steamship is, and which I found when I boarded her. I’ll speak no ill of her. Under the maritime...