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. The New York Times book page dubbed him “Indiana Jones of Gastronomy” long before B and Z were on TV.
    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 where he is completing his first novel, a historical romance of French Indochina on the eve of WWII. The working title is Saigon Adieu. You can read excerpts below.

Stories

Sterling’s first novel, Saigon Adieu, excerpt 1 (An Angry Pretty Girl)

Sterling’s first novel, Saigon Adieu, excerpt 1 (An Angry Pretty Girl)

Saigon Adieu by Richard Sterling (excerpt 1) An Angry, Pretty Girl Nguyen Ai Chau, born in Saigon in 1912, was known to the French by the name Perle. She was well educated in both French and Annamite schools. She wore Paris fashions and Viet chignons with equal grace. The French described her as svelte; the Annamites as skinny and undernourished. She was a parishioner at the Huyen Sy church on the rue Frere Louis, opposite the railway terminal and near the central market, and... 

Cole Porter and the Beguine (Sterling’s First Novel, Saigon Adieu, excerpt 2)

Cole Porter and the Beguine (Sterling’s First Novel, Saigon Adieu, excerpt 2)

  Cole Porter and the Beguine (Richard Sterling’s Novel excerpt 2) It was the year that Elvis Presley was born in Tupelo, Mississippi; Alcoholics Anonymous was founded. And Cole Porter set out upon a world cruise. Although he never set out to give a name to a tramp steamship from Saigon. It was just one of those things to begin the Beguine. It was March 1, 1935 in Apia, Samoa. In the snug harbor lay the Cunard-White Star line’s cruise ship RMS Franconia, all white... 

Rum Agricole: Negrita in Old Saigon

Rum Agricole: Negrita in Old Saigon

Negrita Rum in old Saigon 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....