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After having spent more than twelve years living in New York, I am now starting to come back with regularity.

First of all for my daughter and my grandchildren who live there and then for our Foundation, in order to raise funds and to be able to act more effectively to combat the terrible problem of child abuse.

The city has certainly changed. From a point where, when we lived there, and it seemed right at the forefront of progress, it appears now to be almost an ancient city.

I am not alone in thinking this. My friend, the painter Francesco, hosted a dozen Chinese acquaintances who had never previously come to America. He showed them all around New York for several days and, at the end of their visit, asked them: “How do you find it?”
“It is so old”.

new orleans-united-state-of-america-usa

 

 

Mysteries

THE GHOST OF TAOS

Mabel Dodge was the wealthy wife of the automobile manufacturer of the same name. In the 1930s, she had an extraordinary villa built in New Mexico on the High Plateaux in the city of Taos. This paradise attracted a great many eccentric artists and characters. Mabel Dodge received all who thought and created, notably D….

Adventure

BANNERMAN CASTLE

His name was Francis Bannerman. He had come to the United States from his native Scotland when he was three years old and he and his family lived in Brooklyn. He worked in trade. He had specialized in purchasing American army surplus. The American Civil War and then the Cuban war had indeed left behind…

Adventure

THE INDIAN SPIRITS OF TAOS

Behind the hotel, which had once been the villa of Mabel Dodge in Taos, lay a vast prairie, which stretched out to the horizon where it met a range of lofty mountains. I asked the headmistress, the sharp-witted lady with the shaven head, how we could get onto the prairie to take a walk. “You…

Adventure

OUR BERESFORD GHOST

The Beresford is one of the most magnificent buildings in New York City on Central Park West. That is where we settled when we arrived from Europe: in a large apartment with spacious, high-ceilinged rooms. It was light-filled, with a splendid view of the park. Marina, myself, and our two daughters were very happy there….

Mysteries

THE QUEEN OF VOODOO Part 3/3

Briskly, he walks through the French Quarters, crosses Jackson Square, turns around the Saint Louis Cathedral and reaches the gates of the cemetery bearing the same name. Now, he is no longer in a hurry. He takes his time to dawdle amongst the graves, looking for the one on which to lie. The moon, shining…

Mysteries

THE QUEEN OF VOODOO Part 2/3

As luck would have it, Marie Laveau soon after met the love of her life, Christophe Duminy de Glapion. She would never marry him, for the simple reason that he was white and that the law of the time forbade such an union, but they had many children – fifteen according to legend! In any…

Royalty

THE QUEEN OF VOODOO Part 1/3

Marie Laveau was born in 1794, baptised and registered at the parish. Her origins remain, truth be told, rather murky: in her white and black blood mixed. It was even suspected that she had Native American blood. Some even said she was the daughter of a white nobleman and a black slave. In 1819, as…

Royalty

AUSTRIA FAMILY PICTURES (PART 2)

Marie Anne of Savoy, who was married to the short-lived emperor Ferdinand before the 1848 revolutions replaced him with his nephew, Franz Joseph.   Elisabeth, Duchess of Bavaria, Empress of Austria, the famous Sissi.   Franz Ferdinand, Archduke of Austria, heir to the throne, assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914.   Zita, the last empress of…

Mysteries

PRINCESS PAULINE SCHWARZENBERG, BORN DUCHESS OF AREMBERG

At an evening hosted by the countess Zichy-Ferraris in Vienna, in 1808, was to be found, among several elegant women of the high society, the charming Princess Schwarzenburg, born to the House of Aremburg. Prince Louis de Rohan was playing with his deck of cards; he believed himself to possess a great talent for fortune…

Royalty

ELIZABETH BATHORY

The trial of Elizabeth Bathory took place during the reign of King Rodolph II of Hungary. The great lady was desperate about preserving her youth. Witchcraft provided her with a magic remedy, and an astonishing degree of perversion was involved in her attempts to apply it. She had a considerable number of young girls kidnapped…

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