By the age of 20, Alexander The Great had conquered numerous countries, Augustus Caesar had become a Roman Senator, Joan of Arc was victorious in war, Mary Shelley had published Frankenstein and on and on—legends, apparently, are in a hurry to get things done. In the hubris of my youth, I, too, saw myself on the fast track to greatness, and precisely on my 20th birthday, the day after Labor Day, I was beginning the second week of my junior year at Tulane University in New Orleans. As Editor in Chief of the school’s award-winning newspaper, The Tulane Hullabaloo, I presided over an interminable meeting that finally ended with my crew surprising me by singing/mumbling “Happy Birthday” and passing around slices of ice cream cake, tortilla chips and cold beer. What a way to end our long, productive day. Even now, I smile when I think of that moment.
Exactly 20 years ago, I was, unbelievably, living my absolute best life: Surrounded by dozens of close friends and colleagues, I was a bachelor on the loose, working as co-owner and Editor in Chief (with business partner, George W. Slowik, Jr.) at PressCorps, our New York City-based magazine company. (Living in an incredible apartment at 2 Fifth Avenue next door to Washington Square Park certainly didn’t suck either.) Frequent travel to Los Angeles and Miami for celebrity interviews and photo shoots added to my enchanted existence, but it was my yearly summer trek to the Hamptons that truly gave me life. That summer, two decades ago, I shared a Southampton cottage (with an incredible pool) on a former potato farm with two of my closest friends, Jim Long and Geoffrey Blatt, and all I can remember from that entire season was how we couldn’t stop laughing. Hilarity was the norm at Chez Papi. We. Had. Fun.
Since, right now, I’m excited and determined to make my new home in Saratoga Springs permanent and love-filled, I really can’t imagine what I’ll be doing exactly 20 years from now, but I sure do hope that, whatever it is, people who love me are near, the work I do is top-notch, I continue to think before I speak and my mad crush on this city, this seductive Saratoga, develops into an epic romance without an end in sight.
Twenty years is a curious time to measure, for it’s simultaneously a very long time indeed as well as gone in the blink of an eye. So here’s what I propose: Let’s take a moment and raise a glass to celebrate our collective past 20 years, with the strong belief that the very best for all of us is yet to come. I can feel it.
Editor in Chief