The Royal Tour: Santa Fe

Several months ago, I had the honor to attend a VIP art weekend with Park West Gallery, and there I was introduced to the work of Michael Romero. He rapidly impressed me with his unique style and humble demeanor, and I was lucky enough to collect a work of his. Michael is a Santa Fe…

The Royal Tour: Spokane

I have been fascinated with the idea of the World's Fair ever since my parents read a children's book to me long ago about the invention of the ice cream cone at the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair. This excitement only increased when I recently read Devil in the White City about the 1893 Chicago…

The Royal Tour: Los Angeles

I have resisted doing a Royal Tour interview in Los Angeles. After all, it is my home, and I feel that I know the place well. However, the world of Hollywood is mysterious to me, and the chance to speak to someone intimately involved in that, not as a superstar, but as someone who moved…

The Royal Tour: Las Vegas

You can tell when Lydia Ansel walks into the Center Bar at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. There is a gravitational shift. Lydia naturally garners attention, though it isn't her goal. She is tall, beautiful, and always smiling. Focus just moves toward her, but today, she greets me, to the jealous…

The Royal Tour: Milwaukee

It is about 10:45 in the morning on a Saturday, and I walk through the front door of Lakefront Brewery in Milwaukee.  There is already a crowd, both inside at the bar and tables, and outside, drinking beer along the jogging path that goes by the riverside. Beer is flowing, tour groups are forming, and…

The Royal Tour: Austin

Walking into C-Boys Heart and Soul in the South Congress area of Austin, I am greeted by dim lights and soft music.  The place is quiet - it is, after all, early evening on a Monday night.  The bartender greets patrons by name.  A stage sits at the end of the small room, and it…

The Royal Tour: Memphis

Memphis is an amazing city, full of culture, history, and - most importantly - BBQ.  No person is more ingrained in the city than John Vergos, owner of Rendezvous, where Memphis BBQ as we know it was invented in 1948.  We sat down with John to talk about Rendezvous, Memphis BBQ, and the city he calls…