Freda Moon is a New York City-based writer. This is her personal site of clips, notes, photos, links and miscellany. She can be contacted at fredarose moon[at]gmail.com or via carrier pigeon.

Starting in 2013, I'll be offering a five-day course in travel writing, twice a year, in central Mexico. Email me for details.




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36 Hours in Marin County, California

New York Times - Travel - January 24, 2013

Crossing the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco, you arrive in Marin even before landing on solid ground. The county line hangs above the water’s edge, which is fitting, since the county itself feels suspended — ethereal, privileged, a place apart from the rest of the Bay Area. Fearing the perils of suburban sprawl, Marin invested early and often in conservation. Outside of a handful of small cities (San Rafael and Novato the largest among them), Marin is a surprisingly rural landscape of cattle ranches, rolling hills, redwood groves, houseboat communities and roadhouses. Among the wealthiest counties in the country, Marin’s affluence is apparent in towns like Mill Valley. But Marin, one of the state’s smallest counties, also has small towns, like Bolinas and Fairfax, that retain an endearing Northern California eccentricity.(Continued)

Next Stop: Off Nicaragua, a Quieter Caribbean

New York Times - Travel - November 7, 2012

THE darkness was as deep and pure as squid ink. I swiped my foot across the ground, feeling for rocks, roots and voids. Around me there was rustling, scurrying and crashing — the sounds of creatures meeting branches and leaves. Startled by some unseen threat, I stopped abruptly, colliding with my travel companion, Ashley, who followed close behind. Each time we slammed into each other, hapless as slapstick Stooges, we were reduced to fits of hysterical laughter — laughter masking fear and frustration.(Continued)

Road Trip: Yakima Valley

National Geographic Traveler - October, 2012

Washington’s interior, with its dramatic mountain passes and low-slung Main Streets, has the exaggerated beauty of a Western film set. It has the history, too—the booms and busts, the rail heists, the violence of westward expansion. That Old West history sets the scene for a driving route traveling from the railway hub of Centralia, past the snowmelt lakes of the Cascades, and ending in the tumbleweed towns of the Yakima Valley, with 300 sunny days a year. A hundred-some miles from drizzly Seattle, the Yakima was once a dust bowl, but crisscrossing canals now hydrate rows of Fuji apple trees, V-shaped trellises of hops (the fragrant seed cones that flavor beer), and grape vines at 70-plus wineries.(Continued)

36 Hours in New Haven, Conn.

New York Times - Travel - October 24, 2012

IT wasn’t long ago that New Haven was the poster child for the troubled college town, a place where the graduates of prep schools rubbed shoulders with the trauma of the mid-’80s and early-’90s crack epidemic. While New Haven’s hard luck reputation lingers, it’s no longer fully deserved. The city’s historic center, which fans out around twin lawns planted with towering elms, maintains an old New England character, with neo-Gothic towers, well-aged dive bars and working-class neighborhoods of faded but elegant Victorian houses. While town and gown have worked to attract brand-name businesses to downtown (among them a new Apple Store and Shake Shack), New Haven remains complex and layered — a city of taco trucks and barbecue shacks as well as high-end clothiers and stylish cocktail lounges. (Continued)

Where Mondrian Lingers on a Dutch Coast

New York Times - Travel - August 19, 2012

“IF you stand beside the Bath Pavilion, and look to your right, you can still see this,” said Francisca van Vloten, her finger tracing the lines of the long, wooden wave breakers jutting into the North Sea in the print of Mondrian’s 1909 painting “Beach With Five Piers at Domburg.” “You have to use your imagination,” said Ms. van Vloten, an art historian and curator at the Marie Tak van Poortvliet Museum in the Dutch town of Domburg, “because of the modern buildings there now.” (Continued)

Restaurant Report: Pyongyang in Amsterdam

New York Times - Travel - August 17, 2012

Pyongyang in Amsterdam bills itself as the “first North Korean restaurant in the Western world.” It is not. There are a scattering of restaurants around the world that are owned by North Korean expats or dissidents and serve regional dishes. These places, however, are relatively rare — and many don’t advertise their North Korean roots. (Continued)

The Urbanist’s Seattle

New York Magazine - July 20, 2012

It sometimes seems that when Kurt Cobain died, he took an entire American metropolis with him. It’s been nearly two decades since Seattle’s cultural climax as the capital of grunge. In the intervening years, it has largely disappeared from the national consciousness; Portland, Seattle’s oft-satirized kid sister, has usurped its place. But where Portland can feel provincial, Seattle is dynamic. It’s a tech boomtown, home to Amazon and Microsoft but also scrappy pre-IPO startups like Tableau Software and Big Fish Games. It’s in the midst of the 50th-anniversary celebration of its 1962 World’s Fair, complete with pop-up galleries and performance spaces; it’s still a great music city (think indie-folk acts Fleet Foxes or the Head and the Heart); and, yep, it’s kitted out with a Frank Gehry building, the EMP pop-music-and-sci-fi museum. But Seattle also has big-city problems: Gun violence is up, and its residents are notoriously aloof. In this city in flux, locals speak of Old Seattle—an arty fishing town—as if it were an endangered species being displaced by the modernist homes of REI-clad millionaires. (Continued)

Heads Up: An Old Mexico City Colonia on an Upswing

New York Times - Travel - June 22, 2012

BESIDE the small, open courtyard on the roof of a former mansion, Anuar Maauad had a cigarette in one hand, a beer in the other and a ringing — constantly ringing — cellphone in front of him on his long kitchen table. He sat, flanked by friends, as the Mexico City sky exploded with thunder so powerful it shook the 123-year-old building.The 6,500-square-foot “Casa Maauad” is a work in progress. Mr. Maauad, a 28-year-old architect turned sculptor, bought the building in 2010 and has lived there while renovating the badly deteriorated structure. The three-story house, rumored to have once been a brothel, is now home to Marso (marso.com.mx), consisting of a “curatorial space” that opened this spring, an artist residency program and studios for Mr. Maauad’s friends. (Continued)

36 Hours in Napa Valley

New York Times - Travel - May 17, 2012

In the three decades since the Napa Valley began its steep ascent to international wine stardom, California’s best known appellation seems at times to have become a cliché, with its increasingly opulent wineries, as-seen-on-TV chefs and spectacular restaurants. At worst, it’s a boozy adult Disneyland, complete with rides (the Wine Train) and lines (Highway 29 traffic). At best, the valley is undulating hills, crisscrossed by vines and awash in wildflowers — a stunningly beautiful landscape studded with small towns. Excellent wine is everywhere, including downtown Napa, where 20 wine bars and tasting rooms have opened in the last decade. The proliferation of new places to taste wine has reversed what was once the norm in Napa: the inevitable hustle to get into a handful of respected wineries. Now there is more time to indulge in other sensory pleasures. (Continued)

36 Hours in Puebla, Mexico

New York Times - Travel - April 19, 2012

THIS is a big year for Puebla. Mexico’s fourth-largest city is celebrating the 150th anniversary of the Battle of Cinco de Mayo, when an outmanned Mexican army defeated the French troops of Napoleon III in 1862. To mark the occasion, the city’s hilltop forts are undergoing major renovations. But this colonial capital, known as one of the safest big cities in the country, is famous for food, not battlefields. Puebla’s namesake dish, mole poblano, will get its moment in the spotlight on May 2 and 3 at the first annual International Mole Festival. But with its intricate facades of Talavera tile, college town cafe culture, mild highland climate and historical sites, Puebla is always worthy of a weekend. (Continued)

36 Hours: Long Beach, Calif.

New York Times - Travel - March 15, 2012

AT the mouth of the Los Angeles River, shipping cranes flex across the skyline — an industrial panorama that suits Long Beach’s gritty reputation. But while the city’s maritime character remains, its rough edges have been smoothed in recent years — the downtown waterfront transformed by redevelopment, the busy port now welcoming both cargo vessels and cruise ships. Along with its sandy shore, a compact downtown of low-rising Art Deco towers, and unassuming neighborhoods where Craftsman bungalows are ringed by tropical gardens, Long Beach has excellent museums, ethnic enclaves and a tangle of Southern California subcultures. Layered, urban and unexpected, it is a city apart from the sprawl and strip malls that define the outer edges of Los Angeles. (Continued)

Bites: MeroToro, Mexico City

New York Times - Travel - March 2, 2012

With their first restaurant,Contramar,in the Colonia Roma neighborhood of Mexico City, Gabriela Cámara and Pablo Bueno accomplished what musthaveseemed impossible: they had satisfied the high-altitude, landlocked city’s taste for straight-from-the-boat, beachside-style seafood. With their second restaurant, MeroToro, which opened in early 2010, the pair brought the surf-and-turf cuisine of Baja California to the Mexican highlands. For the project, they enlisted Jair Tellez, the 39-year-old chef and owner of Laja, an acclaimed restaurant in Valle deGuadalupe in Baja. (Continued)

The Urbanist’s Mexico City

Less grime and crime means more greenery and revelry.

New York Magazine - January 29, 2012

It’s like a tornado passed and now everything is calm and clean,” says urban planner and restaurateur Pablo Aboumrad of Mexico City’s Centro neighborhood and its $382 million face-lift. That assessment also applies to other swaths of the city that were, until recently, derelict and dangerous and are now comparatively scrubbed and safe. Yes, the metropolis around Distrito Federal (D.F.) is still a teeming hive of 20 million people, where, on bad days, the air settles like a dirty blanket. (Continued)

36 Hours: Oaxaca, Mexico

New York Times - January 12, 2012

WITH Oaxaca’s imposing Baroque churches, plant-filled courtyards and shady plazas perfect for people-watching, it’s tempting to see the city as a photogenic relic of Mexico’s colonial past. But Oaxaca City, the capital of one of the country’s poorest states and a college town teeming with students, isn’t quaint or stagnant; it’s a small but dynamic city, still emerging economically from the social unrest that put it in the international spotlight, and crippled its tourism industry, in 2006. That uprising — a protest by striking teachers that was met with police violence and led to a protracted conflict — is now history, but its legacy is everywhere in a streetscape of politically inspired stencil art, which has turned adobe walls and concrete sidewalks into a public gallery. Combined with the city’s long-established studio art scene, a vibrant cafe culture, a mescal-fueled night life and one of Mexico’s most exciting regional cuisines, Oaxaca is as cosmopolitan as it is architecturally stunning. (Continued)

The 45 Places to Go in 2012

New York Times - January 6, 2012

1. Panama - Go for the canal. Stay for everything else.
It’s been 12 years since Panama regained control of its canal, and the country’s economy is booming. Cranes stalk the skyline of the capital, Panama City, where high-rises sprout one after the next and immigrants arrive daily from around the world. Among those who have landed en masse in recent years are American expatriates and investors, who have banked on Panamanian real estate by building hotels and buying retirement homes. The passage of the United States-Panama free trade agreement in October is expected to accelerate this international exchange of people and dollars (the countries use the same currency). (Continued)

36 Hours: Cambridge, Mass.

New York Times - December 22, 2011

WHEN the leaves have fallen and the winter chill has set in, many small cities slip into a prolonged hibernation. But Cambridge barely misses a beat. During the holidays, tree branches are strung with tiny white lights, and local theater productions celebrate the season. A city of bookstores and coffeehouses, art-house cinemas and eclectic neighborhood bars, the People’s Republic of Cambridge has traded its Puritan past for a dynamic, cosmopolitan present. Spread out along the tree-lined shore of the Charles River, the city is a dense collection of grand Federal and Greek Revival mansions and modest century-old bungalows, modern office towers and brick dormitories. Nicknamed Boston’s Left Bank for its bohemian image, Cambridge is easy to caricature, but hard to dislike. (Continued)

OVERNIGHTER: An Old-World Escape Near Mexico City

New York Times - November 23, 2011

I ARRIVED in Tlaxcala, the small capital of Mexico’s smallest state, on the Sunday before Mexican Independence Day, Sept. 16. The town was overlaid with banners and lights in the red, green and white of the national flag. At dusk, there were celebratory firecrackers and, in the morning, the cloudless sky was a piercing aquamarine. Compared with the hazy-brown air surrounding Mexico City, just two hours to the west, Tlaxcala’s palette is almost kaleidoscopic. The low colonial-era buildings are painted in burnt umber, salmon pink and mustard yellow, and the domes of the tangerine-toned cathedral are covered with cobalt blue talavera ceramic tiles. (Continued)

Delicious patriotism: Chiles en nogada is as red, white and green as the Mexican flag

The Daily - September 17, 2011

Mexico has been born and reborn many times, from Moctezuma to Cortez to Zapata. But the Mexico we know — a country with its own flag, divorced from its Spanish padres — was screamed into being on Sept. 16, 1810, when Father Miguel Hidalgo wailed el grito, the “Cry of Independence,” and launched an 11-year war that ended in a newborn nation. (Continued)

36 Hours on the Mendocino Coast

New York Times - Travel - September 1, 2011

SINCE the ’60s and ’70s, when a flood of artists, hippies and back-to-the-landers brought the cosmopolitan counterculture to this corner of Northern California, the Mendocino coast has made appearances on too many television shows (“Murder, She Wrote,” most notably) and movies (“Overboard,” for one) to mention. Once a collection of working-class logging, fishing and ranching communities, the Coast — as it’s called by residents — has become a stand-in for California’s left-coast eccentricities. This series of hamlets, small towns and rural ridges is now widely known for its intoxicants — its celebrated wine, beer and marijuana. But what makes this stretch of oceanfront real estate so stirring is its profound natural beauty and fierce independence. . (Continued)

36 Hours in Portland, Ore.

New York Times - Travel - August 25, 2011

WITH its celebrated bike culture and obsession with all things independent and artisan, Portland is a small-scale metropolis with an outsize cultural footprint. Spread across the twin banks of the Willamette River, this provincial hub of the Pacific Northwest has more than its share of natural beauty and an earnest, outdoorsy reputation. But in recent years, the city has emerged as the capital of West Coast urban cool, earning it a television series, IFC’s “Portlandia,” devoted to satirizing its aesthetic and progressive social bent. Indeed, Portland — whose nicknames include Beervana and Soccer City, USA — is easy to poke fun at. It’s also hard to resist. (Continued)

In Panama, a Respite for People and Pelicans

The New York Times - Travel - June 17, 2011

WITH its celebrated bike culture and obsession with all things independent and artisan, Portland is a small-scale metropolis with an outsize cultural footprint. Spread across the twin banks of the Willamette River, this provincial hub of the Pacific Northwest has more than its share of natural beauty and an earnest, outdoorsy reputation. But in recent years, the city has emerged as the capital of West Coast urban cool, earning it a television series, IFC’s “Portlandia,” devoted to satirizing its aesthetic and progressive social bent. Indeed, Portland — whose nicknames include Beervana and Soccer City, USA — is easy to poke fun at. It’s also hard to resist. (Continued)

36 Hours in Newport, Rhode Island

The New York Times - Travel - June 16, 2011

WITH its summer cottages the size of palaces and its century-old status as a yachting capital, Newport is the quintessential playground of American aristocracy. Still, this harbor town is more than model ships and mansions. The waterfront — with views of wide, tentacled Narragansett Bay — is still Newport’s soul, and the estates along Bellevue Avenue haven’t lost their Gilded Age glamour. But in a town that seems, on the surface, so untouched by time, there’s an undercurrent of youthful rebelliousness. Ambitious upstart restaurants, a boisterous night life and a beachy surf culture belie Newport’s staid reputation. (Continued)

36 Hours in Panama City, Panama

The New York Times - Travel - April 21, 2011

AT the crossroads of two oceans and two continents, Panama City is a dynamic metropolis. That’s never been truer than it is today. Everywhere in this steamy, tropical town are foreign investors talking shop in upscale cafes, expat fortune-seekers toasting their fates in wine bars, cranes stalking the rooftops of a skyline that seems to grow before your eyes and — on the downside — traffic that puts even the most congested American city to shame. Central America’s capital of international finance is in the midst of a prolonged boomtown fever. Right now, there are more than 30 skyscrapers under construction — among them the Trump Ocean Club and The Panamera, which will be Latin America’s first Waldorf-Astoria Hotel (both are set to open later this year). All of this building and hype has local residents calling Panama City the “Dubai of the Americas.” They’re only half-joking. (Continued)

Astoria, Oregon, Discovers a Waterfront Chic

The New York Times - Travel - March 25, 2011

IT was a damp, wind-whipped Thursday night in Astoria, Ore., but inside the Fort George Brewery & Public House an eclectic, standing-room-only crowd kept warm and dry. Ol’ Danny Barnes, a Washington State-based singer and banjoist, twanged and crooned before a hooting audience of Astorians who had poured into the space on their way home from work. In the crowd were Coast Guard officers, marine biologists, nursing students — and the waitress who had served me lunch earlier that day. (Continued)

The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan - Chow Down in Puebla, Mexico

New York Magazine - Travel - March 3, 2011

Have a small breakfast at your hotel before heading out for a day of architecture gazing and museum hopping. Start at the city’s Municipal Tourist Office on the east side of the central square, where you can get oriented by picking up a free map and checking out the bronze bas-relief of Puebla’s downtown area. Then, duck into the nearly 500-year-old Puebla Cathedral, which is depicted on Mexico’s 500-peso note, for a glimpse of its ornate chapels and frescoes. Two blocks away, visit Museo Amparo ($2.90), housed in two linked sixteenth- and seventeenth-century colonial buildings, where eight rooms are loaded with precolonial artifacts, like Mesoamerican ceramics and carved stone. Stop into vegetarian restaurant La Zanahoria (Av 5 Ote 206; 222- 232-4813) for a twist on the classic Mexican three-course prix fixe lunch ($4.60), which here might include salad, soup, mushroom-stuffed cactus paddles, and fresh fruit juice (the menu changes daily). (Continued)

Valle de Bravo, an Upscale Refuge Near Mexico City

New York Times - Travel - February 18, 2011

A band of tubas, trumpets and saxophones played as a lone, wide-grinning inebriate swayed to the wailing horns. There were balloons, popcorn stands and roasted-peanut vendors. Children on scooters whipped through the crowd, chased by a scrawny, yapping mutt. Teenage girls danced among themselves while young men sipped micheladas — beer spiked with lime, salt and chili — from one-liter Styrofoam cups. The smell of cotton candy and churros was everywhere.

It was 8 p.m. on a recent Sunday in Valle de Bravo, Mexico, and nearly every stretch of bench, brick wall or stone step had been claimed. Families, couples, kids and dogs — they were all there, listening to music beneath ash trees, African tulips and jacarandas in the town’s leafy central plaza. (Continued)

Where the Wild Foods Are: A Master Class in the Art of Foraging

Details - February 2, 2011

With his side-swept hair, skinny jeans, and rakish fedora, Tyler Gray doesn't look like the kind
of guy you'd expect to find doing the hard, dirty work of mushroom hunting. But then Gray isn't your typical back-to-the-lander. Last November, he could be spotted hauling a nondescript insulated suitcase through the streets of New York City, inside of which were $60,000 worth of white truffles bound for a special Thanksgiving event at Eataly, Mario Batali's new food emporium. "It was a big, smelly affair, but the best kind, of course," says Gray,
33, who cofounded Mikuni Wild Harvest, a sustainable wild-foods company that supplies an ever-lengthening list of top chefs (Thomas Keller, David Chang) with rare foraged edibles. "Every movement has a bell curve," he says. "With foraged food, we're on the way up."

Revisit the Past in Long Beach

New York Magazine - Travel- December 16, 2010

Start your day at Retro Row’s Porfolio Coffeehouse with a chocolate croissant ($2.25) and an ice-blended peanut butter mocha (from $3.20). Drive twenty minutes to Rancho Estates, a mid-century-modern subdivision, where all 700 Cliff May–designed homes offer a flash-frozen glimpse of fifties Southern California. Bordering the subdivision on two sides is El Dorado East Regional Park, where you’ll find miles of paved biking and hiking trails. Navigate back to 4th Street for lunch at Taqueria La Mexicana. Order choose-your-own-meat tacos with onion, cilantro, and hot sauce ($1.10 each) to go, then drive three minutes to Bluff Park and grab a bench to eat by the beach. Drive two miles to the Museum of Latin American Art, the country’s only museum devoted to modern and contemporary Latin American art, to see a permanent collection including work by more than 350 artists from twenty countries. (Continued)

Fort Bragg: You can go home again

Los Angeles Times - Travel- November 19, 2010

Reporting from Fort Bragg, Calif. — Fifteen years ago, the century-old redwood train trestle at the north end of Fort Bragg, on the Mendocino coast, was where teenagers went to smoke cigarettes and make out. The towering bridge — gorgeous even at the height of its decay — was closed to pedestrians because of rotting beams and gaping holes. But the view, high above Pudding Creek and out over the churning Pacific, was irresistible for romance and rebellion, the wire fence at the bridge's mouth a feeble barrier against young, bored Fort Braggers. I know. I was one of them. (Continued)

OVERNIGHTER: California Farmland, Known for Its Drinks

New York Times - Travel- October 17, 2010

EVEN before the first sip of wine, I was drunk on the smell of baked earth and California bay leaves. It was August and the air was hot and dry, and specked with tiny white butterflies. The hills were shrouded in straw, with green vineyards creeping up their sides. The scene was intoxicating.

Cradled between ridges of coastal redwoods and inland oaks, and laced by the narrow, meandering Navarro River, Anderson Valley is a two-hour drive from San Francisco in Mendocino County’s under-appreciated interior. Lumber mills and apple orchards once did brisk business here, but now grapevine-draped hills surround the series of outposts that dot the valley floor — the largest town is Boonville, population 715. (Continued)

FOOTSTEPS: Twain’s Nicaragua, 144 Years Later

New York Times - Travel- September 19, 2010

IT was June, the height of the Nicaraguan rainy season, and the sky was thick with clouds. Our small boat cut south through the wind-churned Pacific, rounding one bend, then another. The looming hills were green with shrubby trees and coastal grasses; where they met the water, layers of rock folded like cake frosting into the ocean. Soon a wide bay opened up and the surf-and-sand boomtown of San Juan del Sur came into view. Structures lined the beach in Jolly Rancher shades: apple green, lemon yellow, watermelon pink. At the bay’s northern edge, large houses climbed a steep hillside toward a towering statue of Jesus.

It was from this vantage, in December 1866, that Samuel Langhorne Clemens — now known by his pen name, Mark Twain — first laid eyes on San Juan del Sur. America’s great author and adventurer was on his way from San Francisco to New York City, where he would set sail for Europe and the Middle East, a trip captured in Twain’s first best seller, “Innocents Abroad.” (Continued)

Get Cerv'd

Budget Travel Magazine - June, 2010

There's a pint-size revolution sweeping Mexico, with a wave of microbreweries introducing tasty new ways to fill your glass. From the bars of Baja to Mexico City, look out for these local-hero labels.

Read about Minerva (Guadalajara), Cucapa (Mexicali) and Primus (Mexico City) brewing companies in the June issue of Budget Travel magazine, on shelves now.(Continued)

IN BOOKSTORES - Lonely Planet Mexico, 12th Edition

I recently wandered into a neighborhood bookshop and was excited to see Lonely Planet's Mexico (October, 2010) stashed among the trave guidesl. My contribution to the book is the product of two months researching the "Around Mexico City" region of Mexico's central highlands. Beyond that, it's the result of a year spent dodging potholes and avoiding animals on Mexico's infamously treacherous free roads. This thrilling, but decidedly non-luxurious post-wedding romp, consisted mainly of hunting for hot springs, isolated beaches and irresistable taco stands. It was a good year.

The newest culinary cult

San Francisco Magazine - May, 2010

You knew it had to happen: Sooner or later, someone was going to mount a challenge to the Ferry Plaza Farmers Marketo yuppie mamas with toddlers in tow—flocked this past March to a SoMa warehouse for the third installment of San Francisco’s new Underground Farmers Market, a monthly event organized by Iso Rabins, the charismatic leader of the city’s clandestine food scene (he also runs ForageSF). Apart from some unusual homemade treats, like acorn-flour brownies and Rabins’ own pork-belly buns, the offerings (and the prices) didn’t look all that different from those you’d find at most “above­ground” farmers’ markets. So what made this event worthy of the “underground” moniker? (Continued)

California Goes Bust, Embraces Bud

GQ.com - The Q Blog - March 25, 2010

While almost everything that falls from the mouth of California's square-skulled Governator has the potential for humor, few aspects of the state's ongoing fiscal collapse are, in fact, funny. But one unexpected byproduct of California's impending economic doom is, at least, darkly comic: It's beginning to seem that the state's budgetary troubles may lead California to become the first state in the country to legalize the recreational use of pot.

Yesterday, Tax Cannabis 2010—the organization behind California's marijuana legalization drive—submitted the last of the 433,971 signatures necessary to put its initiative on the November ballot. The law would make it legal for drinking age adults to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. It would also allow for the taxation and regulation of pot by the local government. (Continued)

The Taylor-Gould Wrongful Conviction Case

Two years ago, while working as a staff writer at the New Haven Advocate in Connecticut, I got a call from the wife of a man serving a life sentence for murdering a bodega owner 15 years before. The woman, Mary Taylor, had been arguing her husband's innocence for years. But she'd been unable to get local news outlets to take notice. After hiring a former-police officer turned private investigator, Gerald O'Donnell, to look into her husband's case, she was armed with evidence, but was still unable to get the attention of the state's major papers. But the case had my attention. I wrote this cover story on the Ronald Taylor and his co-defendent in the case, George Gould, in January, 2008. This week, I learned that a Connecticut judge has thrown out the convictions of Taylor and Gould. In his ruling, the judge said the two men were "actually innocent." (Continued)