On Incentives

"Never penalize those who work for us for mistakes or reward them for being right about markets. It will go to their heads, is counterproductive and, in any event, material compensation will not correlate with their ability to predict the future next time."

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Papa’s Travels

For daughters, sons-in-law, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, great-great-grandchildren-to-be …..

Everybody it seems is preparing their “bucket list” of places they want to travel. Mine is a little different. I have been to every place on this list. I wish I could go back with Iris, who shared almost all of these places and events, and with our children and grandchildren. But that, of course, is not possible. These are not meant to be a list of "best" places. This is not a travelogue. But these are places and events that I believe have affected my life and molded me in different ways—art, aesthetics, philosophy, my views on diversity, beauty, politics, tradition, and certainly food. Individually and together, these places have had a huge impact. Some are with me all the time; others pop up perhaps once a year. Some places take just a moment to see; others, weeks, or a lifetime.

Fundamentally, I was “tabula rasa” and then …..

  • Game parks in Kenya and Tanzania
  • View from the top of the Eiffel Tower, and walking down
  • Greenwich Village
  • Cambridge, and British villages on the way
  • The Cotswolds, England
  • Vigeland sculpture: “The Family,” Norway
  • Kyoto temples and gardens: Katsura, Heian Shrine, Tenruji, Silver Pavilion, Sagano Bamboo Forest, 1,000 red Fushimi Gates—and many more
  • Nanzen Temple in the snow, Kyoto
  • Kitcho restaurant,$$$, Tokyo
  • London theater
  • French Riviera and Provence: Eze, Moyenne Corniche, Esterel red rocks, walk along the coast from Cap Ferrat, walk from Peille to Peillon
  • Italian villages in Umbria and Tuscany
  • Small French restaurants on the Left Bank in Paris
  • Persepolis and Isfahan, Iran
  • Amalfi Drive, Italy
  • The Louvre and Musee d’Orsay, Paris
  • Food sections in Tokyo department stores
  • Food market street in Tokyo
  • Kitchen utensils street in Tokyo
  • Electronics store, Akibara, Tokyo
  • Food section at Harrods, London
  • Venice
  • Drive in Southern France
  • Leigh’s fresh lunches in Italy
  • Norwegian opera house, Oslo
  • Mountain trains through the snow-covered Alps and green valleys of Switzerland
  • Hotel Cap d’Antibes in Southern France and the Dolder Grand in Zurich
  • Agrigento at night, Sicily
  • Karnak Temple, Egypt
  • Pasta in Bologna restaurants
  • The British Library, London
  • The Uffizi, Florence
  • Unfinished Michelangelo sculptures, Florence
  • Michelangelo’s Pieta, St. Peter’s Basilica, Vatican City
  • Opera—Vienna, Milan, London
  • Mystras, Peloponnese Peninsula, Greece
  • Greek islands
  • Carl Milles garden sculpture, Stockholm
  • Open air bar along the canal in Copenhagen—the longest bar in the world
  • Flea/antique markets in London, Paris, Istanbul, Jerusalem …
  • Open air food stalls, Italy and France
  • Illums Bolighus furniture, Copenhagen
  • Tivoli amusement park and gardens, Copenhagen
  • Snow sculpture contest, Sapporo, Japan
  • Ship museums in Oslo
  • Bolshoi Ballet in Moscow/Kirov Ballet in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg)
  • Red Square in Moscow and Grand Place, a golden square in Brussels
  • Gourmet prepared takeout food in France and Italy
  • Escalators, Tokyo department stores
  • Hagia Sophia mosque and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul
  • Norwegian fjords by car and ferry
  • Silk scarves at Liberty in London
  • The Summer Palace near Beijing
  • Chocolate stores in Brussels
  • Gelato cones in Umbria
  • Bergen, Norway
  • Afternoon tea at Brown’s Hotel, London
  • Pec/Prizren/Pristina, Kosovo
  • Red roofs/walk around ramparts, Dubrovnik, Croatia
  • A taste of an authoritarian regime, Moscow and Leningrad, 1967
  • Hiroshima
  • Dachau, near Munich
  • Yad Vashem, Jerusalem
  • World War II museums, Normandy
  • Red Light districts, Amsterdam and Bangkok
  • Antique furniture stores, Itaewon, Seoul, Korea
  • Skye and Mull, off the coast of Scotland
  • West coast of Ireland (five peninsulas)
  • Conrad Hilton, beautiful interior design and free breakfast, Tokyo
  • Hotels in Hong Kong, Singapore, Thailand, Tokyo, Istanbul …..
  • Kuranda Scenic Railway, Queensland, Australia
  • Lofoten Islands off the coast of Norway
  • Blackwell’s bookstore in Oxford, England
  • A Japanese ryokan, luxury mattress on the floor, traditional food, hot bath, screens, gardens
  • The Concorde Supersonic plane
  • Drive home from Bethany Beach, heart attack on arrival, Diana crying as an ambulance takes me to the hospital
  • Emergency flight home from Europe with Iris, Sheldon’s funeral
  • London for my speech at Cantor Fitzgerald, speech cancelled, their New York office destroyed, 9/11