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  • Why I Froze My Eggs

    I had just turned 35 when I started thinking about freezing my eggs. I'd always thought I'd have a husband and a kid or two by 35—that's the ominous year when doctors start stamping women's medical charts with the words "advanced maternal age" if they are pregnant, and some warn that fertility starts to drop off a cliff if they are not. But instead I was single, with an adventurous career, and concerned about my eggs. So in 2005, when I heard about a free seminar offered by a company called Extend Fertility, I thought this was exactly what I needed: a way to safeguard my eggs so I can relax until I meet Mr. Right. Extend had just begun marketing egg freezing as the newest choice among women's options: preserve your fertility and wait to have a child.Egg freezing is more technically known as oocyte cryopreservation, a technology by which a woman's eggs are surgically removed from her ovaries and frozen until she is ready to use them. It's still considered an experimental technology...
  • The Editor’s Desk

    It may have been the most productive coffee date in NEWSWEEK history. Almost a decade ago, after the death of Meg Greenfield, Rick Smith, the magazine's longtime editor in chief, reached out to one of the great voices of the boomer generation: Anna Quindlen, who had left The New York Times in 1995 to devote herself full-time to writing fiction. Anna was—and is—among the most sought-after journalists in the country: even her commencement speeches have become bestsellers. She was not looking for more work—far from it. But when Rick called to ask her to meet for a conversation on the Upper West Side, she graciously accepted. Anna was not interested, saying that she had given up the days when she would have to pull her car over to the side of the road to jot down urgent thoughts for a column. Rick, on his way to Tokyo, asked her to think it over.To the great good fortune of NEWSWEEK's readers, she did, and ultimately agreed to succeed Meg as one of our two LAST WORD columnists. She and...
  • Hotel Guests Serve as Mystery Inspectors

    At some point during Paul Watson's stay at a Small Luxury Hotels of the World (SLH) property, the retired communications executive gets down on his hands and knees. "My favorite place to look for dirt is in the corners," he says. He expects the hotel staff to refer to him by name, the operator to pick up before three rings and the bartender to make small talk when pouring a drink. "I look for the same level of service no matter where I go," he says. "It should hit me in the face."Watson (not his real name) is not just an overly demanding hotel guest. He is one of about 175 volunteer travelers from around the world who have signed up for the Mystery Inspector program offered by SLH, a member organization of more than 500 independent hotels. In exchange for one or two nights on the house, the inspectors fill out a 32-page questionnaire, scrutinizing everything from the bellman's shoes to the bathroom towels. The oncea-year visits are anonymous, and usually coincide with a preplanned...
  • The Buckley Family

    The son of Pat and Bill Buckley may not have always been happy, but he was never bored.
  • Travel Special: Finding Joy in Small Pleasures

    We need a vacation more than ever. Battered and broke, anxious and exhausted, we are desperate for an escape from our day-to- day lives. Yet in this new age of austerity, jet-setting has been jettisoned, private yachts docked and presidential suites left to the presidents. Though even French President Nicolas Sarkozy fielded plenty of grief recently when he and his wife jetted off to Mexico for a two-day holiday as guests of the Mexican president.The travel industry is bracing for possibly the worst season since 9/11. The U.N. estimates that worldwide tourism will fall by up to 2 percent this year, with the Americas and Europe hardest hit. The number of international tourists going to the United States fell 9 percent during the year ending in January, and the amount they spent fell 7 percent. The number going to Britain fell 2.6 percent in 2008, and the number of Brits traveling abroad fell nearly 9 percent in the last three months of the year. Even France—still the world's top...