The first time I heard the term “off-piste” was as a budding ski bum in Colorado, when my buddies invited me to leave the trail to find fresh powder. Luckily, no one broke anything on those out-of-bounds ventures, and we always shared high fives at the bottom.
The term came to mind when I read our cover story on Mindy Kaling. Imagine working your way up from writer and actor to executive producer of the massively successful TV show The Office, all by age 32, and then leaving. That’s exactly what Kaling did in order to take a risk on her own venture, The Mindy Project. I’m awfully glad she did, not only because the show makes me laugh, but also because it expanded the boundaries of what a female sitcom character could be. This month, she kicks off the final season, so we sat down with her to get the nitty-gritty on how she got there, and where she’ll take her talents next-—think projects with Oprah and Emma Thompson.
Sometimes it’s amusing to watch someone else step off-trail and flounder a bit. U.S. Editor Chris Wright, not a “cruise guy,” found himself on a weeklong sail on the Queen Mary 2 out of Shanghai. He fidgeted against all the organized fun before settling in, but still managed to sniff out a touch of street chaos and tasty silkworm larvae on the way.
Other stories inspire escape: Portland, Maine, gets first dibs on some of the world’s best seafood and now attracts serious culinary talent, resulting in a spectacular food scene. And our Neighborhood Watch wanders Palermo in Buenos Aires, where a cadre of young artisans and designers are redefining the country’s heritage with their talent.
Speaking of off-piste: Don’t miss our Voices essay by Mick Fleetwood. After a life at the center of one of rock’s most tumultuous and legendary bands, this guy’s got tales to tell, including some about his lunatic devotion to the cars that carried him through his youth. Mick Fleetwood, for sure, has never been one for going in a straight line.