What does one do with some downtime? In the case of former Vanity Fair Editor-in-Chief Graydon Carter, you get right back to work, planting the seeds for your next venture — Air Mail.

Air Mail is a weekly email newsletter that arrives in inboxes every Saturday, 6 a.m. EST. Described by Carter as “the weekend edition of a nonexistent international daily,” it’s set to appeal to cosmopolitan readers, covering global matters via in-depth journalism, original stories and humor pieces.

We at Tory Daily were obsessed with the now-iconic last page of Vanity Fair. Loyalists from Carter’s reign at the publication will remember fondly  — the Proust questionnaire that read like a parlor game-gone-print that revealed a celebrity’s true nature. So of course we subjected him to a travel-focused version of our own, below. We’re gratified to know he’s just like us when it comes to airplane turbulence.

Graydon Carter and Alessandra Stanley, co-editors of Air Mail, in the Air Mail office in the West Village, New York City. Photo by Sharon Suh.

Why are you launching Air Mail?

There are some days I ask myself the same question! I suppose because I think it’s just the sort of thing I would like to read on a Saturday morning, and I’m hoping others will feel likewise.

Who’s the ideal recipient of the Air Mail newsletter?

Someone with a catholic range of interests, a kindly view towards the rest of the world, and an up to date passport.

Favorite destination to travel to… 

Roxbury, Connecticut. It’s the one place I really feel I can relax and just potter around.

Last trip you took?

Last major one was to Provence after I retired from Vanity Fair. I don’t know whether it qualifies as a trip—we were there for seven months.

Next trip you’re taking?

Back to the same place.

What is always packed in your carry on?

Watercolors and a paint brush.

Pre-flight or in-flight rituals?

Weeping and a lot of prayer.

Secret to beating jet lag?

Copious amounts of alcohol.

Hardcopy book or e-reader or magazine?


What are you reading now?

Whitey by Carroll and Garrett Graham.

What do you listen to in-flight?

The man snoring next to me.

Window or aisle?

Window. Unless I’m traveling with my youngest daughter, in which case I bow to her wishes and give it to her.


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