Stacey Richman has many passions, but her main two are: (1) getting people accused of crimes out of jail and keeping them out, and (2) personally eyeballing every corner of the world. She is accomplished at both.
A partner at the Bronx-based firm Richman & Hill, she learned her trade from the legendary “Don’t Worry Murray” Richman, who happens to be her father. Stacey recently completed a tenure as president of the New York City Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. And she racks up more air miles than Justin Bieber and Dasha Zhukova put together, most of it for pure pleasure.
Over the holidays, Ms. Richman found herself in Thailand, not for the first time, at an elephant reserve called Patara, in the northern jungles not far from Chiang Mai. It is a charity that rescues elephants from circuses and places of cruelty, and rehabilitates them while they are living free and easy in the forest on the reserve. Check it out at pataraelephantfarm.com.
In return for a financial contribution and support of the program, visitors are allowed to spend an entire day with their “own elephant.” After an orientation and training session, you hike to find your elephant in the bush, learn to approach them and observe their temperament, help feed them and participate in their daily health care, walk alongside them to the river and bathe them in the water, then learn to mount them and give them spoken commands.
If it sounds too glorious for words, it is. At the end of the day, you don’t get to take your baby home with you. Real tears are shed upon parting.