my name is ali margo …

This photo, taken on our wedding day by New York Times photographer Daniel Bayer, seems to say it all about living in Aspen.

For 41 years, my name was Alison Berkley. Then finally, on September 18, 2011 I got married and changed my name. Just like that.

“It’s not every day you get to give away your 41 year-old daughter,” my Dad said as he began his toast at our wedding reception.

He was booed.

Maybe it’s because everyone in the room knew what a long road it had been. My whole life story, up to the point when I married Ryan, was documented in the Vows section of The New York Times. When I heard they were interested in the story, I was like, “I’m not marrying a Rockefeller. I’m marrying the maintenance guy from Mounds View, Minnesota.”

After it was published, people kept asking me, “How did you get in the New York Times?” as if it had required a bribe or something.

“We’d have to have our daughter’s wedding on the moon to garner that kind of attention,” said one snobby acquaintance who simply could not wrap her mind around the attention I was getting. From her point of view, I’d married the help.

The truth is, the New York Times contacted me. For the last decade, I’ve been documenting and lamenting my love life in my weekly column, “The Princess’s Palate” in The Aspen Times. So when news got out that I finally found my prince (the name Ryan means “little king” in Gaelic) I guess it was, well, newsworthy.

For me, it’s a new beginning. A fresh start. A new identity. A new name.

That’s why I’ve embraced the name Ali Margo. I like it. It has a little pep, a little zing. It’s catchy and cute and kind of cool. Everyone told me not to change it because of the years I spent building my portfolio. My response to that is it’s time for a new one. Bigger, better, and with a much wider net. Plus, it suits me.

People are just going to have to get used to it.


ali mxx

Check out the no-holds-barred personal essay I wrote for on my very expensive journey into so-called fertility medicine:
 $47,000 Dollars Later, I Have No Baby

I recently finished the manuscript for my first novel, Snow Job, based on my experiences in Aspen. I am currently working on a revision and am in the process of seeking publishing opportunities and representation (i.e. sending my life’s work to total strangers/NYC literary agents who then proceed to ignore me for as long as it takes for me to get the message that they aren’t interested in my book). Fingers crossed on this one, it’s gonna be a long road …

I’m volunteering to teach a writing seminar for high school kids in the Roaring Fork Valley through YouthEntity, a local non-profit that offers “real life education” programs through local schools. Best known for their culinary arts and finance programs, I created this first-ever semester long writing course, “WriteOn!” which focuses on professional writing, from journalism and publishing to blogging. Check out our student produced blog, Take Another Peak.

I’ve been wearing my smarty pants blogging for The Aspen Institute for a four-week seminar called “Our Society Reimagined: Exploring New Ideas.” Check out the first post on Designer Babies from October 29.

We just got our first big storm in Aspen and I’m chomping at the bit to get out on the hill again …


Chillin' on top of HIghlands Bowl, my favorite place on earth.

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