I’ve been dreading this day for quite a while. And looking forward to it. But dread, mostly dread. Today's the day my piece from the Kindle travel thing comes out. I feel good about it, I think it turned out pretty well. I had to buy and re-read Strunk and White because the Amazon copyeditor made me think I totally didn’t understand what a comma was anymore. Or a semi-colon. What are those for? I grew up in New England, and we have these "merge" signs everywhere. But nobody merges, we just keep on plowing through until all traffic everywhere is permanently snarled. Semi-colons remind me of merge signs. [...]
Episodes One through Four of The Hairpin's eight-part Kindle Serial "An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having" are now available in full via Amazon. Excerpts from the first three episodes can be found here, here, and here. (And: more info here.)
I’ve been a dating writer for the past three years. It’s not something I set out to do, really, but I liked writing, and had been on dates, and those are apparently the only real qualifications you need.
Being a dating writer consists mostly of encouraging people to date: spurring them on through their pursuit of love, and acknowledging that, yes, the process is [...]
One-line excerpts from The Hairpin's eight-episode travel-themed e-book ($1.99!), in no particular order. (The next episode, by the way, comes out this Tuesday, September 10. The Amazon-provided synopsis: "On a trip to Mexico, Jenna Wortham and her then-boyfriend spend a week pinballing between moments of beauty and disaster, following homemade maps, and discovering a latent lactose intolerance, in search of a fresh start." Ah, yesss.) Okay, the lines:
1. "The breast dexterity was astonishing."
2. "Maybe if Moxie was called 'Wuss Juice' I wouldn’t like it so much."
3. "Another time, during a weekend trip to Vegas, I took too much ecstasy and got lost on a casino floor, [...]
This is how I first hear about Whittier, a former military base and current port on Prince William Sound, just over an hour’s drive from Anchorage. Tim mentions it amid other options for the day’s adventure: a climb up Wolverine Peak, a drive to Talkeetna to visit a brewery. I’m all about hiking and drinking—and came to Alaska with precisely those low-rent ambitions—but a creepy town at the end of one of the country’s most scenic drives? Hell, yes. I can hike and drink anytime.
I had polished off a book of essays about the [...]
Zadie Smith on Love, Death: "I was in mourning and it was winter, and the city was all stone and diagonal rain to me"
At the New York Review of Books, Zadie Smith has a beautiful essay up about two trips to Italy, the first taken with her father:
It is not easy for a white man of almost seventy and a black girl of seventeen to go on a mini-break to Europe together; the smirks of strangers follow you everywhere. We did not like to linger in restaurants or in the breakfast room of our tiny hotel. Instead, on that first, exploratory trip, we found our pleasure in walking. Through the streets, through museums—but more than anywhere else, through gardens. No money has to be spent in a [...]
I wake to the familiar smell of yak dung. It's day 20 of a month-long hike through the Nepalese Himalayas. Bhimsem, my guide, is slurping dahl bat in the teahouse kitchen. He's anxious to get going, even though we have 14 hours of daylight to trek three miles; the same three miles local children hike twice a day just to get to school. He fidgets with his backpack straps as I eat a chocolate pancake. Then, the speech.
Today we will see many mountains. We will go up. And we will go down. There will be many sights. You will take pictures. Yes? Bhimsem is frustrated when I take pictures [...]
"In time we moved to Mile End, to a sort of ghetto full of musicians, news readers, and producers from the BBC. We learned to knit, we knit on the train, learned to play mah-jongg, and went dancing at the Batcave, or the Camden Palace on a Thursday night."
But what is the Batcave, you might wonder, if you bought this e-book and read Maria Bustillos' story "On Travel As An Escape From Untenable Circumstances" (excerpted here, and in the quote above), and weren't already familiar with the Batcave?
This video may or may not clarify, but it has a lot of amazing hairstyles (and: "As [...]
Episodes 1-5 of The Hairpin's eight-part Kindle Serial "An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having" are available via Amazon. Excerpts from the first four episodes can be found here, here, here, and here. (And: more info here.)
During the summer of 2003, just after my sophomore year of college, I spent a summer living in London while writing for a budget travel guide. That it meant anything at all to me developmentally is relatively silly; London is one of the cushiest gigs you can get as a budget travel writer. There isn’t a rampant culture of extortion or government corruption (depending on how [...]
Episodes One, Two, and Three of The Hairpin's eight-part Kindle Serial "An Experience Definitely Worth Allegedly Having" are now available in full via Amazon. Excerpts from the first two episodes can be found here and here.
1. The guy sitting next to us on the plane to Mexico looked like he’d been dropped in a pot and boiled — his face and chest bloomed in a glorious bouquet of pinks and reds. He was a mess of peeling flesh, so sunburned that when he rubbed his cheeks and chin, long strips of skin came off, and he rolled those pieces between his fingers, making little pill-shaped balls [...]