Where I’ve been, at least that I’m willing to share, in alphabetical order.
On this lonely road, Though crowded with travelers, I still feel alone.
I grew up in the United States Midwest and have visited 31/51 US states and 10/63 National Parks.1
I’ve also visited a number of other countries.
I used to make “video postcards” and zines (printable versions: nz, eu, china) of my travels. I still share some photos, every now and again.
Here are some low-stakes recommendations.
Go here for some of the things I’ve recently learned while traveling.
Random stories and lists
- A basement in an “active household” with five small kids, two dogs, endless dog toys, children’s television, and a paper-thin ceiling, in Grand Rapids, MI.
- A basement with low ceilings - so low that I could not stand up straight - in Wheeler, WV.
- The time I had to break into my own room following the host’s instructions, in San Francisco, CA.
Albuquerque, NM, USA
- riding a hot air ballooon is expensive but fun
- petroglyphs are cool
- La Montañita Food Coop
- “coffee” from the coffeehouses, of course
- the Van Gogh museum, also a bunch of Rembrandts
- joppie sauce = hate-less chickfila sauce
Asheville, NC, USA
- pimiento cheese scrambled eggs at Bisuit Head
- Plant, a hip vegan restaurant
- Brevard is cute, and Quotations is a chill café
- get up early, take the Blue Ridge Parkway to see the sunrise over the mountains
- lots of good hikes (wear sunscreen)
- kayak along the French Broad, and stop off to sneak into the big mansion
- didn’t get a chance to visit Moog
Austin, TX, USA
- like Lexington, but if they turned everything way up to 11 and didn’t make any changes to the underlying infrastructure
- hard to visit without a car
- good BBQ can be found in the surrounding area
- Electric Church is a chill underground psych rock venue, and De Nada Cantina is tasty nearby
- state capitol building is beautiful even if what they do there is totally messed up
Bay Area, CA, USA
- Point Reyes National Seashore ia worth the drive, and you can get oysters on the way
- Chapel of the Chimes, Urban Ore, and Golden Tee Golfland are all fantastic
- Burma Superstar is tasty
- The Knockout is a surprisingly divey venue in SF
- Once a month you can go to the SF botanical garden for free, the SF japanese garden is quite good, and Oakland’s bonsai garden is incredible
- you can hop out a little window onto an unrestored section of the Great Wall; don’t fall!
- coolest city ever, probably
- modern art and more: Berlinische Galerie, Berlin Biennale for Contemporary Art, Neue Nationalgalerie, ME Collectors Room
- vegan currywurst
- east side gallery
- memorial to the murdered jews of europe and the Judisches Museum
- walking up the Bundestag Building
- clubs, obviously
Boston, MA, USA
- Halloween in Salem is excellent
- make sure to put your feet in the ocean
Cincinnati, OH, USA
- Rhinegeist brewery
- Findlay Market
- Perfect North
Chicago, IL, USA
- go to a daytime Cubs game
- Calumet Fisheries and the Blues Brothers bridge right next to it
- Myopic Bookstore
- amazing breakfast
- I <3 cargo bikes
- dreamy sunsets over the bridge
- actually livable
Denver, CO, USA
- Red Rocks is fun to visit, along with the nearby dinosaur footprints
- Evergreen, CO, is nearby and very cute
- Davies’ Check Wagon Diner was transported there from the East Coast
- City, ‘O City has great vegan food, and Domo was a great eating experience
- Meow Wolf is overhyped but still fun with friends
- find Slaughterhouse V
- the Green Vaults
- climb the Kreuzkirche rather than the Frauenkirche
- it’s doable by bus, but not easy
- the edge of the world
- incredible hikes
- fish ’n chips and traditional music in Torshavn
- climb to the top of the Duomo
- it’s all just beautiful, and I enjoyed both major museums
- Bobolui Gardens were also fun
- Siena is worth the trip, with its amazing history and cathedral
I’ve been down there a number of times. Not a ton of recommendations, but I enjoyed Miami and the Keys.
- one of the keys is a state park where you can walk 100 meters into the Gulf of Mexico and it will still only come up to your waist
- Key West is a tourist trap but the other islands have some gems
Grand Rapids, MI, USA
- a little boring, in a good way
- Redux Books is a good used bookstore, and Argos nextdoor
- Bitter End is a great coffeeshop
- vegan breakfast sandy at Sunday brunch at Fulton Street Bar and Grill
Indianapolis, IN, USA
Naptown, Crossroads of America, etc.
- the art museum
- Kurt Vonnegut stuff
- Rhythm Discovery Center
- Maxine’s Chicken and Waffles
Lexington, KY, USA
- food: Bourbon & Toulouse, Sav’s, Stella’s, Magee’s, GirlsGirlsGirls Burritos
- CD Central, Sqecial Media, and other spots nearby
- Institute 193 typically has a good exhibition
Los Angeles, CA, USA
You don’t need my help with this one. I mean, there’s the beach for starters. And the desert.
Louisville, KY, USA
- Actors Theatre of Louisville
Mackinac Island, MI, USA
- It’s pronounced “mackinaw”
- Don’t go in the winter, like I did
- in addition to the Duomo, check out the Museo del Novecento
- quite cosmopolitan
Minneapolis, MN, USA
- the skyway system is great in the winter
- the Flour Tower presentation at Mill City Museum is for kids but I enjoyed it
- art museums are pretty good
- Mercado Central is a vibe
- I rode a Nickelodeon-themed rollercoaster at Mall of America
Monterey, CA, USA
- incredible year-round weather + beaches, beaches, beaches!
- 17-mile drive
- Moondog Grill
- Cannery Row Antique Mall has excellent maps
- excellent museums
- that spot where people surf
- also, Hofbräuhaus and gardens
New York, NY, USA
I live here now. Email me for recs.
I spent a couple of months there.
Here, the sky is close. The cold stars blow through my hair, Just out of my reach.
A rugged landscape: Foreboding mountains and seas Never cede domain.
Distant mountain peaks Over supple, lively green And my lack of words
The sun sets orange light Upon the rugged path, bright Soon to rise again.
Aching feet keep step With the insistent rhythm Of a boy's schedule. It's uphill one way Downhill and uphill again Endless hills of green Pain, now forgotten: This unfathomable beauty Heals body and soul.
- excellent contemporary theatre
- take the ferry to the valcano hike
- explore the public-private park (sheep!)
Wellington, a haiku
Candles on mountains; The flickering light of lives Glowing by the sea
This country blinds me; Whether waking or dreaming, It is all I see.
- The All Seeing Hand live at a bowling club
We are all the same, The sarcastic kiwi said. And I simply laughed.
Through grubby windows One witnesses a new world, The unknown made known.
The road winds slowly Towards a lake of clear glass, My own reflection.
Distant, white mountains Stand high with caps out of sight Seeming infinite
Great high sentinels Selfishly guarded by clouds Quietly peek through
The winter sun burns My eyes submit, averted It is far too strong
The light mist tarried Above the dark green mountains A natural twilight Of beauteous, verdant forces And I wondered If I could fly
Off and On
On a plane, you're off. We had something going on, But now it's long gone.
A jet to the stars-- Just kidding; this airline sucks. But at least it's cheap.
Oakland, CA, USA
See Bay Area above.
- not to be confused with Paris, KY
- get an Airbnb that has cats, for a chill time
- the Louvre is exhausting, but good for people-watching
- Centre Pompidou was great
- Chartres Cathedral is worth the trip
Philadelphia, PA, USA
- the Mütter Museum is wild
- Barnes Foundation has incredible collection
- Making Worlds bookstore
- great stuff at Raxx Vintage
Portland, OR, USA
- rose garden
- japanese garden
- the big bookstore
- arcade bar(s)
- smith tea
- a Mozart opera at The Estates Theatre
- Sex Machines Museum
- Terezin is worth the trip, I recommend getting a tour guide
- the Vatican is worth the trip, including the Sistine Chapel, although it was exhausting by the end
- much more lively and urban than I expected for some reason
- La Famiglia restaurant was near the hostel and very good
- all the touristy stuff
San Francisco, CA, USA
See Bay Area above.
Seattle, WA, USA
- going up the big tall thing
- central library
- gum wall
- union station
- get to the top of tall buildings!
- excellent street food
St. Louis, MO, USA
- City Museum is v fun
- their botanical gardens are excellent
Sydney, NSW, Australia
- opera house is worth the visit
- the quay is gorgeous
- cute gardens
- it takes longer than I expected to get across the bridge
Traverse City, MI, USA
- it’s fun in the winter, haven’t been in the summer
- try all the free samples at Cherry Republic
- cross-country skiing (Hickory Hills), hiking Sleeping Bear Dunes
- Slabtown Burgers, J&S Diner, and 7 Monks are all quality
- wandering the streets, GPS signals bouncing off the narrow walls
- the Peggy Guggenheim Collection
- taking a trip out to the beach (water taxis!)
- dog chapel
- climbing mt. mansfield
- the Olympic-ring-shaped roller coaster
- taking a lap on the Ringstrasse streetcar
- sachertorte, obviously; the wait staff may be unhappy that you only want cake
- the museum quarter, opera house, and Schönbrunn Palace
Washington, DC, USA
- Suns Cinema for an art film
- OKPB for a secretive drink
- the soldiers are worth it
- amazing food
I’m including DC but not PR. Airport layovers do not count. ↩︎