Where I Been

Business cards advertising escort services litter the Strip.

Twitter is a funny thing. It seems so inconsequential on many levels—all those 140-character blurbs about breakfast, hahaha!—but then it spurs random events. A friend of mine, for instance, just got a four-article assignment because a friend of his tweeted something. Weird.

And then my friend Newley Purnell goes and mentions me as “always an inspiration.” Sheesh. But then he reminded me of something else—I have a blog! Long neglected though it is, I do like to write here, and since it’s been a while, I figured I’d give you an update on my comings, goings, and writings.

First, there was that article in last week’s Sunday Styles section, about the Ace Hotel and its (co-)founder, Alex Calderwood. What can I tell you about that? Well, it was enjoyable to report, but it also made me nervous. What if the subjects of the story hated it? Would I be able to go back to the Ace for drinks now and then? But of course, I couldn’t write it solely to please Alex et al. Anyway, I was there last night, to meet up with a visiting editor, and no one kicked me out. In fact, I ran into Alex and he told me he liked the piece. “I didn’t write it to make you happy,” I told him.

Oh, also, the Village Voice and Gawker had some wonderfully snarky comments about the story. I enjoyed them immensely.

At the same time, my “Voyager” column on GetCurrency.com has been getting more and better attention. If you haven’t read it yet, check out my recent columns on which countries I hate (and why) and which countries I love (and how I came, mathematically, to those conclusions).

Next up is this weekend! If you’re a radio person, you should check out the Splendid Table, where I’ll be talking about my recent schnaps story in Saveur magazine. A fun, short interview. Click this link for local listings.

Also this weekend is the next installment of the “Getting Lost” series: Las Vegas! Woo-hoo! I won’t spoil what happens in the piece, except to say two things: 1) the photo in this post is one the Times wasn’t able, for various reasons, to use; and 2) I met Lady Luck—in the flesh. Check it out online starting tomorrow.

2 responses to “Where I Been

  1. Shinta Smith

    I read your article in NY Times May 6, 2011 about “Lost in Java”. I see that you’ve been to my childhood places. I was born in Surabaya and grew up in Malang. I came to US in 88 and had been here since. I had not been back to Indo since 2002. All the places you described in your article triggered nice memorable flashbacks. Missed Malang and its abundance of food. I am glad you enjoyed it.

  2. Hi Matt,

    I’ve read your travel accounts on and off for years but feel compelled to contact you now because you included my website (thank you!) in the latest NYT article about your trek through Greece.

    What hooked me is this bit: “no guidebook, no map, no route, no Internet, no hotel reservations.”

    When I took to travel for the first time in 1997, I left alone with a one-way ticket and no guidebook, no itinerary, no cell phone, no laptop, no Internet, no reservations, no nothing. My parents were terrified.

    I still believe in traveling this way, even though we have real-time info at our fingertips; and it’s the reason I’ve only written practical guides and articles to promote independent travel in Greece. I feel, in some way, I’ve found a kindred spirit in you and look forward to reading your upcoming book.

    All best,


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