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28 Notes

Looking Back: The NYC Nomad

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2 years ago, I wrote the first blog post of my nomadic travels in NYC. At that time, I thought I might live with different people for a couple of months while I “figured things out.” It turned into much more than that, an indelible experience on my life with images from the people and places of New York City.

I lived in a different neighborhood, with different people, every week for nearly two years!  Towards the end of my project, I realized that as soon as I stopped I’d look back on it and ask “How did I ever do it?”  And now, after month-long sublets in South Williamsburg and Greenpoint and 6 weeks in my new, permanent home in Alphabet City, I’ve reconsidered just that:  How did I do it? How did I move almost every week since March of 2010?

You can get used to anything, and I got used to moving. Almost Every Sunday, I packed everything I owned into four bags and moved to a new neighborhood of NYC. I thrived on meeting new people and seeing new places – on getting to know this city in a truly unique way. I was constantly aware that seeing any place for a week is not enough, but when you know you only have a week, you see a lot more.  You also talk to people a bit more, and through my SoundCloud fellowship, I met and interviewed people who know a far different New York City than I ever will.  (Bernie’s been in Stuytown since the 40’s!)

It’s quite hard to encapsulate this project in a single blog post.  I had over 100 roommates and lived in everything from a tiny studio to an 8 person loft, from a Park Avenue doorman building to the South Bronx.  I even camped one week in Brooklyn.  I stayed with people from the age of 8 months to 80 years old (my 80 year old host was still flying planes) and in 52 unique neighborhoods across the 5 boroughs (map here).  

None of this would have been enabled without some amazing friends and supportive family, friendly acquaintances, and welcoming strangers.  I’m still overwhelmed by the willingness of people who shared their apartments and lives with me. I learned so much, a great deal of which is still being processed.  I’m similarly overwhelmed by the number of offers to stay with people around the world (especially Brazil!).

I want to say thanks, and I’m having a party at my new place so feel free to stop on by if you’re in the neighborhood.  Here’s some more info on the party.

I’ll end this how I ended my first blog post for the NYC Nomad and say that I hope to see you in your neighborhood!

8 Notes

As a Manhattan suburb its growth followed the introduction of steam-powered ferries in 1815. By 1839 the area had been incorporated, with friends of John Jacob Astor winning a bitter factional fight in naming Astoria for him.

White, Norval; Willensky, Elliot; Leadon, Fran (2010-05-29). AIA Guide to New York City (Kindle Locations 20568-20569). Oxford University Press. Kindle Edition. 

4 Notes

The NYC Nomad on WNYC (NPR) with Leonard Lopate

I missed the Henry Miller reference, but it was a really fun show!  Before the show I got to listen to Leonard tell me about interviewing Henry Kissinger and hung out with Roseanne Barr and her posse in the Green Room.

3 Notes

The NYC Nomad will be LIVE on WNYC with Leonard Lopate!

Please tune in to WNYC (NPR) this Tuesday, January 4th for the Leonard Lopate show. The stations in NYC are FM 93.9 and AM 820.  You can also stream it live from the WNYC website. I’ll be going on starting at 1pm EST for about a 20 minute interview and preceding none other than Roseanne Barr!

For those unfamiliar with the Leonard Lopate show, he has hosted some amazing guests over the years including Barack Obama and Henry Kissinger. I’m excited to meet him and for my radio debut.

There is also this from Wikipedia about the show:

Lopate’s talk show airs on WNYC from noon to 2 pm every weekday, as well as on XM Satellite Radio Channel 133 every weekday from 4 pm to 6 pm (EST). Segments of the show are available as podcasts found on iTunes and on the station’s website.

The show’s format typically consists of four interviews ranging from twenty to forty minutes in length and covers a broad range of topics including jazz and gospel music, food and wine (winner of two James Beard Awards), literature, the arts, science and history. Lopate has interviewed politicians, poets, painters, novelists, filmmakers, actors, dancers and more than a few Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners.

If you want to listen to some of his other shows over the past 25 years, here is a link.

1 Notes

The NYC Nomad in the New York Times!

So what does 36 hosts, 20 neighborhoods, and schlepping an AeroBed all around New York City get you?  Well, it lets you connect with some amazing old and new friends, gives you a decidedly unique view of NYC, and today, an article in the New York Times!

I’m really happy with it, and would be even more happy if as many people as possible can read it.  To that end, please share the article on facebook and email it to anyone you know through the New York Times website.  I’d love to get it on the most emailed list, although I’m guessing that might be a challenge!

In any case, you can follow my travels on twitter, recommend the blog on tumblr, and like the project on facebook.

If this is your first time here, start with the about section, maybe check out some testimonials, and email me at to host!

I linked to some of my favorite posts like moving on Sundays, keys, almost getting knocked the f%&! out and all the places I’ve stayed in Brooklyn,Manhattan, and Queens.  Staten Island and the Bronx in the New Year!

Thanks for reading, and thanks especially to everyone who has hosted over the past seven months. 

I hope to see you in your neighborhood!

1 Notes

The NYC Nomad is in Peru!

I’m off the grid for a whole week while hiking Macchu Picchu and won’t pick up the posting until I get back.  I still owe a long post from my incredible week in Greenpoint and a few days on the Upper West Side.

In the meantime, and if this is your first time here, start with the about section, maybe check out some testimonials, and email me at to host!

I linked to some of my favorite posts like moving on Sundays, keys, almost getting knocked the f%&! out and all the places I’ve stayed in Brooklyn, Manhattan, and Queens.

And if you want to read the whole blog from the beginning you can click here for the posts in chronological order. 

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The NYC Nomad in Kew Gardens



With Charley, a friend of former host Nate in Park Slope.  We were both going to Cape Cod for the weekend so it worked out well.  He’s got a nice modernly furnished apartment in Kew Gardens.   This was the third borough.  I am still working on Staten Island and the Bronx for anyone who wants to help a Nomad out :)


On the F train, which was fine with the exception of 1 day when it took me over an hour to get to work.  I haven’t written too much about commuting, but its an interesting part of the project.  I’ll probably write a longer post at some point.  I LOVE walking to work. 


A movie at Kew Gardens theater.  It’s an art house theater and pretty neat inside with posters of classic movies.  They also have discounted movies on Tuesdays and Thursdays (I went on a Wednesday). Here’s a photo of the outside of the place.  036   

I saw Winter’s Bone, which won best picture at Sundance. It was shot on the “red” camera which I learned about from my former hosts in Williamsburg.  It’s a great movie about the impact of meth in the Ozarks.  Bleak and disturbing, but powerful and worth seeing.


I met Charley for a late dinner at Dani’s House of Pizza.  They have a great beer selection like these.


Say what you want about outer borough living, but these beers are about 50% off Manhattan prices.  And I really liked Dani’s — It’s an old school type of place where you can only get pizza at the bar area when you first walk in.  I would recommend dinner and a movie (the restaurant is across the street from the theater) to anyone looking for a reason to go to Queens.

We also ate at Diner when Charley came and picked me up (which was far better than the hour bus ride I had planned on) in Williamsburg.  They have a Grass fed beef hamburger which is excellent.  My one complaint is this place is a diner and they laughed at me when I asked for a milkshake!  Too hip for milkshakes, apparently.


Baker’s Dozen Bagels

Getting a real feel for the neighborhood.   It was a pretty short stay. 

Here’s some history that I’m curious to read up on.