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We are fragments of ourselves.
So read my interests and the rest of my profile. Should give you a decent primer.
Looking for the Perfect Beat
Why I’m on Couchsurfing
HOW I PARTICIPATE IN COUCHSURFING
Kinda dormant but occasionally surfing others' places and attending/organizing events. Wish I could host/contribute more!
Hosted 21 couch surfers: seven domestic, one from England, one from Canada, two from Sweden, six from Germany, two from France and two from Poland. Surfed 20 times now.
When staying with a host, I practically insist on taking them out to dinner. Here's a few notable dining experiences I've had with hosts:
* July 2010 @ Spice Market in Atlanta, GA with Scott Gordon -- Jean-Georges Vongerichten is truly a visionary. I hadn't tried his Asian fusion restaurant concept before (of which there are only a few around the world) and I was stoked to try it. Scott and I split chicken samosas with cilantro yogurt, coconut sticky rice wrapped in a banana leaf, Vietnamese spring rolls, black pepper shrimp with sun-dried pineapple and crispy calamari with basil salt and Siracha emulsion. Had two great cocktails, a passionfruit whiskey fizz and a pineapple mojito. Scott had a Johnnie Walker, neat. I remember there being lots of silly, made up voices. Fairly common when Scott and I hang out.
* June 2010 @ Ruby Watch Co. in Toronto, ON with Jada Switzer -- THIS is what I'm taking about! Four courses, family style, in ruby red dishware, sitting next to an open and loud hallway kitchen TWO TABLES AWAY from the chef's table. First course was an amazing salmon nicoise with haricots verts and a hard-boiled quail egg. Second was a local pork loin in a delicious jus, mashed new potatoes with dill, apple-bacon sauerkraut (which was kinda gross) and huge asparagus spears in the best fucking herbed butter I've ever tasted in my life. Third was a cheese course with a "layer of ash" brie and fennel-radish slaw and a perfectly grilled bread. Dessert was a tart with local strawberries and lemon mousse, topped with fresh vanilla crème fraîche. Also had a passionfruit-thyme cocktail that's one of the most effervescent, sweet and fresh I've ever had. An absolute triumph of a meal and a great cap to my whirlwind visit to Toronto.
* March 2010 @ Founding Farmers in Washington, DC with various couchsurfers -- My favorite restaurant experience in recent memory. It was a huge table filled with awesome people (two of them my hosts!), alcohol and amazing food. Bacon lollipops, Local 1, killer cucumber/cantaloupe cocktails, food passed around (buttery mussels, fresh cornbread out of a hot cast-iron skillet, etc.)... I was delirious with social, culinary and (okay) chemical pleasure. The table was huge and in the middle of a dining room, so I felt like me and my dining party was on display. I was probably talking really loud, too. I think I proposed at least one toast. It's all a blur. An awesome, awesome blur.
* November 2009 @ Farm 255 in Athens, Georgia with Alisé Buckner -- Alisé was a great brunchmate. Coupled with my favorite restaurant, like, ever, this was an amazing meal. She had French Toast with homemade apple butter (which was great!) and I had the delicious rustic eggs with chorizo. I opted out of the mimosa, my usual brunch fare, and got a sweet tea. Alisé got freshed-squeezed orange juice. I saw them crush the orange in front of me! To The National's "Boxer" playing over the speakers. Heaven!
* October 2009 @ The Porter Beer Bar in Atlanta, Georgia with Uday Balaji -- This may very well be the best overall gastropub I've experienced anywhere so far. To say my host Uday frequented this place is an understatement. I ate/drank here thrice in the course of a week. The enormous list here has some killer, killer beers from abroad (Belguim's St. Bernadus, Quebec's Unibroue) and nearby (Ashville's Highland and, of course, Athens' Terrapin). One of the best salmon dishes I've ever had was the salmon pate. There's salt and vinegar popcorn that'll put hair on your chest, too. (Be warned.) Also had an arugula salad that can actually be described as savory, somehow. Absolutely amazing food with amazing company. Can't recommend this place enough.
the power of a sense of place, really deep and tangential conversations, the psychology of grief, trauma and recovery, identity politics, mass transit, strange municipal art, Pimm's Cups and cocktail culture, folklore/folk art of the South, city-states, New York City exceptionalism, Athens, Georgia evangelism, New Orleans recovery and historical preservation, San Francisco weirdness, the urban planning of Washington D.C., Chicago as a distinctly American city, daydreaming about cities, visiting the world's megacities, gentrification and urban renewal, urban anonymity/community, cityscapes, skylines, personalities of neighborhoods, addresses with fractions in them, celebrity chefs like David Chang, Donald Link, Matt Palmerlee, Danny Meyer, Hugh Acheson, April Bloomfield and Thomas Keller, visionaries like Ted Turner, Brian Eno and the late Dwight D. Eisenhower and Steve Jobs, cats, Americana, beards, the military-industrial-Congressional complex, DJ'ing for friends, editing my ID3 tags in iTunes, music criticism
Music, Movies, and Books
My IMDb account, totally underused
My Last.fm account, totally overused
The New York Times and NPR, my gold standards for American news media. Re: world news, I love the BBC, The Guardian UK, Reuters, AFP, Fareed Zakaria and the Jakarta Post
This American Life and Serial, two of the best radio programs I've ever heard
New York Magazine, which keeps me in touch with one of my favorite city in the world
C-SPAN, the only place to get 100 percent unbiased coverage of American politics
The Onion and ClickHole, the funniest fake news anywhere
One Amazing Thing I’ve Done
-Sunday morning service at the National Cathedral in D.C. in January 2007. Hard to describe the sound and breadth of the service in words. I'm not really religious or anything, but the stained glass, the choir, the cavernous echo of the space... it was incredibly moving.
-Interning with NPR and living in Washington D.C. for the first third of 2007. Easily one of the most fulfilling, fun and educational things I've done so far. Changed my life and career path.
-Lunch at Thomas Keller's Per Se in New York City on Halloween 2009. A mesmerizing, transcendent restaurant experience. A present to myself for my 25th birthday.
-Shot a .44 Magnum at a gun range in the Apalachicola National Forest in March 2010. The sound and kick of the gun was bracing and life-affirming.
-Climbed Stone Mountain outside Atlanta, Georgia in March 2010, a rare physical feat that felt incredibly satisfying.
-Seeing U2 live four times on two different tours in November 2005 in Atlanta, October 2009 in Tampa and two nights in a row in May 2011 in Mexico City.
-Met one of my idols, Brian Eno, at Moogfest 2011 in Asheville, NC. I couldn't stop shaking.
-My induction to the Jejune Institute in November 2010 and my November 2014 visit to Land's End in San Francisco
Teach, Learn, Share
If you're not a native English speaker, I can help you practice conversational English and basic/advanced written English, including grammar, spelling and syntax. I like exchanging native slang and colloquialisms, too. That's always fun.
Would love to learn more about professional photography, video editing and programming languages like HTML, Java and Flash.
Also, if I host you in my place or at a social event and you happen to be from a country where someone I know has visited, I've visited or I want to visit, I'll probably ask you a bunch of questions about your culture's traditional, modern and progressive customs. Hope that's okay :)
What I Can Share with Hosts
Thoughtful cultural exchange. Insight as to what it's really like to be inside mainstream media. Crazy anecdotes. Goofy voices and imitations. I'll probably also end up taking you out to dinner, or at least we'll order in.
Countries I’ve Visited
Canada, Israel, Mexico, Russian Federation, United States
Countries I’ve Lived In
Russian Federation, United States