roadtrips Archive

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Posted on 03 March 2015 (0)


Last summer, I picked up a car in Los Angeles and drove 4,000 miles in two weeks, an epic loop out Route 66 as far as Texas, and then back up and over through Colorado and Utah and Nevada. I went to the Grand Canyon and the Cadillac Ranch and drove the Loneliest Road In America. I was determined to find out if you could find America, or at least have a great, epic American roadtrip inside of a two-week vacation.

I started writing about it just as an email to friends, then it was a blog post, then it was an essay…and almost 40k words later, I realized it was an book…which is out today!

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Ottermania: Visiting Monterey and the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Posted on 02 August 2014 (0)

“I think I saw an otter!” I said, as we crossed over a bridge near Elkhorn Slough, on our way into Monterey. My significant other nodded indulgently. “No, seriously, I’m not making this up,” I insisted. But how would I know? It’s not like I run into otters every day or had ever seen one in the wild. But this is exactly why we were headed to Monterey.

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Drive All Night

Posted on 20 May 2014 (1)

Ever since I read about Bruce Springsteen flying out to Utah, buying a car, and driving around in the desert to take photographs with Eric Meola, I wanted to do the same thing. And then as those photos became iconic, I always wanted to visit those locations myself. I wasn’t nuts about the idea of sleeping on the hood of the car in a small town in the desert (as the legend goes), but the idea of just showing up somewhere and driving around to see what was there was undeniably attractive. I wanted to see the same things that artists I respected were inspired by.

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Travel report: Omaha & Kansas City

Posted on 26 November 2012 (0)

Downtown KC

We flew the day before the show, because these days I just do not trust flying the day of the show, and overnighted in Kansas City near the airport. I started feeling flu-ish while sitting at LGA, and all I wanted to do when we arrived was go to bed early and get a good night’s sleep. We hit Waffle House and then Target in the morning (where I stocked up with about 4 different kinds of Vitamin C products, as well as drinks and snacks) before getting on the road. There was nothing exciting about the drive from KC up to Omaha up 29, a route I am familiar with from a cross-country drive in 2003. It was hot and bleak in the summer and it was grey and bleak but not cold, thankfully.

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Posted on 12 September 2012 (0)


I know everyone loves traipsing around Asbury Park with organized tours. You might think that it is complicated or difficult or even a little scary to visit Asbury Park on your own, but nothing could be further than the truth. You do not need a car, you just need time, since the train (which leaves from Penn Station on 33rd Street in Manhattan) takes a little while. It’s not a bad train ride, but not particularly interesting or scenic. You’ll change at Long Branch. Once you get to Asbury Park, everything is walkable and it’s perfectly safe.

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How To Drive Cross-Country By Yourself

Posted on 31 July 2012 (3)

This is written in response to Molly Templeton’s call for submissions in response to the New York Times‘ How-To issue.


Everyone should drive cross-country at least once in their life. Driving with a friend or a car full of people, it’s a life-changing experience. But by yourself, it is a moment of reckoning. Those hours and hours and hours behind the wheel with only yourself and your iPod playlist are as transformative as round-the-world travel.

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In Search of the Joshua Tree

Posted on 22 December 2011 (2)

I care a lot about visiting the various sites of rock and roll history, whether it’s the former site of the Cavern Club or the Finsbury Park Astoria or the Palladium or 213 Bowery or the bank that used to be the Fillmore East. But clearly I am close to something very much resembling insanity to wake up at 6 a.m. in Las Vegas, rent a car, and head four hours into the desert to look for a dead tree.


Yes. We went looking for The Joshua Tree.

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Dublin, 1984.

Posted on 01 December 2011 (0)


I reminisce about rock and roll tourism, U2 style, in ye olde pre-internet days over at Scatter o’ light.

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Posted on 27 July 2010 (2)


The corner of 7th & Main in Downtown Los Angeles. If you know what it is, you know what it is; if you don’t recognize it, it won’t mean anything even if I explained it to you.

(Of course, if you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you saw this last week, so I apologize.)

I have to say that this was one of the coolest rock and roll things I have gone looking for in a long time. It was so much fun figuring out where this was, realizing it was still there, and then going there and putting the puzzle pieces together.

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Within Your Reach

Posted on 14 July 2010 (0)


As much as I always wanted to, I never made it to Minneapolis until this year. Probably because I was smart enough to know that it wasn’t like every band I cared about would be standing on the street corner waiting for me as I got off the bus. The closest I came was when I was moving back to NYC from Seattle, a logical overnight stop was just outside of Minneapolis, and I took a morning detour long enough to stand in front of the Let It Be house for a few minutes and take a few pictures.

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