Twelve Things I Learned By Working as a Butler at The Plaza

Twelve Things I Learned By Working as a Butler at The Plaza

Bloomberg
Serving the world’s rich and famous, it turns out, plumbs the depths of an alternative universe that readily embraces the absurd without even batting an eye. And during my brief tenure at The Plaza I joined a legion of elite butlers that they catered to some of the oddest whims imaginable. Sometimes real life really is stranger than fiction--especially at a high-end hotel.    

The Secret Soviet City

The Secret Soviet City

Bloomberg
My photo journey through Pyramiden, the utopian Soviet city that is, quite literally, frozen in time high above the Arctic Circle. A coal mining town for over 50 years, Pyramiden was the only Russian settlement beyond the Iron Curtain and functioned largely as Communism's show pony. Today it's completely abandoned and open to intrepid tourists who want to make the long journey.  

The Hicksters of Bonavista

The Hicksters of Bonavista

Mic
Young brewers and baristas are living the dream in the small towns of the Bonavista Peninsula in Canada's easterly province of Newfoundland. It's a millennial's paradise where the housing's cheap and all the big-city comforts are accounted for--elevated food, cool cafes, great friends--set on a stunning sound, to boot. Here's what I found when I visited (and I almost didn't leave.) 

The Azores is the Hot New Adventure Destination

The Azores is the Hot New Adventure Destination

Bloomberg
Move over Iceland, the Azores--also halfway across the Atlantic between North America and Europe--is about to become the new 'it' destination for adventure seekers. With mountains to hike, whales to spot, and incredible food and wine to sample, the nine islands of the Azores are yours for the taking, especially with the advent of easy new flight connections in 2017. 

France's Secret Island

France's Secret Island

The Daily Beast
Just off the coast of Canada's Newfoundland, the small archipelago of islands known as St-Pierre & Miquelon has flown the bleu, blanc, rouge flag for over 200 years. The islands were the transfer point for booze smuggling during the Prohibition, played a surprisingly pivotal role in the Second World War, and today they sell the best baguettes on the North American continent. 

The Honeymoon Handbook

The Honeymoon Handbook

Lonely Planet
Some introductory pointers to start planning the perfect honeymoon; this article features text from the Honeymoon Handbook, which I co-authored for the world's largest travel publisher. Get the skinny on where to go and when, and how to piece together the perfect couple's getaway after you say 'I do'. 

The Hidden World of Male Geishas

The Hidden World of Male Geishas

The Daily Beast
Did you know that the first geishas in Japan were actually men? And today, in the country's roaring night trade industry, there are more male "hosts" in Tokyo's red light district than there are traditional female geishas in the entirety of Japan? This and more puzzling facts about the hidden world of male entertainment herein.

Ebola's Threat to Wildlife

Ebola's Threat to Wildlife

The Daily Beast
Although the Ebola pandemic was contained in West Africa, the entire continent saw a large drop in tourism numbers. In Africa, tourism dollars are directly used to fund massive conservancy projects and without this money the efforts simply cannot move forward. This could mean a serious death blow for several endangered species should tourism continue to plummet. 

A Different Kind of Arranged Marriage

A Different Kind of Arranged Marriage

Out Magazine
Padma Iyer made waves when she took out a personal ad on behalf of her son. Placing a romantic request in the newspaper is common practice in India, a country that still embraces different stripes of arranged marriages, but Padma rocked the boat because she was, for the first time, seeking a same-sex spouse for her son.