Where I Go: My Life as a Mentalist

For 20 Years, I’ve Wowed Audiences by Reading Minds—and Making the Impossible Possible

Twenty-three years into my career as a stand-up comedian and television comedy writer, a colleague recommended I go see his cousin, one of America’s top mentalists (a.k.a. mind readers) perform in a suite at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York.

Back then, in 2002, I did not know, exactly, what a mentalist was. But the performance changed my life.

The mentalist asked my wife at the time and another woman—someone we did not know—to get up from the audience, to stand about 8 feet apart in the performance area, and to close their …

More In: Where I Go

Where I Go: At the Ice Rink, My Feet End in Knives

An Adult Figure Skater Pivots Past Gendered, Classist, Racist Norms

When 25-year-old Mariah Bell competed in Beijing yesterday, she made history as the oldest U.S. women’s national champion in 95 years to step foot on Olympic ice. But “advanced age” …

Where I Go: The Place Where Everybody Knows My Name

Writer Arvin Temkar Traveled to Arvin, California, in Search of the Arvin of It All

I used to wonder: Is there any place where people will know my name?

I’ve always hated Arvin, my uncommon, easy-to-mangle name. For most of my life I didn’t even know …

Where I Go: | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: My New York Times Crossword Construction Quest

Getting a Sunday Puzzle Fit to Print Seemed Impossible Until I Did It

When I moved to northern New Jersey in 2012 and took a software test engineering job in midtown Manhattan, I suddenly found myself with an hour-long bus commute. I’d solved …

Where I Go: Afropalonia | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Afropalonia

Writer and Poet Rashaad Thomas Imagines 'a Planet Only for Black People'

eath sits next to me, hip bones touching mine on a twin bed in the center of a revolving room in Arizona that’s progressively increasing in speed. Frequency numbers, lifeless …

A mural on a wall in the former Jewish ghetto of Vilnius

Where I Go: Lithuania’s Vanished Center of Jewish Life

In Vilna, Where Thousands Were Murdered, I Learned How Difficult It Is to Mourn an Absence

I did it all backward. Instead of taking my research trips before writing my book, like any normal historian would have, I’d waited. Only after I had completed my first …