Where I Go: The Biting Cold of Open-Water Swimming

When the Ocean Temperature Plunges in the Winter, There’s Nowhere to Hide

I’m alone in my Brooklyn apartment on a Friday night, and I’ve decided I don’t want to live anymore. It’s November 2019, and it’s the third time this year I’ve arrived at this dead-end; maybe the third time’s the charm. I can’t stop crying. I don’t do drugs but wish I did. I haven’t had a drink in two years, but the memory of single malt scotch plays on repeat. I’m fluent in the use of various weapons but have no guns, just a drawer filled with sharp culinary knives—and …

Where I Go: Growing up Under the Rim | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Growing up Under the Rim

Like Any Proper Southern California Basketball Story, Mine Begins With Magic Johnson

Like any proper Southern California basketball story, this one starts with Magic Johnson.

It’s 1986, and I’m 11 years old, living on the north side of Long Beach. My TV …

Where I Go: Atop San Francisco’s ‘Redwood Empire’ | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Atop San Francisco’s ‘Redwood Empire’

For Nearly 30 Years, I’ve Come to the City’s Highest Natural Point to Orient Myself

At 938 feet above sea level, Mount Davidson is the highest natural point in San Francisco. And for nearly 30 years, since I was a child, it has been my …

Where I Go: Herding the Goats at Squashville Farm | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Where I Go: Herding the Goats at Squashville Farm

Goats Live in an Alternate Reality of Soil and Self-Determination

It happens at least once a week: The goats commit jailbreak. They nibble, squirm, and leap their way out of the two-acre space where they are supposed to stay put. …

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

Where I Go: Penasquitos Gardens

Traversing the Gulf Back to a San Diego Apartment

I haven’t brought my wife or son to see where I mostly grew up. I keep meaning to. But even though it’s less than a mile from my father’s condo …

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

Where I Go: Meeps Vintage

Finding Liberation in a D.C. Clothing Shop

Washington, D.C., is a beautiful, tidy town. For the better part of my years there, I was mostly very sad.

It was not a city I thought I’d first move to …