My continuing quest to see everything in New York City

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Sunday, May 29, 2011


I have a deal with Tarcher (an imprint of Penguin), to write a book which will be out Fall of 2012.   It's a travel memoir, mostly about me and this guy's urban exploration adventures around the world, but will have lots of other observations on cities and generally funny and interesting stories. A few of these, which will probably find their way into the book in greatly expanded form, can already be found by digging around this site but most can't. I have no good title yet - if you come up with something brilliant please let me know.

I have a good story to tell, and am pretty excited to be able to do it. But to use a baseball analogy, when it comes to the international urban adventure game I've always kind of thought of myself as a decent hitting backup utility infielder - just one that's lucky enough to play on the 1927 Yankees.  I've been along on a great ride, and will give myself credit for managing a home run or two along the way, but really - you should check out some of the All Stars.

So anyway, in addition to actually writing the thing, my job now (or so I've been told) is to build a "platform."  This is industry shorthand for "try to be as famous and popular as possible by the time the book comes out."  Since we are currently living in the age of social media fascination, this means everyone is focused on twitter followers, facebook likes, and website hits. These three things are now taken almost as a sort of currency. Someday pretty soon someone is going to make a ton of money by offering a pay-service setting up fake Twitter accounts to follow you. Seriously - get 10,000 Twitter followers and apparently the world is yours.

As such, you'll notice there's now a Twitter feed on the righthand side of the blog.   So follow me on Twitter! I truly, and sincerely, apologize to everyone for the preceding sentence.

It was suggested to me to do live Twitter updates from Urban Exploration sites. This will not be happening with anything too extralegal for obvious reasons. Still, I will try to make the feed as interesting as possible.

Second, be my friend on Facebook! I can't quite bring myself to do the "like me!" thing as opposed to a regular facebook page though. You'll just have to get my updates on local politics and obscure European soccer teams also (Viva Rayo! Congratulations on promotion to La Liga! Vallecas siempre!)

Third, I'll be blogging more here (RSS link on the right), mostly just about places and topics of interest to me.  Sometimes that's getting to hidden or off-limits places by a variety of means, both in New York and wherever else I happen to be, but a lot of times it'll be about demographics or other urban planning topics. As an aside, you might have noticed that the "Stories" tab has been changed to "Explorations and Adventures." I figured that as this site is linked from a lot of Urban Exploration sites, I should probably make it easier for the people who come here to find that part of the site instead of a post about what the 2010 census says about the changes in Ozone Park or something.

One more housekeeping thing - if you are currently wondering "hey, am I going to be in this book?" and haven't heard from me, the answer is almost certainly "I'm not sure yet." If it looks like you will be, I'll be in touch.

Huge thanks to my agent Alyssa Reuben of Paradigm and my editor Sara Carder of Tarcher for believing in a first-time author with somewhat less than 10,000 Twitter followers.

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