Tag Archives: Media

Published Writing, Online Articles, Top Blogs

I recently added some outside content I’ve published or produced online to this blog’s sidebar in case anyone is experiencing South East Asia fatigue. I think my own was brought on by watching bootlegged movies featuring NYC backdrops.

You can find some of my published writing over at eurocheapo.com. Specifically, I wrote many of the New York City hotel reviews, as well as the Cheap Eats tips. The Manhattan content may come in handy for some of you who’ve no longer got my couch to sleep on.

The Online Articles by TJ widget will whisk you off to comicreaders.com, where I wrote a feature profiling four self-publishing comic book creators called Anatomy of an Indie Operation. A Buffalo nickel goes to he (or she) who can find and respond with the nerdiest analysis from my reviews on comicreaders. My Associated Content articles include my New York Transplant Trilogy: By Bridge or Tunnel, Dog Days, and Learning to Grimace.

And for an added dose of self-promotion, here are the most read posts on 9000 Hours in Saigon since its inception:

1. Reading Geoff Dyer at the MET

2. Saigon Moto Traffic: Dodging Noodle-Bearing Ghosts and Olive-Drab Whales

3. Best Little Guest House in Saigon

4. Things I Miss About NYC: FreeNYC.net

5. Cheap Eats: Ben Thanh After Dark

6. The first Update Saigon dispatch

7. The Cu Chi Tunnel Mantra: How Killing Fields Became a Jungle Gym

8. Cà Phê Viêt Nam

9. Taste of Nostalgia in Buffalo

10. Green Fairy Muscles Onto Cupid’s Turf

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Lazy Schlub Assigned to Weather Channel’s SEA Desk

The rainy season in Vietnam has rolled in right on schedule; we’ve been hit with a series of sodden days. I have yet to witness the more predictable cycle in which it supposedly rains at a predictable time every day.

So when I checked weatherchannel.com to see if Sarah and I would be able to shoot down to My Tho and Ben Tre for a day-long biking trip, I was unsurprised to find a string of thunder cloud icons above every 3-hour time stamp.

However, when I got up this morning to find the forecast for today and tomorrow hadn’t changed, I decided to check the next few days. Turns out the Weather Channel’s way of dealing with weather in Vietnam during the wet season is to slap up a few scattered T-Storm icons and award a 60% chance of humidity across the board.

Who assigned the webmaster’s chiba-huffing cousin to the South East Asia desk?

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Checking in on Cheapos

Now that my CELTA course is over, I’ve been catching up on the finer things in life: unread 14-page reports in Economist back issues, movies at Bobby Brewers, and the musings of former eurocheapo coworkers.

Hot on the heels of last year’s CheapoSearch launch, the brothers Meyers over at eurocheapo have released CheapoSearch Flights, a new search tool that sifts through budget airline flights, weeding out more expensive carriers. No more navigating 14 Foxfire tabs while comparing cheap flights in Europe. Also, you can now become a Cheapo friend on Facebook.

Over at Spendthrift Shoestring, Alex’s meticulous pre-departure planning for his upcoming extended stay in England is making me feel bad about my catch-the-first-bus-to-My Tho strategy, and his European cheap flights expertise seems to have evolved into air route ESP. But most importantly, it has arrived: Alex’s 2008 Eurovision picks.

Suzanne has checked into Media Bistro‘s Travel Writing Boot Camp, but has time enough to offer a culinary itinerary vis-a-vis a recap of her friend’s recent visit to NYC on Around the World in Gold Stilettos. Kudos, as well for my favorite new opening line in a blog: I think Argentina’s stalking me.

As for me, it looks like rain may wash out my biking trip in the Mekong Delta tomorrow, but I did manage to make it to the Cu Chi Tunnels and the Cao Dai Holy See earlier this week. Two outa three ain’t bad.

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A Spendthrift You Can Count On

It would be difficult to find a travel writer with so comprehensive an understanding of European budget airlines, better experience penetrating local Caribbean culture, and more evolved opinions on Europop than Alex Robertson Textor.

For these, and many more reasons, any budget traveler looking for cheap flights in Europe or an affordable Caribbean getaway should bookmark Alex’s blog, Spendthrift Shoestring. Alex is just recently back from the Caribbean, where he was scouting out travel gems for Rough Guides, and he’ll soon be off for an extended summer stay in England.

Expect top-notch UK dispatches and cheeky humor à go-go.

The best thing about the blog is the mix of the practical — like a rundown of French-style Gites in Martinique and Guadeloupe — and the peripheral — like Alex’s unbelievable visit to time-frozen (and way off-limits) volcano-ravaged Plymouth. And you’ll quickly find yourself hooked on Alex’s short lists.

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Things I miss about NYC: FREENYC.NET

When you’re looking for a cheap night after a crap day at work in New York, there’s nothing worse than cracking open a free stuff guide and finding listings like Central Park and Times Square. Lucky for New Yorkers, there’s freenyc.net.

Despite discovering this gem just months before leaving Gotham, I had time to swing by a Der Bilderklub opening at Gallery Hanahou, where I picked up a pair of original prints for $14 each. And there was the gratis Kimya Dawson session at Sound Fix Records that FreeNYC tipped me off to (Bonus Info: stay tuned to Sound Fix’s website for frequent free shows).

Yesterday’s listings included a free film-screening of Run, Fatboy, Run with director David Schwimmer, a pool party at Hotel QT with free vodka, a film festival featuring Three Soldiers, live flamenco at Luca Bar, open vodka bar burlesque and live music at Crash Mansion, and a genre-spanning History of Hip Hop party at APT.

Granted, events sometimes demand a predilection towards weeknight drinking and a willingness to venture beyond the Bedford stop on the L line, but the listings are typically more offbeat and more frequently feature genuinely worthwhile cultural events than your average free stuff hub. For best results, sign up for the daily email blast and check the website around noon — new events are sometimes added mid-day.

One of my biggest post-departure regrets: never making it to the Ziggy Stardust-themed, free-Vodka-fueled Rebel Rebel dance party at Lit Lounge.

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Filed under Free Stuff, Media, New York City