Broke-Ass of the Week – Travel Writer Mike Barish
Every week we feature a different person from the community shedding a little light on their life of brokeitude. Who knows, maybe you’ll learn something about the human spirit'probably not.
Wanna be a Broke-Ass of the Week? Holler at us here and we’ll send you the questionnaire.
I first met Mike Barish when NileGuide threw a party in his honor the last time he was in San Francisco (I wish people threw parties in my honor when I visited places!). I figured since Mike and I spent a good amount of time busting each other’s balls over twitter, it would be nice to get a chance to belittle him in person too.
Being a mildly well known travel writer pretty much means having a strange life, and since Mike’s strange life and mine have lots of similarities, we hit it off immediately. Then again it might have been all the beer we were drinking. Regardless, not only do I like the motherfucker, he’s good at stuff too.
Mike is a regular contributor to the travel website Gadling, he’s got a popular travel podcast, and he’s made a name for himself by making hilarious reviews of products from Sky Mall. He was even on CBS News for that Sky Mall shit. Follow his ass on twitter and read his answers below.
Name: Mike Barish
What neighborhood do you live in?: East Village, New York, NY USA
What are you listening to these days?: Hot Chip, The Roots, Peter, Bjorn & John, Damian Marley & Nas, Yeasayer and The xx.
Best money saving tip: Take home leftovers. People get so self-conscious in groups asking a waiter to box up their meal. You paid for it; you should eat it.
What do you refuse to spend money on?: Concert tickets. Maybe I’m just an old man at heart, but I don’t enjoy concerts much anymore. At least not big ones that require me to pay $50 or more to stand in a crowd, get beer spilled on me and deal with usually crummy acoustics. I sound bitter now.
Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: Airline tickets. I won’t overpay for tickets, but I will splurge if the trip is worth it. I once spent $900+ to fly to the Canada’s Yukon Territory. In December.
How’d that feel?: Cold. It also felt justified. I had a friend living up there and that provided me a chance to see a part of the world I might never have visited. I had a blast and, looking back, $900 feels like a deal.
Favorite cheap eat: Tacos in the Mission when I visit SF. NYC Mexican is sad and overpriced. In NYC, I’d have to say Congee Village on Allen St. Go with a group, order everything you want '“ I mean everything '“ and it will still shake out to about $10 per person. Everyone will be stuffed, too.
Favorite dive bar: International Bar in the East Village. Dank and dark inside. Small concrete 'œgarden' in the back if you wanted natural light. Everyone is a local enjoying various states of employment and intoxication.
Best deal you’ve ever gotten: I have a tremendous number of creative friends who have helped me with video and web projects and asked for nothing in return except for a few drinks or a dinner. I’m never a mooch, but I am fortunate to have generous friends who accept creative forms of payment.
Favorite free thing to do: Spend a day on Governors Island. Free ferry, great place to ride your bike free from cars and some fantastic food carts (which will cost you a few bucks). Great way to spend a summer weekend afternoon in NYC.
If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: A cabin in the woods. I enjoy NYC, but I’d love to have a secluded place on a lake that was just mine. Those manifestos ain’t writing themselves.
Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: Absolutely. I have a wonderful girlfriend who I adore. I have fantastic friends. Real friends who care about me and who I love dearly. I get to be creative everyday. Life is pretty dandy.
Do you own my book?: Shouldn’t you ask, 'œDo you own my books?' I mean, you have two books. So, I don’t really understand your question. We should move on.
Best hangover cure: Water and ibuprofen. I could wax poetic on bacon, but, at the end of the day, water is the best giver '“ and returner '“ of life.
Are you a hipster?: No. Skinny jeans chafe my sensitive thighs.