Broke-Ass of the Week

Broke-Ass of the Week – Travel Writer Jeff Koyen

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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.

Jeff is yet another travel writer buddy of mine who has ascended to the of sought after position of Broke-Ass of the Week.  I was thinking of giving him a decent introduction, but then found a wikipedia page about him that does a way better job than my lazy ass would do.  So here’s what he’s done:

He was the editor of the zine Crank, from 1994 to 2000.

He was the production manager at New York Press before he quit in 2001. He moved to Prague, and was hired as associate editor at the expatriate paper, The Prague Pill. In February 2003, he was hired as editor-in-chief of New York Press by new owners.

In October 2007 he was hired as the senior editor of Forbes Traveler, the luxury travel website published by Forbes; he left in 2009 during a wave of layoffs at Forbes.

In addition to freelancing for the New York Times and other travel publications, he was one of the founding bloggers at True/Slant.  When True/Slant announced its acquisition by Forbes Media, he started a new blog where he covers travel and international culture, Caveat Viator.

And yeah, he’s still a broke-ass because there’s not a whole lot of rich writers out there.  Here’s what he’s got to say:

Name: Jeff Koyen

Age: 41

Occupation: Travel writer

What neighborhood do you live in?: Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, which still can’t figure out if it will become the next Park Slope (lesbian moms with $1500 strollers) or the next Williamsburg (fashionable kids with $1500 outfits). For the time being, it’s filled with unpretentious Manhattan expats, cranky old Italians and loads of dogs. I’m lucky enough to have a massive outdoor space, thanks to my wife who found this place with a roommate several years ago. We won’t leave this apartment until we abandon NYC, buy our own place or die (hopefully in our sleep).

Best money saving tip: Cook more. When I first met my wife, she and her roommate had their dinners delivered every night. At the time, I was living out of a backpack on about $20 a day'”eating tons of cheap street food and sleeping in the grungiest guesthouses I could find. I just couldn’t comprehend the amount of money they spent on food. Food! I swore that, when I stopped traveling and inevitably returned to NYC, I wouldn’t fall into the “ordering in” trap. And we haven’t. Delivery is still a rare treat.

What do you refuse to spend money on?: New video games. I love my Xbox, but I don’t need to play the latest Call of Duty installment right away. I wait a few weeks to buy a used copy on eBay. When I’m done, I resell it. I’m an avid gamer, but except for Rock Band, I don’t actually own any games.

Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought: The luxury of one year backpacking around the world. It was 2005, and I’d just left a high-pressure job with a hard-earned $10,000 in the bank. That was (and still is) a massive amount of money. I could’ve stuck around New York and made a decent living as a freelance writer. Or, I could’ve found another job. Instead, I sold everything in my apartment and hit the road. I kept traveling until the money ran out.

How’d that feel?: Like the best investment ever. Don’t let anyone tell you that gaps in your resume are a liability. Travel as much as possible, and you will never regret it.

Favorite cheap eat: Made-to-order stir fry on any side street in Bangkok. Your sweaty bottle of beer will cost more than the food, and both will be delicious.

Favorite dive bar: In my neighborhood, I love Boat on Smith St. I also spend a lot of time at BGH, which isn’t really a dive'”just a great beer bar. But for all-time dive-bar love, it’s McGlinchey’s in Philadelphia. For all I know, it’s an American Apparel store now. But back in 1993, it was my broke-ass oasis.

Best deal you’ve ever gotten: In India, we threw a pretty elaborate, traditional three-day wedding with 150 guests for less than $10,000.

Favorite free thing to do: Afternoons at the dog run.

If you woke up a millionaire, what’s the first thing you’d buy?: A used Jeep Wrangler. We’d throw the dog in the back and hit the Pan-American Highway before you could say “adios.”

Despite not having money, do you still love your life?: On most days, yes.

Do you own my book?: No, I’m sorry, I don’t. I promise to save up for a copy.

Best hangover cure: More sleep, then more water, then a Guinness in a dark bar.

Are you a hipster?: Not since the 90s.

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Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap

Stuart Schuffman, aka Broke-Ass Stuart, is a travel writer, poet, TV host, activist, and general shit-stirrer. His website is one of the most influential arts & culture sites in the San Francisco Bay Area and his freelance writing has been featured in Lonely Planet, Conde Nast Traveler, The Bold Italic, and too many other outlets to remember. His weekly column, Broke-Ass City, appears every other Thursday in the San Francisco Examiner. Stuart’s writing has been translated into four languages. In 2011 Stuart created and hosted the travel show Young, Broke, and Beautiful on IFC and in 2015 he ran for Mayor of San Francisco and got nearly 20k votes.

He's been called "an Underground legend": SF Chronicle, "an SF cult hero":SF Bay Guardian, and "the chief of cheap": Time Out New York.

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