Who I am
I am a writer, geographer, mapmaker, photographer, and father. I live in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, with my son Zeke.
What I do
I am an associate professor and chair of the Department of Geography at the University of New Hampshire, where I have worked since 2003. Before that, I was a faculty member at the University of South Carolina and the University of Oklahoma. You can learn more about my work from my vita.
I have written two books, The American College Town (University of Massachusetts Press, 2008), and The Los Angeles River: Its Life, Death, and Possible Rebirth (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1999). I am currently conducting research for a book about the history (and geography) of immigration in New England tentatively entitled The Peopling of New England.
I teach a long list of courses: Regional Geography of the Western World, Geography of the United States and Canada, Geography of New England, Human Geography, Economic Geography, Urban Geography, Geography of Food, and Historical Geography.
I explore. I've lived in 15 states and have traveled in 48 states, six Canadian provinces, and eight countries. I drive two-lane roads, take the business route through town, and walk around urban neighborhoods whenever I can.
I take photographs. Many of my photos relate to my research, but others don't. A collection of my college town photographs is available on Flickr. I've also posted many other photos, along with a few of my maps, on Flickr. In January 2012, I embarked on a project to take at least one photo per day that is representative of my life and post it to Flickr, a visual diary of one year.
I cook and bake. I have been a vegetarian since 1990 and make almost all the bread I consume. I also love to seek out hole-in-the-wall ethnic restaurants. My curiosity about ethnic cuisines stimulated me to create a course on the geography of food. I've created semi-selective listings of ethnic restaurants and ethnic food stores in the region for my students.
Before pursuing a career as geographer, I was a newspaper reporter, worked in the music business, and was a librarian. I wrote for the Los Angeles Times and Chicago Tribune, among other newspapers. I was the first paid employee of Twin/Tone Records and also worked at Alligator and MCA Records. I was a librarian at the Los Angeles Public Library and Temple University. Some of my music writing is available on Rock's Back Pages.
Things I like
Places: Montreal, Boston neighborhoods, Bunker Creek, Carrizo Plain, Center City Philadelphia, Chicoutimi, Los Angeles River, Patel Bros. supermarket, Ray Winder Field, Rittenhouse Square, Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, Seapoint Beach, St. Paul's Cathedral, University of Oklahoma campus, Vinalhaven, West Texas.
Movies: 35 Shots of Rum, A Better Life, American Wake, Ballast, Best of Youth, Catfish, Chop Shop, A Christmas Tale, The Class, The Cove, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, The Edge of Heaven, Fairhaven, Goodbye Solo, How I Ended This Summer, Intruder, I've Loved You So Long, Lion's Den, Lonely are the Brave, Machuca, Man Push Cart, Monsieur Lazhar, Nine Queens, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, A Prophet, A Secret, A Separation, A Single Man, Sin Nombre, The Son, This is England, The Tunnel, The World. My ratings of movies I've watched since 2004 are available here.
Music: Arctic Monkeys, Nick Cave, Vic Chesnutt, Leonard Cohen, Deadmau5, Steve Earle, Al Green, Merle Haggard, P.J. Harvey, Lightning Hopkins, Mekons, Elliot Smith, Replacements, Sleigh Bells, Stanley Brothers, Stars, Sufjan Stevens, St. Vincent, Tiesto, Townes Van Zandt, Neil Young.
Books: Aravind Adiga, The White Tiger; Wendell Berry, A Place on Earth; Heinrich Boll, And Never Said a Word; Richard Ford, Lay of the Land; Ernest Hebert, The Dogs of March; Jane Jacobs, The Death and Life of Great American Cities; Richard Kuklick, To Everything a Season; Jhumpa Lahiri, Interpreter of Maladies; John McNamee, Diary of a City Priest; Alistair MacLeod, Island: The Complete Stories; Lisa Moore, February; Abdelrahman Munif, Cities of Salt; Don Newmark, Chavez Ravine 1949; Per Petterson, Out Stealing Horses; Danny Santiago, Famous All Over Town; Richard Shelton, Going Back to Bisbee; Wallace Stegner, Big Rock Candy Mountain; Elizabeth Trout, Olive Kitteridge; Edith Wharton, Ethan Frome.
Restaurants: Angelica Kitchen, Benny Tudinos, Biryani Park, Brookline Lunch, Cafe Phare, Dante & Luigi's, The Diner, Gene's Chinese Flatbread Cafe, Gourmet Dumpling House, The Grit, Istanbul'lu, Muqueca, Pho Viet's, Ritu Ki Rasoi, Singh's Roti Shop, Tacos Delta, Tu Y Yo.
Sports: Boston Bruins, UNH hockey.
How to contact me
Post: Department of Geography, University of Hampshire, Huddleston Hall, 73 Main Street, Durham, NH 03824-2541.