I have no problem getting political. I'm an avowed opponent of Donald Trump's, and have been for as long as I can remember. You see, being a New Yorker means that for my entire life, he's been in the news. And not in a positive way. Everyone in New York has hated Trump pretty much...forever, because he's always been a lying, cheating, unprincipled, slimy scumbag of a human and businessman. So, it's baffling and horrifying to see him being taken so seriously by so many other people. I know that's that New York exceptionalism that the rest of the country hates us for, but this time it's legit. Welcome to the party, America--we've despised The Donald for years.
I'm not going to go into why--the horrors of his platform and now his administration are well-documented elsewhere in print and on the web. What I will do is a bit of self-reflection. As a writer, I feel compelled to somehow contribute to commentary our national tragedy. I'm not a political writer, though, and I don't know enough about policy to become one. I'm not sure I even really want to, to be honest. I was a United States Government major in college during the Bush years and that gave me so much anxiety I decided to focus on other topics for the rest of my life. But now, writing about food and travel and the luxury beat I stumbled into feels a bit frivolous. That may be true, but life must also go on. I have bills to pay. Still, I have this nagging feeling that I'm selling out.
I've decided that I can contribute in many ways. Of course, I can and have been donating my time and money to organizations that help assuage the violence of Trump's administration. My guilt about writing about what I'm being assigned to write about needs to slink off--again, I have bills to pay and bylines to stack, and I'm not sitting here writing pro-Trump pieces nor am I writing about the splendors of a Trump hotel or golf course. Writing about food and culture seems more important than ever, as they are things that keep us alive and make us feel human--two things that seem to be under fire more than ever.
Also, my most major beat at the moment is Mexico and what an incredible country it is. The diversity of its food, languages, cultures, customs and natural wonders. Why the Mexico you've heard about is, most definitely, not the same as the real Mexico that millions live and work in every day. So, in this new age of shitty U.S.-Mexico relations, I'm happy to contribute about a sorely misunderstood country--one who should be a close ally and partner, whose borderland is also our own. I feel privileged and lucky to not only be able to travel back and forth from Mexico so often, but to live on the border and have a glimpse into this crazy "third country" at such a tense time. If my writing helps dispel misconceptions about Mexico and the border in any way, it will be one of my greatest professional triumphs.
I've had this on my mind for most of the last week, and as a result had a pretty major creative block. I'm waiting to hear back on several pitches and was assigned a few fun stories last week: mainly about Mexico and wine, which I'll never complain about. I also published this for Luxury Living International, which lists the hottest real estate markets in paradise. I thought it would be dry but turned out to be a fun article to research and write--even though the homes mentioned remain in my dreams. If you end up buying a home thanks to this article, do me a favor and throw me an invite.