Perfectly Imperfect on "Places to Visit"
Ft. Brontez Purnell, Matty Matheson, Anika Levy, Willy Staley, Clémence Polès, Delia Cai, Chloe Wise, Dean Kissick, and more.
This is the second issue of the new recommendation round-up column where we ask a bunch of previous guests, friends, readers, etc, to weigh in on a topic. Today’s is on “Places to Visit” because I’m selfishly trying to decide on a place to visit in September while I’m still unemployed…
Have a topic in mind?? Email us. We’ll be taking requests for future issue topics from our lovely readers.
Without further ado…
🏊♂️ The Yuba River
by Brontez Purnell (writer, musician)
The Yuba River is a tributary of the Feather River in the Sierra Nevada and eastern Sacramento Valley. The Yuba River proper is formed at the North Yuba and Middle Yuba rivers' confluence, measured to the head of the North Yuba River, the Yuba River is just over 100 miles long. A naked Trump supporter tried to have sex with me here two summers ago but he slipped off a rock and fell 8 feet on another rock. I hugged him and swam away.
🏜️ Harper, Texas
by Nicolas Greenlee (Surf Gang, Attention Management)
My grandfather used to operate a goat ranch out there in the middle of the hill country right on the border of the American Southwest and Southeast. I'd spend summers and random other times of the year out there riding around with him on his Kawasaki mule with my brothers and cousins feeding baby goats and swimming in the creek. Probably my most favorite place in the world and the only place I've ever seen an armadillo. Good Texas BBQ too.
🍇 La Vendange
by Esmeralda Anstrauta (PI Reader, Sommelier, Writer)
More of a thing to do than a place to visit but grape harvest season in early September is the best time to visit the less popular regions in France. Participating in picking, crushing, and pruning the grapes one year, then bottling and drinking the stuff another year is easily one of the most gratifying experiences of my life. Most vendange days are ended with a dinner party and going dancing with all the other grape pickers. It’s also a fantastic networking opportunity if you’re in the business because most somms worth their salt will be out in the fields in late summer. You can email your favourite winery and ask if they need hands. Region recommendations: Alsace for the storybook vibes, Cotes-du-Bar if you’re big into grower champagne, Anjou in Loire if you’d also like to swim in the ocean.
⛪ The Chapel of The Chimes
by Anika Jade (Editor of Forever Magazine)
The Chapel of The Chimes in Oakland, California: When I lived in the Bay Area during the lockdowns, I came to this funeral home almost every day. A light-flooded cathedral filled with book-shaped cinerary urns. One of the most exquisite and serene public spaces I've ever come across. Great reminder that someday we'll all be dead.
🏔️ Polebridge, Montana
by Willy Staley (Story Editor at the New York Times Magazine)
Just outside the northwestern corner of Glacier National Park, about 20 miles south of the Canadian border, there’s this little off-the-grid town called Polebridge (Pop: 14) that isn’t much more than a general store, a saloon and a hostel. The hostel is run by a German guy named Oliver who apparently — according to an old newspaper article framed on the wall — visited the place and loved it so much he bought it. He’s not that tight, to be frank, but his hostel is. There’s no cell service in the town. There’s a creek out back where you can read and watch the birds fly by. There’s a communal kitchen where, if you’re even a little friendly, you’ll wind up talking to your fellow guests, mostly about Glacier (fantastic, by the way). My wife and I befriended some folks from Kansas City, or some place like that, and, with nothing else to do, we all got drunk at the saloon and walked back under the Milky Way. Now that’s vacation.
🏙️ Berlin, ideally by yourself!
by Delia Cai (Writer)
I find solo trips to be a delicate art—there is nothing more freeing than setting aside an entire week to wander around aimlessly, anonymously. But you do have to factor in a few hours a day for some inevitable existential moodiness, which is why Berlin is tonally perfect and also, logistically, very easy to tackle. Go during asparagus season, do a castle day trip, hang out with the expat friends you always promised you'd visit, then spend an afternoon gazing at Yadegar Asisi's Panorama (a 360-degree painting of ancient Pergamon, with sound effects! <- This is the only good immersive art installation on earth, in my opinion). Decide at 11pm on your second-to-last night that you actually really do want to see what Berghain is like, lol, and hit up a mutual on Whatsapp, who will supply you with a whole new outfit, complete with the requisite combat boots. On your last night, invite new and old friends to dinner, and eat falafel on a bench together. You won't get a tan, but you will consider moving...
by Clémence Polès (Editor of Passerby Mag)
If you need inspiration for where to travel (and looking to travel less by plane), this map shows you how far an 8h train ride will take you. You can plug in any departing city in Europe, and how long you want to travel for (from 1 hour to 8 hours) and it'll show you all of the places you can travel under that time. The website even gives you the option to book your train directly.
Writing this to you in real-time from a train back to Paris with my mom :)
🏙️ Atlantic City
by Alex Hartman (Nolita Dirtbag)
I went for my 25th Birthday and it was the best 24 hours of my life. The New Jersey Turnpike, Ruth Chris' Steakhouse, and getting to rub shoulders with the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic's finest at a roulette table in an oxygen-rich room is unmatched. Don't spend more than 48 hours there.
by Megan O'Sullivan (Co-Founder of Byline)
My favorite place to disappear to, especially in the summer, is M’Finda Kalunga Garden in the Lower East Side, on the green space between Forsyth and Christie street. If you need a break from urban life but can't seem to leave the city, this is a perfect reprieve. It is filled to the brim with in-season flowers, there’s a turtle pond, there are plenty of hidden benches and tables (ideal for reading, coffee, and flirting) and there’s even a rooster pin (I don’t know what they’re doing in there). This garden also has a CRITTER COMMITTEE, which organizes events to celebrate the creatures of the garden, such as fireflies and ladybugs (!!). The garden’s name means “Garden at the Edge of the Other Side of the World” — it was designed to serve as a communal backyard for the neighborhood, and that’s exactly what it feels like. I recommend picking up a sandwich from Regina's and bringing a book there for a slow Saturday afternoon (just bring bug spray). A few other great downtown gardens: Miracle Garden on East 3rd and 6th Street & Ave B Community Garden, which has a really fun camp-like stage where they host musical acts and readings from time to time! If everything goes my way, I’ll be a community garden lady one day.
by Michael Philbin (Copywriter, 1st Perfectly Imperfect Guest)
One of my favorite things about the neighborhood I live in is that absolutely no one says “hey, let’s go out in Carroll Gardens tonight!”
Because of this, weekend nights/days are free of insane crowds and sceney, 19 y/o transplants projectile vomiting on the sidewalk. Instead, it's a modest gathering of neighborhood folks who collectively gravitate towards Smith Street and its eclectic selection of bars, food and fare.
Some standout gems: A tiki dive bar with an adorable backyard, some hyped up ramen, fancy cocktails, independent book browsing, a yacht club with no boats, neon-lit cubana, and what many have deemed the very best tattoo shop in nyc.
💺🤟 The Best Seats in the House
by Logan Chung R. (Musician)
This dual recommendation (I hope that's allowed!) is only for those of us on the shorter side – if you're above, say, 5'8": keep scrolling, you tall. Concertgoing can be hard on the short in stature, but two sacred spots always allow me to see over a crowd of more fortunate talls: the first, at Baby's All Right, is on the left (stage right) wall, just before the walkway steps down to the front of the audience. The second is upstairs at Music Hall of Williamsburg, just before the VIP entrance on the right, where one can stand on a bench and finally experience what it's like to be