I was raised in Vancouver, which has been called "the best city in the
world" and "Canada's crack den". After much wandering I settled in Brooklyn, which has been called "the ground zero of gentrification". Working as a reporter for a decade taught me to use other people's quotes to say what I really want to say. Before I found my way to journalism I worked as a waitress, a bartender, a deck hand, a landscaper, an office temp, and a peep show girl. I was bad at four of those jobs and good at two. New York Magazine has said I was "born reasonable".

I've lived in Paris, London, Cairo and Auckland, among other places. I've
worked at Reuters, The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, and The Daily, and
written for many other well-known publications, like The New York Times and Sport Diver. I've written about everything from economics to sex, sometimes both in the same story. My first freelance writing gig was for a now-defunct alternative newspaper called The Seattle Scroll, which was printed on an actual scroll. My first story for them was about moss sculpture.