Things to know about me: I find the predictable path boring. I love riding motorcycles. Despite being born in Lebanon, I was not given nationality since neither of my parents were Lebanese. Three generations in my family have been displaced by war, which is why I had a Syrian passport (though I never lived there), until I became an American citizen at the age of 18. And I’m an Armenian who has never been to Armenia. That’s why when people ask, “Where are you from?” I reply, do you want the long or short version?
Same goes for the question, “What do you do?” At various times my answer has been counselor, bartender, communications director, managing editor, literary agent, special projects and publicity manager, food & beverage consultant, event producer and, most recently, restaurateur who opened NYC’s first acclaimed cider restaurant and bar.
The one through-line in my otherwise peripatetic professional life has been writing. Poetry, nature writing, commentary, many profiles on food and drink, especially cider since as founding producer of Cider Week, I helped to build a market for orchard-based cider in New York State. More recently, I’ve been writing about art, design and travel for Afar and Upstate Diary and I am currently gathering material for a memoir on belonging(s).
Turns out being an outsider with diverse interests is perfect training for a writer who must look at any subject from its most surprising angle.