we’ve been fans of Darrell’s since he was a writer for Style.com
and we’ve followed his work for the Wall Street Journal’s Off Duty
section. now, he’s combining his love for travel writing with his knack for adventure in his latest project, Jungles in Paris
. we caught up with him over a drink to talk about how he’s keeping busy these days.
Hometown and current home
I grew up in Whitefield, Maine. I currently live in New York City.Occupation
Freelance writer and cofounder of Jungles in Paris
, a travel website.You just launched Jungles in Paris. Tell us a bit about it.
We work with photographers and filmmakers to present stories on rare, beautiful, interesting things from around the world. The goal is to surprise and delight—quality over quantity. The name is a reference to Henri Rousseau, a fin-de-siècle painter who lived in Paris. He painted these extraordinary jungle scenes despite the fact that he’d never left France.So, is it safe to say you caught the travel bug long ago?
It’s funny, I went all over the state of Maine as a kid—almost always to play hockey or do something outdoorsy with my dad—but I never really traveled that far or wide until college. After college, I worked and backpacked abroad for a year and a half. Then I got a job at Travel + Leisure
magazine. But many of the most amazing trips I’ve taken have been recently, as a freelance travel writer. It’s a very hard job to get and an even harder one to give up.Where have you been traveling this summer?
Nowhere too far, just a trip up to Maine, to the island in the North Woods where my family has a camp. I’ll be backpacking in Glacier National Park in Montana with some friends in mid-August.
Any other great trips up your sleeve?
Israel in September with my girlfriend.What is the ultimate piece of travel writing?The Snow Leopard
by Peter Matthiessen. What are a few things that are always in your bag?
Pen, notepad, handkerchief. Anywhere I’m traveling, I usually pack a Sigg
water bottle. If the environs are right, I’ll bring a pipe.You live in Little Italy—what are some of your regular spots?
1. The Musket Room
for that special occasion that calls for a flight of vodka.
3. The Smile
for a healthy lunch or their fantastic iced tea.
4. When I can’t be bothered to go to my writing office in the morning, I set up shop at a café called Little Fox
. Great cold brew!
5. I get prosciutto and mozzarella from Di Palo’s
and soup dumplings from Shanghai Café
, but those are sort of grab-and-go places. What’s the piece on Jungles in Paris we need to read right now?
There’s a piece we’ve got coming up about marine iguanas. They live in the Galapagos, which is obviously a one-of-a-kind place on earth, and they’re almost the signature creature there. It was shot for us by Scott Mac Donough, who got some stunning photos, including a few underwater ones. Luckily for us, he can scuba dive. Photography by Bryan Derballa.
Special thanks to The Musket Room