William Berger

Writer and Radio broadcast

New York, USA

Opera, maple syrup and loving a cool man

Who is "you"?
I am a married gay man in New York City, 55 years old and not ashamed of that (in fact, proud of having lived this long), interested in all cultures and languages. I’m a writer and I work at the Met Opera, where I also do live commentary on radio broadcasts.

Wich is the thing you love the most in your city?
The thing I love most about New York is the vibe created by the energized people from all over the world. Plus it always has something great to look at, even if you have to look past something ugly. I love to go running here, especially over the Williamsburg Bridge. And I love the live music, every night.

What makes you travel?
I love travel partly to see how things are different in other places, partly to see how things are not different in other places, and partly to get a broader perspective on home once I return.

Places you´ve been in the world?
Three memorable places I’ve been include Berlin (intense energy – not always positive but always challenging); Buenos Aires (achingly beautiful but also a little beaten up and with that same level of energy as New York and Berlin); and Venice, because – let’s face it – every city in the world looks pretty much the same… and then there’s Venice

Tell us a smell, a taste, a color, or a sense you remember from a place you´ve been?
In Quebec, they pour maple syrup over ice and it turns into candy. I have to eat one - but only one - when I go.

What is the silliest thing you ever bought in your trips?
A stupid Union Jack little clock in a tacky tourist shop in London whose alarm went off really loud at 6 in the morning, waking up my entire hotel. It wouldn’t shut off and I had smash it, and then hide from everyone in the hotel.

If Lisbon was a person, who does it remind you of?
Lisbon is that absolutely hot and sexy but also battle-scarred older man who has great stories to tell even though he has a hard time functioning today. He is a little how I would like to see myself – in a few years.

We hate tourism tours?
We Hate Tourism Tours is the son of that older man (Lisbon) who is really fun to go out on expeditions with

Have you ever fell in love with someone when you travel?
I am never out of love when I travel. But it has never lasted beyond the trip itself. However, many good friendships have – and that’s another form of falling in love.

The most embarrassing/funny moment you had while travelling?
When I was boarding a plane in London for my once-in-a-lifetime, paid-for trip to India and the stewardess asked to see my visa and I actually said the words “wait, I need a visa?”

Next stop?
Lately I am interested and almost obsessed with northern Quebec province. I hope to get to Tadoussac or beyond this summer and stand on the shore and have the wind blow in my face for hours while I look across the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. I don’t know why but I am determined to do it.