Margot Tohn '86, Peter Bronski '01
Margot Tohn '86
In the nine years she lived in Australia after graduation, Margot Tohn worked as a cow-girl, got an MBA, and helped manage a bank's sponsorship of the Sydney Olympics. Since returning to New York City, she has embraced another challenging field: parking.
Tohn is the author and publisher of Park It! NYC Complete Guide to Parking Garages, now in its third edition. Organized by neighborhood, the guide features maps, hours, rates, and specials for all 1,093 parking garages in Manhattan. "Parking is one of those things that New Yorkers love to complain about," says Tohn, a linguistics major on the Hill. "And they're right to complain. You can't find it on the street, and it's too expensive when you do find a garage." So Tohn came up with the idea for the 376-page guide, which includes information about tipping and safety. "I couldn't find parking one day, and I thought, God, there's got to be a book," she says. "I couldn't find one, so I asked myself, How hard could it be?'"
The answer, it turns out, is "very." Among the hurdles of self-publishing a parking guidebook are spending more than 100 hours in the car doing research, plus overseeing layout and design, finding a printer, and convincing stores to carry the finished product. (It's available on Amazon.com and in Barnes & Noble stores in the New York metro area, among other retailers.) Eventually, Tohn plans to offer an online edition and print guides for other cities. In the meantime, she says she's happy with the project's success. "I come from a family of entrepreneurs," she says, "so I think it was my time."
— Ian Holliday
Peter Bronski '01
Rock climbing, snowkiting, and whitewater rafting would be adventures for the average person—but for Peter Bronski, it's just another day at the office. The Colorado-based writer has combined personal and professional pleasures in a series of books about outdoor pursuits. His most recent is Powder Ghost Towns, a guide to backcountry skiing at abandoned resorts throughout the state. Other works include an Adirondack Mountain survival guide, a magazine article on his (failed) attempts at bull-riding, and an upcoming novel about storm-chasers. "There is so much diversity out there, and one should embrace it to its fullest," he says. "I try to do that, and to share it through my writing."
Bronski calculates that he spent two years and drove more than 7,000 miles in his quest to rediscover lost ski areas for Powder Ghost Towns. Other assignments have had him climbing mountains in the Andes and the Swiss Alps, gliding a sailplane over Vermont's Mount Mansfield, and competing in off-road triathlons. And though he and his wife, Kelli Terry Bronski '01, recently welcomed daughter Marin Concetta, he says that parenthood won't slow him down. "We'll bring her, without a doubt," he says. "Once she gets a little older and can handle it, she'll be out there."
— Zak Failla