Andrew Gustafson


I am available for freelance commissions to write news items, features, commentary, blog posts, whatever. I have extensive knowledge and experience in subject areas ranging from Russian politics to New York City history to professional hockey. I also enjoy travel writing, because it gives me the chance to drink the world's best beer (pictured right, Ayan, from Abakan, Russia) on the Trans-Siberian Railroad or wrestle alligators in Colorado (the best $100 I ever spent). For information on my academic publications and projects, please see my Research page and C.V.


I write for a few different websites on a variety of topics. This photo pretty much sums up my blogging interests: Russia, beer, and sports. Check out one of my blogs or follow me on Twitter:

Urban Oyster. This Brooklyn-based tour company provides a number of experiences at lesser-known sites around New York City, including tours of the Brooklyn Navy Yard and a tour on the history of beer brewing in Brooklyn. As the company's resident blogger, I write about culture and history in the New York area as well as the company's ongoing research as we develop new tours.

The Walter Duranty Report. Named for a discredited New York Times reporter posted in the Soviet Union during the 1930's, this blog was created in response to the worrying lack of expertise and critical analysis in reporting on Russia in the English-language press. I mostly post about topics related to the former Soviet Union, but sometimes I write about my other diversions – American politics, hockey, or geography.

Bandy Central. Unfortunately, this blog has fallen by the wayside a bit, but it represents my true passion in life: bandy. A little-known sport played almost exclusively in Russia and the Nordic countries, bandy is like ice hockey, but it is played on an ice surface nearly the size of a soccer pitch. Since almost all coverage of bandy is in Swedish, Finnish, or Russian, the site provides news and analysis in English, though most of it is of the Russian bandy league and my adopted home club, Baikal-Energia Irkutsk. Now with bandy getting ink in the New York Times, and possibly getting a look-in at the 2014 Olympics, it may be time to restart the site and resume my place as the world's pre-eminent English-language bandy blogger.

Recent Publications.

Map featured in "Your Life, Your Map," Interactive Feature on New York Times Online, October 25, 2010.

"Striker to the Line: Playing Vintage Baseball in Brooklyn." Urban Oyster Blog, October 6, 2010.

"Small-Time Regional Sodas with Craft Beer Sensibilities." Urban Oyster Blog, September 16, 2010.

"Bowling for Ducks and Candles: New England's Peculiar Sports." Urban Oyster Blog, June 25, 2010.

"NY Beer Tasting: Experience Brooklyn Beer, Past and Present." Littleviews Travel, March 23, 2010.

"The Challenges of a Church Merger." Greenline: The North Brooklyn Community News, March 1-31, 2010, p. 15.