Friend was a contributing editor at various publications, including Esquire
, prior to becoming a staff writer at The New Yorker
His work there includes the magazine's "Letter from California".
In 2001, he published "Lost in Mongolia: Travels in Hollywood and Other Foreign Lands", a collection of his articles. His memoir, Cheerful Money: Me, My Family, and the Last Days of Wasp Splendor,
was published in 2009.