• The Trickle-Down Economics of Nicaragua’s Drug Trade

    When the Bluefields and the rest of Nicaragua's Caribbean Coast was a hub for cocaine traffic, violence went up and most of the profits went to unscrupulous kingpins—but the extra money was also a boon to many poor residents.

  • The Site of Hitler’s Suicide Is Now a Playground

    By the afternoon of his suicide, Adolf Hitler hadn’t seen the sun in ten days. He had been living in a concrete bunker 28 feet below the ruins of Berlin for months. Sixty-eight years later, Berlin is almost unrecognizable, and a slide sits atop the exact location where the Fü…

  • Neither Big nor Easy

    A Pilgrimage to Gypsy Lou Webb, New Orleans’s Patron Saint of Beat Literature

    With her husband Jon, Gypsy Lou Webb ran Loujon Press and made beautiful art books that featured poetry from Charles Bukowski, William Burroughs, and Allen Ginsberg. At 97, she now lives off of social security and the kindness of fans.

  • The Sienese Are Whipping Each Other with Dried Bulls' Penises as Their City Collapses

    Palio is a spectacular 90-second bareback horse race run twice a year around Siena's central plaza in which jockeys whip one another with dried bulls’ penises. But how much longer can the city distract itself with the Palio horse race when the bank that funds Siena’s services, in…

  • We Went To An Outback Love Hunt

    With 89 percent of Australians living in cities, we’re the most urbanised country in the world. But with most of our population crammed into cities, you have to feel for the other 11 percent. That’s where B&S or bachelors and spinsters balls come in. Held in rural Australia, they…

  • This Palestinian Taxidermist's Stuffed Animal Zoo Is Heartbreaking

    I’m at Qalqilya's zoo to see an exhibition of stuffed animals that Dr. Khader has created from the beasts that were killed in the Second Intifada, the four-year period of fighting that claimed the lives of 4,000 Palestinians and more than 1,000 Israelis. It is probably worth ment…

  • I Saw the Future of Pot at Seattle’s Hempfest

    The vibe at the 22nd annual Hempfest—the massive pot pageant held in Seattle, Washington, this past weekend—was 100 percent celebratory. And why not? Weed is legal in the state and soon will be elsewhere, and all that's left to do is light up and cash in.

  • The Magician's Retreat

    A black winged creature flew into the room and fluttered about erratically. “A bat!” I screamed. Transylvanian thoughts caromed through my mind. “No… wait! It’s a fucking moth!” Raf shouted, as it hurtled to a stop upside down in a corner where the ceiling met the wall. “Holy shi…

  • Romanian Notes

    In Bucharest, the psychological damage inflicted on a society subjected to surveillance terror is apparent everywhere when you scratch the surface, even 24 years after the fall of Ceauşescu. There, no problem is too small to be insoluble, no conflict unthreatening enough to resol…

  • I Tried to Take Part in a Star Trek World Record

    Star Trek conventions are always a sight to behold for their sheer eccentricity and spectacle, but this year's 12th Annual Official Star Trek Convention in Las Vegas was unique. They attempted to break the world record for the most Star Trek costumes in one room, and it was my dr…

  • Prison Pit

    In a rancid, sweltering prison yard ringed by a high wall topped with barbed wire sat three cages. They stood about 12 feet wide and 15 feet tall—each crammed with more than 30 human bodies.

  • Parisians' Sordid Love Affair with Brooklyn

    In the Paris subcultures that love peppering their conversation with English and wear outfits that would even be obnoxious in Williamsburg, Brooklyn is a Wes-Anderson-meets-Woody-Allen fever dream and being called a hipster is an odd kind of compliment.

  • Manchester's Muslims Threw a Wild Street Party for Eid

    The Muslims of Greater Manchester flock to Curry Mile to celebrate Eid al-Fitr in a wild party atmosphere, where the curry houses, shisha bars, and milkshake cafes are packed and street vendors and performers pepper the pavement.

  • I'm a Russian Lesbian Pretending to Be Straight to Avoid Persecution

    Almost every day, the Russian government releases new laws and government statements that make queer Russians’ lives more and more difficult—if not next to impossible. Right now, I’m a Russian lesbian visiting relatives in Russia. To survive the past two weeks, I’ve had to preten…