Travel

Always Learn the Word for Breakfast

Breakfast In Istanbul The first night I arrived in Istanbul, I sat down to dinner brimming with anticipation at what local delicacies would await me. When the waiter handed me a menu, it wasn’t too long before my naiveté was replaced with confusion when I realized I couldn’t make out a single word printed on the page. I was a ...

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It Takes A Village to Eat A Cow for Breakfast

Breakfast in the Philippines My knees had turned a crusty crimson and the sweat on my palms had all but dried. I smiled as faces danced around me in a feverish trance. Women cheered on, their cell phones capturing the moment. The cow, tied and momentarily stunned, had been pulled to the ground with a heavy thud. A blade separated ...

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If You Think You’re Living Your Best Life, Read This and Then Reevaluate

Chablis on Sagami Bay Two red-faced older Japanese men crashed into the common room at the guesthouse I was staying at in Atami, south of Tokyo. They flopped bodily into bean-bag chairs and raised a beer to me, smiling broadly. “Kanpai!” they chimed in unison. “Hello, how are you?!” I smiled back and raised my can of chuhi, a boozy ...

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Three Cheers for Vermouth-Drinking Italian Grandmas

Vermouth in Rome I can remember, as a child, the guilty pleasure in taking a sip of vermut (Italian for vermouth) from my grandmother’s glass, leaving my tongue sweet and my head spinning. Later on I got to have my own splash of the drink, watered down with ice, as an official initiation into the aperitif ritual. Growing up, I ...

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A Carnaval of Resistance

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil– In Rio, locals joke that Carnaval starts one day earlier every year. On a weekend in mid-January, a full month before the five-day event’s official kick-off on Feb. 24, hundreds of people wearing costumes and shimmery face-paint crammed into Flamengo Park to see performances by samba street bands known as blocos (“blocks”), the key element of ...

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An Arab-American Angeleno Gay Journalist Walks Into a Bar…

Tequila in West Hollywood It’s a sign of the times, perhaps, that I find myself at a West Hollywood gay bar having a drink—alone—at 2 p.m. on a Tuesday. It’s a margarita—no umbrella, salt rim, zero bull—sipped from a less-than-ceremonious plastic chalice at Fiesta Cantina, a cavernous hole of a dive bar in Los Angeles’s West Hollywood, one of the ...

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R&K Insider: Too much news edition

Sign up for R&K Insider, our collection of the most compelling happenings in food, politics, and travel from across the web. As per the new world order, this was a real whack-a-mole news week. Frankly, it defied any sort of narrative arc for me, so here’s just a bunch of stuff I thought was interesting. I know, I know! I ...

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And You Think You’re All Outdoorsy With Your Granola Bars

Damper in Australia The creek’s so low that it’s sulkily gathered itself into scummy pools and refuses to flow. Bad news for me; I was relying on this spot to refill my water. But the stagnant, muggy conditions are perfect for mosquitoes, and the air around my campsite is thick with their symphony and with the humidity. No running water ...

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