‘Get Lost, You Little Bastard’: Brussels and Paris Locked in a Hilarious Insult Throwdown

13 Jun

Is the capital of the EU really just Europe’s capital of ugly? French writers say yes; Brussels fires back.

Exile: Her feet planted in Somali sand, an English school in her head

13 Jun

When writer Nadifa Mohamed returned to her Somali home town of Hargeisa in 2010 after 22 years’ absence, it was not her eyes that helped her locate her childhood home, but her feet.

Amsterdam’s Latest Quest to Tame Legalized Prostitution

13 Jun

The city is tightening the rules governing its famous red light district. Will the efforts cut down on sex trafficking or make the problem worse?

The Next Marijuana Legalization Fight? Copenhagen vs. the Rest of Denmark

25 Mar

The city of Copenhagen wants to legalize cannabis and, if possible, get supplies of the drug from the United States. 

Despite Austerity, Athens Completely Revamps Its Downtown

25 Mar

Tramlines! Bike paths! Trees!  Plans for downtown Athens could turn an area of shabby charisma into one of real, walkable charm.

The London Tube’s Cultural Moment

25 Mar

The Tube is London’s skeleton, its nervous system and its heart

When Travel Writing Goes Wrong: “Edgy” Berlin Edition

22 Jan

“Wait, no. That’s not my city.” 

I can’t be the only person who thinks this when they happen across a travel article about their hometown. Whether it’s being recommended a “hip” restaurant 10 years too late, or reading ludicrously false advice on how to blend in, there’s something about travel writing that takes us into a parallel Narnia version of our own city, similar to what we know but somehow terribly, horribly wrong.

Vintage Performance: Eastern European Wine Gets Serious

22 Jan

On a warm autumn afternoon in Tokaj, Laszlo Kalocsai waits patiently for his grapes to turn mouldy. 

Out of the Shadows: the Rise of Posh Pawn

22 Jan

“Indian gold can look a little cheap because it’s so intensely yellow,” says Pamela Baffour-Djan, holding up some tinny-looking bangles, “but that’s actually because it’s at least 22 carats,” close to pure.

Athens is Still Athens

23 Nov

The portrait of the city as a burnt-out hellscape has little basis in reality.