Watch: The Party Island of Ibiza
Ibiza is a place that looms large in all our imaginations, the sun-kissed, beer-drenched rock in the middle of the Mediterranean where all our hedonistic dreams can come true. But what is it that makes people come back year after year to the same tiny island? 
Host Clive Martin sets off to investigate the magnetic appeal of “the party island,” and meets a cast of characters including DJs Carl Cox and Luciano, a crew of scantily clad club-dancers, puking kids on vacation, Alfredo Fiorito—the man who basically invented Ibiza as we know it today—and a 10-foot-tall flying rave robot.

Watch: The Party Island of Ibiza

Ibiza is a place that looms large in all our imaginations, the sun-kissed, beer-drenched rock in the middle of the Mediterranean where all our hedonistic dreams can come true. But what is it that makes people come back year after year to the same tiny island? 

Host Clive Martin sets off to investigate the magnetic appeal of “the party island,” and meets a cast of characters including DJs Carl Cox and Luciano, a crew of scantily clad club-dancers, puking kids on vacation, Alfredo Fiorito—the man who basically invented Ibiza as we know it today—and a 10-foot-tall flying rave robot.

The Sad Death of London’s Weirdest Tourist Attraction
(Photo by Nick Hilton, all other photos by Mark Duffy unless stated)
For tourists visiting London, the beating heart of the West End isn’t the Eros statue, Chinatown, or the flagship Waterstones book store, or any of the other high-profile TripAdvisor-friendly attractions. It’s the palatial white building that sits between the freak show at Ripley’s and the freak show at the Leicester Square KFC: The London Trocadero.

In his 1968 poem “For the Union Dead,” Robert Lowell describes the derelict South Boston Aquarium as standing “in a Sahara of snow.” The Trocadero stands in a Kalahari of krap. The Baroque restaurant, opened at the turn of the 20th century, is now the home of invasive souvenir hawkers and chain gift shops displaying a level of bad taste that borders on satirical performance art.
It wasn’t always this way. In the 1990s, the historic building was salvaged for the purpose of creating the biggest “leisure space” in London, packed with a Nickelodeon studios, an IMAX theater and its crowning glory, SegaWorld, which was essentially just loads of arcade games and a giant statue of Sonic. It was a feat of uniquely poor planning, and almost immediately developed a rust of crapiness. By the Millennium the Trocadero dream was dead: Sega withdrew their sponsorship and SegaWorld was relegated to something called “Funland,” the IMAX vanished, and the escalators stopped moving, never to be effectively repaired. As a final insult, the place was used as a location for the video of Madonna’s 2005 single, “Hung Up.”

Yet, despite the inexorability of this decline, a couple of years ago, the ground floor of the complex was fighting bravely against its inevitable destruction. An apparently salaried attendant was employed to supervise the bungee trampoline. There were public toilets that charged a full £1 ($1.68) and must’ve made a fortune catching the urine of children who’ve had too many sugary tourist-drinks. There was even a time-warp underground connection to Piccadilly Circus subway station, which was populated, at all times, by a silent Japanese break dancing troupe. They head-spun to their terrible J-Pop while the scent of cinnamon wafted down from the fresh bun store (which shared its premises with a shop that, obviously, sold scuba diving equipment).
Continue

The Sad Death of London’s Weirdest Tourist Attraction


(Photo by Nick Hilton, all other photos by Mark Duffy unless stated)

For tourists visiting London, the beating heart of the West End isn’t the Eros statue, Chinatown, or the flagship Waterstones book store, or any of the other high-profile TripAdvisor-friendly attractions. It’s the palatial white building that sits between the freak show at Ripley’s and the freak show at the Leicester Square KFC: The London Trocadero.

In his 1968 poem “For the Union Dead,” Robert Lowell describes the derelict South Boston Aquarium as standing “in a Sahara of snow.” The Trocadero stands in a Kalahari of krap. The Baroque restaurant, opened at the turn of the 20th century, is now the home of invasive souvenir hawkers and chain gift shops displaying a level of bad taste that borders on satirical performance art.

It wasn’t always this way. In the 1990s, the historic building was salvaged for the purpose of creating the biggest “leisure space” in London, packed with a Nickelodeon studios, an IMAX theater and its crowning glory, SegaWorld, which was essentially just loads of arcade games and a giant statue of Sonic. It was a feat of uniquely poor planning, and almost immediately developed a rust of crapiness. By the Millennium the Trocadero dream was dead: Sega withdrew their sponsorship and SegaWorld was relegated to something called “Funland,” the IMAX vanished, and the escalators stopped moving, never to be effectively repaired. As a final insult, the place was used as a location for the video of Madonna’s 2005 single, “Hung Up.”

Yet, despite the inexorability of this decline, a couple of years ago, the ground floor of the complex was fighting bravely against its inevitable destruction. An apparently salaried attendant was employed to supervise the bungee trampoline. There were public toilets that charged a full £1 ($1.68) and must’ve made a fortune catching the urine of children who’ve had too many sugary tourist-drinks. There was even a time-warp underground connection to Piccadilly Circus subway station, which was populated, at all times, by a silent Japanese break dancing troupe. They head-spun to their terrible J-Pop while the scent of cinnamon wafted down from the fresh bun store (which shared its premises with a shop that, obviously, sold scuba diving equipment).

Continue

The VICE Guide to Glasgow 2014
Edinburgh might have the castle, the parliament, the Japanese tourists, the neo-classical architecture, and the advantageously low murder rate, but Glasgow has all the fun. Scotland’s largest city is pretty drunk, yes, but we also punch above our weight culturally, with a dynamic music scene, one of the world’s most iconic art schools, and some of the best pubs and clubs in Britain. So taps aff ya dafties, ‘cos here we fucking go.
Jump to sections by using the index below.
– WHERE TO PARTY– WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DRUGS?– POLITICS, PROTESTS AND JUST HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?   Self-Important Sectarian Bigots | Glaswegian Authority Issues | Immigration– WHERE TO EAT– WHAT DO LOCALS EAT?– WHERE TO DRINK– WHERE TO STAY– LGBT GLASGOW– WHERE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE SOBER– HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF AND BEATEN UP– HOW NOT TO BE A SHITTY TOURIST– PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID– TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES– A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF QUESTIONABLE LOCAL MUSIC– VICE CITY MAP

The VICE Guide to Glasgow 2014

Edinburgh might have the castle, the parliament, the Japanese tourists, the neo-classical architecture, and the advantageously low murder rate, but Glasgow has all the fun. Scotland’s largest city is pretty drunk, yes, but we also punch above our weight culturally, with a dynamic music scene, one of the world’s most iconic art schools, and some of the best pubs and clubs in Britain. So taps aff ya dafties, ‘cos here we fucking go.

Jump to sections by using the index below.

– WHERE TO PARTY
– WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DRUGS?
– POLITICS, PROTESTS AND JUST HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?
   Self-Important Sectarian Bigots | Glaswegian Authority Issues Immigration
– WHERE TO EAT
– WHAT DO LOCALS EAT?
– WHERE TO DRINK
– WHERE TO STAY
– LGBT GLASGOW
– WHERE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE SOBER
– HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF AND BEATEN UP
– HOW NOT TO BE A SHITTY TOURIST
– PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID
– TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES
– A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF QUESTIONABLE LOCAL MUSIC
– VICE CITY MAP

The VICE Guide to Berlin 2014
The German capital is one of the planet’s great party cities, where your every dream and darkest desire has been turned into a three-story nightclub with a merciless door policy. Sadly, everybody in the world knows this, so the only thing worse than the stupid fucking lines outside the clubs are the infuriating tourists within them. Here’s how to avoid pissing off the locals and convince everyone that you’re ein Berliner.
Jump to sections by using the index below:
– WHERE TO PARTY– WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DRUGS?– POLITICS, PROTESTS AND JUST HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?   Legacy of the Squatters | May Day, Refugee Strikes and Neo-Nazis | Berlin’s Immigrants– WHERE TO EAT– WHAT DO LOCALS EAT?– WHERE TO DRINK– WHERE TO STAY– LGBT BERLIN– WHERE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE SOBER– HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF AND BEATEN UP– HOW NOT TO BE A SHITTY TOURIST– PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID– TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES– A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF QUESTIONABLE LOCAL MUSIC– VICE CITY MAP

The VICE Guide to Berlin 2014

The German capital is one of the planet’s great party cities, where your every dream and darkest desire has been turned into a three-story nightclub with a merciless door policy. Sadly, everybody in the world knows this, so the only thing worse than the stupid fucking lines outside the clubs are the infuriating tourists within them. Here’s how to avoid pissing off the locals and convince everyone that you’re ein Berliner.

Jump to sections by using the index below:

– WHERE TO PARTY
– WHAT’S THE DEAL WITH DRUGS?
– POLITICS, PROTESTS AND JUST HOW RACIST IS EVERYONE HERE?
   Legacy of the Squatters | May Day, Refugee Strikes and Neo-Nazis | Berlin’s Immigrants
– WHERE TO EAT
– WHAT DO LOCALS EAT?
– WHERE TO DRINK
– WHERE TO STAY
– LGBT BERLIN
– WHERE TO HANG OUT WHEN YOU’RE SOBER
– HOW TO AVOID GETTING RIPPED OFF AND BEATEN UP
– HOW NOT TO BE A SHITTY TOURIST
– PEOPLE AND PLACES TO AVOID
– TIPPING AND HANDY PHRASES
– A YOUTUBE PLAYLIST OF QUESTIONABLE LOCAL MUSIC
– VICE CITY MAP

A Handy Guide to Everything Interesting in Los Angeles

A Handy Guide to Everything Interesting in Los Angeles

"I once saw the Alamo in Texas while high on LSD. It was dirty and boring, but I had a good time and laughed a lot. I wish I had a tab of acid now because this place is dirtier than the Alamo and almost as boring. I know it’s the oldest man-made thing I’ve ever seen, but I just don’t give a shit."
—Scot Sothern describes his 1983 visit to Egypt

"I once saw the Alamo in Texas while high on LSD. It was dirty and boring, but I had a good time and laughed a lot. I wish I had a tab of acid now because this place is dirtier than the Alamo and almost as boring. I know it’s the oldest man-made thing I’ve ever seen, but I just don’t give a shit."

—Scot Sothern describes his 1983 visit to Egypt

London Is Turning Into a Depressing and Dumb City of Living Stock Images
Every city has its visual cliches. The stereotypes, falsehoods and cheery slices of xenophobia sold to us on cheap postcards and in crap films that reduce the world’s great cities to a handful of worn out cultural cues. If you’ve never been to Paris, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s all girls who look like Charlotte Gainsbourg skipping along the Seine in Breton tops, doling out filter-less cigs to homeless accordion players. When in actual fact, it’s more like a bunch of exchange students laughing at dachshunds and dudes who are still bang into Justice plying rich schoolgirls with shit MDMA.

For New York, the cliches are motor-mouthed cabbies and kids fucking around with water hydrants. For Barcelona, it’s psytrance beachbums and animal cruelty on La Rambla. Tokyo? Weird fish, games machines and businessmen throwing themselves in front of bullet trains.
But what about London? Pearly Kings and Queens? Pie and mash? Foxtons Minis tearing down Brixton High Street, on fire? Rita Ora?
So I decided to pull back for a moment, and consult Getty Images’ wide range of London stock photos. What do they see when they look at the UK’s capital?

"London City Hall"
The vast majority of the London stock photos on Getty are scenic wide shots of the city’s skyline, usually taken at sunset and very rarely from anywhere east of Tower Bridge. Of course, this makes perfect sense. If you’re a journalist writing something about London’s chronic housing crisis, or a body in the Thames river, or Millwall’s terrible run under Ian Holloway, you probably want to illustrate your copy with a picture of the Shard and a few anonymous riverside yuppie-farms when the sun’s going down.
From the outset, it’s clear that this is the London that Getty are most interested in selling to their customers, the London with all the big glass buildings and shimmering water, the one that girl from your school has as her Facebook cover photo, the one on the opening titles to The Apprentice. Not the one where there’s three Paddy Powers on a single high street, or the one of food banks, pigeons cannibalizing fried chicken bones and crack squirrels.
But this one, the nice one by the river with the big buildings.

"Couple Having Coffee At Sidewalk Cafe"
The people in Getty’s pictures are predominantly happy young heterosexual couples who drink coffee, take selfies, and love life and London. And that’s fine. It’s not like they’re going to embark upon an investigative social project about co-dependent heroin addicts crying and vomiting in each other’s arms, or abandoned widows lying catatonic in single bedrooms in Catford.
Continue

London Is Turning Into a Depressing and Dumb City of Living Stock Images

Every city has its visual cliches. The stereotypes, falsehoods and cheery slices of xenophobia sold to us on cheap postcards and in crap films that reduce the world’s great cities to a handful of worn out cultural cues. If you’ve never been to Paris, you’d be forgiven for thinking it’s all girls who look like Charlotte Gainsbourg skipping along the Seine in Breton tops, doling out filter-less cigs to homeless accordion players. When in actual fact, it’s more like a bunch of exchange students laughing at dachshunds and dudes who are still bang into Justice plying rich schoolgirls with shit MDMA.

For New York, the cliches are motor-mouthed cabbies and kids fucking around with water hydrants. For Barcelona, it’s psytrance beachbums and animal cruelty on La Rambla. Tokyo? Weird fish, games machines and businessmen throwing themselves in front of bullet trains.

But what about London? Pearly Kings and Queens? Pie and mash? Foxtons Minis tearing down Brixton High Street, on fire? Rita Ora?

So I decided to pull back for a moment, and consult Getty Images’ wide range of London stock photos. What do they see when they look at the UK’s capital?

"London City Hall"

The vast majority of the London stock photos on Getty are scenic wide shots of the city’s skyline, usually taken at sunset and very rarely from anywhere east of Tower Bridge. Of course, this makes perfect sense. If you’re a journalist writing something about London’s chronic housing crisis, or a body in the Thames river, or Millwall’s terrible run under Ian Holloway, you probably want to illustrate your copy with a picture of the Shard and a few anonymous riverside yuppie-farms when the sun’s going down.

From the outset, it’s clear that this is the London that Getty are most interested in selling to their customers, the London with all the big glass buildings and shimmering water, the one that girl from your school has as her Facebook cover photo, the one on the opening titles to The Apprentice. Not the one where there’s three Paddy Powers on a single high street, or the one of food banks, pigeons cannibalizing fried chicken bones and crack squirrels.

But this one, the nice one by the river with the big buildings.

"Couple Having Coffee At Sidewalk Cafe"

The people in Getty’s pictures are predominantly happy young heterosexual couples who drink coffee, take selfies, and love life and London. And that’s fine. It’s not like they’re going to embark upon an investigative social project about co-dependent heroin addicts crying and vomiting in each other’s arms, or abandoned widows lying catatonic in single bedrooms in Catford.

Continue

Reasons Why San Francisco Is the Worst
2014 is slowly turning into the “Year of San Francisco.” The East Coast media in America has anointed SF as the new hub for innovation, conspicuous consumption, and comically absurd rents. New York Magazine parachuted a bunch of reporters into the Bay Areato figure out how to steal their douchebags back. The article asked “Is San Francisco New York?” No, it’s much worse. The existential crisis around San Francisco’s ascension to the heights of assholery stands in stark contrast to the fact that it is damn near unlivable for most normal people.
The end is nigh for a city that used to be a magnet for the counter-culture. San Francisco was strangled, so we decided to go over the numerous causes of death.

Photo via Flickr User Jay Galvin
Everyone Worth a Damn Is Moving to Oakland
San Francisco used to be that place you moved to if you were too weird for LA, but too lazy for New York. It was a perfect city to ply your trade as a quirky motherfucker with a penchant for “edgy performance art” and whimsical scarves. That was just dandy. We liked that.
Around every corner, there could be an anarchist bookshop or a dude covered in glitter, wearing a Spongebob t-shirt, and sporting a raging hard-on. Where did that San Francisco go? Across the fucking bridge, that’s where.
Oakland is cheaper than San Francisco (but not by much), it’s close to Berkeley’s cultural gravity, and it’s just a BART trip away from what’s left of SF’s relevance. It’s also an industrial wasteland full of crime and Raider fans. You might ask yourself, What happened to San Francisco’s iconoclastic spirit…? Well, in two simple words:

Photo via Flickr User Tech Cocktail
Tech Bros
There’s always been a bourgeois element to San Francisco that we all just ignored. The landed gentry of Nob Hill, Pac Heights, and Sea Cliff have always been there. They have owned their home for years, love wearing fleece sweaters, own nothing but real wood furniture, and are the type of people who tool around McCovey Cove in their yachts during Giants games. They are from a different planet and don’t mingle with the plebs. They have their world of brandy snifters, champagne flutes, cheese tastings, and obscure European automobiles. They honestly don’t care what you think.
The tech bro, on the other hand, seeks to engage in city life. They go to the same bars you do. They eat at the same restaurants. They badly want to be accepted as “cool,” while also having more money than you and getting chauffeured to work in a free corporate bus. Their insistence on trying to infiltrate the real San Francisco has pretty much killed the real San Francisco. Dolores Park, once a safe haven for burnouts to drink 40s and smoke weed at 2:30 PM on a Tuesday, is now the world’s biggest networking event for dudes who wear khakis to the gym.
In New York, Wall Street people know they’re pricks. In Los Angeles, Hollywood people are too stupid to know they’re pricks. In San Francisco, tech bros think they’re saving the world with their crackpot schemes aka “start-ups.” They’re the fucking worst.
Continue

Reasons Why San Francisco Is the Worst

2014 is slowly turning into the “Year of San Francisco.” The East Coast media in America has anointed SF as the new hub for innovation, conspicuous consumption, and comically absurd rentsNew York Magazine parachuted a bunch of reporters into the Bay Areato figure out how to steal their douchebags back. The article asked “Is San Francisco New York?” No, it’s much worse. The existential crisis around San Francisco’s ascension to the heights of assholery stands in stark contrast to the fact that it is damn near unlivable for most normal people.

The end is nigh for a city that used to be a magnet for the counter-culture. San Francisco was strangled, so we decided to go over the numerous causes of death.

Photo via Flickr User Jay Galvin

Everyone Worth a Damn Is Moving to Oakland

San Francisco used to be that place you moved to if you were too weird for LA, but too lazy for New York. It was a perfect city to ply your trade as a quirky motherfucker with a penchant for “edgy performance art” and whimsical scarves. That was just dandy. We liked that.

Around every corner, there could be an anarchist bookshop or a dude covered in glitter, wearing a Spongebob t-shirt, and sporting a raging hard-on. Where did that San Francisco go? Across the fucking bridge, that’s where.

Oakland is cheaper than San Francisco (but not by much), it’s close to Berkeley’s cultural gravity, and it’s just a BART trip away from what’s left of SF’s relevance. It’s also an industrial wasteland full of crime and Raider fans. You might ask yourself, What happened to San Francisco’s iconoclastic spirit…? Well, in two simple words:

Photo via Flickr User Tech Cocktail

Tech Bros

There’s always been a bourgeois element to San Francisco that we all just ignored. The landed gentry of Nob Hill, Pac Heights, and Sea Cliff have always been there. They have owned their home for years, love wearing fleece sweaters, own nothing but real wood furniture, and are the type of people who tool around McCovey Cove in their yachts during Giants games. They are from a different planet and don’t mingle with the plebs. They have their world of brandy snifters, champagne flutes, cheese tastings, and obscure European automobiles. They honestly don’t care what you think.

The tech bro, on the other hand, seeks to engage in city life. They go to the same bars you do. They eat at the same restaurants. They badly want to be accepted as “cool,” while also having more money than you and getting chauffeured to work in a free corporate bus. Their insistence on trying to infiltrate the real San Francisco has pretty much killed the real San Francisco. Dolores Park, once a safe haven for burnouts to drink 40s and smoke weed at 2:30 PM on a Tuesday, is now the world’s biggest networking event for dudes who wear khakis to the gym.

In New York, Wall Street people know they’re pricks. In Los Angeles, Hollywood people are too stupid to know they’re pricks. In San Francisco, tech bros think they’re saving the world with their crackpot schemes aka “start-ups.” They’re the fucking worst.

Continue

I Accidentally Got a Scammer Tortured by Police in Tanzania
It was when they manhandled him onto the table, tethered him to a water pipe coming out of the ceiling, and pulled his pants down to his ankles that I experienced a change of heart. For weeks I’d been consumed with hatred for the man on that table. But it’s funny how your perspective changes when someone is about to be tortured, especially when you’re the one that put him there.
It had begun, like many tales of misadventure, in that most anarchic staging post for travel: the Tanzanian bus station. Ever been to one? This is how it goes: The long-distance buses tend to leave at dusk or before; schedules are mind-bogglingly irregular; a tourist tax on the price of a ticket is all but inevitable. Like transport hubs the world over, they’re a magnet for the wretched, the transient, and the dispossessed. And you endure it all for the privilege of cramming yourself into a bus driven by some prepubescent boy-racer in a country with a traffic-accident rate six times worse than that of the UK.
Continue

I Accidentally Got a Scammer Tortured by Police in Tanzania

It was when they manhandled him onto the table, tethered him to a water pipe coming out of the ceiling, and pulled his pants down to his ankles that I experienced a change of heart. For weeks I’d been consumed with hatred for the man on that table. But it’s funny how your perspective changes when someone is about to be tortured, especially when you’re the one that put him there.

It had begun, like many tales of misadventure, in that most anarchic staging post for travel: the Tanzanian bus station. Ever been to one? This is how it goes: The long-distance buses tend to leave at dusk or before; schedules are mind-bogglingly irregular; a tourist tax on the price of a ticket is all but inevitable. Like transport hubs the world over, they’re a magnet for the wretched, the transient, and the dispossessed. And you endure it all for the privilege of cramming yourself into a bus driven by some prepubescent boy-racer in a country with a traffic-accident rate six times worse than that of the UK.

Continue

I Ate Dinner at Pyongyang’s Cambodian Outpost 
Monivong Boulevard is a bustling thoroughfare in the heart of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. So it’d be easy to wander by the low-profile restaurant that, at first glance, resembles any other Khmer food joint—if it weren’t for the billboard revealing that this restaurant has ties to the most repressive regime in the world. Welcome to “Pyongyang,” a little piece of North Korea in Cambodia.
It’s actually one of a dozen or more Pyongyang restaurants located all over Southeast Asia, all of which are owned and operated by the North Korean regime. Bona fide North Koreans staff the restaurants, which are widely believed to be laundering money and ferrying intelligence back to Kim Jong-un. TripAdvisor gives the one in Phnom Penh 3.5 stars.
I make a reservation for 7 PM and am sure to arrive on time —I imagine tardiness is frowned upon by totalitarians. Either despite or because of the fact that the restaurant is run by a dictatorship, the place is punishingly well-lit thanks to a ceiling covered in compact fluorescent bulbs. Maybe this is to help ensure no sneaky Westerners violate the ban on snapping photos.
Continue

I Ate Dinner at Pyongyang’s Cambodian Outpost 

Monivong Boulevard is a bustling thoroughfare in the heart of Phnom Penh, Cambodia. So it’d be easy to wander by the low-profile restaurant that, at first glance, resembles any other Khmer food joint—if it weren’t for the billboard revealing that this restaurant has ties to the most repressive regime in the world. Welcome to “Pyongyang,” a little piece of North Korea in Cambodia.

It’s actually one of a dozen or more Pyongyang restaurants located all over Southeast Asia, all of which are owned and operated by the North Korean regime. Bona fide North Koreans staff the restaurants, which are widely believed to be laundering money and ferrying intelligence back to Kim Jong-un. TripAdvisor gives the one in Phnom Penh 3.5 stars.

I make a reservation for 7 PM and am sure to arrive on time —I imagine tardiness is frowned upon by totalitarians. Either despite or because of the fact that the restaurant is run by a dictatorship, the place is punishingly well-lit thanks to a ceiling covered in compact fluorescent bulbs. Maybe this is to help ensure no sneaky Westerners violate the ban on snapping photos.

Continue

← Older
Page 1 of 2