The Dutch capital is a compact museum city being sunk into its canals by rich Americans staring at Rembrandts and the revolving cast of perverts and drug addicts who infest the red light district. Here’s how to not be awful in Amsterdam.
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.
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.
The three-day strikes might be a thing of the past, but some things endure in the French capital: The techno DJs are still pricks, the waiters are still rude and the big nightclubs still suck. The best of Paris is hidden from view, whether it’s drag queen vogueing parties or raves in the suburbs. So read our guide and figure out the most efficient way of having fun in this place.
The constant, crushing judgement I feel for every living person and non-sentient being I encounter is an anchor that weighs me down and prevents me from experiencing true joy. But just because mama can’t experience true joy doesn’t mean she can’t have a good time not doin’ it! (For the purposes of this paragraph I, and possibly you, are mama.) Mama recently found herself a tourist in the socialist paradise that is Portland, Oregon. She’s heard it’s a nice town. She believes it’s a nice town. Said judgement, however, rendered her unable to fully appreciate its charms. If you’re anything like mama (and, dear reader, I pray you are), this guide should help the Rose City’s organic medicine go down.
Get Your Non-Drinking Business Done During the Day
Most non-alcohol dispensing businesses close at or around 6PM, giving the city’s residents ample time to practice with their noise rock bands, make crafts (crafts are considered currency to Portlanders, in the same way “ideas” are currency to San Franciscans) or ironically play video poker. If you want to do anything but get blotto once the sun sets, you’ll be shit out of luck. Plan accordingly.
Purchase Cutesy Shit
Portland is essentially an Etsy store people live inside of. Embrace the twee and buy your estranged spouse the bacon-scented candle and mustache-shaped wine opener you know will repair your damaged relationship.
Pretend to Enjoy Bitter Beer
Portlanders love craft beers—the darker, the better. Part of being a craft beer connoisseur is convincing yourself that the more bitter a beer, the better it is. You may wonder why your face contorts into a pained grimace every time you take a sip of that local IPA. Ignore those logical feelings and prepare your body for one of the worst hangovers it will ever experience.
NOTE: If you feel like consuming a beverage that won’t make you build character, a mere $3 can net you a tall boy of shitty American macrobrew. Tell your friends it’s an ironic choice, all the while knowing in your heart of hearts you’re drinking it because you want to consume something that doesn’t taste like coffee grinds.
"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."
There’s a town in Northern California, about 25 minutes outside of Sacramento called Yolo. Last weekend, while driving to Reno, I took a detour to visit.
Yolo is located in Yolo County. According to the 2010 US Census, it has a population of 452.
It is home to the Yolo Community Center—a center for the Yolo community to gather. According to a sign in the window, it’s also available to rent for Yolo weddings and other Yolo events.
There is a Yolo County Library. Which is home to First 5 Yolo, a daycare service for Yolo under-5s. A Yolo County Library fax service is also available, for sending faxes from Yolo.
There were signs asking for you to vote for Janene Beronio. She’s attempting to become a judge for the Superior Court of Yolo. A title Lil Jon has probably given himself at some point.
Liquor is also available in Yolo. From a store that has a sign which reads “Liquor Yolo.” I spoke to the owner, and he said that, though he sometimes has people coming in to ask for it, he has no plans to make any kind of Yolo merchandise. He also admitted that he wasn’t totally sure what Yolo meant, but, knew “there was a song about it or something.”
A Visit to Moscow’s Brain Institute, Where Stalin’s Brain Is Kept in a Jar
On April 14, 1930, the Russian poet Vladimir Mayakovsky committed suicide in his Moscow apartment. His closest friends, including the writer Yuri Olesha, rushed to the flat when they heard the terrible news.
As they sat in silence in the living room, a cracking sound suddenly emitted from the bedroom where Mayakovsky’s body lay.
“Only wood, it seemed, could be chopped like that,” Olesha later wrote. Someone was cutting through the wall with an axe. Moments later, a doctor in a white lab coat ran by carrying a washbasin.
Inside it was the poet’s brain.
The doctor told Mayakovsky’s friends that the brain was unusually large—more than 3.75 pounds—before loading it into a car and driving away.
Mayakovsky’s brain was taken to a brick building called the Brain Institute, which was founded by the Bolsheviks in 1928 as part of the effort to canonize Lenin. Lenin’s brain joined those of other proclaimed geniuses in a “Pantheon of Brains,” which displayed the Soviet Union’s finest minds in glass cases. The institute went on to dissect the brains of dozens of famous Soviets, including those of Sergei Eisenstein, Maxim Gorky, and Joseph Stalin. The brain-cataloging continued all the way until 1989, when the fall of the USSR put an end to this peculiar experiment.
Since then, the Institute remains open, but few reporters, Russian or foreign, have been allowed to visit. In recent years, the Institute has been trying to distance itself from the past and adopt a new reputation for modern neurological research—and catching a glimpse of Lenin’s brain in pieces might make its newfound credibility a hard sell. To my delight, however, as part of their effort to show the world how legitimate they’ve become, the Institute let me inside.
In 1998, the antiretroviral drug efavirenz was approved for treatment of HIV infection. Though the drug was highly effective, patients soon began to report bizarre dreams, hallucinations, and feelings of unreality. When South African tabloids started to run stories of efavirenz-motivated rapes and robberies, scientists began to seriously study how efavirenz might produce these unexpected hallucinogenic effects.
Hamilton Morris travels to South Africa to interview efavirenz users and dealers and study how the life-saving medicine became part of a dangerous cocktail called “nyaope.”