THE guard from the antiquities authority was asleep when I arrived at the Temple of Bel, deep in the Syrian desert. Not unreasonable, given that it was before visiting hours, maybe 5:30 a.m., and almost totally dark. A ribbon of purple on the horizon hinted at sunrise, and the war raging over there, in Iraq. [Continue Reading]
HAVANA — It’s just a few lines of blue ink, two words in a neat cursive. “Abajo Fidel” reads the tattoo on Roberto Hernandez Barrios’ left shoulder. But in one of Fidel Castro’s prisons — where Barrios just came from — those are fighting words. They mean, “Down with Fidel.” Barrios’ right shoulder could bear [Continue Reading]
The biggest change to the island’s economy isn’t the thaw in U.S.-Cuba relations Photographs by Sebastián Liste for Bloomberg Businessweek The currency crisis starts about 75 feet into Cuba. I land in the late afternoon and, after clearing customs, step into the busy arrivals hall of Havana’s airport looking for help. I ask a woman [Continue Reading]
Tuareg nomads have stormed out of the desert again, threatening a return to culture war in the Sahara’s legendary lost city. Patrick Symmes on the rebel alliance, and the fire next time. Photographer: Marco Di Lauro/Reportage by Getty Images People dress like kings and queens in the capital of Mali, even in the dirt streets [Continue Reading]
Written by: Patrick Symmes and Peter Frank Edwards Harvest Swoon It’s called agriturismo in Italy—travel to the things that feed us—but these days it’s blooming right here at home, especially in the farms and vineyards of the Pacific Northwest. Patrick Symmes pulls up a chair There was a telescope at the Willows Inn, but I [Continue Reading]
In a country sealed against time, Patrick Symmes discovers the irrepressible cultural vibrancy of an island with storied works from the past, rising art stars of today, and an eye on the future.
Leaving Haiti in a 21’ boat with the Caribbean’s bravest sailors.
I followed Hannah as she swam over the sand and then up the gently sloping mountain of coral in front of us. I could feel the pressure subsiding—ninety feet, then seventy, sixty, forty—until we came to the top of the reef, at about thirty-five feet. There were green needlefish hovering here, a blue-tinged Caribbean spiny lobster jammed into a crevice, and waves of lettuce coral and gorgonian fans. A four-foot barracuda paid no attention to us, which is what you want from a barracuda. Decompressing in a motionless float, I shared the current with bright, tiny fairy basslets and a pair of gray angelfish that moved in devoted tandem. The reef was a vibrant collage of soft and hard coral thick with fish. Long barrel sponges gave shelter to a balloonfish, a school of mackerel whipped by, there was a black grouper, and an eagle ray fanned past on its way to the shallows.
The Sweetest Villains: In Prewar Syria, a farewell tour for archaeology, peace, and dictators.
The singing builds, the flags wave, and for a while we are inside the joyous machine of a fan club, exactly where I always dreaded, a stomping, jeering, cheering, and drunken band of warriors. The enemy—the Brazilian team Fluminense—takes the field amid a deafening chorus of 40,000 boos. When Boca comes out, the stadium explodes into a wall of bass drums and chanting: Dale, dale, Bo! Dale, dale, Bo! Dale, dale, Bo! Bo-ca! Let’s go, Boca!
The visiting team gives the stadium a scare: two quick attacks on goal. La Doce only sings louder, draining the atmosphere with a version of “Volare” for 20,000 voices.
Three ways to see and save the Caribbean’s imperiled reefs.