Sea Fever: The Traditional Sailing of ‘Os Galos’

Lives and Times

I went to sail with Víctor, and I fell totally in love with it – I said to myself, “this is marvellous!” – and it was a day in which there was a very soft breeze, and the boat it moved, but slowly, it was all super peaceful, and how marvellous, no? The silence, going about through the water, without the motor grinding eeeeerrgh, it seemed to me so good…” – that is how Lidia describes her love-at-first-sail experience with the traditional boats of Bueu, a marinero town on the north-facing peninsula of Morrazo, Galicia.

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The Friend That Got Away


Beverly Donofrio | Longreads | March 2018 | 11 minutes (2,860 words)

A year or two after we graduated, my best friend from college went through a breakup with a two-timing cad who nearly broke her. I knew from conversations that there had been epic fights and that she’d kept a journal through the worst of it. I was trying to be a writer in the middle of my own epicly bad relationship and asked if I might borrow her journal to read. I thought there might be some knowledge, some insights, and perhaps even some good lines I might ask to use in the novel I was planning but never actually getting down to writing. Katherine handed me her spiral notebook, one hand on top, the other on the bottom, like a Bible for swearing on, and asked me to promise I’d take good care of it. And I…

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Trump Properties As Symbols of American Mediocrity and Lies


From golf courses to vineyards, Donald Trump has invested in and licensed his name to many ventures around the world. They are not only gaudy and expensive, they often fail to live up to their hyperbolic promise.

For the Washington Post, travel writer Jason Wilson visits five Trump properties ─ in New Jersey, Virginia, Panama, Scotland, and Canada ─ to experience them as a customer and reviewer. He eats the food and sleeps in the rooms and describes the experience (though not the whole suckling pig for $495). What he finds is that these Trump businesses provide a dark vision of America and of Trump as “someone who would promise you the spectacle of a horse diving into the ocean, and then deliver a mule diving into a swimming pool.” This warped portrait includes classism, pettiness, poor taste, skeleton staffs, cosmetic bookshelves, unnecessarily tall structures, financial struggles, and false public…

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Every Wartime Snapshot is Also a Family Photo


Today, more than twenty years after my parents and I left Bosnia, there are still refugees in the world—hundreds of thousands of them, in fact. The current refugee crisis, fuelled by wars in Syria and across the Middle East, has been immortalized by photos of families just like mine: men, women and children sitting in bus stations waiting for food, trapped behind border fences and holing up in dilapidated refugee camps. Every day, countless times a day, photographers will walk up to a family and take their picture. This picture may then be posted on Facebook and printed in newspapers, or flashed across television screens. These images of suffering are used to prompt or prevent political action, to inspire pathos or anger, to inform and entertain. But these aren’t just documents of historical events, they are family photographs, each containing memories. I couldn’t help but wonder what other refugees see…

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Walking the Line in the Bekaa Valley


When every single day seems to contain ten distinct — and equally dramatic — news cycles in North America, it’s all too easy to forget that one of the biggest humanitarian crises of our time continues to unfold in and around Syria. In Popular Mechanics, Bronwen Dickey follows a small group of slackliners as they criss-cross the Bekaa Valley, in eastern Lebanon, where hundreds of thousands of refugees reside in makeshift camps. Their mission is to give as many refugee children as possible a chance at a literal balancing act, a fleeting moment of controlled fear — and, hopefully, joy — in a daily life that’s full of the chaos of displacement.

If tightrope-walking, with all its sober elegance, is the classical violin, then slacklining is the country fiddle, full of mischief and improvisation. Though some do it competitively, for most enthusiasts there is nothing to summit or…

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001 M-ine

Li Shen


Influenced by the style of graphic minimalism, this image portrays the abstract path of light on a ceiling in a modernist building in Hong Kong. Subtly embedded in plain sight is a stark reminder to think outside the frame even when heavily constrained and boxed in.  – LS


This illustrates the tale of the canaries in a coal mine. Sensing darkness as opposed to carbon monoxide, they remain isolated within the dystopian backdrop of London office blocks. Slowly lowered into the abyss by the converging rotating columns, they are being silently observed by the rectangular viewfinders. –LS

Note. I have hit a reset button on this blog to regularise the randomness of the content. In the future, there will be two curated images per (numbered) post with some text explaining my thoughts behind them. The plan currently is to update more frequently (weekly or fortnightly) depending…

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“Hey, Can I Sleep In Your Room?”: Studying Love with Elizabeth Flock


Jonny Auping | Longreads | March 2018 | 16 minutes (4,156 words)

In her recently published book, The Heart Is a Shifting Sea, Elizabeth Flock aims to tell authentic stories of love in the city of Mumbai. But in a place where the notion of flashy Bollywood romance is ubiquitous, Flock went about her mission as a diligent reporter, spending close to a decade observing the daily lives of married couples in the eighth largest city in the world — interviewing them, living with them — even sleeping on their bedroom floors.

Flock, who spent two years in Mumbai in her early twenties, returned in 2014 to embed with her book’s subjects — three couples she had previously met. “I liked them because they were romantics and rule breakers,” Flock writes. “They dreamed of being married for seven lifetimes, but they didn’t follow convention.”

The deeply reported chronicles of…

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How to Run a Magazine in the Desert


Either you’re the kind of person who wants to start a magazine or the kind who can’t understand why anyone would start a magazine. Well, Ken Layne started the magazine Desert Oracle in Joshua Tree, California, and it’s struck a chord with readers.

At Pacific Standard, Max Genekov profiles the determined desert resident who designs, edits, and ships each issue of his independent magazine himself. Following a winding path through established media, Layne landed in this scorching, brown, 8,000-person town and decided the arid West needed its own literary outlet. Unlike many publications, Desert Oracle is funded entirely from subscriptions. Readership is brisk. The reception has been enthusiastic. Subscriptions are growing, but how does one person successfully run a small publication? Like the desert itself, Layne’s Oracle contains a peculiar magic that speaks to a particular but motley breed of people.

Of the people living in Joshua Tree…

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The Best Food Is Somewhere Else


My favorite food truck in Austin was closed last Sunday.

This particular truck is a neighborhood mainstay. (DM me if you are wildly curious about my taste in trucks. I’ll reply in the form of a koan, like a fortune cookie. May we all selfishly hoard the best things in life for as long as we can keep them secret.) It’s open every day; it’s been there for years. It is usually up and running, rain or shine, weather be damned. But last Sunday it was closed.

Look, it’s a truck. It was purposely designed to drive off into the sunset. But this one is supposed to be a food truck only in name. It was present and closed, crucially, as opposed to absent and lost to time. (Although the window was boarded up, and the grain of the wood was ominous.) It could disappear, but it doesn’t. It’s been…

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