Photo Essay

The capital of empires, today

Photo Essay: The Controlled Chaos of Istanbul

Istanbul is a great place to visit: it's located right smack on the dividing line between Europe and Asia, with a wealth of historical and religious sites, bazaars, a rich food culture and nearby islands that can be gotten to via ferry rides. Photographer and GP contributor Isaac Zapata recently explored the city and experienced its "clash of beauty, history and a controlled sort of chaos."

Shades of Tennis's Most Unique Tournament

Photo Essay: French Red

The French have two Brits to thank for their beloved red playing surface, which today lives on in small training centers on the outskirts of Paris, tournaments for the rising stars of the sport, and one of professional tennis’s oldest events. We were on hand during the week of the French Open to capture all the nuance of the storied surface.

The Sights to accompany the sounds

Photo Essay: Governors Ball

On June 6th, over 40,000 people descended on Randalls Island, NY for the first of three music packed days at the Governors Ball Music Festival. On any other day of the year, Randalls Island’s 520 acres sit silent. But for three days straight, from 12:15pm until 11pm, music performers from Vampire Weekend to Outkast to Skrillex to The Strokes take the stage under the hot summer sun and the starless night that hangs over Manhattan. GP was there, and this is what we saw.

First, third or last: Italy always wins

Gran Premio d’Italia

The Autodromo Internazionale del Mugello, a 3.25 mile serpent of asphalt nestled within the Tuscan Appenine Mountains just north of Florence, plays host every year to the Gran Premio d’Italia MotoGP race -- the home race for Ducati Corse. With only one world championship to its name (2007) and zero dry-weather victories during the 2013 season, the Ducati Team had the eyes of a nation following its every move this past weekend at the fastest track on the calendar.

Hawaii's Old Man in the Sea

Photo Essay: Ocean to Mountain in Kaua’i

Volcanic activity lifted Hawaii's oldest island up from the ocean floor six million years ago, and millennia of rainfall -- amounts on par with the highest on Earth -- have carved out deep valleys, gorgeous waterfalls and ridges that rise thousands of feet into the air like razors set on edge. In this photo essay we explore both summit and sea.

An Unlikely Expat

A Visit to Thule’s U.S. Headquarters in Seymour, CT

If you’re into the outdoors and own a car, chances are you own or have owned a Thule product for hauling your skis, bikes, kayaks and other outdoor gear. Nearly 80 percent of the company's products for the U.S. market are made in the states, many of them at their Seymour, CT facility. We dropped in for a visit.

Classic cars, Champagne and yachts

Photo Essay: 2014 Monaco Grand Prix Historique

The Historic Grand Prix is one of the most important historic track events of the year, and it’s easy to see why: throughout the weekend, classic cars of all sorts drive the circuit in downtown Monaco, drivers mingle in their race suits, mechanics tinker, car nuts scoop their tongues off the ground and tall women glide by in cocktail dresses and heels.

A Beautiful Grind on Ancient Rocks

Photo Essay: Running the Grand Canyon

Going “Rim to Rim to Rim” is a double-crossing of the Grand Canyon, covering 42.4 miles and 22,000 feet of vertical, and it’s a rite of passage for ultra runners. GP contributor Ben Clark reports on his epic there-and-back-again run.

Finding the Foodie Gems of Israel's Second Largest City

Photo Essay: A Food Tour of Tel Aviv

Tel Aviv-based photographer Danya Weiner and food stylist Deanna Linder share their picks for the city's best restaurants.

Glacial peaks, wild rivers and one totaled car

Photo Essay: Wild Oregon

Over the course of 2,500 miles of driving and exploration, photographer Chris Burkard encountered glacial peaks, wild rivers, rain forests, volcanic lakes, historic rock climbs and even the home of The Goonies. His stage: the great state of Oregon in the devastatingly grand Pacific Northwest.

A New Home For American MotoGP

Photo Essay: The Grand Prix Of The Americas

Each corner at the Circuit of The Americas is an homage to the most iconic turns from the world of Grand Prix. The track's red, white and blue runoff areas make a declaration that's even more clear when seen from above, perched atop the infield's 250-foot observation tower: the international motorcycling scene has found a vibrant home in America.

These are a few of our favorite things

Photo Essay: Cars and Coffee

From the Archives: One of my favorite things to do on a Saturday is roll out of bed at 5:30 a.m., grab a camera and my jacket and drive 48 miles from LA to a business park in Irvine. There, on any given Saturday, hundreds of cars worth millions of dollars gather for Cars and Coffee, a special event where two common denominators create a mood of friendship, relaxation and shared passion.

Cutting Crew

Photo Essay: Geno’s Barberia

Geno learned to be a barber in Montenegro at age 13. His shop in downtown Manhattan is our favorite place to go for a cut and a shave.

Breckenridge's New Expansion Wows

Photo Essay: Capturing Peak Six on Film

More than 50 years in the making, the 540-acre Peak 6 opened on Christmas Day, 2013, bringing a fantastic mix of terrain that fills a surprising gap in Breckenridge's arsenal. The new terrain offers some of the only above-treeline skiing for intermediates in the country and even more of Breck's famous expert terrain. There was no doubt that we had to give it a test -- strictly for investigative reasons, of course.

Chasing Sun in the Southwest

Photo Essay: Running the Zion Traverse

Mountaineer and ultra runner Ben Clark shares photos from his single-day run across Zion National Park, also known as the Zion Traverse.

This Scotish archipelago has no shortage of history

Photo Essay: The Orkney Islands

Orkney, as it’s called by the locals, is an archipelago of 70 islands off the northern tip of the Scottish mainland. At one point or another, Vikings, Norwegians and Scots all listed the Old Red Sandstone outcrops as their home. The Neolithic monuments of these ancient inhabitants are one of Orkney’s biggest draws; another, of...

Haute Cuisine in the Divine City

Photo Essay: The Dorrance

Welcome to The Dorrance, granddaddy of Rhode Island's burgeoning fine dining scene. It's housed in a former Federal Reserve bank. The confit chicken wings are crispy. Your cocktail is waiting on the bar.

121 Leagues South of Miami

Photo Essay: Cayman Sister Islands

Unlike Grand Cayman, Little Cayman and Cayman Brac don’t have car dealerships, fancy restaurants, banks or clubs. The only company is the companion you flew in with, red-footed boobies, and disarmingly laid back residents who are quick to smile and even faster to offer help. Visit once and you’ll return for life.

A Weekend at the Big Dance

Photo Essay: The 2014 NCAA’s Mens Final Four

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament is a full-blown cultural phenomenon, complete with its own vernacular and pseudoscience. We headed down to Dallas to experience this year’s finale and and snapped some photos in between occasional showers, shortages of $9 Miller Lites and gridlocked crowds.

May God have mercy on your quads

Photo Essay: The Jerusalem Marathon

Every religion has its pilgrimages, many of them to Jerusalem. Christians visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Muslims, the Dome of the Rock. Jews pray at the Western Wall. Running, while not an official religion, is nevertheless a sport of the pious, and its acolytes meet once a year at the Jerusalem Marathon. We were on hand at this year’s race to take in the struggle and the glory of the scenic 26.2-mile course.

Haus Sweet Haus

A Walk Through the VitraHaus

Though opened nearly four years ago, the VitraHaus remains a pilgrimage-worthy menagerie of design. Located in the German town of Weil-am-Rhein and built by famed builders Herzog & de Meuron, the VitraHaus is series of stacked longhouses filled with an assemblage of classic and contemporary design goods for the home. Visitors are encouraged to not just gaze in the standard museum sense, but to touch and interact with everything. A walk-through had us rethinking our own homes.

Seriously fashionable cyclists

Photo Essay: New York Bike Style

New York City has the largest bike-share system in the country, with 600 stations and 10,000 bikes, not to mention more than 600 miles of bike lanes. But as photographer Sam Polcer's new book, New York Bike Style, shows, the cyclists themselves -- and their style -- are a city treasure. Polcer, who regularly photographs cyclists in New York for his blog, Preferred Mode, shared a preview of his book with GP.

The Forecast Calls For Pain

Photo Essay: Power Of 4 Ski Mountaineering Race

The basic premise of the sport is to ski up and down a resort or backcountry course as fast a possible -- think trail running, but with ultralight ski gear, winter conditions, and powder turns on the downhill. After spending most of this winter chasing deep powder in Utah's Wasatch Range, we decided to put our months of dawn patrol and long ski weekends of training to the test in one of the sport's most prestigious North American races, the Power of 4 in Aspen, CO.

Bringing wild shores to your mundane coffee table

Photo Essay: Distant Shores

Surf photographer Chris Burkard’s latest project is a 180-page hardcover with photos from diverse locations including Alaska, Chile, Iceland, India and Japan. These photos, which Burkard shared with GP, document his adventures traveling across the world as he captured photos of surfers and the natural world they inhabit.

13 Mile Chill

Photo Essay: New England’s Winter Surfers

The sky is a slate gray on the cruise up I-95 to Hampton Beach, NH. I left Boston to catch a glimpse of a handful of New England’s athlete-contrarians, people who spend the summer dreaming of frigid waters, storms and angry seas. They're winter surfers -- and this is their season.

A caving expedition in Belize

Descending into the Mayan Underworld

We’d been underground for five hours, as deep as 600 feet below the surface of the jungle in a cave the Belizeans call the Mountain Cow Cave. The cavern has been rebranded for tourists as the more picturesque-sounding Crystal Cave, though few tourists make it here. Unlike the more famous and accessible Actun Tunichil Muchnal cave, which sees thousands of visitors per year, Crystal Cave only sees a few hundred, most only peeking into its impressive foyer. I could see why. It was not for the faint of heart.

An Offshore Account

Photo Essay: Diving and Decompressing in Belize

After a long and fairly uneventful dive on an unnamed reef out in South Water Caye, I clambered aboard Splash Belize’s dive boat, shed tanks and weights and stripped off my wetsuit. The big diesels rumbled to life and Captain Malcolm steered toward a small island in the distance. As we drew closer, I could make out a few small panga boats and some activity on the beach. Then came a distinctive smell: barbecue.

Neighbors a World Away

Photo Essay: Haiti, Three Years After the Quake

On January 12th, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake shook Haiti, the poorest country in the Western Hemisphere. Perhaps "shook" is an understatement. The quake destroyed 250,000 Haitian residences and 30,000 commercial buildings and claimed (depending on who you ask) between 100,000 and 300,000 lives. In the days that followed the quake, foreign aid poured into Haiti, along with monetary pledges from nations all across the world. But numbers never quite capture a country's conditions, culture or people, as GP staffer K.B. Gould discovered during a recent visit.

So close yet so far away

Photo Essay: 20 Days in Cuba

From the Archives: One month ago, a GP writer slipped into a country largely untouched by American influence since 1960 (beside the repercussions of a commercial, economic and financial embargo, that is) for a three-week adventure with friends. We asked him to document his travels. What follows are his experiences, each unique to a region...

The Iditarod, by Bicycle.

Photo Essay: Iditarod Trail Invitational

The Iditarod Trail Invitational (ITI) is the world's longest winter ultramarathon by mountain bike, foot and ski. It follows the historic Iditarod Trail from Knik, AK, over the Alaska Range to McGrath and on to Nome. If you like to run and ride in severe winter conditions and sleep outside in the frozen tundra, then this is the race for you.

Ice cold Red Bull

Photo Essay: Red Bull Crashed Ice

While all eyes were on Sochi as the Olympics wrapped up, another exciting winter sports event was happening this past weekend in St. Paul, Minnesota: the Red Bull Crashed Ice championships. Crashed Ice is Red Bull’s (generally apt) name for the up-and-coming sport of ice cross. And though it may be a made-up sport invented to sell energy drinks, it wouldn't be terribly surprising to see it in the Olympics one day.

Iconography

Talk Shop: Icon Motorsports

Catering to a group of riders that had historically ignored protective gear completely, Icon Motorsports created its own market and developed one hell of a loyal base by literally saving their customers' skin. Thirteen years after their inception, the Portland-based company is still kicking ass, pumping out both no-compromise protective gear and some tire-shredding bikes.

An awesome two-wheeled show, despite the snow

Photo Essay: The One Motorcycle Show

Twenty-eight hours before the doors officially opened at The One Motorcycle Show, in Portland, Oregon, things started looking messy. #TheOneSnow was already trending, and many builders were stuck in whiteout conditions, struggling to make it at all. Those who had arrived, bikes in tow, wondered if anyone would be crazy enough to attend. But motorcyclists are a passionate bunch -- even the ride scheduled the following day continued as planned.

A trip to (what we thought was) the ragged edge of control

Track Day: At the Fringe with Porsche & Pirelli

Most drivers, including Porsche owners, spend little time at the ragged fringe of control. Daydreams of record-time morning commutes are one thing, but precise, high-speed driving is rarified air for most. Porsche has a solution: driving school. At Porsche Sport Driving School you won't come away with points off your license or a lower insurance rate. Instead, you get a crash-course in precise driving at high speeds.

Searching for enlightenment at Drag Racing's Garden of Eden

Photo Essay: Crushing Numbers at NHRA Winternationals

Drag racing at its core isn’t a complicated sport. Two cars line up. Their drivers hit the pedal on the right. A thousand or so feet later someone wins. It stands to reason that there must be something more to this sport, something visceral that has kept people interested in pure, unadulterated speed for so long. With that in mind we headed to the first race of professional drag racing’s pro circuit, The NHRA Winternationals at the historic Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

A Collection of Vintage Straight Razors

Photo Essay: Respect for the Blade

For many, shaving is a daily nuisance. Not so for everyone, we recently learned when GP writer Mike Henson shared his love of the straight razor shave. We asked him to catalogue his antique collection and got more than we bargained for in passion, history, and a set of beautiful tools.

Building Watches the Old-Fashioned Way

Photo Essay: A Visit to Villeret

We left Geneva early, before sunrise, our destination the tiny Alpine hamlet of Villeret. This was the home of the historic Minerva watch manufacture, now part of Montblanc, a brand more often associated with writing instruments than those that keep time. Stepping into the building was like stepping back in time to an era when small factories in these isolated mountain towns made a few watches a year.

Killer Pow, Bro

Photo Essay: Skis from a Bygone Era

Skis have become impossibly technical -- not with complicated gadgets and moving parts, but other things that engineers geek out over like ski geometry, core materials and physics. In this photo essay we recall a bygone era of skis when color schemes were impossibly neon, patterns were questionable and bindings were more like door hinges.

From Geneva with Love

Live From Geneva: SIHH 2014

This time of year, the horological universe revolves around the Palexpo center in Geneva. It's SIHH -- the Salon International Haute Horlogerie, where the watch brands under the Richemont Luxury Group umbrella (and a couple of outlying independents) convene to display their wares in elaborate and opulent "booths" that defy that pedestrian name. Journalists and retailers from around the world descend on Geneva to jostle for first looks at the latest and greatest creations from legendary maisons like Jaeger-LeCoultre, A. Lange & Sohne and Audemars Piguet. Follow our man on the ground, Jason Heaton, as he sends in the latest horological news every half hour.

Wreaking Havoc In A Winter Wonderland

Photo Essay: Red Bull Frozen Rush

We recently traveled to snowy and frigid Newry, Maine, where the Sunday River Ski Resort hosted the first-ever Red Bull Frozen Rush truck race. Pro 4 off-road racing trucks hit the slopes, racing up and down in a wild, aggressive, violent scramble over ice and snow, aided in no small part by spiked BF Goodrich tires. We rode along in a truck, watched drivers fly their trucks through the air like madmen daredevils and froze our tushes off all in the name of watching racing history unfold. Check it out yourself here.

Lewis Hine Visits Lancaster, Pennsylvania circa 1936

Photo Essay: Inside the Hamilton Watch Factory, 1936

Today, the once great Hamilton Watch Company factory in Lancaster, Pennsylvania is an apartment complex. But these photos from Depression-era photographer Lewis Hine show the halcyon days at Hamilton, when even during our nation's lowest days, American watchmaking kept people working and a country on time.

No parks? No problem

Deep Cuts: Riding and Rappelling in the American Southwest

Our trip with Gerard is an audible. A group of journalists organized by mountain bike tour operator Sacred Rides, we came for a taste of the company’s newest offering: a tour of the Southwest’s outdoor adventure gems, from singletrack bike trails to world-famous slot canyons. But with Zion National Park closed by the federal government shutdown, we’ve changed tack and hired him to help us navigate nearby Yankee Doodle Canyon -- a technical descent that promises to mimic Zion’s architecture. The road to Yankee Doodle, usually deserted, is littered with dawdling sightseers who walk the road in place of a trail. The shoulder has become a makeshift parking lot full of cars with out-of-state plates.

On the scene of America's biggest art festival

Photo Essay: Art Basel Miami Beach

What exactly is Art Basel? You're not alone in asking. Mixed messages are both a problem and an asset when it comes to the annual December event. Technically speaking, the festivities that culturally connected Americans learn about through New York Times writeups and a flood of social media humble bragging are officially known as Art Basel Miami Beach. We were on the scene to explore and try to define this captivating art wonderland

Alien Chess

Red Bull Battle Grounds and the Rise of eSports

We visit Red Bull Battle Grounds, a two-day tournament in which eight of the world’s best Starcraft II players send angry virtual military units across a digital landscape to destroy their enemy’s virtual bases. Does this event (and the many others like it) signal a shift in gaming's social legitimacy? Read on for an exploration and a photo essay of the event.