From The Archives: Amazon’s Fire TV provides the best experience of any streaming device for consumers who’ve spent more than a few paychecks on the company’s media ecosystem. No question about it: if you live and die by Amazon Prime Instant Video, buy the Fire TV and rejoice. But what if you aren’t a card-carrying member of the Bezos fan club? We found a comfy couch and tested it out.
Does this weight make me look fat?
From The Archives: Though the newer cars might be faster, safer and better appointed, they certainly don’t feel more agile or connected to the driver. In the name of technology, most sports sedans have lost a purity that once existed across the segment. And there’s virtually no end in sight.
An Axe to Grind
While mastering the guitar is no easy feat, before you even start jamming you’ll probably find yourself looking through site after site trying to find the right instrument. It’s hard. There’s an expansive list of components to be taken into account: body styles, wood types, pickups, bridges, necks — and that’s just scratching at the surface.
Truth is, you don’t need to concern yourself with every element of the electric guitar. You just need a briefing on body styles and pickups, arguably the two most important pieces of a guitar’s build. More importantly, asking yourself a couple simple questions about what you’re after will help you make your decision. We’ve got all that right here, plus a few great axes that should at least serve as starting points on your search.
WHAT'S NEW, NOW
Today in Gear: A well-ventilated bike helmet, The World of Departures, LED Edison bulbs and more.
WHAT'S NEW, NOW
This Week in Gear: the 2015 Ford Focus ST, GE Link connected LEDs, Ginger infused bourbon, Trek’s Edmonda SLR 10, Patagonia’s Nano-Air jacket.
10 Great Books to read in the AC or the open air
From the Archives: Upgrade your summer reading game from Twitter feeds to these excellent books. From serious economic theory to a classic detective story, these are the 10 essential reads of summer.
The best in a decade...maybe.
Climb out of the Atlantic Avenue subway station in Brooklyn and you’ll run smack dab into the Barclays Center, a multi-event arena known for hosting a range of concerts and, more notably, the Brooklyn Nets and, soon, the New York Islanders. But last Thursday, June 26, saw a different kind of sporting spectacle: the timeless process of picking teams. This was the 2014 NBA draft: when players wear suits, fans wear jerseys, and no team no team walks away certain that they won or lost.
Your Guide to Everything After the Solstice
People who live in the tropics have a mixed blessing. On the one hand, it’s nice to drive around with the top down all year; on the other, most guys seem to end up with too-slick hair, too few closed buttons and a CGI tan. (Not to even get into the issues of equatorial squalor.) For the rest of us in multi-season climates, the arrival of longer days, fewer layers and colder beers is eagerly anticipated. And now (or at least as of 6:51 AM ET) summer is officially here. This summer we’re visiting legendary car races, debating the best films of the season, taking you along on the summer’s biggest bike race, visiting the best festivals in America, mixing up the Michelada three different ways and much more. Time to read up and make the most of the next three months.
A Dish Best Served Al Denté
Know Your Foods is a new culinary crash course on various foods and ingredients — and if we’ve done our job right, also an inspirational kick in the ribs to expand your dining horizons. Use it for your next meal. Use it impress a girl. Use them to land a job or to silence a patronizing maître d’. But for the love of garlic, use it somewhere. First up, that delicious, carbo-loaded ingredient: pasta.
Finally, Something to Watch on Netflix
From the Archives: In the golden age of the so-called “art cinema”, college-aged cineastes and middle-aged professorial types needed only to congregate at the local repertory theatre for a fix of the latest and greatest in international film. They could catch a Bergman-Fellini double feature and wile away the evening in a coffee shop discussing the Christ-figure symbolism or whatever. A vast library of international movies are available to watch instantly with the click of a mouse. You too can become a film snob — with very little actual work. We’ve done some of the heavy popcorn lifting for you and picked out forty of the best foreign films available for instant streaming today. Go forth and become a global movie connoisseur.
Reveling in a Moment
10:28 a.m. HST | Kauai, Hawaii — The two mile hike up to Waipoo Falls in Kauai’s Waimea Canyon is by all measurement an easy one, but it underscores what’s best about a quiet hike.
Your Weekly Gear Recap
A look back at the Week in Gear. From summer fragrances to a complete guide to Father’s Day to a really big HDTV, this is what you missed.
From the Archives: Sunglasses are sunglasses, right? Nope. You can’t slap on a pair of clearance carousel drugstore shades and expect a great behind-the-wheel experience; nor does spending $300 on top-of-the-line sunglasses necessarily get you the best sunglasses for the road. In this guide we’ve rounded up a few favorites — perfect for negotiating that hairpin like Fangio.
From the Archives: In the good old days of train travel a gentleman would have a cavalcade of steamer trunks in tow, housing all manner of wardrobe, knick knacks, accoutrement and what-have-yous. These days, a guy’s lucky if his rolling carry-on isn’t checked at the gate. Thankfully, weary traveler, technology is on your side. We’re pleased to introduce to you the best hard shell suitcases we would find, each a convergence of all the necessary requirements for travel, each unique in its own way.
Keeping a good multi-tool close at hand can save your weekend project, your tailgate, your marriage — hell, even your life. But how do you separate the useful from the useless? Again, we turn to the experts at Everyday Carry for their insights into the utilitarian. Check out their buying guide and be ready for anything.
Hiking Hut to Hut in the White Mountains
From the Archives: For thru-hikers of the AT, the White Mountains are a cruel joke, coming near the end of a months-long journey that begins in the gentle hills of Georgia. But while the Whites can be cruel, they are also kind. Among the rocky steeps is a series of huts where a weary hiker can find a soft bed, warm smiles and hot meals.
Small State Wields Large Influence
You may be able to drive through Rhode Island in a half hour, but the diminutive state’s influence extends beyond its borders. While the local economy relies less on manufacturing than it once did, the state still produces a raft of excellent goods — and not just what they’re making at Raytheon. Here we’ve picked a few of our favorites from the Ocean State, ranging from the artisan to the heirloom-worthy. Think of them as souvenirs from our Seeking Providence issue.
Nuthin' Wrong With a Little Bump and Grind
From the Archives: You like the line at your favorite coffee shop? We didn’t think so. Start grinding your own beans with these conical burr grinders and make the journey from coffee hack to ambrosia connoisseur.
Tackling the Great Outdoors without getting bushed
Sure, you enjoy hard-charging adventure as much as the next guy — assuming the next guy is not Conrad Anker — but you don’t mind admitting that your next vacation doesn’t require a global rescue insurance plan. You eat with a knife and fork. You’re interested in a jacuzzi setting. You want a telephoto lens between you and the gorillas. In Armchair Adventures we bring you up close and personal with nature without eschewing the comforts of vacation, offering a few tips on maintaining Weekend Warrior shape in the process.
No excuses, just good shots
From the Archives: Today’s affordable tools, cameras, classes and copious creative outlets have brought making a film (one of the best story-telling devices) nearly to the everyman. Still, all those advances can’t change a basic fact: sometimes making a movie means going to where the story is rather than waiting for it to come to you. But paying to check 10 Pelican cases of equipment will essentially eat your entire production budget, not to mention it’s tough to sneak into a location if you have a fleet of boxes and bags. This kit can be carried by one or two people in traditional suitcases — which means you get your shots, no matter where those shots may be.
If the Rolex Submariner is the most famous dive watch, then the Rolex Military Submariner, or MilSub, is the most famous military-issued dive watch. What is now a highly sought after piece of watch history — and one of the rarest collector’s watches ever — was once merely Ministry of Defense (MOD) standard issue equipment.
From the Archives: Vintage watch buying is enjoying incredible popularity, thanks to a community of savvy collectors, great internet resources for both learning about and buying old watches, and a nostalgic yearning for quality products from an era before planned obsolescence. Old watches also represent great value, the chance to wear a piece of history and, if you’re lucky, a good investment. Not to mention, they just look cool. We explore just how you should go about buying one of these beauties.
Thump the room, and finish that TPS report
From the Archives: Most of us have accepted the mediocre phonics that ooze through the speakers of our laptops and PCs, or the enclosed experience headphones provide. It’s a let down really, seeing as how a small investment can transform a cubicle desk into a burgeoning soundstage. Arcade Fire at the 40-Watt Club versus an iMac on an Ikea Malm.
To pump some potency into your desktop listening experience, we’ve assembled this collection of excellent stereo monitors sure to have your ears buzzing. They don’t have to break the bank (though they certainly can, if you’re the splurging type), but this range of portable blasters to music studio monitors provide the chops to enliven any Netflix, Spotify, or Steam session. Now get jammin’.
So close yet so far away
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…
From the Archives: It’s a perfect day. You’re pedaling along between La Rochepot and Baubigny in France’s Côte de Beaune region, a wheel of epoisses and a baguette ancienne tucked in the front basket. A little tight on good wine. Sun warm on a crisp day. Your girlfriend rides alongside and looks at you affectionately. You do that thing where you reach out and touch fingertips. Then you hit a little bump in the dirt road: You don’t even know how to ride a bike, and now there’s spittle on your Macbook Pro trackpad. Fortunately, that’s all about to change, because you’re about to buy your first bike.
Over the dry riverbed and through the charred woods
From the Archives: Apocalypse checklist: make sure your bug out bag is ready, have ample supplies available and prepare to go off the grid. But just as important, if not more so, is your transportation. No average wagon is going to save your bacon when the cataclysm makes it rain (fire) up in this club we call Earth. Window shop our five apocalypse-ready vehicles to your heart’s content, and start dreaming about what it feels like to turn a zombie into a speed bump.
Rehashing 50 ways to ride like the wind
From the Archives: Motorcycles are more than just simple transportation. They strangle attention. Ride one down the street and watch as babies point and smile mid-whimper, dogs chase joyfully, angsty teens fight the curling in the corners of their mouths, old biker types in leather nod with supreme comprehension. There are countless combinations of weapons-grade speed, sex, beauty, design and freedom found between two tires, sure — but these fifty, specifically, are the icons hand-picked by Gear Patrol as our favorites of all time.
From Fighter Pilot to Armchair Pilot
For those of us stuck in an office instead of a fighter jet cockpit, a watch inspired by aircraft instruments can be the perfect way to scratch the cool readout itch. While Bell & Ross was arguably the first brand to introduce this genre, their price tags are of the type to bloat the defense budget; we’ve found an alternative that can help you decrease your own personal deficit.
Doppel the fun
Last year HABRING² — a small Austrian independent brand spearheaded by Richard Habring, creator of the Valjoux 7750-based rattrapante complication for IWC — won the Sports Watch of the Year award from the Grand Prix d’ Horlogerie de Genève for its Doppel 2.0. Not content to rest on his laurels, Habring’s upped the ante with the Doppel 3 (~$8,800), a limited-production gem.
Despite being from Seattle, land of Starbucks, Seattle’s Best, Tully and more than a handful of artisanal brewers, I didn’t come by my coffee habit honestly. The bitter drink didn’t cross my lips during college, despite the frequent all-night cram sessions wrought of a sporadic (home) work ethic. Coffee would have certainly improved the 12-mile bike commute in the cold Seattle drizzle at 0525, timed to maximize sleep, yet arrive before NROTC drill practice.
Officer Candidate School (OCS) introduced me to new depths of sleep deprivation — short sleep periods combined with intense physical activity turned us into zombies shuffling along. Military formations became an exercise in intense concentration, especially after I fell asleep standing up, only catching myself, and the platoon sergeant’s unfavorable attention, short of smashing my face into the parade deck. It never occurred to me to get a cup of Joe at the mess hall; the Bunn was situated directly in front of the area where the staff sat, a place to be avoided for danger of unwanted haranguing from the collective hyenas bent on finding your smallest flaw.