PATEK PHILIPPE: KAMCHATKA

PATEK PHILIPPE sent me to explore Russia’s far east for Volume IV No. 2 of the brand's magazine. The Kamchatka peninsula is a volcanic wilderness—located 9 time-zones east of Moscow—which is the home to Eurasia’s largest population of bears. Photographer Simon Norfolk’s images from the assignment may be viewed herewhile further information about the 20th anniversary of the Swiss watch-maker’s award winning print concept can be found here

"SURFIN' USSR"

MEN'S HEALTH MAGAZINE sent me to a Soviet ghost-town on the Barents Sea to write a feature about Russia’s fearless cold water surfers. Esteemed photographer Graham Hughes shot exceptional images of Teriberka—balancing gritty sports portraiture with wild vistas of the abandoned city. Click on the title above to read my feature for the magazine, or access additional shots from the set via Graham's portfolio at Ridley Scott & Associates.

"LAND OF CULINARY STARS"

SINGAPORE AIRLINES sent me to dine in Baden-Württemberg—a German region which straddles both France and Switzerland, and currently accommodates more than 70 establishments accredited with at least one Michelin star. Click here to read the full featureor here, to view additional images from the assignment, shot by Jean-Claude Winkler.   

"LONGER, BIGGER...BETTER?"

MEN'S HEALTH MAGAZINE asked me to investigate [the] "penoplasty"—a cosmetic procedure, better known as “penis enlargement”. But is “bigger” really “better”? I met an array of experts—ranging from ordinary guys, to cosmetic surgeons and adult entertainers—in a quest to discern what’s driving the trans-national penis-primping phenomenon. So far, the story has been re-printed in 15 languages. Click here to read the English version for Men’s Health.

"THE MOLDOVAN GRAND-SLAM"

MEN'S HEALTH MAGAZINE sent me to the Republic of Moldova to learn about a strain of traditional “belt wrestling” called “Tranta”. We watched an authentic tournament with contenders for the country’s national team—who trained in clandestine facilities, but still fought valiantly at the Olympic Games. Please click here to read my feature for Men's Healthor here, to view additional images for the assignment, shot by Greg Funnell.    

THE 65 HOUR HEALTH CLUB

MEN’S HEALTH MAGAZINE sent me to 5 global destinations as a weekend “health tourist”—to prove that it was possible to combine safe, affordable, high-quality healthcare with a 65 hour vacation. Destinations on my list included Spain, Hungary, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Lithuania. While I did not endure "actual" surgery, I did find health food aplenty—in an array of charming hotels. Click here to read the feature for Men’s Health.

Men's Health Magazine

The global market for psychoactive substances is changing. Use of "legal high" drugs, has left authorities flat-footed. Twenty five years after the publication of Trainspotting, I conducted some of the first laboratory tests possible, on the legal substances which differ by mere molecules from Schedule I drugs.    

Esquire Weekly (Issue 24)

Esquire Weekly published "The Fight That Changed America" to mark the 50th anniversary of Muhammad Ali's defeat of Sonny Liston. Click on the title above to read the full feature.

The Wall Street Journal

Ryszard Kapuściński wrote that the region of Kolyma "will pass, together with Auschwitz, Treblinka, Hiroshima and Vorkuta, in the history of the greatest nightmares of the twentieth century." Click on the title above to read my essay, "On the Road With the Ghosts of the Gulag" for The Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal

Kiev's annual cycling race, which was once a highlight of the Soviet era, offers fresh hope to a struggling nation. Click on the title above to read "The Other Race for Ukraine" for The Wall Street Journal.

The Wall Street Journal

Britain has among the harshest drug laws in Europe, and among the worst drug problems. Click on the title above to read "The Low-Down on Legal Highs" for The Wall Street Journal.

Esquire Weekly (Issue 29)

"…The 1990’s saw the Soviet rule-book torn to pieces, as the lawless east of Ukraine became a modern day wild west…smash-and-grab capitalism, saw rival factions engaged in a bitter fight over the country’s resources. It was a bloody struggle, as evidenced by the bullet holes that pepper the signposts near Donetsk..." Click here for re-productions of "The Battle for Ukraine" from Esquire Weekly (Issue 29).