Traveling Down the Amazon River

Writer Alex Frank on visions in Ecuador, awe in Russia, and nirvana in Hawaii.



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How a couple of artists created a luxury retreat deep in the Mexican jungle.

Highly subjective takes on life's most interesting experiences.

The hardest place to get to that you've ever visited - and was it worth it?

Down the river to the middle of the Amazon in Ecuador. For the sounds of the rainforest alone, it absolutely was worth it, though I temporarily lost feeling in my right index finger after getting bitten by ants, and had a terrifyingly lifelike hallucinatory vision of a giant caiman head — teeth bared — over my bed one night as I fell asleep.

A place with the wildest interior design?

Not wild so much as awe-inspiring, but the inside of a Russian Orthodox church in Moscow, the walls covered in murals of saints and scenes from the Bible gilded with gold. I went to midnight mass on a freezing cold Russian night with a friend who was a member of the church. There was no light except candles, so the gold glowed like embers as the choir sang. I found a little seat in the back and stayed for at least an hour, mesmerized and hypnotized.

The most dramatic sunsets and sunrises?

The Big Island of Hawaii. When the sun sets over the horizon line of the Pacific, it’s not so much that the sky turns pink and purple, but that the whole world does. One evening, I went to a secluded black sand beach and saw a lone man with long curly hair walk out into the water at sunset, and put his hands in the air as if he was spiritually embracing the glow.



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Body and Mind

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How a couple of artists created a luxury retreat deep in the Mexican jungle.

Our Contributors

Alex Frank Writer

Alex Frank is a Manhattan-based freelance writer and editor covering music, fashion, and global culture. Frank previously worked at as deputy culture editor. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, GQ, Pitchfork, New York Magazine, Fantastic Man, and the Village Voice.

Hisham Akira Bharoocha Illustrator

Hisham Akira Bharoocha is a multimedia artist based in Brooklyn, New York, working across various mediums including large-scale murals, paintings, drawings, collages, audio/visual installations, and performances.


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