Author Archives: kurczy

Stranger Things in Centralia, PA

Photo by Jenna Cho You wouldn’t know a fire burns beneath your feet. The ground isn’t hot; it was snow-covered when I visited this past March. Trees grow. There’s no smoke, at least not immediately visible. A few people even live in the area, despite most … Continue reading

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Sept 2017: Climbing Cannon

Photo by Jeffrey Gereige Several hundred feet above the ground, I tip-toed across the smooth granite of Cannon Cliff, wedged my fingers into a narrow vertical crack, and inched up toward a triangular overhang that is considered the crux of Moby Grape, a climbing route near where … Continue reading

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June 2017: The CT AT

Photos by Jenna Cho Every time I hear about a new speed record for completing the Appalachian Trail, I feel a tinge of competition rise from somewhere in the crazier part of my brain. Could I run the entire Appalachian Trail, all … Continue reading

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June 2017: Seneca Rocks

“That whole rock formation will crumble some day,” the climber and White Mountain hut caretaker Rich Palatino told me this past winter, referring to Seneca Rocks, located in the Allegheny Mountains of the Appalachian Mountain Range. I was overnighting at Rich’s hut … Continue reading

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May 2017: Night Badgers

Would it be inappropriate to play with the Wogdon pistols that Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr used in their famous 1804 duel? Not that I exactly played with the guns, which are enclosed in a glass case on one of the upper … Continue reading

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May 2017: Kilian Jornet Conquers Everest (momentarily)

In December 2014, while I was on a two-week mountaineering expedition in the Andes to climb Aconcagua on the border of Argentina and Chile, I met the Spanish skyrunner Kilian Jornet and witnessed him running up and down the tallest … Continue reading

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Feb 2017: The car salesman

In southeast Connecticut, the car dealership Cardinal Honda is something of an institution. As a kid, I remember seeing the founder Stanley Cardinal on TV with his slicked-back hair imploring people to “Fly with a Cardinal at the wheel of a Honda!” — … Continue reading

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New Year’s Eve 2017: Out in the Cold

“Dude, I’m this close to kicking you out,” Rich Palatino, the bearded caretaker of Harvard Cabin, warned. “I will, unless you stop acting like a douchebag. Well?” It was New Year’s Day, 2017. Given that we were standing in the New Hampshire … Continue reading

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Oct 2016: Riding through Brazil’s amber waves of soy

It was July. I was sitting inside a John Deere tractor rumbling through Mato Grosso, a landlocked Brazilian state whose name means “thick forest” but is now more famous for its vast fields of soy and corn. Farmland there stretches to every … Continue reading

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Sept. 2016: I was in the Rio Olympics

I was in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Really. If you watched the Opening Ceremony in August, you probably saw me. The internationally televised event began with a two-minute montage of Brazilians (or at least you thought they were all Brazilians) performing … Continue reading

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August 2016: Girl From Ipanema In Rio Olympics

Tonight’s opening ceremony for the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro will feature, among many people and musicians, the supermodel Gisele Bündchen portraying “The Girl From Ipanama.” Bündchen, wife to quarterback Tom Brady of the New England Patriots, might be the most famous Brazilian alive. … Continue reading

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July 2016: Chapada dos Guimarães

This month I was in Brazil’s interior state of Mato Grosso researching a story for the next issue of Americas Quarterly magazine, so I took the chance to visit the national park Chapada dos Guimarães. It’s about an hour outside state capital Cuiabá and, as my editor … Continue reading

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July 2016: Happy Interdependence Day

Movie posters for the film sequel of “Independence Day” are all around Rio de Janeiro, and it’s an easy reminder of the pervasiveness of American culture. The film title is in English, and it’s being released July 4. This would be like Brazil creating a film … Continue reading

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June 2016: ‘Pode Subir’

“Pode subir!” You can go up! That’s the Portuguese command from one climber to another when the belay is ready and the climber can climb. So when André yelled it to me, I climbed… Here we are climbing Pico Tijuca, which at 1,021 meters … Continue reading

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June 2016: Leblon Living

My go-to açaí shop these days is called BB Lanches in Rio de Janeiro’s zona sul (“south zone”) neighborhood of Leblon. Open from 9am to 3am and just a few blocks from one of the cleaner inner-city beaches, BB Lanches is a simple open-air place where the motto … Continue reading

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