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Culture . Travel . Experience


Culture . Travel . Experience

Contents Features

Other Bits

40 44 46 51 56 59 128

1 Observation 4 Travel Tips 10 Contributors 12 Letters 16 Yen Hearts 19 Meet & Greet: Marzipan 20 Meet & Greet: Warpaint 94 Stockists 126 Subscribe

Hey You! Say Cheese! Cut Copy Sofia Coppola A-Z of Underrated Cult Gems Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros The New Wave Muse: Edith Head

Fashion 22 Jerseylicious 26 Hi Street: Dangerous Minds 28 Hi Street: Neapolitan 30 Hi Street: Cowgirl 32 Adieu l été 72 Bambi 78 Take Me With You 86 Buffalo Stance

Lifestyle 5 Marfa, Texas 9 Haggling 104 The Big Sleep 106 Summer Picnic 108 Mode

Artery 116 Gotye 119 Art vs. Science 120 Yen Pecked: Big Scary, Owl Eyes 121 We Heart These Albums 122 From Book to Box 123 We Heart These Books 124 Cover-ups and Conspiracies 125 We Heart These Films

Beauty 96 Show & Tell 97 Revival 98 Happy Endings 99 Drenched


Issue 35

Like many of you, we are preparing for our summer holidays. But after a short break in Beirut we’ll be back to provide you with plenty of music, chat and reportage to entertain and inform you while you’re stretched out on you lounger. Our Summer Series audio programme returns and we’re also hard at work on a special edition newspaper version of Totem, writes Tyler Brulé.


1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10.

Outdoor breakfasts on the rooftop of Albergo. Morning runs along the Corniche. Browsing for magazines at Papercup. Browsing for vintage erotic fiction at Esquire Books. Lunch at Kamal’s house up in Batroûn. Culinary tours into the Bekaa Valley. Furniure shopping in Harma. Cocktails at a faded hotel high above the city. Dancing into the wee hours in the basement of another faded hotel. Being let to another venue by our trusty correspondent Carole.

Prada, Marfa, Texas - Jeff Lynch

inally, the 35th issue gets ready to ship to our printer’s plant in Dorset, and there’s a giddy sense of excitement on the editorial floor at Totem, which has nothing to do with the fact the little Lebanese food van has pulled up out front with Friday lunch for the team. This is not to say there’s not a little Levantine influence in the air, however. As June is holiday time around Boston Place (and also Omotesando Hills and Broadway & Houston – our other addresses), many of us are heading off to Beirut to catch the sun, comb through bookshops, hang out at Sporting and dance late into the evening. There are plenty of places around Med (and elsewhere in Europe) that make for a perfect 10day escape, but somehow we keep heading back to Beirut. The fast flying time from London is an immediate attraction but it’s the mix of proper heat, a bit of anarchy, good local wine, great friends and pockets of perfectly intact 1970’s architecture that give it an edge over other destinations. In no particular order, we’re looking forward to

Culture . Travel . Experience

2 The Long & Winding Road Through Palo Duro Canyon - Jeff Lynch

At the same time, we’re also looking forward to getting back by the end of the month the start work on a special project we’re tailoring specifically for the time you’ll be spending on sea (or lake, or poolside), under sun or in the shade. On 29 July, a special newspaper edition of Totem will hit newsstands around the Mediterranean and select resort pockets in the US and elsewhere in Europe. With so much digital tablet hype going on, we started to consider how people would be consuming written content this summer. After a short round of research on the beaches of Honolulu and poolside at the Halekulani, it was soon clear that no matter how connected people might want to be, their iPads and Kindles are not fans of moisture, salt water, fresh water, sun cream, sweat, sun and sand.

To complement this current issue and ensure reading reserves don’t run dry, Totem is newspaper form will be edited to offer a solid week’s worth of grazing, mixing essays with reportage, fiction with fashion stories and a host of opportunities that will have you excited to get back to work. While we’re out of the office for most of June, the TotemColumn will still be going live daily on our website, the Totem Weekly will be around on Sundays and we’re always available on e-mail. You can find me at and my ever-efficient assistant Alexander at Have a great summer and we look forward to delivering you an entertaining summer in newsprint and audio form from the end of July.

For more information from our editor-inchief, read his column on the FTWeekend.

Culture . Travel . Experience


TRAVEL TIPS When the Hotel Guest Next Door Won’t Shutup Up!


set the alarm, switched off the lamp and plopped down into my hotel bed, so deliciously soft and inviting that it felt like landing on a cloud. Curling up into my mountain of pillows, I settled in for a much-needed night of shuteye … when there suddenly came a teeth-grating sound from next door. “Oh, my God!! Stop texting me! Stop it! No, you shut up! My grandmother will hear!”
 I don’t know about Granny, but I could certainly hear the dulcet tones of my pre-teen neighbor in the next room, who appeared to be having her own personal slumber party at 12:15 in the morning. I gritted my teeth for 15 minutes or so, pulling the duvet over my head to block out the sound — but that just left me suffocating under the blankets while my neighbor’s whiny voice bored through the barrier like an angry mosquito.
 I considered my options (besides wringing her skinny neck, which I quickly but reluctantly discarded). Should I pound on the wall? Call the front desk? Trudge out into the hallway, barefoot and squinting, to knock on her door and beg her to let the poor, tired grown-ups around her sleep?
 I went with the first option. A rap on our shared wall and a polite “Could you please keep it down over there?” seemed to startle the girl into an abashed silence, and I finally drifted off to sleep.
 The next day, I asked a hotel staffer whether I did the right thing. She said I could have called the front desk, who would’ve sent a security person up to the room to warn my noisy neighbor. Per this hotel’s particular policy, after three such warnings a guest would be asked to leave.
 Good to know. But on my next trip, I’m adding something new to my packing list: ear plugs.

written by Sarah Schlichter

Marfa Texas I’m standing on a mud-brick platform in the middle of the desert waiting for the sun to set. To my right, the sky is an impossible fiery explosion of orange-pink framed on either side by old fashion telegraph poles fading into the horizon. To my left, a handful of people are gathered in the dusk waiting quietly for the show to begin. The desert extends endlessly in front of me, flat except for the occasional spiky silhouette of a yucca or cactus. I take a deep breath in anticipation and suddenly, like someone has flicked a switch, the last technicolour rays of the sun disappear over the mountains. As if on cue, small, floating lights appear on the horizon. Everyone gasps and murmurs as the orbs blink and dance to their own tune. The show has begun. Whatever it was I expected of Texas, this wasn’t it.

Prada, Marfa, Texas - Jeff Lynch

Culture . Travel . Experience


Go West I’m in Marfa in the middle of the West Texas desert, which pretty much amounts to the middle of nowhere. It’s one of the most isolated corners of the United States and the nearest major city, El Paso, is a four-hour drive away – impressive in a country

packed coast to coast with Walmarts and strip malls. To get here I drove through some of the most incredible, hit-you-ovverthe-head-with-a-frying-pan beautiful landscape I have ever seen. Grassy plains, huge jagged mountain ranges, sweeping deserts, all straight out of an

old John Wayne flick. Right now I’m experiencing that landscape firsthand as I watch the Marfa lights lazily dance around the nearby Chinati Mountains, which are five minutes from the town of Marfa itself. The lights, which appear most clear nights from dusk, were an unexplained phenomenon when first spotted around 150 years ago by ranchers who thought that they might have been Native American campfires. They weren’t. Nor are they car headlights, houses or streetlights. There are no towns or roads near where the orbs of light appear, just empty desert. Various other explanations offered up over the years include boring (hot and cold air interacting) and the awesome but unlikely (Native American ghosts or alien visitors). The lights, in a way, are just like the town of Marfa itself – strange, isolated, and spectacular.

Road Sign, Marfa, Texas - Jeff Lynch

City Cool Meets Desert Heat The first thing I notice about Marfa is the cowboys. And I mean bona fide, Stetson-wearing, boot-shod tall drinks of water with twinkling eyes and crooked smiles. One tips his hat to me as we pass each other and I immediately consider throwing my Australian passport to the coyotes and applying for permanent citizenship. But Marfa has more to offer than eligible ranchers, pick-up trucks and framed photos of Texas’ patron saint, George Bush. The town has only a couple of thousand residents but most of them seem to be either local cattle ranchers or artists, restaurateurs and musicians transplanted from New York and LA. Organic cafes and boutique bookstores sit next to railway tracks, farming equipment and a gorgeous, old country courthouse. A woman hanging American flags for the upcoming Independence Day celebrations chats to a hipster smoking a cigarette about his next art

exhibition. A seemingly abandoned warehouse next to the railway track is, upon closer inspection, a state-of-the-art theatre. Every second storefront reveals itself to be an artist’s studio or bar-slashgallery showcasing the latest installation work. In old shacks and down funny little laneways I find murals, art exhibitions, posters for rock gigs and vintage clothing stores – all the hallmarks of inner city living under a yawning, blue, Texas sky. The late artist Donald Judd lived in Marfa and is largely responsible for the flourishing art scene. He set up the Chinati Foundation in the late ‘80s, a must-see outdoor gallery that still showcases modern art inspired by the stunning landscape. Today, folk-rockers Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros are Marfa fans (you can even catch glimpses of the town in the film clip for ‘Home’) and the sisters from avant-garde fashion label Rodarte regularly visit to soak up the creative atmosphere.

Culture . Travel . Experience


Eats ‘n’ Arbuckles The only thing more impressive than Marfa’s lights, hot cowboys and thriving artistic community is its food. When all you’re expecting is hamburgers and nachos, Marfa’s unusually high number of five star restaurants and exquisite cafes seem like a hunger-induced hallucination. The Food Shark serves up the best falafel rolls and homemade cookies I’ve ever tasted from out of the side of an old school bus. Maiya’s, run by a local foodie who writes murder mysteries on the side, is all sleek and sophisticated modern Italian. Also try the expensive-but-worth-it Cochineal, hidden away behind a wall of prickly cacti – people come from all over the country to relish its adventurous Frenchinspired cuisine.


Where to Stay

A sealed-up Prada store, complete with real Prada shoes and bags, in the middle of the desert. An artistic comment on consumerism? Sure, why not.


Nightlife The only bar in town, Padre’s, is like something out of True Blood but better. Indie rock bands stop in regularly, there’s an annual jazz festival and a games room complete with vintage pool tables and pinball machines.

A classic ‘50s roadside motel renovated to be the essence of minimalist, cowboy cool. Hotel Paisano

Opulent, old-world charm. Originally built in the 1800s to prepare for the oil boom that never came, this beautiful hotel became a Mecca for James Dean fans everywhere when scenes from his final film, Giant, were shot here.

Decorated Limousine, Marfa, Texas - Jeff Lynch

Helpful Hints

Haggling In North America and many parts of Europe, haggling is a bit of a dying art (unless you’re on a used car lot!). But throughout the rest of the world, bargaining and bartering are a vital part of any transaction -- and you’re unlikely to get a good deal unless you can master your own negotiating skills. It’s important to be familiar with the culture of the place you’re visiting, as your haggling strategy will vary a bit from country to country. For example, in some parts of the world, it pays to be assertive and forceful when negotiating a price; in others, you’ll do better keeping your tone soft and pleasant. Check your guidebook for a rundown on local haggling customs. is another good source of information on

cultural norms, listed by country. No matter where you’re traveling, bring a positive attitude into the transaction. Think of haggling as a game -- a competitive but ultimately fun and friendly exercise. Don’t get angry or insult the seller, even if the negotiations aren’t going your way. At the end of the day, both you and the merchant should feel happy with the outcome of the deal. Never enter a haggling situation unprepared. By the time you approach the seller, you should have already shopped around and determined approximately how much the item you want to buy is worth. We suggest having two numbers in mind: the price you’d ideally like to pay and the maximum amount you’re willing to spend.

Here’s a handy tip: If you’re paying in cash, set aside the money that you’re prepared to spend and keep it in your wallet; move the rest of your bills elsewhere. This serves two purposes. You can give the merchant visual evidence that this amount is the most you can possibly pay (“See? This is all I have!”), and it also helps prevent you from going over your own self-imposed price limit. On a related note, be sure to carry plenty of small bills so that you can pay the exact price of your item. Occasionally a merchant will claim that he can’t make change for larger bills, hoping to convince you to let him keep the excess amount. Make the seller begin the negotiations by waiting for him to make the initial offer. If you’re

Getting Lucky, Texas - Jeff Lynch

Culture . Travel . Experience


not sure how much to counteroffer, a good rule of thumb is to halve the initial price and negotiate from there. (As noted above, though, this strategy may vary from country to country.) Traveling with a companion? Discuss who’s going to do the talking and what you’re willing to pay before you enter the shop and start haggling -that way you can present a united front (and your husband won’t ruin the deal right off the bat with an opening offer that’s higher than the maximum you want to spend). Don’t show too much interest in the item you’re negotiating for, no matter how desperately you want it. Looking too eager tells a savvy merchant that you’re willing to pay a pretty penny to avoid walking out without that must-have item. In fact, you should be willing to walk; when you do

so, you’ll often find the merchant following you into the street with a new, lower counteroffer. Don’t rush the transaction. Negotiating a deal that works for both parties can take time -- so enjoy the process and go with the flow. (This is a tactical advantage too: if you appear to be in a hurry, the seller may think you’ll settle for a higher price just to get out of there.) That said, if the negotiations have gone on for a while and you’ve reached a stalemate over the last $5 or $10 difference in price, it may be time to let it go. What will you regret more -- leaving behind a unique memento of your trip or spending a few extra bucks? Remember, too: Odds are that if you’re traveling in a developing country, the merchant probably needs that additional $5 or $10 more than you do.

Culture . Travel . Experience



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