Across the street from Corinne Hotel’s quaint Parisian-style bar, posters promoting an upcoming performance by Goran Bregovic and a circus venue plaster a wall. With a bottle of wine in hand, this was a great backdrop for people watching and photography on Turnacıbaşı Cadessi in Istanbul, Turkey.

We wondered how many locals would notice the colorful advertisements. Back home, we likely wouldn’t pay them a glance since posters and graffiti are often the backbone of any New York City street scene. Maybe it was the foreign text or perhaps Goran’s crazy hair, but something about the posters snagged our attention.

An hour and a half and a bottle of wine later, virtually everyone walked by the posters without a glance. The exception were two unique “individuals.” See if you can spot them in the photo slideshow below!

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Thirty miles south of Panama’s coast lies the Pearl Islands archipelago, a network of Panamanian Gulf islands so postcard perfect, they were the featured backdrop for three seasons of Survivor. In the midst of these emerald green waters and pristine beaches, you’ll find an unlikely sliver of eeriness wedged into paradise.

Hotel Contadora Resort, once bustling with prominent guests enjoying beach-front rooms, multiple restaurants, pools, and a casino, sits dilapidated and abandoned on Contadora Island, one of the most popular tourist destinations in the Pearl archipelago. While the island’s miniscule 1.2 square km terrain plays host to sun worshippers, the largest beach, Playa Larga, remains the most secluded with the ruins of Hotel Contadora Resort looming right on the shore.

The once posh resort attracted the likes of Sofia Loren, the Kennedy family, Elizabeth Taylor and Panamanian elite. It fell into ruins after its owner Carlos Arango, a Colombian businessman, died in a private plane crash in Panama and left well over $10,000,000 in debt. The resort shuttered its doors shortly afterwards.

What remains is a ransacked and vandalized shell of a resort. Glimpses of its former glory can still be seen. Read More

I descended several stories into the heart of ground zero, along with friends, throngs of tourists, and somber-faced locals, as the 9/11 National Memorial Museum officially opened its doors today.

The museum, nestled next to memorials that mark the base of the original twin towers, completes the memorial complex with an underground hall that includes a memorial exhibit paying respect to the victims of the attacks and a historical exhibit that presents the events of September 11th and the circumstances that led to that day.

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The WTC complex’s original slurry wall. (A 3′ thick concrete wall surrounding the original World Trade Center, designed to keep the complex from being flooded by the Hudson River.)

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The relationship between nature and our fellow beings continues to astound me.  My cat, Tofu, arises from a deep slumber at 5p.m. daily without fail.  A yawn and a stretch, followed by the inevitable meow that roughly translates to, “It’s time.  Where is my dinner, human?”  It’s this ebb and flow between creatures and the world around us that I find amazing and its what’s drawn my wife and I to the small twin-island country of Trinidad and Tobago to view leatherback turtle nesting.

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Leatherback Turtles nesting eggs in Grand Riviere, Trinidad

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