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Edmund Vallance

Writer

Los Angeles

Edmund Vallance

I'm a British writer based in L.A. My articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Independent, and Conde Nast Traveller.

www.edmundvallance.com

Featured

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What's it like to spend 48 hours in a Las Vegas casino?

A bloated bluebottle is floating in my Blue Sky Daiquiri, sticky wings twitching in silent resignation. I am that fly. This is my second night at the Rio All Suite Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. I’ve signed up for the Rio Total Deal: a new, all-inclusive food and drinks promotion (it’s available until September 2017) that provides an almost endless conveyor belt of burgers, steaks, and deep-fried onion sliders – plus a daily limit of 12 alcoholic drinks per person.
The Independent Link to Story
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In the Bahamas, Scuba Diving With James Bond’s Trainer

“I taught Sean Connery to scuba dive,” Stuart Cove said with an impish grin. “And I’ve got to be honest: He was petrified.”. Cove is the owner of Stuart Cove’s Nassau Bahamas Aqua Adventures, a dive shop and movie production company on the island of New Providence. I was sitting in his office chugging coffee in preparation for the long and challenging day ahead.
The New York Times Link to Story
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Cannabis supper clubs: The fine-dining trend sweeping Los Angeles

Once upon a time in West Norwood, way back in the late 20th century, I ate a hash cake that froze my brain for 24 hours. Thirty minutes after ingesting the offending object, I felt nothing at all. Then I made the amateurish mistake of looking at my own reflection in the mirror of a pub toilet. What I saw wasn’t me at all.
The Independent Link to Story
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Lorca's Granada: in the footsteps of Spain’s murdered poet

Friday marks 80 years since Spain’s celebrated poet and playwright was shot to death by a firing squad, and I’ve come to his favoured stomping ground, the craggy, sun-cracked region of Andalusia, to follow in the master’s footsteps – from birth until untimely death.
The Independent Link to Story
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Night vision: UFO spotting in Sedona, Arizona

Outside The Red Planet Diner, in the high desert town of Sedona, the model of a flying saucer hovered at an awkward angle, its battered body forever anchored to the asphalt. Scanning the restaurant floor, I found a table with a view of the towering red mountains beyond the car park – a backdrop worthy of 2001: A Space Odyssey.
The Independent Link to Story
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Joshua Tree: Branch out to California’s musical heritage

"Out with the truckers, and the kickers, and the cowboy angels. And a good saloon in every single town." The lilting lyrics of Gram Parsons' country rock anthem, "Return of the Grievous Angel", are bouncing through my brain. On the drive from Los Angeles to the tiny desert town of Joshua Tree, I'd had the song on constant repeat.
The Independent Link to Story
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A weekend away in Phoenix, Arizona

There are few places in the US more sweltering than Arizona in high summer, when temperatures can top 40C. But as August draws to a close and the heat starts to settle to a simmer, now is a great time to plan a visit to the state capital, Phoenix. Scottsdale remains the city’s swankiest district and last year opened the American West-dedicated Museum of the West (00 1 480 686 9539; scottsdalemuseumwest.org), since awarded various accolades.
The Evening Standard Link to Story
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Yes, It's Possible to Make a 30-Minute Mole

I first saw mole negro on a menu in Mexico City back in the dim and distant 1990s. For me, the idea of combining two of my favorite ingredients—chicken and chocolate—seemed so debauched that I’d pretty much fallen in love with the dish before I’d even had a chance to taste it. I grew up in England in the 1980s, when chicken was usually accompanied with thin gravy and overcooked vegetables.
Bon Appétit Link to Story
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Close Encounters With Blue Whales In The Sea of Cortez

Peering over the side of a six-man motorboat, I see an enormous plume of water shoot 10 meters into the air. Immediately afterwards, another one explodes behind me. I spin around in time to see the fine spray descending like the tail end of a geyser eruption. “There are nine of them. Maybe 10,” says our captain, Oscar, squinting into the sun.
Medium Link to Story
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La Casa Azul, Coyoacan: Touring Frida Kahlo's home town

Frida Kahlo was an artist who seemed to take delight in defying expectations. A cross-dressing, hard drinking, bisexual Mexican Communist, she was – at least during her lifetime – as famous for her wild celebrity parties as she was for her unique style of painting. Kahlo, who died 60 years ago this week, was not easily classifiable.
The Independent Link to Story
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I went up against L.A.’s favorite all-night destination, and lost

“Winston Churchill spent a lot of time in this place,” says Ramon Castenada, manager of the nautical-themed bar HMS Bounty (See map below). “Back then, in the ‘40s, it was called The Gay Room.”. Ramon, who’s been working here for 53 years, pulls up a chair and pours me another drink. “Lee Marvin used to sit here, “ he says, indicating our table.
Medium Link to Story
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Go with the Scapa Flow in Europe's best wreck-diving site

One hundred years ago, on 5 June 1916, the British field marshall, Lord Kitchener, drowned off Orkney’s Scapa Flow, near Marwick Head. His ship, HMS Hampshire, had been struck by a German U-boat mine; of the 655 crewmen, only 12 survived. A superstar of the Victorian age, Kitchener is perhaps best known for the iconic “Your Country Needs YOU” recruitment poster that featured his capped, moustached face and pointing finger.
The Independent Link to Story

About

Edmund Vallance

I'm a British writer based in L.A. My articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Independent, and Conde Nast Traveller.

www.edmundvallance.com