February 13, 2011 |
I tell Valentina it's my first time in a banya and that I've forgotten to bring birch branches. "Oh, I'll flog you with mine," she says, offering typical Russian hospitality. She begins whacking my back as we sit on long wood benches in the parilka (steam room). Whack! Whack! Whack! The beatings continue for a minute or two as green bits fly about. I wince. "Now it's my turn," she says. I return the favor but am timid. Valentina could be my mother. "Harder!" she says.
January 8, 2011 |
A suicide bomber blew himself up Friday at a public bathhouse in southern Afghanistan that was filled with men washing themselves before the main prayers of the Muslim week. At least 17 people were killed and 23 injured, provincial officials said. The Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack in Spin Buldak, in Kandahar province. The area, a main crossing point into Pakistan, is a longtime nexus for drugs and weapons smuggling. A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yousef Ahmadi, claimed that the explosion had killed the deputy commander of the province's border police force.
September 14, 2008 |
Rain pelted the windshield as I drove up the Vals Valley. Waterfalls coursed over cliff faces, and the tops of the Alps were lost in fog. Not the kind of weather that walkers who come to Vals in the summer long for. But the rain suited me. I was headed for a spa about 120 miles southeast of Zurich, where I planned to spend the next 24 hours. I admit it: I like fancy spas and will go out of my way for a Brittany seaweed wrap or a four-handed ayurvedic massage. But I didn't come to Vals for that -- at least, not strictly so. I came to see the stunning, contemporary bathhouse designed by Peter Zumthor.
June 16, 2008 |
Abdullah Safar rests his silver 9-millimeter pistol on a bench at his family's bathhouse and talks about the past. His family's memories live here. In the waiting room, with its peeling lavender paint. In the gray-domed chamber, with its hot black massage slab. At the front gate, where a car bomb killed his 14-year-old son. "If I had lost anything but my son, it would have been easier," Safar says. He closed for nine months after the blast, but he isn't ready to give up the bathhouse.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 7, 2007 |
The Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to settle a lawsuit brought by nine gay bathhouses last year that said county requirements imposed on the businesses violated the law. County rules mandated that such businesses obtain county health licenses, pay annual fees of more than $1,000, allow quarterly inspections and provide on-site HIV testing. Business operators "basically agreed to adhere to" county requirements but can complain of potential violations of the law or their rights, said Dr.
March 16, 2006
THE WEBSITE FOR ONE FACILITY says it's a place for "men to play safely." Another describes itself as the "friendly, no-attitude bathhouse you've been looking for." Others boast of their cedar-lined saunas and private sundecks. Los Angeles County's 11 known sex clubs and bathhouses have long been popular places where gay men (and to a lesser extent heterosexual couples) go to have casual or public sex.