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Dams, Dinosaurs & Deco: Scouting NYC Goes West

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In Flann O’Brien’s novel, At-Swim-Two-Birds, the protagonist takes a ‘vacation’ by propping a series of postcards around the wainscoting of his room and spending hours focusing on them, one at a time, while drinking to excess. When he gets out of bed at the end of the week, he feels like he’s gotten away.

While I’d never recommend such a voyage, here’s one way of getting away without leaving town. The man behind a great NYC blog, Scouting NY, is currently on a cross-country roadtrip, and his posts from the road may help you escape a little.

‘Scout’ works as a location scout for feature films and documents his findings on history, pop culture, and design in word and extensive photography on his blog.  His photos of old neon signs, intricate tilework, and overlooked architectural details give cinematographers and art directors fodder for planning, but are dreamy for lay-people, too.

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August 11th’s missive from the expansive West, Vegas, The Hoover Dam, and a Strange Little Town Called Chloride (Weirdest Cemetery in the US?), gives a taste of why his blog is worth dropping by. He documents the Art Deco motifs of the Hoover Dam (including the ladies room sign because he likes the font), the new Hoover Dam Bypass Bridge, and a selection of lovingly (and strangely) decorated graves in a dusty small-town cemetery.

Crossing Utah: Ghost Towns, Dinosaurs, Arches, and a Home in a Rock, a post from last week (photo, top), could definitely serve as an addendum to our recent slideshow America’s Strangest Roadside Attractions.

Click through Scouting NY and find yourself riding shotgun down a two-lane highway somewhere in big sky country. It may not rival the real thing, but it surely beats the postcard-and-whiskey staycation.

Ann Shields is an online senior editor at Travel + Leisure.

Photos courtesy of Scouting NY

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