Twenty years ago last Friday I arrived at Travel + Leisure. I had been the editor in chief of House & Garden; a book editor at Clarkson Potter; and, fresh out of college, an assistant and then a reader in the fiction department of The New Yorker. I thought of myself as reasonably well traveled, though outside of what I’d read and edited, the closest I had come to South America was Mexico and the Caribbean, and to Asia, Hawaii. The world I entered in the summer of 1993 extended far beyond these boundaries to places that remain tagged in my memory for qualities that were then entirely new to me. My mental notes from a trip to Hong Kong in the fall of that year still remain: East-meets-West glamour; bamboo scaffolding; crossing Victoria Harbour on the Star Ferry. From Auckland, New Zealand: green-lipped mussels for lunch on Queen Street; Waiheke Island sheep; grass; New Age shops. And so on, from Botswana (sandstorm; hippos) to Japan (textiles; ceramics; lacquerware), and from Buenos Aires to Tromsø in Norway’s Arctic Circle.
In New York City, incredible feats of architecture and design are all around us (like the New Museum, above)…if only we’d look up from our cell phones to notice while walking down the street.
Well, New Yorkers now have reason to stop and look around, as this week ushers in the beginning of Archtober, a month-long, citywide celebration of architecture and design organized by the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIANY) and the Center for Architecture.
Now in its third year, Archtober offers over 150 curated programs, ranging from exhibits and walking tours to panels and workshops, and draws some of the biggest names in the industry—David Rockwell, MoMa’s Paola Antonelli, Jonathan Adler, Todd Williams and Billie Tsien, and more.
I think the last time I went to the theater was in 2010. (Slightly embarrassing given I live in New York City.) But every parent knows how it goes; somehow paying a sitter an hourly rate equivalent to the price of a ticket doesn't seem worth it. Well, the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis is on to something. It just announced a new playcare program—I believe the first of its kind—for kids ages 4 to 11. You drop your little ones off at the theater's Level Eight Education Suite, head down to catch a matinee, then pick them up after the show, all for $10 an hour. Unfortunately, I'm not headed to Minneapolis anytime soon, but I'm hoping the Guthrie's idea catches on. It's genius.
Clara Sedlak is a mother of two and Special Projects Editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @csedlak1.
The one gadget I can no longer travel without? My e-reader. But now that I’ve seen the new generation of Kindle Paperwhites, I’m thinking it might be time to upgrade what I’m putting in my carry-on. Here, the three things I’m digging most about Amazon’s latest release.
Page Flip: The only thing I miss about the paper book experience is the ability to flip back to earlier chapters. The new Paperwhite lets you pull up a slider that lets you scan through any novel—improving on their previous X-Ray feature that simply found previous mentions of common characters or concepts.
Integration with Goodreads:This isn’t out just yet, but soon, Kindle users will get to share book recommendations with friends on this innovative social media network.
On paper, the scheduled ceremony has plenty of dignity: according to recent reports, the Dallas Symphony will perform on the morning of the 22nd at Dealey Plaza, where Kennedy was shot, followed by readings from the president’s speeches (by Presidential biographer David McCullough), a military flyover and a performance by the U.S. Naval Academy’s Glee Club. Area museums, such as the Sixth Floor Museum (in Dealey Plaza) and the Dallas Museum of Art, will be doing thoughtful exhibits.
When Greek-American filmmaker Chrysovalantis Stamelos took his first trip to Turkey in 2008, he was immediately besotted with Istanbul’s minarets, markets and countless layers of multicultural history. “I went knowing a lot about the Greek community’s past there,” Stamelos admitted, referring to grisly incidents like The Great Fire of Smyrna (present-day Izmir, a lively port city on the western peninsula of Anatolia), a monstrous blaze that prompted the systematic evacuation of Greek residents, circa 1922. “But it felt like home to me,” he continued, adding that he eventually moved from New York City to Izmir—permanently—approximately three years ago.
“Hello Anatolia,” Stamelos’s latest documentary, co-produced with Paras Chaudhari (the two launched their Queens-based production company, Crescent Street Films, in 2005) shadows Stamelos as he rediscovers the birthplace of his ancestors. “I couldn’t shake off the stories I grew up with…of old Smyrna and Asia Minor,” Stamelos recalled. Equal parts vibrant travelogue and poignant self-discovery, the film is a thoughtful blend of interviews, neighborhood exploration and artistic immersion.
Small towns have a charm you just can’t find in cities. Quiet B&Bs stand in place of bustling hotel towers; mom-and-pop shops outnumber the strip malls. Beach towns like Rehoboth, DE and Boca Grande, FL are all-American classics, with saltwater taffy and seafood shacks lining the boardwalks. Stranger towns like Lily Dale, NY are known for their residents (psychics here were the focus of an HBO documentary), while Bardstown, KY’s 1892 courthouse makes its town square one of the most beautiful.
We’ve nominated these towns—and hundreds of others across the U.S.—to be one of America’s Favorites. Think your town deserves recognition? Head here to view our full list and vote in a number of categories, from farmer’s markets to cool motels. Rank your town from now until Oct. 15th and—besides possible bragging rights—receive a free download of the World's Best Affordable Beaches and a chance to win $25,000 towards a dream vacation. Follow the hashtag #TLTowns on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and more to see how much noise your town is making.
Delta Air Lines, fed up with long lines its passengers face when arriving at Customs in New York City's JFK airport, is footing the bill to install automated passport machines.
Lines at the airport are the worst in the country, averaging over 90 minutes during peak hours, and nearing five hours on some occasions. Automated machines can shed 40 percent off of waiting times to clear customs, and at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport—the only U.S. airport to already have such machines—interview times with Customs officers have been halved to 30 seconds.
Delta views the new automated machines as a step in the right direction, says spokesperson Leslie Scott. She hopes the airline's contribution—whose price is undisclosed—will spur increased staffing, especially at peak times for international arrivals.
Tech-savvy pet parents now have a way to discover dog sitters wherever they’re traveling. DogVacay.com has launched their first mobile app (available for iOS) that uses location services to find vetted and insured home boarding, pet sitting, and doggie daycare centers around you. The app functions like a cross between HotelTonight (last-minute booking) and Yelp (user reviews) for your pup, with the ability to schedule meet-and-greets and make reservations with potential pet hosts. Rates claim to start at $15/night, but be weary of your location—services in Midtown Manhattan, for example, range from $35 to $80/night.
Our favorite feature? The doggie pics. Pet hosts can set reminders to send you photo updates of your pet having a ball (or fetching one) directly through the app. So even on your night off, you can have some Instagram-worthy shots of Fluffy to take home.
Maria Pedone is on the digital team at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @mariapedestrian.