Books + Reading Lists
This week, Amazon launched a fun new tool called "Around the World in 80 Books," poised to help you find the required reading for your upcoming vacation. The picks are great, from Peter Godwin's When A Crocodile Eats the Sun (for imminent safari-goers) to Kurt Vonnegut's Galapagos (for the South America-bound). (Nikki Ekstein)
This Buzzfeed list of the 16 ways to make flying easier has a few ingenious solutions. Who'd have thought to bring golf balls on board to create your own little spa treatment? (Peter Schlesinger)
A Connecticut bill is claiming that the Wright brothers were not the "first in flight," 110 years after their historic plane took off in Kitty Hawk, NC. Whether or not German-born Gustave Whitehead is truly the grandfather of aviation, there's no doubt about his level of wanderlust. Via Circa. (Adrien Glover)
Tim Gunn, the fashion consultant and mentor to the contestants on Lifetime's Project Runway, was standing on the rooftop Garden of New York's Waldorf-Astoria hotel recently, preparing to plant a tree in support of the New York Restoration Project, an environmental nonprofit founded by Gunn's friend Bette Midler. Not only did he dig the hole and plant the tree, he actually tidied up the stray dirt afterward. We asked the dapper Gunn what he takes with him when he travels.
Earler this year, Anthony Bourdain confessed that his most memorable meal was in Granada, Spain. Now the traveling chef and TV personality is making more memories in the African Congo, as told to Eatocracy, where dishes include everything from fufu (cornmeal paste) to caterpilars. (Maria Pedone)
Sure, National Donut Day might be the perfect excuse to try a SoHo cronut (croissant + donut), but did you know the Salvation Army started the holiday 75 years ago to raise funds during the Great Depression? Neither did we. (M.P.)
Tourism in Myanmar is estimated to increase by a full 700% in the next seven years—but thanks to a $500 million loan from the government of Norway, concerned citizens can rest assured that the resulting footprint will be a light one. The Asian Development Bank outlines their plans (and we raise a glass to the generous Norweigans who made it happen). (Nikki Ekstein)
The New York Times' William Grimes hops aboard The New York Post Headlines Tour (which we rode in March) and TMZ's version. (Matt Haber)
Clip and save this piece from Outside's Joe Spring: How to survive a black bear attack. (M.H.)
Similarly, how to survive hitching a ride on Martha's Vineyard from Larry David. New York excerpts Paul Samuel Dolman's book on that very topic. (M.H.)
I loved this Huffington Post story by Sue Manning from the Associated Press: Stressed while flying? Consider heading to San Jose, Los Angeles, or Miami airports, where teams of "therapy dogs" roam the terminals to calm passengers' nerves. (Peter Schlesinger)
The Dreamliner is resuming service to the city where its battery problems first became apparent. As Katie Johnston from the Boston Globe reports, All Nippon Airways will return the beleaguered jetto its Boston-Tokyo service starting this Saturday. (P.S.)
New York's Dan P. Lee looks at the space tourism and notes, "There are at least ten companies seriously engaged in commercial space transport." But what should you pack? (Matt Haber)
This is for people braver than us: Slate directs us to this Atlas Obscura gallery of photos of tourists standing on Kjergabolten, a rock wedged between two cliffs in Norway. (M.H.)
Also for fans of high places, The Wall Street Journal's Daniel Michaels' looks at Belgium's Dinner in the Sky, which allows adventurous diners to enjoy (?) a meal while suspended 180 feet in the air on a crane. Sure, people have been doing this for years, but the advice remains the same: Don't drop your fork. (M.H.)
More space travel news, this time from Cannes: one unidentified bidder paid $1.5 million to join Leonardo DiCaprio on Virgin Galactic's inaugural flight into space. The auction took place at the tony Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc, and proceeds went to a nonprofit devoted to AIDS research, as Rebecca Keegan from the LA Times reports. (Peter Schlesinger)
Speaking of Cannes, want to know where the celebs are staying during the festival? Tara Imperatore from The Huffington Post picks the top five hotels where you're most likely to ride the elevator with the likes of Nicole Kidman or Toby Maguire. (P.S.)
For the fashionistas wondering what to wear on their summer getaways, Elle's already done some digging: 100 swimsuits for your time in Tahiti, 30 dresses for dinner and beyond. (Maria Pedone)
From a giant rubber duck in Hong Kong to "Barbie's Dreamhouse" in Berlin, American Photo highlighted some quirky photojournalism last week. (M.P.)
One of the senior execs at Accor—the company that oversees popular brands from Sofitel to Mercure—gets caught red-handed for posting fake reviews (and lots of them) on TripAdvisor, Tnooz reports. But it wasn't TripAdvisor's much-hyped fraud detection tool that caught him, making us wonder how many other high-volume fake reviewers are still at large. (Nikki Ekstein)
Delta opens its new $1.4 billion Terminal 4 at New York's JFK, which includes an outdoor Sky Deck. CoolHunting got a sneak preview of the innovative lounge. One word: Bad*ss. (Amy Farley)
Photo credit: iStockPhoto
Need inspiration for a summer road trip? Look no further than The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue, by T+L contributor Daniel Vaughn. The new release is jam-packed with over 200 pit stops throughout the Lone Star State—as well as a guide to the different style of Texas ‘cue and the stories behind the pitmasters. To execute this true labor of love, Vaughn clocked an estimated 10,000 miles—but with chapters devoted to individual regions, it offers plenty of smaller itineraries that’ll ramp up your appetite. Need extra persuasion? See the Austin-based, BBQ-obsessed trip that Vaughn created for T+L right here.
Nikki Ekstein is an Editorial Assistant at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her at on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
Photo courtesy of Anthony Bourdain/Ecco
Enterainment Weekly's Sara Vilkomerson lives out the dream of millions of tween readers by spending the weekend at the Key West home of Judy Blume: Are You There God, It's Me, Judy Blume. (Matt Haber)
Super aggregator Jason Kottke presents some wonderful color footage of London from 1927. (M.H.)
Think we’re making progress in lightening our footprint on this planet? We've got a long way to go. Emily Badger of the Atlantic Cities reports on a project involving NASA, the U.S. Geological Survey, Google (of course), and other organizations to turn 30 years of satellite photos into timelapse videos of anywhere on earth. The resulting GIFs are sobering. Don't miss the map tool that lets you zoom into any location to see the change over time. (Amy Farley)
Google Maps just blew everyone else out of the water, unveiling new apps for Android and iOS (coming to an app store this summer) that integrate all the content, innovations, and intelligence of its varied recent acquisitions, as our friends at Skift report. Apple, your move. (A.F.)
It really is the week of Google news: as the Verge reported on Thursday, the company has officially unveiled a redesigned Google+ that automatically retouches the photos you upload (or that are automatically uploaded from Android phones everywhere). Creepy, cool, or just a last-ditch effort to get people to care about Google+? You decide. (Nikki Ekstein)
Unearthing the culture of a destination fascinates me. To get a true look into a Hawaiian local's perspective, pick up Kristiana Kahakauwila's new short story collection, This is Paradise. Her writing is as captivating as the politics behind it. (Maria Pedone)
With the Cannes Film Festival in full swing, local hotels become home-base for countless celebs and their entourages. On its blog, the Grand Hyatt Cannes Hotel Martinez published a fascinating infographic that reveals exactly what goes on in the star-studded hotel during the festival. Want 220 pounds of caviar? You've got it. (Peter Schlesinger)
And last but not least, in Berlin, a new Barbie Doll Dream House has opened to the delight of many fans and the horror of many feminists. Protesters see the plastic doll as an unworthy role model that reinforces strict gender roles, and formed the group Occupy Barbie Dream House, as detailed by Mark Johanson from the International Business Times. See pics of the pink palace on this BBC slideshow. (P.S.)
Got a recommendation? Tell us in the comments.
Photo: iStock Photos.
"When the nation was founded, it didn't have a Sistine Chapel or any Great Books. It had coastlines gushing with oysters and crustaceans, forests crammed with deer and wolves and, out on the frontier, some thirty million buffalo rumbling over the plains as a single, shifting spectacle." So writes Jon Mooallem in the introduction to his book, Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Looking at Animals in America (The Penguin Press).
While America may no longer teem with wildlife in quite the same way, Mooallem has dedicated much of his writingto documenting how humans interact with those species that remain. As a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine and writer-at-large for San Francisco's beloved cult sensation Pop-Up Magazine, Mooallem has covered everything from a wild monkey in Tampa to "gay" birds in Hawaii and baby turtles suffering after the BP oil spill. And he hasn't ignored humans: Here he is on the history of the high five and the magic of long-lost wallets.
You get the sense from Wild Ones that the animal stories are Mooallem's passion, but that they aren't always easy to write, especially since, as he puts it, "The wild animals always have no comment."
We asked Mooallem a bit more about his book and the many species—humans among them—he met during the course of writing it.
You went all over North America in search of places where people are interacting—in some cases in very odd ways—with endangered animals. What was the most interesting place to you as a writer and as a tourist?
Jon Mooallem: I spent some time traveling with a non-profit called Operation Migration, which teaches endangered whooping cranes how to migrate by training them to fly behind ultralight airplanes. They travel with the birds from Wisconsin to Florida. It’s a big swath of America that we tend to dismiss as Flyover Country, and they’re flying directly through it, very slowly, stopping for the night every 25 or 50 miles.
Forbes's Larry Olmsted discusses Boston Bites Back, the tasting event happening next week in Boston's Fenway Park where top local chefs are teaming up to raise $1 million for victims from the marathon bombings. (Peter Schlesinger)
One hotel in Egypt is trying to provide a "new kind of tourism"—by smashing all the booze in its bar and declaring itself the country's first dry hotel. HotelChatter takes a closer look. (Nikki Ekstein)
Have you ever dreamed of chucking it all and moving to tropical paradise? Outside's Ned Zeman chronicles how one couple's dream of building their own mountaintop compound in Costa Rica went very, very wrong. (Matt Haber)
What's it like to be a personal chef on a private Gultstream G550? So glad you asked since Cincinnati Magazine's Donna Covrett talks with Michael Worth about his high-flying gig. (M.H.)
Let Mashable take you on a trip Around the World in 80 Instagrams. (M.H.)
Check out this amazing animated GIFs that show how the earth has changed over time using images from Google Maps. (M.H.)
Got a recommendation? Tell us in the comments.
Photo: iStock Photos.
The Skies Belong to Us author Brendan I. Koerner points to this lovely Flickr photo album of Czech matchbox labels. Check out this great one from Czechoslovak Airlines. (Matt Haber)
The New York Times sent humorist Henry Alford to exotic Williamsburg, Brooklyn to see if he could blend in and go native. The result? How I Became a Hipster. (M.H.)
Meanwhile, across the pond, Christian Lorentzen, an American writer in London is having some trouble adjusting, as he relates in this wonderfully cranky London Review of Books essay Buck up, old boy, at least there aren't hipster there! (M.H.)
Airbnb fans take note: a new verification program requires your official photo ID, according to All Things D's Liz Gannes. (Jennifer Flowers)
Walk/Score blog's new tool allows you to find hotels within walking distance your ultimate destination and has published their Top 10 U.S. Cities to Travel Car-Free. (Ann Shields)
TimeOut London employs some cool graphics to overlay historic photos with new ones by Rob Greig to create Soho: Then and Now (A.S)
Gizmodo's Kelsey Campbell-Dollaghan shares German photographer Michael Wolf's images of aging high rises in Hong Kong. Very surreal. (Peter Schlesinger)
Swissinfo's Susan Vogel-Misicka has a fascinating update on the $2 billion Andermatt Swiss Alps construction project, including the Chedi Andermatt hotel at the (formerly?) quiet Swiss village. (P.S.)
Alaska's cruise season has started, and this year there are stricter fuel standards. The Anchorage Daily News's Becky Bohrer takes an in depth look at the new law and what it means for the environment and for the cruise industry. (P.S.)
Google Now is finally available for iPhone users, and The Associated Press' Anick Jesdanun does a remarkably thorough job of putting it to the traveler's ultimate road test. (Nikki Ekstein)
CNN rounds up a list of the 10 ways our travel experience can be improved, and we agree with all 10 of them. (N.E.)
In-flight yoga? New York Times travel writer Stephanie Rosenbloom shows you how to strike a pose with just 17 inches of airplane space. (Maria Pedone)
Photo credit: iStock photo