Books + Reading Lists
If, like me, you’re as likely to read a novel about a city as a guide book when preparing for a visit, the Los Angeles Times book staff has pieced together an excellent resource for you.Their Literary L.A. map pinpoints bookstores and lit landmarks around town (the library at UCLA where Ray Bradbury tapped out Fahrenheit 451 on a coin-operated typewriter!), and also includes passages from great fiction inspired by the the city and includes hardboiled L.A. classics like Double Indemnity and The Black Dahlia to more modern works like Steve Erickson’s Zeroville. The map has been released in time to accompany this weekend’s Festival of Books at USC.
LA Times Festival of Books, April 20-21, 2013, at USC, free. (events.latimes.com/festivalofbooks/)
Ann Shields is a senior digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
Photo courtesy of L.A. Times
Fans of the Ping Island rescue operation scene in Wes Anderson's Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou will love these Tokyo Times photos of the abandoned Fujiya Hotel in Shimoda. (Matt Haber)
Coffee fanatics should check out David Farley's Afar piece "Coffeland," in which the author went to southern Ethiopia to learn more about coffee culture. (M.H.)
Vanity Fair's William Langewiesche goes inside the mind of Felix Baumgartner, the daredevil who undertook the highest free-fall in history last October. (M.H.)
Real life princess (and mother-to-be), the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton will soon be the godmother of a new cruise ship, the Royal Princess, reports Chloe Berman of Travel Weekly UK. (Peter Schlesinger)
The Twitterverse is now expanding into music. According to Mashable's Chris Taylor, the social network is launching an app today after its acquisition of the music discovery site We Are Hunted. All the more tunes for your weekend getaway. (Maria Pedone)
Jay-Z's "Open Letter" says all it takes to go to Cuba is an OK from the President, but CBS News travel editor Peter Greenberg isn't about to let you believe it. Over on his blog, he sets the record straight for those who aren't buddies with the First Family (or prefer to do things legally). (Nikki Ekstein)
Travel Weekly's Michelle Baran takes an in-depth look at the rise of culinary travel in the last decade. (N.E.)
We all know airport food isn't what it used to be—and that's a good thing. CNN's Beth Kaufman takes things a step further by ranking the best bites at terminals across the country, from FLL to LAX. (Nikki Ekstein)
Calling all futurists! Each year, the Crystal Cabin Awards highlight the best ideas for in-flight innovation. You might not see any of them at 35,000 feet just yet, but Skift picks out the most viable (and interesting) finalists before the winners are announced next week. (N.E.)
No outlet? No problem. These eight solar-powered mobile chargers presented by Mashable's Matt Petronzio make sure you don't miss a tweet. (Maria Pedone)
Coming soon to Colorado: My 420 Tours, vacation packages for marijuana tourists. Bloomberg Businessweek's Eric Sptiznagel talks to Matt Brown and James Walker, 420's founders. (Matt Haber)
Ever wonder what all the different lights atop The Empire State Building signify? New York's Emma Whitford explains all. (M.H.)
What does it really mean when someone shouts "Is there a doctor on the plane?!" The Atlantic's Celine Gounder looks at Medical Emergencies at 40,000 Feet. (M.H.)
Troy Knapp, aka, the Mountan Man who lived—and robbed cabins—in the wilds of southern Utah was finally caught by the authorities this week after nearly a decade off the grid and on the lam. Men's Journal's Jacob Bayham was already profiling the wilderness-savvy fugitive for the magazine. (M.H.)
"I always drink to world peace." The New York Times Magazine has a nice interactive map of Times reporters' favorite places to drink worldwide. (M.H.)
Smarter Travel's Caroline Costello muses on the pros and cons of tipping. (Peter Schlesinger)
Arthur Frommer reacquires the rights to his namesake brand from Google. Skift's Jason Clampet has some details. (P.S.)
Got a recommendation of your own? Share it in the comments.
The fabulous Jeryl Brunner is releasing her latest book this month: My City, My Los Angeles: Famous People Share Their Favorite Places (Globe Pequot Press, $15). It’s filled with quotes from local tastemakers aaaaand the US Weekly crowd—everyone from Molly Shannon to Usher. Here’s a (condensed) taste:
SUSAN SARANDON “I’m opening a SPiN in downtown LA at the Standard…I would like to get Ping-Pong tables in all the underserved schools that don’t have phys ed programs…we’ll build a little Ping-Pong Nation.”
LUCY LIU “I love a place called Itacho...It’s Japanese tapas so you get to sample everything. Delicious.”
PIERS MORGAN “My favorite place in LA is Manhattan Beach… I like to buy some crab salad from one of the delis [Manhattan Meats], near the promenade, then head down right to the water’s edge, so I can lie on a towel munching my lunch…and plotting global domination.”
Kathryn O'Shea-Evans is an associate editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter @ThePluckyOne.
Photo courtesy of Globe Pequot Press
The Department of Transportation delivered a sobering assessment of the safety record of recently shuttered Fung Wah Bus company, known for ferrying people cheaply between Boston and New York. Transportation Nation's Alex Goldmark reports. (Amy Farley)
Where’s Europe's dirty money? Gadling's Anna Brones reports that Oxford researchers tested currencies across the continent and found that the Danish krone has the highest bacteria count of them all. Hey, Denmark: Ever heard of money laundering? (A.F.)
A Norwegian economist is in the spotlight after proposing that airlines charge passengers according to their weight, a move that he claims “may provide significant benefits to airlines, passengers and society at large." CNN's James Durston has the scoop. (A.F.)
Cheeeeeeese! Slate presents a collection of vintage tourist shots by photographer Roger Minick, bringing back all sorts of memories of childhood family vacations. (Matt Haber)
Another slideshow, this time a beautiful side-by-side comparison of present-day Paris with photos from the turn of the century. (M.H.)
What happens to a man stuck in the 'It's a Small World' ride for 30 minutes? (M.H.)
Do not try this: Russian tourists illegally scaled the Great Pyramid of Giza in Egypt. Gawker's Max Read presents their admittedly pretty awesome (but so wrong!) photos. (M.H.)
The most terrifying hotel-based horror movie of all time now has a documentary dedicated to its most obsessive fans. Rodney Ascher's Room 237, which presents various interpretations of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining, is out in limited release and is being hotly debated. Back in July 2010, The Atlantic's James Parker checked into The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colorado to experience the place that inspired Stephen King's novel. (M.H.)
A Los Angeles restaurant has gotten some attention for tweeting about its no-show guests. (Peter Schlesinger)
A list of international airlines that'll keep WiFi junkies happy, via The Points Guy.(Jennifer Flowers)
How stunning is this new airport terminal that just opened in Amman, Jordan? Plus, it's super green. Inhabitat's Charley Cameron shows us the Queen Alia Airport. (Nikki Ekstein)
Google maps steps it up again, with live transit updates in NYC, Washington DC, and Salt Lake City. TechCrunch's Drew Olanoff has the scoop (hat tip to Skift's Samantha Shankman). (N.E.)
It's been a lonely six months for Lady Liberty, who's been all alone in the New York Harbor without any visitors since Hurricane Sandy forced away the crowds. But the National Parks Service has just announced that the Statue of Liberty will reopen on--guess what day?--July 4. (Nikki Ekstein)
In January, T+L included ride-sharing (bike, car, private plane) as one of 2013's most important travel trends. Now, Forbes' Micheline Maynard has a few thoughts on Jump Seat, the new Airbnb for, well, the air. (Maria Pedone)
Another entry for the What Took them So Long? files: American Airlines began quietly testing a new boarding process that allows fliers without carry-on bags to board before their wheelie-toting counterparts. Blogger Johnny Jet broke the story. (Amy Farley)
Photographer Jeffrey Milstein's hypnotic images of airports from above reveal the strange patterns and intricate geometries of these much-maligned hubs. John Metcalfe takes a look for the Atlantic Cities. (A.F)
Fans of Indiana Jones movies will not want to miss the real life swashbuckling tale of one man's journey in the jungles of the South Pacific to find a lost temple of Israel. Matthew Fishbane's 'Solomon's Island' is a collaboration between Tablet Magazine and The Atavist. For $2.99 you can read the entire 20,000-word story with maps and timelines. (Matt Haber)
The Rumpus presents a short comic from Liam Golden called In San Francisco, There Is A Street (M.H.)
Sick of hearing what the pundits and analysts are saying about the economic crisis in Cyprus? Why not read New York's brief interview with Antreas Achilleos, whom they describe as "a random guy from Cyprus." Sample question: "What should Cyprus be famous for, other than Russian money-laundering and economic turmoil?" The answer: really good cheese. (M.H.)
Coming soon to New York's subway system: Interactive touchscreen kiosks. Fast Company Co.Design's Mark Wilson has the download. (M.H.)
Slate presents a slideshow of hunters and their prey by photographer David Chancellor. Some of these images might be familiar to readers of The New York Times Magazine, which featured several last year, but they're still as surprising and engrossing the second tome around. (M.H.)
After weeks of speculation, BBC Worldwide, the for-profit division of the U.K. media organization, confirmed the sale of Lonely Planet to semi-reclusive tobacco billionaire Brad Kelley. As The New York Times' Eric Pfanner reported, Kelley's company, NC2 Media, will acquire the Australia-based guidebook publisher for $77.8 million, a little more than half of what BBC Worldwide paid for it. (Rumors of the deal was first broken by Skift.)
In an email interview with Skift's Jason Clampet, Lonely Planet's incoming C.O.O. Daniel Houghton affirmed the company's respect for its core asset, the print editions of its guides: "Lonely Planet will continue to be committed to its roots in publishing and providing quality information to travellers around the world. We are committed to all mediums, and print will continue to be a part of the mix."
Yesterday, Skift's Rafat Ali reported that BBC Worldwide is in negotiations to sell off a majority of its stake in Lonely Planet, the longtime must-pack for wide-eyed international backpackers since its founding in 1973. The buyer, according to Ali, is Brad Kelley, a former tobacco company owner and semi-reclusive billionaire described as being the third biggest private landowner in the United States. BBC Worldwide, which acquired Lonely Planet from its founders Tony and Maureen Wheeler in 2007, would still have some role in the day-to-day operations of the book and web company. Rumors of a possible sale were reported in the U.K. press back in December 2012, when names of possible buyers included Barry Diller, head of IAC/InterActiveCorp.
So, what might this mean for fans of the books? As Jason Clampet notes in another Skift story from the same day, sales of guidebooks are down as more travelers are turning to the web and mobile devices for user-generated content. According to Clampet, sales of the top guides dropped by 47% since 2007.
A lot of people dream about packing up their workaday lives and moving to paradise, but few of us actually do it. Mark Yokoyama, a former marketing and merchandising executive, and his partner, Jenn Yerkes, an advertising copywriter, did just that when they moved to St. Martin in November 2009 to found Les Fruits de Mer, "the world's first Extreme Shallow Snorkeling team, dedicated to pioneering the sport, art and science of extreme shallow snorkeling all over the world."
When not extreme shallow snorkeling, Yokoyama spent much of the last three years hiking the island and documenting the diversity of its wildlife. The result is The Incomplete Guide to the Wildlife of Saint Martin, a book of original up-close nature photography and original research he released as a print-on-demand edition in 2010. Yokoyama is currently raising funds on Kickstarter for a revised and expanded edition. According to his campaign video, the more copies Yokoyama sells in advance, the cheaper he can make them and the more accessible the book will be to the island's kids. (He freely acknowledges playing the "do it for the kids" card.)
As he tells T+L below, the book is also a great resource for visitors to the island with an interest in nature and local culture.
Q. What are you doing on St. Martin and how did you come to document the island's wildlife?
As a child, I was very interested in wildlife and wildlife photography, but I grew away from that in my teens. I ended up in St. Martin after developing a love of scuba diving and underwater photography. Spending all day wandering the hills taking photos of insects was a natural next step, and now I'm doing exactly what I loved to do when I was ten-years-old.
Here are a few recent travel stories that piqued the interest of T+L's news team.
Be careful where you shake, folks. USA Today reports that the FAA is looking into possible safety violations after a group Colorado College students lead a Harlem Shake on a recent Frontier Airlines flight. (Amy Farley)
United has launched an official investigation of the crew that threw Live and Let's Fly blogger Matthew Klint off the plane for snapping photos of his business class cabin. Klint's takeaway? The seven words you shouldn't use on an airplane. (Nikki Ekstein)
Farecompare founder Rick Seaney has great advice for people traveling in a group (including families): save money by searching for airfare one person at a time. We’d explain here, but best to just go straight to his brilliant USA Today column. (AF)
Oh, the people you'll meet. Novelist Nathaniel Rich finds himself sharing intimacies, aspirations, and a little bit of heartbreak with his fellow passengers on a two-day journey from New Orleans to Los Angeles on the Sunset Limited train in this weekend's New York Times Magazine. (AF)
What's more lonely than being in a strange hotel in a strange city all by yourself? Being without your beloved $8 M&Ms. In an essay in The Atlantic, journalist David Samuels laments the demise of the hotel mini bar. (AF)