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Why Are We Obsessed With Taking Travel Photos?

travel photos

Peter Jon Lindberg shot 10,438 photographs in the past 12 months alone. Now he wonders where our obsession with travel images is taking us.

The summer I turned 11, my parents and I spent three months traveling around Europe, driving a tiny Peugeot from Rome to Amsterdam. It was one of the seminal trips of my life, though I don’t really “remember” it in the visual sense.

We took not a single photograph.

My parents didn’t even pack a camera. They owned a camera; they just decided not to bring it. Recently I asked my mother why.

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Classic Travel Scam Led To Death of Malcolm X's Grandson

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Family members have planned a private burial service for Malcolm Shabazz, the grandson of slain civil rights activitist Malcolm X, in Hartsdale, New York tomorrow. He was beaten to death in a bar fight on May 9 in Mexico City. But in the widespread news coverageof the killing, one fact has been curiously underplayed: Shabazz was the unwitting victim of one of the oldest scams in travel.

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Trip Doctor: About Those New TSA Rules...

airplane packing

Dear TSA,

We are so happy to hear that you'll be easing packing restrictions for travelers. Really, we are. But golf clubs, baseball bats, and pocket knives? What an odd place to start. Did you think these were less risky to travel with than, say, the three ounces of blueberry jam you stole—I mean, confiscated—from me on my way home from Maine last summer? Or the life-threatening snow globe souvenir my colleague bought for her daughter in Colorado? How about that full-sized tube of toothpaste—or better yet, the water bottle I brought from home for my six-hour flight? Couldn't you see your way to un-banning those before knives, bats, and clubs?

And as tons of news outlets are making clear, flight attendants are with us—they're not terribly thrilled at the prospect of knives on board, and we certainly can't fault them.

We'd love to know what you were thinking, even if our golfer friends are excited by the prospect of carrying their gear aboard. We'd also like that blueberry jam back.

Signed,

The Trip Doctor Team

See also: Snakes (Almost) on a Plane and Pack This: TSA-Friendly Toiletries.

Photo by iStockphoto

T+L Obsession: The European Newsstand

European newsstand

You hear a lot these days about the decline of old-school news sources—but kiosks still matter in Europe. They, in fact, are Europe. On a continent where once-pronounced cultural distinctions are muddled more every day by Commission legislation and mega-brand spread, newsstands—with their arcane combinations of press and stuff—are cynosures of the fabric of a place.

I patronize my local newsagent in London because he’s unfailingly kind. But for serious varsity-level browsing, I prefer Wardour News, in Soho—not so much because the vast selection puts my local’s in the shade, as for the reassuring sense that I’m inside an avatar of the London Newsagent Experience. Cheery South Asian proprietor? Check. Baffling proliferation of Japanese style monthlies and Scandinavian architecture monographs? Check. Private Eye, Mini Jaffa Cakes, lager in the cooler? Check, check, and cheers, mate.

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Snakes (Almost) on a Plane: TSA Finds 821 Firearms, Chainsaw, and Slithering Reptiles in Carry-Ons

201208-b-concealed-weapons-on-airplanesjpg"Whaaaaaaaaaat?" That's what I said to myself after reading this piece by Gizmodo who reported via the Transportation Security Administration's blog, that since January 1st, TSA agents have discovered 821 firearms in carry-on bags at airports around the country. Of these, 691 were loaded, and 210 were locked and loaded with a round chambered. Some other bizarrely alarming weapons discovered while passengers were filing through security? Dead venomous snakes (snakes almost on a plane!), a gun in a hollowed out book (retro move there), an explosive grenade, a spear gun, eels, a gassed-up chainsaw, and a chastity belt. Too weird, America. But keep up the good work TSA! And in the future, before you confiscate that sealed bottle of Poland Spring in my backpack, can we just put a few things in perspective?

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 Marguerite A. Suozzi is an assistant research editor at Travel + Leisure.

 

Photographer Ahae Adds to South Korea's Cultural Revolution

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Actually—and without even mentioning the established international success of the Lee Ufans and Nam June Paiks of the world—it’s been a banner few weeks for art in South Korea: First this guy assembled a functional satellite, for the equivalent of $500, basically in his basement, and will be launching it into space in the name of Achieving One’s Artistic Dreams. Then underground hip-hop artist PSY released what is, seriously, the best summer video. Ever. Now, septuagenarian businessman-turned-amateur-photographer Ahae is doing his bit for the Land of the Morning Calm. Having previously soothed viewers in New York, London, and Prague, his one-man show, Through My Window, has alighted in a purpose-built pavilion in the Tuileries Gardens, adjacent to the Louvre—the first such structure ever allowed there—where it will be on view through August 26th.

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Williamsburg, Brooklyn To Get a Green Hotel

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Oppenheim Architecture + Design recently won the bid for the Williamsburg Hotel.  Between the Williamsburg Bridge and the domed Neoclassic Williamsburg Savings Bank, a 21st-century tower is set to rise over 400 feet.

What exactly does the prospect of a LEEDS Platinum-certified green building, set in the bustling bohemian enclave of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, say about New York's ever-changing tale? We'll have to wait and see.  For now, check out these interesting photo renderings:

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Cinque Terre News: Flood Devastates Vernazza, Italy

Vernazza, Cinque Terre, Italy

The before/after photographs are harrowing: in the first, a postcard-perfect Italian village, with pine-green shutters and lemon and rose façades, lapped by the turquoise waters of the Mediterranean. In the next, the same village buried in a horrifying avalanche of mud, its harbor now the color and consistency of cement.

On October 25, flooding from a freak rainstorm devastated the town of Vernazza, one of the five villages that make up the celebrated Cinque Terre in Liguria . Rivers of water and mud cascaded down the steep and narrow streets, burying the town’s lowest levels in as much as 13 feet of debris, while also overwhelming the railroad tracks that provided the primary way in or out of Vernazza. (Part of the Cinque Terre’s allure is that four of its cliff-hugging villages are accessible only by train, boat, or hiking trail.)

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New Tourist Slogans Twist Arms

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Cheesy travel slogans are a dime a dozen. There's something decidedly square in the art of selling destinations, and rightly so. Not only must you lure new travelers, you also have to represent the locals who live in these places—and you probably shouldn't tick them off.

So, it's all the more interesting to notice some chance-taking of late.  A few brave tourist boards—hoping to zap awake a sleepy economy, defibrillator-style—have unveiled a slew of over-the-top, playfully arm-twisting slogans.

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Travel Editor Gets A Refund—And A Comeuppance

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Sometimes an airline does things right. Not often, true, but every once in a great while. Those of you who read this blog regularly know that I rarely have anything good to say about the airline industry. New regulations announced this month by the Department of Transportation are just the latest evidence that the airlines aren't able to offer good customer service on their own, and have to rely on the government to step in and force them to be good corporate citizens. But here's a quick little story that shows maybe, just maybe, things are improving and that at least one airline is doing things better.

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