Welcome back to The Friday Download, T+L’s weekly roundup of articles, music, and internet culture that promise to carry you through the weekend, whether your itinerary is jam-packed with travel or you’re staying put, staycation style. In this holiday edition: a must-follow animator on Instagram, the end of The Best Restaurant in NYC, and more.

By Caroline Hallemann
Updated: January 24, 2017
Rachel Ryle



If you're staying in town this holiday weekend, take a mental vacation by way of Rachel Ryle's Instagram account. An illustrator and animator, Ryle regularly uploads whimsical stop-motion clips (like the snorkeling-themed one below) showcasing far-off destinations. Consider her drawings postcards for the digital age.

[View the story "@rachelryle" on Storify]


Leigh Nash

Former Sixpence None The Richer lead vocalist Leigh Nash steps out on her own this month with her first country record, "The State I'm In." Check out the video for the Texas-set "Somebody's Yesterday" below, then pre-order the full album over on iTunes.


If getting a good night's sleep is the bane of your vacation, look no further than British composer Max Richter's latest. His new eight-hour album—available now on iTunes—is designed to lull listeners to sleep with softly played piano and strings, and hushed vocals. So put on your face mask and turn it up. Sweet dreams are as easy as A, B, Zzz. 


It is with a heavy heart that I declare the end of an era. Caity Weaver has left Gawker, and her departure brings the culmination of The Best Restaurant in New York series. For the past year, Weaver and her partner-in-crime Rich Juzwiak chronicled cafes, food carts, and sit-down eateries in NYC's most-trafficked tourist attractions. Laugh through the tears this weekend with a re-read of their greatest hits, starting, of course, with their afternoon at the American Girl Cafe.

Caroline Hallemann is the associate digital editor at Travel + Leisure. Follow her on Twitter at @challemann.