Walking New York

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The New York Times Magazine commissioned the French street artist known as JR to create this amazing cover for this week’s edition. JR painted an eye-popping 150-foot tall image of 20-year old Azerbaijani waiter Elmar Aliyev and then had it pasted onto the plaza in front of the iconic, landmark Flat Iron Building on Fifth Avenue.

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What’s in a name

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It’s World Book Day !

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I’m certain that all of you bibliophiles know that today is UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day. Readers around the globe are celebrating with all manner of bookish events. My friends in the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) are honoring the occasion with pop-up book fairs and events in dozens of cities around the world. You can find one near you at this website.

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Here in the U.S. there will be bookfairs in NYC, Chicago,Seattle, Portland, Washington D.C., and in one of my favorite historic towns, New Castle, Delaware.

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Events in Europe will be held in at least a dozen cities. Some of the best events are at atmospheric locales, such as a barge on a canal in Amsterdam, the old Central rail station in Haarlem, at the new Museum of Literature in Vienna, in the ancient Tuscan walled city of Lucca, and at London’s historic Middle Temple Library.

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For a list of all of the international events, check out the UNESCO website for an interactive map.

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Paris vs New York (animated)

First there was the blog, then the book, and now there’s the Paris vs New York video. Animated by the North Creative Collective studio, Vahram Muratyan’s cheeky illustrations always brighten the day.

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Tales from the Void

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Leave it to the ever creative crew at the Le Gun art collective to come up with a wonderful installation that celebrates Paris’ legendary Shakespeare and Company bookstore. The pop-up show, called “Tales from the Void”, is comprised of a series of faux titled, hand-painted wooden books. The book sculptures were then secreted among the book shelves of the iconic shop.

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NYC and Philly Optimized

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If you follow travel blogs, you have probably seen posts on the optimal road trips through the United States and Europe. The brilliant coder behind these maps is a PhD candidate named Randy Olson. Now he has used the same algorithm to create optimized walking tours of New York City and Philadelphia.

Olson used top TripAdvisor attractions to plan visits to major sites in both cities. If you plan to use either map, it might be a good idea to spread the tours over at least two days. And if you use the Philadelphia map, use public transportation, a bike or car to do the Fairmount Park and Zoo bit.

Before you go, visit Olson’s blog to find out more and to even use his algorithm to create your own walking tours.

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Fantastic Cities

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It seems that adult coloring books (no, not that kind) are a thing now. They’re even topping Amazon’s bestseller list. Ontario Canada-based artist Steve McDonald has created a timely coloring book for grown-ups called Fantastic Cities. The highly detailed architectural drawings provide both “real and imagined” views of New York, Amsterdam, London, and many more cities around the world. So, get out your secret crayon stash. The beautifully imagined book will be out on from Chronicle early this summer and can be pre-ordered right here.

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The Perfect Flight

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The travel search engine Skyscanner.net surveyed 2,000 travelers regarding their flying preferences and then commissioned mathematician Eugenia Cheng from the University of Sheffield to create the formula for the perfect flight.

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Fly BOAC

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How Does Yours Rank

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The Passport Index is an interactive website that collects, displays and ranks passports from countries around the world. Passports can be explored by country name, cover color, world map, and by “Passport Power Rank”. Guess who is number 1?

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