You Too Can Be A Londoner

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Carl Goes London is a new flavor in travel guidebooks; it offers a useful perspective for visitors whether they are in London for three days, three weeks or three months. Written with the digital nomad in mind, the book provides guidance on living like a temporary Londoner.

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Carl Goes London is the city guide for curious and creative people who want to become a citizen of London for the duration of their stay. Carl Goes London includes:

  • Eight interviews with locals, from entrepreneurial start-up owners to renowned chefs;
  • Information about working in London, including co-working spaces, networking and industry events, practical information about how to set up a business and where to go for a working lunch;
  • Guides to the different neighborhoods in London, including tips of where local residents like to hang out;
  • Our top tips of how to spend three days, three weeks and three months in London;
  • Where to eat and drink in London, from cafés and supper clubs, to traditional pubs and high-end bars;
  • Where to stay in London, from high-end hotels and fully serviced city apartments, to quirky guest houses and design hotels;
  • Ideas of how to ‘get lost’ in the city to explore London for yourself;
  • Practical information about how to get there, get around and generally get by in London for the duration of your trip;
  • Day and weekend trips away from London, and a guide to other places in the world with a similar vibe to London;
  • More than 100 color photographs to give you a sense of London’s DNA

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City guides in the series are also available for Amsterdam and Berlin. You can order yours or just learn more about Carl Goes right here.

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READ

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To honor the passing of David Bowie, the American Library Association is re-issuing the classic poster (above) of the late artist. If you spent any time in a library or school during the 1990s, no doubt you saw the iconic poster of Bowie suspended in mid-air while reading a copy of Dostoyevsky’s The Idiot. The exuberant poster is from the ALA’s long-running READ campaign, which featured popular figures reading books. Beginning in 1980 with cartoon characters, the poster series later included real life figures as diverse as Sting, Stephen Hawking, LL Cool J, and the cast of the Harry Potter films. President Obama even appeared when he was a freshman senator.

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the more noble instinct that aspires

I have been a fan of filmmaker and photographer Alex Soloviev ever since I stumbled upon his visual ode to Germany’s capital in Everyday Berlin. His new short film Highland Fairytale is an atmospheric and haunting visit to Catalunya’s most important pilgrimage site at Montserrat. Soloviev captures the spiritual power and mystery of the mountainous redoubt just an hour from bustling Barcelona. The opening verse is from Longfellow’s “Haunted House”.

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Bringing Back The Athenaeum

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Before there were free public libraries in North America, there were membership funded libraries. Often called Athenaeums, these literary associations were supported by dues paying members whose fees were used to buy books, pay librarians, and lease space. You probably won’t be surprised to learn that the concept for the first American athenaeum came from that dynamo of 18th century innovation Benjamin Franklin in 1731. Prior to the advent of the free public library in the 19th century, member supported athenaeums and libraries were found throughout North America. Prominent examples can still be found in Philadelphia, New York City, Boston, Providence, and Cincinnati. There’s even one in my little village dating from 1760 and still active.

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I was excited to find that the athenaeum concept has been revived at the new Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum. Just opened last month, this library and cultural center’s mission is to promote the literary arts through its library, book related cultural events, work space for writers, and preservation of private book collections.

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Located in a landmark 1930 YMCA building, the Folio is open to the general public, but members have access to browse the stacks and rare book collections, reserve writing spaces, borrow books, and participate in literary events. Memberships start at $75 per year.

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Guide to Tokyo

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Regular readers of TBTP have probably noticed that I have a fascination with travel guidebooks, both contemporary and antiquarian. If you saw my library, you might even call it an obsession. I’m always intrigued when I stumble upon a novel angle on the travel guidebook model. Tokyo Totem: A Guide to Tokyo is a wonderful exemplar of an uncommon approach to a two century old template.

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Written and edited by Edwin Gardner and Christiaan Fruneaux from the Amsterdam-based creative studio Monnik, Tokyo Totem brings together contributions from forty-six “urban explorers”. This diverse collaboration of experts, ranging from long-time expats to city-born locals, fuses essays, photography, cartography, mangas, art, and illustration.

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The bilingual—English and Japanese—travel guidebook eschews the typical what to see and where to eat/drink/sleep/shop model for a refreshing subjective approach that encourages visitors to engage with Tokyo on a personal adventure.

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The paperback version is published by Flick Studio and is available internationally through Amazon.

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Tunnel Vision

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The Cuyperspassage is a 110-meter tunnel that runs under Amsterdam Central Station offering a connection from the front to the rear of the building for cyclists and pedestrians . Graphic designer Irma Boom created a fantastic Delft blue time mural to decorate the originally bleak passageway based on the work of 18th century Dutch painter Cornelis Bouwmeester. The paintings which inspired the mural can be seen at the Rijksmuseum. The painting depicts a seascape of a fishing fleet alongside the naval warship Rotterdam .
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The mural , which is comprised of 46,000 tiles, was produced by the Royal Tichelaar Makkum ceramic company and took five years to complete. Each of the 130 by 130 mm Delft blue tiles was hand painted to reflect the 18th century style. Photos courtesy of Jannes Linders

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Silmarillion with an accent

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I was searching for an illustrated copy of J.R.R. Tolkien’s Silmarillion for a client when I stumbled across this Russian language version with exceptional black and white drawings by artist Denis Gordeev. I don’t know anything about him, but he seems to be making a career of illustrating Russian editions of Tolkien classics.

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Be Who You Are

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A Cracking Good Idea

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This week, the London street artist known as Furia ACK painted a large mural of the P.T. Barnum of American presidential politics on a wall in the East End Shoreditch neighborhood. As soon as the portrait was completed, Furia, along with friends and bystanders, defiled the Donald with a barrage of fresh eggs  . What a cracking good idea.

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What Do All Cities Have In Common

Does it sometimes seem like every city that you visit is pretty much the same? The run-of-the-mill shops, the stereotypical coffee bars, the standard hipster district, and the ubiquitous food trucks can be found every where you go. Well, London-based architect and social commentator Charles “Chazz” Hutton sums up that ho-hum homogeneity in his hilarious “A Map of Every City”. Drawn on a post-it note, this little gem skillfully captures the 21st century Weltschmerz we’re all feeling. You follow his social commentary right here.

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