Travel Between The Pages followers know by now that I suffer from a serious case of O.C.D.—Obsessive Coffee Dependence. Whenever I plan a trip finding the best coffehouses, artisanal roasters and cafes is an uppermost priority. My iPhone and iPad suffer from a glut of coffeeshop finding apps. So I’m a big fan of the London-based independent publisher Blue Cow Media. The firm is building an international reputation with brilliant apps—developed with local experts—and clever maps for locating coffee spots, craft beer brewers, bars and restaurants in London, LA, NYC, San Francisco and Paris.
Now the shrewd bunch has launched a set of coffee-centric maps for NYC, Paris and London. Printed on high quality, recycled paper, the no-frills maps get right to the nitty-gritty with locations for to coffeeshops serving beans from leading artisanal roasters. If you too suffer from Obsessive Coffee Dependence, or you know someone with the disorder, you can order the maps right here.
When we think of giant wheels, most of us go to the giant London Eye, or even the historic Prater wheel in Vienna. But each winter hundreds of thousands of Parisians and tourists ride the Grande Roue de Paris on the place de la Concorde for great views of the city of light.
There are forty-two heated carriages, including just one for people with limited mobility.
The big wheel is open from 11am to midnight daily until Feb. 16,2014 and costs between 5 and 10€ per ride.
Now, if they could just move that purloined obelisk out of the way for the winter.
I never gave much thought to the aesthetics of my backpacks; in fact I traveled with the same battered book bag for almost twenty years until it fell apart. But the folks at Eastpak think quite a bit about the art of the bag.
For the 3rd year running, Eastpak has given both established and up-and-coming artists the challenge of reimagining a blank backpack for their Artist Studio charity project. Over the course of the past year, 56 artists, in 14 countries, on 3 continents reimagined the humble, Eastpak Padded Pak’r ® utilitarian travel bag.
Now that the project is completed, the bags are available for sale, with all proceeds going to Designers Against Aids. You can see all of the backpacks on the Eastpak project site or visit their Facebook page.
Philadelphia’s Fishtown craft publishing outfit The Head and the Hand is teaming up with a vending machine company and Philly’s award-winning coffee roaster Elixr to offer us healthy snacks for the mind. The “Chapbook Vending Machines” will be filled with short stories priced at just $2 a read. Each chapbook will from the publisher’s “Bigger Than a Bread Box Short Story Contest”.
The first chapbook vending machine will be unveiled at Elixr Coffee in Center City on December 5th. If you’re in the area, it’s an opportunity for a terrific cup of joe and a good read too.
A new public art project in the UK called Books About Town plans to install artist designed benches shaped as open books. The 50 to 70 book benches – to be placed around London – will include seating based on Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, J M Barrie‘s Peter Pan and on Kenneth Grahame‘s Wind in the Willows and even George Orwell’s 1984.
The Book Benches will be designed by international and British artists, and are intended to promote reading for enjoyment and to celebrate stories linked to the London. The project from the National Literary Trust, with support from Visit England, is scheduled to launch in July 2014.
Each BookBench will be sponsored by private firms, including publishing companies. For more information, contact the Literary Trust.
I love Barcelona—really who doesn’t love Barcelona—but not just for the obvious reasons. Everyone is enamored with the city’s spectacular architecture, fabulous art, great music, and who wouldn’t kill for the tapas. Me too, but I’m also fascinated by Barcelona’s literary heritage and amazing bookshops. So, I was saddened to hear that last week an important piece of that heritage disappeared.
For more than 82 years, the amazing Libreria Cervantes-Canuda offered an intoxicating mix of titles in every conceivable genre. Crammed with over 200,000 books, the bibliophile’s dream of a bookstore even inspired Carlos Ruiz Zafron’s international bestseller The Shadow of the Wind.
Cervantes-Canuda was apparently another victim of Spain’s ongoing recession and the rising rents in Barcelona’s Barri Gotic. Sadly, many bookshops around Spain have also been hit by the same double whammy. In Barcelona alone, tow other historic bookshops have also been shuttered this year.
Now it seems that a visit to Zafron’s Cemetery of Forgotten Books is only possible by travelling through the pages.
Here at TBTP we’re always keep an eye out for attention grabbing street art and dynamic installations. This mesmerizing work by California-based artist Phillip K. Smith III seized our attention immediately. As you will see from the video below (if you invest four minutes of your time), Smith transformed a seventy year old, deserted homesteader’s shack in Joshua Tree, California into a day/night exploration of light, shadow and reflection.
Smith draws his inspiration from the landscape, the reductive geometries of minimalism and the California Light & Space Movement. The resulting work is emphatically straightforward and eminently accessible.
A non-profit organization called The Harry Potter Alliance has launched a clever Hunger Games-themed social justice campaign called “Odds In Our Favor”. The group has released a rabble-rousing video called “The Hunger Games Are Real”, which uses events from Suzanne Collins‘ trilogy to share disturbing statistics about poverty, hunger, social justice, worker safety and income inequality in the United States. Even if you are not a fan of the books or films, you should find the video engaging and inspiring.
As a seller of antiquarian and collectible books, I’m frequently asked to explain the attraction of “old books’ to non-bibliophiles. The questions usually come from customers seeking to purchase a book as a gift for a book lover in their lives, or more often from a book buyer who thinks the prices of antiquarian books are just too high.
In this wonderful video, “A Mild Case of Bibliomania”, Raymond Russell, the founder of the independent publisher Tartarus Press, shares his experience as a life-long bibliophile.