How Is Your Airport Etiquette

JetBlue has lost some of its fans recently for dropping its free bag policy, but maybe this little amusing video will make everyone forgive and forget.

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Making Art Underground

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After years of dodging the authorities to demonstrate their artistic chops, three Prague graffiti stand-outs —Michal Škapa, Pasta Oner and X-Dog—were recently invited by the city’s Metro system to cheer up the Soviet-era Andel underground station.

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Die Vernandlung

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We are all familiar with the iconic absurdist story of Gregor Samsa who wakes one day to discover that he has turned into an insect. In the remainder of the tale, Kafka describes how Samsa’s transformation impacts his family. During the centennial year of the story’s first publication, it maybe a good time to ponder our own individual experiences of metamorphosis and the consequences for those around us.

This amazing animated adaptation of Kafka’s tale was created by Caroline Leaf using sand on glass.

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Attention Visitors to New York City

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Coming from a family that called New York City home for more than a century, I am constitutionally required to complain about the way tourists walk the sidewalks and comport themselves when visiting the city. There’s nothing like gawping tourists blocking the sidewalk to bring otherwise self-absorbed New Yorkers together like long lost pals to moan about the yahoos. Lately, spurious notices from the bogus “NYC Department of Pedestrian Etiquette” have been posted around town. The hilarious flyers call for tourists to participate in mandatory training sessions, pass oral exams and receive sidewalk permits. Penalties for noncompliance under a three-strike system include banning from NYC for five years.

Here’s a list of punishable infractions that put tourists on fair notice:

  • Blocking the sidewalk or any public area in a large group or just standing like an idiot in the middle of pedestrian traffic. Also referred to as ‘clumping.’
  • Walking too slowly with more than one person spread across the sidewalk.
  • Weaving from side to side, oblivious to busy New Yorkers trying to get the hell around you.
  • Stopping abruptly without stepping off to the side.
  • Sudden gestures or movements, for example: Sticking out your arm to point at something and thus smacking someone in the face who is trying to walk past. Hair flipping will also be prohibited.
  • Blocking pedestrian traffic to stare up at Very Tall Buildings or to clump in a group to look at maps.
  • Waiting for traffic light to turn green when the road is clear and thus blocking jay-walkers.
  • Walking with your face in a map or mobile device.
  • Walking with big rolly bags on narrow sidewalks or turning abruptly with a big fat back pack.
  • Excessive arm swinging or bag swinging.
  • Stopping like a deer in the headlights in front of a speeding bicycle.
  • Stopping on a bike path with a big group to take pictures of squirrels.
  • Not responding when a New York Resident tells you to “Stop Blocking the Sidewalk and Get the Hell Out of the Way! You Moron!!!”

 

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Peripatetic Parisian Library

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Où est la bibliothèque ? Any place you would like it to be is just dandy with the marvelous Bibliambule . This summer, a charming little rolling library, complete with seven hammocks for laid-back readers, has been popping up around Paris. The clever piece of micro-architecture on wheels is the brainchild of Paris-based artist and designer Amandine Lagut. Last October she launched a crowdfunding project for the Bibliambule and took in twice the cash she requested. So don’t be surprised if you spot the itinerant little library at a street fair or festival in Paris on a sunny weekend. Just grab a book and plop down in a comfy hammock for a read.

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Posted in Architecture, Books, Europe, Libraries, Tech | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Rimini is apparently Felliniesque

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If you have ever stumbled across the Italian Avant-garde magazine Toilet Paper, you have probably had a laugh, but maybe left somewhat bewildered. The recent issue of the ongoing collaboration between Italian artist Maurizio Cattelan and photographer Pierpaolo Ferrari is no less amusing and confusing.

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The “Saluti da Rimini” project riffs on tacky vacation postcards and trifles with stereotypes of Italian seaside resorts. Surprisingly, posters from the issue are plastered around the Adriatic seaside resort city of Rimini, including at the very appropriate piazzale Fellini.

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A Place Just For Book Lovers

My television cable service offers literally hundreds of channels to chose from 24 hours a day. There are networks devoted to every sport imaginable. There are dozens of food and cooking shows. There are even entire networks that only show bad TV series from the 1960s. But there’s not one network devoted to books. Well, now a former CNN producer, who is a professor at the University of Oregon School of Journalism, has partnered with the awesome Powell’s Books of Portland to bring us Booklandia.TV .

Posted in Books, Bookstore Tourism, ebooks, Libraries, USA, Writing | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Invisible Cities

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Artists Leighton Connor, Joe Kuth and Matt Kish originally planned to publish a book of illustrations based on Italo Calvino’s brilliant book Invisible Cities. Unfortunately copyright issues will likely preclude their book’s publication for the foreseeable future. However, the three artists have decided to share their amazing illustrations on a fantastic blog called Seeing Calvino. If you’re as big a Calvino fan as I am. you won’t want to miss this exciting artwork.

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Listen to the City

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The French railway company Thalys recently launched an entertaining advertising campaign via billboards in Paris, Brussels and Amsterdam. Each of the project freestanding billboards has a map of one of another trio city with 1,000 built-in audio jack ports. Passers-by just plug-in their headphones and hear random sounds from a neighborhood or tourist site from the other city. Of course the object of the campaign is to encourage the purchase of Thalys train tickets, but it’s a fun concept.

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Frosted Murakami

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A big h/t to Brooklyn writer/blogger/cartoonist Kate Gavino for these wonderful literary breakfast cereals.

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