Paris Museums

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There’s good news for Paris museum visitors; starting in 2015 some of the most popular attractions are expanding opening times to seven days a week. Instead of closing one day each week on Mondays or Tuesdays, the Louvre, Musée d’Orsay and the Palace of Versailles will be open every day.

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And in other museum news, the long awaited Frank Gehry-designed Fondation Louis Vuitton art museum set in the Bois de Boulonge is finally set to official open one week from today. The largest private museum to open in Paris for three decades, the FLV will focus on 20th century and contemporary art, including large collections from Picasso, Warhol, Frank Serra, Jeff Koons, Damien Hirst and Basquiat, as well as temporary exhibitions.

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See it like a native

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I often get asked advice on how to see New York City. Of course I always suggest the purchase of a good, old fashioned print travel guide book, and the usual websites, too. Recently, I’ve been recommending NYCgo.com which is a reliable tourism and marketing organization for the city. Now they’ve launched a neat campaign to get New Yorkers to leave their own boroughs and see other neighborhoods like a tourist.

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The “See Your City” campaign is using the usual media for promotion. But for my money, the best part of the campaign is a wonderful set of artwork that evokes the halcyon days of travel posters.

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It seems to me that the campaign’s advice for New Yorkers work well for tourists in general.

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Nothing beats a good literary map

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Brooklyn Magazine recently published this wonderful literary map of NYC’s hippest borough highlighting books that represent the very diverse neighborhoods of my family’s ancestral homeland. Now they’ve followed-up with a neat map that pairs American states and representative book titles.

Most of the choices are spot on—In Cold Blood for Kansas, Look Homeward Angel for North Carolina, The Confession of Nat Turner for Virginia—but they went way too obscure(and missed the mark) with Daddy Was a Number Runner for New York City. Really, was that the best they could do?

Anyway, you can check out the entire list right here.

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Posted in Books, Maps | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Ah, the aroma of old books

As a life-long bibliophile, I have always found the scent of old books, antiquarian bookshops and libraries intoxicating. And who doesn’t love the smell of a brand new book? The infographic below explains just what causes those wonderful aromas. If you won’t to learn more about the chemistry behind book smells, check out the Compound Interest chemistry website here.

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Posted in Books, Bookstore Tourism | Tagged | 1 Comment

Are You Flying Blah Airlines

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Full disclosure: I did not watch the entire video below. I doubt that you will either—damn, it’s nearly six hours long. But Virgin America’s new video, titled “Have You Been Flying BLAH Airlines”, is both hilarious and excruciating. The questionable ad campaign, complete with mock website and associated social media, represents its competitors’ flying experiences as thoroughly wearisome. After a recent cross-continental, red-eye flight with one of Virgin America’s rivals, I can’t help but concur.

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Posted in Animation, Tourism, USA | Tagged , | 1 Comment

3 Seconds of Art

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The southern Dutch city of Breda is home to a unique art gallery experience. The 3sec.gallery is housed in the formerly dim, grey entrance of the Chassé Parking Garage. Launched in July by the Graphic Design Festival Breda, the clever project offeres local artists fifty frames for posters, which will be viewed in three seconds by motorists entering or exiting the parking garage. The next exhibition in the project will open on October 23, with work by the local Breda art/design studio Staynice.

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Boston Night and Day

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Boston is one of North America’s most historic and exciting small cities to visit. Photographer Julian Tryba captured the real spirit of the place in his terrific time-lapse that incorporates day and night shots in every frame. Titled “Boston Layer-Lapse”, the video is based on 150,000 images and took nearly 350 hours to edit.

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Thumbing A Ride

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Alaska Airlines is developing a system which will allow passengers to use fingerprint scans to replace paper documents and identification. The first step in the project, which has already been tested in Seattle, is using print readers to replace boarding passes to speed the loading process. Eventually, Alaska Airlines hopes to use the digit scans for in-flight purchases, lounge entry, bag drop-off and ticketing.

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Vienna Waits For You

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The last time that I visited Vienna I was disappointed (and a bit disoriented) to be deposited at the Wien Meidling station in the far southwest of the city. So I was pleased to hear that the new Wiener Hauptbahnhof was officially opened this past weekend. Looking a bit like a regional airport, the $1.3 billion station replaces the down at the heels old Südbahnhof. When the new central station, which faces Südtiroler Platz, is at full capacity it will be visited by 1,100 trains a day and more than 100,000 passengers will pass through the concourses and shopping mall.

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Still, I have some fond memories of arriving at the old Südbahnhof many years ago on my first visit to Vienna. Just minutes after arriving, I was dutifully studying a city map only to look up and find myself facing a line of black-clad, jack-booted police all cradling submachine guns and walking slowly down the stairway in lockstep. The theme from the Third Man played in my head and I knew that I had arrived.

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Trans Form Hauptbahnhof Wien, Fotoprojekt Die Veraenderung eines Stadtteiles 2008-2014

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E Pluribus Unum

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Inspired by the motto of the United States—E Pluribus Unum or Out of Many, One—Cuban-American artist Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada has created a monumental landscape portrait on the National Mall in Washington DC. The portrait image is a composite highlighting the diversity of America. The enormous portrait, visible from space, is composed of 2,000 tons of sand, 800 tons of soil and 10,000 wooden pegs.

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The first of Rodriguez-Gerada’s TERRESTRIAL series to be created in the U.S., “Out of One, Many” will be in place until November 1st, when it will be tilled into the grounds of the National Mall.

 

 

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