RoadReads: “Death of the American Hobo”

“Stay down and don’t let anybody see you.” image via

We managed to jump over a couple strings of cars and get out of the yard and were wandering past suburban houses when two cop cars rolled out of nowhere. A bald, angry-looking officer swaggered over to us. “Cat-and-mouse game, huh? Looks like we win,” he scoffed. The other, a soft-spoken “good cop,” asked us a lot of questions about ourselves, and we managed to build up a friendly rapport. The bald one narrowed his eyes and glared at Jackson: “You’ve got a wedding ring on and a nice-ass camera around your neck. So what are you doing out here?”

What, indeed. Aaron Lake Smith rides the rails for Vice, from Walden Pond to Reno, NV to the Hobo Convention. (Read it in full here.)

Advertisements

Time Travel with Paris 3D

History buffs who love exploring the French capital will geek out over this new project, Paris 3D, from Dassault Systèmes. With a click of your mouse, you can wander through any moment in the city’s 2000 year history, from the Roman conquest in 52 BC up through the construction of the Bastille and the Eiffel Tower. Travel/history nerds like myself can get lost in this comprehensive Paris via browser or iPad app. Bon voyage…

“Today I’m in the Yellowstone Park, and I wish I were dead.”

The author in his natural habitat. Watch the account of his journey here. all media via.

So begins Rudyard “Mowgli” Kipling’s epic tale of the worst-roadtrip-ever, as told by PBS’s The National Parks: America’s Best Idea (a Ken Burns joint). In 1889, the British author/cranky traveller took the “grand tour” of Yellowstone Park, paying about $150 for the privilege of only barely enjoying this freshly minted national wonder. “The park is just a howling wilderness,” he whines, and goes on to complain generally about the poor cuisine (tinned beef and beer), his gum-snapping Chicagoan companions, and a wealth of other annoyances. You may never love Kipling as much as you will after watching this clip. Or you can read a section of his immensely entertaining takedown here.

What’s the worst trip you’ve ever taken?

Weekend warrior: airBnB wishlists.

Quieres a little Gehry out your ventana? image via

Sometimes the best part of the end of a trip is dreaming of where you’ll be going next… and in that spirit, airbnb.com has launched their wishlists. It’s a fun way to keep track of your favorite airbnb spots, check out your friends’ favorites, and maybe share a collective little travel dream? Just to start you off, they’ve added a couple of their own — and their Frank Gehry list (including the fab Bilbao flat above) is totally transfixing.  So what are you doing this weekend?

RoadReads: “Everest, the Grandaddy of Walking Adventures”

His granddad wore tweed, Sam wears spandex. image via

It’s not just anyone who can come, but everyone too – and they do. In the previous month, 10,000 tourists had entered Sagarmatha National Park. The trail north from the scary little airstrip at Lukla is chocker with trekkers – at times it’s more like a queue than a walk. Antipodeans trade matey banter; purposeful Germans with trekking poles overtake on the straights; the French, beautifully turned out, shrug indifferently; fat tattooed Brits huff and puff on the inclines. Above us, the air is alive with helicopters ferrying Japanese tourists who have neither the time nor the inclination to walk up the valley. They will spend a night in the Hotel Everest View, gasping into oxygen cylinders. In the morning they will take photos on the terrace, then fly away. Tomorrow they’ll probably be in Bangkok, or the Philippines.”

Even on Everest, time marches on, and Sam Wollaston’s trudging in its Gore-Tex’d footsteps for the Guardian. (Read it in full here.)

Weekend warrior: Museums on Us.

MassMOCA in western Mass. has a Sol LeWitt retrospective. image via

If you are a Bank of America customer, there are so, so many things to make you question that relationship… but this is not one of them! Museums on Us allows BoA cardholders free admission to more than 150 museums and institutions around the country on select weekends (like this one). Just show your BoA card at the ticket desk and you’re off to explore… So what are you doing this weekend?

The Roman gallery at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. image via

The lights at LACMA. image via

RoadReads: “Tourist Snapshots”

The blue dome of Santorini, reverse view. image via

…..I rearrange the fragments. What was I thinking when I cropped them? Why did I cut the sky-blimp out of my picture of the Chicago World Cup parade? Why did I cut Graceland Mansion out of my picture of Graceland? …Removed from the official photographic memory, the fragments demand an exercise of actual memory, an act of reclamation. They are like phantom limbs: You have to dream the body back into being.

Lucky for Design Observer, Rolf Potts delves deeply into travel vs. photography and what we’re actually doing when we click that digital shutter. (Read it in full here.)