Destination: Pennsylvania

Morning Links: Mexico Travel Alert, Mardi Gras Tips and More

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What We Loved This Week: Flip Video, Language Lessons, Pandora and More

Our contributors share a favorite travel-related experience from the past seven days.

Michael Yessis
I love this response to the news that Birmingham will do away with apostrophes on street signs: “If you don’t have apostrophes, is there any point in full stops, or semi-colons, or question marks? Is there any point in punctuation at all?” Indeed.

Sophia Dembling
I already love my Flip Video camera, a gift from Santahubby. And I love the Hocking Hills region of Ohio. Now I learn that the Hocking Hills Tourism Association is lending Flip Ultra cameras to visitors staying at an association member property, no cost. Double shot of love! (Triple, if you count Santahubby.)

Eva Holland
This might sound crazy considering the array of not-available-elsewhere experiences that New York City offers, but what I loved most about my first full week here was having access to Pandora again. The site, which helps listeners discover more music similar to their old favorites, cut off all non-U.S. users awhile back. Yesterday, I plugged in “Etta James,” and have been enjoying Candi Staton ever since:

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Remembering John Updike and His Sense of Place

Contemplating and celebrating the world of travel

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Morning Links: Obama’s Places, Poe’s 200th Birthday and More

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What We Loved This Week: Christmas in Germany, ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ and More

German Christmas Market Photo by Terry Ward
Hamburg Christmas market by Terry Ward

World Hum contributors share a favorite travel-related experience from the past seven days.

Terry Ward
German Christmas Markets. I’ve been drinking in the holiday cheer as much as possible since arriving in Hamburg. Tchotckes are everywhere. But the best way to get in the spirit is by hanging in the glühwein huts at the Christmas markets and going stall to stall sampling things like grünkohl (a hot dish made with kale) and lebkuchen (ginger bread).

Julia Ross
I finally caught Slumdog Millionaire this week and was swept away by director Danny Boyle’s breathless, vibrant take on life in modern Mumbai. The film’s conclusion, staged in the city’s iconic, Raj-era train station, serves as a hopeful counterpoint to the terrorist siege that occurred there just last month.

Pam Mandel
“The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao” by Junot Diaz. Dominican history, a vocabulary of nerd culture references and the eternal pursuit of sex ... all in voices so real I expected to see the narrators sitting on my couch surfing our WiFi every time I put the book down.

David Farley
I love Slate’s five-day Well-Traveled section, in general, and this week’s installment, in particular. Tony Perrottet does historical perverts better than anyone. The Pervert’s Grand Tour is a fun and intriguing read.

Kelsey Timmerman
Anna Quindlen’s piece in Newsweek, Stuff Is Not Salvation. Like everyone else, I’m wrapping up my holiday shopping, and she provides a great perspective on our consumer culture: “Ask people what they’d grab if their house were on fire. No one ever says it’s the tricked-up microwave they got at Wal-Mart.”

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Philadelphia’s Newest Attraction: It’s ‘Comcastic’

Photo by Valerie Conners.

The Liberty Bell. Independence Hall. Cheesesteaks. The lobby of cable giant Comcast’s world headquarters? The list of Philadelphia’s attractions has grown by one this summer, surprising pretty much everyone in the City of Brotherly Love, not least of all, Comcast.

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Philadelphia Welcomed Record Amount of International Visitors in 2007

More good news for the City of Brotherly Love, which, as we noted, recently shook off “its regular litany of national ranking dishonors.”

Philadelphia: It’s Not Just America’s Fattest, Ugliest, Most Miserable City


It’s with apparent pride that Philadelphia shakes off its regular litany of national ranking dishonors—it’s already been named among the fattest, ugliest and most miserable cities in America—to accept a ranking it can finally be proud of: fifth most walkable U.S. city.

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‘Which Middle East Capital Was Once Known as Philadelphia?’

That and other intriguing questions (and answers) can be found in the San Francisco Chronicle travel section’s new geography quiz. Presumably, Hot Americans on Television Botching Geography Questions need not apply—if they do, please send us the video.

This Magazine Cover Has the Philadelphia Hotel Association Running Scared

Philadelphia Magazine usually distributes about 6,000 copies of its glossy pub to hotel rooms around the city. Not this month, though. November’s issue features a cover story about murder in the city, with a subhead that reads: “One terrifying night on the streets—and why everything we’re doing to stop the shooting won’t work.” Philadelphia Hotel Association executive director Ed Grose “urged hotels to think twice before providing guests with copies” of the magazine, according to a story in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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