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

Travel Blog  •  World Hum  •  01.30.09 | 4:18 PM ET

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:

Rob Verger
I loved seeing my dad. He came down to visit me in New York City from Portland, Maine. We ate delicious shrimp and scallop risotto at Pisticci, my favorite restaurant here. It’s a little brick-lined Italian place in my neighborhood. Then went to see Frost/Nixon.

Jim Benning
This odd little video Frank Bures passed along to me—related to his terrific interview with Rory MacLean—about Allen Ginsburg’s 1962 journey to India. It features poet Gary Snyder, among others:

Valerie Conners
Philadelphia’s Reading Terminal Market. I never think to stop by Philly’s enormous, indoor farmers’ market. I typically consider it a tourist trap. But what I fail to consider is that tucked between noisy cheesesteak stands, are a few true gems, including Hershel’s East Side Deli, home to the largest, most obscene and most delicious pastrami special I’ve ever chomped on.

Joanna Kakissis
My late father, an immigrant from southern Greece, used to wonder why Americans said “It’s Greek to me” when they didn’t understand something. He thought Chinese was the world’s most inscrutable language, “a script of beautiful houses sung in ancient bell-tones” he longed to learn. After my first Mandarin Chinese lessons this week, I am befuddled and intrigued, and wishing baba was here practicing “ni hao” with me, too.

Frank Bures
As a fan of Engrish.com, I loved this instructional video for Japanese exercisers/English learners:



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

Paul Steinke 01.30.09 | 6:21 PM ET

As GM of Reading Terminal Market, I am glad that Valerie Connors enjoys Hershels East Side Deli’s pastrami sandwiches.  I have to agree, they’re divine.  But it’s obvious that she “never thinks to stop by Philly’s enormous, indoor farmer’s market,”, because if she did she would know that it’s much more than “a tourist trap”  Tourists do indeed love the Market, but it’s because it is so authentically Philadelphian: 80 small, , local, independent merchants, no chains or franchises.  In addition to a few “noisy cheesesteak stands,” she would find the city’s best meats, poultry, seafood, produce, baked goods, Amish specialties, and much more than “a few true gems” in what is this city’s most extensive local food emporium.  The envy, in fact, of New York, Boston, Washington, Chicago and a host of numerous other American cities that have nothing like it.

Sophia Dembling 01.30.09 | 6:30 PM ET

Oh dear. I suspect I will now go through the evening chanting, “I have a bad case of diarrhea.” I don’t want to, but I will.

Jenna Schnuer 01.31.09 | 12:15 PM ET

Now that’s a stomach crunch.

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