Of all of the slideshow assignments I've received from the Condé Nast Traveler to date, so far this has been my favorite to research and write. It's inspired a new travel goal: to visit as many World's Fair sites as possible.
The Crystal Palace
1851 Great Exhibition; London, England
Though it's the only building on this list that's no longer around, Hyde Park's Crystal Palace—constructed for the 1851 Great Exhibition out of nearly a million square feet of glass—is important because of the impression it made and the impact it had on the architecture of subsequent World's Fairs. The 1853 New York Crystal Palace in New York City; the 1876 Horticultural Hall in Philadelphia; the 1879 Garden Palace in Sydney; and the still-standing 1900 Grand Palais des Champs-Elysées in Paris all took design cues from London's giant iron-and-glass exhibition hall. After the Exhibition closed, the Crystal Palace moved from Hyde Park to Sydenham, where it became an educational center and amusement park, with fountains and water towers, statues, and fair-like events, including car races and ballooning. The palace was plagued by financial problems, but it was ultimately destroyed by a giant blaze in 1936. At the Crystal Palace Park today, you can still see some of the ruins, including cast-iron dinosaurs that were once part of a natural history exhibit.
Click through to see the rest of the slideshow at the Condé Nast Traveler.
Photo Courtesy of the Crystal Palace Foundation
Today, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, holds its annual Phil Collins Day celebration. Though the former Genesis drummer has no direct connection to the neighborhood, Collins fans will still feel it in the air tonight, donning homemade masks and spilling their secrets in a confessional booth created for the occasion (video of the confessions will be sent to Collins).
The singer-songwriter may not seem like a natural peg to plan a festival around, but he's certainly not the only unusual thing to be fêted. Check out these other weird celebrations around the world…
Port Lincoln, Australia
Held each year over the Australia Day long weekend in late January, Tunarama has people looking at the fish in a whole new light—namely as projectiles. The festival's signature event, the Tuna Toss, has competitors seeing how far they can hurl the fish across the beach. (The current world record is 37.23 meters, or a little more than 122 feet.) If the prospect of fish-throwing doesn't excite you, there are also food and wine events, foot races, sand-castle-making, and live music.
Click through to read the rest of the article online at the Condé Nast Traveler's website.
Photo by Jasper Juinen/Getty Images.
Bill Speidel's Underground Tour
Location: Seattle, Washington
Cost: $8 for children, $13 for students and seniors, $16 for adults
The Tour: After the Great Seattle Fire rolled through Pioneer Square in 1889, the city took the opportunity to rebuild on top of the ruins, protecting itself against floods, mud, and seepage that had plagued the low-lying area. Bill Speidel's Tour takes you through what remains of the old city, where places that were once first-floor storefronts and streets remain eerily intact. FYI: Come thirsty—tours begin at Doc Maynard's Public House, a college-crowd bar known for its live music. Click through to read the rest at the Condé Nast Traveler. Photo: Bill Speidel's Underground Tour, Seattle, Washington
In Germany, when financial panic strikes and the need to convert all assets into gold—immediately—arises, jumpy investors head to the Gold to Go vending machine. You can buy peace of mind in increments as tiny as 1/10 of an ounce for $5. Click through to read the rest of the article at the Condé Nast Traveler. Image courtesy of Gold to Go.
Taylor Swift took home the Entertainer of the Year statue at Wednesday's Country Music Awards. If her down-home charm—along with performances by Keith Urban, Miranda Lambert, and the oft-re-costumed Carrie Underwood—inspired you to put a little more honkey-tonk in your life, here are five places that'll get you in touch with your country roots.
No better place to start than Nashville, home to the Country Music Association, the Grand Ole Opry, and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum. The latter houses a collection of hundreds of thousands of country-music artifacts for fans to pore over, from Carrie Underwood's Grammy dress (though not all of the other night's CMA outfits—yet) to countless photos, recordings, movies, and interviews. A current exhibition about Hank Williams and his kin, featuring rare and never-before-seen items donated by his family, closes December 31.Click through to read the rest of the item at the Condé Nast Traveler website.
Photo by Tim Hursley
The Rink at Rockefeller Center
Ice-skating before winter officially arrives may seem silly, but there is a benefit to heading out early: This iconic rink offers lower prices until November 3, and the ice—which accommodates only 150 people at a time—is slightly less crowded. Thus, you’ll have a wider berth while attempting your best shoot-the-duck spin. 30 Rockefeller Plaza between 49th and 50th Sts (therinkatrockcenter.com). Times vary; visit website for details. Through Nov 3: $10–$14, seniors and children under 11 $8–$8.50; skate rental $8. Nov 4–17 $15.50–$19, seniors and children under 11 $9.50–$10.50. Nov 18–Jan 6: $15.50–$21, seniors and children under11 $9.50–$12.50; skate rental $10.
Click through to read the rest of the article at Time Out New York.
Photograph: Courtesy the Holiday Shops at Bryant Park
Fall Foliage Tip
A good rule of thumb is that the leaves change later the more south you go and the closer you stick to the coast. “This is because these areas are lower in elevation and tend to stay a bit warmer than inland,” says Marek D. Rzonca of the Foliage Network. If the weather cooperates, leaf season in southeast New Jersey—near Wildwood and Cape May, for example—can continue through early November.