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The Ticketless Traveler

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Travel the world without leaving your chair with these book, film and music recommendations.


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Travels as an Armchair Detective: Mysteries with a Sense of Place

Summer's almost gone, and I haven’t been able to travel very far out of the city, so I’ve been doing the next best thing, vicariously experiencing far flung locales, and occasionally time periods, in the company of some of my favorite sleuths. Enjoy visiting these detectives' beats from your couch, in the park, on a beach, on the subway, or anywhere else you like to read.Read More ›

Around The World in 80+ Children's Books

Books on this list offer young travelers a great opportunity to explore new cultures through a colorful world of illustrated stories and fairytales. These books will introduce your children to the rich cultural heritage and traditions of your international destinations.Read More ›

In Praise of Unconventional Travel

I once heard it said that no one ever got drunk by reading the label on a bottle of wine. This is an apt metaphor for the difference between studying another region of the world versus experiencing it firsthand. What does it mean to become drunk on another culture, to internalize the experience of a different place to such an extent that it alters you?Read More ›

Around the World with Travel Guides

In Europe on 5 Wrong Turns a Day, Doug Mack takes a decades old travel guide and puts it to the modern-day test. Arthur Frommer's 1963 edition of Europe on 5 Dollars a Day (we still have several of these in our collections available for your perusal) was the book that got regular Americans, including Mack's mother, excited about 

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From New York to Shanghai: A New Journey to the East

Blogging for NYPL has been such a rewarding experience: sharing resources, programs and services to the digital community and beyond. In the past three years or so, I've blogged about some unconventional topics like Linsanity to the more serious ones like The Jews of Shanghai.

Researching on these topics introduced me to a variety of digital and print resources that I would 

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Teen Road Trip Novels: Romance, Reunions and Roadside Attractions

… for the first time in his life Peter understood what the opposite of lost was: that it had nothing to do with maps or directions or stayin on course; that it was, in fact, nothing more than being found.

You Are Here by Jennifer E. Smith

The road trip is an American rite of passage. Nothing is more American than getting in a car, turning it onto a highway and just driving off, destination unknown (or not required).  Windows down, music up and 

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Fiction Atlas: Brooklyn in Children's Fiction and Picture Books (Part I)

Where in the world are you reading about? Fiction finds its settings in all corners of the world (and some places only imagined in our minds) but there's something special about fiction set in a familiar city or neighborhood. Let's take a trip out of Manhattan for now, and into the lively borough of Brooklyn! This is one of the most storied areas that make up New York City.

Settlers from the Dutch West India Company first founded the Village of Bruckelen in 1646, though the Lenape Native Americans had lived on the land that makes up the county for hundreds of years 

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Catching the 7 Line: The International Express to NYPL!

7 Train by Scott Beale on FlickrApril is Immigrant Heritage Month. In New York City, April 17th to 24th is Immigrant Heritage Week. In honor of both celebrations of Immigrant Heritage, this blog will focus on the multiculturalism of the 7 train.

If you live in Queens, New York, and you work in midtown like me, there might be a possibility that you often take the MTA train to work, particularly the

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The Jews of Shanghai: Uncovering the Archives and Stories

"Life was difficult in Shanghai, but infinitely better than anything they had left behind. From lower-middle-class comfort, the Tobias family was reduced to poverty but not to starvation. There was always food, always something to eat, always shelter even when the Jewish community was ghettoized shortly after Pearl Harbor. Thus even under terribly difficult conditions Moses Tobias was able to take care of his family but under the Nazis the conditions of the Jews were far worse than merely 'terribly difficult.'

"Shanghai was a multiethnic city and the 

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Think Japan is all Manga, Sushi, and Pocky Sticks?

Harajuku? Geisha? Robots? Awesome! Japanese culture has been an obsession of mine for a while now, as well as for the teenagers at my branch, so when we recently had the opportunity to invite Lucia Brea, Fukui Friendship Ambassador, to stop by and talk to the Kingsbridge Library's Teen Advisory Group, I jumped at the opportunity. Lucia spent four years in Japan through the JET Program teaching English to students of all ages in the Fukui Prefecture, and I was able to sit down with her after her visit to ask her a few questions 

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Cross Country Travel in 1912

An author telephoned Ask NYPL, the ready reference division of The New York Public Library, stating that she needed the "real facts" as to a cross country railroad trip from Seattle to Groton, Massachusetts in 1912. Indeed, this was the final information she would need to complete her novel. What would be the duration of each "leg" of such a trip? Which railroads would be taken? 

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Happy Birthday Grand Central Terminal!

Did you know that Grand Central Station (also known as Grand Central Terminal) recently turned 100?

Opened in 1871 on 42nd Street between Park and Lexington avenues, the station was renovated and reopened in February 1913. Grand Central is one of the largest train connecters to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's (MTA) 4, 5, 6,

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Traveling Vicariously with Pico Iyer

Fresh from my mid-winter cruise, and a bit disappointed because the ship did not make one of its appointed stops in the Cayman Islands due to stormy weather, I was looking for something new to read, especially if it had to do with travel. Back on terra firma, and ignoring my "For Later" shelf (books to read later), a feature which I use on the New York Public Library's newly acquired interface to the catalog, Bibliocommons, I picked up Paul Theroux's

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The Ticketless Traveler: Paris in the Springtime

Paris in the Spring just sounds fantastic doesn’t it? It could be argued that adding "Springtime" to anything can make it sound lovely, just ask The Producers... though Paris alone is a good selling point. We can begin planning our trip of a lifetime by researching affordable travel deals in the most recent issues of Arthur Frommer’s Budget Travel, full electronic access is available onsite at any 

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The Ticketless Traveler: Ireland

It was 7 a.m. when I arrived in Dublin, and I looked greasy, unrested, and ready to hurl after the vegetarian Indian curry that was my in-flight 3 a.m. "dinner." I unhappily waited my turn through customs and prepared for the official behind the plexiglass panel to ask me the standard questions. I answered the gentleman with the demeanour of a zombie, but suddenly perked up when he made a cheerful, sing-song assumption I wasn't expecting:

"You're here to meet a man!"

I denied his assertion with several tries and laughter, but he 

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Sannu Niger!

ferdinandreus on flickrThe capture last week of Saif al-Islam Qaddafi who, disguised as a Tuareg, was trying to flee to Niger — where one of his brothers and some high-ranking officials have found refuge — has turned a spotlight on a country few people have heard of.

Niger? You mean

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Gold, Freedom, Faith, and Baroque in Brazil

I had not slept for 34 hours. After a bad flight and two long bus trips, I was hiking, ecstatic, in a muddy mine. I touched the walls from top to bottom. Perhaps “he” had put his hands there too. I was walking in the steps of Galanga, renamed Francisco, and known as Chico Rei (King Chico).

Story -or legend-has it that 270 years ago, Chico Rei, believed to have been a ruler in Congo, his family, and others were forced aboard a slave ship. The Middle Passage took his wife and children, but he and one son survived. They landed in Brazil and were sent to Vila 

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The Ticketless Traveler: Barbados, Bajans, and Burns

Crystal clear, turquoise water. White powdery sand. Intoxicating rum punch.

Second degree sunburn.

What do all these things have in common? Just a smattering of experiences I recently acquired during a six-day trip to Barbados.

The Serrano ham-shaped island, about twice the size of Washington, D.C., is home to a population of roughly 280,000 people, making it one of the more populous Caribbean islands. Tourism plays a prominent role in the economy, as does manufacturing, but the nation still holds to the legacy of the sugar cane harvest 

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Postcards from Maine

The Maine of my imagination finally became a reality this summer, with a brief road trip to the land of many lobster.

After the fourth hour of highway driving towards our destination, entertainment hit a plateau. "What's the state motto of Maine?" I wondered aloud to my co-pilot.

"Dirigo," it was revealed in Google. "Which means 'I direct.' But the license 

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The Ticketless Traveler: Into the Woods

"We just passed two huge black bears on the trail. They're not cute."

Photo by Kerri WallaceMy hike in Harriman State Park started off with the only concern being the chance of rain and ticks. I had packed my 99 cent rain poncho and doused myself in OFF bug spray to the amusement of my friends. I could handle seeing snakes, bucks, and other wild animals, but ticks were the last thing I wanted to find on my body or in my hair. My fears soon changed when we passed a father and daughter who mentioned 

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