My Favorite Museum: Woolaroc

Researching Lonely Planet guidebooks, you end up seeing dozens and dozens of museums no one would really bother with. Some of them I loved. The Romanian Peasant Museum in Bucharest, for example, has hand-written signs and an arrow leading to a makeshift “grandma” room. It’s filled with various knick-knacks once belonging to various grandmas, with the gentle suggestion that “life is busy, but … Read on

Top 10 Leprechaun Questions You’re Afraid to Ask

Photo on 2013-03-13 at 18.32

Getting ready for St Patrick’s Day? This year do it armed with truth. Leprechaun truth. 1. Are leprechauns real? Yes. And they have pots of gold to give if you catch them and don’t let them go before the tricksters give it to you. It’s all true. 2. Are leprechauns really Irish? Likely not. They’re more likely Scots. Leprechauns originally had different names … Read on

NYC Fact: Melville was a Terrible Travel Writer

Herman Melville is New York City’s greatest writer. He was born here, at 6 Pearl St (now indicated by a plain gray wall and a plaque tucked behind a towering skyscraper in Lower Manhattan) and died here after three decades of obscurity. Before he wrote “Moby-Dick,” he was desperate for “tobacco money,” so he turned to travel writing, capped in his 1849 book … Read on

NYC Fact: Woody Allen’s Bench

I likely moved to New York City because of Woody Allen films. The whole “Annie Hall” thing. But arguably his most famous New York scene is from 1979′s “Manhattan,” where Woody and Diane Keaton greet the dawn from a bench overlooking Queensboro Bridge. For the first time in over a dozen years in New York, I went over to look at it today. … Read on

NYC Fact: Midtown Oil Wells

NY-based German artist Josephine Meckseper created a couple 25-foot, Texas-inspired pumpjack oil well art sculptures, and plopped them in an empty lot on 46th St and Eighth Avenue, a block from Times Square. (See NY Times article.) I went by today to see them, and if I could record it all in 15 seconds, to fit in the Tout format. (YouTube calls it … Read on