Today is the inaugural day for the Pérez Art Museum Miami, PAMM, the city's long-awaited museum devoted to contemporary art. Located on Biscayne Bay and anchoring the 29-acre Museum Park, which will be home to sculpture gardens and, eventually, a science museum, PAMM is, according to Reuters, "a sign of evolution beyond the beach."
PAMM, whose opening coincides with the beginning of Art Basel week (the city's annual super chic contemporary art fair), currently has 10 exhibitions, including Chinese artist Ai Weiwei's "According to What?" a powerful exhibition that I profiled on this site when it debuted last year in Washington, DC. Meanwhile, PAMM's permanent collection "emphasizes artists and projects that engage with traditions from the United States, the Caribbean, and Latin America," a theme that Miami is particularly well-suited to explore.
Much has been written about PAMM in the past few days, so here are links to some of the more in-depth reports:
- Fabiola Santiago: New Museum Gets -- and Celebrates -- Miami [Miami Herald]
- PAMM Opens Today, and It's More Beautiful Than You Imagined [Miami New Times]
- A Peek Inside the New Pérez Art Museum Miami [Haute Living]
- For Miami, A New Art Project Complete with Drama [NPR]
Here is a round-up of the most recent USA travel articles and blog posts that caught my eye.
- My Upper Peninsula [New York Times]
- 8 Reasons to Visit Philadelphia for the Holidays [Fodor's Travel]
- How to Relive the Hunger Games in Atlanta [Travel + Leisure Carry On Blog]
And here's a round-up of the latest ski resort news: Read More...
It's not evident how many festivals in the USA have been organized as a result of a slight. But that appears to be the case for one of the USA's oldest winter events, the Winter Carnival of St. Paul, Minnesota.
According to the legend of the St. Paul Winter Carnival, the event was started in 1886 in part to disprove a visiting New York journalist who found the city, at the time one of the fastest growing in the nation, too cold:
In 1886, Saint Paul was America's fastest growing city. Growing from 39,000 residents in 1880 to 120,000 residents in 1886, Saint Paul had also become America's third largest rail center. To celebrate their city's success, Saint Paul business leaders produced the inaugural Saint Paul Winter Carnival, which was held during the first two weeks of February in 1886. In addition to showcasing Saint Paul, the business leaders wanted to disprove a New York newspaper reporter who had described their beloved city as "another Siberia, unfit for human habitation in the winter." Read More...
We know all about the turkey (and the pardoning of turkeys), the pilgrims, and the parades. And even though November is Native American Heritage Month, a time dedicated to learning more about those who dined with the colonists on the First Thanksgiving, we -- both citizens and travelers -- know very little about the indigenous people and settlements that were here before the Mayflower ever landed.
I blame textbooks. But rather than point a finger, it occurred to me that the long Thanksgiving weekend is a great time to make a new tradition of visiting and learning about Native American sites in the United States. Here are a few to get you started:
- Cahokia Mounds, located in Illinois but not far from St. Louis, are the largest archeological site in North America north of central Mexico (aka, the largest archeological site in the United States and Canada).
- Additional ancient mounds like those found at Cahokia are also located in Iowa, at Effigy Mounds National Monument, and in Alabama, at Moundville.
- Almost all of the current UNESCO sites in the U.S. have tribal connections. In New Mexico, check out the Chaco Culture and Pueblo de Taos; in Colorado, Mesa Verde National Park.
- Devils Tower, the first landmark to be crowned a National Monument, is sacred to the tribes who live in this area of Wyoming.
- You can't enjoy the best views of the Grand Canyon without venturing into the territory of the Hualapai Nation.
- If you're in Massachusetts to visit the Plymouth Plantation, you can also see the Wampanoag Homesite. While this is a re-creation of the Wampanoag's 17th century home, the site is manned by members of the Aquinnah Wampanoag and the Mashpee Wampanoag tribes, who are there to discuss the site's history but also provide visitors with information about the modern aspects of Native American lives.
- To get a curated, but comprehensive, look at the USA's indigenous peoples, head to the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, DC.
In short, native sites are all around us. We should give thanks that we can still learn about them.
Photo of the Pueblo de Taos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in New Mexico.
What if you traveled across the United States staying only in Airbnb properties? It's not a far-fetched concept for most budget travelers, 3 million of whom used the service worldwide in 2012.
One Airbnb acolyte is Jo Stewart, an Australian travel writer and photographer who over the summer traveled through California, Massachusetts, Illinois, Oregon, and Tennessee staying only in Airbnb properties and chronicling it on her blog Notel California. The types of accommodations Jo stayed in ranged from tipis to closets to an old water tower. Quirky places to stay are legion on Airbnb, so it was fun to see the variety Jo encountered in her solo trip.
Still, I think the best part about Jo's journey was learning about the fringe benefits of Airbnbing. While there are, of course, plenty of Airbnb horror stories, there must be many more stories like Jo's (otherwise, how to explain Airbnb's skyrocketing growth?). In addition to being an "antidote to laziness," putting "notoriously expensive areas within reach," and saving guests money, Airbnb offers a number of intangibles:
"The everyday courtesies like giving me directions to get to the subway, letting me know where to find the best pizza, allowing me use their washing machine and offering me the contents of their fridge (a dangerous offer). Then there's the whole warm and fuzzy factor too - making new friends, living with cute pets, and giving your hard-earned money to another person to help with their mortgage repayments/school fees/holiday fund/renovations."
I have yet to use Airbnb's community accommodations marketplace, but I am moved to try it as well as recommend it after browsing Notel California. Have you used Airbnb yet? Tell me about it in the comments below or on Twitter @usatourismboard.
Photo: Jo Stewart, Notel California
State Sides: Woody Guthrie's America, JFK Memorials Mapped, Puerto Rico's Bioluminescent Bay, Chicago Airport Radio
Here is a round-up of the most recent USA travel articles and blog posts that caught my eye.
"In some 3,000 songs, many written on the road, about the places he lived or passed through in his 'hard travelin'' days, Guthrie expressed the spectrum of American experience in a way few other writers have. As he 'roamed and rambled,' he captured something essential in places where he spent even a fleeting amount of time." -In Search of Woody Guthrie's America [New York Times]
- There are 400 Streets, Parks, and Schools Named After JFK. Here's a Map. [Slate]
- A Puzzling 'Blackout' at Puerto Rico's Famous Bioluminescent Bay [Atlantic Cities]
- AIR Chicago Radio Station Launches Monday at O'Hare, Midway Airports [Gadling]
- Why Did A Virginia Museum Open a New Exhibit in its Restrooms [LA Times]
- Private Islands for Rent in the U.S. [Thrillist]
- 36 Hours in Charleston, South Carolina [New York Times]
- Foodie's Guide to Chattanooga [Fodor's]
- Boston Open's Country's First Helmet Vending Machine for Bikers [Travel + Leisure's Carry On Blog]
- USA Trip Planning With Pinterest [USA Travel Blog]
Photo: Interactive map of Woody Guthrie's America via the Woody Guthrie Center in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
I have a companion Pinterest account for this site that I dabble with from time to time. But I may start using the eye-pleasing social site more now that it has added map integration.
This week Pinterest announced Place Pins, which "combine the beautiful imagery of a travel magazine with the utility of a map online." As someone who has used Pinterest to plan a family vacation (to Maine), I think this is a great idea. So far, I've only played around with the map integration on my Pinterest boards. But Pinterest was smart to have a few other sites test this out before it went live. Here are a few favorite boards to give you an idea of how Place Pins work:
- East Coast Beach Crawl (created by the Travel Channel)
- Free and Almost Free in NYC (created by NYC Go)
- California Dreams (created by Travel + Leisure)
- Great American Barbecue (created by Andrew Zimmern)
Have you started to map your USA travel ideas on Pinterest yet? Let me know! You can also follow me on Pinterest, where I hope to set up my own Place Pin boards soon.
While About's USA Travel site caters largely to a domestic audience, there are many from outside the United States who visit this site for basics on U.S. travel, such as dos and don'ts or visa information. This recent post -- 16 People On Things They Couldn't Believe About America Until They Moved Here -- contains a few items that surprised *me* because I approach U.S. travel (and living) from the perspective of a native.
Here are a few points that I thought were valid for the subject of travel. If you can think of more, you can chime in on the comments below or visit Quora, where the discussion originated.
Every museum must start somewhere. And so, on November 7, 1929, New York's Museum of Modern Art opened on the 12th floor of the Heckscher Building with a show of 98 canvases painted by the likes of Cézanne, Gauguin, Seurat, and Van Gogh. Over the next month, more than "47,000 people came to the exhibition, numbers increasing rather than diminishing as the four weeks passed," according to MoMA's press office, when announcing its second exhibition (PDF), a showcase of 19 living American artists, including Edward Hopper, Georgia O'Keefe, and Max Weber.
Knowing that MoMA went on to become one of the world's foremost contemporary art museums, housing "150,000 paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, architectural models and drawings, and design objects," it's charming to look back and see what the initial mood of New York City was towards the new museum. This New York Times editorial (PDF), printed two months prior to opening, depicts a New York still looking east to Europe for inspiration and validation. "Its collections will at first be modest, though select, and ought to do for New York what has been done in Paris and Berlin and London."
MoMA's prospectus aspired to be New York's second most important museum, equal in stature to the Metropolitan Museum of Art as the Musée du Luxembourg was to the Louvre in Paris. To look at the standings of the most visited art museums in the world, the rankings go: 1. Louvre, 2. Metropolitan Museum of Art, 14. MoMA. The Luxembourg doesn't even make the top 100.
Photo: Vincent Van Gogh's Starry Night is part of MoMA's permanent collection.
Invasive wands, body scanners, and bare feet are just a few of the sights that make a TSA checkpoint less than appealing. Starting this week, however, the TSA is teaming up with Marriott to show its softer side -- and tout the hotel chain's furnishings.