Most of the AFAR editorial team is traveling this week—as they should be. Here’s what the skeleton crew is reading. 

A Dog Named Humphrey,” The Believer
AFAR contributor Sloane Crosley lands a bit part on Gossip Girl. —Derk Richardson

Honor & Folly: Food & Wine,”
The backstory behind Food & Wine’s spotlight on a revitalized Detroit neighborhood, anchored by Meghan McEwen’s Honor & Folly. One of Marcus Nilsson’s great images is shown at top. (McEwen writes about Chicago in the upcoming September issue of AFAR.) —Davina Baum

Offbeat Adventure: Visiting Dracula’s Tomb in Romania,” Seek New Travel
Two things that don’t come to mind when I think of Dracula: monks and puppies. —Kareem Yasin

Where the Weird Things Are,” National Geographic
Ever wonder what is 220 miles southeast of Yemen? Me neither. It turns out there is a tiny island named Socotra, one of the most biodiverse sites in the world. Among the funky fauna is the dragon blood tree—a broccoli look-alike that ancient Romans tapped for its medicinal rich red sap. Now, development and construction are threatening the conservation efforts of locals and scientists. —Adam Fischer

Mission Possible: A Neighborhood Atlas
Mission Loc@l and CAGE Lab collaborated to produce this series of maps and infographics about San Francisco’s Mission District. Dig in for some fantastic insight into this vibrant neighborhood, and ponder the power of maps as narrative tools. —Davina Baum 

Tourist Snapshots,” Design Observer
Early AFAR contributor and veteran travel blogger Rolf Potts on traveling with a camera. —Derk Richardson

Cusco, Unplanned,” Roads and Kingdoms
Some video from Roads and Kingdoms sharing the thrills of unplanned Cusco. —Jen Murphy

Salone,” Afropop Worldwide
Veteran world music journalist Banning Eyre reviews the new CD by Sierra Leone’s Refugee All-Stars. —Derk Richardson

Cryptoquote,” East of the Web
I missed the boat on the Sudoku fad. I’m more of a word guy than a numbers guy, so these puzzles are right in my wheelhouse. Somewhere between a word search and a crossword puzzle on the cognitive fitness scale, cryptoquotes are a great lunchtime activity.  —Adam Fischer

Image by Marcus Nilsson courtesy of