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What We’re Reading

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GrassRoutes San Francisco
When friends and family come to visit, I occasionally pull out the guidebooks (and look on AFAR.com) for new ways to experience my home city. This week, I’ve been enjoying Bay Area writer Serena Bartlett’s GrassRoutes guide to San Francisco, which focuses on locally owned, sustainable businesses and unique, often quirky experiences. (The Wave Organ (above) in Golden Gate Recreation Area is now on my to-visit list). GrassRoutes has newer guides for Portland and Seattle, and the blog is fun too. —Serena Renner

Travel Movie Update: The Loneliest Planet,” World Hum
I’m a big fan of the actor Gael Garcia Bernal, and I’m determined to get the writer Tom Bissell to do a story for AFAR. The two collaborated on this new film, which looks beautifully shot and totally eerie. —Julia Cosgrove

We Think
In We Think, Charles Leadbeater explains how the internet has made it possible for us to shift from mass manufacturing to mass innovation through collaboration. In his inspiring essays he ponders the impact of mass creativity on governments, work and education in the future. —Dinesh Kapoor

The Microcosm of the City: Square 5,” San Francisco Chronicle
This is a quick spin through the history of Afar’s neighborhood, which the SF Chronicle’s food critic, Michael Bauer, thinks might be the most interesting in the city. —Jeremy Saum

Mallorca’s Accidental Gems,” The Cultureist
A beautiful piece by writer Shawn Moksvold on finding untouristed treasures on Mallorca. —Davina Baum

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The Evolution of World Travel—and the World Itself—Over the Past 25 Years,” Conde Nast Traveler
Travel geeks will love Conde Nast Traveler’s interactive infographic which chronicles the last 25 years of momentous travel innovations from the invention or rolling luggage in 1987 to the unveiling of the iPhone in 2007. —Jen Murphy

Zaha Hadid. Beyond Boundaries, Art and Design,” Ivory Press Space
In your travels, you might have had the pleasure of coming across one of architect Zaha Hadid’s buildings. (My first encounter with her work was in Cincinnati.) Now there’s an exhibition about to open in Madrid that shows off her design work—furniture, jewelry, etc. As if Madrid didn’t already have enough culture to keep you busy. —Jeremy Saum

Drew Barrymore and the Death of the Travel Editor,” Let’s Carry On
Former newspaper travel editor Thomas Swick on the muted existential crisis of becoming a former newspaper travel editor, on location in Los Angeles. —Derk Richardson

Deloitte Ignite 2012: Introduction to African fashion,” Royal Opera House
I’m obsessed with African prints, and this article, by the features editor of ARISE magazine, is a really good introduction to contemporary African fashion and upcoming designers on the continent (including a favorite of Michelle Obama’s). It also dispels some myths about African fashion … including the myth that African design is centered around prints. (But I won’t apologize for my love of them!) —Jessica Silber

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They’re Souvenirs, Not Stuff,” New York Times
In the New York Times, Dominique Browning opines on why souvenirs are good for the soul and how shopping is an essential travel experience. —Jen Murphy

A Conversation with D.T. Max about His New David Foster Wallace Biography,” The Awl
I’m anxious to read D.T. Max’s biography of David Foster Wallace, a man who seems almost impossible to capture or understand. This piece gets at that difficulty, and offers some interesting perspective on the special skills required for a biographer. (Hat tip to Very Short List for the link.) —Davina Baum

Image of the Wave Organ courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. 

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