Archie’s Press’ Circular City Maps

Here’s another map I stumbled upon and loved, this week: Manhattan, as interpreted by Archie Archambault, a designer from Portland, Oregon.

Manhattan map, by Archie's Press

My eye was drawn toВ the clean lines and the simplicity of the circles. Plus, he did a nice job calling out most NYC neighborhoods. (Though he could have included my own little ‘hood, Hudson Heights, in that blank spot between 180th and 190th, between the river and Broadway!)

On his site, Archambault explains why he uses circlesВ in his maps:

New research indicates that GPS’s are hindering our ability to create mental maps of our surroundings. My maps aim to install a “Map from the Mind” for each city, simplifying structures and districts in the simplest terms. The circle, our Universe’s softest shape, is the clearest graphic to convey size & connection.

Archambault has also mapped San Fran, DC, Boston, PortlandВ and many other cities. See them all on his Etsy shop.

(Image viaВ Archie’s Press; found via Pinterest)

Spotify’s Awesome Serendipity Map

I got such a kick out of this Spotify project: Serendipity is a digital map that displays instances in which one song was played by two people, anywhere in the world, within one-tenths of a second.

spotify's serendipity_1

spotify's serendipity_2

The songs aren’t being played in real time. (That would be so much cooler.) But they were culled from a recent one-hour period, so it’s indicative of what’s happening around the world, at any given time.

spotify's serendipity_3

Most songs are, not surprisingly, current pop hits: lots of Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Ariana Grande.

spotify's serendipity_4

But there are also some throwbacks, like Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” and Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova.”

spotify's serendipity_5

I’ll admit, there have been times when I’ve clicked on a random song—usually some 80s or 90s jam I can’t get out of my head—and wondered whether anyone else in the world was also listening to the same thing, at the same time. Now I know that chances are, someone may have been.

(Screen grabs viaВ Serendipity)

Fall Vacation, Booked: Northern Spain

Errezil view by Oskar Calero on Fivehundredpx

I couldn’t be happier. Over the past few weeks, my family and I have been discussing possible destinations for a fall trip. This weekend, we decided on a place and booked flights: We’re headed to northern Spain at the end of September!

None of us have been there before. (I’ve actually never visited Spain!) To be honest, I didn’t know much about the area until I started researching. But the more I read, the more excited I became. It seems that northeast Spain has pretty beaches, amazingВ mountains, picturesque vineyards and quaint towns.

We’re still figuring out how we’ll break down our 11 days there, but here’s the rough itinerary we’re considering: We’ll spend the first few days outside Bilbao, exploring the area and neighboring Asturias. From there, we’ll drive to La Rioja, and enjoy some time among the vineyards. Then, we’ll head north, into the French Pyrenees. We’ll finish up with a few days in and around San Sebastian. (Perhaps including Errezil, the place in the photo above.)

Though it’s going to be my first time in Spain, I’m okay with bypassing Madrid and Barcelona. I’d love to spend time exploring both places, but I really need a break from hectic city life. I’m very much looking forward to more low-key enjoyment—and lots of gorgeous scenery.

Have you been to northern Spain or southern France? If so, I’d love to hear your recommendations!

(Image by Oskar Calero via 500px on Pinterest)

The Water Tank Project

Water tanks are such an integral part of the New York cityscape. If you look around most neighborhoods, you’ll see the structures perched atop many buildings.

This summer, the city’s tanks will be dressed up a bit.В The Water Tank Project is wrapping the vessels in artwork from both renowned artists—like Maya Lin and Jeff Koons—and NYC public school children. Besides being a public art installation, it’s also a campaign toВ bring awareness to theВ global water shortage, via social media messaging and on-the-ground events.

I love the idea of using the city’s iconic water tanks as canvases, especially when it’s attached to a good cause.

The first water tower, by Laurie Simmons, has already gone up in Chelsea. I haven’t seen it yet, but I’m hoping to, soon!

The Water Tank Project

Previous water tank love, here and here.

(Image via the Water Tank Project)

NYC Summer, from Above

While we’re on the topic of feel-good summer photos, here are a few others I came across, recently:В George Steinmetz’s aerial photos of NYC.

He perfectly captures the lighting that isВ summer in the city—it’s that brilliant, goldenВ haze that envelops the boroughs, then disappears all too quickly.

A few of my favorite shots:

Domino Sugar Factory, Brooklyn | George Steinmetz

Chelsea Piers | George Steinmetz

Central Park Tennis Center | George Steinmetz

Prospect Lefferts Gardens | George Steinmetz

 

Other amazing aerials, from previous posts: beachesВ and airports.

(Images by George Steinmetz; found via NPR)