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"Spirit of place!...

 ...It is for this we travel, to surprise its subtlety; and where it is a strong and dominant angel, that place, seen once, abides entire in the memory with all its own accidents, its habits, its breath, its name. -- Alice Meynell, 1859

Say what you will about bureaucracies...

...this is work product of Norway's National Police Directorate

First, the Norwegian architecture firm Snøhetta and the design group The Metric System gave Norway's currency, the kroner, a bold, hip new look. Now,

super new travel documents from the National Police Directorate, by Oslo-based Neue Design Studio, arrive on the heels of those arty banknotes.

The rest of the story: Norway's New Passports Are Designed to Make Every Other Country Feel Inferior by Kriston Capps (CityLab)

Sauve qui peut!

Ecuadorian exceptionalism? Uruguayan exceptionalism? Indian exceptionalism? French exceptionalism?

A lot of seniors (a State Department estimate suggests that the number may be between 3 million and 6 million) are heading for the exits because they can extend the benefits from their savings, pensions and social security (and receive better medical care) in many other places. But, given the job market (in the short term) and the rigid class structure (in the long term), young people have even greater incentives to reject the shackles of the American economic system and see what else is out there!

The rest of the story:
Get Out While You Can: Why Young Americans Should Consider Moving Abroad by Thomas McGath. Instead of accepting low-paid work or unpaid internships, young people should focus on globalizing themselves. (AlterNet)

No Woman No Cry

Funny Tombow One Man Band

Fiction for travelers, South Pacific edtio

Rain and Other South Sea Stories: perfect reading while lounging in a cruise ship deckchair by William Somerset Maugham, author of The Painted Veil, Cakes and Ale, Of Human Bondage, and The Moon and Sixpence.

A day In The Life

...just spent an awesome couple of hours immersed in Charles Bradley (thank you, Amazon Prime) after watching the live-stream Roseanne Cash-Buddy Miller-Jim Lauderdale concert in NYC (thank you, Lincoln Center). But felt terrible for the local band that stole the Lincoln Center show. I realize that we ran out of band names around the time of Vanilla Fudge. But, The Lone Bellow? Really? Would you walk across the street to see an outfit called The Lone Bellow? You know you wouldn't, unless you thought they were a Shel Silverstein cover band. Maybe, before they release their new album, they could sponsor a naming contest. The Zach Williams Band would work (he's the band's leader). "The Zach Williams Band stole the show at Lincoln Center last night." See? Or, if there's never been a band named Brooklyn, like Boston or Kansas. That'd work. "Brooklyn stole the show at Lincoln Center last night." The Lone Bellow? Not so much. In any case, if you're a Prime member, add Charles Bradley to your Amazon Music playlist now, and get the several Anthony Hamilton albums while you're at it. And, at least for now, it's still possible to watch Jim Lauderdale, Buddy Miller, Roseanne Cash and, yes, The Lone Bellow at Lincoln

Charles Bradley performs soulful cover of Black Sabbath's 'Changes'

Rosanne Cash, The Lone Bellow, Buddy Miller & Jim Lauderdale at Lincoln Center

Shel Silverstein: I was stoned and I missed it

Anthony Hamilton: NPR Music Tiny Desk Concert