Happy Monday. In case (like me) you were taking a holiday from cell service for the weekend and OD’ing on landjaeger, here’s an update. Priceline is buying everything that isn’t nailed down, and you might want to reconsider that trip to Syria. Or Brazil. Or the Las Vegas airport.
It says a lot about our culture that out of an entire seven days’ worth of fantastic travel-related media, the No. 1 thing that grabbed our collective attention was the above-linked-to video of a younger Michael Moore type lip-syncing to a Celine Dion cover of an Eric Carmen song in an empty airport. Though admittedly we chuckled when he held the 2-D hand of a ladies’-room icon, and smiled at the “technology” involved in the shoot (for instance, making a dolly shot by taping an iPhone to a wheeled carryon and putting it on a moving walkway), the conceit is better than the execution. And that doesn’t even account for the elephant in the airport: If he had had AirCare travel protection and missed his connection, he would have been paid $500 to make that video – more if his bags got delayed or lost along the way. Not counting his carryon/camera dolly, of course.
Instead of spending six minutes of our lives watching someone we wouldn’t otherwise look at lip-syncing a song we wouldn’t otherwise listen to, we could have been arguing over Conde Nast Traveler’s list of the 15 best foodie cities in the U.S. While it gravitates toward the trendy (Healdsburg, Calif.) and the obvious (New Orleans) at the expense of the obscure (Chattanooga) and the chronically overlooked (Raleigh-Durham), it also validates the judgment of Mike Lintal, our own Mr. Foodie Friday. CNT’s high praise for Charleston, S.C., echoes Lintal’s glowing reviews of some of his hometown faves, The Ordinary, Husk, and Xiao Bao Biscuit. It’s not a perfect list, but CNT prefers it that way. All the better to argue over.
Some of the most fascinating stories can be found at the intersection of travel, food, and history, and no one is better than National Public Radio’s Kitchen Sisters at unearthing these stories. The latest installment of their series, “The Salt,” is an oral history of American’s love affair with the date (the fruit, not the romantic event), as experienced in and around Indio, Calif., the Date Capital of the Western Hemisphere, and it’s so good that it’s worth listening to and reading.
From the past, let’s fast-forward straightaway to the future. Everyone’s favorite travel mag, Fast Company (wait – you mean it’s not a travel mag?), looked at Virgin America’s fantastic new site and its potential to revolutionize the way we book flights. Just remember to add some AirCare to that flight, if you don’t mind.
Finally, the real travelin’-music laugh of the week came not from Celine Dion but from the Proclaimers and Slate, which picked up on a series of tweets wondering where the Scottish folk-rockers were walking to when they pledged to walk 500 miles and 500 more.
Turns out they would have to accomplish a good portion of their stroll under water, so when they say they’d be “the man that falls down at your door,” we believe it. Tread water for 30 or 40 miles and then walk another 60 or 70, and you’re pretty much going to be falling down at any door you stop at.
On that note, have a great week. We’ll be back Wednesday.
Kit Kiefer is a former travel writer for The New York Times.