Giethoorn is a small Dutch village that was built in the 13th century; it’s also one of the most popular destinations in the world for Chinese tourists, drawing hundreds of thousands of them each year despite having a population under 3000. Why do the tourists come? Because Giethoorn is car-free. Founded by convicts and later populated by Mennonites, it doesn’t even have roads. (The reason this is so appealing to Chinese tourists will be apparent to anyone who’s ever witnessed firsthand the smog-clouded horror of a heavily-trafficked, crosswalk-less Chinese city.) … CAR-FREE CITIES MIGHT BE CLOSER THAN YOU THINK (OR MAYBE NOT)
Many of us have been to the Lincoln Memorial, but did you know Lincoln had a summer home here in D.C. too?
It’s true. This 175-year-old building just off North Capitol Street next to the Soldier’s Home was lovingly restored and opened to the public in 2008. The 10,000-square-foot, 34-room home is more spacious than one might expect in a “cottage.” But the double front doors with rounded tops that meet to form a point at the top and the gingerbread trim make you think fairies and gnomes might have once lived here. … LINCOLN’S COTTAGE SHOWS HOW THE PRESIDENT SPENT SUMMERS
Street art is often used as a powerful visual communication tool between artist and society. Through the Audubon Mural Project, the National Audubon Society and Gitler &____Gallery have teamed up with a band of talented artists to create a series of murals depicting climate-threatened birds.
The National Audubon Society strives to protect and advocate for birds and their habitats throughout the Americas. Gitler &_____ Gallery, owned by Avi Gitler, showcases rising artists, “original craftsmen and visionaries” in their gallery space and also in pop-up galleries throughout the city. … DIVERSE MURALS IN NEW YORK CITY HONOR AMERICAN BIRDS
Many people are drawn to the places where the land meets the water. Our planet is over 70 percent water and our bodies over 60 percent, so feeling innately connected to this element kind of makes sense. The vast, moving bodies of water that we can encounter at beaches, cushioned by warm sandy beds, are particularly soothing to some. Scientists, sociologists and psychologists have long studied why. … GET TO THE BEACH – IT’S GOOD FOR YOU!
If you look through the listings on Airbnb and think, “these are nice, but they aren’t quite enough black turtleneck-ish,” then I have the site for you. It’s called Plans Matter, and it’s an Airbnb-type short-term rental site, only all the homes for rent have been vetted by real life fancy architects. That means you could stay in a genuine Frank Lloyd Wright house for a couple hundred bucks a night, take a ton of photos of yourself lounging around the priceless home, and then use them forever in all your online dating profiles. (When your confused date sees your basement apartment for the first time, you can be like, “oh, this is just a place I rent to keep me humble.”) … THERE’S AN AIRBNB FOR ARCHITECT NERDS, AND THE LISTINGS ARE INCREDIBLE
The family of a friend of mine own an entire abandoned mining town in the south. The highlight of every summer vacation there is the 4th of July, when they set up a bunch of watermelons in the windows and doors of the decrepit buildings, and speed back and forth down Main Street in pickups, taking potshots at the melons with their guns. (All of this is done in the spirit of high irony, I assure you.) So if you read the above headline and thought, “why would I want to own an entire town?”, well, there’s your answer. … WHY JUST BUY A HOUSE WHEN YOU CAN BUY AN ENTIRE TOWN?
What’s great about living in D.C. is that you’re only about 30 minutes away in almost any direction from rural delights such as the farms that once sat on the land that is now our nation’s capital. Each year, our unending hunger for bigger houses and more space greater encroaches upon this farmland, pushing the cornfields and haylofts farther afield. … YOU CAN BET THE FARM ON HAVING FUN AT THESE ATTRACTIONS