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London. In Color.

This is fascinating to me.

[via Kottke]


The Over-stated & Under-simplified Award of the Day.

Favorite Cities to Visit — A Top Ten List

My friend Jason Dietz, over at NonModern, recently posted a list of his top ten cities to visit. I loved the list. Jason is much more traveled than I am, I’ve only been to two of his top ten cities, but I thought I would “comment” on his post by posting my own list of the top ten cities I’ve visited. Like Jason, I won’t include any city that I have lived in, currently or previously. Unlike Jason though, I don’t stop at the “city” designation, and will include both smaller towns & larger metropolises — I couldn’t resist.

10. Paris, France
The nice thing about visiting a city several times is that you develop favorite spots. For me, it’s the Le Merais. It has that quaint, almost a village within a city, kind of feeling. The architecture is brilliant. Sure, there’s the Eiffel Tower & the Arc de Triomphe…but the beauty of a city like Paris is in the smaller neighborhoods.

9. San Francisco, CA
Julie and I went to San Francisco over 10 years ago. And it’s on our short list to revisit soon…with the kids this time. San Francisco was also on our list of cities that we considered moving to when we were planning to move back to the States. But it’s bloody expensive. Clam chowder and seals on a wooden float on a sunny afternoon make for a perfect date. And you can get to the wine country pretty quickly.

8. London, England
I’ve been to London too many times to count, but central London never gets old. From the shopping (Regent St. & Covent Garden), to the sites (Westminster, Trafalgar Square, Hyde Park), to the museums (National Portrait Gallery), it doesn’t get much more touristy than central London.

7. Turin, Italy
My stay here was brief, about a day and a half, but I really enjoyed Turin. It’s surrounded by the Alps, and was the home of the 2006 Winter Olympics. I spent time on the Via Roma, which opens up into the Piazza San Carlo and the Palazzo Madama. Pretty architecture and some of the best tiramisu I’ve ever had.

6. Boston, MA
I toured Fenway Park and walked behind the Green Monster where the old scoreboard is. For someone that grew up a Red Sox fan it just doesn’t get any better than that. Hang out around Harvard. You’ll feel smarter, and the campus is beautiful.

5. Bath, England
Roman. Marble. Granite. Quaint. Shopping. Eating. It’s small size means you can walk central Bath in a day (easy). Almost every visitor we had while living in Wales we took to Bath for a day. When I’m asked about places to visit if taking a trip to the UK Bath is at the top of my list.

4. Budapest, Hungary
I spent 4 days in Budapest in April, 2011. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting much, but I was pleasantly surprised. I’ve been told that Budapest carries the nickname “Paris of the East”. I wouldn’t doubt that. To walk along the Danube in the evening in central Budapest is simply breathtaking.

3. Florence, Italy
Julie and I went on holiday to Florence a few years ago. We spent time looking at the original statue of David and the original Birth of Venus (Botticelli). Both were stunning. The streets were tiny, the fashion was stereotypically Italian, and the Ponte Vecchio (the old bridge) was a favorite of mine.

2. Barcelona, Spain
Barri Gotic (the Gothic Quarter) & tapas. Enough said.

1. New York, NY
Jay-Z does it better than I ever could. So go listen to Empire State of Mind. If you don’t want to visit New York after that then I don’t know what to tell you. It’s loud. It’s busy. You won’t see fashion like New York fashion any where else on the planet. I’ve been three for four times and I’ve never run out of new things to see and do. And if you have kids, take them the second time you go. It will give you an entirely new perspective on the city. In the evening, when the sun is down, and the lights are up, take the subway over to Brooklyn. Get off on the first stop. Eat ice cream under the Brooklyn Bridge and then walk back to Manhattan on the bridge…a memory in the making.

The Real Snow White

This is the real Snow White.via Devour.

Boo Electoral College. Yea Every Vote Counts!

via Devour.

Generation X is Sick…

This resonated with me. Read the entire article though, it’s good.

Generation X is tired.

It’s a parent now, and there’s always so damn much to do. Generation X wishes it had better health insurance and a deeper savings account. It wonders where its 30s went. It wonders if it still has time to catch up.

Fab Fan

You’ve been invited to buy more things. It’s Fab.

The Suburbanization of Poverty

The suburbs are not immune to poverty. This infographic shows the rise of poverty in major US cities compared to the rise of poverty in the urban areas of those cities.

Source: Secret Republic

Recommended Reading

In the past few months I’ve tried to increase the amount (number of books) I read. One, it helps with this problem. Two, it increases knowledge – both specific and general. And three, it gives me something to talk about with others.

I thought I would share with you the books I’ve read. I recommend all of them, otherwise I probably wouldn’t share them with you. But obviously I recommend some more than others, so I’m including the official 128 Star (★) Rating. One ★ means you might not want to read it unless you’re just really bored. Five ★’s means “Don’t miss this. Go buy it right now.”

In no particular order:

  • A Million Miles in a Thousand Years — Donald Miller. ★★★★
  • Outliers: The Story of Success — Malcolm Gladwell. ★★★★★
  • The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference — Malcolm Gladwell. ★★★
  • Forgotten God: Reversing Our Tragic Neglect of the Holy Spirit — Francis Chan. ★★★
  • Counterfeit Gods — Tim Keller. ★★★★
  • The Prodigal God — Tim Keller. ★★★
  • Seeing God in the Ordinary — Michael Frost. ★★★
  • HTML5 for Web Designers — Jeremy Keith. ★★★

Outliers is a game changer. It will cause you to look at the world around you very differently. The HTML5 book has a limited audience, but the others are suitable to anyone really and can be found on Amazon.

Do You See What I See?

One week from today my family and I will board a plane and head back to Cardiff, Wales (UK) after spending the last six months here in the US. Most of our time was spent in Texas, both in San Antonio and Ft. Worth (Granbury actually). We’ve had a really enjoyable time, but I think I’m ready to head back. After 31 years in the US, then 3 1/2 years in the UK, and now six months back in the US I’ve been able to see things from a slightly different perspective and I thought I would share some of my thoughts. My perspective is not right, nor wrong, just mine.

  • America is easy. Now don’t misunderstand me. We all have our issues. Some of us are facing aging grandparents, and losing children, and losing jobs, and you name it. But that’s not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the relative ease with which we live as Americans. We can walk into Target, Walmart, any grocery store really, and live forever. Honestly, we can not live in this country and complain for lack of want.
  • America is rich. If you, or someone you know, earn $45,000 a year then you, or someone you know, is part of the richest 1% of the world. We seriously need to stop living above our means and give more, then save more.
  • Church is still a big deal…well, in the South it is. Honestly, how many more multi-thousand seat churches do we need in a given city? And here’s the reason I ask…if true transformation is taking place at these huge churches then why are cities not changing? Maybe I’m an idealist, but I would love to see whole cities transformed by these churches that obviously have the resources, and I’m not just talking about money.
  • Politics are an idol for far too many followers of Jesus.
  • Football might be a close second.
  • I honestly feel that there is a small yet growing movement within the evangelical world that could really shape things in America. It’s happening in a very viral way, by guys many of us have not heard of. But it is gospel-centered and could be something to watch.
  • SUV’s have exponentially increased in individual size and overall frequency. Don’t quite get it.
  • Friends are awesome.