saldrich

“Michigan. The Great Beer State.”

According to the Michigan Brewers Guild, the Great Lake State should also be known as “The Great Beer State.” Home to world-famous breweries such as Bell’s in Kalamazoo and Founders in Grand Rapids (which brews the seasonal bright red cherry ale, using only Michigan cherries, pictured above), and with the fifth most breweries, microbreweries, and…

Kurt Vonnegut’s Indianapolis

Mention Indianapolis these days and many of us think of Peyton Manning and the Colts. In fact, the city has become a major sports town, with established pro football and basketball teams, the Indy 500, and the headquarters of the NCAA. But Indianapolis also has a literary side–as the hometown of author Kurt Vonnegut, Jr.…

Speaking Easy: The Violet Hour, Chicago

One of a number of popular speakeasy-themed bars sprouting up across the nation, Chicago’s The Violet Hour just may be the best. (Don’t believe us? just ask these guys.) Toby Maloney–the ├╝ber-bartender of New York’s Milk & Honey fame–has gathered a team of fellow bartenders who see mixing as equal parts science and art. The…

Cleveland Rocks

Popular culture has done Cleveland a disservice. Most of its references to the city are negative: Drew Carey’s “Cleveland Rocks” anthem did little more than reinforce stuffy mid-Western stereotypes; basketball star Lebron James is from there, but can’t ever seem to stop talking about leaving town; David Foster Wallace used it as the ideal-because-it-isn’t-ideal setting…

Classic NG Road Trip: Route 40 in 1961

[The Gray family's] station wagon odyssey from sea to sea totaled 17,000 miles, counting side trips. Near the village of State Road, Delaware, the author’s family chats with a State trooper. From the July 1961 issue of National Geographic Magazine, by Ralph Gray/NGS. Cross-country road trips are often seen as a rite of passage for…

Building a Place-Based Playlist

National Geographic Magazine Editorial Researcher Brad Scriber took a recent trip to Barcelona and filled us in on how he chose his trip soundtrack. About the only time my music collection grows is when I travel. Now, I’d love to say that’s because I spend my vacation nights in low-lit, smoky clubs discovering emerging talent…

Tracking Thomas Jefferson

Historical figures often define a city, their presences lingering long after their deaths. Nowhere is this more the case than in Washington, D.C. Here, you can’t avoid history and the legacy of America’s great men. I mean, there’s a giant white needle in the middle of the city to commemorate our first founding father. You…

Organic Chocolate in Ecuador

Kallari bars are considered to be some of the best chocolate around (at least by pastry chef Kate Zuckerman–see this article–and Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert). Available in Whole Foods markets, they are a sweet you can feel good about buying: Over 850 Kichwa families living in the Amazon rain forest region of Ecuador have formed…

The New Acropolis Museum, a project that the New York Times called “one of the highest-profile cultural projects undertaken in Europe in this decade,” is celebrating its opening day on Saturday after years of planning and labor–33 years in all, eight since the design was chosen. The stunning modern building, designed by New York architect…