From its sprawling grass fields to its trademark gargantuan silver globe, the 1200 acres of Queens' Flushing Meadows Park is the antithesis of the hustle and bustle of Manhattan, and just nine miles west. On weekends, the park transforms into a hubbub of family picnics, soccer games, and bike riders. What's the landmark that captures everyone's attention&8212;that would be the Queens Theatre built for the 1964 World's Fair. At first glance, the structure with its two "flying saucer" towers, known best from the movie Men in the Black, appears to be a dilapidated mess. But take a closer look and you just might catch a fascinating glimpse of the 1960s vision of the New York of the future.March 14, 2012 Like Add a Comment
The Empire State Building and Top of the Rock may give you a better bird's-eye perspective of New York City, but the view from Robert, the ninth-floor restaurant above the Museum of Art and Design, is the most magical. Set on the south side of Columbus Circle, as soon as the elevators open on Robert, you know you've discovered a New York secret... take a step closer to the window and you'll gasp at the view of the Upper West Side and Central Park. The flawless service, modern design, and imaginative food are icing on the cake.March 14, 2012 Like Add a Comment
If you could take just one photo: Towering Cacti Wrapped in Holiday Lights
The Desert Botanical Garden in Phoenix is unique by many accounts—it has been thriving with exotic desert vegetation for more than 75 years and displays around 50,000 outdoor plant displays. But around the holidays, during La Nochas de las Luminarias, it is nostalgically and almost eerily magical. Wander among winding paths lined with 8,000 hand-lit lanterns, under Saguaro and looming organ pipe cacti that almost seem to encase the desert pathways you walk upon. Live musicians ranging from a caroling quartet straight out of a Dickinson novel to a blues band sink back into corners while wanderers purchase spiked hot cider and hot chocolate. The air sits still and warm in the garden, while cool breezes sweep vegetation back and forth overhead, like seaweed on the ocean floor. But always be on the lookout—you never know when you will have to step over creeping cacti fingers tailing the trails, or get a glimpse of nocturnal wildlife.March 14, 2012 Like Add a Comment
If you could take just one photo: (wood) Fired Up
There always seems to be a line, so it seems like the restaurant should be larger. Maybe it's because the name, Pizzeria Bianco, is on the lips of every notable pizza lover—it was even rated in Food and Wine magazine's Top 10 Best Pizzas in 2010. Upon entry, tables are not further than 30 feet away. A large wood-burning pizza oven is nestled in the back corner, corned by a bar where patrons sip drinks and nibble antipasto salad. Pizzas are pulled out regularly from the oven, and almost immediately served to eager patrons at the tight-knit simple tables. Upon first bite, the crust is crispy, charred, thin, chewy. There usually aren't more than 10 pizzas available, ranging from the fresh mozzarella, tomato and wilted basil (tangy, gooey, with herbs grown on-site), to proscuitto, pine nut and caramelized onions (sweet, savory and deliciously nutty). For 15 years the pizzeria has brought a slice of Sicilian charm to Phoenix's Heritage Square; so be sure to toast the cultural marriage with a local beer from Bianco's bar.March 14, 2012 Like Add a Comment
If you could take just one photo: A graphic novel figurine
Hidden among expensive clothing stores, Newbury Comics is an oasis for the unsettled soul. The independently run retailer of music, movies, and pop culture with a fresh angle first started on Newbury Street over 30 years ago by MIT buddies, John Brusger and Mike Dreese. Walk through the doors and you will first sense a distinct aroma of the oddities which then beckon your eyes. Here, you can imagine Adele’s voice on vinyl. You can try on TOMS shoes or buy yourself, I mean your friend, a monkey hat. Men in business suits can be spotted in the corner reading graphic novels like V for Vendetta. Passing young couples viewing DVDs, a small section of books catches the eye with titles like Howl and Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas. It’s hard not to imagine yourself in complete reckless passion, where you can feed your nostalgia for a time that once was and find the possibilities of tomorrow.March 14, 2012 Like Add a Comment
Our contests often focus on themes, concepts, and specific geographic areas--but we also keep an extensive list of assignments around the world that are on our list simply because our editors want you to check them out and report back (and win weekly prizes). Enter the Weekly Worldwide Contest as many times as you like. Feel free to suggest a spot (email@example.com). We're always adding new assignments.
Prize details: $50 writing contract to cover three places and $50 photography contract to cover three places.
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