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Philadelphia may not have Central Park, Millennium Park, Golden Gate Park, or the National Mall. But, quietly, it is home to the largest landscaped park in the United States. Fairmount Park, and its associated 60-some parks, fill 9,200 acres of green space in the City of Brotherly Love. That’s over 10 times the size of Central Park (843 acres). It took form in the 1840s but is linked to a 17th-century pastoral vision William Penn had for “Liberty Lands” in the present-day northwest of the city.

It’s fun to watch Austin, Texas, and Portland, Oregon, debate who’s weirder. Both cities—bastions of progressive ideas in (mostly) conservative states—have “Keep Austin Weird” and “Keep Portland Weird” stickers to drive the point home. But no matter how much they try, they can’t out-weird a city that hardly notices its quirks.

That’s Philadelphia, the original American weird. A different type of weird.

The man with graying dreadlocks raking outside a New York mansion is hip-hop pioneer Kool DJ Herc. He hasn’t switched careers, but is an artist-in-residence helping out at the Andrew Freedman Home, a one-time “country club” retirement home that’s now a workspace for graffiti artists, a 1920s-styled bed-and-breakfast, and space for homegrown art and theater.…

Outsiders who associate New York by stacks of New Yorker magazines, Woody Allen films, or even Broadway shows can be excused for overlooking what a big sports town it is. And, unlike many cities in the U.S., it’s baseball first here. After all, the Yankees (aka “Manchester United of the U.S.A.”) have won 27 championships. Beyond those Bronx Bombers though, you can see a game in the Big Apple for much less than pro football, basketball, or hockey tickets. And there’s a game most days of the summer.

This is a battery at Peddocks Islands’ Fort Andrews, opened at the outbreak of the Spanish-American War in 1898. And it’s one of the more adventurous ways to spend a day in the Boston Harbor Islands, called the “fair emeralds on a sapphire plain” in the 1882 King’s Handbook of Boston Harbor by MF Sweetser. Most of the 110,000 who visited via ferry last year just go for sea, sand, and forts. Others to camp.

How to Bike to Walden Pond

“It is not worth the while to go round the world to count the cats in Zanzibar,” writes Henry David Thoreau in one of the less-quoted parts of Walden Pond. But is it, I wonder, worth it to go to the place that inspired those, and other more everlasting, words? One can “live deliberately” close to home, but can one do the same on the road far from it? I’m in Boston to find out.

The great thing about the Northeast Corridor of the United States is how easy it is getting around without a car. Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C. rank amongst the most ped-friendly cities in the country. And I’m seeing them all by Amtrak. Who says a road trip can’t be by train? Over the…

It’s summer in Washington and I’m very glad to be home. I do love to travel and that will never change, but I also love waking up in my own time zone and enjoying a meal without juggling my phone and fork. I hope you understand. It’s impossibly hard to step away from a dream…

“Taylor Swift ate 650 cupcakes?” I asked, incredulous. “No!” laughed the woman at the bakery, “She bought 650 cupcakes and then sent them around to all the radio stations that played her music.” “That’s a whole lotta cupcakes.” “It was. But I think it was a nice way for her to say, ‘Thank You.’ They…

Plants get hungry, too. Sometimes it just gets really hot down here in Georgia and if there isn’t enough food in the house, the White Pitcher Plant (Sarracenia leucophylla) lures unsuspecting insect guests into its backyard pool and shoves them in, drowning them and then digesting them in slow motion. Nature can be cruel, but…