TERRA INCOGNITA: Can't get away this summer for that international vacation on which you'd set your sights? Don't feel bad. According to the chic Brit design magazine Wallpaper, our hot desert homestead is one of the coolest spots on the planet this summer.
Leafing past all the beautiful people, impossibly cool buildings and cheeky travel tips in their annual "wanderlust issue" (now on newsstands for $6.95), the first exotic locale on the tour is Berlin, which the reporter on the job dubs "the biggest building site in the world." Berlin: It's definitely an interesting place--dark past, frenetic future; a city of multinational corporations busting through the crumbling skyline of one of Europe's most ambitious modern empires...definitely cool.
Next up is Hong Kong. Who could quarrel with exotic, fast-paced Hong Kong on the quest for hip, globe-trotting hotspots? The homage to greed, capitalism and materialism in this glitzy piece by Wallpaper's senior editor Edward Peacock would make any patriotic American proud--while still entertaining the average sardonic reader. We've got one word for the spread on this Asian outpost: picturesque.
We couldn't wait to read what came next, and neither will you. What ranks third in world travel behind Berlin and Hong Kong? Why, Tucson, Arizona!
Yet for those of us who live and love it here, reporter Laura Begley's mostly respectful tribute to our funky desert town comes as a mixed blessing. One imagines bored urbanites from either coast reading about sprawl so intense that city cartographers are "making a new city map every couple of months," in an environment where architects like Les Wallach and Rick Joy are splitting roofs in their homes to accommodate saguaros and rebuilding the barrios in rammed earth--and then getting entirely the wrong idea about Tucson and thinking they want to move here.
But for locals, it's a delicious slice of how the other half sees what is, in truth, a city in transition; and not unlike our European cousins, one that (hopefully with care and foresight) must reconcile historic charm with an inevitably cosmopolitan future. Begley's piece will hold some surprises even for those who think they know this city inside and out.
But on a lighter note, there are the errors: a picture of "Linda Ronstadt's alma mater" Rincon High (she graduated from Catalina High; but for the really juicy dish on her Catholic school days, see local author Mark Bego's unauthorized biography Linda Ronstadt: It's So Easy!); and an intriguing beach town south of Nogales called "Puerto Piñatas."
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