Inside the Dream Palace

In 2013, you can no longer obtain a room key to the legendary Chelsea Hotel. And let's face it, if you did, it wouldn't be very useful. But a new nonfiction book, Inside The Dream Palace: The Life and Times of New York’s Legendary Chelsea Hotel by Sherill Tippins is almost as good as holding a brass key in your hand to one of the largest and longest-lived artists’ communities established during the famous decades of the Chelsea Hotel's operation. Gossip, intrigue, passion, and creativity lie in the lines of Tippins' catchy prose, and chapters read like a literary Page Six rather than any type of dry history.

Jon Stewart Takes the Summer Off!

Where in the world are we going to get our "fake" news from for the entire summer? Jon Stewart, host of Comedy Central’s political satire talk show, The Daily Show, announced this week that he will be taking a 12 week hiatus from his popular television show. Thankfully, we'll still know what's going on in the world thanks to John Oliver. The British funnyman and regular contributor on the show will fill Stewart’s news-desk for an allotted 8 weeks of Stewart’s hiatus. For the remaining four weeks there is a possibility that the show will have additional guest anchors or air episode repeats.

Chef Eddie Huang Redefines the American Dream

If you’ve ever been to BaoHaus, the casual Taiwanese bun shop in New York’s East Village, you may have noticed Eddie Huang one of the chefs and co-owners, probably freestyling along to the music dressed in renegade street clothes. By looking at him though, you would never guess that this former stand-up comic turn celebrity chef actually practiced corporate law. Huang’s newest venture is his memoir, Fresh Off the Boat, published by Random House. The memoir, entitled the same as his hysterically fun food and travel show produced by Vice, touches on Eddie’s unique views on America, , the culinary world, Asian stereotypes, and basically Eddie’s critiques of everything and everyone he comes in contact with.

The Underground New York Public Library

The subway system in New York is the great unifier. It’s the only place in the city where people from all walks of life, with entirely different destinations, and not one word to say to one another are in a pretty intimate space. It’s not just complaining about train delays that bring people together, however. According to photographer Ourit Ben-Haim, it’s the worlds we escape to in a good book on those trains that brings us together as well.

Ben-Haim loves reading and she loves seeing others read. There’s something magical about a person engrossed in a good book. The image was inspiring enough that in 2008 Ben-Haim snapped a photo of a person reading on the subway with her cell phone camera and it spawned a project that’s been going on for years and now has a huge following of people who check daily for more. The idea is simple, but it captures so much about Ben-Haim’s subjects, and about New York itself.

Joel Robison’s World of Books

There isn’t much in the world that can capture the feeling of being happily lost in the world of books. The journey to worlds we may never see is one that can start at any age. Simply picking up a book opens us up to new ideas and makes us a part of stories more grand than the universe we know. It’s hard to capture the years of wonder lining our bookshelves. That, however, hasn’t stopped a brilliant Canada-based photographer from trying, and making parts of that sensation wonderful and real.

Joel Robison, also known as boywonder (a user name we’re pretty fond of), creates some wonder of his own with photos based around the world of books. He explores both the comfort of reading and the worlds books open up for their readers. Paper dragons, whales that travel through pages, and worlds imbued with the magic created by books are only a few of the sights to see in the boy wonder’s photography. His self-portraits are at once cozy and mystifying. Tea cups and books welcome the viewer into a world just ever so slightly different for our own. In some pictures, Robison is tiny and the world is big. They capture how vast and engulfing some story worlds are--how small we are when peeking into worlds that are not our own, worlds that may not exist.

Selexyz Dominicanen: The Bookstore Church

There’s something wonderful and inviting about book stores. Like a candy shop for avid readers, book stores entice with affordable treats and as well as some beautiful books well out of price range. It’s hard to walk into a book store and leave with just the item you’ve been looking for. Shelves and shelves of books, comfortable seats, and even swank coffee shops and bakeries make it hard for anyone to walk in and out. The only thing more enticing than a book store is an exceptionally beautiful book store. Throughout the world there are a handful of bookstores and libraries known for their beauty and unconventional outer shells. Old firehouses, night clubs and more have been converted into book stores.

'Missed Connections' Book Makes Craigslist Less Creepy, More Romantic

How do you diffuse a potentially creepy situation? You draw cute pictures and romanticize it, of course. Australian-born Sophie Blackall is a Brooklyn based artist who has done just that. Over the course of her career she has illustrated over twenty children's books; and has won several awards including the Ezra Jack Keats Award, a BCCB Blue Ribbon Picture Book Award, and the Founders Award from the Society of Illustrators.

Her latest book Missed Connections veers of her normal path and delves into the hidden romance on Craigslist, believe it or not. In 2009 she started a blog where she posted a series of paintings based off actual anonymous Craigslist 'Missed Connections' postings. For anyone not familiar with Craigslist's 'Missed Connections,' it's a forum where one can post anonymous messages to strangers they were attracted to but failed to approach. Example: "Saw you in the subway, stared at you from Canal to 103rd Street. You looked a little uncomfortable, but I kept staring anyway as sweat beaded up on my upper lip. Hope I didn't creep you out. If you felt the spark too, get in touch. (p.s I swear I've never done this before.)"

October Is Vegetarian Awareness Month

October 1st is World Vegetarian Day according to the North American Vegetarian Society, which has celebrated it every year since 1977.

Try some meatless meals this October to participate in Vegetarian Awareness Month. You might not miss meat as much as you'd think.

Here to help is a list of some highly-recommended Veggie-friendly eateries around Miami:

SpecialTEA Lounge | 10766 SW 24 St., Miami, FL 33165 | (305) 554-8327

This place has a chill, college-y vibe, no doubt because of it's proximity to FIU. They have fun board games to play and any meat on the menu can be substituted with a textured vegetarian protein. Try the Coco Curry.

No Irony: Hipster Dog Pageant TONIGHT

Hey, owner. It's me, Marcus. I know I've been dragging you into a lot of vintage clothes shops lately. And yes, I've been marking my territory on Bedford Avenue. And sure, I begged you to buy me the Sonic Youth Album. But if you take me to the Hipster Dog Pageant tonight, I swear I will never ask you for another doggy treat ever again.

The pageant, ignorant human, is the brainchild of Christopher R. Weingarten, who began a tumblr stream of hipsterized doggies in 2010. He began with photos of my friends Terrence and Lola, and eventually began creating portraits of other members of the doggie Hipster community.