APPLE'S AMERICA: The Discriminating Traveler's Guide to 40 Great Cities in the United States and Canada

R. W. Apple, Author North Point $22 (430p) ISBN 978-0-86547-685-1

Starred hotel reviews, restaurant price ranges and detailed directions have no place in Apple's latest travel guide (after Apple's Europe ). Instead, readers get an appealing array of historical trivia and museum mentions relating to American cities. As a former New York Times correspondent (he's now an associate editor), Apple traveled extensively throughout the U.S. and Canada. After "playing Baedeker" for many years, he parlayed his knowledge of America's cities into a series of articles for the Times , which he updates here. Written in a conversational tone with an emphasis more on city character and less on the best shopping districts, this opinionated, nontraditional work is refreshing. Among Apple's revelations: San Francisco is "full of itself"; Tampa is home to the "world's largest collection of paintings and drawings by... Salvador Dalí"; and "people would rather die than honk" in Seattle. Apple's hotel and restaurant listings at the end of each city description are geared toward the high-end traveler (the Ritz-Carlton chain gets more than its fair share of mentions), which may limit the book's appeal. Still, Apple's thorough research into each city's economic and social history is impressive, as is his consistent highlighting of art collections and architecture. Maps not seen by PW . (Mar.)

Reviewed on: 01/10/2005
Release date: 03/01/2005
Open Ebook - 448 pages - 978-0-374-70664-7
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