For many travelers, the best view of a city is found at street level. Sidewalk culture takes visitors beyond the usual tourist experience and closer to that of a local.
“The idea of the backpacker is more about a mindset than an age,” says Georgina Dee at DK. Late last year, the publisher launched DK Eyewitness Audio Walks, an app that offers five curated tours for those who buy print versions of DK’s London or New York guides. The tours aim for a true insider’s view, leading visitors to less-explored sites amid the big attractions, and offering local lore and preferred stops for a beverage or meal.
“There’s always the big question in travel about how traditional publishers get into the digital mindset,” Dee says. “I didn’t want to invest in a facsimile of what you get in the book. Instead, we wanted to give the consumer something with a nice, conversational tone that they can take with them.”
Another view of a famously walkable metropolis can be found in Magnetic City: An Ambler’s Companion to New York (Random/Spiegel & Grau, Apr.), written by New York magazine architecture critic Justin Davidson. The book includes a series of essays that capture the evolution of the city; it also details walking tours of several key neighborhoods across Manhattan, Brooklyn, and the Bronx (including Sugar Hill and the South Bronx, which the New York Times named one of its 52 places to go in 2017).
In June, The Streets of Paris by Susan Cahill (St. Martin’s Griffin) invites readers to imagine themselves in the City of Light through the experiences and routines of well-known locals such as Marie Curie, Edith Piaf, the novelist Colette, and 19 others. Each chapter includes a “For the Traveler” section, which provides a detailed walk that is similar to one that the chapter’s subject might have taken.