Travel Back Thursday: Pennsylvania Avenue

With the government shutdown consuming much of the news, we thought we’d go back a few years for today’s featured photo. Taken in the early 1970s, we see President Richard Nixon and politician Patrick Moynihan examining the construction on Pennsylvania Avenue.

We’d love to feature your photos and videos on Gadling, so please add them to our Flickr Pool (with Creative Commons licensing!), tag @GadlingTravel on Instagram or email us at

Photo Of The Day: One World Trade Center

As the nation reflects on the events of 12 years ago, so do we at Gadling. While construction is not yet finished on the new One World Trade Center, this photo from Flickr member Karl Norling (taken on June 22) shows some of the most recent progress. The tower will eventually stand 1,776 feet tall and be America’s tallest building.

We’d love to feature your photos and videos on Gadling, so please add them to our Flickr Pool (with Creative Commons licensing!), tag @GadlingTravel on Instagram or email us at

Subway Workers In China Accidentally Demolish 3000-Year-Old Tombs

Workers installing a new subway line in Guangzhou, China’s third largest city, destroyed an ancient group of protected tombs by mistake during construction on the weekend. Some of the five tombs date back to the Shang Dynasty around 3,000 years ago.

The area, which had been set aside for further excavation and study, was intact on Friday night. When archaeologists returned to work on Saturday, the tombs had been obliterated.

The South China Morning Post reports that the group of tombs had been clearly marked and sealed off, and were of significant historical value. One of the metro project managers admitted that his workers had destroyed the group of tombs, but claimed the accidental destruction was due to a misunderstanding.

Representatives from the Guangzhou Archaeology Research Center contend it was impossible the construction workers could have missed the signs and plastic coverings marking the protected area.

This isn’t the first time ancient sites have been bulldozed in Guangzhou in recent times. Around 10 tombs have been destroyed during the construction of a new metro line. Numerous other historical buildings have been razed as well, usually without permission from authorities, as the city undergoes hurried expansion and development.

In part because of Guangzhou’s rapid development, more and more ancient sites have been discovered in recent years during surveying and excavation of new construction projects.

Should This Hotel Be Open To Guests?

In the hospitality industry, it’s becoming increasingly common for hotels to remain open while they’re undergoing renovations, or to open their doors to guests while they’re still under construction. Known as a “soft opening,” it’s a way for hotels to recoup costs and train staff while they finish up the building. Usually, a soft opening means the hotel bar is still being completed or the pool is out of order, but occasionally you come across a hotel that has taken the concept to a whole new level.

Reddit user zxphoenix was shocked at what he found when he turned up at the Red Roof Inn in Brentwood, Tenn., this week. The first sign of trouble was the construction scaffolding, which enveloped the building on all sides. Despite the dubious appearance, a “now open” sign can be seen hanging from the metal framework. Handwritten cardboard posters direct guests from the boarded-up lobby to the “front desk,” which is little more than a table wedged in a doorway. The hotel guest said of the three floors in the hotel, only one side of the first floor could be considered “livable.” That’s something of a relative term given that his room door wouldn’t fully close, bits of construction debris blew out of the air conditioning unit, and the plumbing sounded like “a pig is being butchered in the pipes.”

Take a look at the pictures below and you’ll see the exposed floors, the walls ripped down to the studs, the plastic sheeting covering windows and plenty more that would have any rational traveler running the other way.

Have you ever seen such a crazy “soft opening” before?


Update: The folks from Red Roof Inn reached out for comment:

This hotel location is no longer a Red Roof Inn, hence the construction and changes,and has been closed from our brand as of 3/15/13, we appreciate the authors relaying of the story she picked up from a reddit user but in this case the location is not ours and in the story is not correctly identifying the location.

[Photo credit: reddit user zxphoenix]

Photo Of The Day: Arches Of The Golden Gate Bridge

San Francisco
‘s Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most photographed landmarks in the world, but it might take a few minutes before you recognize her in today’s Photo of the Day from Flickr user Jason Rodman. Is that a chic lounge? A minimalist sauna? A macro shot of Lego blocks? The image’s contrast and perspective play tricks on your eyes until you finally recognize the iconic red arches.

Rodman says that the image was taken from the sunroof of his car. “I was behind the wheel but taking advantage of a traffic jam up ahead. Once I saw that traffic was stopped, out came the camera.”

Do you have a shape-shifting travel photograph that belongs here? Upload your favorite shots to the Gadling Group Pool and your image could be selected as our Photo of the Day.