Gummy Bear Art Car Takes Grand Tour

gummy bear car in New York
Courtesy of Alex Leuchte

Sometimes an “only in New York” moment has a more global story. On a rainy afternoon this week in Manhattan, my friend visiting from Germany was excited to spot a Mercedes with Munich plates. The car had a distinctive pattern covering its exterior, we debated whether it was metal, fabric or beads, but the actual decoration is much sweeter: gummy bears.

The back window detailed the “grand tour” of this visionary art, starting in Munich, traveling to Paris and London, and finally New York. The project is the third installment of artist Guenther Siraky‘s Mercedes Trilogy, which also took him and the car through Europe in 2007. The plan was to take the gummy bear car to each of the city’s major art museums, including the Louvre, Tate and Guggenheim, exhibiting the work of art in front of each museum. Over a million people have seen the car, and reactions range from disbelief and amazement to tears of joy. NYPD officers have even allowed him to park in forbidden places to display his work. While the car should be covered in rain and extreme heat, the slightly melted gummy bears just add to the vehicle’s charm. Siraky intended to sell the vehicle once he completed his tour last month, but he has extended his time in New York, and can be found driving it all over the five boroughs through the end of September.

See a slideshow of the gummy bear car in NYC below, and check in with the art car’s adventures through the artist’s Facebook page.


Empire State Building: Movie Star

Wikimedia Commons

Warner Bros. has acquired the rights to Empire Rising by Thomas Kelly, a novel set in 1930 just as construction on the Empire State Building is beginning. Although the narrative centers on a love triangle in New York, the real star of the story is the landmark.

This might be the Empire State Building’s biggest role yet, but the building is no stranger to the big screen. The skyscraper has been used as a backdrop in more than 100 films, usually to establish that the story is, in fact, taking place in New York. Here are some highlights from the Empire State Building’s film career:


Long Layover? Pick Up a Free Book at the Airport

westher, Flickr

Although there are plenty of ways to pass the time at an airport, nothing is quite like getting lost in a novel or guidebook. Unfortunately, if you forgot your book at home (or failed to load your e-reader), newsstands often don’t have much in the way of selection. But the good news is, an increasing number of airports are staking a claim on the lending library trend.

USA Today reports local libraries are using airport storefronts and kiosks to lend paper books to travelers during their layovers. Some are also setting up stations for e-book downloads. In several cases, the libraries provide a relaxing place set aside from the hustle and bustle of the rest of the airport-and more often than not, there’s free WiFi. Here are a few places where you should be on the lookout for a good read:

National Airports with Libraries

  • Cherry Capital Airport, Michigan
  • Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Florida
  • Harrisburg International Airport, Pennsylvania
  • Manhattan Regional Airport, Kansas
  • San Francisco Airport Commission Aviation Library, California
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington

International Airports with Libraries

  • Schiphol Airport, Netherlands
  • Helsinki Airport, Finland

And if you’re looking for some inspiring travel reads, here are the 25 Best Contemporary Travel Books. You might want to pick those ones up before you head off on your trip, though.

[via / USA Today]

Boardwalk Violinist Challenges Ocean City Noise Ban

Musicians are as essential to the American boardwalk experience as saltwater taffy. But in Ocean City, Maryland, there’s a battle going on between boardwalk performers and the city, which wants to put limitations on noise.

Last summer, city leaders threatened anyone who played music that was audible within 30 feet of the boardwalk with fines and jail time. But violinist Bill Hassey Jr., who has entertained boardwalk visitors in Ocean City for nearly 20 years, wasn’t having it. He got a local civil rights organization involved, and together they took the case to court.

A judge granted a preliminary injunction stating that Ocean City’s rule imposes a burden on free speech. Although the battle is far from over, musicians were able to get back on the boardwalk mid-way through the summer.

“One of my fellow buskers here mentioned to me that in the last week the boardwalk has come alive again,” Hassey Jr. told “There’s music coming from the shops, there’s music on the boardwalk from buskers, and people have a kick in their step and a smile on their face that they didn’t have a week ago.”

Ocean City Mayor Rich Meehan told the court the noise law was meant to regulate noise coming from boardwalk shops more than musicians. But really, there are plenty of places along the 3-mile boardwalk that are quiet enough for visitors who want some peace and quiet. Besides, any visitor within earshot understands that music–whether it’s blaring from a shop or coming from a solo busker–is just part of the sights and sounds of summer on the boardwalk.

What’s next, banning teenagers? Cause they certainly are noisy, too.

Tourism Board Wants ‘Breaking Bad’ Cast To Go On ‘A Trip To Belize’

If you watched the latest episode of “Breaking Bad,” you know that taking “a trip to Belize” is a one-way voyage you don’t want to go on. Apparently the Belize Tourism Board was watching, and decided to make the most of the unflattering mention. In order to ensure the world doesn’t associate the country solely with “sleeping with the fishes,” they sent an invitation to “Breaking Bad” creator Vince Gilligan and eight members of the cast:

Dear Cast of Breaking Bad,

Despite what Saul meant when he suggested that Walt send Hank “on a trip to Belize,” we were flattered to be included on your program last Sunday. Many of us are big fans of the show and can’t wait to see what happens over the last six episodes. While we hope that some of our favorite characters don’t get “sent on a trip to Belize” in the show, we do hope you will take us upon the following offer – we’d like to send all of you on an ACTUAL trip to our country after the season is over.

We figure you will all need a little time to relax after a riveting season and, if you ask us, there’s no better place to relax than Belize. It’s really the least we can do for the entertainment you have provided us with over the last six years. So allow us an opportunity to entertain you – we have the Blue Hole for Walt, purple fish for Marie, geology for Hank, great music and friendly people for Jesse, delicious breakfast cuisine for Walt Jr., several nice locations to swim for Skylar, colorful clothing for Saul, and the list goes on.

We look forward to hearing back from you. Best of luck with the remainder of this season.

Belize Tourism Board

Gotta love that there are “purple fish for Marie,” but really, who wouldn’t enjoy the chance to see the Blue Hole? I think we can all agree that a trip to Belize wouldn’t be so bad.