Photo of the Day: Smoked Turkish cheese

It used to be a common expression to say that someone “smoked like a Turk,” and I can confirm after living in Istanbul for nearly two years, Turks still love their smoking. Even after the indoor smoking ban of 2009, cigarettes and nargile (water pipes) are very common here. This portrait by Flickr user MichaelAV captures two of the Turks’ other loves: çay (see the tiny tea glass on the left) and cheese. So beloved is Turkish cheese that I’ve heard of Turks packing their suitcases full of it when traveling abroad. Be sure to try some with your Turkish breakfast or along with a glass of rakı at cocktail hour if you visit Turkey.

Take any portraits of locals with their favorite things? Add them to the Gadling Flickr pool and you may see it as a future Photo of the Day.

Apparently, everyone hates Detroit conducted a survey of 3,400 Americans, asking them their opinions about various cities. The result may or may not surprise you: Everyone loves New York and everyone hates Detroit (above), which was not only listed as the “Least Favorite,” but also the “Least Healthy” and “Dirtiest.”

Second and third place for least favorite city? Los Angeles and Atlanta. Why’s everybody hating on Atlanta? They did win for “Nicest Sounding Accent.”

San Francisco was the second favorite, and Boston and Chicago tied for third. Conversely, Boston also got “Most Annoying Accent.” Clearly, these people have not been to my hometown of Minneapolis.

Other cities with mentions include Miami for “Sexiest” and Honolulu for “Most Romantic.” Seattle got “Healthiest” and Washington D.C. got “Best Free Attractions.” Cleveland got “Most Boring.”

My favorite part of this survey:
Friendliest and Most Helpful: New York City
Least Friendly and Helpful: New York City

Ah, sweet paradox. I will forever argue that New Yorkers aren’t mean, they’re just fast. Almost everyone in New York will be happy to help you if you bottom-line your question.

Click the images below to read about the world’s dirtiest cities:

Gadling’s favorite booking engines

Running a travel website and all, you might say that we here at Gadling have broken all of the travel booking engines in and tested them to their limits. I’ve seen Orbitz, Sidestep, Mobissimo and Kayak born and grow into giants, watched as the grass roots, moccasin-wearing efforts turned into corporate, power-tie monoliths.

Throughout our years of booking, favorites have emerged. It used to be that I would go through several different search engines when I was looking for a ticket to compare multiple prices, vacillating between one and the next and the next. But now I, and most Gadlingers alike share a common engine.

The clearcut winner for Gadling’s favorite airline booking engine?


Kayak is a new breed of search engines called a metacrawler, a tool that searches multiple engines as well as private websites for the lowest published fare. But in addition to the ability to do this, Kayak has a clear, efficient engine that fluidly searches across a wide variety of parameters– all without overwhelming you with ads or useless chaff.

Keep it real, Kayak.