The creators of the fact-packed The 50 States (2015) give as many of the United States’ bustling burgs similarly upbeat, panoramic overviews.
Printed on simplified street maps that provide loose geographical anchors, each of the alphabetically arranged surveys fills an oversize spread with graphic vignettes and descriptive notes about select neighborhoods, institutions, sports, and sights, plus a carefully diverse cast of prominent natives, local cuisine, historical highlights, and major festivals. Each features a box of “Key Facts” (all nonstatistical except for population) and an infeasible but tantalizing itinerary for a day’s tour. The information is current enough to include mention of Hamilton on Broadway and audience-conscious enough to cite hometown superheroes where appropriate, along with site-specific books for young readers. It’s all compiled with a sure instinct for sparking urges to visit or at least to find out more. Who, for instance, would want to pass up the International Cryptozoology Museum in Portland, Maine, Flaming Lips Alley in Oklahoma City, or the chance to drive a bulldozer at Las Vegas’ Dig This? Washington, D.C., caps the main tour, but lest any state go unrepresented Des Moines and seven other cities that didn’t make the cut get their “Key Facts” laid out at the end.
As selective as the companion outing but a trove of data nonetheless for tourists of both the active and armchair sorts. (index) (Atlas. 8-12)