Top Picks This Week

Trip Planning: New Mexico Roadtrip

Though we booked our airline tickets months ago, I’m later than usual getting our plans together for spring break. We’re flying into El Paso, Texas, at the end of March, and renting a car to drive into and throughout New Mexico for a week, before dropping it off again and flying out of Albuquerque.

I have a pretty good idea of the places I’m most eager to visit—images of the gypsum dunes of White Sands National Monument (like the one above) have captured my imagination for ages, so that was a must, and the cause for starting our trip so far south. I’d also love to include the bizarrely beautiful rock formations of Tent Rocks, the intricate caves in Carlsbad, and the cliff dwellings of Bandelier National Monument. That said, I’m sure we could easily pass an entire week just eating and enjoying Santa Fe—it will be our first time—so I may be trying to fit in too much.

One challenge to our planning: I had been excited to drive up the high road to Taos, to visit Taos Pueblo, but it will be closed to visitors all of March as part of their winter closure. So we’ve decided to take Taos off of our itinerary. Silly Californians, we forgot how cold it will still be in March in many parts of the state, and have been surprised by how many activities (water sports, trail rides, etcetera), aren’t available during this time of year. But alas, there’s more than enough to see already!

Here’s a rough sketch of my plans…

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KidLit: Celebrating Diversity and Social Justice on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

Alli Brydon, a children’s book editor and writer based in the New York City—and a friend from the time we both worked at the same publishing house there—has generously agreed to be a guest contributor and help us expand our childrens’-book libraries. I hope you will enjoy her company as much as I do. 

Today is Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and what better way to begin to learn about the struggles and shining achievements of African Americans than through children’s books. There is a huge push for diversity in children’s literature right now, through much-needed movements like #WeNeedDiverseBooks and #pocinpub (please check them out!)—but this is only very recent. Reading books about Martin Luther King, Jr. with my kids reminds me of how far we still need to go.

With many of us looking for more diversity and social justice for our kids’ book collections, these amazing titles will set you off on the right path. I hope you’ll seek out these books and make them perennials in your libraries…

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Sidewalk Cafes (& Friday Links)

I was filling out a survey about our downtown earlier this week, and it struck me that my very favorite favorite spaces all have one thing in common: sidewalk seating. It’s one of the things I miss most about New York (and would miss even there, sometimes, during the winter). It made me curious, what do you like best about your city’s downtown?

An essay on downtowns for people, and more things I’ve been taking note of recently, follow below.

Have a good weekend!

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