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 featured collection: Mapping Special Places: $2,000 Prize Winners!

  • St Pauli Curtain Pub Crawl by Stephanie Hofmann

    London, GB

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    This place is special to me because I used to live in Hamburg as an art student and St Pauli is the area where we used to hang out (and still do when I visit). I am particularly fond of the so called curtain pubs (Gardinenkneipen). Their windows are usually obscured by nicotine stained doilies, hence their name, they are ruled by grumpy chain smoking barmaids (but with a heart of gold) and frequented by a mix of colorful characters from the local red light millieu who drunkenly play melancholic music on the jukebox whilst telling the barmaid their woes, or might have a little dance to the Macarena. The map shows my favorites curtain pubs, and a couple of places to have a cheap (but good) snack inbetween to soak up all the Astra and Korn. Top insider tips are: Discreetly (=make sure the grumpy barmaid doesn’t notice) ring the landline of the Nordlicht whilst sitting at its' bar and make sure you don’t tipsily ring any bells mounted over bartops, as this means you are volunteering to buy everyone in the establishment a drink! When you find yourself sitting at the bar of the Lehmitz, the bar that NEVER closes, at 10am trying to solve the mystery of when and how on earth they clean the place, it’s probably time to go home….

  • Naoshima: Japan's Art Island by Vivian Yiwing

    Vancouver, BC, CA

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    This place is special to me because it was one of the most interesting places I visited during my 2017 solo trip in Japan. Naoshima definitely lives up to its name "Japan's Art Island" - where contemporary art meets architecture meets nature. The two GIANT pumpkin sculptures by one of the most acclaimed Japanese artists, Yayoi Kusama, were massive and became the symbol of the island. James Turrell’s work at Chichu museum and Minamidera blew. my. mind. The garden that built just like Monet's paintings was so beautiful. It felt like I stepped into his artwork! I also loved the beauty of simplicity and the creative use of natural light in Tadao Ando’s architecture. And of course - the delicious food and friendly people there. Spend a day on Naoshima next time you are in Japan. You won’t regret it!

  • Húsavík, the Whale Capital of Iceland by Rena Ortega

    Barcelona, ES

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    This place is special to me because it has opened me the doors to the world of whales and has given me inspiration, good friends, illustration projects, work, contacts, relax, adventures and even an art exhibition at the Húsavík Whale Museum! Every time I’m there, I feel like being home and there is always something good to do! Go see the whales, relax at the sea baths looking at the bay, get inspired by the mountains, a coffee or a tasty lobster soup, explore the town museums, walk around the harbor or near the river, or just breathe and feel that you exist! This is my heart’s home, a place where I’ve always belonged to.

  • The Paris of Marie Antoinette by Rachel Schmiedel

    DE, US

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    This place is special to me because of it's rich cultural heritage and history. My map is inspired by Fraser's book Marie Antoinette: The Journey. These sites mark the dawn of the French Revolution, as well as the fall of the monarchy. Though some sites are marked by a statue and others repurposed, the architecture stands almost untouched by time. I love to imagine what everyday life was like for Marie and Louis, the nobles, and the commoners before those tumultuous times began. It's nice that tourists are welcome to mull over the history of the ancient city, and that we can drink the same tea and eat the same chocolates and pastries which delighted Marie Antoinette!