Temporary Travel Office


Monday, July 29, 2013


Becoming Movable: A Motif-Rhythm Tour of Property

Becoming Movable

Becoming Movable is a virtual tour of that artifact, focusing on its how its existence tells a story about the creation of property and the uneven development of cities.
It was commissioned by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in 2013 as part of their "Artists Respond" series, in which artists create digital projects in response to an exhibit or object in the museum's collection. The Travel Office chose to focus on a fireplace mantel that originated in a historic home in a Chicago west side neighborhood--East Garfield Park.

posted by ryan griffis  # 11:45 AM 0 comments

Tuesday, March 26, 2013


Embassy to the Riparian City of the Doan Brook Watershed Update

Riparian City flag along Doan Brook

Our Temporary Embassy to the Riparian City of the Doan Brook Watershed is now residing at the Salon des Refusés at 1387 East Boulevard, Cleveland, thanks to the wonderful Julie Patton! Read a fantastic history and description of the Salon by Julie at the About Place Journal.
We're honored that the embassy continues to have a home, especially there.

posted by ryan griffis  # 7:06 PM 1 comments

Wednesday, March 20, 2013


Stories in Reserve: Volume One Now only $10

We still have copies of Stories in Reserve Volume One that we'd like to get out into the world, so if you'd like our first hardcopy guide book, you can now get it for only $10! You can buy directly from us (via Paypal) or through our friends at Half Letter Press.

Stories in Reserve is our answer to the Lonely Planet series of guide books. Volume One is a full-color, 36 page book + 3 audio CDs featuring three audio tours of the territory known as North America.
Tours include:
Ricardo Miranda Zúñiga guides us into Tijuana and finds one example of transnational commerce in a rather unexpected place—a dentist's chair.
Sarah Kanouse takes us to a Superfund- classified National Wildlife Refuge in Southern Illinois.
Ryan Griffis, Lize Mogel & Sarah Ross walk us around Vancouver's False Creek, the site of two global mega-events.

posted by ryan griffis  # 1:20 PM 0 comments

Wednesday, January 2, 2013


Storing utopia is getting expensive in Hong Kong

This story from the LA Times presents a stark depiction of the relationship between speculative real estate, parking and inequality.
‎Parking space transactions in November rose more than five-fold compared with a year earlier at 1,640, according to Centaline, one of the largest real estate firms in Hong Kong. The average price of each space sold was $92,307, up 20% from a year earlier... The lofty prices paid for parking berths are unthinkable for working-class Hong Kong residents — many of whom are finding their city painfully unaffordable. The city's wealth gap is now at a 30-year high... 'People go crazy living in such a small place,' said Lee, a 26-year-old bakery employee, who pays $192 a month for the room — which is about half the size of a typical parking space.

posted by ryan griffis  # 2:54 PM 0 comments

Thursday, May 31, 2012


Article in the Atlantic Cities

The Temporary Travel Office's Ryan Griffis was interviewed for a piece on critical tourism on the Atlantic Cities. The article also includes our favorite critical tour guide, Chicago's Paul Durica of Pocket Guide to Hell Tours.
Thanks to Emily Badger, a great writer for the Atlantic Cities, who has covered other things like the geography of prisons, the impact of smartphones on public space, and how sparrows have adapted to the noisy environments of cities.

posted by ryan griffis  # 10:34 AM 0 comments

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


Parking Not-So-Public

One of our series of guided tours of surface parking lots focuses on the Wrigleyville neighborhood of Chicago. It's home to the cubs, out-of-control drunk people, and some pretty interesting parking lore (the local towing company angered Steve Goodman enough that he wrote a song about them). Part of our tour focused on the notorious 2008 Chicago Meter Parking Deal, where the city of Chicago leased all of its street parking operations to a private consortium (Chicago Parking Meters, LLC).
"The Deal" was riddled with questionable ethics, covered fantastically by the Expired Meter Blog and the Chicago Reader—Mayor Daley now works for the New York law firm that negotiated the deal between the parking consortium (led by Morgan Stanley). It has recently come back into the news following bills that the parking meter consortium has sent to the city, totaling $27 million. According to the Sun Times:

The $14 million bill stems from parking revenues the meter company says it lost when the city took meters out of service last year because of street repairs, festivals and other city-sponsored activities, according to documents obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times.
This is the second time in a year that the company has hit City Hall with a claim for a big parking tab. The Emanuel administration already is in arbitration over a $13.5 million claim over free parking that Chicago Parking Meters says it provided to people displaying disabled-parking placards or license plates in 2010.
That makes the total disputed amount more than $27 million.
This situation is enough to make someone build a giant Jabba the Hut sculpture out of parking machine receipts.

posted by ryan griffis  # 10:26 AM 0 comments

Sunday, May 13, 2012


Critical Summer Adventures

Flag of the Riparian City

We just opened our Temporary Embassy to the Riparian City of the Doan Brook Watershed at the Cleveland Convention and Visitors Bureau at Spaces. If you're in the Cleveland area, stop by Spaces and get your passport stamped, and check out the other fascinating ways to experience Cleveland provided by the Cleveland Urban Design Collective, The Think Tank That Has Yet To Be Named, Alison Pebworth, and Cleveland SGS (along with some other fabulous resources provided by the Spaces staff).

View of the Temporary Embassy

We also have lots of copies of the first guide book in our series Stories in Reserve! If you want to tour North America this summer, forget Disney World, the Grand Canyon and New York City! Wouldn't you rather see dentist offices in Tijuana, a military munitions manufacturing site-turned wilderness preserve in Southern Illinois, and a post-mega-event False Creek in Vancouver???

Stories in Reserve: Volume One

posted by ryan griffis  # 3:43 PM 0 comments


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