Welcome to What We're Reading: America Edition. In the spirit of the Fourth of July, our Web reading list is chock-full of superlatives about the U.S. this week. Find out which American city is a big fat fashion don't, feast your eyes on the weirdest foods in the U.S., and discover the best spots to get soaked in the States.
The Most Bizarre Foods in America
Bizarre foods are not just found in far-flung developing countries, as we've noted before. Andrew Zimmern, star of Bizarre Foods America, shared his picks for the nine weirdest U.S. foods with The Daily Meal. Some are slimy, some are encased in plastic, and some are ... cute and furry? Animal lovers beware: Three of Zimmern's picks—racoon, prairie rat, and prairie dog—accompany pictures of the adorable creatures pre-slaughter. Oh, the horror.
The Best Places to Cool Off in America
It's the time of year when temperatures are hitting their peak in many parts of the country. The solution? Charge into a fountain, splash into a river, or grab a rope and hurl yourself into ye olde swimming hole. The Travel Channel's list of the best places to cool off in the U.S. includes everything from water parks to city fountains. Sanitary conditions notwithstanding, this list could come in handy if your air conditioner breaks.
The Worst-Dressed City in America
Travel + Leisure just ran its annual America's Favorite Cities survey—but the poll isn't all sunshine and smiles. Travel + Leisure also invited its readers to rank the worst-dressed cities in America because, obviously, all Travel + Leisure readers are totally qualified to judge the way everyone in the nation dresses. The city that "won" the worst-dressed title in the poll: Anchorage, Alaska.
According to Dr. Miriam Jones, a paleoclimatologist, "In Alaska ... men sport beards and flannel in the most unironic way possible: to keep frostbite at bay and their appendages attached." I'm surprised that the folks at Travel + Leisure needed a paleoclimatologist to point out that it gets cold in Alaska. But in all seriousness, they should've given Anchorage a pass. Ironic or not, that flannel-topped-with-beard look has been replicated in every hipster-swarmed city in the country. Anchorage is, one could argue, about as fashion forward as they come.