When people suggest city guides for a place you’ve never visited I’m usually pretty skeptical. People are so different from each other so it’s impossible to please everyone, but I think Graphic USA: An Alternative Guide to 25 U.S. Cities does a pretty good job. Put together by editor Ziggy Hanaor, Graphic USA asks residents of 25 of the biggest cities in America to give their picks for the best places to eat, hang out, shop and see museums, amongst other things.
I can’t really speak for other cities, but I can hands down approve the section on Los Angeles. When Ziggy wrote me and asked if I’d be interested in checking out the book I had my doubts. Could a city guide really know all the cool, little spots that a person who lives in a place long enough find? Funny enough, I think this guide actually nails it. I can’t speak for other cities, but I think Tal Rosner, author of the Los Angeles section, totally nailed it. He eats where I eat, he drinks where I drink, and shops where I shop. I was honestly shocked that he was so spot on, and though not everything is perfect, I was completely surprised.
I should also mention that the design and art in the book is amazing. Each section uses a different artist to represet the city, either with design or illustration or photography. Los Angeles is a blur of Lomo photos, Milwaukee features some amazing design by Andy Brawner and lovely illustrations for Portland by Briar Levit. I would definitely recommend snagging this book if you’re looking to travel around the United States.
Editor’s Note: I just spoke to my friend Danielle Lehman, a Kansas native, who says that Kansas City is also represented well. Her favorite restaurant Oklahoma Joes, which is listed under Anthony Bourdain’s list of places you have to eat before you die, makes Graphic USA’s list of places to eat.