Ready for readers
Travelers heading to the Big Apple should check out the New York Public Library, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. After a 16-month renovation costing $15 million, the library's Main Reading Room reopened in November with the Beaux-Arts style envisioned by architects John Merven Carrere and Thomas Hastings.
Known for its free access to vast collections of books, the Reading Room is now adorned with carved woodwork, freshly painted ceiling murals and restored originals of the signature Carrere and Hastings chairs. Its first major renovation since opening in 1911 includes updated technology such as computer workstations, laptop outlets and technical assistants.
The revamped Reading Room is part of a long-term renovation of the New York Public Library. Plans also include a new center for scholars and writers and a building for technology training. The renovations will continue over the next two to three years. For information, visit the Library's Web site at www.nypl.org.
Big deal for anglers
America's 35 million anglers have landed a museum dedicated to their passion. The $32 million International Game Fish Association World Fishing Center opened last month in Dania Beach, near Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
Inside a gleaming, geometric building, you'll find a theater; a World Fishing Hall of Fame, where mounts of world-record catches float overhead; a Tackle Gallery with antique and contemporary reels, rods, lures and flies; simulators that let you struggle to land a "marlin" and get tips from experts; a history room; and a kids' game room.
Outside, there's a wetlands walk and a marina with a 1933 sister ship to Ernest Hemingway's Pilar, among other fishing craft. What you won't find is living fish; there's no aquarium.
The museum is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. other days. Admission is $9 for adults, $5 for children 12 and under, $7 for seniors and students, free for children under 2. Information: 954-922-4212.
Help for hungry travelers
Travelers with fussy stomachs can rest easy, thanks to Hahn's menu translators. "Menus of the World," credit-card-sized foldout pamphlets, provide translations of foreign dishes on one side and information about individual countries on the other. The translators are divided into sections including salads, soups, meat, poultry and desserts and are currently available for Germany, Austria, France, Italy, the Czech Republic, Netherlands, Spain and Venezuela. Send $4 for each guide to Menus of the World, 7890 S. Tropical Trail, Merritt Island, Fla. 32952.
For information, write to the above address or check out the "Menus of the World" Web site at www.travelersmenureader.com.
The latest edition of "The Guide to Black Chicago" is now available for $4.95 at stores throughout the Windy City. For more information, call the Guide Group at 888-840-2345, or visit http://www.theblackguide.com.