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Emma Chow

Find My Friends With A Twist

Twist

We’ve talked about apps that can help build community or let you remotely explore foreign places with impromptu tour guides. Here’s an application with a more utilitarian function that you may find useful on a daily basis — Twist, an app that combines GPS, Google directions, real-time traffic conditions and a handy notification function. It’s similar to the popular app Find My Friends, which lets you track the GPS location of fellow users. But, Twist gives context to that random smattering of GPS dots with en route information. You can select who gets notified and with what: time of departure, GPS location, expected time of arrival (ETA), etc.

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  • Designers Turn Abandoned Walmart Into America’s Largest Library

    McAllen Public Library

    Walmarts, the granddaddy of big box stores, are ubiquitous in America. Their lumbering structures and parking lots cover vast areas – a single store is the size of 2.5 football fields. Often cited as a major reason for sprawl in North America, Walmarts have been further criticised for their habit of abandoning stores for various reasons from upgrading to poor business. These soulless shells often sit idle for long periods, taking up space and infrastructure, contributing to nothing but blight. When the city of McAllen, Texas inherited one such store, it decided to give it a better use. Designers Meyer, Scherer & Rockcastle completely overhauled the interior to create a bright and playful space for books and people to intermingle. At 124,500 sqft, this McAllen Public Library is the largest single-floor public library in the US.

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  • Restaurant Sprouts From Giant Tree

    Banyan Tree House Café

    Putting a building in a tree seems to be an almost surefire way of producing that elusive cool factor. We’ve seen trees support actual houses, an entire resort, and even a concept for future city living. Yet, none of these compare to the shocking appearance of the Naha Harbor Diner in Okinawa, Japan. The restaurant is nestled atop a 20-ft concrete replica of a gajumaru tree, also known as a banyan. The replica is actually life-size as gajumarus really grow to mammoth proportions.

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