NEW YORK – The recent release of 870,000 images to the public  at the New York City Department of Records has caused excitement for history and photography buffs around the world. The digitization project includes routine street-scape photos taken by the city for tax purposes, as well as other pictures.MORE HERE

CHICAGO – An American-born graphic designer is working on a project to explore Cuban brands. It’s a visual exploration of Cuba through the lens of branding, and the designer, Emily Lozano, hopes to document the Cuban brands in order to tell about daily life. Writes Lozano: As an American-born CubanMORE HERE

DETROIT – It’s a shame it takes an Italian company and an old rap star to see the value in Detroit. But that’s what is mightily apparent with new Chrysler 200 advertisements, which feature Eminem and the tagline “Imported From Detroit.” The commercial has had 4.8 million view on YouTubeMORE HERE

The carnage in Detroit (and so many other U.S. cities), where hundreds of gorgeous industrial buildings are either wasted by neglect or outright demolition, need not always happen. Since the 1970s, hundreds of historic industrial buildings have found new uses as offices, apartments and shopping centers. One use that isMORE HERE

Kathryn Stockett’s 2009 novel The Help has been a sensation of a bestseller. It broke through one major literary taboo, namely a white author writing in dialect. Somewhere after 1960, dialect, except by African-Americans, became pretty much off limits, except in special circumstances. But that’s a separate literary discussion. OneMORE HERE

Take a break and enjoy America’s industrial legacy. And to all those companies that have shut down their factory tours because of some straw men like insurance or liability, shame on you. The reality? People love companies that open their doors to the public, but they HATE companies that doMORE HERE

LONDON – We hear from an email blast from Tony Puxley, manager of jazz singer Salena Jones, who writes that “what is probably the most intimate music room in London is closing its doors after some 30 years.” It’s Pizza on the Park in Knightsbridge. Pizza on the Park place isMORE HERE