With summer months comes traveling. After so many trips, and so much new technology (thanks, iPhone), you'd think that finding your way around a huge, unfamiliar city should get easier. It never does.
Sometimes I think those map apps and navigation software actually confound the process. Happy travelers don't stare blankly at tiny screens all the time. And they most certainly don't need to ask for directions, especially in a foreign tongue (although I do remember that time lost in the labyrinth that is Venice... but that's a tale for another time. We could have starved, you know). The solution to many of these problems is simple: a good old fashioned paper map. They work well. The one big limitation is that they're a bit fragile, what with the intricate folding that's ruined immediately, the tearable paper quality, and the likelihood of unreadable crumplage.
So check out this map. It's already ruined! Crumpled and smushed, it lives in a bag you can stash anywhere. No folding necessary. Just remove and pull taut for instant access to important navigational information. These maps, alas, are only available for New York, Berlin, Paris, London, and Rome, but they'd make perfect gifts for intrepid travelers venturing to the Continent. Made of a special coated paper, they should wear well through the occasional high wind or dribbles of espresso.
At $18 a pop, they make a perfect Bon Voyage gift. Find them at A+R.