Program 321: Ask Rick; A Heart for Street Art; Urban Explorers

Release Date: 04-06-2013

On Air Description

On the next Travel with Rick Steves, we'll meet Moses Gates. He's an urban explorer who tells us why his favorite part of Paris is underground, and how he gets to enjoy his favorite view of the Manhattan skyline, from the top of the Brooklyn Bridge.

We'll also hear how street artist Nicolina brings color and panache to people around the world, where she proves that making art together is a great way to foster pride in your community, and yourself. 

And soon-to-be travelers ask Rick for advice on upcoming trips to Europe.

Energize your world with this week's Travel with Rick Steves. 

Notes to Stations

  • If your station plans to conduct additional fundraising during Travel with Rick Steves, beyond using the fundraising modules we provide,*  you can contact producer Tim Tattan for suggested cutaway cues during any week's edition of the show. This will give you additional fundraising time, and clean ins and outs, while retaining most of the program's content. 
    * Note that a new set of fundraiser modules and pitches from Rick is scheduled to be uploaded by April 3, 2013.
  • Program #321 begins an underwriting run for a delegation of the European Union. Underwriting messages are included just before the end of segments A and C.  If your station runs Travel with Rick Steves with a "live assist" local announcer, be sure they know to always follow the clock, not aural cues, for when the internal breaks and end of the program occur.
  • By the way, Program #321 marks the eigth anniversary of Travel with Rick Steves.


  • Nicolina Johnson, aka 'Nicolina," artist and founder of The Free Art Society and proprietor of "Paint the Town" in New York City
  • Moses Gates, New York City tour guide and author of "Hidden Cities: A Memoir of Urban Exploration" (Tarcher-Penguin)

Related Links

  • Nicolina's website includes photos from her flutuarte project painting fishing boats in Rio de Janiero, and from her Hearts of the World and Free Art Society projects.
  • Nicolina often uses the Couchsurfing website to find welcoming out-of-town accommodations.
  • Moses Gates' New York City touring and city exploration website includes blog articles with photos from Moses' bridge climbs.
  • Tarcher Books' website for Moses Gates' book "Hidden Cities" includes a video preview of some of the adventures in his book, and a link to his frequent Twitter postings in the "Press and Events" section of the site.
  • Wikipedia includes an entry for "cataphiles" about the "unofficial" parts of the catacombs of Paris, which includes several links for further information in French.


  • Wants help on where to go on her next European trip. (Kristen in Dublin, Ohio)
  • Planning a two-week trip from Cornwall to Scotland.  Gets advice from Rick on using a Brit Rail Pass and making plans to work within her time frame. (Kathy in Oxford, Ohio)
  • Senior travel friends need advice on using the Oyster Card discount pass for the London Tube. (e-mail from Mollie on Camano Island, Washington)
  • Seeks European itinerary advice for a two-month excursion when she and her husband move to London "in January next year." (Shauna in Boca Raton, Florida)

Incidental Music

  • A New Funky Generation, "Labumba '98," Café del Mar, vol. 5 (collection) / MCA
  • Donald F. Lindsay (on parlor pipes), "The Seagull Jig," The Emerald Isles (collection) / Telarc
  • Roberto DeBrasov, "Eté Indien," Les musiques du Sud (collection) / Al Sur (France)
  • * Azymuth, “Estreito de Taruma,” Telecommunication / Milestone
  • Soul ‘n’ Soda, “Mokkascience,” Nikki Beach vol. 1 (collection) / Loungism Recordings
  • Agepe, "Ela Nao Gosta de Mim," A Luaka Bop: Roots, Rock and Rhythm (collection) / Luaka Bop
  • Trio Nordestino, "Rejeição," A Luaka Bop: Roots, Rock and Rhythm (collection) / Luaka Bop
  • Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66, "Pretty World," Greatest Hits / A&M
  • * St. Germain, "Latin Note," Tourist / Blue Note
  • Warner Williams, "Step It Up and Go," Blues Routes (collection) / Smithsonian Folkways
  • St. Germain, "Rose Rouge," Tourist / Blue Note
  • Ian Pooley, "Sundowner," Berlin Lounge-Berlin by Night (collection) / Wagram (France)
  • Tony Bennett and Count Basie, "Are You Havin' Any Fun?," Cocktail Mix Vol. 3: Swingin' Singles (collection) / Rhino

Dated References

  • Caller Kristen tells Rick she's thinking of going to Europe "next summer" at 7:40, and adds at 8:06 that she'd prefer to go to Russia in July, or to Italy in May or September-October.  At 9:41, Rick adds that he likes a one-week getaway to Paris in the winter.
  • Rick reads an e-mail from Molly, starting at 13:40, which discusses "the new oyster card" pass for London's subway system.
  • Caller Shauna says, at 14:57, that she and her husband are moving to London "in January next year."  At 16:49, Rick notes you can fly "for about $100 or less" from point to point in Europe on one of its discount airlines.
  • At 18:39, Rick notes it is the eighth anniversary of the show today.
  • Nicolina says, at 21:25, that most of Rio de Janiero's "favela" neighborhoods are safer than their reputation.
  • At 24:50, Nicolina says the "Valentine's heart" seems to have lost its meaning, in explaining why she uses "anatomical" heart designs in her "Hearts of the World" painting project.
  • Nicolina tells Rick she is 30 years old at 26:16.  Rick adds that she's going to Haiti soon.

Program Extras

Pgm 321 extra - Moses Gates tells Rick why he thinks New York City should explore officially-sanctioned bridge climbs, like they do in Sydney, and how his intentions to do less "urban exploring" as he gets older don't seem to be panning out. (runs 2:09)