The Accidentally Wes Anderson Instagram account, with its million-plus followers, is a wonderland of travel photography inspired by the distinctive symmetry, colors, and quirks of films by Wes Anderson. Founded in 2017 by avid traveler Wally Koval, the account steadily grew into a community of adventurers who sent in scenes from around the world that looked straight from the sets of The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Royal Tenenbaums, and others in Anderson’s oeuvre. Now Koval is releasing a coffee-table book filled with some of the community’s most wanderlust-inspiring photos, organized by region and marked with approximate dates of origin. And Anderson himself has sanctioned it, writing in the foreword, “I now understand what it means to be accidentally myself.”
Below, a few of our favorite photos from the collection. Accidentally Wes Anderson by Wally Koval is available October 20, 2020 – you can pre-order a copy here.
Marshall Street Baths
London, England | c. 1850
Photo by Soo Burnell
In 1931, the Westminster Public Baths (aka Marshall Street Baths) were opened to the public. Great attention was devoted to the main swimming pool, which was lined with white Sicilian marble and further embellished by Swedish green marble used at either end. The baths were closed in 1997 for refurbishment. The 2010 reopening returned them to their former glory, offering swimmers a tunnel into the past.
South Yorkshire, England | c. 1989
Photo by Hayley Doyle
The Nissan Figaro is a happy little two-door convertible designed as a tribute to vintage microcars. Originally marketed solely in Japan with the slogan “Back to the Future,” the minicar’s retro design was always meant to shuttle drivers to another age. The car debuted at the 1989 Tokyo Motor show. Immediate demand so outstripped the company’s limited run of 20,000 vehicles that prospective buyers had to enter a lottery to drive one of the cars home.
El Rastro Flea Market
Madrid, Spain | c. 1740
Photo by Leah Pattem
Madrid’s open-air flea market has operated for north of 200 years in the city’s La Latina neighborhood. Open on Sundays and bank holidays, the market is home to vendors who sell everything from clothing to kitchen supplies. Shops specializing in used books, art, and even live birds line the adjacent streets.
Ascensor da Bica
Lisbon, Portugal | c. 1892
Photo by Jack Spicer Adams
Ascensor (or Elevador) da Bica climbs 800 feet up one of Lisbon’s steepest hills. A delightful, leisurely ride and a hop off at the top leads you to Miradouro de Santa Luzia, a terrace from which to marvel at the distinct rooftops of mainland Europe’s westernmost capital city.
The White Cyclone at Nagashima Spa Land
Photo by Paul Hiller
Wooden coasters are extremely rare in Japan, a country with strong regulations on tree felling; the Cyclone was constructed with enough timber to build nearly a thousand homes. When time came for renovation, it was replaced by a steel-tracked coaster named Hakugei, or the White Whale. After a 14-year run, the Cyclone made its last spin in January 2018.
Tokyo, Japan | c. 1987
Photo by AccidentallyWesAnderson
Japan has the world’s busiest rail network, with a daily ridership of 18.5 million. It is neither unreasonable nor unheard-of for people to set their watches based on the precision of their train’s arrival. Conductors, drivers, and station staff have a suite of physical gestures and vocal calls they perform, which are a crucial aspect of the trains’ efficient operation. The theatrical signals and seemingly random yelps are a Japanese industrial safety method known as pointing-and-calling, which greatly reduces workplace error.
Oceanside, California | c. 1928
Photo by Paul Fuentes
Shortly after the town layout was completed in 1883, Oceanside, California, was marketed as a seaside resort. In 1928, A. J. Clark bought a sizable strip of land, secured a permit, and built 24 beach cottages. The buildings still stand, representing an important moment in Oceanside’s nascent days.
Excerpted with permission from Little, Brown and Company.