Archive for November, 2011
Miami is like a drug. Addictive, seductive, and all-consuming; being there is like falling down the proverbial rabbit hole, and it becomes almost impossible not to be sucked in, moving in time to Miami’s internal heartbeat, at least for a minute. I went to Miami an opinionated idealist with a strong head on my shoulders and definite ideas about the world and the people in it. When I came up for air three days later, I had held a gun and was considering trying a shooting range – “just for kicks” – I was questioning the knee-jerk nature of some of my left-wing political views, I was starting to believe in the hedonistic incarnation of capitalism and the ‘pull yourself up from the bootstraps’ explanation of disadvantage (in which the well-off tend to indulge), and was driving like a maniac, tailgating people down Ocean Drive with house music pumping from my slightly underwhelming pale-blue Hyundai Accent rental car. All I knew of Miami previously was Tony Montana’s infamous outburst in Scarface, as he goes nuts with his ‘little friend’ (and it was starting to seem not all that far off…):
Now, I am almost back to normal, after coming down…
Ido Aharoni of New York’s Israel Consulate (aka @israelconsulate) spoke on the BrandsConf stage
in late October about a project they did to “humanize” Israel.
They conducted something they refer to as the “House Party” study where they had survey participants create images of what they saw in the “house” of various countries around the world, including Israel.
For example, in the Brazil house, there were images of parties and dancing, in France, symbols which represented romance, Las Vegas, images which represented sin. In the Israel house, there were no images of women and children, but of guns and military.
People were not describing normal every day life in Israel, a clear indication that they had a global perception issue, one which could be rectified with clear communication and engagement to educate people on what Israel was as a “destination brand.”
He asked us, if Tel Aviv were a person, would it be a male or female, skinny or fat, fun or serious? “It’s important first to learn how your customers perceive you, what they see as your strengths, your weaknesses and your core values,” says Aharoni.
Every place has a personality and a…
Over the past few years, I’ve noticed a new breed of tourist pop up in various urban epicenters. Aside from those ‘regular’ tourists of sightseeing and pit-stops and happy snaps, there exists a parallel brand of tourist – preferring to think of themselves instead as ‘travellers’ inspired by the likes of Kerouac and the beat generation – who, instead of experiencing new cultures and ogling wondrous sights, seek out reincarnations of their own hipster subculture in successive cities around the world. These are what I like to call ‘Hipster Tourists’ and you can find them in East London, in Williamsburg and the East Village in New York, in Buenos Aires in Argentina, in Kreuzburg and Neuköln in Berlin, and so on and so forth.
Hipsters in Buenos Aires
Hipsters in Williamsburg, Brooklyn Flea Market
What is interesting about being a Hipster Tourist is that it is not a permanent badge of identity; not often will you find one who exclusively seeks out hip and trendy cafés, underground squat bars, pop-up shows and shops, and the like, but instead this…
Southeast Asia is so much more than an oasis of Chinese culture. Its unique landscapes and hidden islands are waiting to be discovered by mainstream tourism, and until that happens, it will be sure to please any travel-lusting wanderer. The isolation of its beauty is perhaps what sets it apart from every place else in the world.
I originally wrote about these 5 undiscovered places in Southeast Asia as a guest post for GotSaga.
5. Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
There is nothing like a rejuvenating getaway amid turquoise waters and white sands. Add to that snorkeling in an underwater world of sharks, smoking shisha on the beach under the stars, riding a speedboat on low tide under the moonlight, and an upbeat atmosphere created by half a dozen small cafes serving up the most delicious milkshakes.
4. Taal Volcano, Philippines
- Flickr image by papaija2008
Welcome to a volcano within a lake within a volcano within another lake! Hidden somewhere among the clouds, Taal Volcano is the world’s smallest active volcano, located on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. Tagytay City affords you breathtaking views of this natural wonder, while…
Some weeks have passed since the monumental announcement of the new competition that now extends south into the Americas, as Argentina provide an answer to any obsessive even numbered people.
There is also the extended “Super” competition to begin 2012 before we will consume some prime Argentinian beef, which means we are about to get rugby stuffed, post-Christmas!
Yes, more rugby to crack the whip on the playing stocks, but this is one addition that makes sense and should be celebrated – time to Salsa? While there is many details to uncover, the first of many has been provided with a new name for this 3 plus 1, southern hemisphere rugby ritual.
Framed. Centred. Says Something. Does It Communicate Anything?
The Rugby Championship. Really? Is it possible to get any more generically non-descript about the exact context of this event, save that we get the idea rugby is involved?! This is not to say that it therefore must stink. But, it is to say that it reads and feels like a sporting event waiting for a home, or the punchline to ascend the throne.
Originally, I intended to offer some reasoned thoughts stating something like the following:
Street vendors in front of the playa
We made Trujillo, then Huanchaco our fist long term stop in Peru. First we stayed in Trujillo as the guest of a Couch Surfing host, then we moved to the neighboring beach community of Huanchaco. It was not peak season, nor was it particularly warm, we loved the relaxed atmosphere and the quaint feeling of this tourist beach city.
The main beach with the famous banana reed boats
We loved the famous banana boats that the locals use for fishing, the beach and some surfing. In Huanchaco, there many accommodation options from upscale beach front hotels to backpacker hostels. But since we preferred to stay there a couple of months, we looked for a an apartment to rent and, we found a reasonably priced furnished apartment one to rent.
Huanchaco felt calm to us, after our first week in Peru in Mancora. Huanchaco is famous for their beautiful coast line, wonderful waves for surfing, abundant fishing and the historic banana boats crafted in this part of Peru. These boats are made out of reeds and are still used today…
Using only the title of this post, I will give you (but one
) guess as to what this is. Cigar! It’s the first building ever constructed on Goree Island.
Goree was a pretty hot commodity of an island back in the day. The Portuguese first inhabited it back in the 1400s and built this little structure as a church. As the sign says, it’s now the police post for the island.
Goree changed hands from the Portuguese to the Dutch to the British to the French, back and forth between those two a few times, then back to the French, then finally to Senegal after the country gained its independence in 1960.
Goree was the main hub of activity for Senegal for quite some time; Dakar didn’t really come into play until the 1900s.
Because I love you, here’s an extra daily photo of another neat Goree structure:
This is the former governor’s mansion, constructed in the mid-1800s. Can you imagine how MTV Cribs-worthy this place must have been back in its day?
As I said, Goree was the hub of Senegal in the 19th century, hence why this was constructed on the island…
Jonathan Bloom, author of American Wasteland,
wants everyone to know that wasted food is a growing problem in the United States that impacts both food security and the environment. But he doesn’t want to beat people over the head with his appeal for people to stop wasting food.
His blog, Wasted Food, covers everything related to food waste- from the role that consumers and restaurants play – to productive ways that people can use every part of a vegetable. He even asks his readers what their favorite food waste related songs are, his is the Black Lips’ Dumpster Dive. “In my blog I try not to be too heavy handed,” he explained in a recent interview. “I want to communicate to people that everyone has a role in reducing food waste so that I can spread the word and so that people who read the blog start changing their behavior, and hopefully their efforts start rubbing off on other people.”
Mr. Bloom began researching food waste in 2005 after doing volunteer work at the D.C. Central Kitchen, an experience that awakened him to the impact of food waste. “On a fundamental…
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