When I received an opportunity to return to Berlin Germany
after so many years, my first reaction and interest was to compare and contrast the Berlin of the early 90’s to the Berlin of today, a city which has undergone so many dramatic transformations, I was bound not to recognize her.
As I dug deeper into the trip and learned that Berlin was nine times the size of Paris, I found myself wondering whether that was the case 20 or so years ago. I also learned that Berlin consisted of 12 boroughs which are divided up into a total of 96 districts but that unofficially, Berliners don’t really live in a borough or district, but in their ‘Kiez’
, which in layman’s terms, is simply a “neighborhood.”
And so in early May, I found myself air bound on a flight to Air Berlin to explore Berlin’s neighborhoods as they worked, played, danced and sang through a 2015 lens.
Not unlike other European cities, Berliners have a local pub, but unlike most places in the world, they serve some of the best beer you’ll ever taste. Locals also take great pride in their ‘Späti’ off-license which stays open well into the night,…
I’ll be living in Hong Kong for four months! I arrived in mid-may but about two days later, I was on a flight to the Philippines so it wasn’t until returning from that trip that I actually began exploring my new home.
What did I discover? Well, besides feeling a bit nostalgic for both New York and London, I realized how much there is to do in this crazy amazing city. Yet, I also found myself doing many peoples’ “bucket list” activities in the first week. Thus, here is my quick guide to touring Hong Kong like a boss.
Attend a “Junk”
A junk is a 10am-6ish boozy boat ride with great views. Boats take off from various starting points and once you’re on board, you have the whole afternoon and part of the evening to do as you please: eat, drink, swim and tan. Our boat was two levels and after about an hour of sailing, we docked for a few hours. The staff provides the alcohol and prepares lunch (albeit, this is part of the service) and it’s pretty much as relaxing as you might hope. If you do score a spot on the boat, make sure to…
“In Camden Town, I’ll meet you down by the Underground” – Suggs
Canals of London in and around Camden, a burb in northern London where hipsters and music buffs hang their hats.
James and the famous “Millwall Neil” walking through Camden Town, London, England
When I lived in London many years ago, I used to love exploring different nooks and crannies of the English capital city. After a bit of a breakdown while staying in Bournemouth, I was reunited with my friends James and the famous “Millwall Neil” yet again in May 2015 so we decided on a day out with a difference. After a bus from Bournemouth to London, I met Neil at Chalk Farm and we planned a day out with a difference – Primrose Hill Market, Camden Town, the Canals of London, Cycling from Bank to Chalk Farm and a visit to St. Martin’s College!
1. Primrose Hill Festival
First up we headed for some street food at the Primrose Hill Festival which was really lively with food markets, kiddies amusements and…
Last Friday morning as I made my way to San Francisco’s City Hall to participate in a half day briefing to global ambassadors, digital leaders (am proud to be selected as one of the top 70 by the UN). politicians and entrepreneurs, I received a few texts about the SCOTUS Ruling
that finally made same sex legal in the United States, albeit behind other countries such as Ireland as an example. The ruling was won in a 5-4 decision in Obergefell v. Hodges
– the Supreme Court took a huge step forward and made millions around the country (and world)
ecstatic with as President Obama put it a “more perfect union.”
Later that same day, I would see monuments lit up around the world on the Internet in celebration of the long awaited decision. The White House on Friday night was coated with rainbow-colored lights to celebrate the Supreme Court while simultaneously San Francisco’s Castro was dancing in the streets over the legalized Same-Sex Marriage that frankly I didn’t think would happen in my lifetime.
The White House, photo from Newsweek
Niagara Falls, photo from www.inquisitr.com.
In late May, I went from a town filled with scooters, to a town filled with the fastest cars in the world, and finally landed in a town filled with taxi’s. It was a motion-filled, fun week traveling from Spain, to Indianapolis an d then back to New York City.
I sadly left Spain after a month of soaking up the wine, food, and gin of Catalonia, and fittingly I flew back to the US with a wicked hangover. I went to Indy to check off a bucket list item – to see the Indy 500 in person – but I quickly learned that Indianapolis is much more than fast cars! The food, art, and beautifully designed parks/trails were stunning. It has been 15 years since I lived in the midwest and clearly Midwestern towns like Indy have upped their game a LOT since I lived there! Tons of fast cars and cute drivers – below, a visual walk of the race and of cultural fines in Indianapolis.
What better city to begin a wine bar series in than the capital of the world’s greatest winemaking country? For sure, France’s finest wines are produced in its eastern and southern regions (hello, Burgundy, Bordeaux and the Côtes du Rhône), but wine culture is truly an integral part of Parisian life. Above photo courtesy of Dana Ward via Shutterstock.
In even the most unassuming of the city’s corners, you have only to walk for a minute or two to find a quaint little marchand de vin brimming with local wines. If you’re lucky enough to find yourself at a French dinner party, you can be sure you’ll be trying some of the best wine you’ve had in a long time. And as the weather warms up, it is a Parisian rite of passage for friends to picnic with wine, bread and cheese on the newly-accessible lawns of the city’s parks (yes, it is illegal to step on them the rest of the year).
But perhaps the finest element of Parisian wine culture is its array of splendid wine bars. From the sleek and sophisticated O Chateau to the iconic Le Fumoir…
Welcome to Tunisia, in all honesty, I see it as a dirty, over-rated and disorganised nation, so much so that our friends there and couchsurfing hosts also admit it, and dream of escaping their native land to earn money abroad. After enjoying the wonders of Monastir, the chaos of Tunis, the history of Carthage, the inland appeal of Kairouan and the touristic Sidi Bou Said, we headed on a train on the east coast, south to the town of Mahdia.
To visit Mahdia, you can easily do it as a day trip! To get to Mahdia from Teboulba (or Monastir/Sousse) I recommend taking the train and handily Mahdia is the last stop on the line.
Once you arrive at the train station in Mahdia, everything is walkable. Mahdia is actually on a peninsula with juts out into the Mediterannean Sea. Although you are in Africa, you could just as easily mistake it for Greece, Italy or Montenegro. Work your way through this easy seven sights then get on the next train or bus out.
Mosque of Mustapha Hamza:
Mosques become a way of life when you backpack through Islamic…
There may only be one hotel on Molokai, however that’s not how it always was. Nestled among tall palm trees and an expansive empty beach is the home of another hotel, one that has seen better days. Above, The haunting Kalaukoi Resort. No beautifully manicured lawns here.
The story of the Kaluakoi Resort is a torrid one. It was built as the Sheraton Molokai Hotel in 1975. However after about 10 years, it started to be the potato in a game of hot potato; it went through a number of owners over the coarse of the next 30 years. All never really able to complete the project and open the doors due to financial woes, water woes, and public opposition.
Some of the development is still alive today and was sold and up-kept as private villas. However, these dilapidated hotel property standing next to the beautifully manicured lawns and properties of the private villas makes the abandoned buildings seem even more eerie.
It’s been hinted that it would be re-opened a number of times through the years, but it still sits empty and deteriorating today. However for me, it’s a photographer’s dream –…
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