IMG_4661.3Lisbon tile CollageIMG_4706.2.krIMG_4655-Recovered.krIMG_4667.2.krIMG_4719-Recovered.krIMG_4701IMG_4660IMG_4725-Recovered.krIMG_4737.krIMG_4733IMG_4610.krLisbon architecture CollageIMG_4629.2.krOutside Lisbon CollageIMG_4806.krIMG_4787.2.krIMG_4812-Recovered.krIMG_4786.krIMG_4767.kr“Lisbon is such a calm city. We make sure to stay here a week every year,” said the random elderly couple right next to us at the hotel breakfast. They then proceeded to gripe about America (telling us we didn’t look like your usual Americans so we’re ok) and talk about quack theories. But their comments on Lisbon stuck with me, because there’s probably no better way to describe it. Lisbon is a calm city. And all this despite being the capital of Portugal and its largest city, with plenty of history and beautiful, bright houses. It just hums with that quiet confidence of someone who knows their worth and won’t change a damn thing.

Lisbon was the starting place of the 12-day tour of Spain and Portugal that took us to Lisbon, all over Andalusia, and finished in Madrid. (Photos incoming) It was whirlwind, but we saw so much and now I have some pointers about what’s worth exploring in more detail. Lisbon – and Portugal in general – probably tops that list. We only had two days there, but I loved it! We set out to the Castelo de Sao Jorge first, to catch amazing views of Lisbon and the Tejo. Then we skipped over to get a pasteis de nata (little egg custard tarts), which I’ve only ever had in Paris at a Portuguese café (these were much better). The medievalist in me quickly honed in on the Carmo Convent, a medieval cathedral that was partially destroyed in the horrific earthquake of 1755. The Romantics left the ruins relatively untouched and now it’s a cool museum and a great photo opp.

The next day we had more of a structured tour, walking around the neighborhoods of Alfama and Baixa, ending with a visit to Belem and its famous tower. After a trip to Sintra and Cascais (photos to come later) we were back in time to stroll to the waterfront and watch the sun set over the river as some seriously talented guy made sculptures out of sand (it almost seems like a shared pastime with Spain, because in Torremolinos there were some serious sand castles with moving toy trains and painted designs).

We’ve only barely scratched the surface of this beautiful city and this beautiful country, so I can’t wait to be back! I’ve heard Porto is a great place to go in the north and then the beaches of the Algarve call. Hope you enjoy the photos!

A FEW TIPS

Hotel Mundial Lisbon

Praça Martim Moniz 2, 1100-341

The main draw is the central location as well as the rooftop bar with amazing views of both the Castelo (beautifully lit up at night) and the rest of Lisbon.

Hotel Solar Dos Mouros

R. do Milagre de Santo António 6, 1100-351

Close to the Castelo on your way down. It’s inside a hotel, but the restaurant had a separate entrance. Delicious spreads and refreshing sangria – but the views on the terrace are some of my favorites.

If you’re into it, pick up a few cork products and some tinned sardines and maybe some tiles. I couldn’t get too crazy with the home decorating, as I am renting in NY, but a girl can dream…

(Funny story, had to buy some plates for the apartment and ducked into west elm only to find their new line of reactive glaze plates made in – you guessed it – Portugal. Of course I bought some.)

Postcards from CharlestonAngel Oak artisteIMG_3431.krIMG_3465.krIMG_3469.krIMG_3530.2.krIMG_3527.krCharleston triptychIMG_3523.krIMG_3511.2.kr

Invariably, once every other issue, Conde Nast World Traveler magazine will sing the praises of Charleston, SC. After so much subliminal (or not really) messaging, I had to go and see for myself! Took a few days over spring break to thaw and visit Jake in his home state, complete with 75+ degree weather and enough sunshine to make me half a shade darker. I found this to-do list from Conde Nast fairly useful, as it pointed us in the direction of Leon’s Oyster Shop on King Street – amazing seafood and poultry, Jake swears the chicken sandwich was the best he has ever had.

Other than that, we spent the day wandering King Street, the Waterfront Park with its Pineapple Fountain (I was obsessed) and the Historic District with its colorful buildings. And I almost forgot to add the Angel Oak, reported to be 400-1500 years old (Wikipedia says one thing, the actual park, another). It was a little stopover before we reached Charleston on the way from Savannah. Such a peaceful place, with dappled sunshine and branches that just beg you to film some magical/scifi movie there. Spent the rest of the break in Savannah and other parts of South Carolina, which I will post shortly, as well as a little artistic portfolio shoot I did for my friend.

Have a great weekend!

IMG_2717.krSacre Coeur CollageIMG_2701IMG_2726.krMontmartre CollageIMG_2737.krIMG_2740.krSpending the last week of my research trip in Paris has been wonderful, bringing back all sorts of memories from two years ago! I remember when I was leaving my study abroad late in 2014 I looked over the Seine at midnight and was sad I would not return again as a student, but promised I would be back – and here I am, and luckily still a student! Montmartre is one of those places in the city that keeps drawing me in, despite the uphill hikes! First of all the Sacre Coeur is amazingly beautiful and ethereal but I like the pulsating vibe that I can only imagine feels like the old Paris of the artistic Belle Epoque. I was also here on a mission, having seen several painting two years ago that I wanted to buy. I did not find the exact ones, obviously, but fell in love with another one that I will be bringing home and framing!

As I spend most of my days at the library, I took the opportunity of the weekend to explore the city with a visiting friend. Finally knocked a few things off the bucketlist, like Fontainebleau and the Canal St. Martin and the delicious Eclairs de Genie. Hope you enjoy!

IMG_0925.2.krPretendLe Petit Cafe CollageIs it just me, or does living in NY make everyone want to quit their day jobs and open a business? I have always personally been fascinated by the hospitality industry – so watch out world, several years down the line I may buy up a ruin in Italy and make a whole destination out of it. This destination will, of course, have a restaurant or café for the patrons. So while I finish school and “find my way,” I figure I might use my time in New York to do some necessary research for my budding dream. Enter Le Petit Café. We were actually going to Buttermilk Channel, that of Beyoncé fame, but predictably the wait was over an hour (and they don’t take reservations) so down the street we went to this charming French-style café with beautiful garden seating.

At first I was worried garden seating meant frying out in the sun while waiting for your brunch fare but no, it’s more like a greenhouse with glass paneled walls and roof that lets in light but leaves your skin UVA-free. There are pillows on the benches, like in that dream vacation home somewhere warm. Tropical plants abound and fun characters waltz by with pancakes and Belgian waffles overflowing with fruit. There’s a separate menu for juices, because it’s Brooklyn, and everything on the menu is amazing, including the chicken and artichoke quiche (not too oily or soggy, as they can sometimes be).

Definitely one to put on the Brooklyn bucket list when looking for a beautiful and relaxing place to have delicious food. Although quick tip, it’s cash only which was only mildly terrifying as I never carry cash but Jake does. 🙂

Le Petit Cafe

502 Court St

Brooklyn, NY 11231

IMG_0667.krIMG_0674.krIMG_0682.2.krIMG_0676.krAs promised, my semi-frequent updates! Yesterday these beauties from M. Gemi came in the mail and I had to take them out. I’ve been biting my nails over M. Gemi for a while but I could no longer withstand their amazing craftsmanship and photography (and the packaging, I’m such a sucker for the packaging). Nabbed them on their private sale that’s still going on, so go check it out! Entire outfit not pictured, but I felt like a flapper or like a character in a Jane Austen novel, with their classical revival style (think long Grecian gowns and dainty shoes).

  1. Alice Gao’s Lingered Upon is one of my favorite blogs where she posts the most beautiful photos. With all the recent trouble in France, her recent post reminded me that the country, and especially Paris, is gorgeous and wonderful, even in this dark time. And also Alice has impeccable taste.
  2. Morocco’s been on the travel bucket list since I started taking Arabic my freshman year of college and if you happen to need a to-do list when you jet off to the North African wonderland for a few days with Cartier, Carin Olsson of Paris in Four Months has you covered. I browse her beautiful blog to inspire my dreams of when I, too, leave everything and move back to Paris and try to photograph its special light.

And I’m always looking for new blogs and photographers and books to follow/look at/read so let me know what your favorites are!

P.S: The close-ups of my shoes were taken by Jake, who’s learning to be a wonderful Instagram husband. 🙂