(Sao Paulo) — Sao Paulo is big. But when you want a break from the concrete, take a taxi to the Parque Ibirapuera, Sao Paulo’s Central Park. Walk among the walkers, with great stops at lakes and mini forests and make sure you duck into the Oscar Niemeyer designed music pavilion.
(Barcelona) — I debated and debated: “Do I really want to go all the way out there?” Boy, am I glad I did. Park Guell is a park set in the high hills on the edge of Barcelona. It’s a little bit of a hoof, but well worth it when you get there. There’s an amazing Guadi designed pavilion there, trails that loop up and down the mountain and stunning views over the whole city. Just keep going up. You will be rewarded. A great way to spend a half a day.
(Barcelona) — You’ve read about it in your school textbooks. You’ve seen pictures of it. But once you get inside, it all makes sense. Really magical. You should go hang out here, wait for when the sun is out and streaming though the windows. Don’t let the constructions cranes scare you away, they’ll be there for awhile.
(Barcelona) — If you’re going to Barcelona, you’re going to see a lot of Gaudi. After all those schoolbooks and tests, never really got him. Walking around Barcelona with my head up for a week, I do now. These are some shots of two favorite houses along Passeig de Gracia. Casa Mila and it’s rooftop where you can kill hours — make sure you go right at sunset. Just a block or two away, Casa Batlló Here’s a great article in the August 2012 Conde Nast Traveler called 5 Perfect Days in Barcelona and Girona. And another good article in the August 25, 2012 Wall Street Journal called Insider’s Guide to Barcelona.
(BARCELONA) — El Born is a cool, quiet neighborhood away from the crazy crowds. Perfect for walking around, cool shops, mellow restaurants and beautiful streets. There’s a great little square with four or five outdoor cafes, perfect to just sit and watch Barcelona go by. Go here. Here’s a good article from The Guardian. Last visited July 2015
[RAVELLO, ITALY] — A few thousand feet up the mountains over Positano and the sea is the town of Ravello. Often voted one of the prettiest villages in Italy, it shows it. They’ve done a great job at preserving this little mountaintop town. No modern stores or chains. Just a quant little piazza, with hotels and restaurants spanning out to the edges of the cliffs. The views are stunning of the distant water, the shimmer of the sun. Extremely relaxing place with just a few hotels and restaurants. A couple days is all you need unless you just want to unwind with a book by the pool and feel the breeze. Here is a great website about Ravello, including resources on hotels, cafes, etc. An
(New York) — A masterwork of modern design and urban planning, the High Line is an old railroad trestle that used to deliver railcars loaded with stuff down the west side of Manhattan towards all the manufacturing plants downtown. Long abandoned as factories moved out and people moved in, the trestle was off limits for years and grew weeds and trees unannounced until someone rediscovered it and came up with The Big Idea. Built in sections over the last several years, it runs for dozens of blocks from around the 30s to its terminus in the Meatpacking District…which is a good place to start your journey. As it was undergoing renovation, dozens of businesses, hotels and condos were built along its stretch. Now it’s their
(Paris) — It’s a river, so nothing ever gets old. The scenery floats by. And the light changes by the hour. Instead of taking a nap, start around dusk, when the grey Paris skies turn pink and the lights come up. Get down on the water, it’s almost your very own Paris.
Here’s a great great blog I subscribe to called HiP Paris blog. And there’s a great post on The Best Places To People Watch in Paris. Check it out.
(Paris) — One of Paris’ booming neighborhoods is the Canal Saint-Martin. You can’t miss it on the map, it’s the big gash right over there on the right. Go for a mid-day stroll, up and down the foot bridges. I was there in November, but I hear it’s jammed with sunbathers and walkers during the summer. Stop for lunch at the Hotel du Nord, extra cool little boutique hotel and restaurant. Some great small shops and cafes. Or pack a lunch, sit and watch the scruffy world go. Here’s a great article in Conde Nast Traveler. Last visited: November 2011
(Paris) — You can go in the day and watch all the walkers, kids and dogs. But I like to sneak into the Jardin des Tuileries at night and walk wide-eyed and watch the silhouettes that change every 50 meters and bring statues to life. Hardly anybody else around but some runners and the occasional dog that scares the heck out of you when he comes up to you out of nowhere.
(New York) — Probably wouldn’t have moved to New York if I hadn’t discovered this magical gem. I never could live in Midtown with all the tall buildings and concrete. Here it’s small buildings, tree-lined streets. I pop out of the subway and look down my street at sunset and see the glistening waters of the Hudson. All is good. It feels like a true village, uhhhh hence the name.Everyone here seems so different from the rest of the city; nice as can be. Mellow. No pretensions. No attitude. The asshole quotient goes up the further (or is it farther??) north you go in the city above 14th Street. But it’s nice to be in a city of 8 million people and when you go about your rounds on the weekend, everyone welcomes
[London) — A perfect cloudy afternoon thing to do in London is to go walk among the stalls of Borough Market. Tucked under a viaduct and carved out of various nooks and crannies, the Borough is just a great place to while away a morning, then head out to see other sites around central London. Go early and beat most of the crowds. And make sure you check out Monmouth Coffee, some of the best coffee I’ve had. The lines are long (for a reason) but their system moves you fast. Grab a cup, have a walk ’round.
(London) — A picture says a thousand words. Here are several pictures. If you love wine, go here. Vinopolis An incredibly well-designed Ode To Wine, tucked into the barrel vaults of a bridge, or whatever it is, in Bankside.…
(Trancoso, Brazil) — Bahia is where it’s at. Miles and miles of the most amazing beaches you’ve ever seen. Not clogged with people, just pristine sand, amazingly green water and lots and lots of perfect strolling. Trancoso is in the center of it all. You should go here. I’m not the only one. Check out these great articles from Conde Nast Traveler (which ranked it in the 15 Best Places to See Now, Vogue and Travel & Leisure for details.
(Trancoso, Brazil) — I’d read about Trancoso for some time, it just kept popping up in the right places. But when I was in a small Uruguayan hotel and met a photographer from Wallpaper and he said it was one of the coolest places he’d been, I knew I had to go. So I did. The peak season around Xmas is nuts all over Brazil, so if you’re thinking of going, book early. When I was there in early March, it was quite empty, but still incredible. A once-isolated fishing village in Bahia, it was “rediscovered” by hippies in the 70s and has grown over the years into a world-class destination. You read about it everywhere now and it continues to change and evolve, with