Yes, it’s the home of Banksy. Yes, there’s much more to it than that.

A Guide to Bristol Street Art (And More)

Of all the interests I’ve developed over the years, one I never expected to find myself enjoying so much is street art.

Most definitions make a distinction between street art and graffiti, though both are created in public spaces and often without permission. Among the differences: street art is constructive whereas graffiti is destructive, street art is about its audience whereas graffiti is about its artist. And while graffiti is often thought of as delinquent and defacing, street art is becoming prized, praised, and in some cases…sold in galleries.

I suppose what fascinates me most about street art is the manner in which it expresses the political and social issues of its environment. I’ve become more and more enthralled with street art living in San Francisco, but it all began with traveling.

Bristol Street Art


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Or, a story about creating your own happy place in a foreign land.

I have this strange ritual I repeat every time I land in Paris.

I almost don’t want to tell you about it, because I am aware that it’s random and a bit odd. But it takes me right back to some of the happiest moments of my life. So, I hold onto the habits (and even come clean with them here, to you.)

After dropping off my bags where I’m staying, is to immediately head to the nearest French chain grocery store — Carrefour, Monoprix, it matters not. The red lipstick and ballet flats emerge, and calm comes over me as I take to the Parisian streets.

I then proceed to pick up the same four things: a bit of both carottes rapées and celery rémoulade salads, (I told you this was random…) a wheel of cheese (the stinkier the better,) and a bottle of French red wine that’s under 10 euros. Perhaps I also get a fresh baguette.

This is my simple ritual.

renting an apartment in paris


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Where To Stay in (Central) London

So many choices!

It can be overwhelming to choose a spot to stay in a city as massive and diverse as London. As in any great city, there are many sides to it. Luckily, the multiple personalities of London can be experienced through its many neighborhoods. One great way to discover the city on a deeper level is to explore a single area in more depth. Choose a certain part of the city to base yourself in during your trip, and with a little wandering plus healthy curiosity…voila!

In truth I have spent most of my time in London staying with friends. Still, these are the best places I have stayed at across many of my visits, (and what I can vouch for that’s not a couch!) Coincidentally, they are all located in favorite parts of the city.

Here are my recommended places to stay, organized by neighborhood and described at different price points:


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A Guide to London’s Diverse Food Scene

You heard it here first…despite any preconceived notions about British food, London is one of the world’s best cities for food. Part of this is a revival of traditions and local flavors, and part is its embrace of authentic global cuisine.

On my most recent visit, I planned the larger part of my day around where I’d be eating. I sought out exemplary gastropubs, expanded my curry repertoire, and even sat down for my first formal English afternoon tea. What follows are my recommendations for where to eat whilst in London, tried, tasted, and true and sourced everywhere from food blogs and chefs to local Londoners.

As a general rule, you’ll want to make reservations (sometimes as little as a day in advance.) The formality of the reservations system is a bit more alive and well in the U.K. than elsewhere. It can’t hurt!

So without futher adieu…


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A Build-Your-Own Itinerary for Both First Time and Repeat Visitors

Ah, London. The global city with its uniquely British charm. There’s no place quite like it, and with each visit I come to know and love it all the more.

So when the call came to explore the city on a scavenger hunt-type challenge, I jumped at the chance. Flights to the UK from the US are at an all-time low (I once said I’d fly there in a heartbeat if I could fly under $600, and my friend flew out to join me from SF for only $400 roundtrip.) That combined with a (finally) favorable exchange rate for the dollar made for a visit in which London became more accessible than ever.

What follows is a collection of my favorite spots in the British capital — those I recently discovered on this unique latest visit, as well as tried-and-true favorites that I never skip. With so many options, you can choose-your-own-adventure based on your style and interests.


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