November 14

Buenos Aires - Palermo Soho

Here in the heart of Palermo Soho in Buenos Aires, next to cool street art I am enjoying a cold brew. Cafes, bars, restaurants, shoe and clorhes shops as well as a lot of hipsters can be found around Plaza Serrano and 3-4 blocks in each direction. You don’t need to go to a museum here, real life and the many graffittis are worth watching and studying. And even though Argentina is known for its great wines, there are heaps of artisanal breweries around here in the neighborhood. There is a daily graffitti tour (walking tour) that starts at 3pm at the Plaza Serrano that explains the street art and how this quarter, a formerly immigrant place became a hip, bohemian neighborhood. And if you wanna get out of the bustle, head to nearby botanical gardens, that are only 10 mins from Plaza Serrano or Plaza Armenia.

My fav spots in Buenos Aires



Las Pepas

Bendita Pie

7030 Bar




Presidente Bar

Million Bar

October 22


The megacity right on the Pacific Ocean is a quirly metropolis with lots of traffic. If you are not stuck in it, there are a lot of great places to explore, mainly in hipsterville Barranco and international Miraflores.

Oh, and when you have time, do paragliding on Costa Verde.

Here are my fav spots:

La Bodega Verde

Las vecinas

Blu Gelateria

Germinando Vida

Buenavista Cafe

La Verde


Mercado 28


MATE museo


August 15


Oporto the city at the banks of the Douro river has totally echanted me with its beauty. The old town is full of artfully painted tiled houses, churches feature azulejos, too, the blue tiles that tell mostly religious stories that one simply is overwelmed by looking at them. Strolling along the little lanes is made so easy, as most sights are within walking distance. A little detour into Oporto‘s gastronomical heritage helps making the stroll nice, too. The hip refreshing drink of white port wine paired with tonic water, Porto & Tonic, can be found in every bar on every corner.. Port wine tasting made easy!!!! There is also a touristic hop on hop off bus and cheap public transport that brings you to the beach, other sights and some wine cellers but the main attraction is the old town with its river bank and the famous steel brigde Ponte Dom Luis.

Oporto the city at the banks of the Douro river has totally echanted me with its beauty. The old town is full of artfully painted tiled houses, churches feature azulejos, too, the blue tiles that tell mostly religious stories that one simply is overwelmed by looking at them. Strolling along the little lanes is made so easy, as most sights are within walking distance. A little detour into Oporto‘s gastronomical heritage helps making the stroll nice, too. The hip refreshing drink of white port wine paired with tonic water, Porto & Tonic, can be found in every bar on every corner.. Port wine tasting made easy!!!! There is also a touristic hop on hop off bus and cheap public transport that brings you to the beach, other sights and some wine cellers but the main attraction is the old town with its river bank and the famous steel brigde Ponte Dom Luis.

Here is a list of my fav places :

September 25
São Paulo

Here in São Paulo it is early springtime but the temperature rises up above 30 degrees, so it is hot as in summer. It seems that every Paulisto and every Paulista strolls along the streets of Parque Ibirapuera, where you can smell the lovely scent of fresh blooms and eucalyptus trees. The green lung of the magacity, built of steel, glass and concrete is an oasis to relax and recharge yourself. The metropolis is somehow romantic, too, despite being a colossal concrete jungle, especially during sunset, though not that harmless.
Sampa is the economic motor of Brazil, that faces a huge crisis at the moment, corruption is omnipresent. Nevertheless, a short trip to São Paulo, the cultural and gastronomic epicenter of entire Latin America is very worthwhile, especially if one is open to the superfriendly and talkative Paulistos. A good start into the São Paulo way of life is to drink a fresh passion fruit juice or a caipirinha and enjoy a pão de queijo or a açai na tigela or a filet aperitivo in a corner cafe or a lanchonete before exploring further.

My fav places in São Paulo are:

Solo Cozinha & Bar
Skye Bar
Bar Astor
Parque Ibirapuera
Shopping Iguatemi
Torta no Quintal
Arabia Express
Bacio di Latte
Tatu Bola
Le Pain Quotidien
Rua 25 de Março
Balada Mix

July 25

It is a city of contrasts, industrial and modern at the same time. The music and soccer hot spot in northern England presents itself dull and grey when it rains, and you seem to travel back in times of Charles Dickens' Manchester, as I did when I had arrived a couple of weeks ago, but when the sun is shining, then the city changes into blues and whites that reflect from the glas facades of the many newly built architectural masterpieces and so the city becomes friendly and vibrant.
Manchester is small, many sights lie within walking distance. Explore and enjoy is the key to Manchester's essence, as there are lots of cultural and culinary highlights around. The cathedral, the John Rylands Library, the Lowry, the shops and restaurants around Spinningfields and Central Retail District, the bars in the Village along the Canal and the hip coffee houses in Northern Quarter attract locals and visitors alike. Thus Manchester united!

Fig and Sparrow
The Foundation Coffee House
Federal Cafe & Bar
Cloud 23
Indian Tiffin Room
The Oast House

May 17


Summer in Zurich, means to me Lake of Zurich, festivals and lots of eating al fresco and relaxing in the water and doing yoga by the water (Sommeryoga at Frauenbadi).

Not only flock people to Zürcher Festspiele with Oper für alle, Kino am See and Theaterspektakel they also head for the many restaurants, bars and cafes that have an outdoor area, too..

My favourite places are Moudi Lecker Garten, the Artisan, kleine Freiheit, Gartenhof, Hofwiesen, Kafischnaps, des Amis, Marktküche, Geroldchuchi, Neni, Cafe Lang, Bank.  Also a visit worth is the annual Streetfood Festival in september where you can travel the world, culinarily speaking..

Go to Rio, Tales, Rivington and Sons or Frau Gerolds Garten for a good Gin & Tonic.

Most of the pools and guarded bathing areas transform into hip bars with great views (Seebad Enge, Frauenbadi) of the mountains and the shores or of beautiful people and hipsters (oberer Letten) in the evening.

More favourite spots in summer and winter are Hammam Basar, Roots, Hiltl Dachterrasse and Tibits im Seefeld, Globus, Nordish Living as well as the farmer's market in Oerlikon each wednesday- and saturday morning and Yotree!

February 10

Miami Beach


South Beach is palm trees, sunshine and partytime, it's just enjoying life at its fullest. Check out Will Smith's hymn to Miami to get into the Miami mode.

I love it in SoBe when there are less tourists, it can be pretty full at the beach during spring break and when a big cruise ship has just arrived... then, head north and away from Art Deco District and its tourist magnets such as Ocean Drive, Española Way and Lincoln Road with its many restaurants, cafes and shops. You can grab some stuff at Epicure or Publix for the beach, get a good book at Books & Books (the restaurant these is great, too), get beach-ready at e Spa and just enjoy the waters and the pretty beaches.


11th Street Diner
Front Porch Cafe
Pura Vida
Rosetta Bakery

Bars & Lounges:

Nicky Beach
Soho House
Shore Club


Smith & Wollensky
Oh! Mexico

January 31
Hong Kong


Hong Kong is a fascinating metropolis. Along pearl river beautiful building line up on Hong Kong Island –site as well as the skyline of Kowloon gets more and more impressive. Especially the ICC building, one of the tallest worldwide with its roof-top bar Ozone is worth a trip to that side of the former British colony. But there is more to see, head to Ladies’ market or Temple Street-night market, the shops along Nathan Road in Tsim Sha Tsui, the Felix at Peninsula, the Wooloomooloo Prime, the flower market in Mongkok and Top Comfort Foot Spa. The Symphony of Lights which takes place each night at 8 PM can be best watched from the Kowloon Public Pier near Tower Clock. Or admire this light spectacle from the Starferry’s Harbour Tour.

That side of Hong Kong feels more Chinese than the one across the river on the island. In the central districts of the island Expats and Chinese locals mingle well.

My highlight on each HK-layover is a trip to the Peak. The view is spectacular and breathtaking. It is totally worth waiting in line for the peak tram for an hour or so… On clear days, you can even see the New Territories on the horizon. From the peak, many trails lead to the subtropical jungle. Another nice hike is Dragon’s back-Hike to Shek O.

A visit to Man Mo Tempels on Hollywood Road is a must. In summer  a trip tot he horse races in happy Valley could be fun, too. I like to go to Lan Kwai Fong for some drinks, though and dance into the night.

If you prefer silence, go to the monastery on Lantau near the Big Buddha Statue or try some yoga at Yoga BamBam.



Classified, Le Pain Quotidien

Afternoon Tea:

Sevva, The Peninsula


Azure, Maison Libanaise, Yun yan


Hennessy Bar, Ophelia, Le Boudoir, Club Feather Boa, Lan Kwai Fong Quarter

January 25



Berlin has various boroughs that make this city so unique. Somehow each borough seems to be a city on its own. Mitte was the epicenter of hipness about 15 years ago, then Kreuzberg or Prenzlauer Berg followed and you had to live there if you wanted to be someone! Now you have to be from Friedrichshain (and even Wedding) to call yourself hip. As I was an exchange student at Free University Berlin in 2003/04 I was living in Mitte and even now, a decade later it is my preferred borough to live in. Back then my world was around Zionskirchplatz, now, I call the magic triangle between Oranienburger Strasse, Linenstrasse an (Neuen & Alten) Schönhauser Strasse my playground. The following list will never be complete as there is always something new to discover…


I am still a huge fan of Weinbergpark and the wonderful Nola’s, where you can brunch each day till late in the afternoon on their terrace. Café Fleury near by is supercute, too, one of my favourite cafes. But now back to my personal magic triangle’s hotspots of moment:

Turn into Oranienburger Strasse at Oranienburger Tor, which is a very touristy street. Make your first stop at espresso-ambulanz as the coffee there is so yummy and the cookies and cakes, (unfortunately) too. Healthier are the snacks of Berlin Theke and Hummus&Friends. At tatem and freshnails you can pretty up yourself and the go to what I call little Tokyo at the corner of Hackscher Markt and Rosenthaler Strasse with Muji and Uniqlo.

In Rosenthaler Strasse you definitely have to make a stop at Schee, Spreeheidi, Kauf Dich Glücklich and Chén Chè. More highlights can be found off Rosenthaler Strasse at Neuen Schönhauser Strasse with Liebeskind Berlin, Sabon, C.O.S, & other Stories, as well as some local fashion labels along Alten Schönhauser Strasse such as Holly and Lala Berlin. Foodwise Monsieur Vuong and Zeit für Brot can give you some energy after an intensive shopping stroll...

Turn into Linienstrasse and go to Koppenplatz, check out the high-end vegan restaurant Kopps, the wonderful interiour design shop Tabléa and the small store with heaps of little present ideas called Sieben Wünsche. The Lokal and Schwarzwälderstuben are nice for a dinner with friends. Around Auguststrasse which is parallel to Linienstrasse there are great places like Klonk, les jolies choses in Berlin (where you can find the most beautiful jewelry in Berlin, hand made by my friend Claire), Eismanufaktur and Strandbad Mitte (all to be found off Auguststrasse on kleinen Hamburger Strasse), Keyser Soze, Panama, Hay and Princess Cheescake. Have a great discovery tour through my Mitte!


My two new favourite restaurants in Berlin are Daluma and Superfoods and organic liquids, both on Rosenthaler Platz. Daluma serves vegan food and juices while Superfood prepares the abosultely yummiest and most beautifully decorated açai bowls. If you like meat and gluten, head to Supreme Burger Grill on Oranienburger Strasse or Spreegold on Rosenthalerstrasse.

The hip neighborhood of Friedrichshain somewhere between the metro station Warschauer Strasse and Boxhagener Platz there is a clean-eating restaurant called the bowl, a vegan supermarket (veganz) and a vegan shoe store. Directly at Boxhagener platz there is a nice Café Pavillon where you can grab a cup of coffee and admire the original houses (not renovated/restored) along the square. On the south-eastern corner there is a cool concept store called Victoria met Albert and further into Gärtnerstrasse there is a cute kitchen supply store called Küchenliebe and a stationery shop called Schwesterherz. For window shopping as the jewelry is pricy but super beautiful head to Julia & Amely on Wühlistrasse. And just around the corner from there, you find the culinary heart of this district, the Simon-Dach-Strasse.

December 16, 2016


If it wasn’t so super cold the other day in Chicago, my day would have started with a run on the boardwalk next to Lake Michigan. But due to the cold I could enjoy the view of a snowy city from the 42nd floor of my hotel’s gym. Then I went to get a yummy breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien before I walked along the wonderfully decorated Michigan Avenue to do my Christmas shopping. And as in New York, Boston, San Francisco and Los Angeles a stop at my favourite A-shops was a must. New beautiful things from Aritzia and Anthropologie had to be bought. At Trader Joe I got the best Colombian Coffee for my serenity moments at home and across the street at the James Hotel there is a nice bar/restaurant to get out of the cold for a while.

In the summertime the city is a dream, everyone is around the shore of Lake Michigan, the Millenium Park or roof top bars such as the ones at the Wit Hotel or Hotel Lincoln Along North State Street there are so many great little places to have a drink or meal with friends, people sit outside and enjoy the warm summer evenings. Another great thing to do in summer is to board an architectural tour of the city. In the winter though, it is better to stay inside and do shopping at the Water Tower Place or along the Magnificent Mile or enjoy a nice drink at the Signature Lounge at the top of the John Hancock Center.Season's Greetings from Illinois.

October 31


Barcelona is definitely one of my favourite cities in Europe. The location is great, beach, mountains and moderate temperatures make this Mediterranean metropolis a great place to visit.

The barrios of the innercity can be reached by foot easily. But some of the sights are a bit further out and therefore taking the subway or the hop on hop off bus are good alternatives. Anyways, most of the architectural sights of Gaudi such as Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlo, la Pedrera or Parc Güell are best to visit by bus. The bus gives you a great overview of the city, or you head to Mont Juïc, Eclipse Bar of W Hotels or restaurant Mirablau where you get a nice view, too.


The Ramblas are very touristic, but go along these streets from Plaça de Catalunya to Maremagnum once to get a glimpse of the touristic Barcelona and then do a detour to Mercat de la Boqueria and rest a bit in Caelum at Plaça del Pi which means literally heaven and it is a heaven of sweets. Alternatively you walk along one of the main shopping streets such as Avenida del Portal de l’Angel from Plaça de Catalunya until you reach the sea. Have a look at one of the many chocolate speciality stores or my favourite clothes store that only exists in Catalan cites System Action. At Plaça Reial the restaurant el quinze nits is the place to stay for a royal dinner… enjoy the architecture and the bustling street life there.


The many tapas bars in Barri Gotic are all very touristic, I prefer the ones in Born or la Ribera next to Basilica de Santa Maria del Mar. There you find also the centrally located and affordable hotel Som Nit Born.

Along the harbor in la Barceloneta there are many restaurants for a nice dinner. My favourite beach bar is called Makamaka. Or head straight to the real beach bars right at the beach there for some cocktails or refreshing drinks..

West of las Ramblas in the hip and upcoming neighborhoods of el Raval and Sant Antoni you find many new and innovative restaurants by young chefs. The best and strongest coffee in town together with a healthy breakfast can be found by Australian owned Federal. The Lo de Flor is supposedly one oft he yummiest new restaurants there, I havent been there so far as it was closed when I was there, but it is totally on my list… for sure the restaurant looks very nice from outside and the website is appealing, too.

A bit further west on top of Mont Juïc you get a breathtaking view of the city at Restaurante Miramar. The food and the service though is bad…During two months in summer the near by pool is open for the public, go there and enjoy a swim above the roofs of Barcelona.

Head back to Plaça d‘ Espanya along Font Magica and Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya.

October 15
Los Angeles
This city is huge! Typically for someone who just stays for a couple of days I tend to explore this city by car and therefore the upcoming list of places of interest is one of the fancier neighborhoods...

Long Beach and southern Beaches:

The shoreline in Long Beach has a couple of restaurants lines up along the waterfront. One of my favourites ones for lunch or dinner is the Yard House. Or you grab a salad or a sandwich to go in the mall and make a pic nic near the lighthouse. I have never been to the brunch at the Queen Mary, but I have only heard good words about that breakfast on the ship.
A lot prettier than Long Beach is Belmont Shore, just a minutes away from LB. There you find along 2nd Street a few restaurants and shops like Banana Republic etc. Nick's on 2nd is a very nice to eat. The have an open fireplace and some good cocktails. Schooner or Later in Naples next to the yacht club features typical American breakfast. No need to eat for the rest of the day. Huntington Beach is a popular place for some surfer spotting and grabing a bite.

Malibu, Santa Monica and Venice:

The Farmers Market near Zuma Beach is a good place for some celebrity spotting. Shops, restaurants and cafes are full of actors, models and Californian beaus and beauties. Duke's Malibu is named after the famous surfer Duke and large surfboards decorate the entrance of the restaurant. There is a bar and a restaurant, great for sunsets. Another sunset drink spot is Moonshadows Malibu or The Penthouse in Santa Monica. Santa Monica is a cool place anyway. Lots of things are happening there. Great beachfront and the Third Street Promenade is a shopper's paradise. Speaking of paradise, Laurie of Lady Yoga, who I have met on Little Corn Island, Nicaragua teaches yoga classes if she is in town.
Hipster hotspot in LA is in Venice, not Venice Beach, its along Abbot Kinney Blvd. Totally worth a visit and make a stop at kreation. Very cool!!

And no visit to LA is complete without a stop in the Hills - Hollywood:

West Hollywood with its super beautiful Laurel Hardware Restaurant, or yummy mercado is worth the long drive from the coast. The Chinese Theatre on Hollywood and Highland is where each year the Oscars are held. Also the Walk of Fame is there. It is by far less glamourous than one thinks... really glammy is Bevery Hills. Drive along Rodeo Drive and get the BH 90210 vibe. Oh, and Griffith Park, go there and then you know why Brandon, Dylan, Kelly, Donna and Brenda went always up there to get the view of Los Angeles... it is simply breathtaking.

October 4
New York

Just back from New York! This is the city that I have spent the majority of my layovers at. The perfect start into a new day in the Big Apple begins with a run at Central Park followed by a yummy breakfast at either Le Pain Quotidien, Cafe Gitane or Jack's Wife Freda in SoHo. Ground Zero is breathtaking and surely nowhere else you can get a better view of the city than from WTC one. If you like to see both, the skyscrapers and the park, then Rockefeller Center is the better option. Right around the corner from there is MOMA, but I prefer the exhibitions at the MET which also features a great roof top café... Speaking of rooftops, visit the press lounge or skylark or for (bad service but) great view the 230-fifth.

After an intense shopping stroll (Anthropologie or Aritzia for great buys, Duane Reade for daily necessities) I normally recharge my body and mind at Emporio, la Esquina, Cafe Select, Westville, Hourglass Tavern, Chelsea Market or the Mercer Kitchen.

August 27
It is so humid outside, that is why I like to eat my avocado toast inside one of my favourite breskfast places here in Singapore. It is called Maison Ikkoku and serves very, very good coffee. Young trendy Chinese mingle with tourists and expats. An interesting mix to just watch as I am here by myself.
Another very nice place for a late breakfast here in the Malay Heritage Centre is Artistry. Young artists display their artwork while you enjoy nice and healthy food.
The Malay Heritage Centre is my favourite ethnic quarter (there is little India as well as Chinatown, too) here as the shops in Haji Lane are cool, you always find some nice jewelry or dresses , deco stuff and funny asian little things for your wardrobe or your apartment such as a sugarpot with birds (Salad Shop).. and the food is good! Go to Tabbouleh on Arab Street, its super yummy what they serve there. Or Piedra Negra with live music in the evening where they serve Mexican..
For first timer a city tour by hop on hop off bus is recommendable as you see a lot of this island / city state.
Totally great on a hot and humid day like today is a stroll through the gardens by the bay which have some indoor and some outdoor plant exhibitions.
Singapore is famous for its shopping malls, but they feature the same chains as elsewhere.. You better check out the very large Zoo, Jurong Bird Sanctuary or Sentosa Island for some Disneyland-feeling.
In the evening there are many cool outdoorsy bars and clubs to enjoy a drink and some music.
1- Altitude on 64th floor of the the building at 1 Raffles Square is a great spot to take some awesome pictures of the view. You can see the MBS building, other architecturally interesting skyscrapers and of course the big wheel. The music is pumping, so if you like, you can dance the night away at this cool roof top venue, too.
At Lantern which is in the Fullerton Bay has very good gin cocktails and a great view, too. The crowd is slightly older and more elegant. Or try the bar at Level33, they brew their own beer and the view is breath-taking there, too. It is a great after work spot, very casual and easy going. Club street is good for some wild nights, which are possible to happen even in Singapore where rules and regulations are everywhere.
The best dinner I ever had was at the very tasty dinner place The White Rabbit. Nothing for the small budget, but totally worth a treat.. The restaurant is set in an old church!! There are many hidden gems (such as hanging gardens, designer's delights and artisanal eye and mouth candies) in Singapore, you just need to find a versed local that shows you around or be lucky to discover those gems by chance! Good luck and make the best out of your stay in this tropical metropolis!

August 21

Colorful, vibrant and tropical, that is Cartagena, the queen of the Caribbean. Bring a lot of time with you to really explore the streets and squares of this wonderful colonial town.
The old town, which was renovated by Unesco World Heritage funds and which was originally built in 17th Century is set within high city walls. Some mansions are beautifully repainted, some could not keep up with time and their paint and walls are falling and fading. Nevertheless, those imperfect houses are the ones that keep me in their loom. Patina can be found everywhere. In the streets, on squares and in every lane there are street vendors selling hats, jewelry, mochilas and of course super fresh and super yummy fruits.
Many restaurants and hotels feature lush shady backyards that you have to enjoy during the heat around midday. It can easily get around 35 C in the shade, so indulge yourself with a nice fruit juice.
My personal highlight was Colombian coffee and a scoop of ice cream at the wonderful backyard of my favourite chain of Colombian orgin, now to be found allover South America Crepes & Waffles.

Thankfully there are no big chains in the old town, no starbucks, there is Juan Valdez though, there is no H&M, Zara, Mango but there is Étoile. So after having a cup of freshly brewed Colombian Coffee, liquid gold to say and some relaxing/reading/writing moments at Crepes & Waffles I headed almost every day (and over the past three years I have spent almost a month in my favourite tropical town) to Ana Sideli, the cutest shop assistant ever to Étoile where you find comfy silky beach dresses, beautiful accessories and of course where you can practise your Spanish with her. Ana Sideli assists you and helps you finding the perfect outfit in such a authentic Carribean way, that for me, I got addicted to that daily dose of endorphins with extra sprinkles of serotonine. Serenidad pura!

At night, which begins at around 6:30 when the sun goes down, everyone floks to the square in fornt of the Church of Santisima Trinidad. You can just sit and watch the bustle. Street artists, locals and backpackers come together, arepa, meat skewers and patacon can be purchased and eaten right there while you nip on your BYO beer, rum and coke or water. A more upmarket way of enjoying the sun set is having an expensive cocktail with all other tourists at Cafe del Mar, watching the Carribean sea and Boca Grande, the Miami Beach of Cartagena. If you feel like dancing, you can have a wild party night with lots of raggaeton and latin pop at Media Luna's legendary wednesday night bash. And before you head to bed at the coolest hostal in Cartagena, the mamallena hostal, the night guard wishes you that you will be dreaming with the angels and you know, that this why Cartagena and its streets, squares and especially its people are so worth a visit (or two or three...)! Cartagena, mi amor!
August 15
Sunny greetings from Boston! It is so hot in town right now already, that I cannot even run along the Charles River this morning. I love to run along the Esplanade, but this would be taking up all of my energy, which I need for getting the dollars running through my fingers later this day. Yes, soon the shops will open and after a nice breakfast with friends somewhere north of Cambridge I am ready for the sales.

Along Newbury Street here in Backbay which is super idyllic are some great shops such as my all time favourite A- listers Aritzia and Anthropologie, Madewell, Urban Outfitters and some nice restaurants to eat al fresco as Stephanie's, Trident or Pavement Coffee House.

Less touristy it is in Cambridge, where due to MIT and Harvard University the amount of students and hipsters is higher. Around Harvard Square there are many Cafés, restaurants and of course shops, too. (Just think of no state tax in Massachusettes on necessities. Unfortunately bags and cute accessories are not considered necessities... There should have been a woman filing for this act!)

A typical Bostonian dinner are clam chowder and lobster (The Red House Lobster) but Bostonians love to dine and thus there is a variety of good restaurants throughout the city. For Italian, it is the North End. For Chinese go to Chinatown.
For me a stop at the Prudential Center with its restaurants like Top of the Hub or cheap eateries (sweet green) and again many shops is a nice place for a short visit in this beautiful New England town. Good weather as today requires literally a stroll through Boston Common and the Public Garden or even a whale watching trip.

If you spend more than just one day here, Cape Cod is super nice and the famous island Martha's Vinyard is close by, too.

August 5

Wynwood (Miami) 

About a month ago I was in Miami and went to the ultra hip neighborhood of Wynwood.

The formerly very poor “el barrio” as it was called by its mostly Domenican Republic residents has gone through a major transformation. The industrial flair has gone and street art is now everywhere.

While I was having a cup of organic filter coffee from a Nicaraguan finca (for the same amount of dollars I got several pounds of coffee beans there, but hey, it is Wynwood and therefore I pay this ridiculous price for just one cup) at the epicenter of the hipsters, the Panther Coffee I was thinking which other places I was going to visit next as it was raining and hence no typical Miami Beach weather…

Wynwood which is south of Midtown where the Art Basel Miami happens is worth a visit even when it rains as the graffiti at the Wynwood Walls and the many galleries and stylish concept stores such as Frangipani, Malaquita, MiMo Market or Plant the Future with futuristic plant decorations and restaurants (Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, Coyo Taco, Dr Smood, Freshii) along 2nd NW between 21st and 29th street are inspiring anyhow. Everyone seems to be between 25 and 45 here, tattoos, beards, big rimmed glasses and buns are omnipresent, even crop shirts and everyone (either art agents with the newest Apple gadgets, artists with sketchbooks or hipsters by choice) pays a lot of attention to its style. Wynwood became thus THE location in Miami that isn’t as overcrowded by cruise ship tourists or spring breakers as SoBe.

Especially in the evening and at night the Wynwood blocks with many pop up bars and changing event location are a must. And the colorful and artistic walls can be admired at in the dark, too. Here are some impressions of my stroll through Wynwood:

August 2

... if you are going to San Francisco...While waiting for my avocado and poached egg toast I thought I could write about my San Francisco highlights.

What I love about SF is, that every neighborhood is so different to the other, each has its own cool spots to visit and specific people to look at. For example the place I am having breakfast at right now, the Grove, has three branches. One is on Filmore Street, where it seems to be a lot more upscale than here on Third Street, where most of the guests are business people. On Filmore, it is more the upper class ladies and hipsters that have a late breakfast than talking business over an omelete. The one in the Hayes Valley is my favourite, as I love that part of SF very much. The Hayes Valley is a very cool place with lots of restaurants and little boutiques to easily spend money (I know what I am talking about..).
For the ones that are less into egg/avo/toasts, pancakes or omelets there is the super yummy Tartine Bakery on 18th and Guerrero. There you get the best croissants and French style tartines (bread slice with topping).
And the best acai bowl is to be found at The Plant Organic Cafe or another healthy option is a simple berry parfait at the Corner Bakery Cafe.

For dinner with a great view you either go to Epic Steakhouse, The Plant (many vegetarian options), el TechoForeign Cinema or Bar Tartine. Also in the Ferry Terminal Building there are some great restaurants and small eateries such as Market Bar and Boccalone.
For cocktails look for ABVHardwater, La Mar, and Jones.
Shopping around Union Square and in the Westfield Mall is where all major brands have their falgship store, but I prefer to explore the little shops on Valencia, Noe Valley, Hayes Valley (La Boulange and Nancy Boy) or The Pacific Heights where small Cafes make a shopping break wonderful.

For an eascape of the city, a small stroll up to Twin Peaks, the Mission Dolores Park or el Camino del Mar or renting wheels and bike the Golden Gate Biridge are great ways to get out of the buzz. For a breathtaking experience a sailing tour of the bay or a trip to Yosemite, Napa or Sonoma Valley are a option that you will never forget.
As wonderful as the city is with its great hilly setting on the bay, the situation with the many homeless and drug addicts can dull the SF experience, therefore an escape of Market Street, the pulse of the city is essential to everyone sensitive.
If you are into art, head to the newly re-opened MOMA or walk through the Japanese Gardens of the Golden Gate Park. Street art is everywhere, especially in the SOMA district (south of Market) where the SF Giants have their arena (which would be another great thing to do for sports lovers, a baseball game of the Giants, check out Number 16, my favourite pitcher or if you wanna spend the afternoon the real SF way. Summer greetings from SF!

July 28


Each year for my birthday I fly to Bangkok and whenever I get lucky to be there I get a divine treatment at divana spa (dii for hydrodermabrasion or microdermabrasion, divana virtue spa for wonderful aroma massages or divana nurture spa for a Thaiyurvedic chakra treatment).

In no other place on earth I love to live on both ends of the continuum. On one extreme there is the dirty and trashy Khao San Road with its food stalls, cheap massages and facials (pians is still a place I visit), super cheap clothes and shoes that I like to reach by a moto taxi and that is a must for me always and on the other extreme there are the different divana spas, Sirocco, the Banyan Tree's Vertigo, the garden of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel or other fancy places as Lan Na Thai@ Face, the Baan Chiang, the Zense etc.

Shopping is fun at MBK, Siam Square, Central World, Terminal 21 or any other very Thai shopping mall with thousands of stalls filled with cheap thrills. For some serene moments the Golden Mount or the Flower Market are a great destination to go to.