All posts filed under: Art

Pretty Streets: Georgetown, DC

It will soon be a year from my last visit to Washington DC. Spring in that city is truly magical, and the thought of the possibility of moving there this Fall is exciting. The colorful houses on Georgetown, all of the free museums, the vast presence of embassies and NGOs, the diversity of people, the political awareness and intellectual conversations, the variety of restaurants… there are simply enough reasons to help get me up each morning in the District… and I have not even mentioned the cupcakes. Here’s a collection of photos from my last trip to D.C. I was just there for three and a half days, and though it seems quite short looking back, I really did squeeze in as much as I could. I had wanted to go to The Holocaust Memorial Museum for years now, so that of course was my first stop. Another highlight was the food, some of the best restaurants I’ve been in the whole world are in D.C.: José Andrés’ Mediterranean Zaytinya; Fiola Mare, Italian seafood with …

La Ville De Lumiere – Paris, Part 2

MUSÉE DU LOUVRE The Louvre Palace was built around 1190 as a fortress by King Philippe Auguste’s engineers to protect Paris from invaders. The Louvre remained a fortress until the reign of François I, when the King wanted to regain control of the capital and decided to make the Louvre his main residence. The Louvre underwent extensive renovations during the reigns of Louis XIII and Louis XI; however, the later moved to Versailles and the Louvre was abandoned for nearly a century. By the late 1800s, the Louvre had become a site dedicated to arts and sciences, and during the French Revolution, officially opened as a museum to the public. World-famously known for its glass pyramid, this was the latest addition designed by Chinese-American architect I.M. Pei in 1989. My day began early – I would be visiting the Louvre by myself (as many people recommended). I bought tickets online the night before, which made my waiting time a quarter of everyone else’s. Map and camera in hand, I was ready for my adventure through …

La Ville De Lumiere – Paris, Part 1

I had dreamed of visiting Paris since I was a little girl. Movies, TV shows, novels, and even non-fiction textbooks read in high school had filled my mind with images of the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, and the Notre Dame Cathedral. Paris is a long (and expensive) way from Panama City; it took me exactly twenty-two years to find myself strolling through the romantic streets of the city of lights, and I felt completely enamored with the culture, architecture, and gastronomy of this place. One of my best friends studies in Paris, and I stayed six fantastic-yet-short days with her. Helena lives in the most charming apartment in the 6th arrondisement. Down her street, Rue Mazarine, is the world famous École des Beaux-Arts de Paris (National School of Fine Arts). A quick twelve-minute walk across the Seine, and you’re at the Louvre. From her living room window, you can see the tip of the Eiffel. I WAS IN HEAVEN. There is truly just something about Paris. From Helena’s window, the chimney pots that adorn the …

Castello di Amorosa

Castello di Amorosa is a 13th century inspired Italian castle located in Calistoga, California. It was an awfully cold morning when my family and I pulled up at the magnificent 30 acre vineyard, after a twenty minute drive from our hotel in downtown Napa. Once inside, we signed up for the guided tour and premium wine tasting which was lead by a nice, young man – Tomaso, who spoke enthusiastically for more than two hours with his thick Italian accent. Tomaso began by giving us some historical facts of Castello di Amorosa, most specifically, of its owner Dario Sattui. Sattui grew up in San Francisco, and is the grandson of wine pioneer Vittorio Sattui. Dario was fascinated by the wine making process and purchased over a hundred acres of land in Calistoga over 25 years ago. He had a vision of creating a beautiful Italian-inspired winery. Today, Castello di Amorosa is an architect’s dream and can even be booked for weddings and other events. It’s hard for me to imagine a more dreamlike wedding location! …

Island of Flowers

Only 20 km from Panama City, and nicknamed the island of flowers, Taboga Island is truly a charmer, and a must for anyone visiting the country.  There are several different ferry companies taking you from the port in Amador to Taboga and back; for my last visit there I took the Calypso ferry departing at 9:30 a.m which is only $20 round trip. It’s a thirty minute ride passing next to enormous cargo ships that are on their way to the Atlantic Ocean through the Panama Canal. Quicker than you realize, you arrive at Taboga Island: colorful, friendly, and truly relaxing. When I was kid, I frequented Taboga with my family a lot; its proximity to the city really makes it the perfect weekend getaway. However, if you’ve only got a day to spend, Taboga is also perfect  since its area is under 5 square miles. (Happy Tiki tip: try to avoid Sundays and weekends/holidays in general if you can, some of the beaches can get really crowded!) The houses in Taboga are colorful with bougainvilleas growing against …

Tropical Geometry

Tógo is a lovely boutique bed and breakfast located in Panama’s Pacific coast, with the most lush and tropical interior decoration. I have been there twice, it is one of my father’s favorite places to stay when looking for some peace and tranquility close to the sea. Panama City gets hectic, but we are lucky to have paradisiacal, turquoise beaches just an hour’s away. The B&B is colorfully decorated, with yellow and green couches, pillows made out of “Molas” (hand stitched embroidery designed by the Kuna Yala indigenous community), dozens of little Panamanian ornaments hanged on the walls, and the most vibrant paintings. Tógo is also home to five pets: two dogs and three cats, which get along “just fine”. Breakfast is a bowl of fresh fruit (pineapple, watermelon, papaya, and banana), followed by warm bread and home-made marmalade (raspberry or grape – your pick), eggs to your taste, and pancakes if you wish. If you are not sold yet, scroll through the photos I took of this tropical haven – opened in 2009 – and its …