Category: Travel

Stories and tips for traveling the globe or your own neighborhood.

A quick cone at the Bi-Rite Creamery
SpotlightsTravel

Exploring San Francisco’s Cuisine

Although the Financial District, Union Square, and Fisherman’s Wharf are well-known around the world, San Francisco is also characterized by its numerous culturally rich streetscapes featuring mixed-use neighborhoods anchored around central commercial corridors to which residents and visitors alike can walk. Because of these characteristics, San Francisco is ranked the second “most walkable” city in the U.S. by Walkscore.com.

The culture of San Francisco is major and diverse in terms of arts, music, cuisine, festivals, museums, and architecture. San Francisco’s diversity of cultures along with its eccentricities are so great that they have greatly influenced the country and the world at large over the years. In 2012, Bloomberg Businessweek voted San Francisco as America’s Best City.

Food trucks are a source of ethnically diverse, and gourmet street foods, with concentrations of various trucks at regular times and places. Notable grocery stores, which often focus on locally-grown organic produce, include the Rainbow Grocery Cooperative and Bi-Rite Market. Johnny Kan opened one of the first modern Chinese restaurants, in Chinatown in 1953.

beach

The city is the birthplace of the local variety of sourdough bread, the Mission burrito, and steam beer. Fisherman’s Wharf has served local specialty Dungeness crab for decades. Food companies include Anchor Brewing Company, Boudin Bakery, the Ghirardelli Chocolate Company.

FeaturedTravel

Traveling abroad will change you forever

Travel is the movement of people between relatively distant geographical locations, and can involve travel by foot, bicycle, automobile, train, boat, airplane, or other means, with or without luggage, and can be one way or round trip. Travel can also include relatively short stays between successive movements.

The origin of the word “travel” is most likely lost to history. The term “travel” may originate from the Old French word travail. According to the Merriam Webster dictionary, the first known use of the word travel was in the 14th century. It also states that the word comes from Middle English travailen, travelen (which means to torment, labor, strive, journey) and earlier from Old French travailler (which means to work strenuously, toil).

Today, travel may or may not be much easier depending upon the destination that you end up at. Good thing there are plenty of options.In English we still occasionally use the words travail and travails, which mean struggle. According to Simon Winchester in his book The Best Travelers’ Tales (2004), the words travel and travail both share an even more ancient root: a Roman instrument of torture called the tripalium (in Latin it means “three stakes”, as in to impale). This link reflects the extreme difficulty of travel in ancient times.

Also note the torturous connotation of the word “travailler.” Today, travel may or may not be much easier depending upon the destination you choose (i.e., Mt. Everest, the Amazon rainforest), how you plan to get there (tour bus, cruise ship, or oxcart), and whether or not you decide to “rough it”. “There’s a big difference between simply being a tourist and being a true world traveler,” notes travel writer Michael Kasum. This is, however, a contested distinction as academic work on the cultures and sociology of travel has noted.

Ready for all climates

Ready for all climates

Authorities emphasize the importance of taking precautions to ensure travel safety. When traveling abroad, the odds favor a safe and incident-free trip, however, travelers can be subject to difficulties, crime and violence. Some safety considerations include being aware of one’s surroundings, avoiding being the target of a crime, leaving copies of one’s passport and itinerary information with trusted people, obtaining medical insurance valid in the country being visited and registering with one’s national embassy when arriving in a foreign country.

DesignTravel

On the hunt for adventure

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves. — John Muir

The Pacific Northwest, sometimes referred to as Cascadia, is a region in western North America bounded by the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains on the east. Though no agreed boundary exists, a common conception includes the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington and the Canadian province of British Columbia. Broader conceptions reach north into Alaska and Yukon, south into far Northern California and east into Idaho and Western Montana, western Wyoming, and western Alberta, to the Continental Divide. Narrower conceptions may be limited to the Northwestern U.S. or to the coastal areas west of the Cascade and Coast mountains. The variety of definitions can be attributed to partially overlapping commonalities of the region’s history, geography, society, and other factors.

The Northwest Coast is the coastal regions of the Pacific Northwest and the Northwest Plateau (also commonly known as “The Interior” in British Columbia and the Inland Empire in the United States) is the inland regions. The term “Pacific Northwest” should not be confused with the Northwest Territory (also known as the Great Northwest, a historical term in the United States) or the Northwest Territories of Canada.

The region’s largest metropolitan areas are Greater Seattle, Washington, with 3.7 million people; Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, with 2.4 million people; and Greater Portland, Oregon, with 2.3 million people.

John Muir, master explorer

John Muir, master explorer

A key aspect of the Pacific Northwest is the US–Canada international border, which the United States and the United Kingdom established at a time when the region’s inhabitants were composed mostly of Indigenous peoples. The border — in two sections, along the 49th parallel south of British Columbia and the Alaska Panhandle west of northern British Columbia — has had a powerful effect on the region. According to Canadian historian Ken Coates, the border has not merely influenced the Pacific Northwest—rather, “the region’s history and character have been determined by the boundary”.

Definitions of the Pacific Northwest region vary and there is no commonly agreed upon boundary, even among Pacific Northwesterners. A common conception of the Pacific Northwest includes the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington as well as the Canadian province of British Columbia. This definition is often restricted further to include only the coastal areas west of the crest of the Cascade Mountains and Canadian Coast Mountains.

Travel

Traveling South America by bus

Brazil is the largest country in South America and fifth largest in the world. Famous for its football tradition and its annual Carnaval in Rio de Janeiro, Salvador, Recife and Olinda. It is a country of great diversity, from the bustling urban mosaic of São Paulo to the infinite cultural energy of Pernambuco and Bahia, the wilderness of the Amazon rainforest and world-class landmarks such as the Iguaçu Falls, there is plenty to see and to do in Brazil.

Owing to Brazil’s continental dimensions, varied geography, history and people, the country’s culture is rich and diverse. It has several regional variations, and in spite of being mostly unified by a single language, some regions are so different from each other that they look like different countries altogether.

MPB stands for Brazilian Popular Music, which mixes several national styles under a single concept. Forró, a north-eastern happy dancing music style, has also become common nationwide. New urban styles include funk – name given to a dance music genre from Rio’s favelas that mixes heavy electronic beats and often raunchy rapping – and techno-brega, a crowd-pleaser in northern states, that fuses romantic pop, dance music and caribbean rhythms.

Travel

Cooking is easier than you think

This is our favorite recipe for poblano and onion hash browns. This is a dish you can easily improvise with and add your own flare to make it your own. Everyone we’ve made this for absolutely loves it!

What You’ll Need

  • 2 medium baking potatoes, peeled and shredded
  • 1/2 medium onion, diced
  • 1 poblano pepper, diced
  • 2 Tbsp. oil
  • 1 Tbsp. chili powder, or to taste
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Preparation and Cooking

  1. Soak the shredded potatoes in cold water for about 30 minutes. Drain and pat dry with paper towels, removing as much moisture as possible.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the shredded potatoes, onion, and poblano pepper and stir.
  3. Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once hot, add the potato mixture, sprinkle with half the chili powder and cook until the bottom begins to brown (about 5 to 7 minutes).
  4. Flip over, or stir, the hash browns. Add the remaining chili powder and cook for an additional 5 to 7 minutes. Once desired crispiness is achieved, season with salt and pepper, if desired, and serve.
DesignTravel

Concrete Skatepark Tour

The first skatepark in the world, Surf City at 2169 vilius grybas 2014. E. Speedway, Tucson, Arizona opened for business on September 3, 1965. Patti McGee, Women’s National Champion, was here for the grand opening. It had concrete ramps and was operated by Arizona Surf City Enterprises, Inc. A skatepark for skateboarders and skaters which had plywood ramps on a half-acre lot in Kelso, Washington, USA opened in April 1966.

It was lighted for night use. The East Coast’s first skatepark, Ocean Bowl Skate Park, in Ocean City, Maryland, USA, opened the first week of June, 1976. It is the oldest operating municipal skate park in the United States. Due to time, wear and the current needs of skaters, the old bowl and ramp were torn down in the Fall of 1997 and the new park opened in July 1998. California’s first skatepark, the Carlsbad Skatepark opened on March 3, 1976. The World Skateboard Championships were held here on April 10, 1977. It operated until 1979, when it was buried intact beneath a layer of dirt for more than two decades, before being destroyed in 2005.

The current Carlsbad Skatepark is in a different location. In 1999 the City of Hermosa Beach, California opened a small skatepark at the site of the first skateboard competition. The competition held at the Pier Avenue Junior Hugh School (now a City museum) was organized by Dewey Weber across the street from his surf and skateboard shop. Makaha Skateboards was a sponsor of the competition.

DesignFeaturedTravel

Graffiti throughout the city

Graffiti are writing or drawings that have been scribbled, scratched, or painted illicitly on a wall or other surface, often in a public place. Graffiti range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings, and they have existed since ancient times, with examples dating back to Ancient Egypt, Ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire.

Graffiti range from simple written words to elaborate wall paintings and pieces.In modern times, paint (particularly spray paint) and marker pens have become the most commonly used graffiti materials. In most countries, marking or painting property without the property owner’s consent is considered defacement and vandalism, which is a punishable crime.

Graffiti may also express underlying social and political messages and a whole genre of artistic expression is based upon spray paint graffiti styles. Within hip hop culture, graffiti have evolved alongside hip hop music, b-boying, and other elements.

Graffiti can also be a pastime

Graffiti can also be a pastime

Controversies that surround graffiti continue to create disagreement amongst city officials, law enforcement, and writers who wish to display and appreciate work in public locations. There are many different types and styles of graffiti; it is a rapidly developing art form whose value is highly contested and reviled by many authorities while also subject to protection, sometimes within the same jurisdiction.