All posts filed under: The Local Lowdown

The Local Lowdown | Alanna on Brooklyn + NYC

 Alanna, 31, was born and raised in Yorktown – a city just one hour north of the famous NYC. Athough now a resident of Madrid, Spain – Alanna called Brooklyn home for nearly 10 years and she’s here to share her top 10 (+ one extra) favorite, off the beaten path places to visit in Brooklyn and NYC. And when visiting the big apple, Alanna wants us all to know this: “. . . that we New Yorkers have an undeserved reputation for being unfriendly. On the contrary, most true New Yorkers I know are some of the kindest, most open, generous people I have encountered in my life. The difference is that New Yorkers value time more than anything else. Time does not necessarily equal money, but in a city where everything and everyone moves a million miles per minute, time is precious. We don’t have the time to spend on incompetence, fakeness, or arrogance – and we will let you know it with our attitude and our actions. However, we are always available to help someone in need, give friendly …

The Local Lowdown | Brittany on Nashville

Brittany McGhee, native of Florida and local of Nashville, Tennessee for over 15 years. The 22-year-old freelance writer loves to travel, study astronomy (go Carl Sagan!) and volunteer. Along with Brittany’s top 10 favorite places in her city, she let’s those of us looking to visit the city of country music that “Nashville is becoming a trendy destination for its casual, creative vibe more than just the ‘honky tonk’ country bars. Spend ten minutes hanging around a coffee shop here, and you’ll bump into friendly local musicians, artists, and sometimes even famous country singers.” If you’re interested in contacting Brittany or seeing her other work, pop over to her website: http://www.brittanymcghee.com Top 10 Favorite Places 1. Café Coco – 210 Louise Ave Café Coco is the only 24 hour café in Nashville. They serve authentic Italian food around the clock, have ample indoor and outdoor seating, and a stage in the back where local artists have open mic sessions weekly. The location is also convenient to popular Midtown venues like The End and The Exit/In, making …

Native of the North Guest Bloggers

Hello beautiful people! I’m looking for Guest Bloggers to add + share their wisdom with the world of travellers. I have two sections, 48 Hours In + The Local Lowdown which are in need of some new additions. 48 Hours In focuses on two days not-to-miss activities, places to eat and see. So far, I’ve written all my 48 Hours In pieces based on personal experience, local knowledge, and some research. However, with time constraints and extra projects on hand – I haven’t had time to add more. Which is why I’m asking for your help! The Local Lowdown is a series which focuses on locals and their Top 10 Favorite places in a city they once called home or currently do. Favorite things can include: favorite bars, parks, museums, or your friend’s moms homecooked chicken dinner. Everything goes! For anybody interested in adding their expert knowledge, please contact me via my Facebook page! Give a like and send a message. I’ll get back to you all as soon as possible!

The Local Lowdown | Libby on London

The beautiful Sustainable Urban Designer turned Fashion Editor at The Knot shares her DOs and DON’Ts of London along with her top 10 favorite gems. Libby MacCarthy, resident of New York, author of Notesfromthebackrow.com, and fanatic of most everything French, grew up in Cumberland, Maine but moved to London to pursue her Master’s in Sustainable Urban Design in 2010. Her one year making it her own will never be forgotten and always remembered with great fondness. If you’re ever considering visiting the legendary city, don’t miss out on Libby’s insider advice – There is no city in the world quite like London. It has this life and energy that is unmatched by any other city I’ve ever lived in. There were times when I really didn’t appreciate it while I lived there, but it’s one of the most memorable things about it. It’s not crazy like New York – it’s got that creative vibe, but it lacks that neediness, the willingness to please, it’s raw, but refined in a way. Everyone just seems innately cool without being over …

The Local Lowdown | Javier on Donostia

A 13 year resident to Donostia-San Sebastian and strong believer in the tradition of Vermouth , Javier Zuñiga – a fashion consultant based in Madrid –  shares his Sunday afternoon bar route along with restaurants to peak the interest of any foodie from the neighborhoods of Antiguo to Egia and everywhere in between. Javier’s bar tour of Donostia-San Sebastian — 1. Borda Berri Calle Fermin Calbeton, 12 (Old Town) Better known for their carrillera (beef cheek) or oreja (pig ear), this gem of a bar has a full menu of fantastically delicious food. Don’t miss out on the queso de cabra (goat cheese), risotto de idiazabel  (Idiazabel risotto), pulp (octopus) or kebab! Javier recommends callos de bacalo (cod tripe). 2. Bar Etxeberria Calle Iñigo, 8  (Old Town) Part of the “Vermut o muerte” (vermouth or die) club bar tour, this is a place that serves prepared Vermouth amongst an ecletic array of Czech and Holland brewed beers. Also ask for the mini bocadillos and greet the owner as “elegante” to get on his good side. photo by: 365donostia.com 3. Bar Nestor Calle Pescaderia, 11 (Old Town) Eat: Ensalada …

The Local Lowdown | Asya on Muscat

Kamila & Asya in Oman Asya Collins, 25, an avid reader and crocheter/knitter, enjoys wandering and dancing for no reason wherever she may be. Scottish born, Omani raised, Asya lived in Muscat age 3-17; she has had the privelage and pleasure to call various other countries her home since then, such as: Canada, Argentina, and Spain. While visiting Muscat, Asya reminds everyone that Oman is a muslim country, and “while it’s not as conservative as it’s neighbours, it is important ti respect the customs and culture of the place you are.”  Asya also suggests visitors to rent a car as “there is no real public transport, and you’ll really be limited” if you stick to walking from wherever you’re staying! She also recommends visiting between October and March as the summer months are  too hot to be able to enjoy the beach and daytime activities. Asya’s top 10 favorite spots in Muscat –  1. Kargeen restaurant and shisha bar: The Kargeen special bread, and lemon/mint drink need special mention. Any of the Arabic food options are amazing. Outdoor seating options, …

The Local Lowdown | Carolyn on Belize

Carolyn Pado, 75 years old born in Rockford, Illinois but living most of her life in Michigan, has called Belize home for 2 years. Always a traveller at heart, Carolyn spent about 3 months hopping around Europe on her own in her early 30s – she continues to travel back and forth from Belize to the US and throughout South America. She loves reading, music, and most of all meeting locals of the country she now calls home. What do you want a visitor to know about Belize? Belize is a beautiful country with loving, warm people. The richness of Belize is in its people, its natural beauty and its simplicity. I love especially the simplicity of living and the access to community on the island of Ambergris Caye. Life here is an active one for many; access to fishing, boating, diving, kite surfing are the reason why many come to Belize, which boasts the second largest Barrier Reef. Carolyn’s top 10 favorite spots in Belize –  1. The Greenhouse: A small store where you can get a …

The Local Lowdown | Cristina on Mexico City

  Hailing from Mexico City, Cristina Castellanos Stephens, student at the Basque Culinary School in Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain, shares with us her favorite spots in her hometown (or giant city) in Mexico. A fanatic of sharing good food and laughter with friends and family, Cristina also finds simple pleasures in the cinema, reading novels, music and secret silly dancing in the shower.       What do you want a visitor to know about Mexico City?  The city is magical, almost surreal and full of life. It’s colourful, its one big heart . . . imagine a close up to a heart with all the veins and blood running through never stopping: that’s Mexico City. Amazing street food: open 24 hours. BIG breakfasts: enchiladas (rolled up freshly made tortillas; OMG! So fragrant with shredded chicken inside and then covered with an amazing red or green sauce (green is my fave: made from roasted green tomatoes, onion, garlic and flavorsome chicken broth-blitzed into a wonderful smooth sauce and of course topped with gratin cheese on top). We …

The Local Lowdown | Courtney on LA

Only a local of LA for about seven months, Coutrney Hunter, 23, from Orange County, California moved to Venice, CA in September of 2013. The California native spends her time speaking Spanish as a way to stay connected to her year spent in Andaucia, Spain; she also highly enjoys: yoga, hiking, cooking, and listening to live music to name a few things. Courtney reveals her love of LA and all its hidden treasures below in her top 10 list – but before we jump ahead, Courtney shares some insider knowledge: LA is HUGE and DIVERSE.. Every beach town is different (and far) from Hollywood and Downtown LA; yet, what is so attractive about this city is how every district has something different to offer. Downtown has completely revamped and is a great place to walk to bars/restaurants, see concerts at Club Nokia, or go to the Staples Center and catch a game. We-Ho (West Hollywood) is where the “scene is at.” You have SO many opportunities for so much: clubs, speakeasys, concerts (Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood Paladium, …

The Local Lowdown | Charlotte on Toronto

The beautiful Charlotte O’Hara, 25, was born and raised in the heart of Toronto. O’Hara has called the Ontario city her home for most of her life, except during her university years in Halifax, Nova Scotia, and her time abroad in Belgium and France. The Toronto native finds her joy in the top 10 spots listed below spent with family and friends. O’Hara, an active runner and yogi, also enjoys amateur investing and traveling when she has the time. And to everyone planning on visiting her gorgeous city, O’Hara reminds you that they “are so much more than just Rob Ford Nation.” Despite the scandals on the local Mayor, the city is in top shape to explore and there’s so much to enjoy. So, pack your bags, book your Porter flight to the City Centre Islands and go and explore Canada’s hot-spot (when the ice storms and blizzards aren’t plaguing the locals) called Toronto. Charlotte’s top 10 favorite spots in Toronto – 1. Kensington Market: Go there and spend some time strolling up and down the streets. Kensington Market is …