Back and forth between the United States and Europe for the last 10 years, I’ve come to accept that I just can’t stay west for too long. For staying away would be depriving my soul one of its most fulfilling nourishments. I have dabbled in life in several regions of France and the Netherlands, but it is the capital cities that hold my attention with their countless sources of inspiration and curious novelties.
Paris is amazing for the senses- every one of them. I can’t think of any other place I’ve ever been that is more of a hotspot of stimulation, whether it’s the honking cars, the scent of fresh pastries baking nearby, the metro trains screeching to a halt, a crusty piece of bread in hand, or the glistening lights of the city’s countless monuments. I love exploring new quartiers and watching the city change, grow, and shift.
Amsterdam was such a pleasant surprise for me. Somewhat averse to moving there, I was pleasantly surprised to find a side of it unrelated to the sex and drug scene. What I discovered was a city of timeless charm and massive character. The towering buildings build an aesthetically pleasing cohesiveness, yet are each unique, and act as a lovely background for the changing seasons.
One thing I try to do being the eternal tourist that I am and therefore photographing all the time, is to capture what I see to then be able to share it with others. My experiences in these cities and others have led me to a photographic endeavor I welcome you to join me on. I hope you enjoy joining me as I explore these two wonderful cities and share my impressions with an international American’s perspective.
Those who have been on a boat through the Amsterdam canals
– and no, I don't mean the giant cruise boats – know that it’s an experience unlike any other. It allows
The Dutch have no shortage of snack bars all over the country. I personally don’t care for most snack bar food and therefore have not tried most of it, but one specialty I’ve learned
Living in the center of Amsterdam
, there are always many options for places to eat or take an afternoon tea or drink. Being the explorer that I am, I always have taken
Have you ever wondered what is hidden behind those towering typical Amsterdam
buildings? When you look closely at the 400-600 year-old structures within the canal ring,
I had seen many restaurants and cafés displaying various high tea proposals over the last few months – each tempting me more each time, so I recently decided to go for one to see if
Somewhere along that charming walk through the Marais – preferably on a Sunday, when the streets are packed with locals and tourists alike – lies a beautiful book and stationery store
Several years ago, I moved to Paris for the second time, this time with more preparation time. The apartment I chose was selected based almost entirely on its proximity to a park, that
In a time when I was feeling like just about the unluckiest person in the planet, I was living temporarily in Paris’ most horrendous apartment. Exaggerate I do not. The three friends
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the shop that really lures me back to Ile Saint Louis every time. Bakhtar is a shop that has never had the pleasure of zip zipping my credit card,
If you’ve ever walked along rue St. Louis en l’Ile, you’ll know that it’s filled with many wonderful shops. Call me a tourist, but I love this street. Heck, I love the whole island.
The first time I moved to Paris, I had someone, a Parisienne, tell me that I must go to La Butte aux Cailles, a street in the 13th that she described as quaint and pleasant. Her enthusiasm
So there is this charming little café nestled in the heart of the Marais that I just can’t get enough of. I first discovered the place when I lived just a couple of blocks away and
I love Saint Germain. No, not Boulevard Saint Germain so much, with all those frou-frou shops. I love the area more down toward Saint Sulpice where everything is gloriously charming.
So I went on a typical Julia adventure recently… I traversed at least four arrondissements on foot during a five-hour period. I permitted myself a map for the first part of my journey
Having the sweet tooth that I do, I think it only appropriate to talk sweets in this inaugural post. Taste buds rejoice upon entrance in France, as every mouthful of food consumed here