All posts tagged: museum

5 days in San Francisco

This is my second time visiting California in 2015. If you recall from some of my previous posts, I swung by Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco in March with my girlfriends. Aside from the fact that I am in love with the weather, this time around I had a very different agenda. The main purpose of my trip was to go camping into Yosemite National Park with my boyfriend which I will talk about in much more detail in the post right after this one. Today I wanted to highlight some of the fun things I did in San Francisco ¬†ūüôā The weather in San Fran was perfect as usual – a hot dry breezy mid 20’s. ¬†We walked around Union Square and Market Street – a great shopping area with an generous¬†mix of luxury and mid priced retail stores. ¬†You can buy your Givenchy, Chanel and Valentino, walk a few blocks and find Victoria’s Secret, Converse and Urban Outfitters. One of my favorite things about this city is the neighborhoods. ¬†It’s simply …

Los Angele: LACMA, Universal Studios, Nightlife

Although I’ve been to California many times, I usually stick to San Francisco where I visit family. ¬†This time, I took a week trip down with a few friends to explore the other main cities – Los Angeles being the first stop. ¬†It’s a classic Californian city with Palm trees and perfect weather. ¬†Lots of great spots for food, entertainment, and shopping. ¬†Don’t confuse downtown LA as being the equivalent of downtown Toronto (we learned this the hard way). ¬†All the action is at the beaches and Hollywood. ¬†Car rentals are super cheap and the best way to get around. On our first morning we stopped by Poppy + Rose, a quant little cafe tucked in an uncanny location for an outdoor market. ¬†A bit of a hidden treasure. ¬†The food was¬†really yummy! ¬†We had a Salmon Eggs Benedict on a tender biscuit and Chicken Chopped Salad. After breakfast, we headed over to the LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). ¬†Of course, had to take some photos with the iconic lamps! ¬†The museum itself …

In the American Capital

Our next stop after Baltimore was a brief layover in Washington. ¬†We were very impressed by how cleanly and organized the city was.¬† ¬† The Union Station was huge… almost as nice as New York’s Grand Central. Our objective was to check out the White House… but instead we ended up at the Capitol Building which we thought was the White House… Folks, there are a lot of white buildings in Washington. ¬† Then I found the Securities & Exchange Commission!! ¬†For some reason I was really excited… as a finance major, I only read about this in textbooks and suddenly I get the see the physical building where all the action takes place. ¬† On the topic of nerdy things… ¬†One of the best things about Washington is that they boast an impressive collection of museums… for free! ¬†I hopped on Google and saw that the Museum of Natural History as one of the most popular and highest ranked. I had a serious case of deja vu as I entered the museum. ¬†I realize …

Berlin: Popular Tourist Spots

One of my favorite things to do in Berlin was just wandering around aimlessly. ¬†Some of the coolest hidden gems are not plastered all over tourist pamplets, and you have to find them yourself or get locals to show you around. ¬†Here are some random tidbits that I captured around the city. ¬† ¬†boxoffBerlin¬†is chock full of cool little gadgets and souvenirs. ¬†Instead of your usual tacky magnet or postcard, their stock has a very distinct Berlin feel which is grundgey, rebellious, and artistic. ¬†If you are looking for Berlin gifts or things to put around your house as decor, this is the place to shop. ¬†Just a few steps away from boxoffBerlin is Checkpoint Charlie, the crossing point between East and West Berlin. ¬†It’s a pretty well-known tourist spot and the guards are really there just for show. You can take a picture with them (for a fee). ¬†Nothing too special. ¬†The monument I pass by all the time near Friedrichstrasse on my way to the library where I study. ¬†As recommended by a …

Berlin: Where to live and breathe the city’s rich history

One of the most anticipated scheduled trips of the program was attending a German Cabaret. ¬†Berlin was hailed as one of the major ‘Sin cities’ of the 1920’s. ¬†Sexuality, experimentation and artistic expression were at their peak right after World War I. ¬†Cabarets are similar to musicals/broadway shows and are often associated with sex in Berlin. ¬†The venue, despite it being a tent, was very glamorous and posh. ¬†The show we watched was an adaption of the actual film called “Cabaret” based off Christopher Isherwood’s novel. ¬†The story depicts the intertwined lives of an American performer, Sally Bowles, and reserved academic writer, Brian Roberts. ¬†Good thing we had watched the film in English prior because the entire show was in German and it was already difficult enough following along. ¬†As you can see, the costumes are very risqu√©, baring tons of flesh and the dancing is rather erotic. ¬† Not really understanding the dialogue, my focus was purely on the performance and theatrics which were very playful and comedic.¬† There was a live band and …

Berlin: Jewish Museum & Charluttenburg Castle,

Our second excursion was to the Jewish Museum in Berlin. ¬†Most people would instantly think this is a museum dedicated to the tragedy of the Holocaust, but actually it goes beyond the piece of history that we are all familiar with and goes deeper by taking visitors through a chronological journey of Jewish history before and after the Third Reich. The museum aims to broaden our perception of Jews in Germany by educating visitors on their culture, lifestyles, and important historical figures. ¬†The building itself is designed by the same architecture behind the Royal Ontario Museum – David Libeskind. ¬†People who are familiar with the ROM should be able to see some similar styles between the two buildings. ¬†One of my favorite rooms is this gigantic sun room near the entrance. ¬†I remember it being a very hot day and the heat from the rays made this glass covered room feel like an oven. ¬†Did I mention most buildings in Berlin do not have air conditioning? ¬†One of my favorite quotes. ¬†One simple sentence can …

Discovering the artistic side of Paris

Musee du Louvre, the largest museum in the world and probably one of the most famous as well for its feature in Dan Brown’s Da Vinci Code. ¬†Reserve at least half a day if you want to enjoy a good chunk of this museum because the exhibitions are enormous. ¬†We spent about 3 hours and only got through about three exhibitions and within the last hour we sped through most of the artwork. ¬†As I am writing this post after my Europe trip, I must say Musee du Louvre is large and thorough enough to over shadow all other European art museums and act as a good summary of all categories of European artwork. ¬†Initially we were going to do this and Musee D’Orsay within the same day but I’m glad we scraped that idea because you will be exhausted after exploring either and will need a breather before delving into such intense artistic realms again.¬† The beautiful modern glass pyramid entrance How the pyramid looks like from the interior after you have descended the …