Miami is an Aviation Geek’s Dream

Lufthansa A380 at MIA. Photo courtesy of Aero Icarus via Flickr.

Lufthansa A380 from Frankfurt landing at MIA

Despite its setting amid a flat, wildly sprawling car-topia, Miami International Airport is an aviation geek’s dream. Airliners from places as far away as Moscow and Buenos Aires or as close as Key West and Nassau, cargo planes all the way from China, the Airbus A380 – the world’s largest passenger aircraft – riding heavy over Biscayne Bay on its way across the Atlantic; if you look in the sky long enough, you’ll see it all. And unlike most big-city airports relegated to the boondocks, MIA is right in the heart of town.

TAM departing for Brazil

TAM departing for Brazil

Vantage points are everywhere: you can catch the afternoon arrivals from Europe at the LA Fitness on Northwest 12th Street, the planes so low you can almost touch them – Iberia, Alitalia, Virgin, Swiss, and British all in a row. Commuters on the Dolphin Expressway course alongside the south runway, sometimes racing TAM to Brazil, LAN to Chile, or Copa to Panama. Delta and United and Avianca and TACA and FedEx and UPS skirt the towers of downtown Miami throughout the day. But all-day, everyday, it’s American – old American, new American, big American, small American – it could be to Tallahassee or Tegucigalpa, somebody’s going somewhere on American.

AA dominates MIA

AA dominates MIA. They’ve been slow at repainting with the new logo.

Nearby Fort Lauderdale might have the most dramatic landings in the region, jets just barely missing the tops of the semis speeding up and down I-95. But Miami’s got the most diverse range of aircraft, airlines, landing patterns, and striking silhouettes of any city I’ve ever lived in.

Swiss airliner at MIA

Swiss prepping for the return to Zurich

So if you’re driving past the airport and see someone creeping along on the expressway at 5 miles an hour trying to snap a shot of a departing AirBerlin jet on their phone, it’s probably me. I really have to stop that; it’s just not safe.

Terminal J at MIA from Dolphin Expressway

Terminal J at MIA from Dolphin Expressway

Oh…and is anybody else but me excited that Qatar Airways will be flying here come next June?! Nobody? Bueller?

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Brazil’s Iconic Varig Airlines Brand to be Discontinued

Varig Airlines Travel Poster Bahia

Once a standard-bearer of glamour and adventure during the Golden Age of jet travel, Brazil’s Varig brand will cease to exist by next April. That’s when Brazilian low-cost airline Gol, owner of the brand, will officially dispense with the iconic logo and name that it acquired when the original Varig stopped flying in 2006, repainting the remaining Varig-branded planes in Gol’s fluorescent orange livery.

Varig-Gol

Founded in Porto Alegre in 1927 as Viação Aérea Rio-Grandense, the airline known as Varig once connected Brazil with destinations as far-flung as Copenhagen, Tokyo, Maputo, and Toronto, carrying with it idealized exoticism, the promise of sun and sex south of the equator. Jet-setters, when not flying Pan Am, flew Varig down to Rio. Even the plucky Holly Golightly adorned the walls of her Manhattan apartment with Varig’s eye-catching posters as she dreamt of a new life in Brazil in Breakfast at Tiffany’s.

Sadly, as air travel became more accessible to the masses, Varig’s stellar service waned, as did its profits, and by the 2000s, the airline found it hard to compete against nimble competition in a stormy economic environment. After an embarrassing bankruptcy in 2006, with planes repossessed at JFK and soccer fans stranded in Germany during the World Cup, competitor Gol snapped up a few bits and pieces of the legacy carrier, hoping to bank on Varig’s international brand recognition and global image. Subsequently, as archrival TAM has taken up the mantle as Brazil’s de facto flag carrier and Gol has steadily built its own brand awareness through aggressive advertizing and solid service, Varig’s name proved irrelevant and, come next April, will be consigned to history, alongside Pan Am, TWA, Swissair, and a few other paragons of 20th century air travel.

I only flew Varig once, round-trip from Miami to Salvador da Bahia via São Paulo. It was my first trip to Brazil. The seats on the Boeing 777 were cramped, the flight attendants on the international legs mostly surly, middle-aged men. Our return domestic flight was late and an agent had to rush us through the concrete maze that is São Paulo’s airport to make our connection to Miami and as I approached the door, one flight attendant smiled at me and asked, “Baiano?” “Não,” I responded, flattered to have been mistaken for Brazilian, “americano.”

Varig, you will be missed.

Varig Airlines Travel Poster Rio2

Varig Airlines Travel Poster Sao Paulo

Varig Airlines Travel Poster Brazil

Varig Airlines Travel Poster Rio1

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How TBEX Made Me Realize Why I’m in Miami

EWhite TBEX

In teacher-mode at TBEX. Yes, the room was intimidating!

Sometimes, you end up someplace and don’t exactly know why. Obviously, a series of events happens that leads you somewhere, but it’s the existential why, rather than the literal how, which leaves you questioning the reason behind a move. Since repatriating at the beginning of the year, I’ve been wondering what the cosmos had in store for me back in the USA and, particularly, in Miami. Pleasant weather and an oft-fulfilling university teaching position had been the only identifiable high points in a place with soul-sucking traffic and a large proportion of plastic, soulless people. Throw American political asshattery and Trayvon/stop-and-frisk/Oscar Grant on top and all I could think was “why hast Thou banished me to this forsaken land, especially when there’s always Paris?”

A couple of weeks ago, the why revealed itself to me unexpectedly whilst visiting the fair capital city of the Republic of Ireland: Dublin.

At the beginning of October, I participated as a speaker at the world’s largest travel blogging conference, Travel Blog Exchange, or TBEX. Held twice a year – once in North America and once in Europe – TBEX brings together travel bloggers, journalists, entrepreneurs, tourism bureaus, travel tech companies, and the like. As with most professional conferences, TBEX attracts an odd combination of earnest, open-minded participants seeking useful knowledge and meaningful interaction, as well as navel-gazing, self-important douchebags who only crack their mouths or make eye-contact if they think there’s something to be gained materially by demonstrating even the scantest bit of home training, and everything in between. While the Dublin edition did have its share of the latter, I found the overwhelming majority of the participants to be pleasant and engaging, and at the close of every day, nay, every session, I felt all the more inspired and motivated to further develop Fly Brother as my brand and myself as a writer.

During the four-day conference, I spoke twice: once about cultural awareness in travel writing as part of a pre-conference writers workshop (with a powerhouse trifecta comprised of Christine Cantera, David Farley, and one of my longtime travel writing heroes, Leif Pettersen), and then all by my lonesome about the importance of fact-checking and sourcing. While my sessions involved imparting some level of expertise to the attendees, I feel that I gained much more in terms of positive feedback, constructive criticism, meaningful networking (including starting new and deepening old friendships), and, most importantly, the sense that I’m indeed on the right road to greater things.

On my way back to the USofA, I realized what I should have realized from the beginning, but was too paralyzed by reverse culture shock to recognize: that the cosmos brought me here to Miami, at this moment, for personal and professional growth.

The university job, aside from being a phenomenal résumé-builder, lets me use my talents as a communicator to show people desirous of growth how to break through self- and community-imposed barriers. The stability that the job provides allows me to undertake – and complete – my doctoral research studies. The geographical location of Miami puts me closer to my family and friends in the States, places me within a half-day’s journey to three continents, and lets me utilize my hard-won Spanish and Portuguese skills, all with the Atlantic Ocean a mere two blocks away from my apartment. But most importantly, Miami provides me a visible yet accessible base from which to launch Fly Brother as a business in a way that living in São Paulo and Berlin didn’t necessarily provide me, with those cities being exotic enough to render me out of sight, out of mind. From here, I can get to conferences, I can get to coffee meetings with editors, I can get to book signings, and I can get to after-church barbecues with my folks quickly and easily. In other words, I can get to it.

But despite a gang of friends and family members dutifully and repeatedly telling me these things over the last few months, it took going to Dublin and experiencing the tremendous friendliness of our Irish hosts, fellowshipping with a couple hundred amazing, like-minded travelers who think of little else, and soaking up collective inspiration to light the necessary fire.

So, thank you TBEX, Failte Ireland, and my TBEX cronies, old and new, for reminding me of why I’m here. See you next time!

Here’s a look at the opening night reception, thrown by Failte Ireland at the iconic Guinness Storehouse. Unauthorized candid at 0:29. ;-)

 

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Vintage Travel Posters: The Caribbean

As fall turns to winter in the Northern Hemisphere, travelers have always looked to the Caribbean for a little warmth. But it wasn’t just exotic beaches that were advertised; the region’s exoticized black bodies have always been a part of its allure. I’ve got mixed feelings about some of these. What do you think?

BWIA_CaribbeanPanAm_Caribbean

BOAC_Caribbean

PanAm_Caribbean2

caribbean-air

BWIA_Caribbean1

PanAm_Caribbean1

KLM_Caribbean

PanAm_Caribbean0

AirFrance_Caribbean

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How I Became an American Douchebag at the Great Wall of China (Despite Good Home-Training and My Best Intentions)

GreatWall1

Douche-y American teeth.

“Hey you,” the vending lady barked at us. “You buy souvenir.”

“No, no, thank you.” I said, as politely as I could, pressing my lips together in that unintentionally patronizing, very American way. She stalked off, muttering not quite under her breath. I didn’t understand the words, but I understood the meaning. We were being cussed out in Mandarin.

Over the next few minutes, as we moved from the ticket booth to the entrance of the gondolas that would take us to the Great Wall of China, women in jeans and sweatshirts approached us in brusque English, insisting that we purchase a souvenir book or a set of postcards or a Chinese fan. And with each rebuff, they’d turn away abruptly and say something to the others that would either elicit a laugh or a hmph from the group. My traveling companions and I all looked at each other, not wanting to be rude but wanting to be rid of the hassling. We’d come to see the Wall, not to be pressured into buying overpriced kitsch.

One lady in particular, however, had a different approach. She calmly asked us if we would consider taking a look at her souvenirs on our way back down from the Wall. Responding to her relatively polite demeanor, I told her that we’d think about it, but no guarantees. She then said that she’d be heading up to the Wall as well and that she’d see us up there. I said that was fine, but we weren’t promising that we’d buy anything. She disappeared and we hopped into a couple of gondolas for the ride up to the Wall.

Swaying a few hundred feet in the air over steep, verdant hills, we could see an unpaved pathway running parallel to the gondola route, the woman who I’d last spoken to and her friend trekking along it at a brisk pace. The gondolas, however, moved slowly, granting us striking views of the undulating hills crested by the Wall, but also giving the saleswomen time to reach the landing and offer their hands to help us alight.

A gravel path led the hundred or so yards from the gondola landing to the Wall and the ladies trailed us, hanging back a few feet and talking to each other. Meanwhile, our little group decided to take a few pictures before climbing onto the Wall itself. The women offered to take our pictures for us, the one I’d been talking to speaking quite good English and the other not speaking much at all. But we declined, knowing that we’d be expected to pay for that offer. I reiterated our intention to consider her wares at the end of our visit, but not promising to buy anything.

Still, she followed at a respectful distance, offering unsolicited but informative insights about the length of the Wall and on which side lay Mongolia. We walked up the stairs and onto the Wall in silence, awed by the ancient and imposing energy of the thing. The overcast day and remote location of this particular piece of the Wall meant very few visitors that day; the saleswoman explained, matter-of-factly, that because of the low tourist turnout, the vendors were all strapped for customers and, therefore, cash. She said that most of the women, herself included, had been farmers in the nearby villages, but could make more money with the increased tourist trade, as more and more foreigners visited China. I understood and appreciated her straightforwardness, thinking that, unlike the others, she understood how to approach a potential customer and that I’d at least consider buying something small.

My companions and I walked up and down the waves of the Wall, still awe-struck, stopping to take pictures of each other and the landscape and stones and turret windows and Chinese flags atop sentry towers. The tension between our group and the saleswomen gradually eased and I asked the lady I’d been talking to how her English became so good. She said she’d had lots of practice with tourists. Her friend followed along silently, offering a helping hand intermittently when we came to the un-restored portion of the Wall, covered with loose and jagged stones. I kind of felt bad for her, because I knew she’d be expecting something for following us around and I knew she’d most likely be getting nothing for her trouble, bless her heart.

Damp with sweat from our surprisingly strenuous trek up and down a length of the Wall (in China, in August, it’s not the heat, it’s the humidity), my group started to commiserate about what we’d try to pay the woman I’d been talking to for her friendliness and guidance on the Wall. We decided on 30 yuan, admittedly not much, but enough for a couple of super-sized combos at McDonald’s or two tall, skinny lattes at Starbucks. None of us were interested in the kitsch, especially at Great Wall prices.

At last, the moment of truth: We announced our intention to return to base camp (i.e. the parking lot) and offered the 30 yuan to the woman I’d been talking to. She immediately insisted that we buy one of her souvenir books at 100 yuan. We immediately said no, offering her the 30 again. She lowered her price for the book to 80 and we said no again and started walking towards the gondola landing, still offering her the 30. Her friend followed along, saying nothing but holding fans and postcard books toward us. She still didn’t seem to want to take the 30 yuan, or the hint that we wouldn’t be buying anything.

Then we tried to board the gondola but got stopped by the attendant. “Your ticket is one-way only. Forty yuan to go down.” (We really should have looked that up before leaving home.)

So, 45 to enter the place upon arrival, 40 to go up to the Wall, and now 40 to come back down. I muttered not quite under my breath, “man, now I know I ain’t buyin’ shit.” The ladies continued to beseech us loudly to buy something. The woman said that there was a cheaper way down to the parking lot; we could walk and then have money to buy something. Exasperated, bamboozled, and with credit card swiped, I said, loudly (not yelled, mind you), “No! You want money to come in here, money to go up, money to go down, no more money. We aren’t rich!”

One of my friends asked the woman, “Do you want this 30 yuan or not?” She had about 30 seconds to make up her mind before we hit them gondolas and she quietly accepted the money. Then, as we boarded, she said “You come see my store at bottom,” and turned towards the path beneath the gondola wires.

“Damn, you try to be nice…” I said, thinking that this must be how it feels for women who try to politely fend off unattractive suitors, when said suitors just don’t get the damn hint. Maybe it’s just better to be a bitch up front.

We passed the ladies on the way down and, once on the ground, joked about needing to run before they caught up with us. Not a New York minute later, they caught up to us on bikes, flying out of the trees like vampires or CGI zombies or whatever brand of swiftly moving undead you’d care to liken them to. I could feel a blood-curdling scream bubble up in my throat, but what actually escaped my mouth and reverberated throughout the otherwise-quiet valley was a corpulent “God dammit!”

Our group remained silent and walked the half-mile or so towards the car, ignoring the ladies on the bikes who just would. not. give. up. We hastily walked the gauntlet, past a row of shabbily arranged souvenir and drink stands, each proprietor holding out her merchandise and yelling “Hey” at us. The silent woman got to her stand first and silently, desperately held out some cookies toward us. There was anguish in her face as we passed her by with shrugs.

The woman I’d been talking to finally reached her booth and said, “Come on, friend, you buy book for 60!” As we passed by, I couldn’t even look directly at her anymore, catching the pained expression on her face in my peripheral vision, as if her I were her best elementary school friend who had dropped her to hang with the cooler kids on the first day of junior high.

And as I write this, I realize that I never even asked the woman’s name.

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The Faces of Tragedy

WTC 911

In light of the 12th anniversary of the September 11th Attacks, continued political unrest in countries very close to my heart – Egypt and Venezuela and Brazil –, and innumerable natural and man-made disasters that have occurred in places that I’ve visited or desire to visit, I believe this post, written in response to the Mumbai bombings in 2008, is still as pertinent today. May the victims, their families, and the world find peace.

Originally posted December 3, 2008:

On November 12, 2001, American Airlines Flight 587 from JFK to Santo Domingo crashed in a residential area of Queens, killing all aboard and five on the ground. On October 23, 2006, a fire ripped through a packed city bus in Panama City, Panama, killing eighteen people, mostly women and children. I was reminded of these two events by a post on writer Lara Dunston’s old blog, cool travel guide. In the post, Lara talked about her stay at Mumbai’s Taj Mahal Palace Hotel years before it was bombed, having lunched and shopped at some of the places that are now the scenes of incalculably inhumane carnage. Having seen people engage each other, going about the banalities of daily life in these places, tragedies like last week’s attacks or the 2001 plane crash or the 2006 bus explosion become much more visceral; you can relate to the people because you’ve seen their faces.

For me, September 11 was an abstract event, seen from Miami on the same TV screens where violent video games and action flicks and cop reality shows parade incessantly. I processed the events cerebrally and intellectually. After all, I was literally a thousand miles away, knew no one who worked in or lived around Lower Manhattan at the time, and had already confirmed the safety of the few friends I did know then living in New York. I was angry and scared and insecure like most people, and I had seen pictures and footage of the victims on the news. Still, I had no real connection to the event because I had no clue of how the towers looked from up-close, how the air smelled, how the doormen or cleaning ladies would smile or snarl at the secretaries as they entered the building just before or just after their bosses. I couldn’t relate.

But I had been on a flight to the Dominican Republic by the time Flight 587 crashed just after take-off three months later. I had been on several, enough to notice a large number of children on every flight heading to the island to visit grandparents, cousins, friends, sometimes involuntarily. The first thing I thought when I heard the news of the crash were cherubic, tanned faces framed by dark Dominican curls, grinning gap-toothed smiles and speaking New York-accented Spanglish. A good portion of the people on that flight were kids, I knew instinctively. And that hit me hard.

When I visited Panama over the Christmas holidays back in 2006, the citizenry was still in an uproar about the bus explosion, which occured in the middle of the street right in front of my hotel. The legal mechanisms of the country weren’t moving fast enough to implicate the responsible parties, and old, faulty, “refurbished” American school buses were still being used for public transport in the city. And when the desk clerk at the hotel told me about the explosion, about how all but one of the eighteen people killed were women and children (this is unconfirmed, but I took her at her word), I immediately thought about the legions of plump grandmothers and aunts and church ladies in flowered dresses who would never have the energy and the strength required to scramble out of an inferno. At school and church back home in Florida, there were legions of grandmothers and aunts and church ladies who looked like the ones I saw walking the streets of Panama City, and I had to assume that these were the same types of ladies who burned to death on that bus. I couldn’t shake the image from my mind.

In an age of media desensitization and relative human safety (compared to previous centuries of war and disease and saber-toothed tiger maulings), it’s very easy to live most of your life looking at tragedies on the news and, as pointed out in Hotel Rwanda, say “what a shame” before turning back to your dinner. But you can’t do that as easily when you’ve seen their faces.

Image source: KimCarpenterNJ

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In Search of the Real

Chinese women

Which one of these two women represents the real China?

In response to someone who told me I hadn’t been to the real China because I didn’t visit a hutong:

People like to say that Hong Kong, Shanghai, and even Beijing these days don’t represent the real China, with their modern skyscrapers, ubiquitous Starbuckses, and global influence. The real China is rice paddies and opium dens, Little Red Books and old ladies with bound feet, straw hats and bicycles and dragon lanterns, right?

When people who fancy themselves “travelers, not tourists,” visit foreign countries for the first time, they often verbalize their desire to see the real place. The real Paris. The real Brazil. The real Australian Outback. (Though, I concede to not hearing very many people expressing a yen for the real Orlando.) In my opinion, this quest for authenticity is as romantically futile as it is superficial – places, like people, are multidimensional entities that embody contradictions and eschew easy categorizations.

In the present, more than at any other time in history, the emergence of a global urban culture has transformed, if not usurped to some degree, the local “authentic” culture of cities. And while that global culture is indeed dominated, somewhat shamefully, by American hegemony, it is still the local incarnation of global culture that visitors to the world’s largest cities encounter – homegrown fast-food chains next door to McDonald’s, hip hop artists rhyming in Yoruba or Finnish or Bahasa Indonesia, jeans and sneakers and hoodies everywhere – evidence that anything can become tradition, given time.

True, once-unique locales have begun homogenizing, morphing into glass-and-steel clones of New York or – gasp – Dubai, with air conditioned shopping malls housing branches of the same mid-range-to-luxury goods purveyor found in commercial centers the world over.

But this is the world we live in now. Yuppies in Beijing use smart phones to order Thai takeout to watch in front of their flat-screen TVs. Students in São Paulo organize anti-corruption protests via Facebook, likening themselves to anti-corruption protesters half a world away in Turkey. It’s the technology that’s connecting us as well as conditioning us into a state of global citizenship (with its concomitant dark side, global consumerism).

Nonetheless, are these places any less real because the people who live there utilize products and services that may not be homegrown, or that many more people in a given country live in abject poverty? Is New York any less American, Paris any less French, or Bangkok any less Thai because of globalization? And does a visitor to the U.S. need to spend a night in the hood or a trailer park to experience the real America? I think far too many people conflate realness in travel with slumming, or at the very least, with what the “average” [insert nationality here] person does or doesn’t do. Every place on the planet is comprised of conflicting realities, one no less real than the other.

What I experience when I travel is as real as it gets, be it an hours-long conversation at a Krispy Kreme in Seoul or comparing dance moves in front of a chaiwala in Mumbai. It’s through genuine human interaction and an openness to learning that I get to know the real place, the real people. And that means first letting go of my own preconceived notions of realness and authenticity.

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Image sources: Lauren Nelson & Eightfish

New Documentary: Gringo Trails + 10 Days in China

Great Wall of China by Francisco Diez via Flickr

I’ll be heading off to China for the next ten days – Beijing and Shanghai – and I’m not sure what the restrictions on websites and Internet usage will be. Meanwhile, check out this trailer for the upcoming documentary Gringo Trails, which looks at the impact of mass tourism around the globe. You just might spot a familiar face. ;-)


Great Wall of China image by Francisco Diez via Flickr

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Global Juke Joint: Soulful Shout-Outs

Sometimes a city, a state, a country just moves you to sing a song in its honor. And some songs – and singers – are better than others. These soulfully chill paeans to places near and far help transport you when you can’t get there quick enough. Enjoy.

Chaka Khan – “A Night in Tunisia”

Fania All Stars – “Isla del Encanto” (That’d be Puerto Rico, Isle of Enchantment.)

Tom Browne – “Funkin’ for Jamaica”

Cesaria Evora – “São Vicente di Longe” (One of the isles of Cape Verde)

Ray Charles – “Georgia On My Mind”

Morcheeba – “São Paulo”

The Jones Girls – “Nights Over Egypt”

Willie Colón & Rubén Blades – “María Lionza” (Folk Goddess of Venezuela)

Rosalia de Souza – “Ipanema”

Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong – “April in Paris”

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A Very Brief Roman Holiday

Outside the Colosseum

                                      Yeh, Bad Angle

There’s not very much one can do on a weekend in Rome if one doesn’t have one’s itinerary planned before one steps off the plane. I was one who hadn’t planned my itinerary in advance, so I missed out on a few of the Eternal City’s eternal attractions: the Papal capital of Vatican City, the shabbily romantic warrens of Trastevere, the noble and numerous Spanish Steps (though I may have walked down them). What I did get to experience, however, was the delightfully unsettling buzz of being in a space so dominated – physically – by a history so pervasive in Western culture that I felt at once connected with a place I’d only seen in books and on film. But despite the easy connection, I had much left to discover in the Italian capital.

I discovered that speaking Spanish with an improvised “Italian” accent gets one through most interactions on the street, and people are generally friendly, except for most older men working in service positions, who are all kinds of surly. I discovered that one’s obvious reluctance to dart across multiple lanes of fast-moving traffic pegs one squarely as a foreigner, if one’s looks and accent doesn’t give one away beforehand. I discovered that one can keep up with the renowned Roman sense of fashion with a dark gray blazer, jeans, button-down shirts, and black leather loafers – I got a few winks and smiles for the trouble. I discovered that the temperature need not be warm for Romans to gorge themselves (sexily) on gelato. I discovered the three-day Roma Pass, which was the absolute best 30 euros one could ever spend: free entry to two historical sites – including the gigantic Colosseum (Yowza! One really has no idea of its sheer size, name notwithstanding!), where one gets to skip all the other losers waiting in the hours-long line because they didn’t get the Roma Pass –, free and unlimited access to the public transportation system, and a rack of other deals and discounts one probably won’t end up using. I discovered that walking aimlessly through the streets of Rome, one feels suddenly urbane and energized, an exotic sophisticate surveying the latest great city to fall at one’s feet, until one’s feet begin to ache and one realizes that leather loafers were never meant for so much aimless walking.

Alas, my Roman holiday proved too short, though I managed to squeeze in a couple of brief, bright meet-ups with street art maven Jessica Stewart of RomePhotoBlog (at her book signing, no less!) and fly sister-slash-interior designer Arlene Gibbs, formerly of travel blog NYC/Caribbean Ragazza. Still, the City of Seven Hills holds many secrets, and once Rome has whispered in one’s ear, one is obliged to return and discover the others as well.

Take a look at some of the admittedly boring pictures of Roman architecture and other random stuff that I like. If you don’t like, then go to Rome and take your own pictures of the stuff you like!!!!! ;-)

Ancient Tile Mural
Rosetta Stone
Coffee and a MapRoman Ruins
Vintage Airline Decals
Really Inside the Colosseum
Shadow and LightTeatro Metropolitano
Vespas Vespas Everywhere

Roman Architecture through the Ages Red Lights
Inside the Colosseum

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