Tag Archives: Travel

Where is Bike Share?!

11 Sep

All summer I was reeling with excitement because New York City was finally getting bike share in the end of this Summer! For those of you who haven’t heard me yap non-stop about this, bike share is a network of communal bicycles available throughout the city. Designed mainly for short-distance commuting, bike share enables you to pick up a bike and one station and drop it off at another station at your destination, providing an alternative to walking and public transportation. NYC is slated to have 10,000 bikes available at 600 stations throughout the city, focused mostly in Manhattan and downtown Brooklyn. I was so happy we were catching up! Bike share programs are already available in roughly 165 cities around the world, including Boston, Washington DC, and London, which we feature on the Daisy Chain!

Me posing with Bike Share in London!

I was literally counting the days for NYC Bike share, called Citi Bike as it is sponsored by CitiBank, because I just started a Masters Degree program (!) that requires me to commute to the opposite side of town, and Citi Bike was going to make my life much easier. I had my route all mapped out: pick a bike on my corner, ride across town to the West Side, where I would get on the 1 Train, and then 100 blocks later I would be at school.

Sadly, the inauguration of Citi Bike was pushed back to March 2013 and I have been condemned to walk across town or take the bus. It’s actually not that serious, but I am on a little bit of a rant and I must emphasize again how much I love bike shares and how much I was looking forward to it. Alas, I must tell myself to be patient…OR, this provides the perfect excuse to hop down to DC, or over to London, or Mexico CIty, or Paris, or Medellin…

Me and my sister riding Boston’s Bike Share!

-Anne

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Walking the World in 10 Blocks

14 Aug

New York is an amazing city, and writing about it is a pleasure. Today I want to highlight an extremely diverse community in Queens: Jackson Heights. I had never made it out there until a couple of weeks ago, it’s a significant train ride as Jackson Heights neighbors LaGuardia Airport, and it was definitely worth it!

With no agenda or time frame, I just got off the train and meandered to try to get a feel for the neighborhood. Walking along Roosevelt Avenue, there was a food truck serving up Equadorian street food, a Himalayan fish market, a Mexican travel agency, a Tibetan goods store, and many stores selling Halal products. I heard at least 5 languages being spoken on the street, and none of them English!

Pedestrian Plazas- gotta love them!

In a moment of brilliance, I coordinated my trip so that I would be there for lunch. Located by a pedestrian plaza offering some peace from the hustle of the main commercial strip, I stepped into Delhi Heights, an unassuming (but DELICIOUS!) Indian restaurant. I decided to try something new- a sandwich called Kathi Roll. Described as “Succulent tender pieces of chicken or lamb cooked and rolled in soft bread like roomali Roti or naan,” this sandwich delivered bursts of taste with enough spiciness to tease but not overwhelm. I paired it with a mango lassi- a delicious yogurt-based drink that cools and calms the tongue. Aside from the amazing food, because it borders a plaza, Delhi Heights had some great people watching, so I hung out observing and taking refuge from the heavy, humid, and hot NYC summer.

Kathi Roll and Mango Lassi at Delhi Heights

Once I cooled off a bit, I was ready for dessert in another part of the world. Walking along 37th Ave, which runs parallel to Roosevelt Ave., I stumbled into La Nueva Bakery. As a Brazilian living in NYC, I often feel nostalgic for all the treats and eats from home, and La Nueva Bakery had just what I needed to help fend off the saudades: churros and empanadas! Although these treats were the Uruguayan version of my hometown favorites- they certainly did the trick! I ordered a churro con dulce de leche to stay and a couple of empanadas to go (I had just had lunch!) The churro was crunchy on the outside and soft in the middle, where the dulce de leche was inserted. It was just what I needed to get me through the weeks left before my trip to Brazil.

Churros con Dulce de Leche from La Nueva Bakery

The 7 train takes you right through the heart of Jackson Heights. Get off at 82nd Street to be right in the middle of the action! Jackson Heights might be a little off the beaten path, but it definitely gives you a taste (pun intended) of the many worlds nestled within New York City!

-Anne

Delhi Heights
37-66 74th Street
Jackson Heights, NY

La Nueva Bakery
85-02 37th Avenue
Jackson Heights, NY

Island Hopping in Brazil

18 Jul

*Coming soon: tales of a life in Shanghai. For now I am relaxing back home enjoying family, familiar places, old friends, and yummy foods.

Last week I had an unexpected but very pleasant visitor who had never been to Brazil before, so I decided to show him as many “off the beaten path” essentials so that he could have a small taste of what makes Brazil so great.

We picked Auf (nickname credits to my parents) up from the airport at about 6am and started driving down towards the coast. The final destination that day was Ilha Grande, but first we made pit stop in Paraty to show Auf one of the cities in Brazil that has preserved Portuguese colonial-style architecture. Paraty is nice to spend an hour or two and eat some quality seafood. If you’re into the diving scene, you could spend a couple days exploring life under the sea, but we were trying to make a 1:30pm ferry ride to Ilha Grande from Angra do Reis.

Ilha Grande is an amazing and beautiful place- but not for all kinds of tourists. If you are looking for neon lights and big fancy cars, please drive in the opposite direction. If fact, you can stop reading this post. If you are looking to get away from all the big city whatnots, read on…

Paraty – we were lucky to be there during the International Literary Festival

Ilha Grande is a protected “national reserve,” and the only way to get there is by boat. Motorized vehicles are not allowed on the island except for one 4×4 and a pick-up truck that belong to the police/emergency units on the island. Everything is done on foot or on man-powered trolleys. I’m not saying that you have to camp out and live completely rustically, but it’s a slow-paced life out there.

Vila do Abraão, view form our hike

We went to 2 major hikes in Ilha Grande. The first one was to Lopes Mendes beach. Of course there is a boat that goes around the island for a relatively inexpensive price, but because there was PLENTY of time to kill, we hiked the 6km over about 2 hours out to the beach. It was nice, calm, soft sand and almost deserted. The hike was great, but the most fun part was showing an European what Brazilian winter entails: beach.

Lopes Mendes Beach
Its not packed, but its the middle of winter!

Our second (more tiring and more exciting) hike was up to the famous Pico do Papagaio (Parrot Peak). If you look up on a clear day, towards the middle of the island from any beach, you can clearly see a mountain peak that looks like a parrot’s beak. It seems close to impossible to reach without wings, but as soon as you begin the hike up you can start to see how it’s possible to hike 1,200 meters up.

Our final stop, that tiny speck on top of the mountain to the right: Pico do Papagaio

It took an arduous 4.5 hours to climb up and down. I was too tired to even remember to take a picture of the amazing Moqueca I had for lunch to refuel, but that’ll be another story.

The view from the top is breathtaking.

The view from the top

-Steph

Welcome!

2 Jul

Escola Americana de Campinas (EAC) – The American international school in Campinas, Brazil, that brought us all together!

Welcome to The Daisy Chain!

Our friendships have been a series of connected events and experiences, like a daisy chain. It’s been so interesting to see how local context has helped shape our relationships, work, hobbies, and interests. We have learned so much about the world from each other, so we thought it would be fun to share our discussions about fashion, politics, music, food, local events, and, of course, our own personal experiences (!) on a public blog. We love to travel, we love to talk, we love each other, and we want to share all that love with you. Keep up with The Daisy Chain to read our insights on what’s happening in different corners of the world.

What’s it like to live in São Paulo or Boston? How fast does the mail travel between D.C. and London? Where are the best places to eat in New York and Shanghai? We want to answer those questions, and ask even more. And then we want to answer those questions, and ask even more. You catch our drift? Out of this crazy desire to connect and (over)share, our little blog was born. The Daisy Chain is a way for us to remain in the loop about each others’ lives while engaging a broader audience in conversations we think are important, interesting, or just plain fun. We each have very different perspectives and voices, so our fingers are crossed that combining all this chatter into one forum will make for some engaging discussions and insightful comparisons of places and people around the world.

This is a place for conversation, so don’t be shy! Leave comments, or drop us a line.

We’re happy to have you, and hope that you’ll enjoy getting to know us. We can’t wait to get to know you!

Happy reading,

Anne, Flávia, Mandy, Michelle, Natasha, Nicole, Randa, and Steph

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