Y2K nostalgia will be alive in D.C. through May. Let your freak flag fly with Lisa Frank and Nintendo with no cover charge.
I recently had a meeting at Sweet Harmony, which appealed to my gluten-free peers. Located on main street made Sweet Harmony a very convenient meeting place, along with funky local art and French influences.
The menu included everything from omelets, sandwiches, sweet and savory crepes, pastries, unique latte flavors, and a wide variety of teas.
My Harney & Son’s tea was great, while the Bestern Western crepe and the staff temperament were average. Next time I would definitely try one of their fun latte flavors, and a sweet crepe rather than a savory one.
Just about two months ago Leaf and Flour opened its doors in downtown Willimantic following a speedy construction, right between Blarney’s Café and Bliss.
This combination tearoom, bakery, barista bar offers a wide array of tea blends, a variety of baked goods make in house, and sustainably farmed coffees.
The cafe also offers tea from Simpson and Vail, a longtime favorite, so finding a local spot to buy it is lovely.
There is a rustic yet modern feel to the décor, with wooden accents and furniture, and pops of color with old fashioned floral tea pots and mugs.
Leaf and Flour offers seating on the main floor as well as a spacious upper loft area. They played the perfect coffeehouse mix of Ed Sheeran, John Mayer, Sam Smith, and a variety of artists who were new to me but had a similar vibe.
Friends and I got Honey Lattes, Hazelnut Lattes, and the Bottomless Mug and each of us were very pleased with our beverages.
The staff was welcoming and friendly, offering patrons slices of cake from a recent cake competition. I would highly recommend stopping in and supporting Leaf and Flour.
Friends and I stumbled upon Stearns Farm Stand while taking a mid-week break from school work, and we were very pleasantly surprised by what we found.
This small family owned store is located on a quaint winding road, and has everything you could ask for from a New England farm stand.
From handmade pottery to preserves, baked goods, produce, dairy products, homemade ice cream, and seasonal decorations.
All employees were welcoming and friendly, the view from the back of the farm is just amazing, and we were fortunate enough to see it during the fall. Stearns Family Farm Stand is the ideal New England farm stand, and I would highly recommend it whenever you may be in the Eastern Connecticut area.
Find out more here and check out the photos below.
Sarajevo is the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and one of the most undervalued cities in Southeastern Europe. Sarajevo has a rich history dating back to its occupation under the Ottoman Empire. Like many other Balkan cities, Sarajevo was bombed during the Yugoslav War in the 1990’s. While the city’s occupants worked hard to rebuild what was destroyed, scars from the war are still evident throughout the city.
Do: Walk around the markets of the Old Town. The shops along the main street are very touristy, but if you detour a few streets away from the crowds, you’ll find cheaper, more authentic shops for souvenir shopping (Bosnian scarves are incredible!).
Don’t: Eat at touristy restaurants. Walk around the city center, near Sebilj, to find the most authentic kebabs and food stands. You can find cheaper restaurants in the newer part of the city. I recommend Klopa (for meals), Caffe Michele (for amazing cakes and coffee), and Kolobara Han (they have amazing cheese and potato dishes). While there isn’t a large nightlife scene, a lot of young locals recommend Tesla for the best music and drinks.
Do: Visit Vijecnica, the City Hall. Admission is 3-5 Bosnian Marks (KM), and the interior is filled with arches, tall ceilings, and beautiful Islamic art.
Don’t: Miss the mosques. You can tour the Careva dzamija (the Emperor’s Mosque), the most important in the city, for 3-5KM, and it’s well-worth the money. The inside of the mosque is small, and contained mostly in one room, but it is filled with beautiful mosaics and Islamic art. If you’re a woman, don’t forget to wear a headscarf to cover your hair before you enter the mosque.
Do: Visit the museums commemorating the war. Sarajevo suffered greatly after the fall of Yugoslavia in the 1990’s, and there are a number of incredible museums dedicated to preserving this reality. I suggest the Galerija 11/07/95 (10KM) and the War Tunnel Museum (10KM).
Don’t: Be careless. Much of Bosnia and Herzegovina is still recovering from the war, and there still badly-damaged buildings and minefields around Sarajevo you need to be wary of. Explore the city, but stay close to the city center to avoid danger. Always be aware of your surroundings, and if possible, take a guided tour of the city before exploring on your own. You can ask your tour guide if they have suggestions where you should travel.
Do: Pack according to the weather. Sarajevo is very hot in summer, and very cold in winter. It is located in the Sarajevo Valley, surrounded by mountains. As a result, the city is very smoggy from pollution.
Don’t: Stress over the language barrier. The majority of people you will encounter in Sarajevo speak some English. I suggest learning a few key phrases (Thank you; Hvala, and Please; Molim). I suggest looking at this website and copying a few phrases into your phone incase you encounter someone who speak little English. It is also respectful to make an effort to speak Bosnian, even if you only know a few words and your pronunciation is wrong.
Do: See the “Roses of Sarajevo,” which are imprints in the sidewalks where mortar shells fell and exploded during the war. The imprints were later filled with red resin to commemorate those killed in the explosions, and resemble roses. The roses are scattered around the city, and while some are being covered up as roads are repaired, a few will be kept as a permanent reminder of the war.
Don’t: Forget to see the corner where Archduke Franz Ferdinand was killed, signifying the beginning of World War I. There is a plaque commemorating the assassination near the Latin Bridge.
Hvala Hrvatska By Allison Pinski
Returning to Rome By Allison Pinski
I felt nostalgic minutes after landing in Fiumicino Aeroport to visit Rome with my API program. After spending the month of January living, working, and exploring Rome, I always told myself I would return one day. Even though we were only in Rome for a few days, I was fortunate to eat at my favorite restaurant in the city (Nonna Betta, Via del Portico d’Ottavia 16, in the Ghetto di Roma), and see some familiar sights (the Trevi Fountain, the Colosseum, the Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Vittoriano, Via del Corso, the Vatican City, and the Trastevere neighborhood). My group stayed in the Hotel Tiziano (Corso Vittorio Emanuele II 110) near the Largo di Torre Argentina, the perfect location for traveling the city.
If you’re traveling to Rome soon, I recommend the following sites/restaurants in addition to those listed above: Mimì e Cocò (Via del Governo Vecchio 72), Don Nino pastries (Vio dei Pastini 134), and spending 12€ to tour the inside of the Colosseum. Check out pictures from my trip below!
Geneva Photo Blog By Allison Pinski
Anyone interested in global politics or finance is familiar with Geneva, Switzerland. Switzerland hosts a flourishing economy and social scene, most popular for its beautiful sights and foods. Geneva feels like Boston with a French-twist, the perfect break from Croatian life. I realized shortly after landing in Switzerland how much I missed being in a very Westernized setting amid the familiar bustle of city life.
Housing was relatively expensive (I stayed in an Airbnb with two other girls for three nights, and paid almost $100 in addition to my airline tickets), but you can find cheap food and activities, especially if you’re a student. I suggest investing in a transportation day pass, because if you’re caught on a bus or train without a ticket, you get a 100 Franc fine (learned that the hard way).
Highlights from my trip include touring the United Nations European headquarters, eating cheese fondue, exploring the Natural History Museum of Geneva and the Museum of Art and History, trying vin chaud (hot wine), and walking around Lake Geneva. Check out my pictures below from my weekend in Geneva!
Places we've gone, things we've seen, stories worth telling