17 vibrant images of San Juan that make your city look gray



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FORGET EVERYTHING YOU EVER LEARNED ABOUT COLOR THEORY. Pastels and primary colors don’t clash in the streets of San Juan, Puerto Rico. But it’s not just the colors that are vibrant in San Juan. The people and the culture will make you want to ditch your drab city for an atmosphere that’s a bit more exciting and stimulating.

1. Behind these vibrant tiles and wooden doors is one of San Juan’s chillest jazz lounges.

With a backlit library of world class whiskey and rum paired with the jazz freestylings of local musicians, at Polo Norte you’ll feel classy regardless of how much salt and beach sand is still in your hair.

2. Between two forts — a wall and the ocean — is the resilient community of La Perla.

What was once a place where drugs were dealt around San Juan is now a community of service workers, students, and artists whose makeshift houses constructed of reclaimed and recycled materials have stood for generations.

3. Castillo de San Cristobal.

What’s an exciting encounter for me is an everyday sight for someone living in Puerto Rico: Iguanas roam freely throughout the city.

4. I passed this woman while biking toward the center of the city and ordered a cup of coconut-flavored limbers.

Hand-painted signs, like this one, let passersby know that this home sells refreshing treats. I wasted no time slurping down my icy limbers. After biking around in the hot and humidity, it was worth the brain freeze.

5. Old and secluded — the perfect formula to brew up superstitions.

La Garita del Diablo, or “The Devil’s Guerite” juts out over the Atlantic and is one of the oldest and furthest watch towers of Castillo de San Cristobal. While touring the fort, our guide refused to take us there because it is believed to be haunted by a soldier who disappeared one night during his watch duty.

6. All streets lead to the beach when you’re on the island of Old San Juan.

7. From Christopher Columbus and Ponce de Leon, through the abolition of slavery, to being declared a Commonwealth, the ceiling mural of El Capitolio is an ornate depiction the origins of Puerto Rico and overlooks The Constitution of Puerto Rico.

8. I really wanted to take a picture of Calle Fortaleza, the street that leads up to the Governor’s mansion.

It seemed so playful with the sun coming through the trees, illuminating the colorful houses. But before I could take my photo, two older women entered my frame. I waited, crouched in the middle of the street, completely unnoticed for 10 minutes while they took a few of their own photos. I was annoyed and felt a little (a lot) entitled to take an unobstructed photo. I was there first, I had the equipment, and my legs were shaking from squatting for so long. When they turned around and finally saw me hunched over and sweaty, glaring at them, they began to laugh. I laughed at myself too, and felt a little immature for getting so pissed in the first place. They had just as much of a right to be there as I had. I snapped this photo which I feel ended up being a better shot. Their smiles bring out aspects of the street I was trying to capture.

9. A family looks over the wall at the Santa María Magdalena de Pazzis Cemetery, the final resting place to some of Puerto Rico’s most important leaders, artists, and celebrities.

10. La Perla is a favorite among surfers. It has one of the most popular beaches to catch waves.

11. Salsa dancing erupts almost every night in San Juan. This scene took place on the dance floor behind the bar of my hotel, San Juan Marriott, where locals dance to the salsa music of a live band.

Kissing, hugging, laughing, dancing — a lot happened that night. Including the startling discovery that I am a terrible dancer.

12. Blue cobblestone streets are a common sight around Old San Juan.

Many of the old, uneven streets are being repaved, but some original cobblestones from 1784 can be found along Calle del Cristo.

13. Mountains, tropical rainforests, beaches, deserts. Puerto Rico’s landscape is diverse.

14. The Raíces Fountain, also known as the Roots Fountain, is a symbol celebrating Puerto Rico’s diverse heritage which is made up of African, Spanish, and Taino/Amerindian roots.

15. Verde Mesa — an eclectic cafe in Old San Juan — uses fresh local ingredients to serve up vegetarian versions of Puerto Rican favorites.

16. Channeling Hunter S. Thompson and embarking on my own Rum Diaries journey, I indulge in an afternoon tea with a splash of rum.

17. Puerto Rico offers some of the world’s best conditions for the coffee bean to grow.

As a result, premium quality coffee can be found throughout the island. At Verde Mesa cafe, I take my coffee Cortadito: an expresso with a little bit of steamed milk.


14 Cocktail Festivals In 2020 That Are Worth The Trip

The Clean Sneak, SACC 2020's signature drink.

It’s a good time to be a drinker. It’s also a good time to be someone who makes drinks, sells drinks or otherwise cares about what goes into your glass. Because, in addition to having a bevy of great bars and spirits at your disposal, cocktail festivals and conferences abound, which means it’s never been easier to learn about the trade, network with peers and make some like-minded friends.

Fortunately, many of these events also take place in cities worth visiting regardless of the occasion. So whether you’re a bartender, sales rep, distiller or consumer, you can combine your next vacation with some spirited education—and lots of sponsored happy hours. Now, here are 14 cocktail festivals worth attending this year.

San Antonio Cocktail Conference (Jan 15-19)

Founded in 2012 by local restaurateur Mark Bohanan and late bartending legend Sasha Petraske—he of Milk & Honey fame—the annual SACC has grown from a fledgling startup showcasing the city’s local scene to one of America’s largest cocktail conferences. Join for a few days of seminars, panels, parties and events, and be sure to swing through the tasting room to get a first look at exciting new spirits.

Arizona Cocktail Weekend (Feb 15-17, Phoenix)

Home to an underrated bar scene, Phoenix has also been hosting its annual cocktail fest since 2012. The three-day affair will feature a signature event each night, plus branded happy hours, fun parties and craft cocktail-fueled seminars.

Nightclub & Bar 2019. Photo by Ethan Miller.

Getty Images for Nightclub & Bar Media Group


In Photos: Filipino artists pay homage to Catriona Gray by making dolls, cake

MANILA, Philippines — As Miss Universe 2018 Catriona Gray returned to the Philippines for her homecoming parade, several artists paid homage to the beauty queen’s victory.

These artists made dolls and a cake inspired by Gray’s iconic looks during the Miss Universe 2018 pageant.

The replicas of Gray in the form of dolls and a cake featured the 25-year-old beauty queen’s Mayon gown designed by Mak Tumang as well as her pink swimsuit.

A doll also featured the Christmas and Luzon-Visayas-Mindanao national costume designed by Jearson Demavivas. It also had a lit lantern.

Some dolls also highlighted other outfits of Gray during the Miss Universe preliminary pageant and her stay in Bangkok, Thailand.

The dolls were made by various artists, designers and pageant enthusiasts who include Alvin Ocampo, Eric Benito, Ian Mendajar, Deph Hermoso and Christopher Flores.

Meanwhile, over the weekend, a baker created a cake inspired by Gray’s final look at the Miss Universe competition. It was made for the cake competition Bakery Fair 2019 held at the World Trade Center.

The cake featured landmarks in Albay where Gray hailed.

Gray has returned to the Philippines on Saturday and is set to grace her grand homecoming on February 21 and 23.

Here are the photos of dolls and cake created as a tribute to Gray:


The Best Scenic Drives In Washington State Picked By Local Experts

Post Summary: The Best Scenic Drives In Washington State, What To See, And How To Get There

I think you can agree with us when we say…the road trip possibilities are endless in Washington State!

From the temperate rainforests of the Olympic Peninsula to the high desert in the east, there is so much to see and do in Washington State! The problem is – with so many routes to take, how do you know which ones are the best?

We joined forces with some of Washington’s brightest and well-traveled bloggers to bring you the best scenic drives in Washington State! We’re covering everything from food tours to photo spots, hikes to historic landmarks, and so much more. Now, grab your car keys, and let’s take an adventure!

What To Pack In Your Car For A Washington Scenic Drive

In order to make the most of your scenic drives in Washington, it’s important to pack your car with all the road trip essentials. Here’s what we suggest taking with you:

Snacks and Water. To cut down on unnecessary stops, pack your car with your favorite snacks, and fill up some reusable water bottles to stay hydrated on the road. If it’s an early drive, we like to brew coffee and carry it with us in a thermos to stay warm all morning.

Navigation Apps. Is there anything worse than getting lost and not having cell service to get you back on track? Download these essential road trip apps to help you find your way, with and without service. Oh, and pack a paper map, too!

Feeling like you want to stay overnight last-minute? Download the app The Dyrt. With The Dyrt Pro membership, you can easily run campground searches offline and find free spots on BLM and National Park land for easy camping. Try the app for free for 90 days using our code Mandagies90!

Phone Chargers. Berty and I purchased phone chargers that permanently live in our car. Along with phone cords, we put this inverter in the middle console to charge phones as well as laptops on longer drives!

Road Trip Entertainment. Being in the car is part of the fun when driving these Washington scenic byways! Download our list of 101 road trip questions and save episodes from these epic road trip podcasts for some in-car entertainment.


Watch the video: Creative Photos in Boring Places!


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