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Eating, drinking and tasting my way around the District.

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15 April 14

A Few Tips

I’ve been in London a little over a week now, and over a month in Europe. I think I’m still  trying to get the lay of the land though. I’m living in Greater London, in an area called Brockley. It’s a little far from Central London, but the flat I’m staying in is quite nice and cozy with a lovely backyard, and great kitchen. 

I miss Berlin a bit,  I loved my neighborhood, and living on my own, and being near my childhood best friend. Also the coffee/sitting culture in Berlin is so great, and doesn’t seem to be the same here in London. 

So far, I’ve done a lot of wandering, but haven’t really gotten to feel quite in the swing of things here. Hopefully a free weekend will help with that. 

But, I did want to share a few things I’ve learned about semi-living in Europe as an American, in case they may be useful to some of you! 

  1. Money: Know the exchange rate, and use cash. It’s much quicker and easier then using your credit card, and will limit foreign transaction fees, which can be a bear. (I recommend taking a large amount of cash out at the first ATM you come across, don’t exchange money.) Just before leaving DC, I opened a Charles Schwab bank account, because they don’t charge foreign transaction fees, or ATM fees. This has been great, as those costs can really add up. However, getting money into that account has been a bit frustrating. They aren’t a normal bank, so you can’t go to them with cash and make a deposit. I’ve been relying on direct deposit from work, and the occasional mobile deposit from my other bank account.  BUT, believe me when I say it’s worth it to avoid those extra fees! 
  2. Phone: T-mobile has almost been too good to be true, but it has been true! They have lower monthly rates then Verizon, and include unlimited data and text messaging in tons of countries. This means I can use the internet, email, skype, and even facetime anywhere I am. Honestly, this has been invaluable, as  searching for wifi hotposts can be frustrating, and being able to use Google maps to look up directions anywhere is so freeing. 
  3. Where to Stay:  So, I don’t really have good tips on this front yet, but I will leave you with a few things. 1. Airbnb can be great, you get a decent service, and they are pretty transparent. However, I am learning that the rates you’ll pay for your room or apartment are much higher then the standard market rate.  In the UK people have recommended SpareRoom.com as a more cost effective option. But the rooms I’ve seen there, while cheaper, don’t seem quite as nice, and there isn’t quite as much information available about what you can expect.  Additionally, London is huge, and the public transportation is pretty good, but if you’re not in a Central area it can take quite awhile to get around. It unfortunately takes me at least 35 minutes to an hour to get to most of the things I want to see, and that can be a frustrating thing! 

That’s all I’ve got for now, but I’m sure I’ll add more! This weekend I plan to visit Borough Market and the Tate Modern, and visit Brick Lane and the Columbia Road flower market. I’m quite excited! 

7 April 14
I’ve somehow convinced myself that croissants in Europe are healthy… But who can resist one with a coffee? 

I arrived to London yesterday and am getting settled into my room in a cute little house in Brockley. I’m sharing with the owner, a very bohemian singer and free lancer who owns the place.

I’m hoping to get my bearings and find my way around into true London this evening!

I’ve somehow convinced myself that croissants in Europe are healthy… But who can resist one with a coffee?

I arrived to London yesterday and am getting settled into my room in a cute little house in Brockley. I’m sharing with the owner, a very bohemian singer and free lancer who owns the place.

I’m hoping to get my bearings and find my way around into true London this evening!

4 April 14

An ode to Berlin stairs. Literally everywhere I’ve needed to go is on the 4th floor… And 4th is actually the fifth floor because the ground floor doesn’t count.

Berlin stairs, my lungs hate you, but my calves and thighs love you

16 March 14

Well, here we are one week into my European adventure. It’s Sunday evening, and I’m feeling a bit sad. It’s been a packed and exhausting week, but full of some lovely and fun moments. Germaine has been here with me, but went home this morning, and I’ve already begun to miss him. 

Berlin is absolutely lovely, up until yesterday, the sun has been out and trees are starting to bloom. My room is big and bright, and just what I wanted. I’m living in the neighborhood of Kreuzburg, and so far I really like it! There are at least 3 bakeries within a minute’s, walk. A street full of coffee shops and restaurants and food markets is about five minutes away, and I’m near to several u-bahn (metro) stations that keep me connected with the rest of the city. 

I don’t feel quite settled in just yet, but hopefully that will come soon. I had some internet issues at the beginning of the week, and then there was a training for work, and then a student conference to attend. I haven’t had much of a chance to really get into a work routine, and I’m beginning to ache for it. There’s so much to be done! 

I’m headed to Istanbul early tomorrow morning, for a quick conference on Islam and Liberty, then back Wednesday evening. I’m so excited, Istanbul has been top on my list of cities to visit for ages, and I’m hoping to get some site seeing in this Wednesday. 

I’d like for my next post to be a bit more practical, about how I’m handling money, and communication etc. so stay tuned!

Photos above include a fantastic meal at Max & Moritz on day one. An even more magical meal at Katz Orange, and fantastic donor from Mustafa’s just a stones throw from my place. I’ve already eaten there three times… Oh, you were curious about the other photos? There’s the radio tower, the Brandenburg Gate and G in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall. 

Reblogged: tastingthedistrict

Posted: 2:23 PM
9 March 14
I’m here!!! 

Travel and jet lag definitely got the best of us, and we slept until nearly 2:30pm today…. Oops! But, we had awesome German food, and a donor last night, and I explored the neighborhood a bit today. Already so excited to be here!

I’m here!!!

Travel and jet lag definitely got the best of us, and we slept until nearly 2:30pm today…. Oops! But, we had awesome German food, and a donor last night, and I explored the neighborhood a bit today. Already so excited to be here!

3 March 14
Hello out there! Don’t know if I actually have any followers left, but whatever, let’s start over!
I’m Cindy, I tried to start a blog about eating food in DC, but unfortunately, I didn’t  find that so inspiring (though the DC food scene has blossomed into an amazing bouquet in the last few years) and so my updates were few and far between. But now, beginning this Friday at 10:20pm I’m embarking on a whole new adventure, and I’d like to try to share the ride. 
I’m lucky enough to have an absolutely amazing job that challenges me, inspires me, and let’s me spend this spring working from Europe. 
In high school I lived in Budapest, where my family ran a school, and I absolutely loved every minute. Ever since I graduated and moved back to the US for college, I’ve wanted to get back to Europe. Over the last seven years I’ve had the great fortune of visiting again for work or for pleasure many times, but the desire to live there never went away. Finally, a bit after turning 30th, and a year after launching a major new training program within my organization I got the courage to ask; can I do this from there? And while the response was not the indefinite visit I’d hoped for. I was given the chance to spend 3 and a half months working and running my program from Europe! 
So, not to waste this great opportunity, I’m off on Friday. I’ll be spending a month in Berlin, and probably two months in London and one month in France- with lots of side trips to Istanbul, Kenya, Oslo… in between. There’s a lot of up in the air and a lot to get done before I go, and this DC snow isn’t making it any easier. 
But if you’re interested, I’d like to invite you along for the ride. I’ll share the pretty side, the sidewalk cafes, the cappucinos and architecture, but I’d also like to share the struggles. From finding short term housing, to figuring out how to get a hold of money without massive foreign transaction fees. And of course, I will share the food, I mean, what’s a blog without some lovely food to look at right? 
So? ready? follow along here, or on instagram and here. we. go! 

The photo above is the current state of my apartment, which I must move our of by the end of the week. 

Hello out there! Don’t know if I actually have any followers left, but whatever, let’s start over!

I’m Cindy, I tried to start a blog about eating food in DC, but unfortunately, I didn’t  find that so inspiring (though the DC food scene has blossomed into an amazing bouquet in the last few years) and so my updates were few and far between. But now, beginning this Friday at 10:20pm I’m embarking on a whole new adventure, and I’d like to try to share the ride. 

I’m lucky enough to have an absolutely amazing job that challenges me, inspires me, and let’s me spend this spring working from Europe. 

In high school I lived in Budapest, where my family ran a school, and I absolutely loved every minute. Ever since I graduated and moved back to the US for college, I’ve wanted to get back to Europe. Over the last seven years I’ve had the great fortune of visiting again for work or for pleasure many times, but the desire to live there never went away. Finally, a bit after turning 30th, and a year after launching a major new training program within my organization I got the courage to ask; can I do this from there? And while the response was not the indefinite visit I’d hoped for. I was given the chance to spend 3 and a half months working and running my program from Europe! 

So, not to waste this great opportunity, I’m off on Friday. I’ll be spending a month in Berlin, and probably two months in London and one month in France- with lots of side trips to Istanbul, Kenya, Oslo… in between. There’s a lot of up in the air and a lot to get done before I go, and this DC snow isn’t making it any easier. 

But if you’re interested, I’d like to invite you along for the ride. I’ll share the pretty side, the sidewalk cafes, the cappucinos and architecture, but I’d also like to share the struggles. From finding short term housing, to figuring out how to get a hold of money without massive foreign transaction fees. And of course, I will share the food, I mean, what’s a blog without some lovely food to look at right? 

So? ready? follow along here, or on instagram and here. we. go! 

The photo above is the current state of my apartment, which I must move our of by the end of the week. 

18 April 13

dclivin:

ellegolightly:

The limit does not exist… on my love for Tina Fey.

Love this.

Ok, I just gotta do it: “Pi Phi Nachos” clap clap clapclapclap! 

Reblogged: dclivin

18 January 13
My fridge is so full of vegetables right now!

My fridge is so full of vegetables right now!

12 October 12

My Goodness!

My last post waxes poetic about simple summer dinners, and here we are half way through October- Fall food is on the agenda. It’s been a pretty intense couple of months, with a lot of really great food experiences I’m eager to share with you all, so stay tuned! Food recommendations from Montreal, my sad culinary endeavors in Brussels and eating myself senseless in New  York are all on deck!

Work has settled down quite a bit, so I’ll be making an effort to post more often going forward!

Tags: bad blogger
Themed by Hunson. Originally by Josh