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24

Oct
2013

One Comment

In Croatia
Food
Travel

By kanannie

Split: What We Did in a Roman Emperor’s Summer Home

On 24, Oct 2013 | One Comment | In Croatia, Food, Travel | By kanannie

The harbor at night.

The harbor at night.

We had our foodie friend with us from New York, and we were missing out on some serious eating in Croatia. With Zagreb being disappointing food-wise and the Plitvice Lakes area offerings being not that much better, the three of us made our way to the coastal town of Split for fresh seafood. This being the Dalmatian coast, we arrived in the city and immediately spotted a Japanese tour group cross the street in front of us and cruise ships docked in the distance. Palm trees lined the main promenade, and people sat outside sipping coffees and cocktails. How did we end up in Miami?

Main boardwalk in Split.

Main boardwalk in Split.

Being the hungry hippos that we are, we dropped off our bags at the apartment and immediately made our way to our first traditional Croatian tavern experience at Konoba Hvaranin. We’ve long stopped trusting any reviews on Tripadvisor, and instead found a review on Foodie International of a konoba recommended by locals so we put our faith in this girl. We were glad we did. After taking sufficient food porn photos, we dug into fresh pasta with clams, grilled shrimp and grilled baby squid with ink sacs inside.

Food paparazzi.

Food paparazzi.

Fresh spinach pasta with clams.

Simple but oh so good.

Baby squid with ink inside.

Grilled baby squid with ink inside. The potato chard mush is awesome.

Grilled shrimp.

Grilled shrimp.

After dinner, we took a walk around the Old Town to digest and more importantly, to have a nightcap. Split used to be Emperor Diocletian’s summer palace. I don’t know anything about him, except that he was the only Roman Emperor to retire and he hated Christians. We walked through the narrow, maze-like streets and finally found Ghetto Club, which was the only gay-friendly bar in Split I was able to find on the internet. Unlike what you would probably imagine from the unfortunate name, it’s a nice, spacious place. We had the whole place to ourselves, but I can imagine this place must be pretty busy in the summer months.

Old town at night.

The empty old town at night.

Fountain at night.

N and Ching-I jumping in front of the fountain.

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04

Aug
2013

No Comments

In Culture
Food
Germany
LGBT
Travel

By kanannie

A Love Affair with Berlin

On 04, Aug 2013 | No Comments | In Culture, Food, Germany, LGBT, Travel | By kanannie

The Communist kiss.

Falling in love with Berlin.

“Berlin combines the culture of New York, the traffic system of Tokyo, the nature of Seattle, and the historical treasures of, well, Berlin.”   – Hiroshi Motomura

If I wanted to move from my beloved New York City to someplace better, I would find myself on a one-way flight to Berlin. There, I said it. As a New Yorker, I like to compare big cities with my own, especially if I get to conclude that, “Yes, _____ is great but at the end of the day, there’s nothing like New York.” And I’ll sit there at an airy Paris café/packed biergarten in Munich/cool restaurant in St. Petersburg, staring glassy-eyed as I reminisce about my time in the Big Apple. But on our visit to Berlin, New York tasted almost bland by comparison, and for the first time since leaving home, I felt at home again.

Unlike many conventional travelers who research and book vacations months in advance (at work) and have the time to do the research for their destinations (at work), we have been planning as we go. But there are more than a few destinations on our loose itinerary we’ve been meaning to go to, and Berlin was one such city. Being uneducated and too lazy to look it up, I honestly didn’t know what to expect.

Brandenburg Gate.

Brandenburg Gate.

Berlin Wall gate footprint around Berlin.

Berlin Wall gate footprint around Berlin.

Outdoor beer fest.

Empty beer bottles at a beer fest that was going on the day we arrived.

Berlin is not a wealthy city by any means, and it is understandable based on the fact that it was the victim of a tug-of-war between the Soviets and the other Allied Powers for 45 years after being badly demolished by the end of World War II. Because of this, the city is a good mix of all kinds of people, which lends to the unique cultural atmosphere.

Graffiti in Kreuzburg.

Graffiti in Kreuzburg.

What is there to do in Berlin? Well, just about anything your little heart desires. Using our rental apartment in trendy Kreuzburg (what Williamsburg in Brooklyn wishes it could be) as our base, we spent a week playing, eating (Vietnamese food), getting a haircut in a Japanese salon and educating ourselves in museums (the more educational part coming up in the next post).

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