I spent 1 ‘buffer’ day in Athens during my trip to Greece specifically so I could check out the street art. I had heard that the Exarchia, Monastiraki and Psirri areas were the areas with the most street art. But when I was wandering around the city trying to find out where in my phone I had put the note about the neighborhoods with the most street art ’cause I couldn’t for the life of me find it I just started asking people and eventually a man at a cafe told me to go around the corner and I would find it there. That’s how I ended up spending the day in Psirri. Thank you man at the cafe.
I didn’t have a game plan. Clearly. So I just wandered around. There was literally street art EVERYWHERE in Psirri. And granted I didn’t see very much of the city but Psirri ended up being my favorite part of Athens (and Plaka my least favorite. Ew.). I even found a few excellent cafes and restaurants during my wander.
Poems and Crimes is an ‘art bar’. Fancy! There’s a book store in the front and a cafe serving food and drinks in the back. It’s really cute. I liked it a lot. Free wifi. A patio, cheap drinks and good food. What more do you want? The perfect place to take a break from the hot sun and recharge. And…It’s not technically in Psirri, BUT it’s right on the edge.
I wanted REAL Greek food so I tried to find restaurants with mostly Greek people eating in them. I walked by Enastro around lunch and decided to go back for dinner. It’s located on a quietish side street in a beautiful old building. They also have outdoor seating across the street in a welcoming courtyard. The food was delish. And affordable. And there were only Greeks there (and me)! Score.
Savannah was one of my least favorite places I’ve ever been. EVER! It smells like shit and the nickname of ‘Slow – vannah’ is completely 100% right on because there’s fuck all to do. Dislike. But if you’ve already bought your ticket and you can’t get a refund then here’s some tips to help you survive your, hopefully less than, 3 days there.
Where not to stay:
DO NOT STAY at The Thunderbird Inn. They try to tell you it’s the ‘hippest hotel in Savannah’, but it’s a shit hole. There’s nothing hip about it. It’s dirty, old and overpriced. Being they charge over $100 per night, you’d think they could afford to make some improvements. AVOID AVOID AVOID.
What to do:
I love ghosts, ghost stories, cemeteries, haunted hotels, haunted pubs, etc…And Savannah’s claim as ‘The Most Haunted City in America’ is one of the reasons I decided to visit (that and the fact that you can drink in public). But all three ghost tours I went on more or less sucked. So choose your ghost tours carefully and it’s probably a good idea to lower your expectations. Then hope and pray you get a good tour guide.
Ghost City Tours has a money back guarantee. So technically you can’t go wrong with them. They even do a haunted pub crawl. Which I went on. It was OK. We didn’t actually go in to many places. Most of the time we just stopped in front of the place, the guides told a story and then we moved on. My tour guides weren’t the best :/
Spend an afternoon wandering around Bonaventure Cemetery. You can get a cab out there for around $10. I think that’s the easiest thing to do if you don’t have a car. It’s a beautiful cemetery, pretty big with lots of trees covered in Spanish moss.
Two of the most visited graves are that of Little Gracie and Johnny Mercer. Little Gracie is located at Lot 99 in Section E, off of Mullryne Way. Johnny Mercer is located at Lot 48 in Section H, along Johnny Mercer Lane.
When I went out there the Grave Finder machine wasn’t working and the office was close. Probably best to call ahead and get any gravesite information before you make the trip out there. If you are looking for somebody there is no way you’ll find them with out the location information. The place is huge.
Skip River Street. I wanted to like it, but it’s just a bunch of restaurants and shops for tourists. Nothing cute about it. Except for the cobblestone. The best part about it were the narrow, old, steep stairs leading from River Street up to Bay Street. Danger Will Robinson.
Moon River Brewing Company was one of my least favorite places in Savannah, but it’s seriously haunted so I suggest making a REALLY QUICK stop. Buy a drink and then ask to see the basement. I didn’t see anything or capture anything on film, but It’s supposedly extra special haunted. It’s been featured on Ghost Adventures and probably a few other ghost hunting programs.
Where to eat:
For breakfast I went to The Sentient Bean every day. They serve delicious vegetarian/vegan food and their coffee is organic and fair trade.
I had several delicious meals at Zunzi’s II. I highly recommend the Fisherman’s Deck Sandwich and their special sauces OMG. So good. They have a good beer selection as well. Reasonable prices and delicious food = lots of people. Be prepared for a bit of a wait. But it’s worth it!
And The Olde Pink House holy shit. One of the best meals I’ve ever had. It’s expensive, but worth the splurge. Sit in the basement. It has more ambience. And it’s haunted! By a girl who will lock you in the ladies room. I guess the toilet used to be the dry goods closet so she sees you in there, thinks you’re stealing things, then locks you in. At least that’s the story one of the employees told me. I didn’t get locked in. I was disappointed 🙁
Where to drink:
The best dive bar I found was Abes on Lincoln. Get it? Abes? On Lincoln? HA!
There’s a hidden speakeasy on Williamson Street. Supposedly you need to ask around in order to get a key so you can get it, but I had a few people tell me that all you had to do was knock on the door and they’ll let you in. I went on a Sunday and it was closed. Damn shame.
Instead I ended up around the corner at Chucks Bar (301 W River Street). And I loved every minute of it! It’s a gay bar, but you can’t really tell until you sit down and start talking to people. It’s very divey, they have a jukebox and it’s haunted! The bartender had some great stories to tell about spinning bar stools and furniture being moved around. His stories gave me chills. Really freaked me the fuck out!
My favorite coffee shops (from most to least favorite):
And last but not least the BEST part of Savannah is that one of the runways at Savannah/Hilton Head International was built around two gravestones. Apparently part of the deal with the airport was that they could use the land, and they could move everybody else that was in the family cemetery, but they couldn’t move the graves of Catherine and Richard Dotson. So if you’re on the right hand side of the plane pay attention as you’re taxiing and you can see them right before take off.
I really liked Memphis! It’s gritty and kinda run down. A little scary at times :/ In some areas I felt like I could get mugged at any moment in broad daylight because I was the only person on the street, nothing was open and there were several, what look to be, abandoned buildings on the block – JUST a little sketch. But I dig that shit. There’s a lot of old beautiful buildings & vintage neon signs and it’s full of history and character.
Before I went there EVERYBODY I talked to (even people who live there) told me to be extra careful and to most definitely not take the bus or I would be murdered. Seriously? Come the fuck on people! They had me kinda freaked out. I mean…what gives? I wasn’t at all sure what to expect, but it turns out it’s very cool. AND I didn’t get mugged OR murdered. #GoMe What these fearmongerers SHOULD have said was ‘There are pockets of really bad/poor neighborhoods so it’s not really a walkable city (that Walking in Memphis song is a LIE!). And for the same reason don’t take the bus. Use a bit of common sense. Keep your head up. You’ll be fine! JUST LIKE EVERYWHERE ELSE. Have fun!’
With that said….here are my recs:
Where to eat:
Have breakfast at Brother Junipers. It’s touted as the best breakfast in Memphis. They make everything from scratch and it really is the best breakfast in Memphis. I should have gone there every day, but I didn’t! There’s a bit of a wait on the weekend, but they do a thing where if you call ahead (with in 15 minutes of your arrival time) they’ll take 15 minutes off your waiting time once you check in upon arrival. I had no idea who Brother Juniper was so I had to ask. I was told that Brother Juniper was the cook for St. Francis of Assisi. You learn something new every day.
If you don’t feel like waiting in line for 2 hours for breakfast every day check out Cafe Eclectic. I visited the midtown location and I liked it very much. Good coffee, fresh food, good vibes… The have several vegetarian options and breakfast is served all day!
I don’t eat meat so trying to find somewhere good to eat lunch and dinner was a struggle. Especially since everybody and their mother recommends Central BBQ and Gus’s Fried Chicken. But I did find a great Mexican type spot in Overton Square call Babalu. It looks pretty vanilla from the outside, but it’s kinda cute inside. They have a nice bar area and patio and the tacos and guacamole made table side are to die for. Deliciousness.
What to do:
You must visit the Civil Rights Museum. It’s located at the old Lorraine Hotel where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was shot and killed on April 4th, 1968. I’m not a big museum fan, but it’s a must . You should come away with a better understanding of the civil rights struggle and what it means to be African American.
You also must do Sun Studio followed by Graceland. In that order. This is an all day affair. The first tour of Sun Studio is at 10:30am. They don’t take advance reservations. But if you arrive and the tour is sold out there should be space on the next one so no worries. You can chill in the cafe (they make malts!) or explore the the neighborhood. Sun Studios is located in the Edge District which was my favorite area of Memphis. It definitely has an edge to it 🙂 On a Sunday it was pretty vacant. There was nothing open. But some of the buildings are just gorgeous and I found a few alleys with graffiti and street art so I was happy to spend an hour here wandering around.
After Sun Studio hop on the free shuttle bus that leaves every hour around 20 after the hour from Sun Studio. It stops at Beale Street and then Graceland. TIP: I highly recommend buying your ticket for Graceland online before you leave home/get to Graceland. Buy it for the first tour the day you want to go then you can show up any point after that and go on the next tour. If you wait to buy it upon arrival there’s a chance that the next tour (and the one after that) will be sold out. And you’ll be tempted to spend the extra $40 on the VIP ticket just to avoid hanging around East Memphis for 3 hours. It’s a sketchy area and unless you like fast food and souvenir shops there’s fuck all to do.
I wasn’t really a big Elvis fan before I went to Elvis Presley’s Graceland. But I had to go. And I’m really glad I did. I enjoyed every minute of it and I have a lot more admiration for his legacy. The way it’s set up is very tech savy. They hand out headphones while you’re waiting in line and when you get on the shuttle bus to go across to Graceland they give you an iPad. Fancy! It’s fantastic because your tour is not only self paced, but narrated by John Stamos. A+
For a list of what’s currently on in Memphis check out the I love Memphis blog. She’s got a ton of good recommendations.
Where to stay:
If you can afford to stay at the Peabody stay at the Peabody! I wanted to, but it’s a bit out of my price range :/ It’s located smack dab in the middle of downtown and it’s a Historic Hotel of America. Fancy!
I ended up staying at an airbnb near Overton Park. It was my first Airbnb experience. Lets just say I learned a lot! For instance I learned that I need a place to myself :/ Or at least a place where the hosts don’t wake up at 6am every day. I also learned not to book solely based on reviews. This place had really good reviews. And my experience really wasn’t that good!
How to get around:
Uber. By far the cheapest/best way to get around. The Taxis were overpriced and shitty. I stupidly took a taxi from Graceland back to the Overton Park area and it cost me $25!!! If I would have taken an Uber it would have cost around $13. Don’t take a taxi! They suck!
Lucky you being in Negril and all! I’m envious. I I love Jamaica. Especially Negril. It’s one of my favorite places. That beach. OMG. Amazeballs. But get your ass off the beach, mon! There’s so much more to Negril than that beautiful 7 mile long stretch of white sand and crystal clear water. Well maybe not that much more, but you’ll need to eat, get around, at least go to the cliffs once to check it out, right?????? I got you covered. Here it is:
Where to stay:
Treat yo self and stay at Charela Inn. Smack dab in the middle of the beach and absolutely BEAUTIFUL! I really love this place. TIP: Spend the $20 more per night and get a room facing the beach. They’re much nicer than the rooms facing the garden courtyard and it’s worth it. Their food is overpriced. I wouldn’t recommend eating there because of this.
White Sands (right next door) is a good budget option, but they don’t have much of a beach. They do have a nice bar though!
Where to eat:
For breakfast I like to get a real Jamaican breakfast at Coletta’s just across from Rooms on the Beach. It’s a local joint where you can get ackee and saltfish, porridge and various other Jamaican breakfast items. She also serves pancakes and eggs and such if you’re into that kind of thing. It’s very affordable and delicious. Get there early before the ackee and Saltfish runs out!
Niah’s Patties is great for a snack. He makes his delicious patties fresh to order. Tell him Rebecca sent you 🙂
For dinner you can eat cheaply from a jerk stand on the side of the road. Just pick one. You can’t go wrong. I don’t eat meat, but I’ve had some good conch and rice from those stands. I can’t remember how much I paid, I think around 700J, but it wasn’t much and the portions are large. They also usually have soup a of some kind.
OR if you’re looking for something more ‘fancy’. Check out Three Dives on the cliffs. Very affordable and GOOD. Order your food, sit down and chill while they cook it up. It might take a while as it’s made to order, but they have plenty of Red Stripe so you’ll be fine 🙂
Where to drink:
Tony’s Hut near Wavz Art Complex is by far my favorite bar on the beach. I love it. Perfect place to spend an afternoon/evening and then watching the sun set. Milton and Grace Ann are the best bartenders on the beach!
LTU Pub on the cliffs is my other favorite bar. It’s a nice mix of locals and tourists. It has a nice chill, local vibe. Another great location from where to watch the sun set.
If you want to do a pub crawl Lenbert Williams does a One Love Pub Crawl that will pick you up from your hotel lobby around 2:30pm and return you after sunset. He stops at several local pubs that are off the tourist track. Contact him for more info at bananaznegril@hotmaildotcom
What to do:
Mike’s Glass Bottom Boat can take you out snorkeling or out to a picnic on Booby Cay or anywhere else you wanna go. I love Mike and his brother Ricky. They are THE best. You can find them down the beach a bit from Charela (towards town). His # is 876-847-7699.
You MUST visit Floyd’s Pelican Bar while in Jamaica. You can get a driver for the day and stop at a few places. I’m not a big ‘organized tour’ fan so I chose to stop at Peter Tosh memorial (not much to see, but worth the $10 entry fee I suppose as it IS Peter Tosh) and then at a local cemetery (I like cemeteries). A driver for a day should cost around $100US if not a little more. That shit’s expensive. I couldn’t figure out a cheaper way to get a lot of ground covered in one day. The route taxis wouldn’t be direct to where I wanted to go and I didn’t want to hassle with changing taxis here and there.
What not to do:
Don’t ignore people. You’ll most likely be hounded constantly by people asking you to buy shit as you walk up and down the beach. But don’t ignore them. It’s disrespectful and they will take offense. A simple ‘hello no thank you’ will do. Absolutely DO NOT say ‘MAYBE on my way back’. They’ll remember you and they’ll hassle you some more on your way back.
I use Clive’s Transport for airport transfers. They’re affordable and I’ve never had a bad driver. I think it’s $60 RT to Negril. Included in the price is a Red Stripe for the road. You’ll need it after that long ass line to get in to the country.
The best driver I’ve found so far is Chris. He has a nice car, he’s safe, he’s a good guy. You can reach him at 876-851-6029 or 876-280-1126. His email is chrisan_mia18@yahoodotcom. He’s the best!
To get between the beach and the cliffs use a route taxi. Simply walk out to the road. Stick your hand out. Tell them where you’re going and they’ll either tell you they’re not going there or to get in. It’s $130J to get to town and another $130J to get to the cliffs. This is how the Jamaicans get around. I use a route taxi all the time. At night, during the day, whatever. Simply use some common sense LIKE ALWAYS and this is a great and affordable way to get around.
That’s my attempt at Jamaican Patois. You’re welcome.
The first time I went to Negril I kept hearing about Niah’s patties. You must try Niah’s patties. But nobody could quite tell me where to find this Niah and his patties. And I was lazy. So I never did find Niah’s patties. The second time I went to Negril I was starving. As usual. And I randomly asked somebody at CoCo La Palm if they had patties and they said to go to Wavz. He has them there. So I went down the beach to Wavz. Didn’t see anybody who looked like they had anything other than jewelry or wood carvings and then I saw a little ordering type window open on this beach hut. Went over to check it out. Asked if he had patties. He looked at me like I was crazy and said yes. So I ordered one. Then along came some sunburned guy who wanted to place an order and he said ‘Hi Niah’. And I was like WHAT THE FUCK YOU’RE NIAH?!?!??! I’VE BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU FOR AGES!!!! OH MY GOD ES UN MILAGRO!!! If you haven’t been looking for him I suggest you start. He’s located in Wavz Art Complex next to Tony’s Beach Hut. Almost smack dab in the middle of 7 mile beach. If his window is open and you can’t find him you can ask Milton or Grace Ann at Tony’s if they know his whereabouts and they’ll most certainly help you out. He’s a Rasta so his patties have little or no salt in them and they’re delicious. Fresh and delicious and made with nothing but love. And balance! And Niah is amazing. One of the coolest people you’ll ever meet. So be sure to stop by next time you need a snack and you’re on the beach in Negril, mon.
My goal on this trip to NOLA was to get out of the Quarter and find some local spots to eat, drink and be merry.
I set out on the first day on a bike borrowed from my guest house, The Lions Inn, with a mission. I was determined to find some great food that wouldn’t break the bank. The last two times I was in NOLA I never did find a meal that lived up to the hype. But then again I never did leave the Quarter :/
As I cruised down river on Chartres, past the New Orleans Creative Arts Center, past a huge wall of street art, I came upon Elizabeth’s Restaurant. I stopped my bike and watched a few people go in and out. Looked like locals. Maybe a few tourists, but not too many. I yelped it and decided to ride by later for lunch.
Holy shit am I glad I did. I had the redneck eggs ($14) and a Bloody Mary. Both were out of this world. Seriously. One of the best Bloody Marys I’ve EVER had and the redneck eggs. Well….I came back twice 🙂
Definitely stop by here for breakfast or brunch when you’re in town. They’re also open for dinner.
Looking for a delicious authentic Vietnamese sandwich that won’t break the bank and want to browse the latest Vietnamese music at the same time? I know just the place for you.
Sau Voi Corp. Located at 101 Lafayette Street, on the corner of Lafayette and Walker, in Chinatown. They stock popular Vietnamese tapes/CDs/DVDs and make a tasty sandwich (the veggie Bahn Mi is $2.50). They also have the best Vietnamese coffee this side of Saigon and make a variety of sweets.
This is one of the best things about NYC. You can get authentic food from all over the world with out ever having to leave The City!
HOW TO GET THERE: 6, J, N, Q, R, Z to Canal Street
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“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain