I am forever being asked “where is your favourite place?” Considering i have been bouncing (slingshot) around this beautiful earth for over three years now, i should surely have one right? So incredibly wrong. I hand on heart do not think i could pick just one piece of paradise to call my favourite. The truth is, i fall in love with each city, town, village, beach, mountain, waterfall, doorway, stairwell and street i lay my eyes on, and for a different reason each time. It is kind of like falling for the opposite sex….(joke). Well, 50% of what you say when you are joking is ever so slightly true (Cosmopolitan magazine circa ’03 FACT). But i shall just leave that one out there….
Having stepped foot on so many pretty streets, parked my bum on infamous doorsteps, and created insta photo envy with the colourful murals and backdrops I’ve been fortunate to visit, i decided to dedicate this post to my top ten “instagrammers dream” places. I shall tell you where they are located, and exactly how to get there.
1: Mrs Doubtfires house, 2460 Steiner St, San Francisco, CA
Of course this tops the list. Upon my first ever trip to one of my all time favourite cities, i made it my mission to relive my childhood and sit my ass down on Mrs Doubtfires doorstep. The address is not hard to find, if you are an avid movie fan, you will recall Miranda actually giving Mrs Doubtfire the address in the film, “2460 Steiner Street”. I jumped in a taxi, which worked out perfectly as my lovely San Franciscan taxi driver subsequently became my photographer too. Two birds. One stone and a kodak memory. Not only is this iconic house beyond perfection, it is also located in the classy Pacific Heights neighbourhood (also home to Full House). Spend the afternoon meandering the entire area, you will also find the Painted Ladies here too (another classic photo opportunity for the budding instagrammer). SF is inundated with mesmerisingly colourful and enchanting houses. This is my second favourite, rivalling the home of Barbie & Ken, a pink, purple, palm tree decorated dream. What more could you want in a house?!
2. Carries House, 64 Perry Street Soho, NYC
The most fabulous single lady to ever grace this planet (okay our TV screens, but lets not burst the bubble here) and one of the most iconic places in NYC, standing on these infamous front steps was somewhat special. I firmly believe there is a Carrie Bradshaw in all of us and as someone who loves to write too, of course i stood here reminiscing of all those “and I couldn’t help but wonder…” scenes with Carrie tapping away at her blog and pensively looking out of the window. Oh and BIG rolling up (*sigh*)- that look, that smile, swoon. (Okay I’m getting carried away…). The actual apartment in the movie is meant to be located in the Upper East Side- i had already made this mistake of searching for it there once, its not the worst thing to do though, in case you head that way- those apartments are also magnificent. But- they aint Miss Bradshaws. Nope, head to the West Village, despite this being a little slice of TV History, the entire neighbourhood is on trend with an intimate vibe, plenty of cosy cafes & fashionable spots to wine, dine, and people watch (if i was to dedicate a post to the top ten people watching places around the world, NEW YORK CITY would be number 1).
Okay, so who doesn’t want that classic “lets stop and take a picture of my fabulous shoes” bloggers go-to insta-pic, on a flurosent, illuminated PINK STREET. Yikes. Forever in search of quirky, unusual and colourful streets, walls, and houses around the world, usually staying up all night slaying away at Instagram, Pinterest, stumbling upon this in Lisbon was a rosy delight. Once considered Lisbons Red Light District, this area now houses versatile hipster esque bars & pubs, beautiful women, and my oh my, even more beautiful men.
I love this term i found whilst researching this area of Cuba. I think it describes the architecture perfectly, “timelessy seductive”. I will have to dedicate an entire post on my time in Havana, as there is just too much to say. What an incredible, electric, atmospheric city. With houses, and smiles to match. The most colourful part world I’ve ever twirled around in, in every single sense of the word. Here are just a few of my favourite snaps of those pastel shaded walls, detailed doorways, a place which ‘enhances charm’, rather than ‘defines age’. With every corner turned a photo opportunity, i fell head over heels in love with this beyond magical country. One of those, ‘see it…to believe it’ type of places.
A travel bloggers go to. Ive sighted this pastel shaded parisian dream on so many instagram pages (and i do follow almost 1,000 of travel inspired instagram accounts, the queen of scrolling) it has been forever on the bucket list to sashay down this street and admire what they call the Notting Hill of Paris. A far cry from the hustle and bustle of the city, this colourful slice of paradise is like walking on a film set. Except this is real life, real houses, and yes im guessing real people…(if Mrs Doubtfire didn’t mind me sitting on her doorstep, then im sure the owners of this incredible purple shaded house didn’t either). For approximately 10,000 euros a month, this street is the evidence that beauty sells. I have this thing for admiring doorways, there is always a element of mystery behind them. Who lives there, are they cat…or dog kind of people, do they drink tea? Or americano, double espresso type of personalities. There is something so magical about meandering down this cobbled street, an oasis of Parisian charm, each house immaculately painted complete with terracotta plant pots and flowers to complete the look. A fashion runway of architecture. Head to Gare de Lyon and navigate your way to Paris’ best kept secret (okay, not so much secret anymore…but almost).
Unearth the colourful stairs of the ‘hipster capital of the middle east’ Mar Mikhael in Beruit. I would like to say i stumbled across these by accident, but naturally i was already loaded with ten insta screenshots to use as directions to the citizens of Beruit. “Yes, i am looking for a multi coloured stairway”. “No, i am not on drugs”. This project is actually run by a group called Dihzahyners, a collective group of artists and designers joining forces to colour the streets of Beruit, and re-vitalise run down neighbourhoods. They have actually just been freshly repainted, so if you’re heading for a close to home insta feature (for those reading in Dubai) then head just around the corner. Also recently nominated as one of 9 best staircases in the world by Vogue magazine (and of course i trust Vogue..)this area is also filled with bars, book shops and bearded men (oh and also dancing bartenders, that may or may not turn up at your hotel door in the middle of the night offering a ride to BO18, the club underground in an old bunker….once again…leaving that one out there).
7. Angel wings, House of Blues, LA
“I got some kids here looking for some angel wings”. Oh gosh. Why don’t you just add- ‘but i can confirm they are not on crack cocaine’ to the rest of that sentence! Although I think far as La la land standards go, a collective group of nationalities ranging from polish, to australian, egyptian and an english girl hunting down murals of Angel Wings in Downtown LA is not so much of a random request. THESE WINGS ARE ALL OVER THE CITY. Designed by artist Colette Miller and created in 2012 this art project has gone global, with the aim to make these interactive street art angel wings “remind humanity that we are the angels of this Earth”. You can also hunt these down in Sydney, Washington and NYC. And with politicians, fashion bloggers, (cabin crew) and every tom dick and harry taking to the wall and spurting wings from their back, i think the Global Angel Wings Project is one of the most brilliant concepts, and thus, a brilliant insta photo opportunity ;-)
8. Silverlake Staircase, Los Angeles, CA
I actually posted this image of this multi coloured stairway to heaven on my instagram page as a shout out for the location and within two seconds somebody commented Silver Lake. Most apt considering my next trip is going to be in fact to, Los Angeles! Although i haven’t been yet, I’m still including it in this post as i consider a multi coloured staircase laden with love hearts as a definite contender for the best insta photo ops around the world. The location of the stairwell, along with the ‘cool of the cool’ (apparently so) street art, cafes, and graffiti walls is located in Silver Lake, LA the self proclaimed king of hipster on the west coast. Im making it my aim to pitstop here and roam alongside the people who dress like they’re from the 70s-creative types-vegan for 10 years- indie styled hipsters and park my bum right in the middle of that love heart.
Not quite as famous as the Bamboo Forest (just five minutes walk away) but equally as beautiful to the eye (and definitely for this post), is the adorable Kimono Forest, a tram stop with 32 cylinder shaped pillars with a different colourful textile displayed. Weave in and out of this pastel shaded forest and create that perfect insta pic, with help from this impressive background. I saw this in the daytime, but at night it is turned in to an enchanted forest of magical light.
Back to NYC, i have to finish off with the murals in and around the Soho area. Forever repainting, refreshing, and changing- these murals are without a doubt a MUST GO TO. You don’t always have to visit a museum to see art, in NY, you just look around you and art is quite literally, everywhere. Soho, Nolita, Chelsea & Brooklyn are the usual spots and streets adorned with street art. One of my favourites was this Bleeding Love Hearts mural, an entire wall painted with multi coloured love hearts. INSTA- PHOTO- ENVY!