Just Go: St. Petersburg, Russia

If you haven’t been to St Petersburg, I encourage you – and even those vaguely interested – to get up and go. National Geographic Traveler recently named the city a top spot to “see now” based on the increased problem of flooding that affects a low-lying downtown. While this is a sound reason, and flood-control precautions are in place, it’s a beautiful city to visit just for the richness of culture. Travel for travel’s sake.

In my opinion, any time is a good time to go, but you’ll be able to fit in more during summer’s White Nights.

I wrote the following itinerary for The Daily Telegraph but please let me know if you’re planning a trip! The best things to do in four days in St Petersburg | DailyTelegraph

St Isaac's Cathedral


My Red October Factory, Moscow — Open Skies magazine, Emirates

I want to share my feature on Moscow’s Red October Factory with you. If you boarded an Emirates flight in October, you may have reached into the seat pocket and seen the article while reclining with the inflight magazine, Open Skies. If not, the pdf link is below.

This former chocolate factory in Moscow is a labyrinth filled with small business owners who are cooking, writing, silversmithing, photographing, partying, and eating. The article’s photos  were taken by Olya Ivanova, who has contributed to Monocle and PORT magazines.

Below, a few of my ipad snaps too. Enjoy!

The Street, Moscow — Open Skies October Issue, 2014

red october 2


View from Reka


electic Bikes


Bookshop of Brothers Lumiere

Gallery Lumiere


flower shopMenu at BontempiWriting at BontempimemorialMizandari Cafered october

Moscow’s Best Hotels, Russia

Writing about Moscow allows me to reflect my favourite moments in the city. I love the cobblestoned Red Square, the lively Gorky Park, the cafe and bookshop at Garage Museum of Contemporary Art, the new Tretyakov Gallery, the local characters… and I will never tire of the candy-coloured swirls atop St Basil’s Cathedral.

Compiling a list of the the city’s top five hotels for A Luxury Travel Blog was a pleasure, not only because I adore hotels but because I was whisked on a journey to the beautiful capital.

You can take a read of the post here: 5 of the best hotels in Moscow – A Luxury Travel Blog.

Some images that took me back:

View of Red Square from Hotel National

View of Red Square from Hotel National

The bookshop at Garage

The bookshop at Garage

Volleyball at Gorky Park

Volleyball at Gorky Park

Interior of the New Tretyakov Gallery

Interior of the New Tretyakov Gallery

Chef Valentino at Bontempi restaurant

Chef Valentino at Bontempi restaurant

The Moscow River, from The Red October Factory

The Moscow River, from The Red October Factory

The Red Square

The Red Square

Social Media: The Winogrand Effect

I read an interesting article in New York magazine by Jerry Saltz titled, “Photographing Through The Cracks: Garry Winogrand captured America as it split wide open.” It discusses an exhibition of the street photographer’s work currently on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

The last paragraph stood out because it made me think about the future of art; the formal study of photography; the role of curator; and social media’s role in propelling a new generation of self-taught photographers. Here’s the quote:

“The whole world is now filled with incredible images–especially on Instagram and other social networks–that owe something to Winogrand’s, documenting life, change, and all the rest. Yet the art world and museums are not. Instead they tend to show oversize, very still pictures or images that investigate formal properties and ideas of display and presentation. I love many of those pictures, but what’s happening online on social media deserves far more serious scrutiny than it’s getting. If the art world doesn’t admit more of this sort of deceptively casual-seeming work, the outside world will reject more so-called art photography than it already does. That’s a divide that we don’t need to reestablish and widen.”


St. Isaac's Cathedral, photographed in July during a trip to St Petersburg (with a Nikon)

St. Isaac’s Cathedral, photographed in July during a trip to St Petersburg (on an angle with a Nikon and prime lens. I should add that my sister took amazing photos of the same cupola with an iPhone.).