5 Days in Nashville: Day 2

After a full day and night of drinking, we were feeling a little worse for wear on Saturday morning. We had a pretty slow start, but eventually ventured out of our Airbnb in search of brunch.

But first, we stopped by the local hipster coffee joint, CREMA, which felt transplanted from Southern California. We highly recommend their take on the iced cortado, which was rich, caramel-y and strong.

CREMA
15 Hermitage Ave.
Nashville, TN 37210

Once we were sufficiently caffeinated, we headed over to Pinewood Social, a popular spot for brunch and day drinking. Not only do they serve delicious food, the huge space also features a gorgeous bar, CREMA coffee bar, bowling alley, and outdoor space with functioning pools, bocce, ping pong and another bar serving drinks out of an Airstream trailer.

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Kastellet & The Little Mermaid

When you think of Copenhagen, the first thing that usually comes to mind is the iconic Little Mermaid statue. The sculpture created by Edvard Eriksen in 1913 honors Hans Christian Andersen, the Danish writer who authored the classic Little Mermaid fairy tale.

As everyone who has visited it has found, the sculpture is much smaller and less remarkable in person than it seems on our Instagram feeds. But it was still well worth a visit – at the very least to capture that classic Copenhagen photo op!

To get to the statue on Langelinje Pier, we first walked through Kastellet – or “the citadel” in English – which defended Copenhagen harbor against Swedish, English and German attacks following its construction in 1626. Today, the well-preserved star-shaped fortress still serves as an active military area, but much of it has been converted into a beautiful green space and public park that locals take advantage of for running, biking and general recreation.

The grounds also feature a picturesque church, windmill and military buildings that are still in use today.

We were so impressed with how well-maintained and lush the grounds were. If only we had our running shoes with us – it’s truly the most picturesque spot for a jog.

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Top 5 Things to do in Paris: 2015 Edition

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We visited Paris for the first time in September 2014. While those four days in the City of Light were incredible (take a look back at the highlights here), they were nowhere near enough. On that trip, we saw all of the major highlights–the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre, the Catacombs, the Notre Dame, Versailles, etc.–but we left knowing there were so many other sights we still hadn’t experienced, and itching to go back as soon as possible.

So this past fall, when we saw that roundtrip flights to Paris from New York were just $500 for the week between Christmas and New Year, we booked our seats immediately.

With seven full days to experience the city this time around, we got the chance to just wander the streets, walking around and enjoying the charms each neighborhood has to offer, and exploring hidden gems along the way.

Of course, there are still so many sights we didn’t get to this year–the Palais Garnier, the Louis Vuitton Foundation, the endless list of restaurants we bookmarked on Yelp–so don’t be surprised if you see another Paris roundup here in 2016.

In the meantime, here are our top five picks for attractions around Paris, 2015 edition…

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Acadia National Park, Maine

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over, especially since this is our first post of the season! The last few months have been a rollercoaster ride of frantically busy work schedules and existential crises. But we managed to fit in time to escape the city and enjoy the great outdoors.

First stop: Acadia National Park in beautiful Bar Harbor, Maine.

With its gorgeous mountain landscapes, granite cliffs, and crystal blue seasides visible around every corner, Acadia was the perfect setting for our Fourth of July weekend. We spent two days with close friends driving through the picturesque winding roads circling the park, pretending to be professional rock climbers while navigating and exploring the seaside cliffs, and capturing gorgeous sunsets at the peak of Cadillac Mountain.

And because Acadia is a manageable size and less crowded than other popular national parks, it’s perfect if you’re looking for a laid-back getaway that is neither too remote nor too action packed. The ideal destination for a long weekend.

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Lately: Experimenting with Film Photography

I’ve been going through creative dry spells–similar to a writer’s block, but with photography. Like Wesley, New York doesn’t inspire me like it used to, and the photos I do take are disappointing. But instead of mixing it up with a rangefinder like his Fujifilm X100s, I switched from DSLR to old-school film.

A family friend gifted me with a Nikon FG, along with a standard 50 mm lens, from the 80s a couple of years ago. It was in great condition, but I never bothered learning how to load the film, so the camera sat in my room gathering dust.

After watching a Youtube tutorial, I finally felt motivated enough to give film a try. Anything to get me out of this funk!

A month into my new hobby, I’m finding that the limitations of this medium are surprisingly forcing me to be more creative and think about the framing and settings of a shot. With only 24 exposures per roll, there’s definitely pressure to not waste a single shutter. Not being able to see a photo after taking it is also thrilling. The anticipation is a complete change of pace from the instant gratification we expect from shooting digitally.

With my need to make every shot count, it took me two weeks to just finish a roll. When I picked up the developed film earlier today, it was a relief just knowing that they weren’t all out of focus or under/overexposed. In fact, my favorite shots, below, of our day walking the newest section of the High Line and grabbing a drink at The Frying Pan, turned out surprisingly well. Shout out to the amazing service at Luster Photo & Digital in the East Village for making it happen!

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Lately: Fujifilm X100S

Recently, I decided to pull the trigger and purchase the Fujifilm X100S after hearing rave reviews from DigitalRev and Zack Arias. Its old school facade is beautifully crafted and with a 35mm-equivalent focal length, it’s an ideal street photography buddy.

I’m not the best when it comes to this form of photography but the X100S’s silent leaf shutter and its sleek, retro look helps ease the nerves of my unsuspecting subjects. Also, the optical/electronic viewfinder offers a unique DSLR/rangefinder-hybrid experience.

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One of the first things I do with any new camera is test the sensor to see how good it really is. I like to shoot scenes that push the camera’s capabilities, like capturing bright backgrounds with a dark foreground. This helps me see how much detail the camera’s sensor can capture during post production. The X100S’s performance is mindblowing … just see for yourself below.

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