Category Archives: Leyla Farah

By @ 01/14/20 in Gay family travel, Gay travel, Leyla Farah, ManAboutWorld, Paris, Travel, Venice

Our correspondent Leyla Farah visited Europe with her family. Here’s her update and more about Leyla below!

Leyla Farah visits Paris & Venice and brings us back this report

Paris:
The Louvre
  • If you spent 5 seconds in front of every work of art at the Louvre it would take you 4 months to see everything – if you didn’t sleep! The Louvre is all about planning ahead since there’s quite literally no way to see it all. Our picks for your list of “must see” items beyond the basics?
  • (1) Go underground to walk along the Medieval moat that protected Paris during the time of the Crusades. It was uncovered as part of an  archeological dig in the mid 1980’s, and now helps visitors trace the evolution of the Louvre from a fortress to a royal residence and finally to the museum that stands today.
  • (2) Don’t miss the stunning (and we mean STUNNING) apartments where Napoleon III lived in the early 19th century. They include lavishly decorated rooms, jaw-dropping works of art, and – of course – a diminutive throne.
  • (3) For a little extra sparkle, get up close to the display cases that feature the French Crown Jewels – including a magnificent 141 carat diamond.
The Paris Christmas Market:
  • If you’re visiting Paris between mid-November and the Catholic holiday of Epiphany (which marks the end of the Christmas holiday on the first Monday in January), be sure to check out the Christmas Market in the Paris’ Tuileries Garden (just up from the Louvre).
  • With everything from unique regional vendors and eateries, to carnival rides and ice skating, it’s fun for visitors of all ages. Be sure to try the “vin chaud” or “hot wine” for sale at nearly every eatery.
  • And, if you’re not afraid of heights, try to time your trip up the Ferris wheel so you’re near the top for the famous Eiffel Tower light show (which lasts for 5 minutes every hour on the hour in the evenings). There’s no better view in all of Paris.
New Food Faves:
  • There’s really no such thing as a bad meal in Paris, but we did discover some new favorites on our last visit.
  • (1) When we had a hankering for something other than a continental breakfast, we headed to the Strada Cafe (24 rue Monge) in the Latin Quarter (there’s also one in the Marais at 94 rue du Temple). We loved their otherworldly French toast topped with whipped orange butter, omelettes with pumpkin seeds (who knew?) and astonishingly good coffee. The servers also speak impeccable English, just in case your French is a little rusty.
  • (2) Le Bistro Marbeuf (21 Rue Marbeuf in the 8th – just off the iconic Champs-Élysées) has been a food destination for years, but it was our first visit. We were on the hunt for steak frites, and theirs didn’t disappoint, but the real standouts were an impossibly velvety carbonara and a trio of ice creams – raspberry, salted caramel and coffee – that made our eyes roll back in our heads.
Leyla Farah visits Paris & Venice and brings us back this report
Venice:
  • No visit to Venice is complete without a visit through the glittering gold leaf interior of St Mark’s Basilica on the Piazza San Marco – a true masterpiece of Byzantine-style architecture. But the awe-inspiring Doge’s palace right next door provides visitors with a more visceral look at the true power of the Venetian city state from the 14th to the 18th centuries.
  • More than just the residence of the Doge (Duke) of Venice, this palace also housed critical bureaucratic, executive and judiciary government functions. Don’t miss the “secret tour” – which covers the more delicate (or “secret”) government activities like torture, executions and political tribunals.
  • Feeling peckish after your tours of the architectural and artistic gems on the Piazza San Marco? Head over over to Rossopomodoro Venezia (Calle Larga San Marco, 404) where you can sit and enjoy some of the best pizza in Venice (if you’re lucky, you might even get to see them turn out and shape the dough that’s been rising for hours in enormous traditional wooden proofing boxes), or just grab a quick bite from their take away window so you don’t miss a beat.

More about Leyla

Born in San Francisco and raised in the Middle East, Leyla Farah is the product of a unique collection of ethnic roots that extend from Brazil to Norway. A world traveler from infancy, Leyla has the uncanny ability to live like a local – without sacrificing life’s little luxuries – almost anywhere on earth. Her refreshing mix of high-end standards and real-world perspective make her your ideal (wo)ManAboutWorld.

Follow Leyla on Twitter @ldfarah

Connect with Leyla at About.me/ldfarah

 

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By @ 05/29/14 in Gay travel, Leyla Farah, ManAboutWorld, Mexico, Puerto Vallarta, Travel

VPhoto credit

Our LA-based (Wo)ManAboutWorld Global Correspondent Leyla Farah travels frequently. She recently visited Puerto Vallarta and wanted you to know that despite reports to the contrary, this Mexican port city is still a fabulous place to visit. You just have to know where the new hotspots are.

We know, we know. Puerto Vallarta, or PV as it’s affectionately known, has been done. The beaches, the boardwalk, the sculptures, the church, the bars. Been there, done that. PV has been a gay-friendly destination for so long that most of us checked it off of our to-do list long, long ago. But PV just might be worth a second look if you’re willing to approach it from a new angle.

The swanky district of Conchas Chinas (literally “Chinese Shells” — named for a type of sea shell found only on the local beaches) is just south of the PV most people know. Locals refer to the area as “The Hills” (as in “The Beverly Hills of Puerto Vallarta”). Just a 20 minute cab ride from the city center, it’s worlds away from the congestion, pollution, aggressive vendors and drunk tourists that can give PV a bad name.



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