11 Must-Do International Festivals in September

Summer may be coming to a close but the festivals are ongoing – here, there and everywhere.  Find one of these culture bombs happening around the world during September.

1. Mariachi Festival, Guadalajara, México – August 28-September 8, the event that encapsulates the heart of Mexican culture fills the streets with folkloric music, dancing and costume. Learn more at http://www.mariachi-jalisco.com.mx.

2. Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival, Maui and Oahu, Hawaii – September 1-9, the “premier epicurean event in the Pacific” takes place on one of the world’s most treasured islands. Visit http://hawaiifoodandwinefestival.com for more info.

Hawai'i Food & Wine

3. Dublin Fashion Festival, Dublin, Ireland – September 5-8, fashionistas shop from over 250 retailers while enjoying elements of fun and theatre in their shopping experiences.  Visit http://dff.ie.

4. Toronto International Film Festival, Canada -September 5-15 over 300 films from more than 60 countries will be screened at tiff., dubbed as the most important film fest after Cannes.  See more at www.tiff.net.

5. FringeArts Festival, Philadelphia, PA – September 5-22, the City of Brotherly Love awakens with provocative contemporary art, both visual and performance.  For more info, visit http://www.fringearts.com.

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Photo by Heiko Kalmbach

6. Budapest International Wine Fest, Budapest, Hungary – September 11-15 Wine University, wine tasting, a harvest parade, etc.  All that plus traditional Hungarian food and culture at their annual festival.  Info at http://www.aborfesztival.hu.

7. Koktebel Jazz Festival, Koktebel, Ukraine – September 12-15 the airwaves of this Ukrainian resort town are jammed with jazz notes and over 30,000 music lovers.  Over 300 musicians from 15 countries perform.  Visit http://www.jazz.koktebel.info/en/.

8. Floriade Flower Festival, Canberra, Australia – September 14-October 13, the finest of Australian horticulture unviels. More info at http://www.floriadeaustralia.com/program/

9. London Design Festival, London, UK – September 14-22 product launches, international exhibitions, seminars, trade events and more all happen at what’s considered one of the most important annual design events.  A mix of commercial and culture for, there’s something from professionals and passersby.  Learn more at http://www.londondesignfestival.com/.

Picture by Cityscope

10. Bangkok’s International Festival of Dance & Music, Bangkok, Thailand – September 15-October 14.  Opera, ballet, music and dance unite for the largest performing arts festival in Thailand.   http://www.bangkokfestivals.com/home/

11. Oktober Fest, Munich, Germany – September 21-October 6.  One word: beer.  http://www.oktoberfest.de/en/

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

AP Photo/Matthias Schrader

Thanks for reading 🙂

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Dîner en Blanc in Philadelphia!

Sooo this year’s D.E.B was held at……30th Street Station!  We all dined and danced on the JFK Bridge, which leads to the biggest transportation hub in the city.  If you’re not from the area, pay it a visit on your next trip.  Below are some of the 2,500 stylish guests in blanc, elegant decor and happy faces.  A little bit of FrEnglish too!

Had no idea we were feet away from the main event.

2013-08-22 19.24.09 He was relieved when he reached the top.2013-08-22 19.31.54Cupcakes & Cookies
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French-looking platter.2013-08-22 19.47.30Global Lipstick, Denise Fike and her fashion-forward hat.
2013-08-22 20.42.22 Eiffel Tower Table.2013-08-22 20.53.31 Les Cupcakes
2013-08-22 20.54.18 Les Macarons
2013-08-22 20.55.00 La Lovely Lady
2013-08-22 20.56.06D.E.B in a ville near you ;-).
2013-08-22 21.00.22Super Fly
2013-08-22 21.01.40 Those glasses…winniiiing.2013-08-22 21.02.03Dapper Gents
2013-08-22 21.02.45Sheer rules!
2013-08-22 21.07.51Les sparklers!  Light up the city.
2013-08-22 21.16.09 More sparkler fun.
2013-08-22 21.18.55Emily Tharp, blogger behind HerPhilly.  J’adore!
2013-08-22 21.20.05And j’adore her dress!
2013-08-22 21.20.56 New friend 🙂2013-08-22 21.29.29 She WAS the party!
2013-08-22 21.37.40 Had to make it to the stage…
2013-08-22 21.46.27Très elegant.
2013-08-22 21.55.23Quick break inside the station.

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Then back to la fête with Kory Aversa, one of the many brains behind the magic! 

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Merci beaucoup to all that put this together.  See you next summer!!

Throwback Thursday: Dîner en Blanc’s

François Pasquier had no idea that back in ’88 his Dîner en Blanc (Dinner in White) would become an international summertime phenomenon.  25 years ago François wanted to reunite with some of his amis (friends) with a picnic in Paris and requested that they all dress in white to easily identify one another.  Here we are in 2013 and the reunions of amis in white have expanded to Singapore, Mexico City, Montréal, Haiti, New York, Brisbane, Barcelona, Kigali…yea, all over.  And tonight, for the second year, Philly is joining the fun.  The plan for guests is byob (b for baguettes), byowine, byocheese, byotables, byochairs and wait for instructions to the secret location.  Where will it be?  I haven’t the faintest!  But I will gladly report back tomorrow with full details.  In the meantime, watch the video below to see le Dîner en Blanc in its earlier days and how much it’s grown to date!

Swedish Midsommar Celebration at Philadelphia Ikea

After enduring nine months of cloudiness and brrrr weather, the longest day of the year arrives and Swedes celebrate the commencement of Summer.  Midsommar (midsummer).  Finally, sunshine and smiley faces.  The gaiety includes flower picking, folk dancing and what else?  Food!  Traditional menus feature pickled herring, boiled potatoes, sour cream, a grilled fish, salmon and the season’s first strawberries and cream for dessert.  Ikea opened its café to all who wanted to eat like a Swede (or Rose Nylund) on their Midsommar celebration and for quite an affordable price.

Swedish Flag

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2013-06-14 19.35.52 2013-06-14 19.37.11 2013-06-14 19.37.29 2013-06-14 19.37.55 2013-06-14 19.38.20 2013-06-14 19.42.06

Enjoy

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Looks like this salmon was a hit!

5 Days of Global Goodies

Birthday Treats

This week is my sister’s birthday.  So, in honor of her sweet tooth existence, let’s shine a light on los postres, les gourmands, i dolci!  Yes, the rest of the week is all about the sweets.  I’ll begin with some of her favorites.

SONY DSC

The napolitano de chocolate (in Spain), pain au chocolat (in France), chocolate-filled croissant (in the US).  The first and best placed she ate these were at a bus stop in Madrid.  Who woulda thunk it?  According to her, the bakeries didn’t hold a candle to the bus stop. Take notes, bakers!

Stroopwafel

Hol-y cow…the death of us both.  Stroopwafels.  They’re just so good, I don’t know where to begin.  A Dutch specialty, this waffle sandwich is all kinds of irresistible. It’s made of two thin waffles with a caramel syrup holding them together.  It puts you right on the edge of a sugar high.  They’re sweet but the cinnamon cuts the sugar just enough to make you think that you’re not really consuming 50g of sugar.  And its softness somehow makes you eat them twice as fast.  They’re typically eaten with tea.  BUT, I discovered that dipped in Cream of Wheat….uuuh!

Llaollao

Llaollao (pronounced yao-yao), another Spanish must.  I’m no frozen yogurt connoisseur but this is the best we’ve had.  It’s a tangy, tart, sweet cup.  Ordering the ‘Sanum’ is the best deal.  You’re able to choose three different fruits, a chopped topping and a drizzle.  Mine goes a little something like this, “un sanum con kiwi piña, fresa, muesli y chocolate, por favor.”  Translated, “a sanum with kiwi, pineapple, strawberries, granola and chocolate, please.”  Wait a minute or two for it to soften so that everything blends together.  Can’t beat it.

Carrot Cake

Good ol’ American carrot cake.  Not much else to say.  Just yum!!!

Happy Hump Day 😉

Sevilla Feria Week: Montaditos y Rebujito

      No good fair exists without the proper food and beverage.  The official drink of feria is a cocktail called rebujito, a mix of Sprite and Sherry.  As for the food….well montaditos (traditional Spanish mini-sandwhiches) aren’t feria-specific.  But they are quality picks for any occasion.  We all love to find good, reasonably priced bites and that’s exactly what 100 Montaditos provides.  This Spanish chain is designed around the idea of providing high quality products at competitive prices. Here, montaditos are available in 100 varieties (hence the name 🙂 ) and cost between one and two euros (about $1.30-$3) each.  Wednesdays you can get any of them for only €1 (about $1.30)!!  Most purchases at any fair tend to be overpriced.  So today, a strategic eater and feria attendee would plan to load up on €1 sandwiches then dance the night away with some rebujitos.  Even when it’s not feria time, be sure to stop at 100 Montaditos and taste something rebujito-ish if ever in Spain!
Montaditos Full
Montads y Jarra
Photo by Bill Sinclair
Montaditos
And the rebujito…
rebujito jar
rebujito spread Rebujito pour
                                                                               Photo from youngadveturess.com
Good news: 100 Montaditos has expanded to over 250 locations around the world, and plans to continue growing.  It’s already in Florida.  May be coming to your city next!

Japanese Treehouse Treats

Okinawa, Japan

Okinawa, Japan

What’s better than a treehouse in Japan?  A restaurant in a treehouse in Japan.  Why didn’t I think of that?  Gajumaru is the place, shabu-shabu is the specialty.  The dish’s name, しゃぶしゃぶ in Japanese, is an onomonopia of the sound it makes during preparation.  (A little imagery, I just said shabu-shabu three times in a row while doing a stirring motion to get an idea of the audio.)  In short, it is a meal of thinly sliced meat, veggies and tofu to be dipped in broth.  The eating process is similar to chips and dip.  We’re all alike after all 🙂  Consider Gajumara the newest member of my Globe Trot List.  Sayonara!

Shabu-Shabu

Shabu-Shabu

Broth

Broth