Delicious coffee and tasty treats at Honohono Cafe…Koenji style.

So, it has been three weeks living in the amazing metropolis of Tokyo, and of all the beautiful areas this city offers, I feel very fortunate to be living in Koenji, a charming and welcoming neighbourhood in the Suginami Ward, full of independent cafes, restaurants, and vintage stores tucked away in its endless maze of narrow streets.

Although I need to do a proper introduction to this little secret called Koenji, I could not help it getting ahead of myself and had to share with you what has now become my regular coffee spot in the neighbourhood.  Being a coffee lover,  I love roaming the streets looking for places where I can enjoy a good cup of coffee, a comfortable atmosphere, and great service.  Well…at Honohono Cafe I found that and much more.

Honohono is nestled in Koenji’s main pedestrian strip, about a 15-minute walk south of the JR station.  It looks very unassuming from the outside, but on the inside, the owners have done a great job to make you feel as if you are walking into your own living room…that is a living room full of beautiful vintage furniture, all of which I want to take home every time I visit.

The coffee is of course delicious and the main reason I come to Honohono.  It is served in a different hand-crafted cup each visit, making the smooth cremma look even tastier then it already is.   And if you are not a coffee lover per se…no need to worry.  Following on the guidelines of cafe culture in Tokyo, Honohono offers a food menu full of tasty treats…salads, curry dishes, miso soup (of course) and sweets that will make your mouth water.

The experience at Honohono Cafe wouldn’t be complete without the welcoming service that the owners provide.  Always friendly and with a big smile on their face, the two girls running this place are doing it right…and I am definitely sold on it.

Please do yourself a favour and visit Koenji and Honohono Café.  You will not be disappointed.

For more information please visit:  http://honohonocafe.com

Getsemaní embraces graffiti to showcase its spirit and heritage

On a recent visit to Cartagena, Colombia, the city that makes my mind wonder like no other, I got to experience first-hand the creativity and imagination that is brewing in Getsemaní, Cartagena’s not-so-well-kept secret.

Thanks to the first edition of the “Ciudad Mural” Urban Art International Festival,  the streets of this magical up-and-coming neighbourhood were covered with bright graffiti, history and lots of culture.  38 urban artists where responsible for this feast of colour, including 11 local artist who got the chance to showcase their city to the world.  I love the fact that one of the main goals of this festival was to create a new cultural experience for the local community which often time is forgotten in the midst of all the foreign tourism.

It is projects like this that make me proud of being Colombian.  It is also gratifying to see the attention the local communities get for something other than drugs and coffee.

Next time you are in Cartagena, be sure to get out of the now-common walled city to explore Getsemaní.  It holds many surprises and stories at every turn.  Let it dazzle you with its art and talent.

For more information on the festival visit:

http://www.vertigograffiti.com

A day of arts, music and hype crawls into Hamilton’s summer event listings

So it seems that we are now in the clear in Canada and the bbq and patio season is here to stay.   Time to finally call up your friends or gathered your loved ones and head outdoors to enjoy the endless list of activities on offer as the summer solstice arrives yet one more time.

If you happen to be in the Golden Horseshoe region of Ontario and are trying to figure out which festivals not to miss this season, then pay close attention.  Your to-do list must include the Hamilton James Street Supercrawl.  You heard right…HAMILTON!

Heading into its 6th season, the Supercrawl showcases the local artistic and cultural community of this historic and up-and-coming neighbourhood.  Having set a record attendance (100,000 people), the Supecrawl hosts musicians, artists,  local business owners, chefs, and an all-ages crowd of people just looking to have a good time.  Just wonder up and down good old St. James Street and you’ll be sure to find a delicious treat, a compelling art performance, some folky tunes, or just a wall to draw on and really get involve.

So mark down your calendars:  September 12-14, 2014.  Believe me…you don’t wanna miss it!  For more information on these year’s music and performance lineup visit http://www.supercrawl.ca