The Traveling IQ vault is packed with travel photos that have never seen the light of day. They’re lonely and want to say hello.
Here’s a little photo tour of East London, from my November 2011 visit.
East London has undergone a dramatic change over the last decade. The once isolated area beyond the Tower of London, is now home to trendy shops, cafes, art galleries and open-air markets.
During my visit last year, I explored the area with my trusted “insider” Urban Gentry guide and stayed for the grand opening of the Aloft London Excel Hotel–all as the city was prepping to host the London 2012 Olympic Games.
OK, this post is way overdue. I was extremely honored in March to receive the “Awesome Blog Content” award from Mark, the Mancunian blogger of the vibes, with whom I share a love of cats, travel, photography and the Kinsey scale, among many other things. Mark lives in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, England–a city that I’m dying to visit–and gives great blog.
Now to accept this award, the rules mandate that I describe myself or my blog using every letter of the alphabet and pass on the award to six fellow bloggers–easier said than done considering all the fantastic blogs I read and all the letters that compose the English alphabet. But I could not let his opportunity pass without 1) thanking Mark and 2) paying this award forward to a few of the fabulous people that touch my world-wide-webbed world. So here we go, the following is a bit stream of consciousness… some words are adjectives, some nouns, etc., but they all describe me, or the me I tell myself I am, or Traveling IQ or what it strives to be… or they are things I just really like… such as margaritas… I really like margaritas… they are like limeade with a built-in self esteem booster.
And now for my favorite part of this project. Six really cool people (in no particular order) who I hope will intrigue you as much as they have me over the last few years:
*EdSalvato.com: Ed Salvato has, as stated on his website, “spent the last 14 years in the world of LGBT travel and tourism on just every angle you can imagine: editorial, marketing, communications, product development, sponsorships, events and more.” The man juggles multiple gay travel balls better than anyone I know (insert joke here). He was one of the first editors that ever published my work and he’s one of the best, most professional communicators I’ve encountered in this crazy business.
*Carlos Melia Blog: Carlos Melia is pure travel porn, in every possible way. Not only is he extremely handsome and features prominently in many of his pictures, but this former Mr. Gay International (no joke!) is also constantly traveling to–and tirelessly posting from–the most fabulous destinations imaginable. The man is a traveling machine. Though it’s difficult not to envy his life at times (and his Mr. Gayness), I greatly admire his incredible work ethic (and, oh yeah, his Mr. Gayness too).
*The Butterfly Jar: This Tumblr blog highlights the versatile and beautiful work of NY-based photographer Chasi Annexy. Chasi is a kick ass photographer of people, travel, lifestyle, performance and all-around awesomeness (her official website is chasiannexyphotography.com). As the photographer of Salseek.com she captures the beauty, sexiness and flair of salsa dancers; as a travel and documentary photographer she manages to create infinitely intriguing photos of people in both exceptional and mundane settings. I’ve also been fortunate to take a writing class with Chasi and can tell you 1) she’s a fantastic writer and 2) her hips don’t lie… even when visiting a tea garden outside of Darjeeling.
*Voyage Addicted: Or “Adiccion a Viajar” is the travel blog of Jose Ferri of Valencia, Spain. Jose works with Valencia Guias and was the fabulous guide who took me on the walking tour of Centro Historico that I describe in my Washington Post article. He also, in a short time, became a great new friend and took it upon himself to show me a Valencia that I would’ve never found on my own. He writes about his fantastic travels and not only allows me to discover beautiful new places but also forces me to practice my Spanish.
*PhotoBotos.com: Created by brothers Charlie and Tom, this photography website uploads a new image daily with a detailed description. Photographers will appreciate all the technical jargon; I love the beautiful pictures. I first discovered this site when they posted “Go Your Own Road” by Swedish photographer Erik Johansson, and have been hooked ever since.
*Humans of New York: According to the website, “Humans of New York began as one man’s effort to construct a photographic census of the city of New York.” And boy do we have some colorful characters in NYC! This site captures New Yorkers from all walks of life and is a constant reminder of just how special this city truly is. Brandon’s captions are also witty, funny, and offer an insightful glimpse into the people that make New York… well, New York. If you like the photographs, I suggest “liking” the Facebook page as he posts photos even more frequently on Facebook.
(And while we’re on the subject of Facebook, I would be forever grateful if you visited Traveling IQ on Facebook and perhaps “liked” me too. Thank you!)
Lady Gaga and Traveling IQ wish you a Happy Halloween!
I took this picture while touring the Strip District in Pittsburgh earlier this year. If you are interested in learning more about Pittsburgh, read the IQ article published in Next Magazine or listen to the Proud FM radio segment.