Monday, January 28, 2008

Wanderlust: Your Lovely Places

A few weeks ago I got an email from Sylvain Louradour in France, who has a genius blog called Your Lovely Places that collects and chronicles people's favorite spots on the planet. Sylvain asked me to contribute mine, and I was happy to oblige.

I chose Notting Hill, London. It is lovely, to be sure, but I really chose it because that part of the world has a special emotional resonance for me.

I lived in London for two years after high school (ostensibly, I was going to college -- but what I was really studying was English Bands, with a minor in English Guys).

While I was there. I spent more weekend mornings than I can count in the throngs at the Portobello Road Market. My friends and I would nosh on steaming vegetable samosas and spend hours trawling the stands, poking through bric-a-brac in search of buried treasure, before retiring to the pub for lunch and a bit of liquid fortification. That time was just a really happy, exciting, and carefree period in my life, and one that I'll always cherish.

About a year ago, I was lucky enough (thanks, Mom!) to be able to share this lovely neighborhood, with its sherbet-colored houses and dusty antiques shops, with my husband and children (those are our kids in the picture above). The trip was a bit melancholy for me, since both London and I have changed much in the years that have passed. But it was also wonderful to return to the locale that had meant so much to me -- and that still holds a very special place in my heart -- with the people that I love most in the world.

Anyway, it's fun to peruse the other favorite spots that Sylvain has collected, which range from someone's bed at home to far more distant shores. Take a look:

The Basque Country

Kaufbar, Berlin

Teluk Bahang, Malaysia

The Marais, Paris

Hôtel Luna Convento, Amalfi

Check out Your Lovely Places right here -- and if you'd like to join in, email Sylvain with a photo or a drawing as well as a brief description of your lovely place.

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