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David's Thoughts

by David Placher

Friday, January 05, 2018

Frankfurt

Nicht nur Geschäftlich! (Not just business!)

Although Frankfurt is a major business hub with towering buildings and offices of over 300 major banks and the Frankfurt stock exchange, it’s also one of the most popular tourist destinations in Germany. There are beer gardens, street markets, bistros, fashion boutiques, and candy stores. It’s the birthplace of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, Germany’s Shakespeare, whose former home is now the Goethe House Museum, a popular tourist destination. With Frankfurt’s strategic location, getting around to other parts of Germany or going to other major European cities is easy. Frankfurt Airport is one of the world’s busiest international airports and Frankfurt Central Station is one of the largest rail stations in Europe and the busiest junction, with 342 trains a day to domestic and European destinations.

Friday, December 22, 2017

Provincetown • Artsy & Quaint

Provincetown, Massachusetts– also called P-town– is a great place to visit, especially for the LGBT community. It is located on the extreme tip of Cape Cod. Provincetown is the site of the Mayflower’s landing in 1620, and it is commemorated by the Pilgrim Monument and Provincetown Museum. Traveling from Baltimore to Provincetown for a weekend trip is easy: fly into Boston, take the Sliver Line bus to the World Trade Center stop, and about two blocks away, is the ferry terminal. The Bay State Cruises Company offers round trip tickets for about $90. Although getting there is easy, focusing on what to do is difficult because there is so much happening. It has a thriving arts community, a scenic area unlike any other in New England, a place for dedicated whale watchers, and a very large LGBT community with several LGBT owned businesses and LGBT bars.

Friday, December 08, 2017

Awesome • Osaka

Japan’s 3rd biggest city boasts stunning architecture & unique eats

Traveling from Tokyo to Osaka by bullet train is about three hours and the train ride takes you through Japan’s beautiful countryside. Osaka is a large port city located in the southern center of Japan. It’s Japan’s third most populated city and is a major economic area. Although it was heavily destroyed during World War II, it was rebuilt and recovered quickly. Osaka’s nickname is Tenka no Daidokoro (nation’s kitchen) because of its reputation as a foodie’s paradise and its food exports to other countries and to other cities in Japan. Regional dishes include okonomiyaki (pan-fried batter cake), takoyaki (octopus in fried batter), udon (a noodle dish), and oshizushi (pressed sushi).

Friday, November 10, 2017

Providence • Party On

At any good party, no man’s an island. Neither is Rhode Island!

Traveling to Providence, Rhode Island, from Baltimore is easy and very affordable. Several discount airlines fly to Boston, and from Boston’s airport the Silver Line (public bus that runs partly underground like a subway) goes to South Station, a train station, where Amtrak offers tickets to Providence for as little as $14. Providence is the capital of Rhode Island, the smallest state. Providence is geographically very compact because it was developed prior to the automobile. It is a densely populated city with a beautiful river walkway in the middle that separates part of the city from areas where higher education institutions are located. Brown University, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Johnson and Wales University are located in Providence. Although there are many things to love about Providence, the three that standout are its history, its WaterPlace Park, and its LGBT progressive movements.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Tokyo • Asia’s Hub

World’s largest metro area dazzles with calm efficiency

Traveling to Tokyo, Japan, is exhausting, but exciting. Depending on the airline, you can expect to spend at least 15 hours on a plane. When I travel abroad, I usual go with one of my best friends, who lives in New York City. For this trip, I travelled from Baltimore to New York City by Amtrak and then flew on Korea Air from New York to Seoul, South Korea, and then on to Tokyo, Japan. A total of 17 hours in the air. The round-trip ticket was around $1,400. Tokyo is 11 hours ahead of Baltimore and you can expect jet lag. Many people in Tokyo do not speak English, but many do understand it a little.

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