June 2013
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Monday, June 24, 2013

Devour Paris: Food Guide to Feed Charity

After tourists visit Paris, rare is the day that you hear from them again. My job as a guide is to pack a few hours full of memorable experiences and hope that they manage to retain at least 10% of the tidbits I throw their way (no one can remember every detail about every Henri and Louis). After that, the experience fades into an ocean of Facebook albums and forgotten pastry shop names.

When Chis Aswad emailed me about a book that he was publishing, however, I perked up a bit. We spent a few hours exploring the Canal and the Marais, focusing heavily on various food locations – naturally. After spending a month in Paris, Chris, a New York-based market researcher, took all of these experiences and wove them together into Devour Paris: A Curated Guide to Savoring the City Like an Insider.

The best part? Proceeds from the book's sales go to a charity, Citymeals on Wheels in New York City, which provides meals to elderly New Yorkers. “I thought it made sense to have the charity be helping those who don’t have enough to eat, and the budget cuts here in the US at the moment are killing this charity,” Chris told me.

It’s refreshing to think that a tour can lead to something quite beneficial to society.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Happiest 5k in Europe!

Post-run fries...
Where was Bryan? Amsterdam! Between stumbling upon a Game of Thrones exhibit and searching endlessly for chocolate-covered waffles in the morning, I spent the time with my sister and her friend exploring the streets and canals during a short weekend. But our real M.O. for visiting was Europe’s first ever Color Run – an American export that’s making its way across the globe.

The idea is a simple one. Wear a white shirt, run a 5k, and get pummeled with colored powder along the way, ending in a giant color-bombing dance party. Fun, I know! Part of the proceeds goes to charity, but it’s also a way to celebrate running, health, and happiness without worrying about competing for the best time.

Runners of all abilities participate. My sister and her friend, admittedly non-runners, hopped along without a problem through Amsterdam’s Sloterpark, and we spent the first two kilometers running with two girls that each only had one leg. It was inspiring, to say the least, and we didn't complain about cramps much. Anyone can do a Color Run. Everyone should.