Tag Archives: Paris

World’s 12 best shopping cities

From a shopper’s perspective, frequent traveling can be crippling. It can get worse in the holiday season where Christmas dominates many people’s calendars. Why buy something in one city when a trip to a better shopping city is coming up?

To pinpoint which cities around the world deliver the most gratifying, enjoyable shopping experiences, we consulted global experts, such as fashion merchandising firm Donegar Creative Services and Marie Bergfelt, senior spokesperson for Global Blue, which publishes the Globe Shopper City Index.

Then we judged cities in four areas, using a one-to-10 scoring scale for each category:

1. Getting around: Quality of public transportation, affordability and availability of cabs, transport time

2. Value: Bargain opportunities, such as sale seasons and average prices.

3. Variety: Number of available brands, range of shopping categories, quantity of upscale shops, department stores, boutique and vintage retailers and market stalls.

4. Experience: City beauty, quality of window displays and shop décor, friendliness and competence of clerks and service staff, dining and accommodation options.

Then we charged into the breach.

READ MORE: World’s 12 best shopping cities


An Artist’s Gift

”Creative work is not a selfish act or a bid for attention on the part of the actor. It’s a gift to the world and every being in it. Don’t cheat us of your contribution. Give us what you’ve got.” ~Steven Pressfield

Bay Area Artist Mary Lonergan is a client and friend of All About Travel and we wanted to share with you a bit about her creative endeavors.

I have personally known Mary for many years. We worked together in the Bay Area in the music scene managing bands and producing live events. In fact, Mary and I have created artwork alongside one another working on our own projects, spending the day creating with music in the background. It’s definitely something I miss quite a bit. I actually worked with oils mostly until Mary introduced me to acrylics.

In fact, Mary’s first show in Florence I was going to attend with her. I had my ticket and everything. Unfortunately, a week prior to departure I broke my right foot. I still haven’t made it to Italy, but plan to and hopefully in 2013 to see Mary show some more of her work.

I shared an image of Mary’s art being shown in Times Square in June and had requests to know more about Mary and her art. That’s where this interview takes us. I hope you enjoy it as much as I have.

AV:   Your art has been mostly shown in Europe and the Bay Area. Where in Europe have you exhibited your art pieces?

ML: My first public show was in Florence, Italy at the Biennale in 2007.   Since then I have exhibited pieces in London, Monaco and Paris.

AV:   I know you have attended some of these faraway places while your art is being shown, what has been your favorite place and why?

ML: Well, showing in Florence was absolutely amazing.  It was my first public show, so I was literally walking around the city in a daze I was so happy and nervous at the same time…. But, honestly, showing in Paris was my favorite… truly a life altering experience!  The show was at the Grand Palais and was attended by over 40 thousand people in a five day period.  I had never seen anything like it!   I kept asking the others around me….”where are they all coming from?” and they thought it was funny.  There’s a very high level of respect for art in Paris…it’s inherently part of their culture. They love it and they support it.

AV:   How long have you been showing your art?   

ML:  I’ve been showing for close to five years.  I’d love to do some shows in California and New York. I’m currently building my inventory.

AV:   How do you create your artwork? Environment? Tools? Artistic medium of choice and why that medium?

ML:  I’m very lucky that I can work out of my home studio in Oakland.  It’s a lovely room with great light and ventilation…which are key!

I use acrylics because they’re fast and easy to use; they dry much quicker than oils. I tend to get a bit impatient when I’m working if I can’t go back to an area because it’s still wet with paint. 

I enjoy working on canvas, but also work on paper and often use mixed media.  Some of my work starts as a painting, then it’s photographed and developed further on my computer to come up with a final image.  That’s what happened here with a piece called ‘pink tree ribbon’

AV:   Do you have any particular thing that inspires you to create?

ML:  Being in nature really seems to allow room for me to go deeper into myself and find a path or a doorway to my creativity.   Also, seeing/experiencing other art/artists definitely creates a spark.  I went to a live music show last weekend and the performers were so in tuned with one another, they were so in the moment, that I found it exhilarating to watch them create.  That type of energy is always inspiring.

AV:   When you are creating your pieces do you ever find yourself going in a different direction than you originally started?

ML:   Yes!  This happens quite often actually.  A piece called, ‘gloria’ started as a landscape but then as I went along, I could see a face emerging from the canvas.  I love it when this happens.  It’s always a surprise and feels like the painting is really already there just waiting to be uncovered!











AV:   How long have you been creating your art pieces?

ML:   I started painting in late 2003 when I saw an advertisement for an all day painting workshop in San Francisco. This guy used to open different warehouse spaces and invite people to come in and paint.   He provided the paper, paint & supplies and you just had to show up…and you could pay him whatever you could afford, so some people gave him money and others brought him lunch or would do trades with him.  It was the day I remembered how much I LOVED to paint and knew that somehow I had to incorporate it into my life.

AV:   What was the last show you attended?

ML:   The last show I went to was at the Vessel Gallery in Oakland.  It was an event for a nonprofit called Coach Art.  It’s a really fantastic gallery and had some beautiful work.  Before that I went to the Oakland Museum of California to see the “1991: Oakland-Berkeley Fire Aftermath, Photographs by Richard Misrach”…it was devastating.

AV:   How do you think/want other people to respond to your art?

ML:   I want people to be turned on by my art.  I want an immediate emotional reaction. Does it capture your heart, does it make you feel happy when you look at it, etc.   Or, does it make you cry… If I can get that kind of reaction from someone looking at my art, I’ve done my job.  I believe my best work has a sound and movement to it that finds its way directly to the core of the viewer and there, the connection is made.

AV:   Describe an important goal with your artwork that you have achieved?

ML:   I launched my website a little over a year ago.  Getting my art work out into the world has really made a impact on how I view myself as an artist and how I think about my art business. It was an important goal and I can’t understate how much of a difference it’s made in being able to connect with my collectors and with people in the art world who I’ve wanted to work with.  It’s a great tool.

AV:   Recently your piece, great peacemaker (Iroquois) was shown in New York City’s Times Square on a 9ft x 12ft billboard… how amazing was that?

ML:   I was so thrilled to be a part of it!  Artists Wanted is a wonderful group in New York that connects artists with opportunities & they joined up with Chashama, a not for profit that transforms vacant properties into places where artists can thrive.  Together they presented the works of nearly 5,000 artists in a huge exhibition on the billboards in Times Square.

At the time my work was shown, I couldn’t see it as the webcams weren’t functioning (I wasn’t able to be in New York), so I was a bit disappointed, but then two days later, an artist that I follow on Twitter (who lives in Africa!), posted the photo of my art work being shown on the big screen!  I was beside myself I was so happy.  I cried actually when I saw it.  It was a wonderful moment!

“Great Peacemaker (Iroquois)” by artist Mary Lonergan (left)


To plan your trip today:

All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
info [at] allabout-travel.com

About All About Travel

Opened in 1978, All About Travel is located in the Oklahoma City area.  We are a family owned and operated company that has strived to provide our clients with the highest quality of service for more than 30 years.  Our agents can arrange all your travel needs from the individual hotel and/or car reservation to an around the world cruise.  Nothing is out of reach.

We can help plan your honeymoon, your destination wedding or the much needed getaway for two.  Don’t forget about your business, we can handle all the travel needs for your company as well.  Anything from an airline flight and hotel for a meeting or all the planning needed for your next company-wide seminar.  We can arrange hotel space for all attendees and meeting rooms for all purposes.

Our agents travel to many destinations on FAM trips (Familiarization trips) these trips are designed by tour operators and cruise lines to make certain that travel agents are up-to-date on popular destinations and cruise ships.

So the next time you need to, or better yet, want to travel…Let us help, it’s what we do.


A Year and a Day with Bob Dylan

Travel Tidbits – Buenos Aires: city of passion

The Karen Blixen Museum in the author's original home, Nairobi. Picture: Susan Kurosawa Source: The Australian

Nairobi confidential
The sense of bush adventure comes early: there are zebras behind the fences at Nairobi airport and mobile phones’ global roaming pops up as Safaricom… The Australian






China’s flourishing Nanjing is fueled by youth and art
Thanks to a combination of young entrepreneurs, large numbers of university students and revitalization efforts, today’s Nanjing has an air of youthful exuberance that would have been unthinkable only a few decades ago… Seattle Times




Georgia: Blessed in a big-hearted country
A surprising welcome in a former Soviet republic that may be economically poor but has many other riches… Telegraph (London)





Buenos Aires: city of passion
Buenos Aires is often billed as the Paris of the South, and it certainly has the appropriate sophistication… Telegraph (London)




8 Unique Tours
Eight tours for people who don’t like tours… IndependentTraveler.com







Alcatraz, a blooming garden spot
The flower beds that once served as colorful buffers for the notorious former prison site known as the Rock have been restored thanks to the efforts of the Alcatraz Historic Gardens Project… LA Times






To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132
info [at] allabout-travel.com

Travel Tidbits – When in Paris, do as the Parisians do – eat pastries

Surfing the user-friendly waves of El Salvador
El Salvador has suffered from a civil war, natural disasters and continuing violent crime, but foreign surfers are lured by its world-class and forgiving waves… Seattle Times



World’s top revolving restaurants
Over the past 50 years, revolving restaurants have opened in more than 50 countries on six continents… CNN






When in Paris, do as the Parisians do – eat pastries
In the City of Light, the pastries are multilayered works of art… LA Times






Top 25 Cruise Lines
River cruises have never been so popular, but readers still love ocean-bound excursions too… Conde Nast Traveler






Forbes names new 5-star hotels, eateries for 2012
Forbes Travel Guide has crowned its new five-star winners in the hospitality industry, bringing the total to 57 hotels, 25 restaurants, and 30 spas… USA Today




A cultural guide to Honfleur
An essential cultural guide to a picturesque town immortalized by the Impressionists… Telegraph (London)




To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132

Top Cities for best street food

Probably the best way to decide which street vendors to approach for food are the ones with the long lines.

In San Francisco the Tamale Lady is known for coming into bars with her wonderful Tamale’s.  I’ve had my fill of those amazing tamales. To top it off Virginia (Tamale Lady) is always a pleasure to visit with and she remembers people too. So if visiting San Francisco and at a bar don’t hesitate trying the Tamale Lady’s food. She’s an icon in the Bay area.


Some of the World’s Best Street Food Locations:










  • Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Food is our common ground, a universal experience. ~James Beard

To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132

Flea Market junky world travel

“At a flea market I always head for the junk jewelry table first ~ Ethel Merman

















To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132

Food Festivals around the world

“Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good” ~Alice May Brock





  • Salon Du Chocolat in Paris, Bordeaux, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, New York, Bologne, Le Caire, Shanghai, Tokyo and Zurich















To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132

Top romantic destinations for Valentines

“Love of beauty is taste. The creation of beauty is art.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson


  • Venice, Italy


  • Paris, France


  • The Greek Islands


  • California Wine Country


  • Cruises


“One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” ~Henry Miller


To plan your trip today:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132

Bridges to visit around the world










  • Sunshine Skyway Bridge – St. Petersburg, Florida








To book your travel:
All About Travel
6104 Northwest 63
Oklahoma City, OK 73132