Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Can you help me with my thesis?

Have you lived in or traveled to Vancouver, Milwaukee, San Francisco, Paris, or Venice? If yes then I need your help! Today I am starting my last semester as an undergraduate, which means I am also officially starting my illustration thesis (I did a bit of research and some studies over the winter break which you can see here if you like).

For my thesis, I am illustrating one poster for each city that will be a very loose map featuring landmarks, people, vehicles, stuff that locals like, basically anything that will really show the character of the city.

So what do I need from you?
I'm looking for anything you can tell me about these cities! But more specifically:

  • landmarks (Golden Gate Bridge, Arc de Triomphe, etc)
  • stuff that locals know about
  • things around town that are unique to that city (interesting signposts, lamposts, fire hydrants, etc)
  • modes of transportation unique to these cities (gondola, aquabus, cable car, etc)
  • interesting people (or animals) who populate these cities (pink man, the guy who walks all the Afghans across Granville Island, Brown twins, etc)
  • anecdotes about your travels or life in these cities

You can leave me a comment here or email suggestions to marisamidori22 [at] gmail [dot] com

And if you have any friends that have lived in or traveled to these cities please feel free to pass this along to them.

Thank you!


  1. I was just in Paris- and it was soo amazing. Eiffle Tower.. The Lovre with the Mona Lisa, Notre Dame.. Musée d'Orsay.. Monmarte.. They have the subway.. Paris is one place I wish I could stay for a month or so.. amazing. :) a little life changing.

  2. Good luck on the thesis! I have been to Vancouver and Paris... but i was visiting a crazy aunt i'd never met in vancouver so i'm afraid it was a bit of a strange stay...

    And Paris was loverly except for the fact that one of my good friend's wallet was pic-pocketed! {crazy, slow, american they were probably thinking, lol!}

    so i'm afraid i wouldn't be much help! :D

  3. I was born in San Francisco and lived there most of my life. I'm sure I have lots of things I could share that would help. I'll send you a detailed email some time tomorrow.

  4. Sorry, I wish I could tell something interesting for your thesis. I really should travel more! Thanks for your comment on my blog, I look forward to following you :-)

  5. Sounds like a fun project! I have been to San Francisco, but it sounds like cuteabunny has it all covered since she has lived there before!

  6. glad i helped you find that beautiful tumblr. your site is lovely!

  7. i have to tell you: i went to venice and paris out of the list you have there. i don't remember a ton about paris except the touristy stuff...the mona lisa is definitely behind several layers of thick plexi-glass...and is really anticlimactic to see in real life.

    anyways, the thing i remember about venice is - i'm really picky with food...working on it now, but i was 16 at the time and still picky. anyways. i asked for something delicious, whatever they thought - he said the lobster, i said "woo hoo! something i know."

    turns out what i got was three skinny, baby lobsters (almost craw-fish) sliced right down the center (still eyes...still brains...still guts). i gobbled down the tail meat in about 30 seconds and 2 bites and asked where the rest of the food was? he said you start at the bottom and work your way up, the head is the sweetest meat.

    yuck yuck yuck.

    everyone else around me was doing the same thing too...yuck.

    anyways. i asked for an exchange of spaghetti.

    i LOVE the carnival there too! love it.

    hope it works out, your thesis sounds AMAZING.

  8. milwaukee?! haha we moved to milwaukee 6 months ago and are leaving to go back to chicago. it's a cute city however it didn't work out for us!

    however milwaukee's got some interesting bits about it!
    * we have the world's largest 4 faced clock.
    * we got the world's largest music fest - summerfest
    * in my neighborhood of bayview we have an artesian water well:
    *America's drunkest city.

    Hope some of these help?!

  9. I have been to San Francisco and Venice a few times each. I would love to help out. I will think about it and email you.

  10. I went to paris this year! If you want pictures let me know. My favorite bar there was Harry's - it had all of the US college banners up and I think the sidecar originated there. =)

  11. I went to san francisco last november and i fell in love with the city.
    our hotel was near fishermans warf, we walked everywhere, or took the bus, we took the cable car once.
    the best sights were the sea lions at pier 39, alcatraz, lombard street, coit tower, golden gate bridge (of course) and even though it was november there were people surfing beneath the bridge
    if you would like to see pictures let me know!

  12. I'm hoping to go to Paris this year! Will check back when we go :) You probably already know this, but Jordan from Oh Happy Day and Gabby from DesignMom are moving to Paris! Also, check out Nichole at Little Brown Pen, she's got great photos and info. Oh, and Ally from From the Right Bank. Hope that wasn't too much :)

  13. hey my last trip to paris was in 2006 and i took pictures of all the tiled signs for each stop in the underground i was at..i am going to do aproject with them someday but if this interests you let me know and illsend them to you!

  14. Hi!

    I have to great links that might help you!
    I've been to Paris twice but couldn't really experience the whole Paris feeling because I hardly know any French words :-/
    Anyway, I saved two links from blogs in my bookmarks. They're both kinda field reports and especialy the first one brings across the wonderful Paris atmosphere.
    Here they are:


    The comments are important here: http://bohemianjunk.blogspot.com/2010/05/i-forgive-you-boy-but-dont-leave-town.html

    Hope this helps :)

  15. I have been lucky enought to travel to Paris, Venice, San Franscio, and Vancouver, each time seeing my photography improve, you can check out my photoblog for images, you can review the tags, and pick out the images you want to look at. Good luck with your thesis.

  16. I'm from Vancouver, and there used to be a guy who would wander around the city in the summer singing opera. He seemed to have a route that he followed everyday, though I couldn't say what it was. I've seen him walking down Granville St, across the Granville st bridge, and through False Creek. As for interesting animals, what about raccoons? Or coyotes?

  17. I've been to Paris a couple of times, a long time ago. It's the most amazing city in the world. Around the Gard du Nord was fascinating and multicultural. From there it was easy to walk to Montmartre which is spectacular!
    The McDonalds on the Champs Elysee has a white sign - apparently signs must be white on this famous road.

  18. I am from Chicago and have visited Milwaukee a ton of times due to the fact that they have a great punk music scene. Also, as someone already mentioned, Summerfest is one of the greatest music festivals around. I wish I could give you more insight on landmarks and interesting spots but it seems I am always there after dark. :) Good luck on your thesis, this is a great project, can't wait to see the result!

  19. Venice...it floods, and I mean as soon as it rains! They put up little plank walkways around the city to help you walk around. It's very surreal. I may have photos if you need a reference (feel free to drop me an email).

    Love your illustration.

  20. In fact...here you go. There are plenty more:


  21. I grew up in Milwaukee and there are a few things that spring to mind when I think of it. Here they are courtesy of other peoples flickr!

    The Watertower: http://www.flickr.com/photos/problemsolver/648096918/

    The Allen Bradley clock: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sixthstation/377405789/

    the historic 3rd ward: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sortedpixels/2674595092/

    the bronze fonz:

    that random lady bug building:

    Polar Bear Plunge on New Years Day at Brady Beach
    (this picture doesn't really capture how cold it is. My legs turned purple and orange!) : http://www.flickr.com/photos/milwaukeemark/341453614/

    And of course the Calatrava (Milwaukee Art Museum [MAM]): http://www.flickr.com/photos/leviathor/139496589/

    Like people already mentioned Summerfest but there are also tons of cultural festivals all summer. You have a culture we have a fest/excuse to drink.

    Also, I've traveled to Venice before and this is what sticks out in my mind.

    The different island each have a personality so I don't know if you are sticking with just the main island or if Lido, Murano, San Michele etc are on the table too.

    The main island is super tourist especially the closer you are to Piazza San Marco and its also full of pigeons. Tourist + Pigeons= tourists feeding pigeons= pigeons that fear no human. I saw an old woman get completely covered with them, yuck. The streets are impossible to navigate but it just means you find fun things. Here's a picture of venice when I was there last: http://www.flickr.com/photos/amma_brown/4345468168/

    The other island are important too. Murano is known for glassblowing. The story is the glassblowers were exiled to a separate island to prevent them from burning down all of venice since everything is built so close.

    Lido is the best island to stay at. Lido means beach and its the only place in Venice I would even dream of swimming. Its beautiful and not nearly as crowd as San Marco. Lots of german tourist without tops though. heads up.

    Hope that helps. Sorry its a novel.

  22. Paris for sure!!

    Le metro 6 takes you out and you can see the Eiffel tower across the Seine beautiful. There is a Restaurant in Montmarte right by the metro stop Abesses called Les réfuges des fondues.. where they sell baby bottles full of wine for 2 euros.. amazing! One of my favorite places is a garde right behind the Sacrée Coeur which is so peaceful in such a hectic city. Bordeaux wine for only 2 euros is amazing. I love the metro it is such an experience.. my favorite thing by far is a picnic at the Champs de mars right in front of the eiffel tower! :) Hope this helps you.

  23. San Francisco! Only tourists take the famous streetcar; locals get around by BART (our train system--Bay Area Rapid Transit) and MUNI (bus system). Some important places in SF: the top of Twin Peaks, North Beach (historic Italian neighborhood/red light district, and home of the Beatniks), City Lights Bookstore, obviously Golden Gate Park and the beach (Ocean Beach and Baker Beach), the Mission district (once Latino neighborhood, now retains a lot of Latin culture but is totally being gentrified by young hipsters), and of course the Haight Ashbury district, which backs up on GGPark. Email me if you want any specific info! kieferclaire@gmail.com. :) Exciting project!

  24. (and by streetcar I mean cable car . . . I used to live in New Orleans so got it mixed up). :)

  25. San Francisco- there's a warehouse/store thing called Scrap for artists of all kinds and its really cheap and awesome. They're online, just google Scrap :)

  26. Aside from all the other great sites in SF, the Filbert Steps are fabulous (terraced gardens, long set of stairs, parrots) but not super touristy. Great project!

  27. I lived in Paris for 10 months in my early 20s. It's been a while, but here are some of my favorite things were. The amount of small cinema houses dedicated to old movies. Berthillon-the best ice cream in Paris which is located in a picturesque little shop on Ile Saint-Louis. The endless hours you could sit in a cafe and not be bothered. La Grande Mosquée located in the 5th arrondissement that has a beautiful tea room and is perfect escape on a noisy warm day. The Clignancourt flea market (I'm pretty sure it's the largest in the world). Spending all day at the Cinematheque in Les Halles--had cafe and movies running all day long. So many beautiful parks but my favorites are Jardin des Plants and Jardin du Luxembourg. And watching the sunset at the top of Sacre Coeur in Monmartre. It's also very much a student's city so even though it's still one of the most expensive cities to live in (and I mean tiny little overpriced apartments) it does cater to students with cafes and places to eat good and inexpensively, cheap movies, etc. It's also very much a film obsessed city (I remember there always seemed to be, in particular, a Woody Allen or Humphrey Bogart retrospective going on somewhere). Hope this helps.