Positive Signs

A year since the pandemic gripped the world, we at Travel Purist are looking for positive signs. Signs of hope amid despair. Of togetherness in times of distancing.

In her neighbourhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn, New York, Shivani Gorle found exactly that. Over time, she collected ‘100 Vital Signs’ and what began as a personal quest, turned into a public project on Instagram. Showing that there are many ways to forge connections, and to rediscover a place, during these strange times.

Find a snippet of the piece, along with a throwback from the archives, and our Purist Picks for February below!

The Pandemic Travel Diaries: 100 Vital Signs

Message outside Jimmy's Diner (now shuttered) in Williamsburg
Shivani Gorle spent the early days of the pandemic walking through her neighbourhood looking for vital signs — storefront memos that offered messages of solidarity, sometimes humour, sometimes just a reminder of humanity in an alienating time. She writes:

"Storefront signage taught me more about a neighbourhood than any tour guide or TripAdvisor review possibly could. My walks became my way of documenting life in lockdown through real signs made by city folk. With every sign I collected, I grew more certain that NYC would bounce back from the pandemic; that no matter how sleepy it got, we were more alive than ever."
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What does your pandemic diary look like?

Were you stranded far away from home? Did you get to travel and discover someplace interesting? Or did you rediscover your neighbourhood? Perhaps you sought travel virtually, through books, films, music, food and events.

Write to us at to share your experience on Travel Purist.

From The Archives: Love Letters from Italy

Explore Florence through the beautiful type design that adorns shops, restaurants, and  — vestiges of times past — with designer and typographer Chandan Mahimkar. 

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Purist Picks

What we've been reading, watching, and listening:
Did you know that the city of Kolkata has not one, but two Chinatowns? In this piece published by The Goya Journal, read about Kolkata's Indian-Chinese community through the Sunday Breakfast Market at Tiretti Bazaar. 
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While street art has become increasingly popular over the years, it's usually a space dominated by men. The Women's Forum Street Art Project was started with the aim of promoting street art led by women. Ten women from around the world contributed for the theme 'She's a Leader'. Featured here is Zoya's work, representing Central Asia.
Explore Zoya's Art
As a tribute to Anthony Bourdain, CNN and Roads and Kingdoms have come together to release unaired clips, recipes, and stories from various series of Parts Unknown. 
Explore Parts Unknown
Image source for Purist Picks above in the order they appear: Dim sums at the Sunday Breakfast Market; Image by Farha Kazi | "Zoe", Zoya, 2013-04, From the collection of: Women's Forum Street Art Project; Google Arts and Culture | Anthony Bourdain; CNN
Copyright © 2020 Travel Purist, All rights reserved.

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