It’s lovely to read about where everybody lives. And I’m thankful for so many welcoming invitations.

I live outside Kuala Lumpur City. But drive into the city every day to do various activities with my wife and kid.

When people come from overseas we tend to take them to the various rooftop bars, just for the view.

What’s cool about Malaysia is the cultural diversity and the best way to experience that is through the food.

If we have time we’d start of with Chinese, Malay and Indian Food, before moving on to the hybrid cultures of Nonya (Chinese + Malay) and Mamak (Indian + Malay)

There are two huge Japanese Chain Bookshops in KL, kinokunia and tsutaya which we can go to in turn as the food digests.

And we can also walk it off in the park outside the iconic twin towers, which give off mild jungle vibes without actually having to go into a jungle.

And if you have a couple more days a trip to penang island, where we would walk along English colonial buildings, stopping for coffee and cake, before turning into little india. We’d criss cross streets to drink in some history and culture and architecture.

It will feel like walking through the past punctuated by creative upstart cafes and the best street food in the world.

I’ve met foreigners who’ve stayed here for a season be genuinely sad come time to leave.

In short, Skyscrapers old world buildings, street food and upstart cafes. Let me know when you’re coming ;)

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Jan 4, 2023Liked by Adam Ming

Hey Adam! Sure, I'd go for a coffee with you.

I live in Edinburgh, the capital of Scotland.

It's nice to go walking on beaches and in the highlands. But difficult to draw outside due to the rain.

I love nice books but I don't buy art supplies from fancy shops. Golden Hare books and the Portobello Bookshop are both wonderful.

My favourite place to get a coffee is called little fitzroy. You can't sit in, but the coffee is exceptional and there's a nice park to wander around in nearby which suits me just fine. I went yesterday.

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I live in Stroud, Gloucestershire, United Kingdom (in the Cotswolds). It's a small town that is full of quirky creatives (artists, authors, musicians, poets...), activists and aging hippies (which my parents were and I may or may not count as one myself now!). It's near Cheltenham, Gloucester, Cirencester and nearish to Bath and Bristol. It's also only an hour and a half on the train to London.

The countryside is right there, within a few minutes walk. We try to walk out to Slad and back everyday (that's a teeny tiny village made famous by Laurie Lee in his book Cider with Rosie). We also enjoy walking along the canal and my husband loves walking in the surrounding hills (it's VERY hilly - and my knees are not at all keen on hills, which is a bit awkward).

There are some nice pubs, the best of which is probably the Prince Albert, in Rodborough, where they have a lot of live music. There's a great central place called the Sub Rooms, which has lots of musical acts come and play and also has a lovely little cafe. There is an annual literature festival (and a much bigger and more famous one up the road in Cheltenham).

There's a beautiful park that also houses the museum and leisure centre - Stratford Park - which is wonderful to walk around and has loads of trees and a lake. The museum is lovely too and they have regular exhibitions of a variety of art.

There are loads of little independent cafes and some lovely independent shops. There's an independent bookshop (Stroud Bookshop) and also some second-hand bookshops, my favourite is a newish one called the Fireside Bookshop.

There are some lovely food stalls in the indoor market in the shopping centre (which is in the process of being upgraded having got new owners). There's also an award-winning farmers market on a Saturday and a smaller market on Fridays and Saturdays in The Shambles.

Our favourite places to eat are Galgos (Venezuelan restaurant and bar) and Tomari-Gi (Japanese restaurant) but there are quite a few lovely places to eat and drink in and around town. I have a group of friends who I go for regular coffee or evening meal dates with and we like to visit different indie places each time. My favourites for coffee are probably the Felt Cafe, which is a way out of town along the canal path, and Woodruffs (the longest-running rganic cafe in the country - allegedly).

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Hi Adam,

I warmly invite you to visit Spain, Madrid and Getafe. After that, at about a five hour drive you can pass by and see the beach in Torremolinos - Malaga where I go quite often for holidays, kind of a second home for me.

I live in Getafe, a 15 min drive from Madrid, the capital of Spain. I would probably take you for a coffee to Matadero Madrid in the Arganzuela district of Madrid. Although it was a former slaughterhouse for cows, the El Matadero is now a place for culture that you could enjoy by going to their coffee shop or restaurant, maybe seeing an art exposition, art workshop or even a movie.

In Spain it is very typical that people go for a coffee or beer at a terrace. You’ll feel very welcomed as everyone, even if they do not know you, are very kind and warm at heart.

After that we would probably go to an Asturian restaurant called Oviedo, the typical neighborhood bar, where you could mingle with the locals. The feeling is like you are going to your uncle’s bar where you are one of the family.

As per libraries, I’m sure there are tons of independent ones, but I must confess I go to a big one, FNAC, it’s a franchize, I believe french. I go there because they have tons of books, in English also and a bar where you could have juice or coffee.

A walk through the Retiro park or a visit to the Thyssen Bornemisza museum I believe it’s a must. Both have restaurants and coffee shops. Toledo and Aranjues, two precious medieval cities one hour away drive from Madrid that you could also see.

To finalize I would highly recommend visiting the south of Spain, the seaside, a relaxing atmosphere, Malaga (birthplace of Picasso) and Torremolinos. Granada is not far away, you could drive from Madrid to Granada and after that go in Malaga. In Granada you could visit the famous Alhambra monuments for its Islamic architecture.

I think 1 week could cover the center and south of Spain.

Thank you for the feed you send, I find it useful and at the same time fun.


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Hi Adam,

What a lovely question, loving reading all the responses.

I would certainly take you for a coffee at the little beach cafe not far from my village in East Yorkshire, UK.

We could take my two dogs for a walk on there favourite beach and let the crash of waves and fresh air revive us, like it always does me. My nearest town is Beverley but we don’t have any good art or independent bookstores but some chain stores I often use for art and journaling supplies!

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I live in a village in the North East of England. It’s near the sea and is gloriously quiet. Getting a coffee from our favourite deli and walking on the beach at Alnmouth is one of my favourite things to do. Great for distressing and clearing your head. Just wish I was better at sketching the sea. There’s lots of artists and art groups which is inspiring, and it’s always good to have people who you can talk to about your thing (whatever that thing is). I’m really enjoying your daily drip feed of inspiration. As an aspiring illustrator it can be hard to know where to put my energy but your posts have really made me stop and think. Thank you.

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Are you in Mountain View? I’ve been to Silicon Valley two or three times I’ll have to think hard to remember it was a bit of a blur.

I’ve spent time in San Francisco and also University Avenue near Stanford.

I’ve also stood in front of Mark Zuckerberg’s desk in Facebook. I have not seen any of the nature or tried much of the food though. So I will let you know when i’m coming :)

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Actually I'd buy you a coffee to tell you why NOT to move where I live. I live in Morrisburg, which is near Ottawa Canada. If you like quiet living on the water, its great. If you want things to do, prepare to drive everywhere to go elsewhere to do things. Recreation is the only selling point with lots of sports for kids to do. But for artistic stuff, creative stuff, or even to find a good book, you're heading out of town and driving 30 minutes at least for anything. Walking by the water is good for inspiration, but for connecting to others, live elsewhere. We have no book shops, no art stores. But we are an hour from the capital (Ottawa) so there's galleries and such there. We're an hour and 30 minutes to the outskirts of Montréal, so more culture – but you have to drive. I make tea and coffee at home as there are only the big chains and no smaller cool cafés where I live. So if you want quiet and not much inspiration, move here. (I really know how to sell where I live, don't I?)

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Washington, D.C. - beyond the Smithsonian art galleries and museums (which we have many! and are a treasure), there are the private ones (the Phillips Collection and the new Rubell museum). I also love the local creative scene where there are lots of makers and the community is very supportive. A favorite store for gifts is Shop Made in DC, which sells goods and art all from local makers. Bold Fork Books is stocked with cookbooks and food-related books, and is a joy to visit for a foodie like me. I love to go to Ching Ching Cha for a cup of tea, if you ever come by to DC I will be happy to take you there! :)

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Hi Adam! I love reading about everyone's towns, so thanks for asking the question! I would be happy to have you for a tour of the Boston area any time. We live on the North Shore, right on the coast. There are a lot of walking paths along the shoreline near my art studio and we can walk along the shore, spot birds on the sanctuary path, listen to the waves whisper, admire seagulls cracking open their meals and enjoy the Boston skyline at sunset. Away from the little almost-island of Nahant, if we venture into Salem, MA we can visit many restaurants or shops. Our good friends own a shop called Emporium 32, filled with modern-victorian charm. We could grab a wood fired pizza and go for a drink at one of the many breweries or distilleries in town that has outdoor seating (if the weather isn't too cold or rainy - you should visit in the spring, summer or fall here). My favorite local bookshop is Copper Dog Books in Beverly. The owners are lovely and they always have an excellent selection of books that I want and if something I want is not on their shelves, they are happy to order it. There's also a comic book shop a few doors down called Paper Asylum that I think you'd enjoy too! We could meet up for coffee in Arlington with Lilla too! I'd love to take an extra day-trip to Peak's Island off the coast of Portland, Maine (only 1.5 hours away by car and ferry) where we can grab lunch and/or another coffee and talk for hours about art and creative business and life. New England has a lot for creative people, and I try to get out and enjoy and support as many events, museums, and small creative businesses as I can. I feel like I could easily create a list of hundreds of local places and creative people you could meet.

When we all visit Malaysia, where would you take us?

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Hi Adam. Very kind of you to ask. I live in a town called Stockport in the North West of the UK. Most people in the world would say they know the nearest city, which is Manchester. We have a hat museum and a historic market but it’s definitely not a tourist attraction. There’s a vintage theatre , The Plaza, complete with an organist who rises up in front of the screen. Or you could take a tour of the underground shelters which were used in the war. Like most shopping centres, it has seen better days but there is a growing indie shop area with niche shops and cafes. It’s the coolest, artiest part of town. There’s even a quality experience restaurant “Where The Light Gets In” which is getting ever closer to earning a michelin star. There used to be a lovely little indie art shop but it’s closed down now but there is a Hobbycraft store. If you were to visit, I’d say pop along to the Rare Mags store, The Warren and Squond and round off with a tea and cake at any of the cafes in that street. To add some child like fun to your day, there’s an immersive app, where you hold up your camera phone around specific areas in Stockport and you can sword fight with skeletons, throw tomatoes at criminals and dunk suspected witches. That all said, I’m more of a country boy than town and would recommend that after visiting Stockport, go and spend a day in the Peak District instead. The art scene where I live is minimal so I’m grateful for the daily newsletters from yourself which chat about creativity, which helps fill that gap.

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Hi Adam!! I live in busy Brooklyn, NY, which is about an hour away by subway to Manhattan, where there are things like ComicCon, museums, and yummy food! Here there is a lot of food too, and bookstores from Barnes and Noble to independent ones, You’ve Got Mail style! ☺️ We usually order bubble tea from a nearby shop or Starbucks. I’ve had some health troubles so we haven’t ordered anything like that in a few weeks! There are so many communities here, including artist communities that it’s a really cool place to grow as an illustrator!! ☺️☺️

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Hi Adam;

this is super cool - to read the answers! I'd love to go get coffee and see these places, definitely including Morrisburg! I live in the middle of Silicon Valley, California - drive a little to the left and facebook is here, drive a little to the right and apple is there. It is a very interesting place where I wanted to live for some time - and it did not disappoint - but the more I get to know it the more I see that it is actually way more different than people think. Or perhaps it is because I know it better now and the stereotypes are shifting. Silicon Valley is a big village :) Not a town or a city. There is San Jose on one end and San Francisco is right around the corner. I would definitely take you there - it is a gem of a city - especially if you like walking I think. Surprisingly not that much if you are into museums. But definitely great if you are into food. In general - Silicon Valley is a melting pot in the best sense of the word! But I would take you to see the nature before taking you to see corporate headquarters - it is something people don't talk that much - but the hills, the ocean, mountains, trees - they really add a dimension to the valley. There are not that many book shops these days but I have a couple of very nice places that I visit. Also - libraries are very well organized and I use them a lot - I usually take visitors to my local branch - and a very nice cafe next door is a cherry on top. I like going to different places to sketch them - sometimes to get to know a place and sometimes to sketch it through seasons. Would you like to join? When you are planning a visit - drop me a line!

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