The New York Times looks at Porto as the “new creative axis” of the country

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Miguel Nogueira

The “transformation of a calm and industrial city into a lively creative centre” led the New York Times to dedicate an article on some of the characteristics that reflect Porto's increasing attractiveness. From “old-school shellfish restaurants to ceramic studios”, the American newspaper highlights the city's cultural, commercial, and leisure offerings.

As Nicole Muscari, a New York-based educator and wine consultant who recently bought an apartment in Porto, told the newspaper, “creative people like to be around beautiful things”.

The New York Times refers to how the city is “full of concept shops and upscale casual restaurants” while attracting “expats who return home to be part of the revival” of Porto and fleeing the high costs and crowds of other destinations, and chefs and designers behind the “innate charms of the city, whose roots go back thousands of years”.

Underlining how “the historic centre is a set of medieval, baroque, gothic and neoclassical buildings, many of them with a local granite line that continues to this day”, the article states that these different styles “contribute to the inspiring disorganized organization” of Porto”.

For this latest view of the city, the New York Times spoke with people from different areas, who live, work, or just visit Porto frequently, to outline a roadmap of the places to visit and the details to pay attention to. Chef Nuno Mendes describes the “five, six generations of architecture stacked” along the streets, with “tiles everywhere”.

To sleep, suggestions go to Le Monumental Palace, M.Ou.Co and Rosa Et Al Townhouse. When it's time to choose where to eat, there's no shortage of restaurants, from the Yakuza to O Rápido, from Rogério do Redondo to Zé Bota, not forgetting the Gazela's hotdogs or Conga's steaks.

And so that no one leaves the city without taking something with them, the New York Times refers to stores such as Earlymade, the Senhora Presidenta gallery, GUR, which makes carpets with recycled cotton, or the unavoidable Casa Januário.

The American newspaper does not fail to emphasize how Porto “is at the industrial heart of the country” and, perhaps for this reason, “the city values both art and practicality, progress and preservation”. Here, the newspaper says that “the Serralves Museum continues to be a reference in the contemporary art panorama”.

"However, in neighbourhoods like Ribeira and Cedofeita, it is possible to find stubbornly old-fashioned small stores dedicated to brooms, hats or analogue cameras", he adds. Anyone who wants to get to know this “creative centre”, says the newspaper, should also consider getting to know the entire Bonfim area or the Jardim das Virtudes.

At the end of the article, those who live or work in Porto leave some tips: opt for spring or autumn, “the most beautiful times to visit” the city, take a run along the riverfront in the morning or at the end of the night, “absolutely magnificent” moments, where a person “feels they have lost track of time and history”, and also the advice to “not discuss football, because everyone is a fanatic”.