I just came across this article on the TapIt water blog, which I've referenced before for their initiative of placing water refilling stations in cafes and stores around the city. TapIt reports that Michigan's governor, Jennifer Granholm is trying to pass a bill that would place a penny tax on bottled water. Her proposal is being challenged of course by the International Bottled Water Association and brings up a valid question. In Michigan's slow economy, could a single cent inhibit people from purchasing a bottle of water and instead encourage them to opt for the tap? I certanly hope so.
I've never been to Europe, but think that when I do I'll most definitely make Slovenia a stop on my trip. This Central European country roughly the size of New Jersey is considered a hidden gem to seasoned travelers. Ljubljana, the nation's capital beautifully displays its Baraoque and Art Nouveau influence in its architecture while the Julian Alps and Lake Bled shock the senses with their grandeur. The Soca River Valley pictured below was also the setting for a few scenes in the movie The Chronicles of Narnia.. Isn't that color breathtaking?
I think all of us city dwellers realize that taking the subway or riding a bike to get to our chosen destinations is better for the environment, even if it puts us at risk for a close encounter with a stranger we weren't necessarily prepared for. David Owen, a staff writer for The New Yorker makes the case more convincingly in his book, Green Metropolis.
"...Manhattan, Hong Kong and large, old European cities are inherently greener than less densely populated places because a higher percentage of their inhabitants walk, bike and use mass transit than drive; they share infrastructure and civic services more efficiently; they live in smaller spaces and use less energy to heat their homes (because those homes tend to share walls); and they’re less likely to accumulate a lot of large, energy-sucking appliances. People in cities use about half as much electricity as people who don’t, Owen reports, and the average New Yorker generates fewer greenhouse gases annually than 'residents of any other American city, and less than 30 percent of the national average.'"
Not bad, huh? This is good news on top of New Yorkers already feeling quite proud of themselves for countless other things. It's nice to know however, that the circumstances of an average New Yorker's day to day life are contributing to the greening of the world. Now, if we can only do something about the falafel trucks and their styrofoam containers...
I've been obsessing over home interiors lately and Kazu Makino and Amedeo Pace of Blonde Redhead's apartment is no exception. I love the comfortable and casual feel this place exudes. I'm envious of that "I just threw this together, and oops, it looks amazing," vibe this apartment pulls off perfectly.
Guinness beer celebrates it's 250th anniversary this year. Check out some of their old advertisements below, I like the one with the ostrich looking smug and content after swallowing an entire pint of it! I'll have to do some celebrating of my own this weekend by ordering a cold glass..
Boy, am I loving this dress. Do you ever see something and think, "That would just look great on me!" Although a little self indulgent, that's what I thought to myself when I saw this gorgeous dress...I don't see an issue with knowing what would and wouldn't look good on yourself, right?
One of my best memories as a kid was taking summer road trips in our family minivan down south. My parents used to remove the middle seat and my older brother, my younger sister and I used to spread out and play games, (which would often turn into a mini wrestling match) read books, and try to entertain ourselves for the hours before the next rest stop on the highway. At the end of the day, my Dad would open a book and read to us aloud in his best school teacher voice as we drifted off to sleep with the constant humming of the engine in the background. A few of my personal favorites including The BFG, James and the Giant Peach and Matilda made appearances on more than one occasion.
I found these cool photos while perusing Etsy today. Wouldn't they look great on a wall blown up? I like the dreamy quality the photographs portray, they make me want to travel across the country in a convertible equipped with a tent and a camera, taking pictures along the way..The red one is actually a shot of a "Fire Run," a Catalan tradition called Correfoc involving what looks to be some pretty stunning dancing and fire demonstrations.
I think I've mentioned this before, but I recently moved - as in over a month ago now and am still trying to figure out what will work best for my apartment decorating wise. As I get older, I realize I care more about the places I live and making them comfortable and uniquely my (and my roommate's) space. I've never been a huge decorator, always preferring a simple and clean look over lots of kick knacks and clutter, but never quite knowing what exactly my style was. Romantic? Modern? Vintage? Shabby Chic? (oh god, I hope not shabby chic) So, my goal is to make the most of a spacious (for New York standards) apartment and bedroom that will make me happy without breaking the bank. Below are some rooms I'd be head over heels to hang out in.
"Obama is a multiplatform natural: He’s done books and audiobooks; he commands audiences on both YouTube and from the podium; he BlackBerrys; he makes a nice photo. He recognizes that, in the same way a blog can’t survive on just one post a day, a presidency can no longer survive on one message per day or one press conference per year. Instead, you have to turn on a fire hose."
My roommate and I used to very much "enjoy" watching Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations on the Travel channel. And by "enjoy," I mean we shared a mutual crush on this guy and would eagerly watch and laugh at everything he said. In the show, Tony happily travels and eats his way through different countries, which, in my opinion is a dream job. Monday night's episode (which I sadly missed) featured food in cities from the Rust Belt: Baltimore, Buffalo and Detroit, Detroit being a place where my roommate and I both share familial ties. Check out the clip below as well as Tony's personal account of hard-ass Detroiters...
Anthony Bourdain's blog, July 27: Detroit. Where just about everything cool originated. As angry as one gets looking at block after block of abandoned row houses in Baltimore and wondering how the hell that happened, it's mind boggling to see how far Detroit has been allowed to fall. But what a truly magnificent breed of crazy-ass hardcase characters have dug in there. Of all three cities we visited, Detroit, oddly enough, even while looking the jaws of death straight in the face, remains closest to being a true culinary wonderland. This is due entirely to the successive waves of migration and immigration from all over the world, when people came to MAKE things in America -- each group bringing their own food and traditions. Detroit IS the story of America, for better -- and worse, and I think we've missed that, allowed ourselves to look away. Detroit, after all, made us who we are. Literally. A country of cars, highways, car culture, upward mobility, rock and roll, rhythm and blues, and what were once, unlimited dreams. Whatever happens next, Motown, Eminem and the Stooges' "Fun House", at least, shall surely outlast the automobile.
I've got this perpetual sweet tooth that won't go away. I realize that claiming chocolate as a favorite food isn't helping the problem either. So instead of eating mini candy bars at work everyday around 4pm, maybe I should start baking? I've been having these grand ideas of teaching myself to cook and bake recently, possibly having to do with me just moving into a new apartment. Although the kitchen is not large by any means, a new place can sometimes spur creativity. Hmmm, now I'll have to get a cute apron to wear while I do this hypothetical baking. I can see it now..
Marije Vogelzang discovered a new way of looking and thinking about design when she started Proef studio in Amsterdam. Here, she experiments and develops new and creative concepts with food as well as thoroughly entertaining a number of lucky guests.
While I regularly browse The Sartorialist web site, I can't help but think that while beautiful, the people start to look the same after a while. The trends start becoming repetitive and unoriginal. It seems that only wealthy people in the fashion industry get photographed, and I wish he'd mix it up a little more. Maybe include people that have re-purposed or made their own clothes altogether? I don't make any clothes myself, but wish I could and have nothing but respect and admiration for people who possess those skills. I could just be bitter because I've sworn off buying clothes for a while, but it's always nice to be inspired by things that are actually attainable for most of us. I still love Scott Schuman and think he's very talented, but I couldn't help but chuckle over The Fartorialist.
I'm not sure how many people have actually made any sort of connection through Craigslist's "Missed Connections" link, but I have definitely been on the site a time or two, (out of pure curiosity, I swear). People post little descriptions of someone they might have made eyes with on a train platform or accidentally bumped into at the bar without introducing themselves. The point of the site is to bring two strangers together in this big, scary city and artist Sophie Blackwell illustrates actual messages on her blog, Missed Connections. She captures these little fleeting moments perfectly.
Check out this video from a Japanese band called Sour for their song, "Hibi no Neiro." They commissioned their real life fans to record themselves doing certain tasks that resulted in a pretty awesome music video.
I'm always happily surprised when walking through the streets of New York, I notice a hidden garden tucked into this huge concrete metropolis we all live in. I especially like it in unsuspecting neighborhoods in Brooklyn. Growing your own food has become more important because of heightened economic and environmental awareness, as well as a growing sense of community-mindedness. The images below are from the Somerset Community Garden in South Providence, Rhode Island maintained by a group of local families. The idea makes me feel so good that a community can work together and become healthier and more environmentally aware together. I wonder if one exists near me? Especially love the little girl's expression in the first picture...
I've never been to the Venice Biennale or to Italy at all, but I'm quite sure I would enjoy it. Eleven Heavy Things by Miranda July is showing now through November 22. She's a performance artist, musician, writer, actress and film director. I initially remember noticing the bright yellow book jacket cover of No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories when I worked at a bookstore a few years ago in Michigan. I remember the website for that book and how simple and funny it is. Putting into words those awkward and strange things about life that affect everyone in some capacity. Her exhibit at the Biennale consists of eleven outdoor sculptures she proposes people to pose and take pictures with. July's work is odd and inspiring, too bad I can't take a much needed European vacation to take a peek! Someday...
I just moved to a new apartment in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn. It's a beautiful red building and my roommate and I now happily occupy the top level. The bedroom that I moved from in Manhattan was small and dark, as was the whole apartment, come to think of it. Great location, not so great apartment. I now have more light and space than I know what to do with. Tough situation, isn't it? I'm planning on taking some time to decorate cheaply and think these rooms offer some pretty inspiration..