Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Color me obsessed.

Spring is coming/here - depending on the current day's weather, it's hard to tell. Either way, I am eagerly anticipating the return of flowers and leaves to the earth and the return of bright, pastel florals to my wardrobe.

I was looking for some new flowery accessories, possibly in the shape of a headband or belt, when I stumbled upon what has got to be one of the most wonderful little online stores, EmersonMade. Not only does Emerson produce the cuuuutest little flower pins for anywhere on your body, which totally transform an outfit to preppy-blah to preppy-hurrah, but she also writes the most whimsical and endearing blog.

She and her husband left "the New York City" for the country to live with ducks and hens and have photo shoots with them, add witty captions to these photo shoots, and post them on a blog about floral accessories. Oh I'm sorry, can I have your life please? These are some of my fave designs/outfit combos below (who am I kidding, they're all my favorite!):

flowers for your toes!

see, flowers can be manly!

this one's from a blog post: Saturday Night with Duck

Please check out EmersonMade's blog. Her turn of phrase is just so playful and joyful, you'll have no choice but to be happy while reading it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fun with Stairs

My life goal at the age of 8 was to become an architect. I used to sit in my room for hours sketching to-scale floor plans of my dream homes on graph paper. The central feature of these homes tended to be extensive play areas and each child having their own bathroom (guess who didn’t have her own bathroom, and has 2 older brothers...woof).

One essential element in each of these homes was interesting staircases. I used to make symbols resembling the type of staircase present - large, sweeping staircases at the front of the house, spiraling staircases leading from bedrooms to loft like spaces, even hidden staircases behind bookcases leading to private libraries because how cool is that?!?

I recently found a real-life example of one of the many staircases I dreamed up: a combo stair/slide, this one designed by UK architect Alex Michaelis. Can I say YES?

Below please examine a beautifully designed staircase designed by my favorite real-life architect, Frank Gehry, for the Art Gallery of Ontario (oh Canada!). Everything he creates is so organic, so modern, so sculptural, so so so so so.

I will know that I have truly made it when I have a beautiful library, with high ceilings and sliding ladders a la My Fair Lady, the movie. Until then, I will continue to fantasize about other, more successful people’s expansive libraries and the possibility of moving into a bookshop, like the one below, the Lello Bookshop in Portugal, which is apparently the coolest place on Earth. Amazing book collection + amazing staircase + oddly reminiscent of Dr. Suess’ world = my heart rate is accelerating, take me there now.

I love so many things about human nature, not the least of which is our desire to make our world beautiful. Rather than just using stairs as a means to get from point A to point B in a world we are building vertically in order to save space, we take the opportunity to make utilitarian items decorative. Beautiful and silly.

For more stair fun, click here. This is a real website, and it is great.

I want to go to Glamp

I work in the hospitality industry, in a boutique hotel in midtown Manhattan. All the time, and I mean everyday, tourists complain about the street noise, the traffic, the weather, construction, parades, and every other daily occurence that happens in New York. They travel 17 hours and then refuse to eat dinner more than 3 blocks away from their hotel. They want to shop at Macy’s, Abercrombie & Fitch, Gap and other stores whose brands are easily accessible online. Which begs the question, why did they come here? Why come to New York, the big exciting city, and then complain that it is, in fact, big and exciting. Why travel across the world but only really interact with the aspects of another culture that are available at home?

People need to be honest about the kind of experience they are looking for. They want something different from their normal schedule...but not too different. They want to relate to places they have seen in their favorite movies, but still live in their real lives. They want something new, but they want to be comfortable. Mostly, I think they want to be able to say they’ve been somewhere important. So they’re not interested in getting to know the nooks and crannies of a new place, they’re interested in being able to list the landmarks they’ve seen that their family and friends back home are familiar with, and will be impressed by.

Similar to these tourists, I want an escape from my daily routine. I live in the concrete jungle and want to reconnect with nature, breathe fresh air, feel grass between my toes, and chill out man. I want to go camping.

Unlike many of New York’s tourists, however, I can be honest about my intentions. I want to go camping, but I don’t really want to go camping camping. I want to surround myself with the beauty of nature while retaining my creature comforts. I want running water, and a bed. Hotel Chatter, a great website for those “in the industry” (how legit does that make me sound?) and those who just like to stay in hotels (read: everybody), has a perfect term for what I want to do. I want to go glamping. Specifically at the Four Seasons Tented Camp, Golden Triangle, in the jungles of Thailand. Here, I can say that I truly got away from it all, got in touch with nature, probably “found myself”, and stayed in a tent. (see “tent” below)

Let me just say this about the Four Seasons Tented Camp, Golden Triangle: elephant trekking, drinx, and spa treatments are included in the demure $1,550 per tent. Goodbye life savings, hello glamping.

This could be me and my elephant friend.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'm not sure what it is. Perhaps it's the gloom and doom rainy weather following some of the most beautiful, hopeful days of 2010. Perhaps it's my continued existence in a common room. Or that December 26th feeling that follows a great trip (I spent the last weekend in glorious Boston). Whatever it is, I've been feeling like hiding in my bed like a little monster lately.

So there I was, pretending to be asleep at almost eleven o'clock in the morning yesterday and I thought of this picture, which I stumbled across months ago on Lyndsey Hamilton's lovely blog.

It brought me a smile when I found it and a frown all these months later as I reflected on it. There was no way today was going to be a perfect day. How could I possibly turn a drizzly, cranky workday into the "perfect day?"

So I puzzled, and puzzled, and puzzled some more, until I remembered some things that generally brings me some joy: running, and helping people who actually have real problems. So I did something which I've been meaning to do for quite some time, and that is sign up for the Brooklyn Half Marathon!

I'm running with the DetermiNation organization, an awesome organization that encourages athletes to participate in endurance events with the goal of raising money for the American Cancer Society. I joined New York's DetermiNation committee a few months ago and am in awe of all the positive, energetic people who organize these events to fight cancer.

For more info on the ACS, please visit their website. To support my efforts, please visit my personal fundraising site. Yay for running and boo for cancer.

And just remember: today is the perfect day for a perfect day. You might just have to try a little harder.