Tag Archives: New York City

Must do: Visit Ace Hotel – Drink Stumptown Coffee

Just last month my boyfriend discovered in the Garment District (29th and Broadway) that there is a Stumptown coffee shop!  We were both very excited as we were introduced to the magnificence that is Stumptown coffee on our last vacation to the Seattle and Portland area.  In Seattle there has been a battle between Stumptown and Starbucks and I think everyone agrees that Stumptown takes the cake.  It’s always roasted locally and it’s always delicious. . . not burnt like the other stuff.  The Stumptown in Manhattan is also locally roasted, (of course) in Red Hook Brooklyn.  I guess they have been open for over a year now, but I’m hardly ever in that nook of town so without having previous knowledge of the company I may have never even found it.

The coffee shop is located inside of the grand Ace Hotel and coffee customers are more than welcome to hang out in the hotel’s lobby as there are no seats in the shop.

The other real gem about this find is the architecture and interior design of both the hotel and the coffee shop.  when you turn the corner from Broadway  on to 29th street, you feel as though you’re walking into a completely different neighborhood in another era.  On the north-side of the street is one of the last Second empire, cast iron buildings left mostly in tact in NYC and on the south-side is the beautiful (I think restored), Breslin Apartments building that is the sight of the Hotel.

I have to step back and take a moment to discuss the cast iron building, the landmarked Gilsey House is a former grand hotel (1872-1911), the first to offer telephone service to guests. It was noted for its bar made of silver dollars, and was a favorite of Diamond Jim Brady and Oscar Wilde. Converted to housing in 1979 it’s still a beautiful sight to see.

As I was saying before though, the Ace Hotel is by this amazing poser design couple/duo that is Roman & Williams. They are so inspiring and talented it makes my heart bleed when I look at their work sometimes. I know that sounds really dramatic but, seriously look at that rendering!

The design of the place is so successful, because my first experience was great, not only because of the taste of Stumptown coffee, but also because the building’s atmosphere and environment.  Standing in that coffee shop I felt as though I was transported back to Portland.

The other night while visiting my brother, his partner was showing me inspiration images for the shelving unit that they’re planning on building.  I thought the images looked very familiar and when I began telling them about Stumptown, and the decor I had to show them a picture of a light fixture that I had snapped on my phone. Well lo and behold, the inspiration images were pulled straight out of the Ace Hotel!  To make a long story short, you must try to visit this place when you’re in the city. It’s just so beautiful and inspiring, and tasty.

{The infamous light fixture}

I also found this video about Roman & Williams on their website.  It was shot by “The Scout” for some reason I can’t embed it into my post, but the images and what the designers have to say is wonderful and entirely worth the ten minutes to watch. So please check it out. Here is a quote from The Scout about the video:

‘”It’s a shame to only have dreams at night. You should have a few opportunities during the day.” This wistful quote from Stephen Alesch speaks volumes about the spaces he and Robin Standefer create as architects and designers. Their firm Roman & Williams, is named for their grandparents, paying homage to another era. Together, they draw on the evocative moods, textures, and meaningful objects that linger somewhere between past and present. Their work is infused with memory and allows participants to connect with a more romantic and important time.’

Along with the video, the can catch the studio visit here: The Scout- Roman & Williams Studio Visit

Video Link

Websites:

Roman & Williams

ACE HOTEL

NY times article about Stumptown

Photos via:

The Architects Newspaper – Douglas Lyle Thompson

NY Architecture Images site

Flickr, Man Seeking Coffee, and Hotel Chatter.

favorite sweets

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Food, New York

Scanning the globe for inspiration

I’ve been back home for only a few days and I’ve been really restless trying to figure out what it was that I “discovered” on my trip to Paris.  Last year it was the color red being the “red thread” but this year I was really unable to put my finger on something.  Spending time in a city where the world’s best trend forecasting companies are home based is a little intimidating, because I almost feel as though it is imperative to bring something back with me.  I found a few trends popping up, the vintage military jackets, straw hats, and of course the over saturation of the striped shirts, but overall the only creative feeling that I could gather from this city is the concept of minimalism.  Not the kind that you would imagine from the 90s era of fashion or the minimalist art movement, but more of the un-satisfaction of over-consumption.  In Paris clothing and styling is more simple, store windows are more simple, the attitudes of the French are more simplified.  Maybe this is something that has always existed in the Parisian culture, but it just feels like a return to naturalism . . . but in a modern sense.  Although I can just put myself in Sofia Coppola’s film “Marie Antoinette” when she so well visualizes the return to naturalism. But of course that came about after years and years of over-consumption, hence the revolution.

Photo from film found: weddingsinparisi.com

I think this minimalistic character is what I really like about Paris.  It’s so different from New York in that matter, even in NY we’re trying to be more natural and organic but it becomes a big deal and in a way unnatural, and like everything else in American culture the idea of being natural and organic is flaunted and commercialized, making the concept ironic.  Now I know I am generalizing here in many ways, but I am to trying to explain this feeling that I get from Paris, and essentially it’s really hard to.  With that said, I think I’ll lighten up and try present a few odds and ends of trends, (design-wise) that I captured while being in Paris.

1. military jackets: I saw so many women and men wearing these jackets, from young to old, and thin to thick (even though there aren’t a lot of thick women in Paris).  The most important styling detail of these jackets, you must roll up the sleeves!  When I tried mine on, the girl at the counter insisted on it and even motioned me to roll then pushing my sleeves up.  It was funny.

Chictopia.com has a little segment on this jackets, showing where you can buy them.  However, I know that Madewell was selling them at the end of last summer, because a lot of their designers use Paris as an inspiration, and they definitely just bought a bunch of those jackets in bulk and shipped to the states to sell for hundreds. I’m thinking one should just hit up the army navy stores for a better deal.

These jackets have oddly become the ‘it’ item of Paris and the best part is that they’re really cheap.  I bought one at “The King of Frip” which was actually below the apartment we stayed in.  This store had an entire rack dedicated to these jackets, all selling for only 10 euros a piece!  Now I was silly and forgot to take a photo of the front of the store but, The King of Frip is found @ 33 Rue du Roi de Sicile • 75004 Paris, France • 01 42 78 33 72 .  I found a beautiful photograph taken by the street blogger/photographer, Yanidel.

photo found here on Yanidel’s Blog ‘Street Photography in Paris’

2. Straw hats: while all the stores in the US are selling these hats, people in the States are not wearing, in Paris however, they are in full force and those ladies look effortlessly chic as they avoid sunburns and skin cancer.  That is something my boyfriend & I had a laugh over a few times, there were so many singed and burned Americans. Please put on some sunscreen!

Thank styleinthecity.com for these photos, and um that’s Karl Lagerfeld in the background of the pic.

3. Color: I saw a slight influence of the color turquoise in design in Paris, not as big as it is in New York.

More so I noticed the color combination of yellow and white popping up in design.  The image on the left is from the Givenchy 2010 Fall collection, the image on the right is a window display for a jewelry company, and the below image from Apartmenttherapy.com, a Parisian apartment.

More to come soon. . .

1 Comment

Filed under Fashion, Paris, Shopping, Travel

fourth floor walk up . . . for real

It’s hot now in New York, and Muggy and gross. My fourth floor apartment is especially hot, and muggy and gross.  It really doesn’t help that we’re the top floor, all the heat escapes from the roof in the winter and the sun bakes us in the summer.  Yesterday I sent the ‘ol boyfriend to Home Depot to buy us a ceiling fan. Yes, they’re ugly and sometime gross too, but they really do help, especially when you’re watching your budget, (and the environment) and you do not want to turn the AC on.  Last summer I found a beautiful solution to an ugly problem, with a price tag of $47.97 in New York City you can’t go wrong with this fan.  The simple white globe light is included (it does not look that yellow) and it is really easy to install.

To Order: HomeDepot.com

Well I wouldn’t quite call it beautiful, but the fan is unobtrusive to a room and it works well when you use it in a smallish room – my living room is 12′ x 12′ and my kitchen is 10′ x 12′.

Fan pictured in my living room:

2 Comments

Filed under Apartment, Home, My Apartment, New York, Shopping

What did you do for Mother Earth today?

photo credits: The Conservatory Garden in NYC by Lauren Gries

I’m all about the lists today so hold your horses and get ready:

1.  Today I ate at a vegan organic restaurant . .  . . fantastic by the way, its new, Terri Vegetarian, please check it out. Please eat the ‘Bacon Chick’n Cheddar Ranch’ Sandwich or the ‘Meatball’ Sub. They’re so delicious!

How does eating vegetarian help the environment?

  1. It takes an average of 2,500 gallons of water to produce a single pound of meat. According to Newsweek, “The water that goes into a 1,000 pound steer could float a destroyer.” In contrast, it takes only 25 gallons of water to produce one pound of wheat.
  2. Upwards of half of the water used in the U.S. is used for animal agriculture.
  3. Feeding a person who eats no food derived from animals requires only 1/6 acre per year
  4. Since so much fossil fuel is needed to produce it, beef could be considered a petroleum product. With factory housing, irrigation, trucking, and refrigeration, as well as petrochemical fertilizer production requiring vast amounts of energy, approximately one gallon of gasoline goes into every pound of grain-fed beef.
  5. It takes twenty pounds of soybeans to feed to a cow to make one pound of meat. Those same amounts of soybeans could help fed all the starving people of the world.

Vegan Outreach: if you’re interested in more information

2.  I used less motorized transportation by walking across town.

3.   I just got off my but to turn the lights off in the kitchen.

I’m sure I could have done more eco-friendly things on Earth Day, but the big thing about going green in life is to take baby steps.  I think the magic number of days it takes to break a habit is 21. Thats not so bad, right?  Think about it, if you decide to take one step at a time on your quest for the “greener” you it can happen in only 21 days! That is less than a month!

photo Credits: The Conservatory Garden in NYC by Lauren Gries

A few months ago I bought the book Gorgeously Green: 8 Simple Steps to an Earth-Friendly Life by Sophie Uliano through a recommendation from the author of the blog Green Your Intentions.

This book is great, it is so helpful and so inspirational.  As the title suggests, its broken down into eight chapters that lead you in your path to becoming greener. Through such ways as diet, beauty, clothing (soulful shopping as she calls it), fitness, making your home more eco-friendly, eco-friendlier vacations and entertainment.  What I really enjoy about this book is how there are quick checklists that you can use as you make your life a little bit greener.

I’ve already changed over all of my beauty products to being paraben, Phthalates, Sodium Lauryl Sulfate (SLS) & Sodium Lauryl Ether Sulfate (SLES) free.

Another great book I have been absolutely in love with is The Kind Diet by Alicia Silverstone

This book is more focused on your diet that results in a greener lifestyle. Its awesome! I love her tone of voice and the way she writes.  I have learned so much while reading this book and lets just say, I will not allow myself to be “addicted to cheese” anymore!!!  If you want to figure that part out you need to read the book. I haven’t even started cooking yet.



1 Comment

Filed under Home, New York

Rowhouses

Photo Credit: Time out New York

If anyone is as big as a nerd as I am and is interested in learning more about NYC’s Rowhouses please see the attached New York City Rowhouse Manual.  You can print out the pages and carry them around with you as you try to guess the styles of Rowhouses that are scattered around the city.

Great neighborhoods to check out are: Greenwich Village, Lower Brooklyn (Park Slope, Brooklyn Heights, Clinton Hill, Boreum Hill, Fort Greene etc.) the Upper East Side, and Chelsea.  The two photos below are taken of buildings in the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood, gorgeous right?

Photo Credit: Lumierefi’s Flickr

My favorite streets on the Upper East Side are 92nd and 93rd between Lexington and Park Avenues. There a few 19th century wooden clapboard houses that still remain are some of the oldest int he district.  They just make me so happy when I see them. This sorry photograph was taken of one of the houses on my iphone. The 128 East 93rd street address built in 1866 looks to be a combination of the Italianate and Second Empire Styles.

In Greenwich Village you can find one of my favorite houses in the city.  The “Weathermen Townhouse” or Langworthy Residence located at 18 West 11th Street, designed by Hardy Holzman Pffiefer Architects in 1972, even though it was erected pretty recently (1970s), it has a bit of history in its design that makes this building a popular tourist stop within the historic district.  This house was originally built in 1845, alongside three other townhouses on the block that were built by Henry Brevoort Jr.

No photo credit unfortunately, this is photo I took of a photo at the architecture center in soho.

This building is a great example of contemporary design that keeps the integrity of the historic context.  The New York Observer wrote a story on this building, “On first glance, all of the five-story townhouses lining West 11th Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues blend together, lending the block the same charming and unaffordable air of any other Greenwich Village.”  The article continues to describe the sharp architectural differences that this building has as its first and second floor windows sharply jut out past the other facades of the neighboring buildings,  “The starkly modern building begs to be recognized, for its incongruity and its history,” which makes the design decisions of Hardy Holzman Pffiefer so well conceived.  This building’s reconstruction was due to being accidentally detonated when five members of the radical Weathermen group used it as a makeshift bomb factory.

One can see the intentions of the architect, because upon viewing, there is a feeling of an explosion.  The design is further enhanced as the architect preserved the historic character of the block, by keeping the original sightline, ground line, materials and stoop style in tact.  The scale is completely in keeping with the other buildings on the block as it holds the same amount of stories and bays as its neighboring buildings.  The new features are different enough from the historical ones in the other buildings that it keeps the integrity of the property and its environment

photo credit: wired new york

The last thing I would like note is there is this beautifully inspiring blog called A Brooklyn Limestone I have no idea what this woman does for a living, because their home is beautiful, they’ve done a great amount of renovating within the past two years (using all high end materials and appliances) and they’re always traveling to exotic and exuberant places and all of her photographs are beautiful.  Its pretty intriguing.  I absolutely love her kitchen.

photo credit: Mrs. Limestone


Leave a comment

Filed under Apartment, Home, New York, Travel Tours

The Cut

My stylist/hairdresser recently opened a salon of her own after working for the salon Hair Metal for four years.  The Horse Salon is a beautifully designed space by her friend and collegue Iris DeSoto that resembles a Western barbershop, decorated with antiques, sepia-tone photographs and deep mahogany wood fixtures with light marble countertops.

My favorite element is the lighting, the chandeliers I believe were a flee market find, as were the bergere chairs.

Kristi Banister, the owner is laid back, yet cheerful tattoo covered maven. She has great taste and is very honest when it comes to your hair. She’s never given me a bad cut or a cut that made me cry (which is amazing considering that every other hair dresser has caused that.)  The shop and the prices are really reasonable, cuts starting at $60 for a ladies and  $40 for gentlemen.  If you’re ever in the Williamsburg area, I really suggest that one should check the salon out.


All photos found on: Yelp.com
Read more: http://newyork.timeout.com/venues/williamsburg/41643/high-horse-salon#ixzz0kuPlme3g

1 Comment

Filed under New York, Uncategorized

If you’re in New York You must see “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present” at MOMA

The New York Times covered this show in their recent art review section. ” With the opening on Sunday of “Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present,” a long-building energy wave of performance art hits the Museum of Modern Art full force. The show is a four-decade survey of work by one of the field’s most visible and magnetic figures. And its combination of stressed-out flesh in documentary films and live bodies, some nude, in the galleries, makes pretty radical fare for this institution.”

I found this exhibit to be fascinating. Not specifically the content of the exhibition but more about to how my opinion of both her and performance art changed within five minutes.  Before my visit, I had a disgruntled opinion of her and her work.  The movie we watched in class left me wondering about the validity of her work.  I kept asking myself, “Why do so many people like her? How can anyone appreciate self-mutilation?”  But this exhibition made me realize that even though there seems to be a lot of self-mutilation, it’s actually only one aspect of performance art.

After waiting for about twenty minutes in line for the museum to open, the gates were released and several avid museum visitors ran up the steps to be first in the line to sit with the artist. I thought it was really interesting that you would be able to do this, hence the name of the exhibition.  Marina seems to have accomplished celebrity as an artist and this show is the perfect example of it.  There were a lot of people there to see her; the crowd was not just for the Tim Burton show.

My immediate thoughts of Marina were that at 64 years old, she looks great for her age.  Especially considering all of the things that she has put herself through.  I also wondered what she was thinking while watching her stoically stare into space.  I found other people to be wondering the same.  I heard someone say, “Do you think she’s thinking about what she’ll be doing tomorrow? No, wait that’s silly. She’ll be doing this tomorrow and for another three months.”  Another three months . . . that’s over six hundred hours of sitting on that chair! Thank goodness she hasa cushion.

At the show a stranger came up to me and spoke about his appreciation for her, while describing her more famous works.  All of which were on display upstairs, where I began to understand the full realm of Marina’s work.  Looking into that van brought on imaginary memories of she and her partner together, eating, sleeping, working, and so on.

The most attention-getting piece in the first room was the nude human doorway entitled, Imponderabila.  I was surprised by what I noticed while watching the different guests pass through this doorway.  The majority of the men who walked through faced the woman.  The female audience members however, seemed to face both the man and woman in about the same amount. My uneducated guess would say that their reasoning was based upon their level of sexual comfort with the given sex.  In the video footage of the original piece, I noticed how Marina and her partner fit together perfectly, similar to puzzle pieces.

After seeing the exhibition I have drawn the conclusion that her work reflects her life’s experiences.  She reacts to these experiences through performance art.  Instead of painting something to express her feelings she uses her body as the canvas.  The instances where she pushes herself to the ends of her abilities is both distressing and inspiring.  They’re things that others have wondered or thought of, like screaming until you lose your voice or eating an onion, but they’re also things that most of us would never do.  Along with testing herself to take part in these experiences, she tests the audience to withstand watching her.  As I went along for the ride in a few of the pieces, there were some that I could not.  I don’t really know what that means, but I do know that I have a new appreciation for performance art. Through this exhibition I learned how this genre is a valid form of art. These conceptual works of art are just as important as the many other physical works that line museum’s walls.

Thank you www.nytimes.com for these lovely photographs.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized