Entries tagged with: travel
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This post is brought to you by Sheraton. Click here to explore Sheraton Club.They are hosting us in Seattle this weekend, so it seems only appropriate that I share my process of diving into a new city between meetings as it applies to my first time in Seattle since i was too young to remember! First first step, figure out the neighborhoods… maps like this one from These Are Things for Seattle are a great start.
I love exploring! But having a mere few days in a new city (and minimal free time between business meetings) ~ is seldom enough to get to know it like a local! Unless… you find optimal ways to plan out what to go see! Diving into a brand new city you know next to nothing about is always both an adventure and completely overwhelming. Traditionally there are tourism boards and guide books to give you a feel for the touristy “usuals” that out-of-towners tend to cluster at, but i always get more curious about what locals are doing, what’s up and coming, and what is most unique! So, beyond asking friends and friends of friends and your hotel concierge for suggestions, here are some techniques we’ve been using! Usually i’m hunting for fun restaurants, shops, galleries, and events! Below take a peek at my usual process to navigate and discover the local side of things!
While Shawn was in NY earlier this week, he came home taunting me (and my juice addiction) with pictures of Summers Juice & Coffee that was just opened by one of his closest friends, Alex Kleinberg. So, here’s a peek at the fun design details and deliciousness. Congrats, Alex!!!
On happy places, you can’t help but smile when you arrive at the freshly opened Summers Juice & Coffee in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. We’ve enjoyed following their Instagram all summer as Alex Kleinberg and Christopher Taha (and their friend, Steffan Elzinga, of Wood Mgmt.) got their hands dirty and converted the 50 year old bodega space into their adorably refreshing neighborhood juice/coffee/pastry/sandwich spot. They found surprises like exposed brick and a large window under the drywall, which combined with some reclaimed wooden fence planks (which turn into herringbone ceiling and counter facade) and the addition of concrete flooring and counters, projection surf flicks, a stunning red surfboard on the wall, and a fun surf mural on the roll gate… it’s easy to forget there was a bodega there!
As for the food and drinks, Summers isn’t just fun decor, Shawn swears by the egg sandwich. (Here’s a peek at the making-of THE Egg Sandwich!) Part of the secret is definitely the parker roll from Clinton St. Baking Co. and the spiral of sriracha… also the bacon + avocado… oh, and the cheese folded in the fried egg. But i digress, with Alex’s history at his family’s award winning Clinton St. Baking Co., it’s no surprise the food and juice is delicious. (For Clinton St. fans, they also carry their pastries!) And as for coffee, they brew Brooklyn Roasting Company goodness. But, back to the visuals - take a peek inside Summers Juice & Coffee on the next page!
Phew! Reminder to self, no more red eye in, fly home in the evening trips… We just did a day trip to Indianapolis, getting in at 5:30am and flying home at 7:30pm… which means we were back in LA in under 24 hours. While we were there for a very specific purpose (hanging out with Butler Blue III, the bulldog mascot of Butler University, and checking out his Blue Mobile - more to come on that soooooon!) we also got to run around and see a bit of Indy! From watching the sunrise, to a delicious breakfast at Patachou, my first drive-in experience (Mug ‘n Bun!), my first architectural salvage (wow!), finding “Don’t Be Afraid Of The Space Rays” signage in a random yard, discovering locally made goods at Homespun and more… check it all out on the next page!
On delicious surprises, today’s LA to San Diego road trip lead us to the discovery of the new Lobster West in Encinitas. As their site says, “Lobster West is bringing New England’s love affair with lobster to the West Coast! As a family business, we are proud to offer fresh, sustainable and delicious Maine lobster rolls (along with crab rolls, shrimp rolls, seafood chowders, locally-grown organic salads and more).” As for where their lobster comes from, “We source all of our lobster directly from our friends who fish the icy cold waters of Maine and then we ship them overnight to Southern California, ensuring freshness in every bite! Our sweet and delicious Maine lobster is 100% certified and sustainable, and is served up in our favorite form - the lobster roll!” And you can taste the fresh deliciousness while you watch footage on their TV hanging over the door of their fishermen (lobstermen?) in action! We had to try their shrimp and lobster rolls… and couldn’t resist trying their monstrous whoopie pie… Looks like this one may make the list of our usual socal roadtrip pit stops between our usual taco/burrito joints! OH! It’s also worth noting that you can ask for Gluten-Free rolls! They use Udi’s. Take a peek at all the details and their menu on the next page!
p.s. Spontaneous trip = spontaneous pics, so all the pics are from the HTC One (vs giant dslr!)
On another OR product… The Scrubba caught my eye for it’s playful branding, packaging, and concept. The idea is that when you’re on the go (and washing machine free) you can use this enhanced dry sack to wash your clothes nearly as effectively as a washing machine, and far more effectively than hand washing. Basically The Scrubba is a dry sack with a built in washboard, air vent (think beach ball valve), and a non slip bottom. Toss in your day or two of clothes, some soap, some water, and scrub away for 30 seconds to 3 minutes, then drain, rinse, hang dry! Simple, right? Perfect if you’re backpacking… or even a mom on the go with some kid messes at the beach/etc? Paired with a hairdryer that can pull from the car battery, you might even be able to wash and dry smaller things quickly for on the road emergencies?
The packaging (by Happy Studio Co) and design are super cute as well… the logo, well, i can’t seem to stop seeing a maxi-pad of sorts… and the concept, it is fun! It works! But part of me feels like it could have been designed simpler? Is it really so different than using a dry sack you already have? And maybe some dryer balls, etc instead of a built in washboard? But i do like the idea as an alternative to hand washing, even when at home, to get a more effective clean, use less water, and have less of a splashy, soapy mess. Take a peek at The Scrubba details on the next page!
p.s. See more of our Outdoor Retailer Show adventures here!
This has been the year of doing MORE new things! So yesterday, we hopped on a 7am flight to Salt Lake City for dinner… and running around the Outdoor Retailer Show as fast as possible! We were home by 11pm… and it was one of the BEST trips ever! Beyond the overwhelming amount of SUPs and accessories and fishing kayak rigs, there was so much inspiration ~ fun unexpected products to play with, beautiful booth designs, met some incredible folks, and have lots of fun stuff to share with you guys, but, as usual… so many pics, i don’t know where to start, so here’s a brain/camera dump to get a feel for what caught my eye on the next page!
p.s. See the features from our Outdoor Retailer Show adventures here!
Catching up on pictures… here’s a peek at the Instagrammed inspiration from San Diego time. From Comic-con 2013 to the awesome signage at the Torrey Pines Glider Port… views from Mt. Soledad to tacos at Oscar’s… and fun art, toys, and portraits from the man behind Mr. Toast… see it all on the next page!
It’s been a crazy summer of trying new things, which has inevitably lead to more unexpected travel, surprise encounters, and non-stop summer inspiration. Well, adding to the list of firsts ~ Toyota just brought me out to Farmington, PA for the last two days to play with the new 2014 Tundra, which has meant: my first time shooting a shotgun (and getting a taste of “golf with a shotgun”) as well as my first time properly playing with trucks (towing large things and off-roading in lots of water!)… So fun, so exhausting, and while somethings are embargo’d till next week, i did get the ok to share the experiences and design details with you now! It is definitely more angular and more aggressive visually… and designed right in socal at Calty!
So, take a peek on the next page to see my adventures at the bizarrely epic Nemacolin Woodlands Resort (which has everything from shooting, fly fishing, golf, spa, LIONS, airstrip, casino, classic car collection, ziplines, dog sledding, and so much more…) to our quick visit to Frank Lloyd Wright’s Kentuck Knob, to off-roading and exploring with the new 2014 Tundra, as well as a few of my favorite details!
On amazing experiences ~ the opportunity randomly came up to spend the last week in Sitka, Alaska salmon fishing, and we had to go! My dad has been going annually with the incredible Angling Unlimited folks for over a decade now, so Shawn and I were thrilled to finally get to join in the fun. Beyond the excitement of finally going to Alaska ~ we were lucky enough to have incredibly beautiful weather, calm seas, and great fishing, and even see many humpback whales, puffins, otters, deer, bald eagles, albatrosses, giant slugs, and so much more! When it happened to drizzle/rain on us ever so slightly, the perfect semi-circle of a rainbow came out. Beyond the wildlife and fantastic fishing ~ we also got to know the adorable island town of Sitka, visiting local bars, the totem park, raptor center, the airports infamous pie spot - Nugget Restaurant, the only brewery on Baranof Island and more… only thing we didn’t make it over to which we’ve shown you before on NOTCOT was the Fortress of the Bear! The sunsets were breathtaking every day too… Take a peek at all the inspiration and randomness we discovered on the last week’s adventure in Sitka, Alaska on the next page!
Just back in LA from Tennessee adventures the last week. LAX-MEM, taxi to Lakeland, RV to Nashville to Manchester, madness at Bonnaroo, RV back to Memphis, rental car to Nashville, hang out in Nashville and then BNA-LAX! Along the way there were s’more mallows, pressurized ketchup, trained hotel ducks, seas of bodies, magic mushroom fountain, a giant inflatable meatwad, delicious bbq, vintage fire trucks (in a fire truck mechanic’s shop), guitar fly swatters, jar of fireflies, and so much more… take a peek at the instagram and cell phone inspiration from the trip!
So, to be totally honest, i was shopping for a soft water bottle that could be easily hidden in the hydration pack section of my pack… whether to hold ice, other liquids, etc. I remember having one of the simple, cheap feeling, water pouches with a pull cap top that screwed on and a little carabiner from Volvo from frankfurt autoshow years ago, and while exploring i was excited to find Vapur’s sleeker, updated design - the Vapur Eclipse!
With darker colors and a matte finish, it is definitely far stealthier. And i love the updated cap that feels far more solid, has a nice o-ring to keep it from leaking, and the cap is easy to flip open and drink from. I still feel skeptical about how the plastic holds up over time, but they are part of their Explorer Series, which also includes a water filter you can add on, and they have quite the team of adventurers using them, from arctic explorer to rock climber, kayaker to skier and more! When it arrived tonight, i was also smitten by the graphics and simplicity of the packaging ~ especially with details like the soft touch coating ~ so i couldn’t resist sharing an unboxing/detail peek with you! Check it all out on the next page!
For all of the NY Design Week randomness we’ve loved and already posted, flipping through our instagrams (and Shawn’s) proved the real fun happened between the events! So here’s a peek at everything ELSE that inspired and amused us that turned up on our phones! Take a peek at everything from the LOOK signage i was hunting for, to street art, to taco store floors, to the game of thrones like saw chair, the wedding we went to, the wooden beer slide, suits and surf photoshoot, and so much more on the next page… (and for those who follow our instagrams, here’s a bit more context.)
We’ve been curious about the Museum of Math since we first heard it was in the works last year and opened Dec 2012, so we had to check it out while in NYC… as designers with a love of math (particularly as it applies to geometry, design, patterns, puzzles, and more), Shawn and I have been excited to see how the MoMath brought these concepts to life with interactive installations for kids! And as most of you know, my rule on NOTCOT has always been to share the things i LOVE that inspire me! But, as much as i hate breaking my own rule… we are SO disappointed! Sadly, the Yelp reviewers are right ~ It has SO much potential, but unfortunately i wouldn’t recommend it… yet? It’s been open nearly 6 months now and the majority of the interactive exhibits in the spacious two levels are either not functioning, impressively unintuitive, or have taken quite the beating and don’t feel like you’re visiting a brand new museum. (But i must say the docent we ran into upstairs was trying his best, and had great enthusiasm and knowledge even when explaining how exhibits would work… were they functioning.) While it does have a 3D printer, laser cutter, badges that are supposed to sync with various exhibits to send you your creations later, an interactive floor, fractal video cameras to interact with, interactive kinect driven projections, and other digital setups, in the end the analog exhibits are more engaging. Ultimately the bike above is probably the most fun of all the working exhibits (but don’t forget to wear closed toe shoes, which i learned the hard way)… but that isn’t worth the price of admission.
All of that being said ~ working or not, i took a bunch of pics for those as curious and excited as we were that haven’t been yet to get a peek inside the MoMath. And i’m not giving up hope on it, i just hoped for so much more? Take a peek on the next page…
Going through my phone, and due to an unfortunate delay in what was going to be sponsored content, i just rediscovered some Atlanta adventures i’d been saving to share with you guys!
While in Atlanta for the Final Four, we tried a few delicious restaurants… and one noteworthy detail is definitely the Black Tea Ice Cubes in the cocktails at The Spence (from Chef Richard Blais, winner of Bravo’s “Top Chef All-Stars” )! When you’re first sipping on the drink, you know there’s a tea bag like tag and string hanging out of the glass, and some kind of huge ice cube, but it’s unclear how it all connects until you sip through it (and as it melts) only to find the cube on the end of the string! While ice on a string would have amused me already, finding out that their actually freeze black tea in the cube made even more sense… Take a peek at the details and a few more pics (and a video!) on the next page…
In between Final Four games this weekend, we did a bit of exploring in Atlanta… running all over Buckhead, Midtown, 4th Ward, Inman Park, Decatur, Downtown, and more… and one thing i couldn’t help snapping pics of all over was the street art! From the fox chasing rabbits down the wall… to the huge NEVER GIVE UP under an overpass made up of XOs, to the Silhouette building that really has a huge on on it, to the massive basketball hoop billboard AT&T popped up by Georgia Dome, to the “Your Pretty Face is Going to Hell —- Satan” billboard, ATL shaped playground for kids… and so much more… it was awesome inspiration! Check out what we found on the next page…
p.s. Didn’t bring a real camera with me this trip, so all things Atlanta are coming from the HTC One i’m currently playing with…
Phew* What a long weekend it has been, but also a much needed mini-break as NOTCOT turns 8 (can you believe it? 8 years!!!) ~ just back from spending the last few days in Atlanta for the Final Four (Go CARDS!) In between the games, got a chance to run around the city a bit, so more ATL inspiration to come… but first, after dropping the rental car and making our way to the gate, i was stopped in my tracks by these fun Dog Sculptures made from construction parts in their airport dog park by local artist, Doug Makemson. The yellow one sitting is inspired by his yellow lab, Abby. Apparently they are made mostly out of backhoe and bulldozer parts! Take a peek at these two playful pups on the next page!
p.s. Didn’t bring a real camera with me this trip, so all things Atlanta are coming from the HTC One i’m currently playing with…
Been dreaming about going to Barcelona to get Eyescream since i first saw it on Moco Loco last night. Amazing new conceptual twist on all the taiwanese shaved ice cream shops popping up all over… stunningly playful branding… and to turn the less than attractive treat into something more fun, they keep the toppings separate, and eyes! (Only way they could make it better is to have edible googly eyes!) Fantastic design by Estudio m Barcelona (Merche Alcalá, Marion Dönneweg). Take a peek at the incredible creatures, branding, and deliciousness on the next page.
It has been impossible to ignore Mercedes-Benz’s targeting of the “younger” market with their new entry level CLA model… from the fantastic Super Bowl spot “Soul” featuring Willem Defoe as the devil tempting a young man… to “Kate Upton Washes the All-New Mercedes-Benz CLA in Slow Motion”, which is pretty much what you’d expect… there’s even the Ryan McGinley film featuring model, Karlie Kloss, “Mind of Its Own” that debuted during fashion week… and how can you forget the “Untamed” spot where the car faces off with a wolf? Basically the marketing of the CLA seems to have its target on the younger/college crowd, playing heavily on the affordability and animalistic nature of the car… so when given the chance, i was too curious to see what this affordable, animalistic, compact car (the little sister of the CLS) feels like in person.
Hopping over to St. Tropez to give it a spin, felt like stepping into the “Soul” ad - being given an other worldly experience to play with the car while exploring the south of france… see a peek at our stay at the Hotel de Paris which just reopened. On first impressions - i was first drawn to the grill that seems spotted from afar… and the lights are just stunning up close (both front and rear), with such aggressive eyes that illuminate in the front, and incredible red gills that fill the back lights, they are definitely my favorite features. As for the interior, the dash seems to be where the affordability compromises were made, or my taste has aged me out of the younger demographic they are targeting… and the neon stripe options on some seats were surprising. As far as drivability, it would definitely make a fun little city car ~ and we even tried taking it to an impromptu flea market we found while driving around the french countryside, and it fit in easily (though drawing quite a bit of attention as well)… take a peek at the adventures and details with the Mercedes-Benz CLA on the next page!
This weekend’s adventures lead me from LA to St. Tropez by way of Paris and Marseille to try out the new Mercedes-Benz CLA. While there, Mercedes-Benz took over newly redone, iconic Hotel de Paris St. Tropez, which barely reopened the doors before Mercedes moved in for this round of drives. Mixed into the sculptures throughout the lobby, we were greeted with displays of the new CLA Dashboard, Direct Steer System, various engines and more… which fit right in! In the main courtyard, the new CLA and it’s larger influence, the CLS were on show. Apparently the Hotel de Paris was one of THE first hotels in St Tropez back in the 1930s, and was THE spot to be seen in the 60s and 70s (think artists, starlets, and more). Freshly redone by interior designer, Sybille de Margerie, it is quite a mix of design styles, and the hardest things to miss are the stunning spherical chandelier of metal petals of sorts in the lobby… and the nearly ready glass bottom pool that is suspended over the lobby which is viewable from all floors! Take a peek at the details of the Hotel de Paris St. Tropez with its Mercedes-Benz CLA flourishes on the next page!
A spontaneous road trip came up yesterday which landed me at the brand new Soda & Swine is a meatball and soda spot and its alcoholic pharmacy of a sister, Polite Provisions that just popped up in Normal Heights in San Diego… being unexpected, this post is a cell phone peek into our experiences… lots of fun branding and signage… and it’s an interesting set up. You can only order meatballs and soda and soft serve and pie at Soda & Swine, but you can have it brought over to you at Polite Provisions… you can order cocktails, punch bowls, beer cocktails, cocktails on tap, wine, etc at Polite Provisions, but you can’t bring them to Soda & Swine. To go between the two - you go to the hallway of the bathrooms in Polite Provisions and through the doorway to pop out behind the fireplace in Soda & Swine, which is actually in a roofless area that feels like you’re in between buildings (just look up to notice the stars and moon shining brightly down on you amongst the heatlamps)…
Interesting set up - cute spaces - tucked away in a quickly hipsterifying Normal Heights… it’s surrounded by bus stops, liquor store, dollar store and across from the Air Conditioned Lounge. And i can’t help but wonder if meatballs are the new sausage… Soda & Swine lets you pick the meatball style (smashed in a slider, 3 in a sub, on pasta, or 3 a la carte) then the flavor, cheese, and sauce. You must try the Smoked Pork, it’s definitely the best of the lot. Also the brussel sprouts with bacon and broccolini are delicious… apricot soft serve tasted like dried apricots and cream blended together… and the Caribbean Vacation on tap and Scottish Breakfast were lovely. If you’re ready - take a peek at the details on the next page!
p.s. There seems to be a dispute as to what this area counts as - is it Normal Heights? Between Heights? North Park? Regardless - you’ll find these two at 30th and Adams!