We are fans of architecture. Even more so we are fans of “architectural design.” However, kitsch and the aesthetics of the contemporary commercial Xmas holiday experience, we are not fans of. But we were intrigued by a recent contest at our office to design and build a holiday-style gingerbread house.
The construction and decorative materials were provided to participants (some would be architects, and some legit designers and artists) and included a large gingerbread cookie (of course) in the shape of a pre-fab parts template for the basic house structure, and baggies filled with jellybeans, licorice, gumdrops, pretzels, cookies, marshmellows, candy canes and myriad other sweets of dubious tastes, poor nutritional value and enough sugar to sustain a full-time local dental practice.Continue reading →
A very happy new year to you and yours! Here’s to hoping 2017 is the most awesome year ever (and, if not that, then to hoping that at the very least it’s better than the craziness that was 2016)! We’re marking the occasion with this yummy 2017 chocolate cupcake and some Champagne.
This taco stand popped up at the biannual Echo Park Craft Fair in Silver Lake this past weekend. It seems you can’t drive a block in Los Angeles wihtout seeing either a small taco joint, truck, take-out window or improvised stand. But this one is unique in a couple of ways, most notably in its architecture and construction. The do-it-yourself quality to the construction and use of materials is clever. Long wood boards have been slotted into the gaps in a stack of wood pallets. These pallets form columns and the boards function as shelves and a counter. The menu items are written in chalk on the side of the pallets. White fabric has been thrown over the contruction to form a roof. Then there is the decor. There’s a Tibetan Buddhist-style string of colorful flags strung along the top of the stand. Woven Mexican bowls on the columns add color. Potted plants accent the facade and rest on heavy wood blocks that help support the columns. It’s brilliant, though one wonders how structurally sound it is and whether it’s “up to code,” as they say.
Some colleagues scored some cronuts from the Dominique Ansel patisserie in SoHo on the way back to our office after an early morning client meeting downtown. And they shared with us. And it was good. Really, really good. OMG yummy.
On our recent visit back to Tokyo, we picked up a bag of freshly-roasted espresso beans from Bear Pond Espresso at their cafe at On the Corner in Shibuya. We love the totally unbranded, shiny, silvery bag — it’s only markings are the roasting batch and date numbers.
Super delicious macarons at Cafe Grumpy, an espresso bar and cafe in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, including the one pictured here with a cute broken heart graphic printed on it. Yummy! Pop-cultural reference: This Cafe Grumpy is used as the location set for the Cafe Grumpy that appears in Lena Dunham’s hit HBO television series Girls.
The main dining space at Room Service in New York’s Hell’s Kitchen. Room Service is probably the most beautiful, sparkly and glamorous casual-neighborhood-type Thai restaurant in New York City or anywhere.
We paid a visit to Lot Sixty One Coffee Roasters’s espresso bar and roastery on Amsterdam’s Kinkerstraat street. Lot 61 was opened in early 2013 by Australian coffee connoissuer and entrepreneur Adam Craig, who used to live in New York City, where he had opened and run the acclaimed Culture Espresso in NYC’s fashion-garment district. (In full disclosure, Adam is an old friend of ours who we’ve known since those NYC days.) In just a few months, Lot 61 has already upped the game in the rapidly growing Amsterdam third-wave coffee scene, as Amsterdam’s coffee lovers increasingly warm to the idea of take-out coffee and the importance of carefully sourced, roasted and brewed beans. The coffee here is first-rate. Check ’em out.
This table full of bento-like food containers looks like an epic feast. These 36 meals were prepared for our Taiwanese art director by his super culinary-talented wife in advance of her being out of town this month. (She’s traveling back to Taiwan to visit family.) She usually prepares lunches for herself and her husband to take to work each day. Since she’ll be out of town, she cooked, boxed and froze each of his work lunches to be defrosted consumed each day while she’s away. Luckyyyyyyyy!
One of our colleagues recently returned to New York after another quick trip to Japan and brought us these yummy Japanese Kit Kat chocolate cookie bars. These Kit Kats are exclusive to the Japanese market, as far as we know. One, as the English on the label states, is a “strawberry cheese cake” version. But the one that really caught our eye and taste buds is the wasabi-flavored Kit Kat bar and its packaging replete with green wasabi icons.
Pulino’s on the Bowery is our downtown go-to weekend spot for Italian-style brunches in New York City. The food and atmosphere are great. And its location at the corner of Bowery and Houston streets means it’s in a prime spot for taking a break during our usual weekly art circuit and close to the action. The Deitch Wall is across the street. The New Museum is a block away, as is Rag & Bone, Banksy’s recent “Grim Reaper” installation, and a few other often-changing commissioned street art spaces. A dozen or so of the nearly 100 galleries now in the Lower East Side are two or three minutes away on foot. Like so many restaurants these days, Pulinos delivers its check to your table with a postcard, which we love.
One of our favorite local hangouts near Global Graphica HQ in New York City’s Lower East Side is Barzinho, a Brazilian bar and restaurant that has a distinct favela-chic style that feels directly imported from Rio de Janeiro’s many hillside slums. The food here is breat, BTW! Check out these photos of the interior.
We’re taking a break from this steamy hot July 4th weather this afternoon to enjoy a coconut banana smoothie and bask in the atmosphere (live radio-DJ’d dub reggae and Carib decor) of Miss Lily’s & Melvin’s Juice Box, a Jamaican-style cafe, juice bar and record shop in SoHo / Greenwich Village in New York City. One of our favorite places in NYC.
We were in Paris a few months ago when some ad agency friends in the French capital turned us on to a new and ground-breaking food magazine and restaurants guide that is blowing up in France at the moment. The magazine is called “Fooding,” and it’s providing a fresh approach — in historically conservative culinary France, at least — to how people think and write about restaurants, dining and food. Its timing coincides with a generational and cultural shift in France (a rebellion, some might say) in how food is prepared and presented within the restaurant dining experience. It’s a big deal because classic French cuisine is amazing, but firmly established and thus, until recently, relatively strict, rigid in its ways, hidebound to traditional methods. Though primarily in French, Fooding (or “Le Fooding”) has a lot of reviews translated in English. We really like the look of the magazine, its layout, design, photography, illustrations and graphics, as the photos from the 2013 edition of the guide below show. And we really appreciate the craft and design of an actual printed magazine, especially now, at a time when so many us consume magazine content online or digitally and — seemingly almost as a reaction to that — he art of the the small-run print magazine is showing a resurgence.
Amsterdam is a city with a lot of amazing spaces and a reputation for awesome, super-cool design. Awesome coffee, however, is not something Amsterdam is famous for. But that’s quickly changing. A handful of coffee roasters and cafes have recently set up shop in the city and are brewing some of the best coffee in Europe. Headfirst is one of them, and it’s doing it with great style and taste in design, as its cafe and branding attest. The cafe is full of vintage, mid-century modern furniture from Sourced and Sold, the shop to which it’s adjacent. This is the must-go coffee spot in AMS to get your double-espresso macchiato and while you’re at it, say, pick up that authentic Barcelona chair you’ve always wanted (most of the furniture is for sale from Sourced and Sold).