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When in Philly, I got the chance to visit the Philadelphia Magic Gardens. This place is an incredible artistic feat by artist Isaiah Zagar. Imagine an indoor and outdoor gallery space COVERED from floor to ceiling with mosaics made out of tiles, stones, and glass. The space is a labyrinth of color and texture. I used to work with tile and mosaics in high school, so my heart was beating double time and my head was spinning with inspiration the whole time. A must see for anyone visiting Philadelphia.

 

I spent a lovely (rainy) day in San Francisco last week. Highlights included visiting Heath Ceramics, shopping at  Maker & Moss, browsing at the treasure trove that is Stuff, drinks at Trick Dog, and dinner at Lolo.

It goes without saying how inspiring of a place Heath Ceramics is, but I think I realized what I love most about their collections. They nail the use of color. Just about every hue they use is perfection. I would happily take any of their pieces in any color that it came in. I’ve never been a big fan of lavender, but one of the colors in their new Spring line is a beautiful shade of lavender and as soon as I saw it in the store, I wanted lavender cups.

I’ve noticed how much I enjoy photographing facades of buildings. There’s so much diversity in them—loads of fun colors and details, too. I recommend Ulysses’ for a beer, Miss Lily’s for brunch, Jeffery’s Grocery for happy hour, and Gia’s Garden Jewels for a slice of East Village local flavor.

All photos from Instagram


When I was in Santiago, I went to go see one of Pablo Neruda’s houses, La Chascona. The place was amazing. He loved art, the ocean, architecture, collecting odds and ends, and being inspired by his surroundings. He was friends with artists, writers, politicians and a lot of really interesting people. Entertaining his interesting friends was his M.O. and he even had 2 entirely separate bars in his house—is that brilliant or what? He believed that to do interesting work, one needed to be surrounded by interesting people and interesting things. His house is filled with his shell, glass and furniture collections, works of art from his famous artist friends, and tokens from each of the places he has visited throughout his life. Truly a labor of love.

The idea of surrounding yourself with interesting people and things really resonated with me throughout the trip. I thought about how the objects and people we surround ourselves with effect our everyday and creatives lives. While I’m all for the home goods, furniture and trinkets that we get from the stores that we tend to frequent, I dream of one day having a house that’s filled with objects from my travels, objects that have a story, and special objects given to me by my friends. I want my home to be a place that inspires conversation, thought, and interesting creative work. I know it’s a no brainer that most people tend to surround themselves with things they like and things that have meaning, but I want to start doing it with more intention. My favorite things from Chile are probably the rocks I picked up (for free) that came from each of the different hikes that we took. And the ceramic pig because he’s making the McKayla face— he’s irresistible.

 


 

I’m off to a South American adventure for the rest of 2013! The plan is to spend a couple of days in Bogota while on the way in and out, and then Chile to see the desert, mountains, beaches, and cities. Chile has some of the most diverse geography in the world because it’s so darn long, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us. In anticipation of this trip, I tried to brush up on my Spanish, but the Duolingo lessons only lasted about 2 weeks. Whoops. If communication is limited to colors, animals, family members, and all present tense conjugations of the verb ‘ser’, I should have no language problems at all.

I have a few posts scheduled for the rest of 2013, but if you want to follow along with my trip, you can follow me on Instagram. I promise I won’t overpost :)

 

Photo

 

Salar De Uyuni are the biggest salt flats in the world and are in Bolivia. I’m really hoping this goes from the “Future Travel” column to the “Traveled” column by the end of this year. I’m going on the trip of a lifetime to Chile this winter (!!!) and I’m really hoping we’ll be able to swing through Bolivia to see these salt flats.

When I first saw photos of Salar De Uyuni, I thought all that white stuff was snow, but it’s all salt! During the rainy season, a thin layer of water forms on top of the salt and the result is an unreal reflection of the sky. It looks like people are walking on water, doesn’t it? I can’t get over how otherworldly and ethereal this place looks. People come from all over the world just to photograph this insanely vast and untouched landscape.  My mind goes crazy when I think about the photos I could take at Salar De Uyuni. Fingers crossed that we make it there!

 

Photos:
1, 2, 3, 4, 5

 


 

This past weekend a few of us ventured up to Fort Tryon Park and The Cloisters. Fall was on full display and the weather was incredible to boot. It’s pretty stunning up there and it’s hard to believe that this is right in Manhattan and accessible by subway. Central Park often gets most of the New York park glory, but I highly recommend visiting Fort Tryon Park. It’s just as beautiful and so peaceful (though it’s much smaller than Central Park). Yup, it’s possible for ‘Manhattan’ and ‘peaceful’ to in the same sentence. Wonders will never cease. I’m already planning a trip up back there right after the first snow fall this winter.

 

Look at that water! When I came across photos of the Verdon Gorge, I couldn’t get over the color of that water. Verdon Gorge is a river canyon located in the south-east area of France in Provence. It’s apparently pretty popular with tourists who visit the South of France, but this is the first I’ve ever heard of it. It just gives me another reason (besides Paris) to go back to France one day. Has anyone been here? Is it as breathtaking in person as it is in the photos?

 

Photo, Photo, Photo

 

Last week I spent a day getting my culture fix at the Whitney Museum. There’s a great rotating exhibit there that is filled with works from Alexander Calder, Georgia O’Keefe, Edward Hopper, and other American art legends from the early 20th Century. Robert Indiana (from LOVE fame) also has a huge exhibit there filled with his bold and graphic work.

My favorite exhibit had to be T.J. Wilcox: In the Air. The exhibit is a massive film installation that takes up most of the floor. A donut shaped screen was erected and a 360 degree panoramic view of New York City was projected onto the screen. Visitors watch the panoramic image time lapse from dawn until dusk from inside of the circular structure. At various points in the “day” 6 separate short films relating to New York City played at various places on the screen. There was a video about how the Empire State Building was originally going to be a docking station for the transatlantic Zeppelin. The airship was going to dock at the top point of the building and passengers were going to get off at the observation deck. Crazy, huh? There was a short biographical video about Gloria Vanderbilt, a member of the famous Vanderbilt family and Anderson Cooper’s mother. I think she’s as close to American royalty as you get. There was also a gut wrenching interview with a building super who was up on his balcony on September 11th, and watched the entire tragedy play out in front of his eyes and through his binoculars. Combined, the 6 videos were wonderful bites of New York City, past and present. The entire experience was throughly engaging and I highly recommend it!



I haven’t done a Noteworthy in New York post in a long time, but this place is just too cool not to share. Still House is so beautifully curated that it almost feels like a gallery. Every time I walk past the store front, I have to go in. I espeically love all their home goods. The store itself is beautiful, too, and filled with wooden shelving units and a combination of brick and white walls. Next time you are in the East Village in Manhattan, walk into Still House. I promise it won’t disappoint.