19 Jul
Don’t you wish you’d thought of this?  The Dutch guys behind ixxi are veritable graphic design MAGICIANS.  They have the secret technology to transform a photo, design, or digital image into a giant art feature for your trendy, Scando-inspired apartment.
Pixels become individual coloured squares of high-grade synthetic matte paper, which you can then arrange and hang as you please.  So swish.  So Dutch.
Co-captain ixxi himself*, Roel Vaessen, was even cool enough to answer some ixxi and food-related questions.  See?

What did you have for breakfast?

Yoghurt and strawberries. And fresh orange juice. There is plenty to do today!

How did the idea for ixxi come about?
Ixxi grew out of the project ‘The Brabant House’. This project consists out of around 20.000 postcards. We found out that there was no system to connect postcards. The system got fantastic reviews (we were nominated for the Dutch Design Awards) so we decided to develop the system to a consumer product. ixxi was born a year later.

What was the biggest challenge in setting ixxi up?
To make choices. You can do so much with a small cross. One thousand ideas come up, but you cannot develop all of them at once.
What has been your favourite ixxi project so far?

The Brabant House, the start of ixxi.

Ultimate Christmas in July gift?
An ixxi of course!
Eggs, bacon, chips or cheese?**
Eggs and bacon in the morning (only on the weekend), chips, cheese and wine in the evening!
All images from ixxi.
* Disappointingly, not actually a pixie.
** Does anyone else remember playing this?

Kobi Levi

18 Jul

I don’t know the ins and outs of the Israeli shoe designer scene, but I’m pretty sure this guy is ROYALTY.

Kobi Levi graduated from Bezalel ten years ago, and has since collaborated with apm Hong Kong, been featured in this fruity exhibition in Switzerland, and others in sleepy little towns like Berlin, Tokyo, and Verona.

I know you wouldn’t pick it, but Levi thinks of shoes as a “canvas” and, actually, prefers the words “wearable sculpture” to shoes.  He’s also partial to dogs.

Levi is currently developing his own women’s shoe line in Tel Aviv. Til then you’ll just have to save your pennies (hundred thousands?) and have some custom-made.  Because there’s ALWAYS an occasion for shoes like these.

All images from Beautiful Life and Kobi Levi

Margo Patisserie

15 Jul

I don’t want to even write about this. I don’t want to give you the gift that is Margo Patisserie.  I don’t want you to steal one of the four tables that are perfectly sized for scribbly notebooks and a laptop and a buttery, flakey almond croissant and a really-much-better-than-average iced coffee.

I don’t want you to know about the sunshine that pours in the big street-facing windows but doesn’t get in your eyes, or the barista’s excellent taste in music, or the fact that the wifi is free and that every half an hour someone comes in asking for directions in that deliciously awkward way.  Most of all I don’t want you to get the last raspberry tart.

I love you but please don’t come here.

Photos from Yelp.


14 Jul

Inoteca brings to mind that age-old addage: ‘What they lack in manners, they make up for in gorgonzola and fig bruschetta.’

To be fair, it was only the door-bi…girl who was bossy.  The spunky waiter (actor?) who served us was chirpy, patient and didn’t let us over-order — an admirable trait in a world of small plates and sharing menus.

Figs aside, it’s hard to resist the fritto, and while the tramezzini are tempting it’s the crisp panini that the hordes of hipsters come here for. (The ones that made mama ‘ino famous.)

But I say: GET YOUR SALAD ON.  What could be better than juicy beets, slithers of orange, sharp pecorino, and fresh, fresh mint dotted with crunchy hazelnuts on a hot summer night?

Maybe a chilled glass of rosé, you say?  Ok, you can have that – or one of the 23 other wines available by the glass.

Like most four year olds in New York, this place has edge.

Images from inoteca and It Started In New York

Henry V – New York Classical Theater

13 Jul

Really?  You don’t think this looks like theatre?

Ok, that’s fair. The River to River Festival and New York Classical Theater have raised the Shakespeare-under-the-stars bar so high up that not even the BFG can see it.

Their choose-your-own-adventuresque production of Henry V begins outside Castle Clinton, where the audience is invited to follow Harry and his subjects around Battery Park as they prepare for battle.  They even join in sailing across the ‘Channel’ to wage war on Governors Island. FRANCE, I mean, France.

It’s a quick-and-the-dead kinda production.  The cast actually RUN from scene to scene, and while there’s a noticeable absence of fake blood in the battle scenes, it’s still pretty dramatic to see a cast of 40 charging across the rolling lawns of Governors Island, sword-in-fist.

Scenes have been sacrificed and French accents butchered — but this is war, after all. It’s free, fast-paced and playing until July 24th.

Second image from nyc loves nyc.

Warm Up – MoMA PS1

12 Jul

Sure it gets hot in Ahvaz. But PS1 did its best to compete last weekend with the likes of Fourtet, Subtract, a mini sound-stage and an outdoor hall of mirrors in the afternoon sun. In the absence of any Khuzestanis I looked to the sweaty crowd-surfers for confirmation, and it’s true. It doesn’t get much hotter than this.

Now in its fourteenth year, MoMa PS1’s summer concert series, Warm Up, has established itself as one of the city’s most iconic summer parties. Well, duh. A beery, experimental music DJ party in the courtyard of a MUSEUM?

The novelty of dancing and shrieking at a place where you’re normally hush-hushed is reason itself to go — but the best part is, you’re even allowed INSIDE. What better place to take some respite from the churning dancefloor than in a cinema playing a bloodthirsty satire about Jesus? And who needs a shade tent when you have a room full of leather heads?

Outside the offerings are thematic and bountiful: mini wooden paddly pools, smooth white sun lounges, tiny sandpits and both kinds of drink: beer AND water. This is hallowed turf for art aficionados, old-time ravers, toddlers and hipsters alike. Nothing like some doof-doof and an interactive art installation to bring the city together.

It’s on until September.  And it’s so much closer than Iran.

Keller Williams

11 Jul

One-man jam band Keller Williams is better known for his bluegrass beats than his circus talents.  Armed with a ten-string guitar and a Gisbon looping unit, this guy works all kinds of magic.

I’ve never seem him live, but they say he’s a barefoot performer, all bouncy and improvy with wild hair everywhere.  (I made the hair bit up.  But it seems likely.)  His first ever kids album (‘Kids’) is coming out this October and despite coming from the guy who wrote ‘Doobie in my Pocket’, it’s attracting the right kind of attention from all the right mum bloggers.  This awesome loopyhoopy track is featured on it.

If this clip doesn’t perk up your Tuesday, nothing will my friend.  Check out them man-hips.

Barcibo Enoteca

8 Jul

You kind of (really) want to be on a date here.   You want to be that woman in the LBD – even more glamorous in the dim lighting – leaning towards her handsome beau across a marble-topped table, sipping a glass of regional something.

Or you want to be the Italian woman at the table next to us, happy solo, nibbling on some crispy bruschetta post-theatre. (How how the hell does she pull that off?)

Or, more likely, you want to be with your favourite eating friends, wallets feeling portly and appetites crescendoing.  Fingers crossed they live in the Upper West Side though because Barcibo Enoteca is a decidedly Neighbourhood Establishment, and I think we’ve established that you want to belong here.

Barcibo is all small plates and wine list, and also happens to be one of the best-looking wine bars north of 14th street.  Alfresco patrons are sheltered by topiary box hedges that keep Broadway’s hustle and bustle at a sophisticated distance, while inside candle light and neutral tones work wonders on the parties of twos and threes sharing platters of Italian cured meats and cheeses.

Following in the footsteps of its big sister, the nearby Bin 71, Barcibo offers a whopping 40 different Italian wines by the glass. Feel like something subtle from Apuglia? Sure thing. An unusual red from Sardinia? Nessun problema, bella. Or if you’re feeling all enoteca-shmeca, just order a craft beer already.

For the peckish there’s the aforementioned salami, perhaps a codfish crostini, marinated calamari salad or even a crunchy panini. Or go all out with something bigger, like the sweet sausage and artichoke risotto.

Dateful or not, you’ll be totally loved up after a Sicilian pistachio gelato or good old-fashioned raw tiramisu.  And no matter how the night pans out, there’ll always be Barcino’s excellent selection of artisanal bourbons just waiting to help you drown your sorrows.  Or, more likely, toast your new flame.

All images from Barcibo Enoteca

It Socks to be Lonely

7 Jul

Is this the doing of Carine? Or just another Williamsburg soon-to-be-famous street artist?  Either way – brilliant.

The Dutch

6 Jul

We love things that are Dutch, right?  Tiny pancakes.  Hagelslag.   Re-using mustard jars for drinking glasses.  (Ok maybe not that one so much.)

So it follows: we love The Dutch.

Part trendoid bar, part almost-fancy restaurant, The Dutch is in the heart of Soho and blasts with flirty, shouty, 3o-somethings in shiny shoes. If you can elbow your way past the loved-up beautiful people and make it to the bar, slick bartenders will mix you up something wondrous — like a snarky New York Sour, a fresh, chartreusey  Sullivan Street Fix-Up, or a simple and elegant gin and tonic — heavy on the Tanqueray.

If you REALLY want to fit in here though, get your puppy dog eyes on… Because I’m pretty sure every Dutchman has a crush on the restaurant’s chef, Andrew Carmellini. Really.  And I’ll tell you why.

He’s no Damien Walters, but the man has skills. He is the creator of The Dutch’s sloppy duck, the champagne seafood ceviche, the creamy eggplant dip that will bring tears to your eyes — as well as something mysterious called Asian Whiteboy Ribs. The creator of a crumbly corn bread to nibble on with your drinks.  Of the sweetest rabbit potpie and house-made fries taste like they are HEALTHY.  The guy even foraged for the first melon of the season!

If you don’t lust over the chef or his late night menu, maybe it’ll be the selection of American whiskeys? The smooth, oak-lined bar?  The leafy view out of the wide open windows?  Less so the wait staff, who are either a touch snooty or just playing hard to get.

You might have missed Koningnnedag this year, but The Dutch is worth celebrating any day.

Images from The Dutch and New York Times (Evan Sung)