Tuscany & Food (Sept 2012) I am still going through photos of our trip to Tuscany Italy, streamlining my 1300 images on my digital camera (now computer) into some kind of sorted references. I am printing photos for a little book to show to friends, and, in going through all these pictures I realize I took photos of our food in a few different categories. First we went to a few Farmer's Markets, one only fish! We went to a big grocery store to stock up our kitchen for the meals we would make at home, and then there's food taken in windows of shops and then on our plates. Quite a variety! Below is a collage of the first couple of days we went shopping at a farmer's market and then grocers (in Milan and on our way to Viareggio in Tuscany) I will post it here for some gazing, but promise top add even more.
SAN DIEGO and PALM SPRINGS (2012) We recently visited family on the West Coast, two brothers live in San Diego and LA. While hanging with my niece and nephew Sis-i-law and brothers, Tom and I ventured a couple of days away from the fray and went to Palm Springs.
ABOUT PALM SPRINGS:
I really did not realize how MOD Palm Springs is. Apparently Palm Springs is THE mecca for mid-century modern, they even have an annual event called Modernism Week. Which we missed by a week! Next year better planning! But we still submerged ourselves in the atmosphere well enough. We stayed at the Orbit Inn.
This place was really quintessential, but I bet there are others even better. The main drag in PS, has quite a few galleries and home furnishing and gift shops. Most of whose focus celebrates Mid-Century, and the movie stars who had homes there. Think Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Bob Hope, Dina Shore, Elvis, Liberace, Sammy Davis Jr, Lucille Ball and Desi Arnaz, and Groucho Marx, just to name a few. And yes you can tour the homes, and during Mordernism Week one can tour some very special mid-century architectural gems. We strolled some great stores, and had a couple of very nice meals...
Check out a few of my favorite spots in Palm Springs SHAG THE STORE 725 N. Palm Canyon Drive
This store/gallery really takes you into the Mod frame of mind. His prints are COL-OR-FUL (my kind of color) and funny! His website really doesn't do the store justice, I could barely drag Tom out of it! JUST FABULOUS 515 N. Palm Canyon Drive
This was a "fabulous shop, open spacious and filled with Prints cards, fun gifty items , and by far my favorite, dozens and dozens of books from the publishing hose Assouline. This publisher is so special, I wanted ALL of the books I put my little hands on (well almost all!) Check out their site, and Just Fabulous can get you any of their books too! I want any of these books: of my favorites were their Survival Kit series,
a big flat case, which opens displaying 4 small books each featuring an artist in the theme. Rajasthan by Pauline Van Lynden
While heading through PS we went on to Joshua Tree for the day. Imagine our surprise when we drove through one of the largest wind farms as we left PS.
Joshua Tree was a place I have heard of for some time, and was curious about. Probably thanks to U2, and their album of the same name. But in our short time driving through, we learned three really interesting things. First, it is the birth place to rock climbing as we know it...
Second there really is a Joshua Tree, a type of cactus, a yucca really, that is indigenous to the Mojave dessert alone, and that that tree seldom blooms, we saw quite a few blooming!
and Third you can actually see the San Andreas Fault!
ABOUT SAN DIEGO and LA:
While most of our trips to San Diego are to visit relatives, both brothers live there, most of my shots are like looking at our family photo album, but we do get out a little while there and were treated to three memorable places to visit. In San Diego, there is Balboa Park and the San Diego Zoo, and LA, aside from all of LA, there is the Getty Museum (The Getty Center Los Angeles, there are two, the other is the Villa).
First we took the Pacific Surfliner Amtrak Train from San Diego to LA, the first half of the two hour ride was litterally right on the ocean, what a view! Surfers and beach volley ball all the way. Since my San Diego brother lives half way between downtown and Solana Beach we went to Solana Beach, next time we will go back there for a visit, it is the cutest beach town. On the ride up, the train goes pastthe Stadium, Tom too photos of where the Angels play, and then at San Juan Capistrano(and yes we looked for those swallows!), it goes inland to Union Station Los Angeles. Union Station is beautiful, half deco and hlaf Mission, and beautiful - let me leave it at that.
My brother in LA lives in a high rise in the new and improved downtown, right next to the Staples Center, which we walked through in the evening, this place is like the sprots party version of a very clean Times Square, it is like an all night party there!, luckily for him his balcony apartment faces the other side so the lights don't flash on his side of the building most of the night.
While as always good food follows the Chazauds (we have a number of chefs in the family), we did eat at two very wonderful restaurants, the first day Marc drove us up to Malibu, we lunched at Geoffreys, and then drove up to the Getty Museum. I cannot say enough about the Getty. There are two, the Villa and the museum, we went to the museum. I would go there just to hang out there, the buildings, architecture, indoor and outdoor spaces, outshine their beautiful collections.
The next day we went touring through the Hills, we went to Rodeo Drive and ate lunch at my brother's favorite French Bistro restaurant, (to be continued)
NEW YORK CITY
My plan for this past October was to spend a few days being a tourist in New York City with Tom. It was my birthday month, and I love celebrating for as long as I can, a day, a week the month heck I choose this year to continually celebrate! I also have been connecting with old friends from college on Facebook (I went to FIT) and work buds on LinkedIn, and there were a few people and some specific things I wanted to see while there on this visit.
I lived in NYC for many years, through college and after, but being away for the past dozen years or so, there are things I miss. I love New Hampshire, we are in a beautiful part of the state, but when you have NY in your blood - I think it stays there. When you have lived there it would seem that, by osmosis, your finger was always on the pulse of the city. Museums and shows either opening or getting ready to close, films that never make it out of an urban area, window shopping for miles as you walk your way somewhere, the possibility that you will stumble upon great things in a blink of an eye. So with these yearnings in mind, I planned a part specific and part spontaneous visit to the Big Apple.
My list was something like this:
1. Meet up with Karen (many years ago, Karen was my co-worker and friend at our night job at FIT in the Crafts Center, now "The Center") We met on Amsterdam Ave, in between her at 72nd St and us leaving 95th St. I stopped walking when we spied NiceMatin a really cool looking bistro. The walls
were papered in retro 40s prints and the food was amazing.
2. She had passes to go to the MOMA, I haven't been to the MOMA since it was renovated. We walked through the exhibit "Talk to Me: Design and the Communication between People and Objects", a very cool exhibit which we could have spent at least another hour interacting with displays.
3. Walk the upper West Side (an easy task coming and going to our hotel on B'way and 95th!) We lingered around midtown and Rock Center, loving the window displays until it got dark.
4. I really wanted to see a film - I miss "film" and small movie houses that show one odd/indie or foreign film or movie, I miss The Paris. So we headed over and were just in time to see the early showing of a very funny (French and lots of Spanish!) movie called "The Women on the Sixth Floor". We left the movie and headed back uptown, through the Lincoln Center area. There are these great sculptures all around the West Side - we saw 3 or 4, but there are a whole lot more by artist, Peter Woytuk
The day ended with a light dinner at an amazing little Italian tapas eatery, we got there as they were finishing their evening
but they sat us, and mmm-mmm-mmm, it was what I imagine it would be like if we were in Italy. If you are ever near 283
Amsterdam, I recommend Salumeria Rosi Parmacotto. Happy, full, and with tired feet, we continued our tromp back to the hotel and called it a night.
Our second full day began again with a walk down Columbus (475 Columbus at 83rd Street) from the hotel and came across what looked to be a great place for breakfast Tarallucci E Vino.
I know there seems to be a theme here Italian cafes, and delicious! (Actually that is just fine with me as I plan to visit Italy in the next year or so, so it was like I was practicing!) We ate outside on a warm morning, watching people and doggies go by and the funny cacophony of a grade school class heading down the sidewalk.
We hit the subway, 1/2/3 (the Broadway-Seventh Avenue Line) and exited at 27th and 7th 5. To visit FIT
and 6. to show Tom around my old stomping grounds (Textile Design Department and Craft Center), see if I might 7. meet up with a couple of teachers I knew were there. We did - Ed Seltzer! and Hermes from the Crafts Center...what a trip down memory lane.
Left FIT to work our way my mecca, 8. the new Marimekko Flagship Store USA, at 200 Fifth Ave. This new store was chock full of color and pattern, my favorite kind - big and bold. I wish they would have let me take a photo inside of the fabric wall. It was glorious.
9. We continued on to find Burdick's NYC (a bit of local delicious NH chocolate in NY at 5 East 20th St)
10. and the definitely on to shop at Fishes Eddy (19th and Broadway - is really never a maybe for me but a must.) What colorful foodie doesn't want to browse eatery-crockery-retro-dishware?
On this visit I fell in love with three things a great ORANGE display all to benefit the NY Food Bank,
12. the Village and gelatto on a stick in a place called Pop-Bar
And then into 13. into TriBeca
14. over to SoHo 15. and dinner in China Town and subway back uptown to collapse!
Our Third day was actually our departure day, so we had breakfast in the room, and 16. left NY by way of the Bronx and met up with my best friend Enza and her son who goes to Fordham University - the Rose Hill Campus and eat and shop on Arthur Avenue. Again with the Italian theme food....we ate lunch at Pasquale's Rigoletto Restaurant, and then strolled through the markets and stores, finishing with pastries.
I don't think I told Tom of all my thoughts, he sort of came along for the ride, though we both knew we loved just letting something fun happen. The other goal was to let our dining experience also happen, we seem to have excellent honing skills for finding very good and not expensive dining experiences. More so than not I judge a book by the cover and if the eatery looks fun, cool, intercontinental, colorful and patterned, I want to try it. It works pretty well most of the time.