MADRID

MADRID

Get a glimpse of how the royals lived at the Palacio Real de Madrid

Get a glimpse of how the royals lived at the Palacio Real de Madrid

Beautiful vaulted corridors line the plaza of the Palacio Real de Madrid

Beautiful vaulted corridors line the plaza of the Palacio Real de Madrid

Wander from one ornate room to another at Palacio Real de Madrid

Wander from one ornate room to another at Palacio Real de Madrid

Beautiful large-scale doors everywhere in Madrid

Beautiful large-scale doors everywhere in Madrid

More tapas and churros than you could ever consume at Mercado de San Miguel

More tapas and churros than you could ever consume at Mercado de San Miguel

Mercado de San Miguel - such a great example of restoring a historic space!

Mercado de San Miguel - such a great example of restoring a historic space!

Pretty sure 80% of my diet there was ham-based

Pretty sure 80% of my diet there was ham-based

The smallest place we visited but by far my favorite - Palacio de Cristal deep in the heart of Retiro Park

The smallest place we visited but by far my favorite - Palacio de Cristal deep in the heart of Retiro Park

Palacio de Cristal was originally built in 1887 to exhibit tropical flora and fauna from the Philippines. 

Palacio de Cristal was originally built in 1887 to exhibit tropical flora and fauna from the Philippines. 

What started out as a trip do some paperwork turned out to be a great surprise. I went to Madrid with little to no expectations; and what I found was a bustling city against a backdrop of historic architecture, the most hospitable people with genuine passion for their country and delicious food in every corner. While I was only there for what feels like a heartbeat, (we were literally counting down minutes at the Museo del Prado - which I also recommend) it proved to be an amazing place with small pockets of escape. Here's to kicking off what is hopefully a series of Spain posts. I hope you enjoy them!

CONSERVATORY GARDEN

CONSERVATORY GARDEN

Living in New York feels a little like you're constantly traveling. Just when you think you know the place, you turn a corner and it's a completely different world. I don't how I've missed this place considering it's been here since the 80's but based on reactions to the earlier photo I posted, it seems like I'm not the only one. The Conservatory Garden doesn't enjoy as many people as the Mall or the Boat House, but that's what makes this part of Central Park special. The weather's just getting to be perfect enough to read a book on the benches that seem to be designed for that (no bench is ever placed next to another) or sit under the most amazing pergola and listen to the leaves rustle. Keep in mind that this is a designated quiet zone and that the locals are (rightfully) protective of this place --a woman made the unfortunate mistake of stepping on planting and got an earful! The garden closes next month for the winter, so drop by if you can. See more information on Central Park's website here.

PARIS

PARIS

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Musée d'Orsay confirms my love for Rhinos

Musée d'Orsay confirms my love for Rhinos

Centre Georges Pompidou - I was here a decade ago before this trip. It was even more amazing than I remembered!

Centre Georges Pompidou I was here a decade ago before this trip. It was even more amazing than I remembered!

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin des Tuileries

Jardin du Luxembourg

Jardin du Luxembourg

Wordlens was such a great app in helping us figure out french menus!

Wordlens was such a great app in helping us figure out french menus!

Palais Royal and Daniel Buren's Les Deux Plateau

Palais Royal and Daniel Buren's Les Deux Plateau

Palais Garnier was so hauntingly beautiful

Palais Garnier was so hauntingly beautiful

Musée du quai Branly has the most amazing vertical garden facade and offers such a unique museum experience.

Musée du quai Branly has the most amazing vertical garden facade and offers such a unique museum experience.

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Beautiful from every angle! Seriously, these are only a few images of the Eiffel Tower from this trip.

Beautiful from every angle! Seriously, these are only a few images of the Eiffel Tower from this trip.

Getting lost pays off - wandering around led us to this beautiful arcade.

Getting lost pays off - wandering around led us to this beautiful arcade.

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Ponte Alexandre III

Ponte Alexandre III

Enjoying a French pastry reward after that climb up Montmartre

Enjoying a French pastry reward after that climb up Montmartre

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Institut du Monde Arabe - When the man at the desk told us that all the exhibits were closing and that there is "nothing to see", we respectfully disagreed.

Institut du Monde Arabe - When the man at the desk told us that all the exhibits were closing and that there is "nothing to see", we respectfully disagreed.

Before deciding to share photos of our adventures on this site, it was just a camera and a couple of designers having a good time together. It's been two years since I've visited one of the most beautiful cities in the world but these photos help keep it fresh in my mind. I currently have too many places on my travel list and a limited amount of free time, so looking at these will have to do until I somehow find my way back there again. Here's to being constantly curious and to always, always wandering.

OCULUS

OCULUS

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The Oculus inside Santiago Calatrava’s WTC transportation hub seems to incite as much awe as it does controversy. It’s a train station without any schedules, maps or clocks. A lot has been written about the cost to build it, as well as the design decisions that has produced a train station that feels very unfamiliar and untraditional in its function.

 

It is also, however, at least to me, beautiful. It also seems like I’m not the only one who thinks so. As a place that’s supposed to move people from one end to the other, it stops people dead on their tracks instead, and inpires them to lay with their backs on the floor, staring at a ceiling that seems to end at the sky. The light that filters through the ribs gives the space a celestial atmosphere, inviting a few moments of quiet contemplation. At the very least, it’s worth a trip downtown to see something very different and special.

 

It’ll be interesting to see how different it’ll feel when the space is fully open and all is said and done. I’m pretty sure things are going change, and soon. For now, I'm just going to enjoy the light.

 

CONEY ISLAND

CONEY ISLAND

While these photos make it hard to believe, the last time I was here was during the tail end of a summer a few years ago when the entire boardwalk was practically empty. It was almost eerie, walking through a ghost town of carnival sets. We even got to ride the Wonder Wheel all by ourselves.

I’m glad I came back, because as cheesy as it sounds, Coney Island is what it is because of the people in it. It was a totally different experience to be surrounded by the energy of a crowd, along with the sun beating down on your face and the sand between your toes. I even screamed my head off at the top of the cyclone. It only seems right to start off the summer posts here. (and hopefully there’s more than just the one)

As dresses go, this one pretty much ticks all the boxes for the quintessential summer dress if you’re looking for a summer wardrobe update. The one thing that seems painfully obvious about cold-shouldered dresses in the summer that I’ve overlooked on this excursion? Sunblock.

Dress: Zara,   |    Bag: Building Block

ROOSEVELT ISLAND

ROOSEVELT ISLAND

Perhaps we went at an odd time, but it was surprisingly nice to find a place so calm and quiet a heartbeat away from Manhattan. Roosevelt Island felt like its own world, an undisturbed bubble in the middle of a constantly moving tide, so we passed a good amount of the afternoon admiring the the bustle of the city from a distance.

There are times when something is done really well, you can't possibly think of any other outcome aside from what exists. Louis Kahn's work on the Four Freedoms Memorial feels like that to me. If you're ever in search for a quiet place to think, take the cable car over.

DRESS: Reformation Charlotte Dress. Sold out, but similar ones here, here and here.

SAN FRANCISCO

SAN FRANCISCO

Sometimes, it doesn't matter how many spring dresses you pack, or how many sun hats you bring along (I packed two). Life isn't going to give two hoots about how much you've heard about the famous California weather and especially how you planned to spend the entire weekend outdoors. That's how we found ourselves at the tail end of the rainiest week San Francisco has had in long time.  

Luckily, we're not the types to let a little bit of water stand in the way of our wandering. Hats off to both our brothers and their wives who went along with our plans good naturedly the entire weekend. Otherwise we wouldn't have been able to (architecture) nerd out in Saint Mary's Cathedral, goof around by Lombard Street taking earthquake photos, or stand in awe at the Palace of Fine Arts. Even against a temporarily gloomy backdrop, San Francisco was beautiful and still a place I know I'd want to come back to.

Funnily enough, hours just before we left, the skies parted briefly long enough to give us a great view of the Golden Gate Bridge. San Francisco, you tease. I'll be back. 

DAN FLAVIN

DAN FLAVIN

Even after countless references in design school, there’s nothing quite like seeing Dan Flavin’s work in the flesh. So when a friend mentioned that a kick-ass Dan Flavin exhibit at the David Zwirner was even more “kick-ass than usual”, we had to head down there to see if that was even possible.

Corners, barriers and corridors was incredibly beautiful. Shades of fluorescent hues wrap the white walls and bleed into each other creating a spectrum of possibilities of light and color. The installations were thoughtfully placed to create “situations” to evoke emotion and interaction from the viewer, and close enough for them to play off of each other.

While this particular exhibit is over, there’s still a chance for you to feel like you’re on the set of Tron- visit his work in permanent collections here and here.

GLACIER LAGOON

GLACIER LAGOON

One of the more memorable conversations I’ve had on this trip was how Iceland felt like the start of the world – seemingly new and untouched, and not a single soul in sight trying to sell you a souvenir. Jökulsárlón was so serene that if you waited long enough, you could actually hear the ice crack or the occasional seal taking a swim.

In reality though, these glaciers have been around for thousands of years. While this idea hasn’t been around for as long as these glaciers have, it feels like it’s been years in the making. It only seems fitting that this trip birth the start of this new project. You can’t imagine how glad I am to have a new outlet to share my constant hunt for inspiration, travels, design successes (and even failures!). This is hopefully just the tip of the iceberg.

I can’t thank everyone enough for their kind words on the first few posts. Thanks for dropping by as I begin documenting these small adventures!