Tuesday, March 31, 2009

ms pac man

I'm not into video games except for one. Ms. Pacman. And not the traditional arcade style Ms. Pacman. I'm talking the cocktail table that you sit across from someone and play a sophisticated game of chasing bouncing fruit and running from ghosts.

This love began when I was probably in 4th grade. My best friend in grade school was Jennifer H. Come on, you all probably know about 10 Jennifer's and they were all, like, your best friend. Anyway, BFF Jenn had an uncle with a cabin at the lake. We would spend a decent amount of time during the summer at said cabin swimming, lounging and, get this, playing Ms. Pacman on a cocktail table.

That is when the obsession began. It still resides and if I ever find myself with a few extra thousand dollars with nothing else to spend it on, I will own a Ms. PacMan cocktail table. If you happen to have a few extra grand then check out this baby on ebay.

Monday, March 30, 2009

no one does it like you

Each December the hubs and I put together a list of our favorite songs. Throughout the year we are listening and watching for new tunes. So when he showed me Pitchfork TV's video of Department of Eagles playing No One Does it Like you from a rooftop in NYC, I knew it would make the cut.

As great as it is to see the band play on a roof top in the city, the official video for the song is that much more incredible. On March 24th, at the MOMA in NYC nonetheless, the video for No One Does It Like You was released. Apparently it was produced via favors and kindness because no one had any money. Regardless of finances and who did or didn't get paid, the video was produced by the Directors Bureau, directed by Patrick Daughters, who directed the famed Feist, 1234 video that apple used for their nano campaign and Marcel Dzama, who also designed the costumes and sets. You can't go wrong with dancing ghost solders.

Friday, March 27, 2009

7 questions - interview with scott hasson

In 2006 I met Scott Hasson on a lousy soccer field playing coed. Eventually he joined my team full time and we've been playing soccer together once a week since that summer. It took over a summer of playing together and a few beers after games to find out he's a photographer. And a great one at that. 

His quiet and modest nature is passed on through his photography. The work he produces evokes an old world feel. Like the shots were photographed ages ago instead of weeks. Part of that is due to his meticulous attention to detail and hours spent setting up for the perfect shot. All this just to capture every intricacy whether perfect or not. 

7 questions - interview with scott hasson

kc: Where are you from?
scott: I'm from Maryland but live in Colorado now.

kc: When did you start photographing? 
scott: I always enjoyed taking photos but I never had an official camera until 1998. I decide to go back to school for photography, my first major was Sports Medicine, and got a degree in photography from the Art Institute of Colorado. Over the past 8 years have I made photography my profession.    

kc: What are you working on these days? 
scott: Currently a trip to the Pacific Northwest is in the works. The series is going to be called water. I would like to go for a month, camp and just shoot. I usually travel alone on these trips so I don't have to worry about other agendas. My time is limited and this way I can focus on what I want to get done.

kc: Digital or film? 
scott: Film. Digital is great to an extent. I have a digital point and shoot that I took on my honeymoon so I wouldn't spend the entire trip working. For work I use a large format camera and film. There is something about film that isn't captured through digital. 

kc: Any tricks of the trade?
scott: I've been working on light painting. When most photographers are packing up because the light is going down, I'm just getting started. I would say another is patience. I'll wait for hours and hours just to get one perfect shot rather the instant gratification of using digital. 

kc: What/who is your inspiration? 
scott: For photography, David BurdenyChip Hooper, and Bruce Barnbaum all have amazing work.

kc: Since this blog is a collective, is there anything you collect?
scott: My wife would say I collect anything made out of wood. I would say I collect unique wood stumps with the purpose of making either furniture or just as design elements.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

life and limb

Portland, Oregon has some of the best shops around. The last time I was in the city my friend, Sammy, took the hubs and me around to hit up his favorite locales. One of my new favorite spots on our Saturday agenda was Life and Limban independently owned and operated plant and modern wares shop. This little place is a one-stop-shop for modern plants and the items that house them. If you are looking for something rustic and crafty, this is not your spot. Think white ceramic, clean lines and succulents all with a mid century modern vibe. 

The shop also curates monthly art exhibits showcasing local and national artists. And, yes, I'm saving the best news for last, Life and Limb now has an online store. So you can shop till your heart is content. 

Monday, March 23, 2009

le train bleu

Need a cure for the winter blues? I have just the remedy, e-commerce shop Le Train Bleu. If you haven't heard of it, think Anthropologie without the big box concept. Each season they add to their already genius collection of boutique and cult designers from around the world. Fortunately, this combination of ever expanding covetable items is at your finger tips. And all guaranteed to get you ready for spring.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Nope, I'm not speaking in code. SXSW = South by Southwest, the amazing music festival in Austin. It's like a trade show for music and you get to be a part of it. Bars, restaurants, hotels, music venues all open their doors and host music for a straight four days. Meaning your favs could play multiple times throughout the city. Could it get any better? I don't think so! Here's the full schedule.

Gorilla vs. Bear is hosting a great show called Gorilla vs. Booze III. My favorite radio station, KEXP is broadcasting all their shows live starting tomorrow. The poster below is a show hosted by My Old Kentucky Blog and Aquarium Drunkard. So you're catching my drift? There's tons of music to be had. Now go get em tiger. Oh and don't forget to keep it weird.

And if you ever find yourself in Austin without a place to stay, this week excluded because I'm sure it's been booked for months, check out Hotel San Jose. It's a little oasis in the middle of hot, hot Austin. Design by renowned firm Lake Flato Architects, this hotel exemplifies the laid-back, casual cool lifestyle Austin evokes.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

san miguel de allende

A little R&R is on my agenda this week. I'm heading down to Mexico for a wedding fiesta. I love friends who get married in beautiful places and invite me! Expect to see a full update on San Miguel de Allende in the coming weeks.

photos: san miguel hyder house, ny times; hyder house bad mitten court, ny times.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

saturday antiquing

When I was young, on weekend mornings my parents would pack up the car and much to my dismay, we would go antiquing. It was pure agony for my brother and me. All we wanted to do was watch the smurfs and Saturday TV fun house.  Instead we found ourselves making up games like boundary line or the lean game in the backseat of the car and asking repeatedly, are we there yet? Of course we had no idea where there happened to be or if we even wanted to be a part of being there. At the time, it could only be better than the current situation, my brother smashing me between the car door and his shoulder.

In the Saturday morning tradition 1st dibs started their own online Saturday sales. Yes you read correct. Every Saturday morning at 8AM EST they host a re-imagined new tradition of antiquing and weekend yard sales. Dealers from around the country post their wares on display at marked down prices. Now you can peruse all from the comfort of your living room. Granted you won't be able to kick, test and review every square inch but you will be able to watch your Saturday morning cartoons in your jammies. 
As with any big online purchase; contact the owner, know the all the stats including dimensions and flaws, make sure it's exactly what you want. Because chances are, you can't return the piece or don't even want to go through the hassle. 

Saturday, March 7, 2009

tune in tokyo

I'm not really sure how to write about a film that I've only watched the preview. Let me preface this with, TOKYO! is different from any preview I've watched in some time. Not only is Tokyo Police Club in the sound track but there are three parts each with a different director, non of which from Tokyo. Director Michael Gondry of the famed Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind, Leos Carax and Bong Joon-Ho examine transformation, anarchy and rebirth all in the heart of Tokyo. The film addresses the timeless question whether we shape cities or do they in fact shape who we are. 

Since I haven't seen the film, here's a little blurb from the producers Masa Sawada and Michiko Yoshitake:
"All cities evolve. But whereas Paris or New York have managed to maintain balance between tradition and evolution, TOKYO! is destined to develop endlessly. Economic growth has seen the city change at an exponential rate. This enormous metropolis is a film set in itself. Neither quiet nor calm, the city overflows with dizzying energy. Seen from abroad, Tokyo has grown from an exotic city to "TOKYO!", an endlessly complex and fantasized-about assemblage emanating from and imminent future..."

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

7 questions - interview with justin cucci of root down

"We really do give a shit." That's what Justin Cucci, owner of Root Down, told me when I met with him recently. This is apparent because he took time out of his day to meet with me, just a girl with a blog. After making that statement, he told me that although they are busy, the focus will always remain on their roots; good quality food and unpretentious service. If by chance they ever stray, the concept is so strong it will be an easy reminder to get back to the focus. One might think this is a no-brainer but in the service industry, once you're hot, it's ironic how simple it can be to forget humble beginnings. Fortunately, a name like Root Down will make things easier. He went on to say, "when we were first getting started and had only 10 reservations per night we were really able to focus on these things, we want to offer that same quality when we have 100 reservations per night."

You might remember my first post, i kick it root down, about the new Denver hot spot. I ate there in January with some friends and was impressed. I shared my post with Justin (nothing like a little shameless self promotion) and he invited me back to get a better feel of the space, take some pictures and learn a little more about the concept. Now on to part two.

1 Why Denver? I'm from NYC, I spent 27 years there and started my first restaurant. Then moved to Key West for 10 years and started two restaurants. The city (NYC) is emotionally and spiritually exhausting and to an extent, Key West is just the opposite. I needed a happy medium and Denver seemed fit.

2 Tell me more about the concept. Did you always want a mid century modern restaurant or did it evolve? The seed was planted in 2007. I knew I wanted to do seasonal sophisticated food yet a little gritty. I found the garage and added the other half of the building and the interiors were inspired by the architecture. It's such a great corner I wanted to bring life to it and hopefully the neighborhood.

3 Why the name Root Down? It's a jazz term about improve and pays homage to Jimmy Smith, a legendary jazz musician. The term literally means to return to the root of the song after a jam. I want the restaurant to always come back to it's roots regardless of what direction we stray, the concept should pull us back to our beginnings.

4 You're from NYC, does the name have any influence from the Beastie Boys song Root Down? To an extent the restaurant references the Beastie Boys. Growing up in New York and listening to them was an influence on me. I feel like the restaurant has both parts; the sophistication and the grit. The dining room references the jazz side and the bar is more about the Beastie Boys.

5 What's the best kept secret? The patio. We won't open it until it's warmer but it's going to add a new life to the restaurant. A new layer.

6 Can you name a few menu favorites? The organic carrot and red curry soup with pear apple chutney, the seared diver scallops and the veggie burger sliders. The menu will change seasonally with a few favorites that will remain.

7 What about the interiors?
They were spurred from the 50's gas station. I worked with a designer to help me edit and make sense of all my Craigs list and ebay vintage finds. I bought vintage pendant lights, old rotary phones, signs, gym flooring and chairs. We also installed a reclaimed 1950's phone booth located just off the bar. The space definitely inspired the interiors.

photos: all photos taken by kid collective