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Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

So it has officially been two and a half years since I have had a vacation. That is just sad. But with the craziness of life, job changes, and tight budgets this is my reality. So it is no wonder I often find myself glancing at the photo memories I have made on previous vacations. The last week-long vacation was a family reunion in Depot Bay, Oregon. With perfect weather, a family of whales who followed us everywhere we went, and amazing family (five couples, three kiddos, my grandmother and two cousins and myself, all squished in three condos) it was definitely one for the books. However, I realized I have never shared some of my favorite shots from the adventure. So, better late than never, right? Here ya go! (please forgive the lackluster quality of many of these…this was before I got to know my camera really well…and before I got the macro lens). Additional note of caution: when you and two girl cousins decide to balance on old wooden fence posts that are two feet from an ocean cliff it is wise to go barefoot and wait for the wind to die down :0)

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So while it is beautiful here in North Idaho and the sun is shining I cannot help but dream of the Greek Islands. Between the food, the clean lined vernacular architecture and the landscape it is a jackpot of inspiration. Why am I Greece dreaming in the middle of January? Well I am well into Fedon Alexander Lindberg’s book about the science and benefits of the Mediterranean diet (which I follow thanks to a slew of new food sensitivities). Just like Greece the diet is chock full of inspiration, personality, colors, textures, complexity, and purity, all while being rather effortless. Love it! So, with that in mind I wanted to glance at some eye candy from the historic country. These are a few of my favorite Santorini flickr finds yet I am still on the hunt for great shots of the other amazing islands and mainland…just sunshine dreaming! 

Jason Adcock

Jason Adcock

Souvik Prometure

Christina R.

Angelo Bosco

Jose Miguel

Marcel Germain

Marcel Germain

Angela Bosco

Aster-oid

Aster-oid

 

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If you have ever been to Manhattan you know the dread that looms overhead when you go to visit a beloved building only to find it covered in scaffolding and construction dabris.  During my last visit to the city the Guggenheim, the NYC Public Library, and the Empire State Building were all under renovation… and I must say it burst my bubble a bit.  Sooooo, I was pleasantly surprised that new waves of thought have been given to the traditional-yet-neccessary eye sore.  After 60 years it is time for a change!  In a competition put on by Mayor Bloomberg, 28-year-old Young-Hwan Cho’s “Urban Umbrella” scored the winning design.

According to the Mayor’s office, the function of the design is four-fold: It’ll let more air and natural light to reach the sidewalk below; it’ll reduce the disastrous effects on businesses that scaffolding causes; it’ll increase safety, by eliminating the cross bracing and bolts that people tend to bump into and scrape against; and it’ll open up the walkway, decreasing congestion. And all for about the same installation cost of the old-school scaffolds, with lower maintenance costs over time, owing to the simplicity of the design.

Hard to argue with that!  They are so confident in the design that it is not being mandated as the new standard.  It is believed that over time it will be the best option and solution to the challenges that today’s scaffolding poses.  I am excited to see what the design sensitive yet progressive Mayor comes up with next.  He is beautifying one of the greatest cities in the world, one little element at a time. I can’t wait to go back and walk the sidewalks without the risk of slamming into scaffolding structure, walking in a dark pathway in the middle of the day, and being able to see the beautiful architectural gems that are being worked on. Stay tuned!

 

Photos: http://www.fastcompany.com/blog/cliff-kuang/design-innovation/new-york-takes-aim-ugly-scaffolding-lollipop-colored-design

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New York and public art…not many combos measure up!  It’s hard to believe a year has passed since part of New York’s Times Square was converted into a pedestrian only public space.  It was a brilliant move by Bloomberg to give more of the city over to the people, rather than cars, and it seems the space is going to be even better than planned.  On Monday  Brooklyn artist, Molly Dilworth, won a design installation competition in which her winning design includes painting the iconic public space.  Titled “Cool Water, Hot Island”, it will not only be a mesmerizing river of cool and bold blues, it will reflect more light and absorb less heat than the existing concrete.  This will make it a much more comfortable space for pedestrians and passers-by to linger and help reduce the overall heat island effect that Manhattan continually struggles with.  Hats off to a creative solution to a modern-day urban conundrum!  The installation will begin in July and will be up for 18 months, after which a larger and more permanent installation will be put into place.  This is just one of the great public design measures that Bloomberg has been working for some time and it is great to see a public official invest in the city they reside over.  It’s time to give cities back to the people…NYC is on its way!

Pictures: fastcompany.com

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It has been almost two years since I walked under the elevated rails that have since been transformed into the High Line.  My life-long love of New York has driven me to keep up to date on the progress of the park from its initial opening to its recent celebration of its 2,000,000 visitor.  While I impatiently wait for the day I can walk the rails myself I figured the next best thing would be to share this fabulous urban reclamation project with all of you.  So, in case you have been hiding under a rock for the last few years and have not heard of this spectacular addition to one of America’s greatest cities…here ya go!

Originally constructed in the 1930’s to lift dangerous freight trains off Manhattan’s streets it laid in disrepair for many years after the train operations stopped.  The reclamation was designed by landscape architects James Corner Field Operations along with architects Diller Scofidio+Renfro.  The landscape includes meandering concrete pathways, nooks and crannies to sit and enjoy the views, areas for special features and events, art installations, and even more.  Being implemented in stages, Section 1 is currently open.  The High Line can be accessed from the street every few blocks and eventually elevators will be installed so all may enjoy this great public space. When completed it will span a mile and a half of the West Side neighborhoods including the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea and Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen.

     

How great is this! For more information on the design, images, educational programs, and general happenings click here. *Photos from Friends of the High Line website.

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It’s been an exciting week for those who know and love Brooklyn and Manhattan as a whole! Personally, spending a few weeks in Manhattan and walking the Brooklyn Bridge two years ago, after studying NYC for two years, was one of the greatest experiences I have ever had so upon news of the opening of Brooklyn Bridge Park I almost jumped out of my seat. Continuing in the tradition of Central Park and Prospect Park, 85 fabulous acres of reclaimed land will be returned to the public as the first major park in Brooklyn in 135 years. With an estimated budget of $15.2 million this will transform the 1.3 miles of shoreline from Atlantic Avenue to north of the Manhattan Bridge. As the first urban park made of mostly recycled materials it stands as a sustainable landmark and an example to all parks around the nation.

The design incorporates Piers 1-6, Pier 1 being the only section completed yet others will be completed this year and overall completion is expected in 2013. Plans include multipurpose playing fields, tennis/handball/volleyball/basketball courts, playgrounds, a hockey rink, residences, restaurants and hotels, a paddling area, explanades and paths, and beautifully landscaped areas and lawns.

Last time I was in New York the construction was just gaining momentum so this is truly exciting! I cannot wait to go back once all phases are complete and mature. I am positive this will only make my love of Brooklyn grow deeper! Make the trek to see it for yourself!

For renderings of the park click here.

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