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June 2012
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August 2012

Sake and the City

If you're like me you probably spend a ton of time in the VIP areas of nightclubs after midnight on weekends. So the above photo of a beverage set-up in a DJ green room is something you know well: champagne, vodka, tequila, and sake.
Yup. Sake is all the rage these days, and you can find it well beyond the confines of Japanese bar/restaurant/country. Read all about it here: The New York Post: Sake and the City.

The London Aquatics Centre

ZH Aquatic Centre
This is the London Aquatics Centre (Not CentER), which I got to study in some depth for my recent global design story. Thanks to Zaha Hadid Architects for the images.

Legacy – what happens after the 2012 Olympics are over – was first and foremost in the design process of the London Aquatics Centre. That’s how London won the overall bid says project architect Glenn Moorley, Zaha Hadid Architects. There was a clear statement from the government regarding how best to convince the International Olympic Committee, he says.

Zaha Hadid has been involved since the bid book was assembled, more than seven years ago, and before that when they bid to be part of the bid. And the end-result, well, near-end-result of so much time and effort is extraordinary.

Continue reading "The London Aquatics Centre" »

Great Design is Global Design

Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao,
Pool: Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao, China

Thank you to the Holiday Inn Shanghai Pudong Kangqiao for sharing that awesome photo (above) of your cantilever pool.

Great design innovation abounds, everywhere. All you have to do is open your eyes. For just about every architect and designer, inspiration comes from simply paying attention to the world: the immediate, direct, solve a right-here problem world, the not-so-disconnected outside, natural world, and the one that takes you to Timbuktu, or Tokyo, or to your neighbor’s sister’s Tahitian timeshare.

The latter is what we focused on for Great Design is Global Design. Leaving home. Really leaving it. Because with the summer Olympic games upon us, that time when so many nations travel and come together, we’re thinking beyond our own backyard.

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NYC Restaurant Week - Best Values


Photographer Astrid Stawiarz and I ran around (well, walked slowly through the thick heat, pictured above, surrounding Riverpark) making sense of the best values of this summer's NYC Restaurant Week (all 20 days of it). Here's what we found: Restaurant week meal steals!

Note: There was not enough space to include the extraordinary Telepan, one of the City's great restaurants, and greatest Restaurant Week deals. Go there, as soon as possible. The Shrimp 'Fried Rice' - a supremely satisfying combination of flavors and textures (nutty rice, soft coddled egg, snappy shrimp and peas) - is my new favorite dish.

NYC's Spiciest (while still enjoyable) Dishes


Lately, Hot Town is an understatement. Everyone is feeling the heat, so we figured it was time to find the food most likely to get the hair standing on the back of your Dirty and Gritty neck. Spicy food - the hot variety - will do the trick. Not eat a chili pepper hot, but eat a thoughtfully closed dish containing chili pepper hot. We do want you to enjoy yourself.

Continue reading "NYC's Spiciest (while still enjoyable) Dishes" »

New Food at Rockaway and Orchard Beaches


Some things you maybe did not know:
A year and a half ago, 250,000 cubic yards (alot) of sand was dredged from the ocean floor and added to Orchard Beach's 1.1 miles of shoreline. First time such a thing was done in 46 years. And the renovation of the Robert Moses-created Bronx Riviera continues this summer, with the changing of the concessions guard. New menus were developed by Executive Chef Billy Pacheco and his bosses, who also run Hanava Cafe on Tremont Avenue.

Read complete NY Post story (also has info on the Breezy Point beach clubs, and great photo gallery) Summer Snackin'.

Allen Brothers Mini Steak Dogs


In a conversation about her new book - The Book of Burger - superwoman Rachael Ray introduced me to what became a highlight of my family's 4th of July: Allen Brothers Steak Dogs, Mini (above, grilled, in the buns the Chicago steak purveyor also sends with the pack). RRay says they're ideal as slider-dogs. She's right. The size is unbeatable - perfect for kids and adults who want to check out the rest of the picnic as well. And they're good too.