Sunday, August 31, 2014

indoor clouds

The indoor clouds created by Dutch artist Berndnaut Smilde last only for an instant but remain captured forever on film. The explanation includes temperature, humidity and a few other well-timed elements. But like the real thing, nicer to think that these puffy works of art just happened.

Monday, July 14, 2014

Thursday, November 21, 2013

stylish family holidays

Dutch photographer Sebastian Bremer adds splashes of ink and paint to old family photos. The result?
Stylish, original, gorgeous.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

educating girls

Check out this great article and video about educating and empowering girls. Exceptional and smart and inspiring. To vote for Kakenya Ntaiya as a CNN Hero, go here; winning the first prize of $250,000 would help her to educate and change the lives of many, many more girls. If you're reading this after voting has closed, learn more about her non-profit here.

Friday, November 1, 2013

girls in windows

Most people saw an old building.  This photographer saw an opportunity.

The story behind the image, by Ormond Gigli.  

"In 1960, while a construction crew dismantled a row of brownstones right across from my own brownstone studio on East 58th Street, I was inspired to somehow immortalize those buildings. I had the vision of 43 women in formal dress adorning the windows of the skeletal facade.

We had to work quickly to secure city permissions, arrange for models –– which included celebrities, the demolition supervisior's wife (third floor, third from left), my own wife (second floor, far right), and also secure the Rolls Royce to be parked on the sidewalk. Careful planning was a necessity as the photography had to be accomplished during the workers' lunch time.

The day before the buildings were razed, the 43 women appeared in their finest attire, went into the buildings, climbed the old stairs, and took their places in the windows. I was set up on my fire escape across the streeet, directing the scene, with bullhorn in hand. Of course I was concerned for the models' safety, as some were daring enough to pose out on the crumbling sills.

The photography came off as planned. What had seemed to some as too dangerous or difficult to accomplish, became my fantasy fulfilled, and my most memorable self-assigned photograph."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

playing with food

Douglas stubbornly refused to accept his wife's opinion that he had let the lawn go too long without attention.

The headspace that the sugar cone tent afforded didn’t really make up for its lack of rain performance.

The deluxe carbonara option was canceled after too many customers lost mirrors and antennas.
Sometimes the shelf life of the food exceeded that of the people eating it.

From the fantastically creative mind of photographer Christopher Boffoli and his new book Big Appetites.  The perfect amounts of twisted, dark and amusing.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

happy holiday

Imagine a travel magazine with contributing writers, photographers and artists including William Faulkner, Truman Capote, Joan Didion, Edward Steichen, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Slim Aarons and Robert Capa. Such was Holiday, a glossy that debuted in 1946 and quickly became the American travel bible. Shame this great escape is no longer in print, I'm definitely in need of a brilliant holiday.

{photos from here}

Friday, April 5, 2013

a little advice from mark twain

Advice to Little Girls is a little-known satirical children’s book written in 1865 by Mark Twain, illustrated by Vladimir Radunsky, and recently brought back by the creative genius behind Brain Pickings, Maria Popova.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

to watch

"Battle for the Elephants" is a National Geographic documentary that explores the brutal slaughter of African elephants for their tusks -- a situation caused mostly by China’s ever-increasing demand for ivory. The film includes an undercover investigation into the illegal ivory trade, and a look at how one of the earth's most magnificent animals could be gone from the wild in a matter of a few short years if something isn't done soon.

{"Battle for the Elephants" airs on February 27 at 9 pm on most PBS stations; check your local listings to confirm. NY Times photo/article here}

Friday, December 28, 2012

doing good

Something very cool from my smart and talented friend Samantha.  Check it out here.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

creatively captured

Perhaps the best view of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade ever.  Shot by the superbly talented Elliott Erwitt.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

an urgent situation

 It's alarming.  And urgent.  Elephants across Africa are being slaughtered in record numbers for their tusks, which are then shipped to Asia (primarily China) to meet the growing demand for ivory. The situation continues to worsen, with poachers now using helicopters, night vision goggles and automatic weapons. Tens of thousands of elephants are killed each year in Africa, more than 100 a day.

The image above was taken by photographer Nick Brandt just two weeks ago in Amboseli, Kenya. The day after the photo was taken, Qumquat, the matriarch elephant pictured, along with her herd, were killed for their ivory.

Last week, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, committed the U.S. to to do more to combat the illegal wildlife trade. A step in the right direction, but more needs to be done. To learn more about this important issue, check out this New York Times article here. To help, go to Big Life Foundation here.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

alice in waterland

The dreamlike photographs above are the creation of photographer Elena Kalis, who lives on a small island in the Bahamas surrounded by pristine, clear, warm water.  The project, titled “Alice in Waterland,” has her ten year old daughter Sacha (who could swim before she could walk) in the title role of the Lewis Carroll classic. Exceptional, don't you think?

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

the problem with plastic

This brilliant Surfrider ad highlights the issue of plastic. The problem? Most plastic pollution at sea starts out on land as litter on beaches, streets and sidewalks. Rain or overwatering flushes that litter through a storm drain system or directly to creeks, streams and rivers that lead to the ocean. 

After plastics enter the marine environment, they slowly photodegrade into smaller pieces creating a toxic plastic soup.  Consider this: with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated, virtually every piece of plastic that was ever made still exists in some shape or form.  Now that’s alarming.

So what can you do? Avoid single-use plastics (water bottles, plastic shopping bags, etc), learn more at, and spread the word (pass this along to a friend or four).

{from the L*SPACE blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

true love

Today’s Google doodle is superb: a sweet Valentine’s video about a boy trying to win a girl’s affection first through flowers and chocolate and then an array of material items that she finds completely uninteresting. It’s not until he joins her in jumping rope that a happy ending is found. Take from it what you will. Me? I’m going with love and happiness are as simple as skipping rope. And everyone deserves happiness, love and of course, a jump rope.

{See it here}

Friday, February 10, 2012

lots of love

The vintage Valentine above is from the L*SPACE blog.  Wishing you ... lots of love.

{P.S. congratulations to L*SPACE on their fifth consecutive win as Swimwear Brand of the Year!}

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

beautiful cover not essential

There’s an interesting article in The Paris Review about books as fashion accessories. Don’t get me wrong -- I love a gorgeous book: the way it looks and feels, how it fits in my hands, the cover, the typeface, the deckled edges. I notice it all. But unread, artfully-posed books are very much like a gorgeous woman (or man) with nothing to say: vacuous and pretending. A great book is meant to be read and discussed and considered. It’s an escape, an adventure, an inspiration, and an opportunity to increase one’s knowledge; not simply a prop or a decoration. But a superb book with a superb cover? Now that’s a different story altogether. And one I can hardly resist.

To read the article, which begins with the author shopping at a book-filled J.Crew in Manhattan, check out The Paris Review here.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

a very bad year for elephants

Elephant poaching in Africa hit record levels in 2011. More tusks were seized last year than in any year since the 1989 ban on the ivory trade, a ban that was enacted to save elephants from extinction. 

Due to the huge demand in Asia –– specifically China’s suddenly wealthy –– elephant poaching is on the rise. Approximately 10 tons were seized in 2010; and in 2011, that figure increased to more than 23 tons. In terms of animals, that means approximately 100 elephants per day are being killed across Africa; 36,500 a year. 

Unless something is done, elephants could be gone from the wild in twenty years’ time. For more information or to get involved in working toward a solution, check out Big Life Foundation, Tusk Trust, or Save the Elephants. For a more in-depth read, check out this article in Vanity Fair.

{Photographs by Nick Brandt}

Sunday, January 8, 2012

a french icon

Singer Fran├žoise Hardy: talent plus style.  Check out her music on iTunes.  Superb.  

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Monday, November 14, 2011

shoe love

Scrappy Converse happily worn by a certain seven year old.  

Friday, November 11, 2011

eleven - eleven - eleven

How great would it be to wake up, write a song of substance and meaning and ever so stylishly perform it?  Samantha does just that.  Check her out here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

happy fifty

The film Breakfast at Tiffany's turns 50 this month and five decades after its debut, it still drips with style and glamour.  Truman Capote's book, on which the film is based, has Holly Golightly as more of a call girl than party girl, a somewhat controversial element that didn't fly so well in 1961.  The on-screen version is a tamer, rosier version of Capote's brilliant book.  

So whether the film was groundbreaking for single women in the big city or just a super stylish escape, one thing is certain: it gets better with age.  

Thursday, October 13, 2011

from us to you

California girl Samantha Stollenwerck is the brains, beauty and talent behind the new L*SPACE website soundtrack, Dance in the Sun.  

Samantha wrote the song this past summer in both New York City and her home town of Venice, California, inspired by, as she puts it, "the multi-cultural, sexy vibe of hot and humid New York City, and the hole-in-the-wall jazz clubs and mish-mash of international sounds."  The song was recorded just steps away from the beach in Venice, with a group of her talented musician friends.  "The natural beauty of the sea and the sun," she says, "has always inspired my art, and is the magic that brings freedom to the song." 

Dance in the Sun makes us want to do just that.  Get the free download HERE.  And happy dancing!

{originally posted on the L*SPACE blog}

Saturday, October 1, 2011


I could stare at the cover of this issue of Surfer magazine for days.  I think it's the perfect combination of sand, sea and sky; of complementary clean fonts; of black vs white; of movement and tranquility; and of pared down elegance.  Brilliant.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Sunday, September 18, 2011

freaky and fabulous

What is it about this Snickers commercial that's so absolutely fabulous?  Perhaps it's the perfect blend of creepy and comical.  Or maybe it's just brilliant marketing.  Whatever it is, it's superb.  See it here.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Saturday, September 3, 2011

one thousand women a day

It's pretty unbelievable that in 2011, about 1,000 women across the globe will die each day due to complications from pregnancy and childbirth.  That's one woman every 90 seconds. And 90% of these deaths are preventable.  Also unbelievable is the fact that the United States ranks 31st worldwide in maternal mortality, meaning 30 other countries are way ahead of us in care.  

Addressing this important issue is Every Mother Counts, a nonprofit started by Christy Turlington Burns (former model and now graduate student in public heath at Columbia University).  For more information about Every Mother Counts or details about how you can help, check them out here.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

the girl from ipanema

I've loved this song forever but never really knew the words, or for that matter, what the artists performing it looked like.  The lyrics are simple: totally hot beach girl walking along and leaving many longing admirers in her wake. Written in 1962 and performed by Astrud Gilberto along with Joao Gilberto and Stan Getz, it won Grammy Record of the Year in 1965.  Ipanema is a seaside neighborhood of Rio de Janiero, and yes, the song was written about an actual girl -- a gorgeous 15-year old called Heloisa.

Watch a superb clip here, and read the lyrics below.  

Tall and tanned and young and lovely
the girl from Ipanema goes walking
and when she passes
each man she passes
goes Aaah!
When she moves it's like a samba
that swings so cool and sways so gently
that when she passes
each man she passes
goes Aaah!
Oh - but he watches so sadly
How - can he tell her he loves her
He - would just give his heart gladly
But each day when she walks to the sea
She looks straight ahead not at he
Tall and tanned and young and lovely
the girl from Ipanema goes walking
and when she passes
he smiles
but she doesn't see
no she doesn't see
she just doesn't see...

Monday, August 22, 2011

the story behind the image

The story behind the image?  Perhaps she's a runaway bride.  Perhaps the man-in-the-tie is her Italian teacher.  Perhaps she is rowing from the Swiss side of Lake Lugano to the Italian side -- to escape an arranged marriage to a wealthy but boring Swiss banker.  Perhaps she will live happily ever after with the multi-lingual man-in-the-tie on the shores of Lake Como, sipping champagne in a very small but very lovely garden.  Perhaps.  

Image from here.  

Saturday, August 20, 2011

keeping it simple

The best things in life are often the simplest.  This most definitely applies to design.  From packaging to websites to gardens -- simple, pared down options are generally the most elegant.  Check out some old and new classics above.  

{Clockwise from left: a classic Timex, Babees organic honey, Mrs Meyers cleaning products, Jamie Oliver's ketchup, and Broguiere's chocolate milk.}