Winter Spirit

January 13, 2017

In the spirit of winter, which we haven’t had much of, I spent this morning admiring Kari Medig‘s pictures of awesome glaciers, frigid seascapes and snow capped mountains. I felt cold just looking at them, but also invigorated and inspired by the people out there embracing the season, and all its joys and challenges. Medig’s photos of Bolivia fueled my desire to go there, and his cold water surf series reminded me that weather shouldn’t get in the way of people doing what they love.




November 30, 2016

I was watching painter and stylist, Kate Schelter earlier today, and she said something that reminded me how important it is to get a glimpse of your city from a far sometimes. “In New York I always feel like you have no perspective, you literally have no view of anything, you can’t see very far. You need to go and get a view of something –– I think it’s very inspiring to have a view.” My neighbour Gina likes to go to the island in the summer for the feeling of vacation that the outing gives her. “I actually feel like we’ve gone somewhere.” I often walk up the steps to Casa Loma and catch my breath up there. That’s a view I like. I also like the familiarity of the fences and roofs and lawns outside my window. And the view of our late summer garden from the kitchen table. But Schelter’s right –– sometimes a wider, less familiar view is inspiring, and necessary, too.





Fruits & Flowers

October 27, 2016

These images of Vietnamese street vendors from above by Loes Heerink are so pleasing to me. I enjoy the repetition of pattern, and the colour blocking that takes place in many of them. I like how in this image, the vendor’s jacket and bag are a perfect colour match to the flowers she’s carrying. Heerink says it took hours and hours to capture each shot, and that I can believe.





October 13, 2016

If our subway stations looked anything like the ones in Moscow, I would opt for trains over taxis every time. With beautiful moldings, frescoes and chandeliers, the stations look more like grand banquet halls than subway stops. Taganskaya is my favourite, mostly because of that stunning lapis blue. And Mayakovskaya station is pure art deco. Take a look at Vancouver-based photographer David Burdeny’s photographs of the stations. They’re really quite stunning.




September 15, 2016

Many years ago, Jason and I drove through the desert, from the lush, clean city of San Diego into the seedy town of Tijuana and down into the depths of Baja California. The drives were long and the terrain monotonous, and by the half way point, cacti started to look like emaciated Giacometti figures. Suffice to say, I’m not a big fan of the cactus. But every now and then, I see a tall, willowy cactus and I’m reminded of that long drive through the desert. Eagle-Eye Cherry on the radio, re-fried beans in every rickety old town, dodgy motels, stunning beaches –– just the two of us –– and the cacti.




Into The Wild

August 1, 2016

Into the Wild tells the true story of Chris McCandless, a 22-year-old disillusioned college graduate who trades in $27,000 of savings (he donates it to Oxfam) and a shot at Harvard Law School for life in the Alaskan wilderness. The film was directed by Sean Penn and was based on an American bestseller by Jon Krakaue. The landscape is stunning, with scenes on a beach in Beard’s Hollow, on the wheat fields of South Dakota, on the rapids of the Colorado River, and from a mountain overlooking the Salton Sea. The soulful soundtrack by Pearl Jam singer Eddie Vedder tells as much of the story as the script does, and the protagonist, played by Emile Hirsch has an air of a young DiCaprio. It’s not a new film, but if you haven’t seen it, do. At the very least, it will leave you lusting for the dunes of the Arizona desert.



Beautiful Decay

July 13, 2016

Last week, near a pebble beach on the island of Tzia, my family sat under the shade of pale green tarp to have lunch. “In any other setting, this would be a weathered, old tarp,” I said to my Mum who was travelling with us.. “Here, it looks like an artful canopy.” I felt the same way about the rusty old olive oil tins packed with fresh herbs surrounding the taverna. And the chipped terracotta pots stuffed full of geraniums on the beach nearby.  The white walls and lapis blue shutters on s small stone house up the dirt road from the taverna were decreppid, but in this setting, the house was charming and romantic. Between relentless winds, rain and the intense heat and light of the sun, island homes and everything in and around them, are at the mercy of the elements. But it’s that natural decay that makes them so beautiful.



walk on water

June 22, 2016

I was in New York in 2006 when Christo wrapped Central Park in miles of bright orange fabric. My grandmother had an apartment on Central Park South and the view from her living room was sensational. This week, the wrap artist extraordinaire is at it again, with a huge scale floating art installation that allows people to walk across Lake Iseo on the coast of Italy. Take a look at the sketches and images on Christo’s website, and hey, if you’re in Italy over the next 16 days, head to Lake Iseo.






March 25, 2016

Nitch is one of my favourite instagram feeds, with striking portraits and words from the likes of Charlie Chapman, Tina Fey, Paloma Picasso, Chris Rock et. al. Today Salvador Dali popped up in my feed, which is fitting as St. Pete has the largest collection of Dalis outside of Spain. “Every morning upon awakening, I experience a supreme pleasure: that of being Salvador Dali. And I ask myself, wonderstruck, what prodigious thing will he do today, this Salvador Dali.”




March 22, 2016

The sand in St Pete looks like something you’d bake with — icing sugar, baking soda or flour. And our hotel, right on the beach, looks like a giant cake covered in flamingo pink fondant. Inside, there is a retro inspired ice cream parlour, serving scoops of vanilla, chocolate and fudge in giant warm waffle cones. You can see why our children think this is the best place on earth.

A member of the Historic Hotels of North America, listed on the National Register of Historic Places and named a historical monument by the National Archives, the Don CeSar is as rich in luxury as it is in history. Originally opened in 1928, the "Don" was appropriated by the Military during World War II and eventually abandoned. It was restored to its original glory and reopened in 1973.

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