Month: July, 2008

notes from milan

“made in italy”, ATcasa, Trienniale Design Museum, everything Castiglioni, Flos lighting, Lissoni practice and office space, Missoni + Corian Du Point, vintage Kartell posters, animation and art space environment within Aspesi, woodsy theme and video installation in Dsquared’s dressing rooms, cool hunting, Fondazione Prada, Fondazione Trussardi, Trussardi Cafe, Cinque Terre, Spazio Rosanna Orlandi, Li Edelkoort’s Bloom magazine, Corso Como, aperitivo, uncovering Milan, gelato, Peck, Parco Sempione, Isola, Peter Greenaway, Francis Bacon at Palazzo Reale, High Tech shop, Art Book Milano, vintage Abitare and Joost Swarte’s editorial illustrations, Zona Ventura, Gabriele Picco’s drawings, (floral sculpture: Geert Pattyn, Natural Rhythms Rob Platell, Per Benjamin, Max van de Sluis, Tomas de Bruyne, Annette Kamping, Newlands – gastromorphoganique, Andre Martin), Bvlgari Hotel, Straf, Sheraton Diana Majestic, Naviglio, italic 1.0, aiap, esterni, Muse fashionart, Rebecca Dautremer, etc.


macaron-aholic, macaron killer

is what I am according to Heejung. This is the only instance when I write about food, and the macaron is in its own catgegory.

£9.48 for a box of 8 at Laduree in Harrods, £9 for a pack of 10 minis at Paul somewhere in Covent Garden, £7.56 for another box of 6 at Laduree in Harrods €7.68 for a box of 10 at Peck, €34 for the gelato macarons of about 15, and €0.73 for one at a spa-like bakery Princi.

I obviously cannot sustain my macaron eating lifestyle for long periods of time. So after all this, I pronounce myself an official macaron reviewer and taste tester. The Best Macarons I have ever had are at Peck, a gourmet food store right outside my front door when I was in Milan. These macarons were the right balance of beautiful form and delicate in shape and size. The ingredients were so fresh, the flavors were pure and true, the texture was the perfect blend of chewy center and crispy outer shell. There were the tiniest flecks of cocoa chips on the chocolate, crushed pistachios on the pistachio, a light dusting of cocoa powder on the passionfruit. Not overly sweet either. It was just right and left you wanting more. In comparison, Paul’s was too sweet, and had too much center filling. Laduree was better, though also disappointing, overall not as refined as Peck’s. The bakery store Princi makes excellent bread and pastries, but the chocolate macaron tasted like a brownie. Oh, and the gelato macarons at Peck were divine. They did beautiful wrapping work as well, dry ice and all, and have already eaten five!

bits and pieces of London

some highlights….

1. seeing Tim Walker’s work at Design Museum

2. Yes, i paid £14 for a drink at Sketch (artsy avant-garde setting, very fashionny) But i’m going to fool myself and say it was absolutely the best drink I have ever had, and it really was…i need that recipe! I also pledge to check out every restroom of every cool bar/restaurant/space i ever visit. I cannot believe I missed seeing this pod bathroom in person!

3. At Philippe Starck’s St. Martin Lane Hotel, in the Asia de Cuba restaurant, they have these circular walls that display photos, shelve books, and hold potted plants. We were given a tour of the hotel interior. One of my favorite part is the detail given to the interior design. The photos hanging on the columns are actual people in the past from the area. They also include some empty mirrored frames so that visitors can see themselves as a part of the “family”. The “bookshelves” columns each have it’s own subject, and all the books selected are dedicated to the same topic.

4. At Canary Wharf, Susan Stockwell’s Paper Tiger exhibit. The design and construction detail of the dresses, which are made of rice paper and maps, are well crafted. Her map dresses are commentary on issues of colonialism.

5. a London landscape. I like the wonky tree.

6, The Wapping Gallery is where a very famous celebrity is rumored to have her wedding. Very cool art galley/restaurant/event space from a converted hydraulic factory where we had lunch. Just outside, is a greenhouse with a chair inside. I want that in my backyard. It can be my thinking spot.

7. Outside the office of Wieden + Kennedy, it’s quite obvious that we do not like automobiles.

8. at the Brick Lane area, a double decker cafe that i want to try next time I’m back in London

9. Camino…fun times! They have a great courtyard area for having “liquid dinners”. If I worked at the architecture studio that’s right next door, this place would be my everyday watering hole.

10. Maureen Freeman – set designer…her passion and dedication, opened my mind up to the possibilities of a theatrical space and experience.

11. Thymann Klaus – uber cool photography director who came to show us his moonbathing series for a Levi’s campaign and shared with us each step of the process, coming up with the idea, fleshing it out, working in Sao Paolo and Shanghai to scout locations, the shooting process, so we had an in-depth look at how a mega brand produces advertising.

12. Rain Li – cinematographer…poetic and sensuous work, inspiring to meet her and found out that she did a piece for Paris Je T’aime and Justin’s Sexy Back video.

13. Hyde Park and Princess Diana Memorial Fountain (i love the thinking behind the design of this piece)

there are too many museums in london i will miss this city!

getting up for a flight to Milan in 3 hours! to come, a recap of the best in london design and then milan too!

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