Leccare Lollipops

At this point there are gourmet versions of every food, and now we can add to that list, lollipops. Leccare Lollipops are an artisanal take on the kids candy, being made in flavors like Lavender and Marshmallow, Rose and Honey, Salted Caramel, and Watermelon Sea Salt, to only name a few. What really sells me on these are the fantastic colors and textures.

Link Harvest

1/ A poultry farm in Hokkaido, Japan is creating eggs with white yolks. I wonder if it effects the taste?

2/ Lovely branding for South Carolina based Bulls Bay Saltworks (and they make a delicious sounding bourbon barrel smoked salt).

3/ There’s an explosion of poké restaurants here in Los Angeles, here’s a rundown of what poké is exactly and why it’s having a renaissance.

4/ Why yes, you should be eating Pollock-esque chocolate bars.

5/ These photos from Spain’s La Tomatina festival makes my OCD go off the charts. Tomatoes in all your parts!

6/ The paper shopping bag reinvented into a grocery backpack.

Pantone Cafe

Pantone brings it’s patented color system to the world of food with it’s Pantone Cafe. You can nibble on a 13-0221 Pistachio Green eclair or savor a 17-1227 latte. The pop-up closes Sep 9 so you’d better book your tickets to Monaco soon.

Hunting for honey in the Sundarbans

The bees begin migrating from the nearby countryside as early as late January. Their honey appears along with the tight white clusters of blossoms that frost the tips of the khalsi trees. For the subsequent three months, the bees build their nests, dangling from the branches like inverted cockscombs and cloaked in thousands of defensive bees, each just under an inch long. On our first afternoon together, Nurul Islam told me that he had once inadvertently upset a hive with the smoke rising from his cooking fire. The swarm descended and stung him sixty times. “The whole of my body was swollen,” he said, “I had a high fever for three days.”

If you think your job is tough, you don’t have anything on this group of Muslim men who collect honey. If the excerpt above doesn’t scare you, the men must also watch out for tigers.

Moody, textural illustrations by Karolis Strautniekas

Karolis Strautniekas

Karolis Strautniekas

These days I find so many new artists and creatives via Instagram. For example, I came across the work of Karolis Strautniekas, a Lithuanian based illustrator via a comment on a recent photo I took. Diving down the rabbit hole I discovered his beautifully moody work. i love his use of color, particularly the rich blue tones he uses, as well as the texture that’s ever present, giving his work a tactility and grit. He’s also quite adept at light and shadow which gives each piece a unique depth. Also be sure to check out the video at the end of the post which brings his work to life.

Karolis Strautniekas

Joanna Newsom’s music video for “Sapokanikan”, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Joanna Newsom - "Divers" album art

After 5 years (how does the time pass so quickly?!) Joanna Newsom is back with a new album this fall, October 23, titled Divers. Kicking off the release is a new music video for the song “Sapokanikan”, directed by auteur director Paul Thomas Anderson. I did a bit of searching and Sapokanikan is a Native American word which relates to a “habitation site and cultivated area by the cove on the Hudson River at present day Gansevoort Street, Greenwich Village.” Not sure the meaning but Genius has a pretty good rundown of a lot of the references in the song.

The video isn’t particularly remarkable, it’s a montage of Newsom wandering around New York shot on a hand held camera, but the song itself is really beautiful. It’s nice that she continues to evolve musically (aka less harp) though, I didn’t care for Have One On Me as much as I enjoyed the weird, sprawling cacophony that was Ys. We’ll see where she ends up with this new album.

On a side note, does anyone else get a Fionna Apple vibe from Newsom? It’s funny considering PT’s past with Fiona. Maybe he has a type?

Want to experience Paris more fully? Ride the Velib

Arc de Triomphe

There are many ways to get around Paris, walking, the Metro, Uber, renting a car. During our trip, Kyle and I preferred the more adventurous option, the Velib. For those not familiar, the Velib (a combination of the words vélo and liberté) is Paris’ bike sharing network with over 1200 bike stations and 18,000 bikes, the second largest after China. I used to be a pretty avid rider, riding 8 miles a day to and from work, and Kyle currently rides 18 miles round trip to work on the west side. Naturally, this option fit us best.

Initially I was concerned with biking around Paris because of the traffic and my uncertainty about the streets, though my concerns slipped away quickly. Parisian motorists are quite respectful of bicyclists, most slowing or stopping for you, and were generally extremely careful. The most dangerous situations I ran into (not literally) were the tourists who would walk through the cross walks without looking.

If you derive any sort of joy from riding bikes I absolutely recommend this option. There’s a beauty and freedom to joyriding around a city that you don’t quite know, and cities don’t get much more beautiful than Paris.

(Sidenote: I took the photo above as I was riding my bike to the Palais De Tokyo. The roundabout at the Arc de Triomphe is a ton of cars and motorcycles going in every crazy direction and I was pretty proud of snapping this while I was moving!)

Wolfgang Puck cooks up a new brand identity

New Wolfgang Puck Branding

When I think of Wolfgang Puck, I think of… well nothing really comes to mind. To be honest, I imagine that horrible chef who yells at people and somehow has a TV show where he yells even more. Perhaps that’s the problem, I can’t off the top of my head think of who Mr. Puck is? I’m pretty sure I’ve had one of his sandwiches before but the memory is fuzzy.

Thanks to Pearlfisher, this might be changing. The London/NY based design agency has cooked up an elegant new identity for Wolfgang and his fleet of brands, which range from catering to the aforementioned sandwiches. This includes a new mark as well as a hairline logo which in my opinion looks quite sophisticated. The comments on Brand New disagree with my opinion though I think less is more with the overall identity which will help it stand out against their competitors. My only question: Where did the bar go in the A?

New Wolfgang Puck Branding



Contrary to the stereotype, the French are quite nice

the French are quite nice

The French are mean. Ok, maybe “mean” is a bit harsh but sure, they’re not the most cuddly of cultures. Personally, I would define them as direct and to the point (but not as bad as the Germans). From my short experience in France thet simply don’t have time for your bullshit, which I absolutely respect. Do you want help? Put up your hand and “Pardon!” and “Excusé et moi!” someone until they come over. Be ready to order (in French, don’t be rude) and get to the point. I’m certain this is why many Americans are turned off by French culture.

Two stories:

Kyle and I were having drinks at Le Mary Celeste, our second time there, when a couple sat down next to us at the bar. I didn’t pay much attention to them but after about 20 minutes, noticed them again because the woman looked irked. Curious, I watched them for a bit, then realized they hadn’t ordered yet because no one had specifically came by to get their order. It was their faces though, that look of sheer annoyance at their seeming neglect, must drive French people crazy. Or perhaps they get a sick pleasure from it…

My favorite story is when we were on our way back from Deauville, a small city on the coast northwest of Paris. The train stopped, as it does many times along the way, so we sat there waiting for it to go again, when a young woman remarked, “The train has stopped, you’re going to Paris, yeah?” We nodded and she gestured and said, “Follow me.” It was obvious we were unaware of the situation yet she was kind enough to guide us to our next train, which was several tunnels and flights of stairs away. We would have realized this eventually, but I was quite thankful for her generosity.