FLOWERS: Night Flower Market in Bangkok, Thailand

April 24, 2010

Rumors of Bangkok’s incredible Night Flower Market are well-founded, as Business Manager, Dean Springman and Operations Officer, Nong Chanthakoone, recently discovered on their month-long journey through Southeast Asia.   

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TRAVEL: The Glass House, Vieques, Puerto Rico

March 14, 2010

 

Production Designer, Tim Capone, an avid world traveler, recently journeyed to the small island of Vieques, Puerto Rico.  The island provides serenity, privacy and some of the most beautiful and undiscovered beaches on the Caribbean.  Located about eight miles to the east of the Puerto Rican mainland, and a short flight from San Juan, much of the island remains off limits while the U.S. Navy continues to clean up areas used for military training.  The military vacated the island in 2003.   Today the former Navy land is a national wildlife refuge, with numerous beaches that still retain the names given by the Navy, including Red Beach, Blue Beach, Green Beach and others.  The beaches are commonly listed among the top beaches in the Caribbean for their azure-colored waters and white sands.  In fact, in 2008 Vieques was crowned the Best Island in the Caribbean by Travel & Leisure Magazine.

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TRAVEL: Costa Rica, A World Away

February 16, 2010

 

A Winter vacation to escape the piles of snow can be just the cure for the February blues.  For those of us in the design world, it is practically mandatory and necessary to keep the creative juices flowing!  Costa Rica is a favorite winter [and summer] stop for Owner and Creative Director, Brian Kappra.  Here, the view from the small plane heading from the San Jose airport to Manuel Antonio and to the vacation house. 

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PLANNING: Save the Date to “Get Lost with Austin” Bar Mitzvah Cruise

September 18, 2009

One of our TOTALLY COOL clients came to us looking for creative and interesting ideas on where and how to throw their SUPER COOL son Austin’s Bar Mitzvah.  What could they do that was completely fresh and unheard of?  Have we heard this request before?  OF COURSE.  In fact, we heard it from this very client when they came to us to plan their daughter Sydney’s Bat Mitzvah two years ago!  (but that’s another story).

NOW, WHAT CAN WE DO FOR AUSTIN?  After talking to Austin it was clear that he wanted to share quality TIME with his family and friends over many days, not just for a few hours at a party.  Who would have thought he’d come up with a five day CRUISE the week before Christmas?   That Austin, he’s a clever one.   One of his favorite TV shows is “LOST” and he’s invited 100 of his friends and family to “Get Lost with Austin” for a week in the Western Caribbean.  The cruise ship, the Navigator of the Seas, is an unbelievable vessel that includes a  rock-climbing wall, a basketball court, an ice-skating rink and an in-line skating track. Dare we say there’s more? What about a five-story theatre, a casino, a miniature golf course and a spectacular three-story dining room?  The 138,000-ton nautical wonder has it all and will sail to Jamaica, Haiti and Miami.  Austin’s guests will enjoy family-style dinners, private cocktail parties, basketball tournaments, a private disco club as well sandy beaches, rain forests, waterfalls and fun-filled days in the surf.  Bring on the SUNSCREEN!

Take a look at the fantastic Save the Date below that includes a wooden box burned with his custom logo, a message-in-a-bottle containing a detailed map of the cruise and a “passport” containing all the relevant travel information.

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There are countless surprises, favors and thematic “Get Lost” mysteries planned for the trip!  Shhhhhhh.  When we get back, we’ll make sure to share more info and photos on the celebration!


TRAVEL: London

August 18, 2009

London is one of our favorite cities to visit whenever the busy event schedule permits such brief escapes!  

A wonderously cool place to escape to in the steamy summer months, London is perfect for long walks through charming historic streets, reflective interludes in hidden gardens and interesting shared meals in modern restaurants.

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With each visit to London, Event Planner, Melissa Paul looks for new, exciting sections of the city to spend time in; if only to better explore the realities of everyday London life away from the touristy areas.  This time, she chose to stay in the trendy and hip (without being embarassingly so) neighborhood of Clerkenwell [pronounced “Clark-uhn-well”].  Long a non-conformist’s haven, the Village dates back to the Middle Ages.  This is where Lenin printed his paper; where Blake, Defoe and Wesley are buried; and where Oliver Twist learned to pick pockets. Today it’s an eclectic mix of architectural firms, graphic designers, publishers and other media types.  As with all of Central London, there is a diverse mix of landmarks you might recognize such as St. Bartholomew, seen in films such as Four Weddings and a Funeral, Shakespeare in Love, The Other Boleyn Girl, and many others; the famous Smithfield Meat Market, where one can observe chefs from all over the city checking out whole pigs and choice cuts; the Marx Memorial Library on Clerkenwell Green; and London’s first gastropub, The Eagle, which opened in 1991.  In addition, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tate Modern, and the Millenium Bridge are just a few streets away, and on the MUST-NOT-MISS list of favorite stops.

What intrigued Melissa about Clerkenwell is its reputation for harboring some of the best restaurants in London.  Without exception, no matter where she went, the eateries were PACKED and nigh impossible to grab a table in without serious bribery.  Located on rather quiet St. John’s Place, The Larder blew her away with its elegant, understated interiors, friendly staff and sophisticated menu.  Going back for a second visit was a must if only to enjoy an evening snack of fabulous homemade breads, excellent English cheeses and a tasting of wines from all over the world.

Hix Oyster and Chop House offered an interactive and energetic experience with its big tables full of boisterous guests enjoying “feasts” of fresh oysters, crayfish, roast chicken, minted peas and mash. Clearly, people trek from all over London to eat at Hix.  Of course, it helps to have a celebrity chef (Mark Hix) behind the stove and thoroughly hilarious waiters to entertain.  They consumed our own mini-feast of crayfish, anchovies, and porterhouse for two.

The Zetter (see photo below) is yet another example of stylish happy decor, charming staff and amazing food.  Melissa can still taste the watermelon, beetroot, feta cheese and toasted pumpkin seed salad.  De-lish!   Followed by grilled red mullet and lemon sole.

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Sunday brunch, sitting at the community table of The Modern Pantry, convinced them that they could easily live on St. John’s Square, making the contemporary all-white minimalist-style bistro a part of our usual weekend routine.

One of the most memorable dining experiences enjoyed was at St. JOHN, a traditional English restaurant known for its use of everything from nose to tail – NO KIDDING .  Who knew you had to reserve a table AND a portion of the roast bone marrow and parsley at least a month out?   (photos below)

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Then there was Moro, a to-die-for family-owned Spanish restaurant with the most sensational tapas menu they had ever seen. The grilled squid was unlike anything they have ever had. You know it’s good when the ingredients are few, but fresh and purposeful.

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Seriously, if you ever feel like walking the non-touristy parts of London in search of fantastically good food, take a look at Clerkenwell, Central London.