Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Daily Java


This is a coffee bar powered by bicycles! BRILLIANT and um why has Denver not picked up on this?  I mean they have one of the leading bike share programs, who doesn't love coffee, they love green in this city, there are plenty of places they could travel, and the Denver cupcake truck is doing well! Why not a traveling coffee company?  In fact it would even be better if it was the solar roast coffee company out of Pueblo that broke into this market.  I mean really its just golden! 

This photo is from of one of my favs. Inhabitat there is also a full article on this new bar in NYC

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Our house is a very very very fine house

Today when I was in my mid day internet surfing avoiding work lunch break when I came across this heading Public Toilet Transformed Into Dream Cottage in the UK.  WHAT! This is going to be the perfect distraction entertainment, but what in the world could this be. Before clicking on the link I got a little scared. Was I going to see this

 or this
Was this house going to have an auto wash when you leave? Cause that might be kind of cool, except for the electronics are not really happy when they are all wet.  How could someone possibly take a public toilet and make it a house.  Granted some of the public toilets that I have seen in the UK are extremely cool, but I always have flashbacks to George Michael circa 1998 when UK and public toilet are used in the same sentence.

So I click and this is what I find


 This couple took an old public toilet loo and made their dream home. BRILLIANT!! To top the whole thing off their view is a picture perfect view of the sea, Score!! The "lounge" area is the old men's side which I find poetic since how many men "lounge" in their restroom. The bedroom is the old Ladies rooms, which I have to say is OK in my book cause I would totally rather have sex in some of the ladies rooms I have been in then the nasty men's rooms. I was going to post the image from Trainspotting, but decided to spare you the visual - although by now I bet you have it in your head an pictured someone trying to have sex in it - eeeekkkk

So I have to say this little public toilet is so much better to me the this newly renovated apartment in NYC
It takes the thought of having sex in the bathroom to a whole other level. Add in that from the rub-a-dub-dub tub you can see the whole apartment - mental picture exploding! I can't take it anymore. Well my friends that concluded my mid day internet surfing lunch break

I would however encourage you to check out the blog that made this all possible, Inhabitat - design will save the world. Perfect tag line!  I know I agree I am so jealous that I did not think of it first. Needless to say it has become one of my favorites, when I checked their "about me" section this is what found.
Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.
Its like they could read my mind and created a weblog that speaks to all of my hats, and man do I love hats!

Till next time....


 ~~~~ all photos either came from inhabitat or CurbedNY 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Some of my favorite things are things that just make sense, when the overall composition fits together to create this harmonious juxtaposition. The good, the bad, the ugly all working together, oh it just makes me smile.  I know what you are thinking sometimes things that don't make sense are wonderful and I am sure I will write something later that agrees.  But that is another post and not this one. This one is because I have been thinking about my favorite places and circumstances that created some of my favorite places. It is no surprise that NYC tops this list.   These little five boroughs have such a great history of doing great things while at the same time making some big mistakes - but we wont say that too loud.  Like every great city when they nail the good ones they really nail them.  Take Central Park, what a great story of taking something that use to not be the place to go (unless of course you were a squatter and needed some place to sleep)

I mean can you even picture all of the shacks inside what you know now as one of the most filmed and photographed park.  Some how someone had the vision to turn it into one of the most famous parks of all time, and the first landscaped parks in the country. 


Then again when you have Olmsted & Vaux working together it was only a matter of of time before it became a National Historic Landmark.   Now granted many people lost their homes to create this park and emanate domain was used and we all know those words are just plain evil, like nails on a chalk board evil.  It happened we wrote it down in history and we hope that people realize the wrongs and think before they build and see how to get the same results with less damage.  At least that is what  happens in my perfect world, so shh just let me believe in that dream for a moment.
 

When I lived in NYC and need to just walk back into my dream world I would head to the park. More importantly, I would head to CPW (Central Park West) and to quote the NYT architecture critic Paul Goldberger when talking about the buildings in that make up CPW  they"fit together the same way the ones in that hypothetical Main Street do, and for the same reason. For more than a hundred years, their architects honor the unspoken agreement to work together, to line their buildings up with each other and to work in a consistent scale with materials that are compatible." Now tell me that doesn't bring you the warm and fuzzies!  I know I drank the potion and fallen down the rabbit hole. Just please give me a Mad Hatter before a Jabberwocky.

Now I realize that Alice is really in CPE but you have to walk through CPW and find her wonderland and its all about the journey to get you to where you need to go, so just go with me here

The thing about fairy-tales and picture perfect getaway's is what happens when you leave.  Can you ever find your second perfect getaway.  When I moved to Denver everyone told me that I would find this place again is Washington Park (aka Wash Park) and you know they are most likely right if we are doing apples to apples of Central Park and Wash Park. I wont get into that whole comparison today. Here are a few things I have heard.
  • There is a difference between Wash Park and Wash Park East (hello Central Park East and West)
  • It has a boat house (I don't think it is a restaurant)
  • It was designed between 1899 and 1908 (CP opened in 1859)
  • Olmsted Jr. has his own contribution to the Park (check) 
  • Its a big rectangle (Check) 
  • Some even say in the summer it feels like Central Park ( Concerts in the park? I am pretty sure there are movies)
Although I have to just take these good folks word cause I have not really hung out there much.  Plus I am not really sure that I can lay in the park and see the skyline, and that was one of my favorite things. Will have to check that in this summer and get back to you on that one.

However, I have found my current Central Park replacement here in Denver, just in a little different format, Commons Park.  Now Commons Park is no where near as old as Central Park.  I mean Central Park opened in 1859, Commons Park around 2000.  So we have years of history and development that brought us this park.  Just to fill in a little perspective, Commons Park is located in what is known as the Central Platte Valley District.  It is at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. So if you are an ocean girl living in a landlocked state and you need to see a running currant of water this is where you go. This is also known as the city's birthplace in 1858. Yep you read that right when NYC was using eminent domain to build Central Park,  Denver was being born.  The other day I looked into how my possible CP replacement came about.  This park
use to look like this
Yep that would be an electrical substation there since the 1950s.  How did this would be brownfield become a strong option for my new favorite space.  There are many people that have written about the whole redevelopment of this area and they will so a much better job then I will, but the skinny.  It was a great public/private partnership that was years in the making.  School children donated penny's,  the whole town came together, architects, landscape architects, city planners, artist, you name it they pitched in their time, talents,  and energy to bring this area back to life.  When something has that much love in it the energy of the place is always amazing.  If you love a good urban redevelopment story I highly recommend reading more about this park in two locations:
1)  Landscapeonline  - these guys are the landscape architects and they will take you through a history and all the amazing local plants thy used and break down why they did what they did, plus they have great pictures
2) Commons Park is not just a park there are great buildings that surround it and the neighborhood butts up to Union Station (then Grand Central smaller scale and out west) and that area is currently working on their redevelopment. To learn more about the buildings and Union Station check out DenverInfill.

For now I am going to leave you with some of my own pictures of the park.
 
This is one of the bridges that takes you into the park
 
Yep that is a guy surfing with a rope tied to the bridge above. Not sure if that is really called surfing anymore
 
That white tower on the left is Six Flags, yep a Six Flags downtown

So get out there and enjoy your local park and next time you do give a little thanks to the people that made it happen. Cause sometimes it does take a village. 

S


* so all the wonderful Central Park photos came from the folks at centralpark.com and the overview shots of Commons Park come from Landscapeonline check both of them out for more information.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Butterflies in the Sky

Have you ever thought about doing something for so long that you get all crazy excited about it, I mean that nervous butterflies excitement.  Like the first day at a new job, first walk back in your favorite city after being gone for a while, your whole body just tingles. I think its the whole excitement about something that you not really sure about but you just know its going to be something. Well my dear friend that is how I have been for a while now.  For a while I have had this feeling and I am just not sure what it is, but I can only classify it as the dancing butterflies, and I love dancing butterflies.  But as we all know to much of a good thing is well.....

Now you would think that this dancing butterfly must mean that something big is happening or getting ready to. Well my friends it has and it has been for a while. See a few years ago I did something that for many was a big risk.  I left a job that I loved, well a job I loved doing.  I sat around and played with color all day and designing fabulous textiles.  In my head I was one kick ass designer.  I mean who doesn't like to tell people what colors work together and what makes a good design. Still to this day I love doing that. When I left I thought I was leaving behind the design life, and trading it in to help protect the history of this great country.  I realized quickly that I never did leave behind my design life.  Instead I traded convincing people of great trends to convincing people to actually think before you build or tear down because some designs are worth keeping.  Sometimes you can even take a trend and make it work for every person. Better yet you can even take a pile of trash and turn it into a great green space!


I mean check out  Fresh kills before it opens this year
and look at the rendering

So this brings me to the point. Life is changing and its good to hold on to those changes because butterflies are good and sometimes we just have to always find, or should I say notice the butterflies.  So as I wonder through life and take notice of things around me that gives me butterflies I hope maybe you will get butterflies too.  So welcome to my little spot, my first post, my little adventure may you enjoy as much as I do.

S