new obsessions: lobster print & bill maher

nothing I can really think of that links these two new obsessions, aside of course from the fact that I am obsessed with each of them.

Bill Maher.

Bill Maher might just be like a god to me; he is staunchly and unapologisingly democrat, he is very politically incorrect, he is whip-smart, and on his amazing weekly HBO television show Real Time With Bill Maher he manages to secure at least one dopey republican to play his patsy. I cannot for the life of me understand why they would agree to appear on his show. It has just wrapped for the season but you can check out some of the highlights — particularly his ‘New Rules’ segment.

Check him out:  an oldie but a goodie, his musing on Palin’s nomination for VP candidate..

He also blogs and tweets.

Lobster print.

It started with Kate Spade (many obsessions do)..

first, her lobster print invites.

and then, the lobster print tote bag from the Cape Cod range (sadly discontinued but available on eBay US)

and then I found this David Szeto silk top..

and then I realised it was getting ridiculous and that I had to stop.

running and cooking (part one: running)

two things I committed (to myself, and to anyone that might listen) to start doing once I turned 30, which recently happened. And so it began.

First, the running accoutrements:

Nike Jana Star Waffle III


haruki murakami – what I talk about when I talk about running

And then, the actual running. Could there be a better time to commence than when on a (n almost) round-world ‘turning 30’ holiday with my little sis who just so happens to be a big-time runner? I think not. It began in New York, early one jet-lagged morning with a brisk walk from the Waldorf to Central Park and an ensuing “run” of approximately six minutes. Man, was I unfit. But everyone has to start somewhere, right. And so I continued; running in Washington around the monuments (see below), in Hawaii along Diamond Head beach, in the beautiful Runyon Canyon in LA, along the beach at Mira Flores in Lima, and finally around the Botanical Gardens in Madrid. As someone who travels a lot as part of the way I work, I wonder why I did not start this caper many years ago. You see cities in an entirely new (and quiet) way. By now (5 weeks on) I am running 20+ minutes with no trouble and am starting to have designs on the New York City Marathon…

Lincoln Memorial. Early in the AM.

lighthouse in Mira Flores, Lima

my new home…

in just under three month’s time I will be moving from London to Zurich.. I cannot say it is a place I would ever have dreamed of ending up, but that just makes it even more fun. As I have been spending quite a bit of time in the city I have come to discover the many charms and the subtleties that make it so damned liveable.

the first challenge? finding an apartment to rival my beloved Primrose Hill Garden Flat (or, ‘the GF’, as we call it). I set out last Friday with the help of a first class lady named Rozanne whose job it is to help out-of-towners find themselves new digs in the city she has called home for the past twenty years.. She showed my four properties, as soon as I walked in to this one I just knew it was meant to be:

and thus it became mine! now for the second challenge: furnishing all those beautiful rooms!

miami

What a town. It truly has everything a good holiday destination requires; sunshine, great food, amazing hotels, a laid-back feeling that kicks in almost immediately upon arrival, the right mix of day/night action, and plenty of walking options (unlike most US cities where people look at you as though you’re a freak for walking on the pavement…)

Miami highlights:

The Standard Hotel. Yes. It shouldn’t work (renovated 60s-style motel complete with ‘adult playground’), but it does. It really does.

The service is great, the vibe is easy, the pool is incredible all day long, and the mini-burgers at the bay-side bar… Also great is the location; right on the Bay and a 10-minute walk from Collins and a 20-minute walk to south beach (or you can borrow one of the hotel’s bicycles). Oh, and the spa isn’t bad either. What do you think, Larry David?

Nobu. Seems obvious as it’s pretty good everywhere but it’s really good in Miami at the Shore Club. Try the blackened cod with miso.

Joe’s Stone Crab. The cab driver that took us there told us he gets his dinner there take-away and that kinda sold it to me. It was heaving at only 6:30pm with a wait for a table (which was fine as they served perrier jouet champagne in the garden whilst you waited). The crab was good, of course. But the key lime pie was the best.

Michael’s Genuine. This restaurant almost didn’t happen for us as it’s all the way down in the Design District and thus officially “a trek”, but I am so glad we did it. The food was simple Italian fare with a focus on a small gang of ingredients and maximum flavour. The Design District is kind of cool, too. It clearly has a way to go before it really comes into its own, but the Louboutin store is incredible, as is Tomas Meier. Miu Miu not too shabby either.

Design District, Miami

Cafe a la Folie. This little gem of a french cafe is right by the Standard and serves the most lovely authentic french meals (crepes, quiche, baguettes) with friendly service. It is clearly a spot for locals, which makes it that much better.

Shopping: from a great book independent book seller (Books & Books) and a stores with various bits and pieces you never knew you needed (BASE – picked up some awesome $30 Nixon Whip headphones), to discount designer outlets (particularly sawgrass mills where I scored a Giambattista Valli dress and a D&G dress for around $200 USD each), Miami has some great shopping. And we didn’t even go to Bal Harbour. My credit card was feeling too hungover.

The day trips. Key West is stunning; it’s like taking a trip back to the 1950s where everybody knows your name and you buy a bag of lollies for 50c which lasts you all weekend. I cannot even tell you how amazing some of the homes were. But I can show you..

Bella Foster paintings… (and kate spade)

Kate Spade can do no wrong. That creative team would have to be one of the freshest most optimistic and joy-filled working environments around.. don’t you think? From the amazing retro styled sleek and fun aspirational magazine advertising:

 

 

 

To the wonderful illustrations and printed goods, which is where I came across the Brooklyn-based water colour artist Bella Foster who is responsible for the beauty of the Kate Spade 2010 sprial Calendar:

Wow. I mean LOOK at her work! It’s gorgeous and I am hopeful that one day soon (maybe even today or tomorrow if the New York stars align) I will own a piece of this goodness for my very own self:

And then there are the actual kate spade products themselves, which I do like, but not proportionately as much as I love the imagery and the creative. Except for the stationery and printed invitations. I love them disproportionately.