March 31, 2009

Brooklyn Bowl.

I love bowling. I am not ashamed. The game that brings back memories of childhood birthday parties and eating pizza is one that I once stopped playing. For a time, my eyes didn't light up at the thought of putting on ugly, rental red and blue shoes and tip-toeing up to the line where I would drop that ball and cross my fingers that it didn't run into the gutter and see-saw the entire way to the end. Well folks, since my days of waitressing post-college (when my friends and I after lunch shift would bolt to the closest bowling alley and attempt to get in two strings before we had to return for the dinner shift) I have re-fallen in love with the game. And this time around it's better than before; I have traded in root beers for draft beers and gutter balls for strikes and spares. And I usually beat Matt, which of course makes me love it even more.

Well, enter New York City into this and we have a love triangle with bowler and bowling alley. It gets pretty pricey and a little too "club" for me at the big Manhattan bowling alley that I am sure most have been to. Now enter the neighborhood of Williamsburg in Brooklyn and instead of the one small, yet fabulous in its retro (though not TRYING hard at all) look alley called The Gutter, I have just read that there will be a second alley, Brooklyn Bowl, opening up just two blocks away. Two alleys within such a close proximity? Who knew there were so many bowling lovers as myself? This one will have food from one of Brooklyn's famous restaurants, Blue Ribbon, as well as have a 'green' design, space for live performances, and some pretty fancy-looking lanes. I love The Gutter as I used to live within walking distance and liked its quaintness, beers on tap and the ability to order food for delivery TO the alley. I am not sure about this new, flashier place but of course will have to go with Matt and check it out – all in the name of research of course.

March 27, 2009

A Great Film Combination.

I just watched a preview for a movie I will anxiously anticipate coming to my local theater, "Away We Go". It is written by Dave Eggers (three cheers for the novel A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius), directed by Sam Mendes (three cheers for the film American Beauty!) and starring John Krasinski (three BIG cheers for the actor who plays Jim on The Office). What a recipe for a great movie! I also love the illustration for the movie poster.

March 26, 2009

Food + Design + Italy + Louise Fili

I don't even think I need to write more than what I just typed in the subject. Words can't even express how amazing this opportunity would be to explore Italy with Louise Fili (an incredibly talented NYC-based graphic designer. Another one of those I would give my left arm to work for) and in the mindset of looking and learning about typography and food. This session is taking place from for two weeks later in the spring and through SVA.

I am drooling over olive oil, pasta, and wine labels just thinking/dreaming about it...

March 25, 2009

Funny Running.

Combine witty copy and a company I love and you have Asics latest running ad. It asks the question to the runner:

"How far do you go on a first date?
Join the discussion on running date etiquette."

Clever, clever, clever.

March 24, 2009

Anthropologie: How I Love Thee.

I probably walk into an Anthropologie store at least 4 times a year. Upon entering said store, I usually sigh and take a long exhale through my nose while my eyes gloss over and I dream of purchasing everything in my sight. Each slow stride over the shabby chic wooden floor allows me to take in more and more pretty, whimsical clothing until I have reached the back of the store where my heart palpitates just a little bit faster as I look lustfully around at the homewares. Ah the candles and plates and mugs and saucers and dresser knobs and linens and everything else perfect that I would love to take home with me. Alas, I do as I always do and walk out empty-handed for this dear blogger cannot spend $60 on a tank top or a teacup. It is fine this way, really. Maybe if I could buy everything I wanted in thethen its magical spell on me would be lifted and I would stop dreaming of perfect spring outfits and tables for teaparties and what fun would that be?

One of the reasons that I love this place so much is that I know how wonderful their art direction is. Does that sound crazy? The fact that a printed two-dimensional piece of wonderful photography and layout can transcend to my experience in the store as a 3D person? Maybe so, but I'm okay with that. For the full March 2009 catalog, click here. Beware, swooning might ensue.

PS. They sell wallpaper (the third photo above)!

March 23, 2009

Beeline & Wolff Olins.

Bumblebees and branding. Put them together and what's not to love? Though this design work is a few years old, I just stumbled on it via theWolff Olins website (of which I look at and drool). They are super-talented and I might give my left arm to work with them on just one project (I can't give them my right arm because then I wouldn't be able to do any work).

This clever design work was done for a Russian telecommunications company called Beeline. I love the clever use of color combos in everyday objects to represent their brand, Beeline (and how could you NOT use black and yellow?!).

March 19, 2009

Ecology in the Kitchen.

Not only do I love the icons made for this exhibit called Kitchen Ecology: Recipes for Good Design but I also think their passionate idea is great. With food awareness (where did it come from? what did it eat? what was the name of the farmer who raised it?) and consumer consciousness being so prevalent in society (are the materials that made this martini glass safe?), this show strives to exhibit designs of earth conscious and people-friendly kitchen utensils, storage, water conservation, etc.

March 17, 2009

New West or Nine Balance?

Just popped into Nine West because my current black heels have been killing my feet in ways that this runner does not want to have her feet hurt. I am convinced either the shoes have been enlarged by half a size or my foot has shrunk. Either way, my puppies are not happy. I did not find any shoes that I wanted to even try one BUT I did see that New Balance has partnered up with Nine West for a new athletic-inspired shoe line. They even gave themselves a mascot, Nwbi, who is a bit Japanimation-looking (not sure how I feel about that).

Not sure if New Balance has plans to do more than sneakers with Nine West but I would LOVE it if they could find a way to put their cushy souls into some of those pointy toe heels or rounded open-toe. And maybe while they are at it, take the height of the heel down by an inch?

March 13, 2009

In My Bowl.

Ironic that I just posted about milk and now I am talking about cereal. Though I guess this is not ironic considering how much I love that crunchy goodness that tumbles into my bowl for breakfast (or dinner sometimes. Or at 11pm a la last night after a few hours out in Brooklyn). I saw this new Kashi cereal at the grocery store the other and kind of loved it natural brown paper bag material with the bright "U". Not sure what the "U" represents, but I am okay with it. I also am pretty excited about the absence of a bowl of cereal in the center of it. Way to think outside the (cereal) box!

Does a Body Good.

I know milk does a body good, but my body AND my eyes would feel so much better if this was the milk I took out of my fridge in the mornings when I ate my Kashi cereal.

(image above from the Dieline)

March 12, 2009

I Think I Want This.

Apple, I love you. Why do you tempt and tease me with new, sleek inventions? You know I still have your brick of an iPod from 2005 (the click wheel) and am holding on strong. You know that I take it with me on all of my runs and it endures the elements like I do – when I sweat, it sweats; when I freeze (like this morning), it freezes (poor lil' Pod). However, if it was smaller and sleeker and the size of a AA battery (as Apple says) like this new Shuffle is, I might have been able to keep my hands in my sleeves and not gotten near-frostbite on my fingers because I would not have been holding my large, cold iPod brick from 2005. Just a thought, just a thought.

March 11, 2009

Austin Rocks!

Okay, so I have never been to Austin but my brother lives there and tells me it is pretty rockin' year-round, seeing as it's considered THE home of live music and is considered one of the most laid-back and fun cities in the country (can't wait to check it out for myself in less than two months!). However, it is ESPECIALLY rockin' now because the famous South by Southwest (or SXSW as it's written all around the web and on posters) concert series is beginning at the end of the week. I was curious with all of the great bands that play down there and my love of band tour posters if they would compile quite a collection of visuals from the bands and the venues. So I did some researching and found a site which had done just that (all images from the and I picked out some of my favorites to share. Wonder if my brother might grab some memorabilia for me (hint, hint, little bro)...

Jen (to the 11th power)

I both love and am jealous about this. I want in the club (I am an artistic Jennifer, too)! What a great concept and it makes me think about what other commonalities there might be about other names (ie. are most Tiffanys fashionable? Do most Caitlins paint exceptionally well? Do Saris like to hand-make crafts? etc, etc).

From the site:

"The exhibition was born from both a serious curiosity and a simple novelty. Have members of this Jen-eration unknowingly grown into a common artistic sensibility? Have they become creators of culture in in their own particular way? The following show can be understood as a unique experiment or as commentary, by Jennifer on Jennifer. She began with the fashion of a name and now moves through a rather complex like, always shaping and being shaped by her culture."

~ Jennifer Khoshbin

March 10, 2009

What Color Blue Exactly?

As I was perusing the newest Real Simple Magazine I found this ad for the new Benjamin Moore paint called Ben. I love how they have softened their image with not only this ad campaign but also with their name. Ben is a bit more approachable and someone I might actually let come into my living room with his paint set. Benjamin Moore sounds very professional and all, but I think Ben would get the job from me if the two were up against each other.

Another reason I loved this ad so much was because it's story reminded me of a writing exercise in elementary school we had done involving picking our favorite color and writing all about it; what objects, people, foods, items in nature have this color. It was an assignment I still remember and in fact, the color I had chosen was blue!

March 9, 2009

Coca Cola is Really Sweet.

Just watch and say "Awwww".

(there are subtitles but this was still a great refresher for my Spanish skills)

March 6, 2009

Nature Matching System (only second best to my love of Pantone).

I never walk near Port Authority here in NYC if I don't have to. In fact, I will take any route possible to stay far away from it (which is usually possible since I am rarely over there on the west side). However, yesterday after work I found myself in the area on my way to a dress shop and between being jostled around by New Yorkers on their way to the subway, on their way to happy hour, on their way to being in MY way, I looked up and saw something wonderful on the side of the Port Authority building – Nature Matching System! Masses of color blocks standing side by side, separated by white and with color numbers in their bottom left corner (and the very same thing I had seen in DUMBO over the summer while walking around).

I of course decided to stand in the middle of the sidewalk in awe of the amazing colors and the reasoning behind it (colors driven by nature with one board telling WHERE/WHAT the colors came from; ie. Lemons, Asparagus, Apples). Taking note of the company that put it all together and I checked out their fantastic website this morning and there are some great things worth seeing on it. Check it out!

March 5, 2009

An Oxymoron?

Natural Pepsi? Huh? I am slightly mortified. Slightly disturbed. And slightly curious...

March 4, 2009

Women on the Web.

Another great website I learned about this morning was from "Morning Joe" on MSNBC and it's called or Women on the Web. It follows subjects such as news, politics, culture, entertainment, and fashion and has a broad range of well-known women who are contributors. It's definitely skewed a bit older (think our Moms) but I think the idea is great. Women's points of views on various topics. I haven't had the time to check too much out but am looking forward to it.

Perhaps My New Favorite Blog of the Week.

Nothing like reading about the perils, ups, downs, fonts and clients of another freelance graphic designer. This is my newfound favorite blog of the week:

March 3, 2009

Running Motivation.

Copy on the bottom left reads: "No matter where I run, he always seems to find me. That side of me that whispers “faster” into my ear. That side of me that likes taking the long route with all the big hills. It’s hard running with your alter ego, particularly when he’s as sadistic as mine."

From the NYC Marathon 2007 (the series was all about random people that make of the NYC cityscape who help you run)

My friends will tell you I am a runner. My parents will tell you I am a runner. My coworkers will tell you I am a runner. However, folks, this new bout of fresh snow and icy cold air has deterred my running a bit and made me question that noun that usually follows my name. I am trying to get back to great running shape by motivating myself with a half marathon in just under three months and I can't for the life of me get my behind out of bed in the mornings on these cold days. Plus, I am human (and klutzy) and will most likely wipe out on the street via the ice that has caked itself to the Brooklyn sidewalks. How to get myself motivated in this weather predicament. How to get myself out of bed at a little after 6am at least four times a week from now until May 30. How? Well, step one I decided was to check back at some motivating running ads from Asics (specifically during the 2007 NYC Marathon which I ran. And back then I WAS getting up 4 times a week). Leave it to the smart people at the ad agencies for running gear to boost my motivation. Or at least my legs out of bed.

March 2, 2009

Snow Day with My Favorite Californian Teenagers.

I found out I have a 2-hour delayed opening at work (after already getting out of bed in sleep-haze and getting my yawning-self into the shower) and the first thing I thought of was that I get to watch Saved by the Bell! My laundry needs putting away, my nails need painting, and I am sure it wouldn't hurt to do some reading of Sunday's NY Times. However, until 9am, the only thing I can concentrate on is Zach and Kelly's tumultuous relationship, as well as Slater's biceps and Jessie's studies, and last but not least, Lisa's shopping addiction and Screech's overall oddness. I feel bad for current and future teenagers that won't have a show that comes even close to how wonderfully cheesy this 90s sitcom (which, of course is my 3rd favorite show of all time).

*PS. It's the episode where Screech gets hit by lightning and all of sudden has the power to see the future.