Friday, July 31, 2009

IKEA's new catalog and top trends for the fall

Grey color with the walnut comeback, curvy shapes and bold patterns are the new, fall IKEA trends that may well affect the furniture and design industry as a whole. In a simple, quiet and simple venue in Chelsea, IKEA presented their new 2010 product catalog. Lower prices together with sleek and smart design dominate the catalog this year but also innovative, cutting-cost techniques: no-air, flat packing.

I liked the new laptop table, an adjustable height and angle for comfortable seating, while surfing or working. Storage boxes from recycled plastic bottles in various colors, new curvy-shaped, transparent vases and noise-free kitchen drawers make also their appearance.

But as frugality is one of IKEA’s values (together with honesty and simplicity), frugality was fully present. I was only offered a cup of coffee and water, a big difference from the lavish champagne and canapés parties they successfully hosted the previous two years that I had the chance to attend. At least IKEA is honest...when prices are going down, there is no place for bubbly.

IKEA also takes a step further to help children in developing countries with their SUNNAN solar-powered lamp. The SUNNAN lamp runs on solar cells that transform sunlight into electrical energy, providing light for the child recipients who were previously unable to draw, write or read after sunset because they have no electricity at home.

On my way out, I had my shopping list in hand. I wish I had a glass of champagne too!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

August Target First Saturday at Brooklyn Museum

Saturday, August 1

Celebrating the Caribbean

FREE admission from 5 to 11 p.m, Brooklyn Museum

5-6:30 p.m. Spoken Word Open Mic
Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden, 1st floor (in case of rain: Rubin Pavilion, 1st floor). The enchanting Aracelis Girmay hosts a poetry open mic highlighting Cheryl Boyce Taylor and Alexis Marie of Urban Word NYC.

5:30-6:30 p.m. Performance
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd floor
Conjunto Nuevo Milenio performs music and dances that showcase the Afro-Latino roots of Panamanian Carnival. Free tickets (340) available at the Visitor Center at 5 p.m.

6:30-8:30 p.m. Hands-On Art Education Division, 1st floor Create a carnival costume headdress inspired by objects in the permanent collection. Free timed tickets (380) available at the Visitor Center at 5:30 p.m.

7-8:30 p.m. Film
Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Auditorium, 3rd floor Calypso Dreams (G. Dunn and M. Horne, 2004, 90 min., NR). This award-winning documentary on the history of Trinidadian calypso music reveals why it is among the prized possessions of Caribbean people. Free tickets (340) available at the Visitor Center at 6 p.m.

7-9 p.m. Music
Steinberg Family Sculpture Garden, 1st floor (in case of rain: Rubin Pavilion, 1st floor). The international influences in Meta and the Cornerstones' reggae take us to Jamaica and Senegal and bring us right back to Brooklyn.

8 p.m. Gallery Talk
Meet at entrance to Blum Gallery, 1st floorProfessor Veronica Gregg gives a talk on Yinka Shonibare MBE highlighting parallel themes of identity and power in Shonibare's work and in Caribbean literature. Free tickets (30) available at the Visitor Center at 6 p.m.

9 p.m. Book ClubHall of Americas, 1st floorProfessor Ferentz Lafargue leads a conversation about Edwidge Danticat's latest novel, Brother, I'm Dying.

9-11 p.m. Dance Party
Museum Parking Lot (in case of rain: Beaux-Arts Court, 3rd floor). Sokalypso's house DJs and Jephte Guillaume host a soca versus zouk and kompa party.

7:30 p.m. Sneak Peek: New Technology, Meet in the Rubin Lobby, 1st floor
This Target First Saturday, 1stfans will get a sneak peek at a new technology project with two staff members from the Technology department. Meet in the Rubin Lobby at 7:15 p.m.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Aperture Exhibition Opening Reception



Aperture Foundation and the School of Visual Arts, an art school in New York City whose mission is to educate students who aspire to become professional artists, have partnered to present a group exhibition of alumni of SVA's BFA photography department whose work explores issues of role playing and identity in the twenty-first century. In Identity Identities (i / i), eleven promising young artists explore the various permutations of identity in today's rapidly changing world through the fluid and evolving medium of photography, which is perhaps best suited to tackle this subject. Themes include how identity manifests itself through group identification, the places we live, and the influence of mass media and advertising.

Identity Identities (i / i) is curated by Stephen Frailey, chair of SVA's photography department, and includes an essay by Seth Greenwald. Artists include: Allison Yeskel, Joseph Sbarro, Jennifer Lee, Hugo Fernandez, Jess Shaffer, Nicola Kast, Victoria Hely-Hutchinson, Jing Quek, Kelly Clark, Anula Maiberg, Susanne Persson

Opening reception: Thursday, July 30, 2009, 6:00–8:00 pm

Exhibition on view: Thursday, July 30, 2009 –Wednesday, August 26, 2009


Aperture Gallery, 547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor, New York

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Housing Works and Paper Magazine event

Paper Magazine has taken over! Housing Works and Paper and have teamed up to launch the summer edition of our “Editors’ Picks” shopping event series—the fashion-savvy editors at Paper have hand-picked Housing Works fashions for you, plus they’re styling the windows and throwing a cocktail party as only they can. Setting the shopping mood will be DJs Andrew Andrew.

Shoppers can expect bold, colorful, cutting-edge items and lots and lots of labels like (pictured left, from top): Alexander McQueen for Target grey stretch denim jacket ($20) and print leggings ($10); Emanuel Ungaro floral print dress ($100); Casadei silver mesh sling backs ($90); and Marc Jacobs silk organza yellow shell ($40).

Where: Housing Works Gramercy Thrift Shop, 157 E. 23rd St. between Lexington and Third Avenues (subway: 6 to 23rd St.)
When: Thursday, July 23 from 6 to 9pm
Cost: FREE
Benefits: Housing Works, the largest community-based AIDS service organization in the United States. Since 1990, we have provided lifesaving services to more than 20,000 homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV and AIDS.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Onishi Gallery‏ Opening reception

Onishi Gallery is proud to present Shinichi Nakahata in a solo show, Air, featuring three installation pieces including acrylic paintings and mixed media. This is his second exhibition at the Onishi Gallery following his 2008 exhibition, Unity & Isolation.

Nakahata’s art-making is anchored by color. To Nakahata, “air” denotes that the shapes and colors of his art come to him as naturally as if they simply float in the air around him. He likens colors and shapes to nature, creating modern interpretations of ecology while bringing classic Japanese colors and patterns to contemporary art and design.

Shinichi Nakahata was born in 1961 in Japan. He is an artist and a designer of products, interiors, and store displays. He began studying painting at the age of 15 under a prominent painter, Susmu Fukuyama, founder of the Keisho Art Association in Japan. Nakahata learned classic and modern techniques of oil, watercolor, and tempera painting from Fukuyama, and in 1981, began working for a furniture manufacturer. In 1986, he became an interior and product designer; his furniture is sold in Japan and online. It is also featured in television sets and commercials.

Nakahata continues to incorporate aspects of industrial design into his fine art. He has exhibited his works at venues including the Taipei Fine Arts Museum, the VITA exhibition in Rome, and at venues in the United States and South Korea.

Through an understanding that form and function, pigments of color and air, and tradition and modernity intersect, Shinichi Nakahata continues to expose the delightful confluence of these neighboring concepts.

Where: Onishi Gallery
521 West 26th Street (between 10th & 11th Avenues)
New York, NY 10001

When: tonight, July 16th at 6pm to 8pm.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Beard on Books

If you can't live without cheese and you do want to discover more about it, don't miss the presentation of Clark Wolf's "American Cheeses" book at the Beard House this Wednesday.

Back when most Americans’ idea of cheese amounted to electric orange slices of, well, American cheese, Clark Wolf was stocking the shelves of his San Francisco shop with artisanal cheeses from around the country. Years later small-scale American cheese production has become something to be proud of, and, luckily for us, Wolf continues to follow the transformed industry’s every move. In American Cheeses: The Best Regional, Artisan, and Farmhouse Cheeses, Who Makes Them, and Where to Find Them he shares his unrivaled knowledge about cheese from every region of the United States, along with tips for storing and serving.

When: Wednesday 7.15 at noon

Where: The Beard House, 167 West 12th Street, NYC

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Tria Summer Cocktail Reception

Reception for the Artists:

Guiliano Guarneri, Suejin Jo, Oliver Lake, Nicole Parcher

Thursday, July 9, 6 - 8 pm

This is the final reception of Tria in this location. Tria Gallery will move to 531 West 25th Street - at ground level from September 2009.

But if you plan to visit tonight, go to the following address for the last time:
547 West 27th Street, 5th floor, New York, New York 10001

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Outlet 7 Shopping Party‏

Visit tonight Outlet 7 for a lovely shopping party, starting at 6pm.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Gifts for the hostess

If you are stuck and you are clueless about the hostess gift, check out the Real Simple's excellent ideas site by clicking on to see a list of all gifts. I particularly like the Cocktail sugars, that will give a twist to your cocktail parties! From

Monday, July 06, 2009

Alan Klotz Gallery opening


30 Dresses: Recent Color Photographs

July 9th - August 21st, 2009

Opening Reception for the artist: July 9th, 6-8 PM

Alan Klotz Gallery

511 W. 25th Street, Suite 701, New York

Saturday, July 04, 2009

4th of July entertaining ideas

Real Simple has fun and original ideas to celebrate the 4th of July with 30 tips for outdoor entertaining. Click below to read them all:

I like the idea of the bar cart with stocked with essentials as glasses, plates, ice, a cocktail shaker, and swizzle sticks.

Happy 4th of July!

Fancy Food Show (4)

What I didn't like in the Fancy Food Show:

1. The unbearable boredom of Italian and Greek food (and not only). Come on guys. There is more than olive oil, Parmesan cheese, feta cheese and dolmades. Innovate a little. It will be good for you and for your customers

2. Fatty, wheat based, sugary products. Hasn't anyone told you that they are not good for your health?

3. The exhibitors who refused to give away samples saying "we only give them to our customers". My question is "how do you know that I am not your customer?". This is the worst marketing ever. Give out free samples and you will get more customers. Just thumbs down for Dolfin chocolates - they turned me down for a free sample stating the phrase above. The truth is though that I am a customer. Or better, I used to be. I won't buy chocolates from Dolfin any longer.

4. Finally, the rude way security people tried to convince visitors to give up on their freebies moments before the end of the Show. Didn't you know what? It's a yearly tradition that exhibitors give out food and products for marketing and PR purposes. And as such, they have to be respected. If you want to confiscate food that has been offered as a free gift, make it clear to the exhibitors and ask them not to offer their products for free before closure BUT treat guests and visitors with respect. I still wonder who is going to consume the leftovers. It is said that non-for-profit organizations like City Harvest collect the remaining items for the homeless.

Is this true?

If it is, I congratulate the organizers of NASFT and everybody else who is involved. But why I saw some huge amounts of olives thrown away in a trash can? Shame on those who trash food like this. There is so much food left and so many hungry people in New York. Don't throw it away. It's really a disgrace.

And please, I don't want to talk to another obnoxious security guy. I got some freebies but I managed to sneak out easily.

This is all good.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Fancy Food Show (3)

Fancy Food Show continues. What I liked the most and I applause:

1. Thailand and its innovative presentation with give aways of fresh Thai fruit - Mangosteen and Langsat, both similar to lychee but also amazing, innovative recipes as the sticky rice served with coconut ice cream! (see picture).

2. Peru food tastings some of which consisted of the well-known Peruvian causa with crab meat and tuna salad on top and ceviche de Lenguado but also a series of desserts I can't even name right now....

3. The Chilean tastings with the corn puree based samplings together with their delicious wine pairings and with their panacota desserts. I also want to give thumps up to the original Wine infused jellies of Chile. Alma Sol offers jellies made from Merlot, Syrah, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay wines amongst others. A different taste, if you like the mix of the wine with the sugar, it's definitely for you.

But there weren't only those countries that impressed with their presence. A series of weird but also innovative food items astonished but also confused the visitors. I will start with the green tea infused gourmet shortbread cookies, this taste is only for those who 1. like shortbread 2. like green tea. Not really my cup of tea...

I can't leave out one of my preferred, the wasabi peanuts as seen at the The Peanut Shop of Williamsburg stand, providing bold and spicy flavors of Japanese horseradish to their extra large Virginia peanuts. Another favorite was the Yin & Yang, a sweet-hot flavor combined with the Praline glazed peanuts, just amazing!

A stop at the Azar Nut Company gave me the opportunity to also taste Jalapeno cashews, Honey chipotle pecans and cinnamon almonds, great ideas for your summer parties but also unique tastes if you do like nuts and spices. Another authentic idea, not seen in the Chocolate show last October, was the nacho dipped in chocolate from the Vosges Chocolate. A real sin.

I will give the prize of the most delicious, balanced and inventive product of this Show to the new ice-cream flavors created by Vosges chocolate. Currently, they offer the following four flavors: Naga, Pandan, Red Fire and Wattleseed with Naga being my best and the award winning for this season. It is a sweet Indian curry with fresh young coconut and creamy custard ice cream. A pure and delightful experience. The Red Fire is also unique with Mexican chipotle chillies, cinnamon and dark chocolate ice cream.

Naga. Voted the best. Fancy Food Show of 2009 and Vosges, thanks for the inspiration!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Fancy Food Show (2)

Before I comment on food, recipes, presentation and the instructions of NASFT regarding "take out food", here are some stats for this year's FFS:

- Honey was presented by 153 companies featuring honey in candy, drinks and condiments

- Blood orange flavor also seems to be on the rise particularly for jams, marmelade and juices

- Sea salt has a popular use in chocolate and even brownies

This year wasn't about Organic (I don't remember being the trend last year either). But it was about natural ingredients, no artificial colors or sugars and controlled portions. So, thumps up for the Lesser Evil snacks, with the 40 sticks, 110 calories a serving snack. I also liked the real sliced crisp fruit, fruit that are not dried but actually freeze-dried, available in 7 fruit varieties. I also welcome the Bodhi fruit chips, a healthy, tasty 100% natural snack in 4 flavors. Glee Gum was present with a tasty gum with natural ingredients and rain forest chicle in tangerine, berry, peppermint, cinnamon, bubblegum and spearmint flavors. And finally, a sweet addition with the gluten free breads, cookies and crackers offered by Aunt Gussie's.

To move to something far less healthier but probably much tastier, the limitless combinations of Sunland peanut butter with ...something else. Peanut butter with banana, peanut butter with cinnamon, with caramel and with dark chocolate to name a few. Together with some portions of the Romanicos Dark Chocolate Bars (with ginger, cayenne pepper, wild cherry, soy beans, honey and figs) will make the ideal pairing of pleasure but also a guarantee that will put an end to the diet you just started!

Fancy Food Show (1)

With more than 2,300 exhibitors representing more than 70 countries, the Fancy Food Show closed its doors yesterday at 4pm (not avoiding embarrassing controversies as probably expected). After spending three half days tasting new, innovative, weird, tasty and not tasty flavors and foods, I ended up being confused but also nicely surprised at new products.

So, what is new in this year's FFS?

1. The amazing presence of Thailand, Chile and Peru

2. The mouthwatering new Vosges chocolate ice creams

3. The small, controlled portions of snack foods

4. The fusion (and confusion) of flavor and taste in peanuts, chocolate, cookies and sauces

5. The nice surprises that came from Africa

Here are a few pictures for you and for your increasing appetite. Details to follow.