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Planting Carrots

Going back to work after a looooooooong summer weekend is never easy, so I was tickled when I came across Kitt Santos‘s amazing blog, Little Bunny. Big World.

The name is pretty accurate. Santos depicts a little rabbit going through the stuff we humans feel every day.

This particular illustration, entitled “You’ll get there,” resonated with me.

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I’m not exactly a patient person. I like to feel like I’m always in motion, working towards my next goal or latest project. It’s not always easy for me to accept that some things are out of my control, and that sometimes I have to wait—and find peace in those moments.

ButВ I’ve found a way to help myself through those times. I’ve long used the expression “planting carrots” to describe planning fun things to look forward to—especially trips and vacations. Knowing that I have an upcoming getaway helps me throughВ life’s ups and downs, likeВ the annual long slogВ orВ a super-busy period at work. Anticipating those carrots makes me feel as zen as that bunny.

And speaking of carrots, I’ve actually planted a few more in the past week: In addition to my upcoming Chile trip, I also booked a weekend to visit my dear friend in Indiana, and an end-of-summer trip to London and another TBD destination with my best friend. Hooray for carrots!

(Illustration by Kitt Santos)

Must-Follow Instagram Account: @NewYorkAirBook

I’m a huge George Steinmetz fan.

The photographer is known for his amazing aerial shots and is currently working on a book of NYC images.

I linked to some of his NYC photos last summer, and discovered a new trove of his work via his @newyorkairbook Instagram account. (He actually shot the photo of that amazing West Village rooftop cabinВ that I posted yesterday.)

A few of my favorite photos below, though his whole account is definitely worth a browse and follow.

(Images by George Steinmetz via @newyorkairbook)

Christoph Niemann’s “Summer Sky” New Yorker Cover

Christoph Niemann is amazing.

I’ve long been a huge fan (remember I LEGO N.Y.?!) and for years have followed his quirky, creative work in the NYT, the New Yorker and via his Twitter account.

Not surprisingly, I’m loving his animated illo, “Summer Sky,” for this week’s New Yorker cover. It’s so whimsical and bright and just makes me smile.

Summer Sky, by Christoph Niemann

…now if only it felt more like summer in NYC!

(Image via the New Yorker)

Spotify’s Awesome Serendipity Map

I got such a kick out of this Spotify project: Serendipity is a digital map that displays instances in which one song was played by two people, anywhere in the world, within one-tenths of a second.

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The songs aren’t being played in real time. (That would be so much cooler.) But they were culled from a recent one-hour period, so it’s indicative of what’s happening around the world, at any given time.

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Most songs are, not surprisingly, current pop hits: lots of Katy Perry, Ke$ha, Ariana Grande.

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But there are also some throwbacks, like Radiohead’s “Paranoid Android” and Oasis’ “Champagne Supernova.”

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I’ll admit, there have been times when I’ve clicked on a random song—usually some 80s or 90s jam I can’t get out of my head—and wondered whether anyone else in the world was also listening to the same thing, at the same time. Now I know that chances are, someone may have been.

(Screen grabs viaВ Serendipity)

Hurricane-Proof Beach Houses

I’ve mentioned a few times that one of my goals is to buy a beach house.

There are fewer places where I’m happier, than on a beach. (From the number of posts on the subject, I think that’s pretty clear!) And while I frequent the New York beaches each summer, it’s a long haul for me to get to any of them. My dream is to be able to spend most summer weekends at my own place, in a nearby beach town.

I’m not envisioning anything fancy. Just someplace bright, airy, and relatively quiet.

I do know the risks that come with owning a beach house, though. Hurricane Sandy hit the east coast’s seaside towns hard. Lots of areas are still recovering—including LBI, where I recently vacationed.

Knowing that, I’ve been poking around the web to see what can be done to help beachfront homes survive hurricanes. In the process, I stumbled upon two very different, but gorgeous, houses built to withstand natural disasters.

This seaside cottageВ sits on Hunting Island, off the coast of Maine.В The stones on the exterior walls came from the island. I love the juxtaposition of the rocks and weathered wood…

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…and how the home is just a few steps from the water!

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That proximity to the ocean puts the house in a FEMA flood zone, which meant it had to built to code. Design firm, the Knickerbocker Group, oversaw the project: making sure vents could handle rushing floodwaters, ensuring that all wood was rot-proof, installingВ electrical wiring at least three feet off the floor. And that metal rod running along the roof, inside the living room? That’s to keep it from blowing off during a bad storm.

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Scary to even think of that. Though I imagine falling asleep on most nights, listening to the sound of waves, makes the risk worth it.

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On the other end of the design spectrum, is this Tsunami House, fromВ Design Northwest Architects,В on Washington’s Camano Island, in the Puget Sound.

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It, too, was built to FEMA code. The lower level is an expansive patio and seating area…

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…but since it would likely be underwater in the event of a hurricane, the main living space is nine feet above ground.

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The structure was built to withstand 85 mph winds and earthquakes.

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At first, I was really wowed by the Tsunami House. But after seeing the stone cottage, I feel like that’s more my style: simple and rustic yet elegant. Either way,В it’s inspiring—and encouraging—to see what can be done within strict flood zone codes.

Which house do you prefer?

(Images of the stone house via Houzz;В images of the Tsunami House by Design Northwest Architects, found via Weather.com)

Gorgeous Gifs

When I think about.gif"turntable cat" href="http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m8dynhbpJ01qbbs8oo1_500.gif" target="_blank">this variety.

Which is why I was so blown away when I came across Rebecca Mock’s.gif"http://rebeccamock.com/index.php?/nytimes/the-quiet-ones/">the quiet ones

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This one is my absolute favorite. It so reminds me of sweltering NYC afternoons in the summertime. (How much longer until it’s that hot?)

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Check out more of Mock’s amazing illos on her site, as well as her Tumblr.

(Images by Rebecca Mock; found via NPR)