travel

Would You Live in a Water Tower?

I’m going to answer my own question: Yes. Absolutely. But only if said water tower looked like this:

converted water tower

Tom Dixon, a British design and manufacturing company, converted a 60-foot water tower, in North Kensington, London, into a gorgeous apartment. It has three floors complete with a kitchen, living room, two bedrooms, two bathrooms, a living room and (sigh of envy) a roof terrace. It’s going for $3,900 a month–which, scarily, isn’t too bad if you compare it to NYC prices for similarly sized digs.

I love how the big windows lets lots of light into the space:

converted water tower

converted water tower

converted water tower

converted water tower

There are tons of water towers in NYC. I’m wondering when someone will convert one into a luxury apartment here on this side of the pond!

converted water tower

(Photos via Gizmag, via Architizer; thanks to Shawn for introducing me to the link)

Postcards from Nowhere

Here’s a Kickstarter I wish I had gotten in on earlier: On June 1, Brooklyn-based photogs Andrew Kenney and Jake Jones took off on 3-month road trip through each of the lower 48 states. Along the way, they’re shooting lots of pictures and printing and sending postcards from each state to the people who backed them via Kickstarter.

While it’s too late to sign up to receive postcards now, you can follow their journey and see their gorgeous photos on their website and Facebook page. Here’s a sampling:

wyoming

Wyoming

nebraska

Nebraska

idaho

Idaho

new jersey

New Jersey

You can also preorder sets of blank postcards–which they’ll ship to you in September, once they’re back in NYC after their journey.

(Photos via Postcards from Nowhere’s Facebook page; found via Afar)

The Museum Of London’s LomoWall

The Olympics start tomorrow and I’m so excited. Ninety-nine percent of the time, I never watch sports. But every two years, I find myself glued to the Olympics, watching and reading about athletes and events that I could care less about at any other time.

I’m not lucky enough to be in London during the Games, but if I were, I’d definitely check out the new LomoWall at the Museum of London. The mosaic spans more than 213 feet and is comprised of nearly 30,000 photos that amateur photographers from around the world shot on film. (Yup, actual film!) The theme was “inspiring and achieving in London’s Olympic Year” and includes images of Britain’s Paraolympians training for the games.

The Lomography site has some cool shots depicting the wall’s construction:

lomowall, london

lomowall, london

lomowall, london

lomowall, london

It kind of makes me want to go out and shoot some photos on a manual camera!

(All photos via Lomography)

River Tubing

Every year, for the past three Julys, a group of us has gone tubing on the Delaware River. It’s really the perfect summer tradition: lazily floating downstream while surrounded by pretty scenery and sipping a beer. In my book, there are few better ways to spend a hot afternoon.

The first time, we went though a company,В in Frenchtown, NJ, that provided tubes and a ride back upstream to the starting point. But then, one of my friends realized that you can just buy cheap inflatable floats, park at the Frenchtown boat launch, travel along the same route–and bring drinks and snacks along. Let’s just say that the next year was way more fun.

On Saturday, we made our annual trip. The afternoon was bright and sunny but not too hot–perfect weather for our nearly 6 mile float between Jersey and Pennsylvania.

delaware river tubing

tubing

mal, peter, doug, alex

The current was slow, so we had plenty of chillaxin’ time as our makeshift flotilla bobbed downstream. The guys even made BBQ brisket sandwiches right in their tubes!

peter tubing

mal tubing

heather tubing

doug tubing

Along the way, we saw another group of tubers launching themselves off a rope swing. I was too short to reach the rope (boo!), but Alex and Peter went for it.

alex and rope swing

alex on the rope swing

delaware river tubing

Next year we’re thinking of trading up our round floats for wacky ones like thisВ or these–gotta up the ridiculous factor a little more every time!

(P.S. – On the way home, Mal and I had dinner at the Lovin’ Oven, a super-cute place with great food, just a minute away from where we launched our tubes.)

What’s your favorite summer tradition?

Dancing Around the World

I’m a big fan of the “Where the Hell Is Matt?” videos. The first one, which Matt Harding, then a backpacker, put on his blog in 2005, shows him dancing in different places around the world. His signature move is delightfully amateurish–it looks like a goofy mash-up between a flailing Irish jig and running in place. But he’s so exuberant and the backdrops are intriguing and the soundtrack is infectious. You can’t help but grin when watching. Not surprisingly, it went viral.

The В two follow-up videos he made (thanks to a sponsorship with Stride gum) are even better. One, released in 2006, is similar to Matt’s first video:В He dances in iconic place after place around the world. The second, released in 2008, is even better:В Thousands of locals from each destination join in with the same running/jig-like moves.

Matt’s latest video, which just came out, still manages to top that one. It follows the same format, but with one big difference: Instead of Matt doing his trademark moves, locals teach him dances native to each place. This time, he created it without a sponsor and it’s clearly a labor of love. Check it out–and be prepared to smile:

Off to My Last Maryland Beach Weekend!

OC parasailer

I’m heading down to Maryland with the rents. It’s Mal and Peter’s last weekend before moving back to New York. So we’re going to help them pack up their place, but also fit in plenty of beach time and, of course, enjoy one last blue crab dinner. I’m sad to say goodbye to my “summer share”–I loved having a place to escape to on the weekends. But I’m even happier to have Mal and Peter nearby!

Have a wonderful weekend! And enjoy my favorite links from this week:

Gorgeous photos of Norway (they make me want to go back!)

A disturbingly accurate portrayal of what happens every time “that Goyte song” starts playing in the car. This was literally me and my best friend on our drive to and from Maryland a few weeks ago. Multiple times.

Colorful towns from around the world

Why can’t the Bronx be more like Brooklyn?

Nutty, yet brilliant: New Yorkers can rent a backyard by the hour on the LES

Could you live in a 300-square foot studio? (I don’t think I could!)

There’s going to be an Internet Cat Video Film Festival. Seriously.

The best fish tacos in NYC. (I really don’t know why we don’t have better Mexican food here. Sadly, some of the best fish tacos I’ve had in the city were ones I’ve made myself. But I can vouch for Fonda Nolita’s being among the better ones!)

Assateague Island

assateague island

How nutty is this photo? I don’t know about you, but I don’t often see wild animals on the beaches I visit. But this is the norm at Assateague Island, which is just a few minutes from Mal and Peter’s place. The 37-mile national seashore runs from Maryland to Virginia and is known for its wild horses. On the Virginia side, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department owns the animals and keeps them fenced in designated areas. But on the Maryland side, they’re free to roam as they please–even among beachgoers.

Mal said that when she, Peter and Paul went to Assateague last week, the small herd in the photo above just milled around for hours. They went into the water and ambled along the sand, sometimes causing sunbathers to scramble to get their blankets out of their way. Then, at the end of day, the horses sprinted away as if they had somewhere to be.

Even though it’s on my Maryland bucket list, I haven’t made it to Assateague and probably won’t, at this point. I’m severely allergic to horses–which I discovered on a disastrous 8th grade trip to a dude ranch–and probably couldn’t be in such close proximity to them. Plus, while the horses are gorgeous to look at, the beach has some not-so-appealing equine-related issues: namely horse droppings and horseflies. But I’m glad to visit it vicariously through Mal, Peter and Paul’s photos!

(Photo via Peter Burger)