Sunday, April 27, 2014

Ceci est la Couleur de Mes Rêves

Take me back to Paris, where we can ride the metro and explore anywhere in the city.  Where we can spend days inside the many museums.  Where we can stroll up and down the Seine.  Where we can sit at a cafe and people watch for hours on end.  Where we can get lost in the wonder and beauty of the sheer age and amount of history that makes up the grand city.  Where we can stop and get a nutella crepe.  Where we can revel in the laid-back but ambitious Parisian attitude.  Where we can see and understand the world through another culture's eyes.

(photos collected from flickr, th04.deviantart, russbishop, sphotos-c, pinterest, and bluepueblo)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Definitions Belong to the Definers, Not the Defined

I went on a little day-after-payday shopping excursion today, partly because I needed to replace my sunglasses that broke earlier this week, and partly because I needed something to do on this fine Saturday afternoon.  I wandered into Free People, whose products are always so nicely displayed, and found this really interesting sideslinger Spartan Gladiator bag.  It's a bit more statement than I usually go for, but I figured that since I don't wear jewelry, it might be kindof fun to add a bit of flash every once in a while.

(photos by e.hunt)

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Very Little to Do With Reality

I've watched several movies over the past week.  Here's a little recap.

Mona Lisa Smile.  This semi-chick-flick is about a group of college age girls coming to terms with their place in society in the 1950's.  A bohemian art history professor from California comes to an ultra-conservative east coast small town and learns pretty quickly that the girls are in school only to bide their time until they get married and become housewives.  Through looking at art beyond the facts (title, artist, date), and her strong vocalizing of opinions, she shows the girls they can be more, and should always strive to look at the world differently.  Features some excellent supporting characters acted by Marcia Gay-Harden and Topher Grace.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.  I re-watched this, and in doing so, realized that I really missed the point the first time I saw it fourteen years ago.  Yes, it came out in the year 2000, and the special effects have held up surprisingly well, probably because the actors were really doing all the flying around and dancing on tree tops.  The special effects were only used to erase the wires holding them up.  It is a beautiful depiction of a culture and time period that is not explored enough (in film and American history classes).  Interesting trivial fact: the actors of the four main characters all spoke Mandarin, but with different accents.  Chow Yun-Fat had a Cantonese accent, Michelle Yeoh had a Malaysian/English one, Ziyi Zhang's was Beijing, and Chen Chang had a Taiwanese accent.  Even though we would never be able to tell a difference, apparently, in some Chinese markets, they had a dubbed version with standard Mandarin.

American Hustle.  I was a little underwhelmed by this Oscar nominated juggernaught.  Though it was entertaining, and well-acted, it seemed very surface.  I didn't really care about the characters and the plot kept getting more convoluted with everybody conning everybody else, and I just knew in the end exactly who would win.  It could've been about thirty minutes shorter and gotten the same thing across. That being said, the details and costuming were impeccable, and Christian Bale, Amy Adams, and Jennifer Lawrence all nailed it.  Bradley Cooper was a bit over the top, which he was probably going for, but it made him immediately unlikable, and you just knew he was going to get screwed in the end.  Fun fact, this movie tied with Gangs of New York and True Grit for second highest number of Oscar nominations at ten, and not winning any.

(photos collected from googleimages)

Don't Give In to Hate, That Leads to the Dark Side

If there is one print I've loathed for the majority of my life, it would have to be the one known as floral.  To me, it seemed too dainty and girly, looking like it was made from leftover curtain material.  Now, as the Sound of Music proved that was perfectly do-able, I just always thought that the print was a bit much.  Well, as I mentioned in a post a couple days ago, I found a dress that wasn't quite as offensively floral as usual.  Here it is, styled with a knotted button-up and feds.

(photos by e.hunt)

Friday, April 18, 2014

No Matter What, Nobody Can Take Away the Dances You've Already Had

"[It was] something mysterious and definite that uprooted him from his own time and carried him adrift through an unexplored region of his memory... His heart filled with fear and jubilation at the contact with mystery."
- One Hundred Year of Solitude, Gabriel García Márquez
Mr. Márquez passed away yesterday, April 17th, at 87 years old.  Rest in peace.

(photos collected from signatureillustration, bookfever, muddyingthewaters, polyvore, and huffingtonpost)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The Only Person You are Destined to Become is the Person You Decide to Be

There's something about summertime hats.  Something carefree.  Something almost local.  Not local like close by, but local like a person who looks like they belong somewhere.  Like if a tourist was lost in a foreign city, they look for a local to ask for directions.  The type of local that just fits with the character and look of their surrounding city, that is comfortable with and excited about it at the same time.  The kind of person that you wish to become in any new place you want to know beyond the tourist sense.  For me that is Destin, Paris, and now, Nashville.

(photos collected from mujeresdelsiglo21, pinterest, and styletracker-na)

Simply a Matter of Waking Up Their Eyes

Speaking of thrift shops, I had a very successful trip to Goodwill this weekend.  I found two springtime work pants, a cool skirt that is also appropriate for work, and a very 90's flower-laden sundress.  Yay for prints!

(photo by e.hunt)

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Best Thrift Shops in Nashville

1.  Live True.  A little indie clothing shop, with vintage everything thrown in as well.  There's a lot of character to this place, and the owner is very pleasant and knows her inventory really well.  I can usually find something here, whether it's clothing or a cool something for a friend, but it's the small business customer service that keeps me going back.

2.  McKay's.  This massive warehouse of used movies and books is quite the experience.  You could spend an entire day here and not get to everything.  Both the books and movies are organized by genre, making it easy to browse.  The book prices are a steal, and you can find some deals on movies too.

3.  The Great Escape.  This little hole in the wall has everything electronic related: movies, video games, records, cd's, etc.  Everything is well priced, and the staff is friendly and helpful too.  It's the perfect place for enthusiasts of any one of the products, and you're sure to find something worth getting.

4.  Goodwill.  Specifically the one at Gallatin and Eastland in East Nash.  It's small enough that it's not overwhelming, but big enough that there's a nice selection of goods.  It's usually pretty clean and organized, and the staff always seems so happy, throwing jokes back and forth to one another.  I've found everything from clothes, to books, to movies, to dishware, to picture frames and rarely do I go in and not find anything.

5.  Katy K.  This western wear boutique over in 12 South is a fun trip.  Loaded with vintage and new clothes alike, you're sure to find something cool.  It's a bit more expensive than the other entries on this list, but it's because the pieces are like none other.

(photos by e.hunt, and collected from hobbiesonabudget, nashvillegeekgirl, mbasic, and googleimages)

Best Bars in Nashville

1.  Three Crow.  Located at the centermost point in The Five Points in East Nashville, this bar is the place to be.  Kindof dark, and a little gritty, most of the staff probably owns motorcycles and adds to their tattoo collection weekly.  So cool.  They have all kinds of beer, and if you really want to go all out, they have the best bushwackers in town.  For those of you that don't know, a bushwacker is a vivacious alcoholic milkshake-like drink.

2.  Drifters.  If you go out the back door of Three Crow, walk twenty feet, take a right and walk through the parking lot, you'll be at Drifters.  This one has some dive bar elements to it, but is a great place to go on a night that you want to go out, but not really put any effort into it.  The bartenders are pleasant, and there is a steady stream of classic rock playing in the background.

3.  Holland House.  This bar is a bit fancier, and has a 20's vibe going on.  The plush interior, with lots of string lights and areas with sofas and armchairs works perfectly with the wide selection of mixed drinks.  I've never had the food here, but it's supposedly pretty good as well.  Overall, it's a fun, different place to go, and a great spot to bring out of town visitors to.

4.  Edgefield.  The sports bar entry on the list, this one has lots of flatscreen tv's adorning the walls, there are no windows whatsoever, and there is an abundance of games to play, like darts, and pool.  Nothing too special about it, except that its a fun place to be.

5.  Fat Bottom Brewery.  I went here for the first time just the other night and really enjoyed it.  They have a nice selection of beers brewed in-house, a very welcoming and friendly staff, and an awesome outdoor patio-type area.  There are covered tables surrounding the perimeter, and lots of benches and standing areas in the middle, with a stage for live music off to the side.  Excited to go back more this summer.

(photos collected from 3crowbar, driftersnashville, slowcocktails, tripadvisor, and ratebeer)

Friday, April 11, 2014

Best Restaurants in Nashville

1.  Five Points Pizza.  Hands down, the best pizza in the city.  Nestled right in the heart of The Five Points in East Nashville, this restaurant is trendy, but at the same time, it's a trend that isn't going anywhere.  The staff is very typical east nash fare, with lots of tattoos, long hair, and a cool-friendly disposition.  They have a great selection of beer to enjoy with your pizza, and serve it by the slice as well as by the whole pie.

2.  The Pharmacy.  I'm not a big meat person, but these burgers are absolutely fabulous.  The German-style, outdoor beer garden adds a nice flair, and is delightful in the summer months.  Big string lights and wooden picnic tables set the scene, with lots of rambunctious tables having great times.  They are also known for their sodas, shakes, and malts fountain.

3.  Rose Pepper.  Authentic mexicana, with authentic margaritas as well.  This is a fun place to go with a group of people.  They have a large open-air covered patio, and rather eclectic decorations throughout, including but not limited to string lights, wrought iron wall hangings, chandeliers, and large mosaics.  Their extensive menu offers some really delicious takes on mexican style favorites as well.

4.  Italia Pizza.  I do have to admit, I've never actually been to this restaurant, but their delivery pizza is incredible.  I can only imagine what the in-house pies taste like.  The perfect to-go pizza: it comes in this really well-designed box where the top is perforated so you can tear it apart into four plates.  Pizza party time!

5.  Mitchell's Deli.  This little sandwich shop located over in Riverside in East Nashville is the quintessential sandwich shop.  It's got all your classics (I'm partial to the BLT), but has a wide variety of edgy, more experimental sandwiches as well.  They are hand made to order, and they never skimp on the ingredients.

(photos collected from fivepointspizza, thepharmacynashville, nashvillelifestyles, katyfriends, and oldredboots)

Monday, April 7, 2014

Best Coffeeshops in Nashville

This upcoming Wednesday will be the one-year mark of me living in Nashville.  That's right: last year on April Ninth, I packed up the Dreammobile and moved into a delightful little apartment in East Nashville.  As a one year anniversary of sorts, I've put together a few lists of Nashville Bests; first up, Best Coffeeshops!

1.  Ugly Mugs.  This little place is about a block from my house, in a nice little cove of restaurants along Eastland Road in East Nashville.  Spacious with lots of natural light, and with a converted glass garage door that they open on nice days, this is a lovely little spot to spend an afternoon.  Their mochas are delicious; I frequently stop by to pick one up on the way to work.

2.  Frothy Monkey.  This one is over in the 12 South district, which hosts a number of little boutiques and restaurants.  Several levels and a wrap-around porch with outdoor seating make up the layout, and it is always filled with a laid-back, cool clientele.  They also serve drinks in an almost soup bowl sized cup.

3.  The Well.  Now let's move on to Green Hills, the more posh side of town.  The Well doesn't really fit that description though.  All the proceeds go to building wells in Africa, and it's the only place in town that makes frozen coffee drinks.  This one has a more energetic vibe, with lots of students and young people coming in and out.  Get there at an off-time though, it's usually so packed it's hard to find a seat.

4.  Crema.  This one is the closest to downtown.  The atmosphere is quite charming, cozy, and they have a nice selection of muffins and pastries.  The abundance of wood surfaces, an area with big leather armchairs, and snug arrangement of tables lends itself to the more casual, down-home feel; perfect for a rainy day.

5.  Bongo Java.  This seemingly hole-in-the-wall spot in The Five Points in East Nashville, is actually quite roomy inside.  This one is more earthy, almost hearty in a way.  It is a social spot, with more groups of friends meeting up, and families with small children, than people working quietly on their computers.  It's menu is a little more exotic as well, with more specialty drink options than the regular mocha, americano, and latte varieties, like The Milky Way, a caramel-y, chocolate-y, mocha-y delight (pictured below).

(photos by e.hunt)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Among the Rocks and the Sand

Sorry I've been a little off the radar the past couple weeks, I've been rather busy.  Since the weather is back to being absolutely gorgeous, I've started picking up the running regimen again.  In finding a couple of regular loops to take (I had three in stl and two in springtown), I've stumbled upon some really cool residential areas, and only got lost once in a thicket of neighborhood streets that kept winding around and away from the main roads I know.  I was also spending my evenings working on a new chalk pastel project; an interpretation of one of Ralph McQuarrie's Star Wars concept pieces.

After much staring at the original, studying the colors and directions in which they flow, testing of color mixing to get the exact match, and getting over my hesitations to draw Luke and the speeder, all while drinking wine and listening to the Dean Martin pandora station, it was complete.  I went to the local Goodwill in hopes of finding a good frame, which I did.  I guessed the size and it turned out to be a perfect fit!  Here is the finished product in it's new home, Andrew's new apartment.

(photos by e.hunt, and collected from googleimages)