• Colonia Condesa, México City
  • Colonia Condesa, México City
  • Colonia Condesa, México City
  • Colonia Condesa, México City
  • Colonia Condesa, México City

29 July 2013 / , ,

Arriving in México City I chose to stay at a hostel in Roma Norte, just north of Colonia Condesa in a quiet part of the city south of downtown. I didn’t want the hotel experience and I surely didn’t want to stay downtown. I wanted charm and beauty, and Condesa is certainly that and more. Beginning with Parque México and Parque España, Condesa weaves down lush streets filled with trendy restaurants and cafés, zigzagged with bike lanes and walkways, full of residents and surprisingly very few tourists. I seemed to be an anomaly there, but a welcome one, and it became easy to befriend the always friendly locals. My strategy for getting to know any neighborhood is easy, just walk, until you’re so tired you crash at any restaurant that looks appetizing. It’s also a great way to get off the beaten path, to explore and disorient yourself in order to orient yourself. I’ve found the best places this way, always looking out for the (1) charming restaurant, (2) the misleading hole-in-the-wall (with the best food), and (3) street food (great and cheap). After this the neighborhood is yours, enjoy the parks, food, sights, and sounds. Of which Condesa has much of, enjoy, because next up is the bustling downtown and historical district.

  • Estrada: Sailing through design
  • Estrada: Sailing through design

24 July 2013 / , ,

Sketchbooks or “visual diaries,” book covers, iconography, wine labels, Manuel Estrada seriously does it all, and all is on display at the AIGA National Design Center where Estrada: Sailing through design is now on view. The exhibition displays an astonishing amount of Estrada’s sketchbooks and process, each page beautiful in itself, giving us a sneak-peak into one creatives internal clockwork. Even more impressive is his finished work, I’m simply in love with his book cover design and minimal wine labels. This small and sweet exhibition is a must see for the designer and sketch maker, and a nice glimpse into the Spanish design world. Check out Manuel’s site at manuelestrada.com and find out more about the exhibition here.

  • México City
  • México City
  • México City
  • México City

12 July 2013 / , ,

From the moment I thought about México City, and going there, mystery was the only thing that filled my mind. México City was an idealized place in my head, so big, and around every corner something either beautiful or frightening. I kept this mirage of México City in my mind until the very day I got onto the plane, doing very little planning, and not sneaking any peeks via Google maps street-view. Some part of me had visions of a Mexico City inspired from The Savage Detectives, Roberto Bolaño’s epic novel—much of which takes place in México City—or a parallel Mexican version of New York City without the skyscrapers. Well the real thing was much less melodramatic, and much more rich and rewarding; as I traversed the streets of Colonia Condesa, the historical district, crashed Frida’s casa, viewed the city as seen by royalty, and climbed the stairs of some very big pyramids, I learned that México City is no Novel or mirage, but only México City … first in a multi-post series!.

  • Vahram Muratyan, la façade, 2010.
  • Vahram Muratyan, la façade, 2010.
  • Vahram Muratyan, la façade, 2010.
  • Vahram Muratyan, la façade, 2010.

14 June 2013 / , ,

Paris and New York are two cities that are hard not to love (Woody Allen would agree), and Vahram Muratyan has been lucky enough to be living between the two as a graphic artist. Lucky for us because he’s created an ongoing series of visual comparisons between the two cities that borders on an aesthetic cultural manual. Each delving into the visual, cultural, stereotypical, and insider knowledge of each city set side-by-side. And while I still haven’t had the pleasure of visiting Paris, I can now at least say I have something to compare it to. Whether or not you’ve been to either, enjoy them for what they are—beautiful, witty, and vibrant flat illustrations. View the entire series at http://parisvsnyc.blogspot.com.es.

  • Kokeshi Matches by Kumi Hirasaka
  • Kokeshi Matches by Kumi Hirasaka
  • Kokeshi Matches by Kumi Hirasaka

27 May 2013 / ,

Who says matchsticks have to be boring and mundane? Certainly not the people at Kokeshi Matches (rightly named after the wooden Japanese dolls without arms or legs), who produce witty, cute, and entertaining matchstick designs for every mood. Designed by Osaka based artist Kumi Hirasaka, her flare for putting a face to fire makes me want to take up smoking (maybe not), or candles, or simply start a collection of these brightly colored matches for my own. One thing is for sure, you’ll never look at matches the same again, so pick-up your own at http://www.kokeshi-m.com.