Hoxton Hotel Amsterdam

The Hoxton, Amsterdam, the first location outside of London in The Hoxton series opened for business 2 days ago. Apparently, we were one of the first guests to be received at the new location.

The location on Herengracht was central and very convenient. We walked everywhere. To the Van Gogh Museum. To the best Thai restaurant in the city, Bird. To the de Bijenkorf department store where they were having the biggest sale of the year (I bought a pair of jeans for 5 euros!!!).

Made up of 5 canal houses this grand dame building was once home to the Mayor in the 17th century. Now it houses 111 rooms spread across 5 floors with high ceilings and lots of canal views from each side of the building. Downstairs there’s a restaurant and an upstairs mezzanine coffee and cocktail den.

The interior design of the rooms by local designers Nicemakers were inspired by the building’s history and local neighborhood. Each room was cleverly designed and elegantly presented down to every detail. There were handwritten postcards with pictures of Dutch resort towns that even had stamps and postmarks on it. The bathroom was stocked with the hotel’s own brand of amenities, Pen & Ink in collaboration with alchemist Liza Witte and illustrator Hedof that included bar soap, shampoo, conditioner and body wash.

The mattress was nice and firm and I loved the rainmaker shower! We also had free Wi-Fi and a iMac station where the kids could watch YouTube cartoons while the adults relaxed with a glass of wine.

In the morning we were supposed to get our daily breakfast in a bag containing yogurt, granola and a banana but the first 2 days… no breakfast. They eventually got it right. Understandable though as there are bound to be kinks that need to be worked out when first opening. It’s certainly a clever idea– you gotta give em that. Service was courteous and friendly (especially the front desk and waitstaff), which I consider high on my list when choosing accommodations.

I would highly recommend a stay at the Hoxton Amsterdam but it is a popular hotel chain so book early.

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Protected: A Quick Visit to Miami

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Happy 2015!

Happy New Year 2015

I am nature’s child, fortune smiles upon me. All things bloom in the gentleness of my love. I strive to find beauty in all I behold. I AM THE SHEEP.

We bid adieu to the year of the Horse today Wednesday, February 18th, 2015, and welcome in the more gentle Wood Sheep. This year we will see an increased focus on the creative arts. You too may feel the pull to start a painting class, learn to play the guitar or start planting that organic garden you always wanted to start.

It is a good time for re-establishing relationships with family, friends and kindred spirits. Do not be surprised if people from your past begin to show up in your life again. As Wood is still in charge, energy will pour out, bringing growth and prosperity. Wood is about money, opportunity, abundance, growth, and enterprise.

Use this time to build positive relationships in all areas of your life and celebrate the big and small moments. Hang out with like-minded and high vibrational energy people, which signals the universe of your intentions and in turn it sends more like-minded people and opportunities your way.

The 100 Most Influential Books

This is a list of books I compiled that over the years have inspired me in one or more ways, whether that means randomly quoting lines that pop into my head for no apparent reason from books read years ago or laughing out loud upon recalling a character in a scene that seem to mirror events in my own life.

Are there any books you would add to this list?

1. Siddhartha by Herman Hesse
2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig
3. The Second Sex by Simone de Beauvoir
4. Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson
5. The Prince by Niccolò Machiavelli
6. Basketball Diaries by Jim Carroll
7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
8. The Republic by Plato
9. Paradise Lost by John Milton
10. The Vampyre by John Polidori
11. Catcher in the Rye by J. D. Salinger
12. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
13. The Shining by Stephen King
14. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
15. Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
16. Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad
17. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
18. The Iliad and The Odyssey by Homer
19. The Color Purple by Alice Walker
20. The Awakening by Kate Chopin
21. The Divine Comedy by Dante Alighieri
22. Lady Chatterley’s Lover by D. H. Lawrence
23. The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien
24. Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell
25. The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert Heinlein
26. Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
27. King Lear by William Shakespeare
28. The Wealth of Nations by Adam Smith
29. The Canterbury Tales by Geoffrey Chaucer
30. Ulysses by James Joyce
31. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
32. Upanishads
34. Le Père Goriot by Honoré de Balzac
35. Moby Dick by Herman Melville
36. Masnavi by Rumi
37. Mahabharata by Vyasa
38. Tao Te Ching by Lao Tzu
39. Washington Square by Henry James
40. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
41. Common Sense by Thomas Paine
42. A Room with a View by E.M. Forster
43. The Sound and the Fury by William Faulkner
44. The Stranger by Albert Camus
45. Vindication of the Rights of Woman by Mary Wollstonecraft
46. The Roads to Freedom by Jean-Paul Sartre
47. Thus Spoke Zarathustra by Friedrich Nietzsche
48. Reflections on the Revolution in France by Edmund Burke
49. Being and Nothingness by Jean-Paul Sartre
50. Walden by Henry David Thoreau
51. Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston
52. The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin
53. Das Kapital by Karl Marx
54. Rabbit is Rich by John Updike
55. Bhagavad Gita
56. Animal Farm by George Orwell
57. War and Peace by Leo Tolstoy
58. 2001: A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
59. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
60. Catch 22 by Joseph Heller
61. The Social Contract by Jean-Jacques Rousseau
62. Psychological Types by Carl Gustav Jung
63. To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
64. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou
65. Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare
66. Leaves of Grass by Walt Whitman
67. The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald
68. Lord of the Flies by William Golding
69. The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood
70. Tropic of Cancer by Henry Miller
71. The Mists Of Avalon by Marion Zimmer Bradley
72. The House of Mirth by Edith Wharton
73. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury
74. Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs
75. IT by Stephen King
76. Ten Little Indians by Agatha Christie
77. A Passage to India by E.M Forster
78. Native Son by Richard Wright
79. Gravity’s Rainbow by Thomas Pynchon
80. The Age of Innocence by Edith Wharton
81. One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey
82. Wide Sargasso Sea by Jean Rhys
83. The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
84. The Wings of the Dove by Henry James
85. Our Town by Thornton Wilder
86. The Oresteia by Aeschylus
87. The Scarlet Letter by Nathaniel Hawthorne
88. The Art of War by Sun Tzu
89. The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
90. The Call of the Wild by Jack London
91. THE Accursed By Joyce Carol Oates
92. Syntactic Structures by Noam Chomsky
93. Doctor Sleep by Stephen King
94. A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens
95. The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde
96. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
97. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes by Arthur Conan Doyle
98. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? by Philip K. Dick
99. The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy by Douglas Adams
100. The Princess Bride by William Goldman

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Happy New Year, Horse

chinese new year of the horse

Hardest Men in Town: Yakuza Chronicles of Sin, Sex & Violence


Runs: March 9 – March 19, 2011

This week the Globus Film Series presents the Japanese gangster movie genre from the 1960s productions featuring chivalrous kimono-clad, sword-wielding gangsters and gamblers to today’s ruthless gun-toting villains dealing in debt and hustling hardcore porn. Over the past 50 years, the violent and gritty world of the yakuza (the Japanese mafia) steeped in cryptic ritual and customs involving full-body tattoos and missing digits has been one of the mainstays of the Japanese film industry since the 1960s. From its origins when samurai still embodied values like honor, selfless duty (giri) and the noble warrior spirit (ninkyo), the shadowy world of organized crime rivaled with the noble swordsmen as the representatives of honor and heroism. Still, the protagonists of these films remain snarling, swaggering, tattooed and inexplicably sexy characters.

Get ready for blood and broken bones, hookers and hopheads, and plenty of political blackmail. Included are classics and lesser known titles by Kinji Fukasaku, Takashi Miike (Dead or Alive), Hideo Gosha (The Wolves), Takeshi Kitano (Outrage), Rokuro Mochizuki (A Yakuza In Love, Onibi: The Fire Within) and Sydney Pollack (The Yakuza).

Rodarte: States of Matter Exhibition

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Rodarte: States of Matter

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Rodarte: States of Matter

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(Photos: Autumn de Wilde)

Today the exhibition Rodarte: States of Matter organized by MoCA Associate Curator Rebecca Morse opened to the public. The exhibition includes over 20 designs from the label’s various collections as well as the gorgeous ballet tutus conceived for the feature film, Black Swan. Since launching their label Rodarte in 2005, sisters Laura and Kate Mulleavy have designed collections that elegantly merges fashion with fine art. Further intermingling art and fashion, Alexandre de Betak (best known for his elaborate runway show sets) was enlisted to help add a little drama to the installation.

Rodarte: States of Matter is the sisters’ first solo exhibition on the West Coast and runs from March 4, 2011 – June 5, 2011 at the MoCA’s Pacific Design Center.