The Old North of Rotterdam

Years ago I lived on the Zwaanshals in Rotterdam and was extremely happy when I finally left the rundown area. Now I realize I should have stayed. The complete area has been redeveloped and many many good things are happening here now. It is the perfect area to spend your Saturday afternoons, stroll around, have coffee and cake and buy some unique pieces in one of the many interesting shops. Kookpunt has been in the area like forever, although it seems they are ever-expanding. On the other side of Noordplein het Lof der Zoetheid is located. All I should say is that you Have to go here, or rather don't as they rarely have a table available for me when I make it there. They are briefly closed for reconstruction work but from how I know the owners I am sure they are cooking up some amazing recipes as we speak. Should I add that the shops interior is A amazing?

Then there is the big Rotabs -artist and designer studio place which screams a lot London-East End. But hey, Shoreditch is still booming, and the Old North of Rotterdam can sure have some Shoreditch.
A number of times a year the Swanmarket is organized here. I went there in March and will make sure to be there on the next edition which takes place on the 15th of May as well (I already ordered the Sun from the last edition)

At Niche the focus is on flowers but Susanne also sells home accessories and other things you are sure you need.

And then there is the Contemporary Showroom, a shop run with a passion by Jarno Kooijman. It is not only his well selected mix of vintage and contemporary design but also the decoration of the shop itself (constructed by his own hands) which makes the shop a visit worthwhile. I recetly purchased a really nice pharmacy cabinet here and I would suggest to stop by here, even if it were just for inspiration on your saturday afternoon in the Old North.

Rare pieces in perfect condition can be found here, like the Wilhem Renz secretary or the Cees Braakman Pastoe secretary.

Contemporary Showroom

new Blue Siirtolapuutarha by Marimekko

I have loved the Marimekko Siirtolapuutarhatarget='_blank'  series so much since the were 'released'  and now there is a new edition in blue. So it is probably time to make a trip to Tas-ka and maybe expand on my coffeecup collection. There is always a good reason to visit this shop and this may be a Must-Do-Soon.
The drawings made by Maija Louekari just brighten up my day everytime I look at them,
styling by Tas-Ka

Arnhem Fahion Biennale

This Summer the fourth edition of the Fashion Biennale takes place from 1 June to 3 July 2011 in the city of Arnhem.
The makers Entitled the event Amber, and say it endeavours to unravel the phenomenon of fashion.

On three locations – the epicenter in an old industrial plant of AkzoNobel, the Museum for Modern Art and the city center of Arnhem – one can see the wonderful works of:

A.F. Vandevorst, Amie Dicke, Ann-Sofie Back, Bless, Capricious, Commuun, Damir Doma, Fashion In Film, Inge Grognard & Ronald Stoops, Iris van Herpen, Juun J, Maison Martin Margiela, Nicholas Kirkwood, Nico Muhly, Ohne Titel, Patrik Ervell, Preen, Prada, Rad Hourani, Raf Simons, Rodarte, Siki Im, Six Scents, Thom Brown, threeASFOUR, Wendy & Jim.

Photography by Anuschka Blommers, Niels Schumm and Uta Eisenreich

Rosendals Trädgård

This past summer when strolling through Stockholm's Djurgarden we suddenly stumbled upon Rosendals Gardens. The large public garden is a perfect setting for a Sunday afternoon picnic or gettogether with friends. There are Herb Gardens, fruit Gardens and a flower garden where you can pick your own flowers (WOW why is there no such garden near my house?) which you can then pay for in the plant shop.
And when in need of some organic beverages or something more substantial for your stomach then there is a café in one of the greenhouses where they serve organic food freshly picked from the garden that same morning. Rosendals Bakery is located next to it where bread and pastries are being made.

Rosendals Gardens, Café, Bakery and Plant Shop are opened in Summer Season: May to September, during the weekend 11am to 6pm and Monday to Friday 11am to 5pm.

Belated Travels + Nice Finds

This morning my train decided to leave early. Luckily it was a good day for waiting and so I wandered down to Lebkov and then wandered some more enjoying the sunshine and a wonderful soy latte.
Later in the train I read some Murakami

Then I also came across these people from San Francisco, before opening their own shop they stopped by various places claiming to be part of a secret society; The Tell Tale Society. The left  them with amazingly tasting foodiebags, I would definitely hope for them to pay an impromptu visit to the Rotterdam Harbor, where I would receive them with open arms.

Four + Twenty Blackbirds


Last year my dearest Brooklyn friend Emily Elsen, whom I met when we both studied at Central Saint Martins , and her lovely sister Melissa opened an amazing pie shop in Gowanus, or at least if I were to believe the reviews that can be found everywhere on the net. Time Out even named them in the top 10 eat outs of NY I believe. Judging from the photographs they are damn right.
The downside on all this is that Emily is so extremely busy that I will hardly be seeing any of her in the coming years. So I will have to plan a trip to Brooklyn soon and until then indulge in the Salty Honey Pie recipe that they are willing to share.
I am very much inspired by the beautiful place they have stumped out of the ground and their earnest way of running the shop. The shop itself was renovated by them and their friends and has a wonderful lightness to it.

Should you live closer I would very much like to suggest to pay a visit as soon as possible and early in the day as they run out of pies on a regular basis.

Four + Twenty Blackbirds
439 3rd Avenue
(718) 499-2917
Open Tue-Fri 8am-7pm
Sat 9am-7pm
Sun 10am-6pm


This year a new boutique hotel will open its doors in Amsterdam on the Damrak.
It is set up by the the Lloyd Hotel and Cultural Embassy  in collaboration with the Amsterdam Fashion Institute (AMFI)

Alongside the hotel : Exchange, a shop : Options and Stock a hangout for all day breakfast will be launched. I may be even most looking forward to stepping inside Options which will be run by Florianne Eshuis. With an exquisite sense of design she not only produced the temporary Llove Hotel in Tokyo but also was a concept developer for the Dutch Elle Decoration. Now for her new adventure Options she will make a selection of smaller and bigger items that can not be found elsewhere.

Elephant, a new magazine

Marc Valli, the owner of Magma,  one of my favorite bookstores in the world has launched a new magazine: Elephant

The publication focuses on the area where photographers, architects, graphic and fashion designers meet.
Exactly the subjects I want to emphasize on here.

Elephant is published by Frame publishers

Apartment in Barcelona by Arquitectura-G

Spanish studio Arquitectura-G have renovated a apartment Barcelona (el Born) by adding wooden storage and mezzanines.
I really enjoy the simplicity of it all, the plain wood and the nicely fitted cabinets and storage, I can imagine that the owner of this house would only live with a blanket and a suitcase full of books.


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