Garance Dore’s NYC Guide

I love this guide that Kate, a friend of Garance Dore, posted on the site with her favorite New York picks. I thought the guide was relaxed and local without being overly “in-the-know” or self-consciously obscure. Nor was it too scene-y.

Actually, a lot of her recommendations were places that remind me of my childhood.

Some of my favorite places on this list include: Kirna Zabete, Bar Pitti, Ray’s Pizza on 11th, La Esquina, Cafe Szabarsky at Neue Gallerie, and obviously Upright Citizens Brigade!!!

http://www.garancedore.fr/en/2011/01/18/kate-new-york/

Love.

I am obsessed with this bathing suit from Undrest and want to build a beach vacation into my summer plans so I can wear it:

Shopping for home decor in Mumbai

Towels at Fabindia

There are three great, affordable chains in Mumbai where you can stock up on fun home accessories to decorate your kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom with:

FABINDIA: If you want bright, Indian-inspired home décor for unbeatable prices, look no further than Fabindia. The flagship store in Kala Ghoda has walls lined with bright fluffy towels, washcloths, dishtowels, sheets, bedspreads, pillowcases, curtains and anything else you might need, in fun and constantly changing patterns.

Fabindia also stocks some great accessories like lampshades, picture frames, vases, candles, bath products, and recently, I even spotted a little globe.

THE GOOD EARTH:  The Good Earth takes Indian home furnishing to new levels of awesomeness and sophistication. They have a series of collections covered in designs ranging from lotus-splashed Buddhist-chic to Technicolor Bombay kitsch. These designs are splashed across multi-product lines which often include a wide array of products: plates, cups, pitchers, table clothes, and so on.

The flagship store in Raguvanshi Mills, Lower Parel, sells all the collections, as well as some really beautiful wooden furniture, and everything else from lotus shaped candles, to fragrance-oils, to yoga-wear, to  to cow-print toilet paper.

The Good Earth isn’t cheap, but comparatively to cities like New York or London, you get good value for money. And the design aesthetic is truly charming and original. I wouldn’t mind decorating my entire apartment in The Good Earth (and many well-heeled Mumbaikars do.)

ANOKHI: Anokhi is the best store to pick up traditional Indian textiles at reasonable prices for no hassle. Anokhi is famous for its hand-made block prints, meaning that a design is carved into a block of wood, and then applied by hand in a pattern onto bedspreads, blankets, tablecloths, cushion cases, and so on. Think of Anokhi as Fabindia’s more expensive and more sophisticated older sister. And perhaps prettier.

Anokhi is also applies its block printing (and other traditional techniques like beading and embroidery) to a line of clothing. The clothes straddle the line between Indian and Western—a mix, we’ll say between Indian-inspired Western-wear, and Westernized Indian digs. Definitely a great place to pick up staples for your trip around the rest of the sub-continent. Prices run from about 500-1000 rupees for basic clothing (11-22 USD)

Keep an eye out for: light-weight scarves (350 INR), duffle bags (850 INR), and Anokhi’s great blankets (2750 INR for a double.)

Travel Playlist #3: May in Bombay

Days in Bombay in May are… Hot. Very, very hot.

  1. Nitin Sawhney – Daybreak (feat. Faheem Mazar)
  2. Yeasayer – Sunrise
  3. Mean Lady – Indian Sun
  4. Sunvisor – Over and Under
  5. Vampire Weekend – Diplomat’s Son
  6. Santogold – Lights Out
  7. Lupe Fiasco vs. Empire of the Sun – Dream of a Superstar (Ha! Yes mashup)
  8. MIA – One for the Headskit
  9. MIA – Amazon
  10. Gold Panda – Quitter’s Raga
  11. Yeasayer – I Remember
  12. Shruti Pathak – Paayaliya
  13. Hot Chip – Ready for the Floor
  14. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros – Home (Party Supplies Remix)
  15. Major Lazer – Keep it Goin’ Louder
  16. Atif Aslam – Tu Jaane Na Remix
Will try to make this available for download asap. still figuring this out.

Back in Bombay

I’m back in Bombay for one month to finish up some work, probably my last month here for a long time. It’s been three months since I was here last, and already, so many new places have opened around the city. This is a crazy and memorable moment in Bombay’s history: the city is on the brink of becoming an international hub, and as such, is attracting a ton of new restaurants and stores, but it’s still a fundamentally, overwhelmingly Indian experience. The city has yet to be tamed in any sense.

It’s a bit difficult to write a guide to shopping in Bombay because there aren’t really any distinctly concentrated shopping areas. Everything is scattered around, and practically everything is a real pain to get to. But you can roughly divide Bombay into North and South, and so that’s how I’ll do it.

Gallery

Spring in NYC, again

This gallery contains 9 photos.

Here are some lovely photos my sister took of spring doorways in NYC.

Indonesian Bossa Nova

What do you think?

Travel Playlist #2: Magic Week In NYC

It’s FINALLY that week in New York when the weather turns and heads upwards of sixty, and everyone pulls out their t-shirts and flip-flops and heads to the nearest park. Thank goodness! Unfortunately I’ll only be able to enjoy a week of this before I’m out of the country once more.

  1. tUnE-yArDs – Bizness
  2. The Strokes – The Modern Age
  3. Paul Simon – Gumboots
  4. Mos Def – Summertime
  5. Rilo Kiley – Breakin’ Up
  6. The Strokes – Under the Cover of Darkness
  7.  Shugo Tokumaru – Rum Hee
  8. Beirut – After the Curtain
  9.  Apollo Sunshine – Breeze
  10. Tommy Toussaint – Sloppy Sentimentalists
  11. Annuals – Complete or Completing

…and I think they’re best listened to in that order.

Waterbom

My favorite day in South Bali was, embarassingly enough, probably spent at WATERBOM, Bali’s own water park, right in the middle of Kuta.

Waterbom immediately distinguishes itself from your run of the mill Six Flags with its striking and total cleanliness. Not a piece of litter in sight. There’s also a convenient and waterproof system for traversing the park empty handed—upon arrival at the ticket counter you can deposit extra money into an account which is monitored via a Velcro wristband, scanned at the food stalls, locker room, and game counters (all slides are included in the price of entry for 26 USD.) At the locker room most guests decide to strip down to bathing suits and bare feet in exchange for another key-toting wristband—leaving you totally free to jump in unencumbered.

Waterbom is relatively small but the slides are classic, satisfying, and addictive. We rode the majority three or four times. And to Waterbom’s greatest credit, the lines were short—even on a Sunday. Waterbom incorporates three great race-style slides—my favorite was the Jungle Ride, on which slide the two competing paths to the bottom are not parallel but wind apart, so that the winner of the race remains a surprise until you hit the pool at the bottom.

Waterbom’s best slide, however, is unquestionably its newest, the aptly-titled Climax. As we waited on line to ride the Climax, I couldn’t figure out exactly what made it so “scary”—until I heard a recurring dense thud above us. As it turns out, at the top of the climax you climb into a chamber, standing on your feet, the staff closes shuts the door, you hear a soothing British woman count down from three… and then the floor drops out from beneath you, sending you free-falling into a clear tube. The momentum (2.5 gs of force, according to the website) is so much that you shoot up through the tube, defying gravity to perform a full loop. It’s exhilarating.

Anyway, it may seem like a waste to spend a day at a waterpark when you’re in a tropical, culturally-rich paradise covered with beautiful beaches and temples, but I’m here to tell you… it’s not.

WATERBOM BALI:

Open daily (including holidays) from 9am-6pm

+62 361 755 676

Spa Hati Ubud

My favorite day in Ubud was probably spent at SPA HATI HANDS. On or around Valentine’s Day, my boyfriend and I searched Ubud for an atmospheric and affordable spa. We started at COMO Shambala Estate, which is perched along the side of a huge gorge, and is one of the most beautiful properties I’ve ever seen in my life, but was definitely out of our price range. (Worth a visit purely as a voyeur, but be warned that security is tight. They practically wouldn’t even let us in the front door without a reservation.)

We ended up at Spa Hati, which was a blessing. They’re known for their four-handed massage, which wasn’t included in our Valentine’s Day package, but the staff was incredibly accommodating and let my boyfriend exchange his pedicure (?) for the four-handed. I decided to stick with the facial, but he assured me afterwards that the four-handed massage was amazing. Our package included for each of us: a 90 minute oil massage, a 30 minute body scrub, and a 30 minute flower bath, which was filled for us with rose petals and frangipani. After that, they let us hang out in the jacuzzi and sauna for as long as we liked before I went off to enjoy my facial, atmospherically situated in a japanese-like outdoor pavilion with sliding shoji screens, candle-lit inside. It was evening by then and I could hear the frogs croaking. All of this was only about $60 each. No kidding.

And that’s not all– Spa Hati operates in financial support of the Bali Hati Foundation, an NGO which runs the Bali Hati school for children grades 1-6 as well as a mobile health clinic and other social programs. On their website I read that they are currently in the process of opening the Bali Hati Education and Community Center on their land in Lodtundah village, which they call “An eco-friendly center where the whole environment is designed as a place of learning that empowers people and promotes resource sustainability.”

Anyway, go visit the spa if you’re in Ubud. It’s win win win.

SPA HATI:

Jln. Raya Andong #14, Peliatan – Ubud
Ph.: +62 361 977578