Tag Archive | 2015

Eye On Design: Eatwell Assistive Tableware By Shao Yao

Red and Yellow Bowls
All Photos by Gail

Color plays a powerful role in Eatwell Assistive Tableware (2015). Designer She Yao’s grandmother lived with Alzheimer’s disease. Her cognitive and sensory impairments caused her to eat less that she should. The Eatwell bowl uses the color blue, which does not appear in food, helping people with Alzheimer’s to distinguish food from the dish.

Yellow Place Setting

On the exteriors of the bowls, the colors red and yellow stimulate appetite. All pieces stand out from the table setting to enhance cognition.

Red Bowl

Photographed in the Cooper Hewitt Design Museum in Manhattan.

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Modern Art Monday Presents: Night Bloom Still Life By Jonas Wood

Night Bloom Still Life
Photo By Gail

In  Jonas Wood’s (b, 1977) paintings, he often uses intricate decorative patterning to render ordinary objects that hold personal resonance for him. Some of the pots depicted in Night Bloom Still Life (2015)  were make by Wood’s wife, Shio Kusaka.   Thus, the painting  is just as much a self, or family, portrait as it is a still life. “You could call it a visual diary or even a personal history,” the artist has said. This  everyday quality, accentuated by flat planes of color and uniform detail, makes the spatial ambiguities in Wood’s work — such as the impossible perspective of the table — all the more disorienting.

Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art in NYC.

Eye On Design: The Face Dress By Henrik Vibskov

Face Dress Close UpAll Photos By Gail

The Face Dress by Danish fashion designer Henrik Vibskov is a white cocoon dress featuring a V-neck, sleeveless design, with an oversized fit, gathering details, a straight hem and an Origami Face detail to the front. Made of 100% polyester, it retails for $1247.50 and can be purchased at This link.

Photographed in the Designmuseum in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Face Dress Display

One Night Only: Imagine Dragons Smoke + Mirrors Concert Film!

Imagine Dragons Smoke and Mirrors Poster

If you are lucky enough to live in or near a big metropolitan area like New York City or Los Angeles, then you probably have the opportunity to see just about every big band that tours, because there is no shortage of huge concert venues. But if you live less centrally, in a rural location, or have life circumstances (kids, weird hours at work, school, shortage of disposable income) that make it hard to get out to a concert, then the rare Live Concert Film that plays in a local movie theater is a godsend. Fans of Las Vegas-based rock band Imagine Dragons who’ve either been unable to catch the band on tour, or just want to see them live again, will be thrilled to know that Fathom Events, CinemaLive and Eagle Vision are bringing Imagine Dragons In Concert: Smoke + Mirrors to the big screen nationwide for a one-night concert event on Wednesday, March 2nd. Exciting!

Something I just learned is that Imagine Dragons‘ lineup includes three out of four guys who are all named Dan! That is crazy, right? Too bad they could not call themselves Band of Dans, because that name is already taken by They Might Be Giants‘ back up band, and The Dan Band is also taken. Anyway, Smoke + Mirrors — which is also the name of the band’s most recent #1 album — gives fans plenty of close-up face time with lead vocalist Dan Reynolds, guitarist Daniel Wayne “Wing” Sermon, bassist Ben McKee and drummer Daniel Platzman. Reynolds is, of course, the focal point, and the fact the that stage has a catwalk, which allows him to glad hand a large number of enthusiastic, smart-phone-wielding fans on the floor, certainly adds to the film’s intimate dynamic. And it really must be said that the fifth band member is the actual stage set itself, which includes a group of tall four-sided, mirrored columns that are staggered in a half-circle formation around the back of the stage. If you’ve ever driven into or out of LAX, think of that Kinetic Light Installation at the entrance and you will have some idea of what it looks like. Various projections bounce off the columns and create terrific atmospheric effects, including one song where it looks like the entire stage is on fire. Very nice.

The featured Smoke + Mirrors concert performance was  filmed entirely on one night, July 4th, 2015 in Toronto in front of 15,000 people at the Air Canada Centre; a venue that resembles Madison Square Garden in set up, but is slightly smaller in capacity. Filmed in what is called Dolby Atmos, an array of speakers are not only all around the walls of the theater, but also on the ceiling, so you really do feel like you are right there in the venue. Imagine Dragons is super tight live, and it is obvious from Dan Reynolds’ plentiful on-stage crowd banter that they really love and appreciate their fans. My guess is that if you met the band members in real life, they would not act like dicks to you.

Music taste is more subjective today than ever, I so I really don’t want to turn this into a critique of a band whose music does not necessarily resonate with me, personally. I ‘imagine’ that if you like Imagine Dragons mostly very AOR tunes, Smoke + Mirrors will be the greatest concert film ever. And if you’ve been unable to see the band live, and really want to, this will give you an excellent, next-best-thing-to-being-there idea of how they are in a live forum — which is to say theoretically excellent. For me though, their music goes right through me leaving absolutely no hook residue in its wake, so if you are not fan, I think I can safely say that you can skip this. The only two songs of theirs that I know (and that is mostly because they are both used on TV commercials)  — the rousing “I Bet My Life” and dystopian “Radioactive” — come at the film’s very end. Smoke + Mirrors is technically flawless – but I could not help during the screening but wish that I was watching Tame Impala or Hosier; two bands I saw live last year whose shows just blew me away.

For tickets and participating theaters showing Smoke + Mirrors, visit This Link. Run time is 1 hour and 35 minutes.

Watch the Trailer Below.

Tatiana Trouvé’s Desire Lines in Central Park

Desire Lines
All Photos By Gail

For her first public commission in the United States, Tatiana Trouvé (b. 1968, Cosenza, Italy) has made a work that responds to Central Park. She came to see the miles of pedestrian paths that traverse its landscape as similar to the arteries of a living being. There’s no singular way to walk through the park, but rather a multitude of possible routes that may be followed according to our own desires.

Desire Lines Black Spools

Desire Lines Black Spools

Drawing on existing maps, Trouvé isolated all of the marked pathways in the park and estimated their distances. She identified 212, from secluded paths to prominent thoroughfares, ranging in length from around 60 feet to four miles. Translating her research into three-dimensional form, Trouvé created three large-scale storage racks that house a total of 212 spools.

Desire Lines Green Spools

Each spool is wound with rope equivalent in length to a corresponding pathway and labeled to identify its location in the park.

Desire Lines Pink and Purple Spools

Tatiana Trouvé’s work is also a reflection on the broader cultural significance of walking. It’s an activity that ranges from personal recreation to political statement, and has inspired poets, musicians, writers, and artists. Thus, the artist has associated each pathway with a title drawn from culture and history that relates to walking. In this way, Desire Lines is both a systematic inventory of the park and an invitation to explore the political and poetic resonance of the simple act of taking a walk.

Desire Lines Pink Spools

Desire Lines Pink Spool Detail

Desire Lines by Tatiana Trouvé (curated by Nicholas Baume) is on Exhibit Through Sunday August 230, 2105 at Fifth Avenue and 60th Street. Make sure you head into the Park for some exploring after you view it, because it’s gorgeous out there!

Central Park

Desire Lines Green Spools

Favorite Photos From Summer Fancy Food 2015!

Fancy Food Signage
All Photos By Gail

For a food blogger, there is no better way to kick off the summer in style than with the three-day tour de force that is the Summer Fancy Food Show, which took over Manhattan’s massive Javits Center in its entirety from June 28th to 30th. With over 5,000 exhibitors from around the globe, Summer Fancy Food is the most exciting Specialty Foods product showcasing event of the year for restaurant owners, gourmet vendors, and foodies alike!

As usual, I went with an empty tummy, a huge swag bag, and eyes wide open for spotting the most striking booth displays, stand out product packaging and most unusual products of the show. Here are some of our favorite discoveries!

Simply Baked

Simply Baked makes eye-catching packaging for baked goods, treats and gifts. They even have cupcake cups that go right into the oven and come out ready to serve! I appreciated the pink popcorn and cupcakes that were part of an overall visually enchanting display.

Simply Baked

Salad Shotz Kid Friendly Salad Dressings

Salad Shotz makes Kid Friendly Salad Dressings with all natural ingredients, that will appeal to the adult palate as well. Chocolate Chip salad dressing, mmmmm.

Buen Sabor Empanada Bus

I imagine it was fun for the folks at Buen Sabor to drive their Empanada-serving VW Bus right up to and inside of Javits Center!

Buen Sabor Empanada Bus

Promising Food Truck Flavors Without the Line, Buen Sabor nevertheless attracted a consistent queue with their delicious offerings of frozen empanadas in tempting flavors like Plantain and Cheese, and Beef Picadillo.

Lolea Sangria Bottles

Lolea Sangria is an exceptionally delicious beverage that comes in both red and white varieties and is as distinctive for its flavor as it is for its red and white polka dot bottles that recall the work of Japanese pop artist Yayoi Kusama. When I brought it up, no one at the booth had heard of her.

Morfat Cakes

Morfat is how I felt when I was only about a tenth of the way through the show! And don’t these cakes look delicious!

Kefla Glas Bottles from Germany

Kefla Glass Bottles from Germany come in so many different shapes, sizes and colors, but I loved the ones that look like little shoes!

Banana Snack

Barnana Organic Chewy Banana Bites is one of the most original and great tasting snacks I’ve encountered at any food show, anywhere. Unfortunately, they did not have free samples to take home at their booth, and when I tried to surreptitiously pilfer a bag from their display, I was caught red handed. The shame.

Mocktails Cocktail Shaker Packaging

Mocktails brand non-alcoholic cocktail beverage alternative comes in this neato, totally reusable Cocktail Shaker packaging! Adding alcohol is allowed, at your discretion!

Fundelina Hazelnut Snack

Fundelina Chocolate Hazelnut Spread was mistaken by me for Nutella. I bet that happens a lot.

Serendipity Frozen Hot Chocolate Mix

Serendipity 3’s Frozen Hot Chocolate Mix gets bonus points for having Satan depicted on its packaging. I imbibed my first Frozen Hot Chocolate at the age of 18 years and still recall how it made me feel drunk, even though it contains no alcohol. Mysterious! And now you can prepare one at home, in a variety of flavors no less!

Perky Jerky Mobile Display

Best Mobile Display goes out to Brian Levin of Perky Jerky!

Mamma Chia Mascot

I didn’t see too many Brand Mascots on the floor this year, but the Mamma Chia Human Squeeze Bag sure was friendly! Read more about the health benefits of Chia seeds at This Link!

Blue Isle String Cheese

Blue Isle Mediterranean dairy products had a String Cheese on display at their booth that was the size of a small infant. Impressive!

Smari Yogurt

In line for Best Slogan/ Tag Line is Smari Organic Icelandic Yogurt with “Strong, Like My Mother.” Also, I love the Spoon wearing a Viking Hemet. Valhalla, I am coming!

Beer Flavored Jelly Bellys

Four Words: Beer Flavor Jelly Bellys.

Death Zone Sauce

Fancy Food is so huge, it has room to feature aisle after aisle crammed with hundreds of hot sauce products. These booths provide the best photos ops you could imagine. Let’s take a look!

Red Robot Hot Sauce

Red Robot Hot Sauce, features a cute little Red Robot on its label!

Fat Cat Bacon Sriracha

Fat Cat Foods makes an extensive line of spicy sauces, but this Bacon Sriracha was my favorite. I bet it tastes insane.

Bone Doctor BBQ Sauce

The labeling on Bone Doctors BBQ Sauce is like a work of Fine Art.

Empire White Truffle Mayonnaise

I put Empire Mayonnaise at the top of my list of booths to visit when their friendly PR Rep told me in an email that one of her favorites sayings was, “Hating Mayonnaise Does Not Make You Interesting.” They gave away little jars of their delicious gourmet mayonnaise. Best Booth Ever.

Empire State Building Lollipops

I also didn’t see as much candy at this year’s show, but we were impressed by Strawberry Hill Candy’s Empire State Building Lollipops. New York City!

Cracked Candy

Cracked Candy may be capitalizing on the still-trending popularity of all things Breaking Bad (one representative in the booth was shamelessly sporting a Heisenberg-esque Pork Pie Hat) but this sweet stuff is sugar and gluten free, non-GMO and diabetic friendly, so it’s all good! Say Their Name: Cracked Candy!

Wine Sticks

Wine Sticks (tag line: “Sass with your Glass”) from South Carolina’s The Sweetery are thin, crispy biscuits (cookies) that pair with wine and can even be dunked! I enjoyed tasting several varieties with a glass of red wine, and company co-owner/founder Jane Jarahian was a sweet and attentive lady.

Steve's Ice Cream

Aside from having an awesome name, Steve’s Ice Cream took home a coveted Sofi Award in the Category of Outstanding Ice Cream, Gelato, or Frozen Treat for their Speculoos Cookie Butter Ice Cream! My personal favorite flavor though was the Southern Banana Pudding. Mmmm, Ba-na-na.

Confetti Bownies

I was already at the point of exploding when I hit the Brownie Points Bakery booth for a sampling of their assorted mouth-watering, home made brownies and popcorn treats. They were baking fresh brownies right in the booth! Heaven.

Multi-Colroed Popcorn

Wouldn’t this multicolored popcorn make a fun party favor? Sure it would.

Sexy Pop Signage

Sexy Pop Snacks always creates a bold presence with their brightly colored bags of chips and popcorn that come in all kids of yummy flavors.

Sexy Pop Snacks

Very Sexy!

Boulder Granola

Boulder Granola (tag line: “Unleash Your Inner Hippie!”) brought a much smaller VW Bus into the Javits Center (see below) but, dang if the don’t embrace a memorable and vibrant brand identify with their psychedelic flower power Bus logo/backdrop and commitment to being Organic and Gluten Free.

Boulder Granola

Pop Art Popcorn Booth

And finally, let’s wrap up this thing with the Pop Art Snacks Gourmet Popcorn Booth, which got everything right! From the clever product name and Lichtenstein knockoff artwork to the Neon Logo and the custom-made Popcorn Disco Ball — this brand really made themselves stand out from the crowd! Owners Mike and Venessa (who, like me, are big Pop Art fans) started out in Brooklyn and relocated to Utah where they are growing the brand and enjoying great success! We hope to see them back at Javits for FFS 2016 next summer!