Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy New Year!

The Architect and I wish you a very happy new year!  For those of you having a New Year's Eve party, I will share my friend Noelle's fabulous champagne punch recipe.

Champagne Royale Punch - Serves 12 or so.


4 bottles of chilled champagne.  No need to use the good stuff.  A cheap asti will do.
1 cup raspberry liqueur.  We used DeKupyer Razamatzz.
1/2 cup orange liqueur.  We used triple sec.

1 quart of cranberry juice cocktail.
1 bag each of froze strawberries and raspberries.
1 ice mold.  We used a bundt pan for the ice mold.


Fill a bundt pan with the cranberry juice cocktail.  Throw in half a bag each of the strawberries and raspberries.  Freeze until firm.  Can be made one day ahead.  When ready to unmold, invert the bundt pan onto a plate and place in the bottom of sink.  Run hot water over the top of the bundt pan to release the ice ring onto the plate.

In a punch bowl combine the raspberry liqueur, triple sec, and champagne.  Add the rest of the frozen strawberries and raspberries.  Stir to combine.  Add the ice ring you made with the cranberry juice.


Image from our trip last year to the Icehotel in Sweden.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Ice Cube talks about Los Angeles and The Eameses

Things I knew about Ice Cube:

1. He's a rapper.
2. He was in the rap group NWA.

Things I didn't know about Ice Cube:

1. He studied architectural drafting before becoming a rapper.
2. He has a healthy appreciation of mid century architecture in and around Los Angeles.

This video is a nice homage to L.A. and The Eameses.  Best line in the video: "The Eames made structure and nature one. This is going green 1949 style, bitch. Believe that."

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving means fall and fall means it is decorative gourd season.  So after you have stuffed yourself silly and watched some football, read this lovely Ode to Fall.

Note: There is colorful language.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

CLINK! Barrel aged cocktails

You know that I really like mixing and drinking cocktails. Well, Four Squares and I stumbled across something that takes cocktails to the next level. Okay, maybe not the next level, but at least to a different level-barrel aged cocktails. The idea is simple-mix up a very large batch of spirit based cocktails (sorry, fruit juice and eggs just won't work), without ice, pour into a charred American Oak barrel and wait. For a while. Maybe anywhere from 5-7 weeks. Be patient. Decant. Pour into a mixing glass over ice and stir until well chilled (these will all be stirred, refer to my post Shaken vs. Stirred). The effect is sublime but different for different drinks. The charred oak will exert a different influence based on what is in the barrel and for how long. The effect on whiskey would be expected to be much less emphatic than the effect on a clear spirit such as gin. My initial research supports this, although given only a small sample size (which of course I plan to address in the very near future, staring now!). I've included some photos of my first go at this, which incidentally is a Manhattan. I used a 2L barrel. Next up is the Negroni and the El Presidente.
I would be remiss if I didn't cite my muse-Jeffrey Morgenthaler. I believe he deserves credit for at the very least introducing this hair-brained idea to the US. Check out his blog post on the subject, and if you are ever in Portland go to Clyde Common and order up a barrel aged cocktail for yourself. You won't be disappointed.


Barrel aged Manhattan

Recipe for my very first batch of barrel-aged Manhattans:
600 ml Four Roses Bourbon
300 ml Noily Pratt Sweet Vermouth
30 ml Angostura Bitters
So, I siphoned off one drink worth of Manhattans prior to putting about 1L into the barrel. It is a very good drink without aging, I must say. A little sweeter than I am accustomed to, definitely some caramel from the bourbon and more than a hint of earthiness from the sweet vermouth. Also I used a little more Angostura bitters than usual, so there is certainly a very herbal balance, especially on the back end. Nice feel in the mouth and lingers with alcohol for a few seconds after it goes down.
Fast forward 36 days. An unqualified success! The result is a robust Manhattan with a distinct yet mild wood flavor and aroma, but nothing that overpowers the essence of the drink. It is still very clearly a Manhattan. Otherwise, the flavors have melded together nicely and it goes down very smooth. The initial rough edges have definitely smoothed out.  The wood is a little stronger towards the back end, right before the finish. Still a little concerned about the bitters-probably too much in this batch but I’ll remedy that in the next batch.  Also, I'll probably leave the next batch in the barrel a bit longer so that it picks up even more of the wood.


Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Art Conspiracy is Saturday - 150 artists, bidding starts at 20 bucks, with music from Datahowler, The Hope Trust and J. Charles and the Trainrobbers.  Proceeds from the auction benefit Music Angels, a group that provides piano lessons to children in Dallas-area hospitals.  Buy your tickets here.

2. Saturday morning take your puppy up to Addison to get a holiday photo with Santa.  Proceeds from the photos benefit the Greyhoud Adoption League of Texas.

3. Saturday and Sunday is also the Lakewood Homes Tour and Market.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Odds and Ends

Here are some items that have been piquing my interest of late:

1.  A while back I read that Sprouts had pretty much committed to being one of the flagship anchors at the much anticipated but much delayed Lake Highlands Town Center (LHTC).  What was slowing the process down was that LHTC was looking for a co-anchor, which was rumored to be a pet store chain.  Well according to the Lake Highlands Advocate Magazine blog, Prescott Realty (the LHTC developer) says that they are "considering all alternatives to ensure the highest potential for a financeable project."  Was anyone from Prescott Realty at the Exchange Club's Oktoberfest two weekends ago?  That place was packed!  The people of Lake Highlands are dying for development.  Here's hoping the retail will finally get finalized so we can see some progress.

2.  Ok, well some progress is coming to the LHTC on the residential front.  It looks like construction could begin as early as November on the first 200 units of apartments as part of the mixed use development plan for LHTC.  Apartments are great.  But being able to walk out of those nice brand spanking new apartments to a grocer to pick up dinner, all without using a car would be even better!  See images of the future apartments here.

3.  Looks like some demolition will be coming soon to the shopping center at the corner of Audelia and Walnut Hill that was the former home of a Walmart Neighborhood Market.  That shopping center will be the future site a residential sub-division.  Home builders New Leaf, Highland Homes and Nobility Homes are the builders for the development.  Lots are about 9,000 sqft with the average home price being $700,000.00 (yikes!).  I've heard it will be a gated community and there will be a gate right at the end of Spring Branch which leads into White Rock Valley North.  I think a gated community is the wrong way to go.  Nothing says elitism like putting your homes behind gates and setting up a gate to keep out the folks from a neighboring subdivision.  A subdivision that has a blue ribbon school (White Rock Elementary), well maintained homes, and lots of friendly neighbors.  I hope the developer will reconsider that gate at the end of Spring Branch.  If we want to get development into Lake Highlands the residents all need to band together, not further divide ourselves into little enclaves.  I also hope there will be some modern construction since New Leaf is one of the builders.  If it is all turrets, french chateaus and faux Spanish, maybe a gate would be a good idea after all.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Tonight at Mockingbird Station join Susie Drinks Dallas at the grand opening of the new cocktail bar The People's Last Stand.

2.  I hear there is some football game on Saturday.  So go have a Fletcher's corn dog and a funnel cake before at the State Fair of Texas.  Also be sure to check out the Celtic rock band The Killdares performing throughout the day at the fair.

3. And for something completely random, it is Armenia Fest this weekend in Carrollton.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Fall Home Tours

Mark your calendars for these fall home tours:

1. October 1-2 is the Austin AIA homes tour.

2. October 23-24 is the Houston AIA homes tour.

3. November 5-6 is the Dallas AIA homes tour.

The Architect and I won't be able to make it to the Austin home tour, so no live tweeting from me.  However, be sure to follow along in November as I live tweet my picks and pans from the Dallas home tour.  We will also be volunteering at the Dallas home tour on Sunday, November 6, house TBD.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Tonight everyone should find a patio and enjoy the first day of fall and these sub 90s temperatures.  The Architect and I will be hanging with the Dallas Beer Snobs and friends partaking in a magnum of Chimay they won a few weeks ago and grilling up some nice steaks.

2. Saturday is the DADA Gallery Walk - get the list of galleries and a map here.

3. Saturday is also the Dallas Culture Crawl - Starting at 6pm is the Deep Ellum Art Walk, followed by Neon Indian at the Granada Theater and ending with a midnight screening of The Big Lebowski at the Inwood Theater.

Monday, September 19, 2011

T-shirts for Architects

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this architect t-shirt from Bob Borson's Life of an Architect Blog.  Of course I had to get one my Architect.  The Architect was kind enough to pose for me just long enough to snap a picture of him in it.  I suspect that barrel aged Manhattan he is drinking may have helped.  You can purchase your own Architect, Interior Designer, Architecture Student and other designs t-shirt here.  You can pick from multiple colored shirts and ink allowing for a more customized shirt.

Read more about the design of the shirts here.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Oktoberfest in Addison - the only time you can wear a chicken hat, lederhosen and drink beer all while doing the chicken dance with thousands of your closest friends.

2. Concert Confidential benefiting La Reunion - music from Dovetail, Kirk Thurmond, Green River Ordinance.  There will also be libations and food.

3. Grapefest in Grapevine - if fruit of the vine is more your speed head west to this annual wine festival and grape stomp.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

I'm an architect in 140 characters or less

The Architect sent this post from Archdaily discussing what it is like to be an architect in twitter form - 140 characters or less.

My favorites:

"I’m an Architect. Just like Mr. Brady, except with less wood paneling and fewer kids. The sexy staircase and the masonry oven in the kitchen can stay, and Marsha, of course."

"I’m an Architect, like Howard Roark from the Fountainhead, only fatter, and underemployed. "

"I’m an Architect. I make simple things seem complicated, by making them more complicated."

Read the rest here.

Friday, September 2, 2011

CLINK! Manhattan Cocktail

So, for the first recipe I post I’ll start with what I consider the granddaddy of all classic cocktails out there, the Manhattan (apologies to the Martini aficionados). First a little history:

The Manhattan was reportedly invented at the request of one Jennie Jerome, future mother of Sir Winston Churchill, in 1874. It was invented to celebrate the newly elected governor of New York, Samuel J. Tilden. The drink derives its name from the Manhattan Club where it was invented, not the island directly. Or so the story goes. There are many resources that document this story, but I liked the presentation by the Bar Mix Master best, including the photograph of Jennie Jerome herself. Another story suggests that the Manhattan is simply one of the five cocktails representing the boroughs of New York City (got that little tidbit from The Art of Drink).

Now that the academic stuff is out of the way we can get to the good stuff. Basically, the Manhattan consists of bourbon or rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and Angostura bitters, garnished with a Maraschino cherry. There is some debate in cocktail circles about what the “proper” whiskey for a Manhattan is. I won’t get into that, as far as I’m concerned both bourbon and rye make great drinks, but they are very different in character. It probably depends more on your mood, the season, and what you have on hand. Bourbon makes a robust, “woodsier” drink that is very smooth. It is a strong drink, more like getting punched in the face. Rye, on the other hand, is spicier and has a lively mouth feel. It’s like getting slapped in the face. You can’t go wrong either way, unless of course you don’t like getting struck in the face. But I digress. There isn’t, or shouldn’t be, much debate about the recipe:

2 oz. bourbon or rye
1 oz. sweet vermouth
1-2 dashes Angostura bitters
Garnish with Maraschino cherry
(makes one drink)

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Please, please, please stir this drink until it is ice cold, 15-20 seconds. You might read recipes that call for this drink to be shaken, but they are mistaken (I will throw down the gauntlet on this)! Shaking a Manhattan fundamentally changes the character, taste, and color of the drink and simply should not be done. If you do it I’ll hunt you down and make you pay-every one of you! I’ll write a more general post about shaken vs. stirred sometime soon.


River Livers

Now doesn't that sound appetizing?  River livers are not a new food craze to hit Dallas.  It is apparently a new art installation coming to the Trinity River in 2012.

The eco-art collective Greenmeme is looking at Dallas for one of its "River Liver" installations.  From the Greenmeme website:

"The River Liver is an on-going investigation into the creation of constructed wetland sculptures that aim to raise awareness to water quality issues, water pollution and habitat loss. The sculpture's plants act as a filter, becoming a form of productive and protective infrastructure that actively break down some of the identified pollutants in the water."

Oh and these art pieces glow green at night. Neato.  More from Greenmeme:

"An LED "traffic light" would respond to changes in water quality. Navigators were encouraged to cast a River Liver off at it's new location, where it could attempt to remediate the lake. These illuminated the islands, experiment with translating water quality and a variety of other environmental data into coded light and color."

No word yet on what the Trinity River Liver will look like or where exactly it would be.  You can read a more in depth interview with the Greenmeme collective at Dangerous Minds and see pictures on the Unfair Park blog and at Greenmeme.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. KRLD Restaurant is in full swing this week.  The Architect and I will be dining at Nonna and Parigi.  Reservations are still available at lots of places.

2.  It is Tax Free Weekend and H&M opened yesterday at Northpark.  Coincidence? I think not.

3.  Martin Creed's installation art piece "Work No. 1190: Half the air in a given space" closes this weekend at the Nasher Sculpture Center on Sunday.  Head over to the de-installation party and take home a piece of the art (a shiny gold ballon).

Thursday, August 18, 2011

PARK(ing) Day Dallas - September 16, 2011

On September 16, 2011 20 metered parking spaces in Dallas will be reclaimed and turned into temporary green spaces.

PARK(ing) day began in 2005 in San Francisco where one metered parking space was taken over for a day to provide a public green space and improve the "urban environment."

The locating of PARK(ing) Day Dallas will be along Main Street in downtown Dallas.  Registration is now open for teams to register for a space to turn into areas to relax, showcase entertainment, and networking.  Teams are encouraged to use sustainable construction materials and partner with charities.

Registration opened on August 15, 2011.  Read more about PARK(ing) Day Dallas and register your team here.

Friday, August 12, 2011

CLINK! Shaken vs. Stirred

In the recent version of Casino Royale, starring Daniel Craig, James Bond orders a Martini at the bar during a high stakes poker game. The bartender asks if he wants it shaken or stirred.
007’s response: “Do I look like I give a damn?”
Okay, we ALL thought he was going to say “shaken,” because in fact every other time he has given a damn. And you should too-but not just about Martinis.
Yes, normally 007 does prefer his vodka Martinis shaken, which is exactly the ONLY exception to the rule about whether to shake or stir a cocktail. Basically, if the drink contains fruit juice or egg/egg whites it is proper and acceptable to shake the drink. Any other drink, those made with spirits and modifiers only, should be stirred. And I would include the gin Martini in the “must stir” category, leaving only vodka as the exception.
Check out this video clip about the gin Martini if you don't believe me…

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Doggie Splash Day - The city of Rockwall is closer that you think.  The City of Rockwall invites puppies and their owners to sunbathe, swim in the pool and participate in a swimsuit contest (for the puppies) on Saturday afternoon.

2. 50 Fest - This weekend the Amon Carter Museum turns 50.  Hang out on the lawn of the Philip Johnson designed museum where you can hula hoop, make art and listen to bands all day long.

3. KRLD Restaurant Week Preview Weekend - This weekend is the preview for KRLD Restaurant Week.  For 35 bucks you can eat at some of the finest restaurants in Dallas.  Proceeds benefit the North Texas Food Bank

Sunday, August 7, 2011

New Contributor - The Architect

You will see to your right that there is a new kid in town on this blog.  The Architect has finally agreed to post occasionally on this blog.  He will be handling the Clink! posts from now on.  Look to see future posts on his favorite cocktails and the chemistry project currently underway in our kitchen.

His first post is below.

CLINK! Intro and cocktail rules

Four Squares has been trying to get me to write semi-regular posts about cocktails, cocktail happenings, and similar topics for some time. I always thought it was a good idea, I’m just lazy and haven’t gotten motivated to do it, until now. I am an architect by training and disposition, but really love to make and drink cocktails. I got started with cocktails probably 14 years ago, give or take, and the first cocktail that I can recall was the vodka Martini (which is still one of my favorites). Over the years I’ve tried many different drinks, emptied many bottles of booze, and even experimented with my own recipes. The first thing I’d like to share with you my basic principles of making and drinking great cocktails:

1. Measure all ingredients. It is expedient to pour directly into a mixing glass, but this leads to poorly proportioned drinks. It is much better to take the time to measure the ingredients to be sure that the drink is properly made. You’ll also find that your drinks will be consistent from day to day, which has the side benefit of making it easier to compare different ingredient or proportions.

2. Cold is one of the key ingredients in most cocktails. Take the time to make sure the drink is nice and cold before serving or drinking. You may let the ingredients sit in the mixing glass for a minute or so, and make sure to shake or stir adequately to properly chill the drink. There’s nothing worse than a warm cocktail.

2A. A little ice melt is your friend. Ice melt is actually an expected part of most recipes. Don’t worry, your drink won’t be diluted, but what the ice melt will do is cut some of the alcohol and smooth out any rough edges, helping to blend everything together.

3. Presentation is important. Always serve a cocktail in the proper glass, be it a cocktail glass, double old fashioned, Collins, etc. And…

4. Don’t skimp on the garnish. Properly garnishing a drink is not only part of proper presentation, but garnish is meant to impart flavor and depth to the cocktail, and sometimes aroma as well. Usually this is very subtle, but try a classic vodka Martini with either a lemon twist or olives and you’ll experience the effects of garnish (both of these, by the way, are wonderful, but very different).

5. Don’t be afraid to experiment. There are cocktail purists out there that will tell you to never change or modify a recipe. But it’s your drink-have fun with it and make it how you enjoy it. Maybe you like things a little drier, maybe a little sweeter-it’s up to you to make a drink that you and your friends enjoy.

6. Making a good cocktail will take a few minutes, don’t rush it.

7. Cheers!


Sunday, July 31, 2011

Barthel Residence Open House Today

Last month I posted an item about the fabulous MCM house built by local architect, John E. Barthel.  Today from 2-4pm Realtor Ed Murchison will be having an open house.  The Architect and I will be there taking a peek at this unique piece of Dallas architectural history.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

July Beer Dinner at Il Cane Rosso

Dallas Beer Snobs will be hosting a second beer dinner at Il Cane Rosso on Tuesday, June 19, 2011.

The beers to be tasted are:

1. Harpoon Summer Ale (5.5% ABV)  

2. Affligem Blonde (6.7% ABV)

3. Victory Golden Monkey (9.5% ABV)

4. Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Cream Ale (5.8% ABV)

5. And a surprise beer!

Call Il Cane Rosso at (214) 741-1188 to reserve a spot at the table.

FYI: Posting will be light to downright non-existent for the next few weeks.  I'm traveling every week for work for the foreseeable future.  I'll try to post when I can!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Friday night the Arts District is having another block party.  This one is to celebrate the opening of the musical The Wiz.  There will be disco music from Le Freak, Twitter scavenger hunts, food trucks and more.

2. It is July and that means it is bellini fest at Patrizios.  1 dollar bellinis all month long.  Be sure to grab a seat on the patio at the Patrizio's in Highland Park Village; it is one of the best in town.

3. Saturday is opening night for Galleri Urbane's their first annual juried art exhibition.  We have been lucky enough to purchase some art from gallery owner, Ree Willaford.  Looking forward to what she has in store in this new exhibit.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Scandinavian Holiday 2010-2011

At the beginning of January I mentioned that the Architect and I spent the Christmas holidays in Sweden and Denmark.  Given the 100+ degree temperatures in Texas these days, I thought this would be the perfect time to recap our vacation (and dream of cooler climes).

Why did we go to Scandinavia in the middle of winter? What would possess two Texans to fly halfway around the world where there is only daylight for a few hours a day? In a word Icehotel. For years I had been wanting to stay here but never had the means or the time to get away. Well, last summer we decided we were going to ditch our families and go on vacation because we didn't get a summer vacation. First, we talked about beaches, sun, and fruity drinks. But then I suggested the Icehotel to the Architect and the decision was made. The dogs went to their grandparents and we were off to Scandinavia.

Our first stop was Stockholm for Christmas. We arrived Christmas Eve and hung out in our virtually empty hotel. We knew there would not be too much going on, but we were just happy to be on vacation and out of Texas. Above you will see the Architect enjoying a nice scotch before the fire at the Nordic Light Hotel. The next day we had reservations at The Veranda at the Grand Hotel for a traditional Swedish smorgasbord (at Christmas it is called a juhlbord). If you go to Sweden, you must eat at a smorgasbord, you won't be disappointed. The Veranda's smorgasbord is top notch and you should partake in their house made akavit. Another day of sightseeing and shopping then we were off to the Icehotel.

The Icehotel is located 200km north of the ARCTIC CIRCLE. Arctic Circle as in no sun during the winter, snow, ice, and frozen rivers. Upon our arrival we are issued snow boots, snow suits, and mittens. You wear this ON TOP OF all your other winter clothing. Being from Texas, we spent quite a bit of money at REI and Whole Earth Provision Co. gearing up for this trip. After we get our gear we head out for a late dinner at one of the 2 Icehotel restaurants. We had dinner at the Old Homestead Restaurant, which is an old cabin about a mile or so down the road. When you check-in you are issued a lanyard with ID holder that contains a map and your reservation number to show when you are paying for meals. Or as I joked to the Architect as we were trudging to dinner - "So the locals know where to return us, if they find us frozen on the side of the road." As if the snowsuits with ICEHOTEL embroidered in 3in. letters wasn't enough of a giveaway.

After dinner we walked back to the Icehotel to spend our first night. You have two options at the Icehotel: 1) sleep in the actual Icehotel or 2)  stay in a "warm accommodation." Most people spend 1-2 nights in the Icehotel and then spend the rest of their stay in a warm accommodation. The reason is you can't take anything with you into your room at the Icehotel. You are issued a locker to store your gear. There are no bathrooms in the ice part either. Those are at the lodge next door. But it seems miles away when you are walking to it late at night in nothing but your long underwear.

Wait, you don't sleep in that snazzy snowsuit in the Icehotel?! Nope. You are issued a thermal sleeping bag and a pillow. Your body heat is what warms up the sleeping bag. If you were to wear that snowsuit and your down jacket, etc. you would never get warm. I was dubious about only sleeping in my socks, base layers, a hat and gloves but it worked. It wasn't the most relaxing sleep I had, but I was warm and able to get some sleep.

The next day was our dog sled ride on the frozen Torne River. Oh and it was one of the coldest days during our entire stay at the Icehotel. MINUS TWENTY FOUR DEGREES BELOW ZERO. Even the locals said it was COLD. When people who have spent their entire lives living above the Arctic Circle say it is cold, it is cold. Dog sledding was awesome. Ever curious about whether you ever make a pit stop while dog sledding to let the dogs go to the bathroom? You don't. The dogs poop while they run. A bit of unexpected knowledge I learned from this trip.

After the dog sled ride we made our first trip to the Absolut Ice Bar. The yummy drinks are served in glasses made of ice. Then it was off to dinner at Icehotel's fancier restaurant across the road, where we had the Ice menu. It was a tasting menu where every entree was served on a block of ice carved from the Torne River. The cocktails we had came in a martini glass with a huge diamond shape piece of ice. After we finished our drinks the waitress left the glasses on our table so we could watch the ice melt. The ice cube melted but didn't overflow the glass as we had expected. Ahh, that Scandinavian design.

The next day was our horseback ride to see the Northern Lights. By the way this was the first time I had ever been on a horse. I know, Texas girl and never been on a horse. We didn't get to see any northern lights, but we saw a moose and had a nice hot meal in a Sami hut. After the horseback ride it was back to the Absolut IcebariTunes. Dan and I looked at each other and said "Oh really?" And guess what he did have everything, including Texas locals - the Old 97s, Salim Nourallah, and David Garza.

Our Icehotel experience came to an end and it was off to Copenhagen for New Year's Eve. We stayed at Hotel Twentyseven which was right in the middle of everything and a quick walk from the Central Station. A tip to know: do not take the train from the airport into Central Station. It gets cancelled ALL THE TIME. After waiting 45 minutes and a question to the ticket office we learned this annoying fact. So either take a cab or take the Metro.

The hotel was great. There was a complimentary breakfast AND dinner buffet everyday. Attached to the hotel was the Honey Ryder Cocktail Lounge and adjacent to that was Icebar Copenhagen. But for NYE most of our days were spent shopping and walking around the city admiring the architecture and sights.

The best part of the Copenhagen leg of our trip was New Year's Eve dinner at a|o|c.  a|o|c is located in the basement of what was a 17th century palace.  The Architect and I have had some very nice dinners in some very nice places, but dinner here became the new place to beat.

As we arrived, all we said to the waiter who took our coat was, "We have a reservation."  The response was "Welcome Mr. Day."  Um, he didn't know what we look liked until we got there.  We could have been the only Americans dining there that night and that is what gave us away, but the personalization was a nice touch.

The dinner was to be a an 8 course meal with wine pairings.  But before we could even get to the actual courses we were met with some of the best champagne I have ever had - Pol Roger, Cuvee Winston Churchill.  If you see a bottle of this, don't look at the price and just buy it.  It is awesome.

a|o|c is into molecular gastromony, which unfortunately is lacking here in Dallas.  Lots of ingenious ways to use flavors and foods in new way for a completely different eating experience.  I would say the most interesting course of the evening was the "Oyster leaves with red wine vinegar."  You are thinking a salad, how weird could that be?  Texas has red wine vinegar.  Um, salad ain't served this way in Texas.  First off, they deposit a spoon on our table with a hole in it.  Then comes the fishbowl.  This fishbowl is filled with water, some river rocks and two salad leaves floating on the water, each with a bead of red wine vinegar.  The spoon with the hole was used to fish out the salad leaf.  It certainly wasn't the most filling salad course I have ever had, but the experience made up for the minuscule meal.  This was an experience dinner, not a gorge yourself silly dinner.  If you find yourself in Copenhagen, be sure to get a reservation here.  We ended the evening/early morning with champagne at the Honey Ryder Cocktail Lounge.

And so it comes to the end of our little adventure.  We had another few days in Copenhagen, then it was back to Stockholm to catch our flight back to Dallas.

You can see more pictures from our Scandinavian adventure here.

Images: 1st row (l-r): Nyhavn, Copenhagen; the Architect at the Nordic Light Hotel; Copenhagen Opera House.  2d row (l-r): Me at the Modern Museet in Stockholm; Radhausplan, Copenhagen; us at the Absolut Icebar at Icehotel.  3rd row (l-r): Grand Hall at Icehotel; Huskies; Stockholm Library by Gunnar Asplund.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

An easy and refreshing way to cool off this weekend

It is shaping up to be a scorcher of a summer in Texas this year. A great way too cool off is with some homemade popsicles. These are perfect for lazy Sundays like today and super easy to make.

Campari Citrus Popsicles

Makes 10-15 popsicles

Adapted from a recipe on Apartment Therapy's The Kitchn.


1 cup sugar
1 cup water
3 cups orange juice
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/2 cup Campari

Popsicle molds (I bought mine at IKEA)


Mix the water and sugar together in a small pan over a low heat, and bring up to boil until the sugar dissolves. Allow the simple syrup to boil for 4 minutes, remove from heat and cool (makes a little over 1 cup). I used organic cane sugar which gives the simple syrup the caramel color you see in the picture above. It does not affect the taste or color of the popsicles.

Combine the citrus juice and Campari and add 1 cup of simple syrup.

Pour into popsicle molds and freeze at least 8 hours or overnight. To remove, run the molds quickly under hot water, and gently pull out the pops.


I halved the recipe above because I only had 6 popsicle molds. You could also use Aperol, a bitter orange aperitif in place of Campari. Aperol is more orange-y and less bitter than Campari. Additionally, you can use grapefruit juice instead of orange juice for the Campari popsicles, just omit the lemon juice.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Weekend Plans - Red, White and Blue Edition

1. Half Price Books on Northwest Highway will be showing movies in their parking lot every other Saturday. The weekend it is E.T.

2. If you are a bit insane like me, get up early on Saturday and head over to the Dallas Running Club's Independence Day 5K & 10K. I am doing this so I justify all the hot dog and potato salad eating I'll be doing this long weekend.

3. Look, it is 4th of July weekend and I am feeling a bit lazy. Go here for all things pyrotechnic-y and Americana music related. Me, I'm just looking for a friend with a pool and a grill this weekend. Feel free to invite me over to your 4th of July party.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Friday night is a special Late Night at the DMA. The Polyphonic Spree will have a concert on the Ross Ave. Plaza at 9pm. If you are there for the Spree you should check out the rest of the Summer Block Party happening tomorrow night in the Arts District.

2. Saturday morning from 9am to 2pm is the Sylvan|Thirty farmers market at the future mixed use development Sylvan|Thirty, near the Belmont Hotel. There will be food from local farmers, artisans selling their wares and a pop-up dog park.

3. This is the first weekend of Shakespeare in the Park. Grab your friends and some wine and enjoy an evening under the stars at Samuel Grand park. This weekend is the non-Shakespeare play Cyrano de Bergerac.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Barthel Residence up for sale

When the Architect and I were looking for our MCM we happened upon this enclave of homes on Capri Court. This house was designed by local Dallas architect John E. Barthel as a home for himself and has been the sole owner of the home.

If I could sell my house tomorrow, I would definitely be putting in a bid for this house. This house is in original mint condition and a perfect party house. It is on the market for $425,000.00, which is a bit high for the area and what Dallas County Appraisal District has valued the home at ($239,770). But give the uniqueness of the house and all the original details, there may be a few folks who might be willing to pay a bit more but maybe not that much.

Local MCM real estate expert Ed Murchison is the listing agent. You can contact him here.

See more pictures of the Barthel Residence here.

Image credit:

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Friday Etsy Dallas is having a crafting party at Oil & Cotton in Oak Cliff. There will be artist demonstrations, opportunities to make your own necklaces or cuff and there will be a screening of the documentary “Handmade Nation: The Rise of DIY, Art, Craft and Design.”

2. Saturday is the White Rock Local Market from 8am to 1pm. You can find organic fruits and veggies, bread, pasta and other artisans selling their wares.

3. After hitting the White Rock Local Market head down to the Whole Foods in Lakewood where they will be opening "Lakewood on Tap." You will be able to pick up a growler to fill with your craft beer of choice.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher

George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher from McNay Art Museum on Vimeo.

Today is the opening day at the McNay Museum in San Antonio of George Nelson: Architect, Writer, Designer, Teacher. Nelson was hired by Herman Miller to be the company's design director. He was responsible for hiring the likes of Noguchi and the Eameses. The exhibition was organized by Vitra and will have a collection of a 120 items including furniture and architecture designs. Exhibition is on view through September 11, 2011.

More about the McNay Museum here.

More about Vitra, the exhibition organizers here.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Scottish Festival at UTA - Men in kilts, beer, Scottish dancing and music. My version of heaven.

2. Friday the Shops at Park Lane is having Movies Under the Moon from 7-10pm where there will be an outdoor showing of The Wizard of Oz. Munchies will be available for purchase from Gordon Biersch.

3. Saturday head over to the Granada Theater to see Tyler, TX based band Eisley perform.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Weekend Plans - Memorial Day Edition

1. Friday thru Sunday is the City Arts Festival at Fair Park. All the museums at Fair Park will be open and free to the public. There will be art, food and music throughout the weekend. Friday night they will be showing Breakfast At Tiffany's under the stars.

2. This is the final weekend for Scarborough Faire. The entertainment and people watching can't be beat.

3. On Memorial Day head over to Flagpole Hill at White Rock Lake to hear the Dallas Symphony perform patriotic music followed with a fireworks show.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Proposed changes to the Lake Highlands Town Center

The Architect and I live up the street and around the corner from the planned Lake Highlands Town Center. Right now there is the Lake Highlands DART station, streets, lights and landscaping, but no buildings. A large part of the delay has been attributed to the Great Recession, credit crunch and slow economic recovery.

I previously wrote about the LHTC here where I discussed the fact that Sprouts was in talks again with Prescott Realty as being the anchor grocer planned for the development.

Tomorrow (Tuesday) the City of Dallas is having a meeting about planned changes to the LHTC development. According to the Advocate Lake Highlands Back Talk blog there are 3 items to be discussed tomorrow: 1) proposed design changes from a City of Dallas hired consultant (Street Works), 2) Prescott Realty's update and recommendations to the Skillman TIF Board, and 3) a presentation by Concerned Lake Highlands Citizens proposing opposition to the changes.

The proposed design changes are a larger footprint for the proposed grocery anchor store. It has increased in size from 25,000 sqft to 56,000 sqft. The size change is in line with the size of Tom Thumbs around the area - like right up the street at Skillman and Abrams. Rumors have been circulating the Tom Thumb could be the anchor store at LHTC and it would close the store at Skillman/Abrams and Skillman/Royal. This would leave huge vacancies in an already increasingly vacant shopping center.

New to the scene are the Concerned Lake Highlands Citizens. Their concern is about another "big-box" grocery store competing with already existing businesses. They want LHTC to stay true to what the original design plan was - a mixed use development with multi-family and office users.

I can understand their concern. I want LHTC to be more "Mockingbird Station" in its design and less like the Timbercreek development at Skillman and Northwest Highway. It will have 3 big box stores - Walmart, Sam's Club and a free standing JC Penney. Ugh. I want to be able to walk down the street and go to a small grocer (Sprouts, Trader Joe's or similar) to pick up food or a bottle of wine. I also want more restaurant selection and availability. Go to Picasso's, Mi Cocina or Atomic Pie any night of the week and you will see there is a demand for these types of attractions.

You can read more specifics on the meeting and review the Street Works proposed design changes here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

An opportunity to own an architecturally significant home

Before the Architect and purchased our MCM gem of a home, we used to rent this house right behind the Old Monk off Henderson Ave.

It was designed by local architect Charles Dilbeck. In fact Dilbeck designed and built many of the homes in the Cochran Heights neighborhood off of Henderson Ave.

So who was the Charles Dilbeck guy?

Charles Dilbeck was born in 1907 in Fort Smith, Arkansas. He first started working in Tulsa creating and adapting plans for builders and developers. He also took credit for designing the first Texas ranch house. Dilbeck has a wide ranging style from this "International" style gem we lived in to MCM to more traditional type bungalows. Douglas Newby has lots of info on his website about Dilbeck homes to include pictures and locations.

Our old landlord has put the house we lived in up for sale. This was a great house to live in, but it could use A LOT of renovation work to bring it back to its former glory. It is on the market for $275,000.00. Having lived in the house and being familiar with some of the needed repairs, I think the price is a bit high. But the location can't be beat. You are close to downtown and walking distance from many popular shops, bars and restaurants.

If you are interested in this house, feel free to shoot me an email and I'll tell you about my experience living there - good and bad. Also, the Architect has already designed an addition for this house. He'd be happy to talk to the future owners about his ideas for the property.

See the full listing here.

See the Dallas County Appraisal info here.

Biographical details on Charles Dilbeck from Douglas Newby Architecturally Significant Homes.

Photo of house from NTREIS.

Monday, May 9, 2011

More Architecture Webcams!

Robert Wilonsky at Unfair Park unearthed some more construction webcams of many of the architecturally significant buildings and projects going on around Dallas.

I've already talked about the Calatrava and the Woodall Rodgers deck park webcams here.

Here are some new ones to add to your watching list:

The Perot Museum of Nature and Science - designed by Thom Mayne of Morphosis.

The Museum Tower - another overpriced condo development in the parking lot next to the Nasher Sculpture Center and the Dallas Museum of Art.

George W. Bush Presidential Library at SMU - designed by Robert A.M. Stern

Upcoming local events

This week is a busy week for fun events in Dallas.

1. Tales of the Cocktail Texas Tour. Tales of the Cocktail is an annual get together of indutry professionals and cocktail enthusiasts in New Orleans each July. Earlier this year they took the show on the road to Vancouver and now they are making brief stops in Texas. This afternoon was a stop at The Cedars Social. Tomorrow is a stop at Whiskey Cake in Plano before they head to Austin and then end the tour in Houston. Tipsy Texan has all the details here.

2. Dewars Scotch Tasting. Tuesday at Bailey's Prime Plus at Park Lane from 6-9 will be a tasting of Dewars' 12yr, 18yr, and Signature Blend whiskeys. If you can't make it on Tuesday, Sigels on Greenville Ave. will also be holding a tasting from 5-8pm with the same whiskeys. Or go to both if you really like your (free) whiskey.

3. Pecha Kucha 6. Pecha Kucha 6 at Son's of Hermann Hall from 7-9pm. Speakers include Ben Hutchinson and Michael Siegel from Green House Truck, Harvey Lacey with Recycled Block Houses, Kael Alford a war photographer and many more.

4. Jazz Under the Stars at DMA. Thursday is also the kick off for the DMA's summer weekly jazz performances. First up is Havana NRG. Get there early to grab a prime spot of grass on the museum lawn.
and the start of Jazz Under the Stars at the DMA are on Thursday night.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Weekend Plans - Cinco de Mayo Edition

Two ideas to celebrate Cinco de Mayo and one non-alcohol related event.

1. Free Margaritas at Margarita Ranch, also cheese enchiladas with house margarita for 10 bucks during happy hour tomorrow.

2. Bailey's Prime Plus is having a complimentary Patron Tequila Tasting from 5 to 7pm at their location on 75 and Park Ln.

3. West Village Farmers Market is this Saturday from 10am to 2pm between Mi Cocina and the Magnolia Theater. After a run on the Katy Trail, stop by to produce, organic meats and artisan goods.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011


For awhile now I've been wanting to have a semi-regular feature that focuses on cocktails and spirits. I've finally decided to make that a reality. The purpose of Clink! is to focus on cocktail and drinking events around Dallas and talk about what the Architect and I are drinking.

So let's get started. In the next few weeks there will be quite a few cocktail and beer events happening around town.

1. This Thursday is the Dallas Beer Snobs beer dinner at Il Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum. Spots are still available but going fast. Info here.

2. On Monday, May 2, 2011, The Cedars Social will be hosting a cocktail tasting with liquor distributor Haus Alpenz. The tasting will feature pre-prohibition cocktails made with lesser known liquors such as Crème de Violette, Dolin Vermouth’s and Velvet Falernum. Cocktails will be 4.00 each. Tasting is from 6 to 7:30pm.

3. May 13-14, 2011 is the North Texas Beer Festival at the Plano Center. There will speakers, classes, live music and of course, beer tastings.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Saturday is Cupcake Camp. 10 bucks gets you in to taste cupcakes from 12 local bakeries.

2. Friday and Saturday is Dallas' Earth Day celebrations in the Arts District. There will be exhibits, music and food trucks!

3. It is Easter this Sunday, if you are looking for a spot for brunch go here.

Monday, April 18, 2011

What is going on with that Lake Highlands Town Center?

Last week Becky Range, Executive Director of the Lake Highlands Public Improvement District (PID) spoke to the Lake Highlands Junior Women's League about recent developments in the PID and what is happening to that broad swath of land at Walnut Hill and Skillman - i.e. the future Lake Highlands Town Center.

First, what is a PID? A PID is a special tax assessment agreement between the City and property owners within a specified district to fund public improvements beyond existing municipal services. A PID helps commercial property owners and involved residential owners maintain and revitalize public/common areas within the District.

The Lake Highlands PID has 3 goals: 1) address crime problems, 2) request city services, and 3) capital improvements.

As far as crime prevention, the PID hired additional security via off duty cops and crime dropped 26% in 2010. Most of the crime is centered in the apartment complexes located in the Lake Highlands area. The PID is attempting to come up with other ways to engage the apartment complex property owners to address the crime in their complexes.

Regarding capital improvements, the focus is on the Skillman corridor, particularly where it intersects with LBJ freeway. The PID is working with the Dallas AIA to come up with a redesign of that intersection. The PID is also working on landscape master plan.

But perhaps the most visible work of the PID is the Lake Highlands Town Center. I happen to live around the corner from the site. I watched with anticipation as the derelict apartments came down and was excited for what was in store. I wasn't too crazy about the architecture, but there was talk about a small grocer, shops, and more restaurants. If you have tried to go to Picasso's Pizza or Mi Cocina on a Friday night, you know how exciting a restaurant - any kind of restaurant would be.

Well thanks to the Great Recession and the credit crunch, all we have right now are some nice paved roads, street lights and stop lights around the unfinished town center. Oh and the DART rail station that sits out there on its own.

The news is that the property owners Prescott Realty are back to negotiating for an anchor grocery store. Originally, Prescott had been talking to Sprouts, but they couldn't get the financing. Prescott has invited Sprouts back to the table because the community has stated that this is a store we would like in the area. While it was not directly stated, I got the impression that if a deal couldn't be reached with Sprouts, the runner up could be Tom Thumb. If Tom Thumb were to go in, that would probably mean closure of 2 stores in the area. There was no information as to when building might begin. That appears to be contingent on financing. Sigh. So it looks like I'll be staring at roads and streetlights to nowhere for a bit longer.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Beer Dinner at Il Cane Rosso

Do you like a good pizza? How about a frosty pint of beer? Well, if you answered "yes" to both of those questions you better grab your place at Il Cane Rosso's first beer dinner on April 28, 2011.

My friend Tim over at Dallas Beer Snobs set up the event. The details are:

"The fine folks at Il Cane Rosso in Deep Ellum have graciously agreed to co-sponsor a special event for our beer loving fans. On Thursday, April 28th at 7:00 pm chef Matt Reddick will be serving unique dishes prepared specially to be served with a selection of beers chosen by the snobs.

There will be 4 food courses and 5 beer selections for you to enjoy. The cost will be $45/ person and you must leave your credit card number to reserve your space. We are limited to a maximun of 30 people so please make sure that you reserve early.

The theme will be spring/seasonal beers and we would like the Beer Snobs family to help make the selection. Heck, if you are going to drink it you may as well choose your poison. Please email us at and tell us what you would like to be served, local if possible, but definitely seasonal and we ask that you send your choices to us by Sunday evening the 17th of April.

Please contact Stepanie Meyer at (214) 741-1188 to make your reservation."

We look forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. White Rock Home Tour - Saturday and Sunday come tour 5 modern and mid century modern homes. I'll be volunteering at the Woodgrove home on Sunday from 12-2. Come by and say hello. Proceeds from the home tour benefit Hexter Elementary.

2. DADA Art Walk - Saturday is the Dallas Art Dealers Association Spring Gallery Walk. Tour the 35 participating galleries all over Dallas.

3. Creek Craze - Sunday head down to Lee Park for a more kid centric Easter event. There will be an Easter Egg hunt, pet photos, costume contest, balloon animals, face painting and more.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Odds and Ends

Some things I have been reading about on the interwebs:

1. Price Tower in Bartlesville,OK has been nominated to be an UNESCO World Heritage site. Next weekend Price Tower will be hosting multiple events to celebrate the nomination and discuss the history and significance of Price Tower. You can read about my trip to Price Tower here and here.

2. LEED v. U2's The Edge. The Edge is developing a community of homes (called Leaves in the Wind) in Malibu that has many architects, homeowners and environmentalists questioning whether the project is truly green. While the project may "check the box" on all the required elements needed to obtain LEED status, some are saying this project does not follow the spirit of what LEED is about. Make your own judgments here.

3. The next architecturally significant building to get the Lego treatment will be Mies van der Rohe's Farnsworth House. Now I just need to convince the Architect that a Lego house should qualify as an acceptable piece of art to be displayed in the house.

4. The folks over at The Park have a new video of what the park should like upon completion.

5. Apparently, The Simpsons took a few jabs at our Arts District and Jerryworld in a recent episode.

6. Second Shelters has a sneak peek into what is happening at the Statler Hotel now that it is under new ownership.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Weekend Plans

Looking for something to do this weekend? Here are some ideas.

1. Dallas Art and Design Fair - this will be the first year for the design portion of the fair. Can't wait to see what modern goodies I might find.

2. A Day in the Park - Main Street Garden will have music, dance demonstrations, and tours of the architecture of Main Street.

3. The Dallas Film Festival ends this weekend, but you still have some time to see the next Oscar nominated movie.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Weekend Plans

Work this week has been a combination of The Real Housewives of [insert city] and Jersey Shore this week. Here's the quick and dirty of where you should be this weekend.

1. Dallas International Film Festival - see a future hit, possible see a celebrity.

2. Scavenger Hunt at Neiman Marcus Northpark - leave your Louboutin's at home in this race.

3. Deep Ellum Arts Festival - it is not as scary as you think.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Weekend Plans

1. Saturday is the Dallas Flea at Southside on Lamar. Part flea market part indie crafters, there is much shopping to be had here.

2. Saturday is also the season opener for the Assassination City Roller Derby at Fair Park. I've always wanted to join a roller derby, but the Architect thinks I would injure myself. I can injure myself walking down the hall in flats and run into the door frame. At least in a roller derby I'd have an excuse for that huge bruise on my arm.

3. If you are a runner the Rock and Roll Marathon is this Sunday. Bret Michaels of Poison will be playing too! If you are more of a couch potato, the Texas Theater is showing episodes of the Dallas television series.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Architectural Petting Zoo

Last month, Chicago Tribune journalist and architecture critic, Blair Kamin spoke at the Dallas Architecture Forum about his new book Terror and Wonder: Architecture in a Tumultuous Age. While Kamin was here he took some time to travel around our fair city - most notably the Dallas Arts District and the future Woodall Rodgers deck park.

Kamin reflected on his experience in Dallas and what he thinks of our newly expanded Arts District on his Cityscapes blog. The quote that simultaneously made me laugh and wince was this:

"Is it a good idea to organize arts buildings in such a clear and concentrated fashion? Or does the more mixed-up Chicago way make better sense? I ask because, despite its impressive architectural firepower, the Dallas Arts District can be an exceedingly dull place. There are no bookstores, few restaurants outside those in the museums, and not a lot of street life, at least when there are no performances going on. Even some of the architects who’ve designed buildings here privately refer to the district as an architectural petting zoo — long on imported brand-name bling and short on homegrown-urban vitality."

OUCH. That kinda hurt Blair. But there is some truth to your ruminations. Dallas is struggling to bring people back to the downtown core. On an average day when there isn't a show or Savor Dallas happening, the arts district and elsewhere in downtown is pretty dead.

But don't count us out yet. We are just getting started. Call me an optimist, but I think we have got somethings in the pipeline to start bringing the people back downtown. Like that deck park. If we can get the law school off the ground and the Statler Hilton is renovated, there will be some more people interested in hanging around after the work day is done and contributing to a live/work culture.

Nothing is perfect. I question the need for another high rise tower catering to the uber rich. I am concerned about the dead zone known as Victory Park. I question the lack of public transportation near the arts district and the dwindling available parking.

Rome wasn't built in a day and I'm sure Chicago's bustling downtown city wasn't either. So cut Dallas a little slack and give us a little time to grow and nurture what we've got.

But I do have to agree that the architectural petting zoo comment was pretty funny.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hugh Ferriss and The Metropolis of Tomorrow

A couple years ago Dwell had a small article about the American architect and delineator, Hugh Ferriss. His drawings in the 1929 book The Metropolis of Tomorrow were absolutely stunning. I am a huge fan of the 1927 Fritz Lang silent movie, Metropolis. Yes, it is 3 hours long, but 3 visually interesting hours. Ferriss' drawings would be at home with the visual landscape created by Lang.

Even though Ferriss was an architect by training, he is not remembered for his buildings. Rather, it is his ethereal drawings of New York and "the future" that sealed his place in history. His drawings are mostly of buildings at night and he cast the buildings in shadow, giving it a sense of mystery. Ferriss' work appeared in the Christian Science Monitor, Harper's and Vanity Fair. Ferris' drawings and papers are housed at the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University.

So why am I blathering on about this guy? Well, after reading the Dwell article I started poking around on the Internet about getting a copy of The Metropolis of Tomorrow, his seminal work. Specifically, a first edition of the book. A cheap paper reproduction would not do. Well, most of the first editions on Amazon and other sites were in the $200.00+ range. Not too expensive but a bit more than I wanted to pay for a book. The Architect and I have a lot of books, but we are not collectors of first edition books. I added this book to the bucket list of furniture and items I wanted to add to our home. Someday I may post my MCM bucket list.

Then lo and behold I happened to be browsing around on eBay and scored a first edition of The Metropolis of Tomorrow. FOR SEVENTY BUCKS. Thank god for eBay. This eBay score turned into a very nice birthday present for the Architect.

I'm not the only fan of Hugh Ferriss. The Oxford, England band A Silent Film used Ferriss' illustrations for the cover of their album The City That Sleeps. By the way, that album rocks.

Read about the top things to know about Hugh Ferriss here.

Browse through selected images from the Avery Library here.

Image from the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library at Columbia University. Sources: Wikipedia, Dwell, Avery Library at Columbia University.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Weekend Plans

Ok, my weekend suggestions has been on a hiatus for a looooong time. But let's get back in the saddle and give you some reasons to get off that couch this weekend.

1. If I wasn't celebrating my favorite holiday on Thursday, I'd be at the Dallas Museum of Art listening to Marianne Stockebrand, Director Emerita of the Chinati Foundation talk about minimalist sculptor Donald Judd.

2. Savor Dallas is this weekend. There are multiple events happening all weekend from a Wine and Art Stroll through the Arts District on Friday to tastings, lectures and workshops from Texas wineries/distilleries and elsewhere and local Dallas chefs.

3. Put on your skinny jeans, Docs, and guyliner (or eyeliner for you ladies) and head over to the Granada Theater to hear Peter Murphy of Bauhaus. Alternatively, if you don't want to embrace your inner goth, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark will be playing at the same venue Sunday night. Cue the John Hughes movie....

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Wright 20 Modern Design Auction

Modern Design 31 March 2011 from Wright on Vimeo.

Wright 20 is an auction house based in Chicago, IL that specializes in mid-century modern contemporary furniture and design. Most of their items are out of my price range, but you can purchase the catalogs from their auctions to drool over. March 31 is their modern design auction with items from the likes of Jean Prouve, Charlotte Perriand, George Nakashima, Harry Bertoia, Milo Baughmann, Edward Wormley, and on and on.

If you can't make it to the live auction, you can bid by the phone, absentee, or online.

The folks over at Wright 20 put together this short dynamic little video to advertise the auction.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Slideshow of the interior of the Statler Hotel

Want a sneak peek into the hopefully soon to be renovated Statler Hotel?

Check out the slide show at Unfair Park. Pictures of the interior start at slide 7.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Statler Hotel has a new owner!

I have written a few times (here, here, and here ) about the Statler Hotel and its travails. News today from Dallas Observer and Unfair Park's Fingers of Fury, Robert Wilonsky is that the Statler Hotel has a new owner. Its former Hong Kong based owner has sold the hotel to local developers Ricci Dallas Investments for $13.1 million dollars. According to Unfair Park, the owners plan on cleaning it up and getting with local preservationists to discuss its future renovation.

I have always been a fan of this building and all the MCM goodness it has to offer. If the folks at Ricci Dallas Investments can get the renovation off the ground it will be a boon to downtown, the future UNT Law School, and a nice bookend to the Main Street Garden.

Read more about the sale here, here and here.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Woodall Rodgers Park Update

Last week the folks at The Park announced they received another 9 million in private donations. This leaves only 17 million left in private donations to gather before completion. Last Thursday, The Architect and I went to hear Blair Kamin speak at the Dallas Architecture Forum. We had the privilege to speak to Blair before the lecture where he expressed his excitement about The Park. During the lecture he stated that The Park was one of the best uses of stimulus funds he had seen. He also paraleled the project of The Park with the WPA projects done in the 1930s.

Read the entire press release on The Park here.

Learn more about the Dallas Architecture Forum and upcoming lectures here.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Snow day DIY

Today is Day 2 of Icepocalypse 2011 here in Dallas. I haven't left the house since Sunday and I am tired of watching HGTV and the Real Housewives of [insert city].

So I whipped up this brightly colored wreath you see here. Learn how to make your own wreath over at the Take Heart blog.

Strindberg and Helium

For those of you who have the day off because of Iceapocalypse 2011, check out Strindberg and Helium. It is a series of cartoons about Swedish writer August Strindberg and his pal Helium.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Spring Art and Architecture Events

Mark your calendars for these art and architecture events:

Dallas Art Fair - April 8-10, 2011, preview gala April 7, 2011 at the F.I.G. Gallery. National and international galleries will be showcasing works from all over.

Dallas Design Fair - April 8-10, 2011, preview gala April 7, 2011, also at the F.I.G. Gallery. The is the first year for the decorative arts fair to be held in conjunction with the Dallas Art Fair. If there is Danish furniture there, you'd better get out of my way.

White Rock Home Tour - April 16-17, 2011, this annual home tour showcases the best in MCM residential architecture. Proceeds benefit Hexter Elementary School. According to their Facebook page, the organizers are still looking for a couple of homes. If you or someone you know lives in a rockin' MCM home, send them an email. Once we do a few more updates, I would love to submit our house for the tour.

Dallas' CityDesign Studio plan for West Dallas

So maybe that Calatrava designed bridge to nowhere (aka Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge) may not be a bridge to nowhere after all.

So who is CityDesign Studio and what do they have planned for the other side of the Trinity River where the bridge ends? From the CityDesign Studio website:

"The Dallas CityDesign Studio was formed in October of 2009 through a grant to the City from the Trinity Trust Foundation, funded by a generous gift from Deedie and Rusty Rose, to focus on neighborhoods and development along the Trinity."

CityDesign Studio recently had a presentation where they presented a proposal for the development of the area of West Dallas that adjoins the Trinity River and Calatrava bridge. The proposal includes pedestrian friendly streets and "mixed-use developments", in addition to development of public spaces (hope that means parks!). This presentation and proposal is interesting because it seeks to bring some much needed development to the area. It will interesting in the future to see how this shapes up and how that area will springboard off the development already there; i.e. the Belmont Hotel.

Read more about CityDesign Studio's proposal here.

Dallas Observer's Unfair Park blog has a review of the presentation meeting here.

Hear Joan Davidow's, former director and curator of the Dallas Contemporary, commentary for KERA 90.1 here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Dallas Arboretum Expansion Project

D Magazine's Frontburner blog got a sneak peek into the Dallas Arboretum's $50 million expansion project the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden. The location of the garden will be to the right of the lawn if you are sitting there listening to a concert. The project's completion date is 2013.

From the comments in Frontburner's post, there is concern about the garden disturbing the "serenity" of the park and potential destruction of existing exhibits and gardens. D magazine responded that there would not be any destruction of existing gardens and exhibits. The new garden will be taking advantaged of currently unused land within the Arboretum. My concern is that the new garden be in line with the rest of the style of the arboretum. I don't want this to look like an amusement park.

You can see more images of the proposed park here.

Image from D Magazine's Frontburner blog.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

A warm up for this snowy Sunday in Big D

Usually, I am drinking hot toddies during the holiday season. But since it is snowing here in Big D today, there is nothing better than curling up with a warm cup of cheer. One of my favorites is a hot buttered rum.

Ingredients you will need:

1tsp brown sugar
1 tsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
4-6 whole cloves
2 oz. dark rum (I used Cruzan aged rum, but Zaya is also good)
Boiling water
1 tsp butter


Place all ingredients except the rum, water and butter in a heatproof mug. Add the rum, then boiling water. Float the butter on top, and drink when the butter has completely melted.

Recipe from Cocktail Hour - Authentic Recipes and Illustrations from 1920 to 1960 by Susan Waggoner and Robert Markel.


Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Miss Me?

The Architect and I took a trip to Scandinavia for the Christmas and New Year's holidays. Pictures and details forthcoming once I organize all the pictures and get my thoughts together.

In the meantime, check out this local home tour on Apartment Therapy.