Hey, did you know that the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco just turned 75? And do you know why it is named the Golden Gate Bridge? The Golden Gate Strait is the entrance to the San Francisco Bay from the Pacific Ocean; it has nothing to do with color, like most people would think. The bridge is actually painted orange vermillion which is deemed the ‘International Orange.’ It was chosen because the color blends well with the spans of the natural setting. The Golden Gate Bridge is considered one of the most amazing architectural marvels of the world. This bridge took 4 years to construct and finally opened to traffic on May 28, 1937.
Last Thursday I had dinner with my friend Annette at one of my favorite restaurants, Majestic Café, in Old Town Alexandria. It was great seeing her and catching up on showhouse gossip, her tri athlete daughter, her ‘hey, look mom I got this’ son and her absent minded but very sexy scientist husband. Dinner at the Majestic is always great, the room is clean and modern and was designed by famed Washington architect Mark McInturff. I highly recommend the fried green tomato appetizer and the Amish chicken. But, no matter what; the best thing about the Majestic is pastry chef, Valerie Hill’s coconut cake. Its better then your mom every made..tall, dense and oh so fluffy, it’s everything a Southern guy could want!
Hi you two,
First day was walking and looking at shops. Took lots of pictures in the 9, which is the main shopping area. Some of food stores, some clothing. Took a boat ride through the canals, great shots there. Cynda and Gabs are taking the pictures for me, which I can use to send to you guys. The bikers are crazy here. More bikes in this city than any I’ve seen before. Parents ride around with kids on handlebars, on wooden carts, on the back. You are in more danger of being run over by a bike than a car.
Actually, Cynda will be sending you a bunch of pictures today. They will be separate emails. This way you can tell me it this is what you are looking for.
The place we are staying in is interesting. Build in 1560 and sits on the Singel canal.
Cynda sent you dinner pictures. Amazing board. They sat the board on the table and we looked at each other and said “picture for David” – Smoke trout with pickled cucumber slices, smoke salmon with passion fruit sauce, grilled sirlon, salami from Bologna, manchego cheese, small grilled bread. What we did not take a pic of was the 3 types of french fries and the lamb burger that Chris had.
Left the apt at 1 today and just got back. We walked everywhere! Pictures from around the home of the queen and the square around the castle, french fires the street food of city, area where main museums are located, great cake shop where cakes are on each table, inside Apple store – only staircase. Also IAMsterdam sign by the museums. Cool sign. Everyone slept until 1 today since it was raining. When we left it had completely cleared. The area around the museum was really beautiful, but it looks like someplace I have seen before, but cannot place it.
Ended up in new the Starbucks, which looks better in pictures than in person.
Visited the Van Gogh museum today – definitely worthwhile. On the way say these interesting light fixtures, pictures on way to you. Spent a good 3 hours in the museum. They did a great job showing the progression of his work. We have just about walked the entire city at this point. Everyone was so tired that we stopped for a drink then headed back to make dinner in the apartment.
Biking absolutely crazy. When crossing the street you have to look for bikers, not cars, and occasionally the tram.
Not sure of our plans today, but leave for Antwerp tomorrow.
Spent most of day at Central Station validating train tickets for trip to Antrewp and Bruge tomorrow. Sending photo of the commuter parking at train stations – explains the bike thing here.
Also sending photo of pedal saloon – leave it to Europeans to figure out how to drink and not gain weight! Early dinner tonight and then a last walk around the area before heading out tomorrow morning. Since we are taking a very long, local, train ride should have photos to send when we get into Bruge.
One of the things that I really love at the moment is Swedish Art Deco! But, it’s hard as hell to find. The antique store, Lief, in LA just sent me some great images of Just Andersen’s bronze lamps from the 1930’s. I think I want to buy them all!
I recently painted my front door a high gloss black. The outside of my house is gray and I thought it was the perfect color, who knew I was taking part in a big trend? It seems that black doors are everywhere. I kind of love all the black doors.
Clients are always asking me how to make a traditional interior fresh and current, no one wants to live in a stodgy house anymore. So, in this living room I had Shepard and Brian from Fine Art Finishes create a new take on chinoiserie. It is actually canvas panels covered in a thin coat of plaster, which has beautiful small cracks in it and a light waxed glaze. It turned out to be a success! Enjoy…and don’t you just love the etageres in this room.
Retailers are just getting smarter and smarter. Coach, the historical American Leather Company, recently teamed up with painter, James Narse for limited edition tote bags. I have always loved Narse’s paintings, the lyrical movement and his sense of color. I bought the blue one! And please no ogling when you see my carrying it at the design center.
I have recently been thinking about buying a beach house and then I ran into this great company from Seattle called, Modern Shed. This cool company makes a variety of prefab structures in which you can create different combinations for a unique compound and they even customize the interiors…Now I think I should look for a piece of land and plan a trip to Seattle to check out Modern Shed in person, anyone want to come with me?