Category Archives: BeautifulNow

Atlantis: Found?

BeautifulNow June 7, 2013

water discus1“Sleeping with the fishes,” is a much more inviting concept now that it can come with room service and a gorgeous view. In fact, it becomes even more exciting when you consider that you just might be waking up in Atlantis.

The stuff of the legend of Atlantis, a mythical island, sunk into the ocean around 9600 BC, is rising once again. Allegedly buried under crashing waves and overtaken by gently beckoning seaweed, it became home to scuttling crabs, their tiny feet clinking across submerged marble temples, and schools of frantic fish—darts of iridescent color under the waves.

But now, the essence of Atlantis will be reborn in the form of a very beautiful resort in Dubai. When finished, fiction will become fact as luxury is built under the sea. Continue reading Atlantis: Found?

Let Them Eat (Mondrian) Cake

BeautifulNow May 22, 2013

modern art desserts3Food and Art, two of our passions, intersect in a new crop of gorgeous “cookbooks.”

Piet Mondrian’s thick black lines are replaced with chocolate ganache. His crisp white squares are now moist, spongy vanilla cake. The dashes of colors are dyed blue, yellow, and red velvet cake.

Modern Art Desserts: Recipes for Cakes, Cookies, Confections, and Frozen Treats Based on Iconic Works of Art, by Caitlin Freeman, (Ten Speed Press, 2013), is filled with 27 recipes for sweets based on artworks on exhibit at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. It provides step-by-step recipes for crafting culinary works of art.

Continue reading Let Them Eat (Mondrian) Cake

Cities Drenched with Beauty

BeautifulNow April 29, 2013

jacrot_Tokyo CrossingHere, the asphalt is glistening. Colors are bleeding across these wondrous (somehow not gloomy) scenes—red from traffic lights and yellow of streetlamps. Bending umbrellas strain against the weather, their carrier bent low against the wind. The neon of New York City’s Broadway blurs behind a window dotted with rain. A taxi hides behind a wall of black smoke rising up from the unseen subway, its headlights burning through the haze like a predator on the Serengeti. Continue reading Cities Drenched with Beauty

Bringing Color and Life to Concrete

BeautifulNow April 28, 2013

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Graffiti gets a bad rap. It’s the red-headed stepchild of the art world. At best, it’s considered a passing fad. At worst, it’s reviled. Graffiti artists are misunderstood creatures. They often hide, with paint-splattered hoods pulled over their heads, creating their art under cover of night, in decisive swipes and dashes, globs and sprays. But perhaps that perception is expanding with projects like Atlanta’s “Elevate South Broad Mural Projects.”

The project began in October, 2012, at the 100 block of South Broad near the intersection of Broad & Mitchell Street, a longtime overlooked block in downtown Atlanta. The city commissioned several street artists to douse the rundown buildings with life and color. Atlanta artists, HENSE, Tilt, Server, and Born, as well as LA artist Push, answered the call to mural. Continue reading Bringing Color and Life to Concrete

Electrifying Haute Couture

BeautifulNow April 23, 2013

Iris van Herrpen Voltage 1A dancer stands on a sleek sculpted column atop a pedestal, when suddenly—ZAP!—a bolt of crackling purple lighting shoots through the room and begins to gather and twist around his body. He is New Zealand artist Carlos Van Camp and he shows no fear, only grace, as he begins to move, teasing the top of a Tesla coil, with three million volts spitting and jumping over and around his limbs.

And so begins Dutch designer Iris van Herpen’s spring 2013 runway show. The collection, presented in Paris, explores the electricity of the body. Continue reading Electrifying Haute Couture

Give Your Heart for Haiti

BeautifulNow April 14, 2013

Urban ZenTalented hands dip into the cool water, pulling stones from the local river in Cormier, a rural zone just east of Port au Prince. The stones have been smoothed from their time under the current, and their shapes are oblong and curving. The hands work slowly, moving with patience and love, carving the stones into hearts. These hands are the hands of Haitian artisans and these stone hearts will bring change.

Continue reading Give Your Heart for Haiti

Grand Centennial: Grand Central Terminal’s 100th Birthday

BeautifulNow April 11, 2013

_MG_6765Grand Central Terminal beats like a beautiful heart in the middle of New York City. It is alive, pumping travelers in and out of the city, morning and night, like blood through arteries. Beyond the millions of commuters coursing through its corridors and great rooms, 21 million visitors pass through annually, gazing at the sunlight as it streams through the 75 foot windows and dances across the cavernous marble floors.

We love to visit Grand Central Terminal and stand on the outskirts of the gridlock. Grand Central is like a church, Our Lady of ETA and ETD, ushering our arrivals and departures, strictly binding us to hours, minutes, and seconds. When you arrive, you are both grand and central at the same time. It warrants a deep, lung-stretching breath as you arch your neck upwards to behold the bespoke aquamarine and gold celestial painted ceiling that dazzles overhead. Continue reading Grand Centennial: Grand Central Terminal’s 100th Birthday

Wagashi: Bite-sized Art

BeauitfulNow January 26, 2013

In Japan’s calendar, February 11th marks Foundation Day, a national holiday to raise flags, celebrate patriotism, and maybe even indulge in a gorgeous wagashi treat.

The Japanese have long been the leaders of high expectations. As a culture, their obsession with attainable perfection is unmatched. Where else on earth can you find a dessert so efficiently beautifully? Usually appearing as a duet with tea, wagashi are confections made with skill, patience, and an artist’s eye. Ombre versions of peaches, tiny bunnies with gilded ears, curling green leaves, swimming koi suspended in gelatinous pools, cherry blossoms dusted with falling snow- wagashi are beautiful, edible works of art.

To find out more about wagashi, read Mutsuo Takahashi’s “Wagashi”. Colorful, tempting photographs of the decadent treats are accompanied by poetic descriptions of each bite.

Nothing But Nets: Soft and Powerful

BeautifulNow January 24, 2013

It’s the simple things that are really the most beautiful- a cold glass of milk with a warm cookie or a quiet Sunday afternoon with nothing to do. For many, nothing will ever be as simple or as beautiful as the gauzy blue net draped over their sleeping children.

Forty percent of the world’s population lives in malaria endemic countries. The devastating illness infects 200 million people every year and results in 600,000 deaths- mostly children under the age of five. There are 10 new cases of malaria every second and every minute, a child in Africa dies of malaria infection. Nothing but Nets is working to change that.

A campaign of the United Nations Foundation, Nothing but Nets fights malaria by sending blue bed nets to families who can’t afford or don’t have access to the simple, potentially life-saving devices. That’s it. Simple, beautiful, and life saving.

A bed net costs just $10 to purchase, deliver, and educate its recipient on proper use. To fight malaria and donate nets, visit Nothing but Nets’ website.