Friday, August 29, 2014

Muse | Lantern Lit Thai Beach

Possibly my favorite part of summer is the warm evenings after scorching days. Mine are usually spent in our backyard or a restaurant patio, but this photo of a serene beach in Koh Lanta, Thailand only looks about a thousand times better.

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Empty New York: Rare Photos of a Sleeping New York in the 60s

 Photographer Duane Michals ventured out into the city in the early morning to capture these uncharacteristically quiet moments in 1960s New York. His resulting "Empty New York" series is an incongruous record of the city that never sleeps. I wonder how difficult it would be to find these sleepy moments nowadays...

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Giveaway | Carolina Buzio Art Print

This week's giveaway is from Carolina Buzio, an Etsy shop from Berlin with fantastic illustrated art prints, postcards and more!

Carolina Buzio is offering one lucky reader their choice art print! Click through to enter...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Paris' 19th Century Train Station Turned Upcycled Restaurant

Paris' Ornano train station was built in the late 19th century, then shuttered and left to rot in 1939, leaving it in a sorry state. Fortunately, someone saw the potential and brought the property back to quirky life as La REcyclerie restaurant and bar. The bright, airy space makes the most of the station's vintage character, and looks like a pretty wonderful brunch spot!

For comparison, here's a couple of the pre-renovation photos: 

Monday, August 25, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Muse | Hot Pink in Marrakesh

 This gorgeous hot pink wall in Marrakesh is just the cheerful burst of color I need this week! I avoided the color pink when I was younger, out of a (perhaps misguided) distaste for girlyness, but find that I can enjoy it now, even if my wardrobe isn't yet brimming with pink. 

What's your favorite pick? I'm enamored with the lamp (from Anthro, of course). 

Thursday, August 21, 2014

The National Museum of Japanese History in Sakura

We love visiting museums when traveling. I admit I get the most excited about the kitsch-fests and straight up bizarre museums, but the National Museum of Japanese History in Sakura was so fantastic, I had to devote a post to it.

The museum is recommended sightseeing when in Narita City, so after visiting some of the local attractions in Narita City (read about those here), we hopped on a train to Sakura. 

Then, a short bus ride, and in all, it only took about 45 minutes from Narita Station to the museum steps. FYI, we only made it to the museum, but there's plenty more to do in Sakura if you'd like to make a day of it.

The museum covers an incredible breadth of Japanese history, made accessible to tourists via the free audio guides (sorry, the wrong thing is in focus here, but you get the idea) with background information on nearly every exhibit. Here's a small sampling of the exhibits:

Haniwa, clay figures from the Kofun period (approx 250-538 AD). Cute, but these jaunty figures served a ritual purpose, buried above or beside the body in a funeral mound, and it's theorized that they were intended to hold the soul of the deceased.

I fell in love with the abundance of beautiful, incredibly detailed dioramas. Anyone want to sponsor a trip back to Japan just to photograph dioramas?

This. Is. Awesome. Overall, the museum's facilities are perfectly modern, but they seem to have held onto their vintage modern lounge areas in between galleries (there was a second one in blue), and I love them for it!

Vintage movie posters and playbills.

Inner courtyard of the museum, a pleasant place to relax and give our sore feet a rest. After almost 2 weeks of hoofing it everywhere in Japan, even a couple hours in the expansive museum necessitated some breaks. 

Fun life size reproduction of Asakusa street in the 1920s, and below, a 1960s apartment. They probably make these with kids in mind, but I love them too :)

And the soaking bath in the apartment. It might look incredibly old-fashioned, but I'm pretty sure I saw something similar in a teacher friend's otherwise modern apartment not that long ago, evidence of the old and new existing side by side in Japan. 

Folk and pop culture isn't forgotten either, with a display of daruma dolls, symbols of good luck and perseverance.

I can't remember what this tree monster was. Something to do with a festival, but feel free to make up your own origin stories.

And even a display on modern life in Japan, which included an (actually fairly large for Japan) fridge stuffed full of typical foods and drinks.

I'll leave you with Godzilla, a must for the pop culture display, and easily the inspiration for another trip. Godzilla and diorama themed trip, anyone?

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