NAGA

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You can’t help but be overcome by the romance of the NAGA story. All over Bali we kept seeing the face of the lovesick dragon in temples, as carvings and in the landscapes of the fable. As the story goes…

There is an ancient story of a dragon known as the Naga. He lives on the volcano peaks of Bali, but at night will descend into the ocean to see his true love, the Pearl. In the morning, the Naga rises up from the water and flies back to his peak. Water drips from his scales as he goes, nourishing the rice fields of Bali. During the day he keeps watch over the island, protecting Bali and its people, before returning to the ocean each night. Because of this routine, the Naga represents eternal love, prosperity, and protection to the Balinese people.

John Hardy’s Naga Collection takes this fable and brings it to life through dragon imagery: the scales along his body, his expressive face, and sometimes, glowing eyes. You can wear a Naga piece differently to mean different things – if you orient his head so it faces toward you, it represents eternal love and prosperity. Away from you, it means protection (this has to be my favorite application of a story to something wearable!)

Since the mythic dragon lives between volcanoes, we paid a visit to Mount Batur to hike up this active volcano which most recently erupted in 1963. Through volcanic activity over the centuries, a lake has formed from a collapsed crater. The visible activity of the volcano is a network of vents releasing hot gases – at the source, hot enough to warm food (in the case of our trek it was hot bananas!) It was my first experience on the top of a volcano, feeling its hot gases wrap around me as if Naga was watching the sun set, preparing his descent into the ocean to be with the one he loves….

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Below, we witnessed the hand painting enamel process for the Naga-inspired designs which mimics the dragon’s scales and is even flexible, built in small pieces to move like a dragon’s tail.

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Above and below – dragon’s breath. Standing at the sunset atop Mount Batur.

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Below – throughout Bali, we found the dragon’s likeness in stone carvings and temples. For the Balinese people, the dragon represents love, prosperity and protection, each represented though the story in Naga’s daily routine.

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Traditional French jewelry-making wax technique is used to carve out the most delicate details such as in the Naga ring below.

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volcano-cinemagraph

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Below, the view of Bali’s sunrise when Naga leaves the pearl of the ocean to return home and protect the island. This was my favorite feature of Bali, a nature show that always took your breath away, worth more than all the pearls in the ocean to me.

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#BaliMoments

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5 Favorite Lunch Spots of Tribeca

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We’ve been living in Tribeca for a year now – not that long, but long enough to sample many of the neighborhood’s restaurants and make habits of where we like to go most often. Here are my current top 5 Favorite Lunch Spots of Tribeca

KAFFE 1668

coffee shop turned lunch spot

I’ve been coming to Kaffe 1668 for coffee and organic juices (the Brazil nut is my hangover cure) for months before I realized they have an extensive and amazing lunch menu with many of the ingredients coming from local farms. Their Alkalizing Salad with Quinoa is a weekly staple of mine but when I’m really feeling like an all-American treat I go for the Turkey Club which is TO DIE FOR. Bonus – your lunch items come with a complimentary tea. Yay.

Kaffe 1668, one of my 5 favorite Tribeca lunch places I'm currently loving

Below, outside Kaffe 1668 in Banana Republic’s recent collaboration with designer Roland Mouret which made the PERFECT high-waisted pant I’ve been living in! The collaboration is mostly sold out online but can still be found in-store.

Kaffe 1668, one of my 5 favorite Tribeca lunch places I'm currently loving

TINY’s

The little space that could…

First off, it’s pink. When you’re a building as old as the one Tiny’s hangs out in, you have to really make a splash to be seen. Even if the facade wasn’t pink though, we’d still know about it because the food is DELISH. Why I love it: Perfect lunch spot for business meetings or casual dates with a very ‘hip’ crowd…. and the burata salad with peach compote is on my list of “last meal” items. SO GOOD.

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Jean Pierre Soalhat

Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat

There is an incredible history to the village of Lacoste – with buildings dating as far back as the 12th century, tales of medieval battles and debauchery, a reputation as being the former home of the infamous Marquis de Sade  – so it makes sense that it would need an incredible historian.

Enter Jean Pierre Soalhat: historic preservationist at SCAD Lacoste, professional mosaicist, and a genuine Provençal man. One of the many amazing qualities about SCAD is the amazing people, staff, students, and professors it attracts. In Jean Pierre’s case, a man whose family has – for generations – been a part of this community, he has become a pillar of support for SCAD Lacoste through his historic knowledge of the area, his all-around ancient-building handyman skills, preservation teachings and even artistic workshops with the students. I had the opportunity to visit Jean Pierre at his studio in Caseneuve where I could see his artwork. I was impressed by his mosaics – some pieces containing shards of ancient Roman pottery he finds in riverbeds and fields – but also amazed by the fact that Jean Pierre doesn’t own a cell phone (jealous).

All around the SCAD Lacoste campus you’ll find Jean Pierre’s artwork, from La Residence to outside shopSCAD, at Maison Basse and even in the President of SCAD’s home, Paula Wallace. AND…if you’re ever hanging out with Russell Crowe or Sandra Bullock you might notice it in their personal collections, too….

When we visited, Jean Pierre said he was “dreaming of fish”, which reflected in his work…but I know I shall sleep dreaming of archaic fragments coming together to create beautiful everlasting works of art.

Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat Inside the Provence, France mosaic artist studio of Jean Pierre Soulhat Continue reading…

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Beyond Lacoste…

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Lacoste is a treasure all its own, but Provence is full of little villages, each with their own magic and mood to explore. We would set out each time, seeking to come upon charming moments; to have enchanted evenings. I closed my eyes at the beginning of each trip and upon opening them, felt as though I was in a completely different world, one with unknown riches for me to discover. Every corner I turned was a new adventure, whether it led me to a restaurant nestled in the middle of a vineyard, a little shop filled with gorgeous vintage finds, or simply a cobblestone street set aglow by the light of fading day.

Provence, you have absolutely bewitched me…I cannot wait to return and uncover even more of your beauty…

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Above, standing in front of the Dora Maar house in Ménerbes, gifted to the artist and photographer by her lover Pablo Picasso as a separation gift.

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