Tag Archives: lifestyle



10 Questions with Calliope store co-owner and creator Caroline Ventura

What’s in the name Calliope?

CV: She was a Greek muse of eloquence and poetry. Supposedly she was the muse Homer looked to when he wrote The Iliad. It’s also a weird ass looking pipe organ on wheels, so that’s fun.

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What was the concept behind the space?

CV: We have a multi-use building in which both our studios (Michael’s design practice Sub Rosa, and Caroline’s gold smithing project BRVTVS) reside, as well as a gallery space next to Calliope, and also our home. We wanted to create a welcoming space where people could come and shop without the “seriousness” of other stores. We sell home goods, it shouldn’t be some stuffy place that you’re afraid to walk into and are scared to touch things.


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Southern Hospitality


For the past week I have been down spending time in a digital detox in one of my greatest loves, Savannah, Georgia. I love how sweet and floral the air is here, her quiet shores, the romance of the spanish moss that filters the golden light all framing hauntingly beautiful southern architecture. It’s sticky and sweet like the memory of a perfect kiss.

If there is one thing Savannahians do well it is southern hospitality and what is more welcoming to a guest arriving than a cocktail exploding in local flavor?! Traditionally, the pineapple is a symbol of warmth, welcome, friendship and hospitality. You’ll find these all over Savannah on door knockers to lanterns, restaurant menus, to stationary. Inspired by the beauty of traditional symbolism I thought these tumblers by The Pineapple Co would be the perfect vessel for a Savannah themed welcome drink.

Going off of local ingredients native to Georgia and some good ol’ fashioned Savannah made bourbon I put together a light and fruity cocktail I’m calling Southern Hospitality... because nothing is more charming than a nice boozy welcome in a pretty glass.

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Southern Hospitality 

Per cocktail:

  • 10 blueberries
  • A quarter of a peach (diced)
  • 1 teaspoon turbinado sugar
  • Fresh lemon juice from a whole lemon

Muddle together and strain.


  • 1 oz pineapple juice
  • 2 oz bourbon  
  • 5 dashes lemon bitters

Pour over rocks and garnish with a slice of peach, a blueberry on a pineapple frond and a sprig of mint. 



Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil


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Salt Box Cookies


Living in New York you make friends with the most talented people in a variety of fields. Our friend Jared has a talent for making cookies. Those perfect, warm, soft, crispy on the outside, gooey on the inside, addictive chocolate chip cookies that take you back to your childhood of sweet innocence. I will never say no to a fresh baked treat, but one of the reasons Jared’s is so good is that pinch of textured salt that balances the sugar. The last time he sent me a batch not only did I over-eat them for dessert, I had one for breakfast every day for five days. So that happened.

The cookies were in such demand that Jared decided to make it a business, Salt Box Cookies. The business of freshly baked cookies, handmade in Brooklyn using the highest quality, all-natural ingredients and delivered right away through Uber Rush in NYC or shipped overnight out of state. So now, it’s like being able to call up mom or dad and say, “Hey! Make me some cookies!” and just like that, a fresh batch arrives and the sugar rush commences.

Considering the holidays coming up, this is a really easy way to send a homemade gift to friends, family, work colleagues, or bring fresh baked cookies to a party that I promise will be a hit. Honestly, after you have Salt Box Cookies you can never by packaged store-bought again. 

… and hey, you might recognize the photography and cinemagraphs on SaltBoxCookies.com, we did it in exchange for a lifetime supply of cookies. I think we came out on top in this deal.

Now, who wants a treat?

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FEED + Adobe

Joining the fight against world hunger though the support of FEED

For this year’s FEED holiday campaign they partnered with Adobe for an open call to the creative communities to come up with a unique concept over a seven-day challenge. The winning design would be chosen as the new campaign — talk about pressure!

The Challenge

There where three creative teams brought to the challenge. First they were briefed, then they got to work building their concepts, presented to a panel of judges (this is where I come in!) and a winner was chosen… but that was only the first half of the week! The winning team then had to produce the shoot and execute the final copy, layout design and retouched selects which ultimately make up the campaign you will begin to see online and in print magazines this December. All of this happened in a single week and all of it was captured on camera in a mini web series showing the true nature of the creative world and how teamwork, concepts, talent, branding and vision all to come life as ads and images we are surrounded with on a daily basis.

I had the amazing experience to participate as one of the judges in choosing which creative team had the best vision and message which in the end was Follow my Lead with a social media activation: #LeadFEED.

Each creative team presented between two and three concepts which were completely flushed out, from what the message was to how that would look digitally, in print and through social media activation. As a photographer, I found it fascinating to see the amount of thought and options that go into putting together a campaign. One team’s idea was visually more engaging to a photographer’s eye,  but another team’s concept hit a stronger emotional note. It was also interesting to see how each of the different judges reacted based on their own industry expertise.

In the end, we put it to a vote and a winner was chosen. You can see the entire process here! Below are some stills from the pitch episode with my fellow judges: Lauren Bush Lauren, Jean Batthany, Ariel Foxman, and Joel Giullian.

Joining the fight against world hunger though the support of FEED

Joining the fight against world hunger though the support of FEED Joining the fight against world hunger though the support of FEED

The Campaign 

After the winning concept was chosen I thought my job was done… then Lauren asked me to actually be in the campaign which, as you might guess, is a really weird feeling for someone who is used to being behind the lens (aside from informal snapshots of my life I share here with you guys). I’ll admit I was a bit nervous. You never know what a photographer is going to do to you or if they see you differently than you see yourself. Luckily for me, FEED is all about authenticity and captured me in my city with the thing that is most important to my being- my camera.

I carried the FEED Daily bag which provides 50 school meals for children around the world which you can see below in the resulting campaign photo photographed by Gus & Lo in New York City’s west village. Also wearing shoes by Ralph Lauren (similar), boyfriend jeans by Polo Ralph Lauren, organic cotton sweater purchased on a recent trip to Amsterdam from Marc O’Polo, scarf by Mulberry, hat by Satya Twena, Portofino watch by IWC, and my trusty Canon 5D Mark III, 50mm lens and leather hand strap.

See all four final campaign shots here and perhaps you will recognize Caroline who makes frequent appearances here on the blog as she is not only one of my favorite New Yorkers but also personal muses.

Joining the fight against world hunger though the support of FEED (more…)

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