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Venice Water Taxis, Motoscafi, are Fun and Fabulous & Romantic!

Venice Water Taxis or Motoscafi are in my opinion, the best way to navigate around Venice in the summertime to avoid throngs of tourists and to enjoy the beauty and Architecture of Venice.

Amber and Leo, en route to dinner with us in a Motoscafo from Palazzetto Pisani. Leo is a native of Padua and Amber a transplanted Californian living happily in Paris with Leo. Gregg and I were their guests at  Leo’s family home Palazetto Pisani on the Grand Canal (Center below).


When arriving into Marco Polo Airport in Venice the Water Taxi dock is an 7 minute walk from the terminal. You really don’t  need a reservation as there are always Taxis coming and going and a dispatcher on hand to take your credit card.  But if you’re  more comfortable with a reservation here is a link to Motoscafi Venezia

Water Taxis in Venice are not cheap. It will cost 100-110 Euro to Get from the Airport Dock to a hotel on the Grand Canal like the Hotel Bauer Il Palazzo. It is a fixed rate;  no negotiation. If you’ve ever had the Angelina Jolie and Johnny Depp fantasy from The Tourist, then go for it. We did and it was totally worth it. photo: OKmagazine.

If you are dying for more visuals of this romantic and dreamy place, see a video of the experience recorded by Wendy Perrin, Consumer News Director for Conde Nast and author of one of the top travel blogs, The Perrin Post.  If you are dying to experience it for yourself,  keep your eyes on LuxuryLink for deals in the Auctions section.  The VirtualTourist will help you find your way.

And don’t forget to tell us all about it when you get back home.

Stylish and Sustainable Bicycles

The desire for the perfect summertime bike, complete with a comfy seat and a wicker basket is a  yearly fetish that breezes in with Summer just  as the perfect pair of boots blows in with the Fall.  Over the past ten years, I have acquired several “fixer- upper” bikes from  yard sales.  Visions of  grandeur  accompanied every one, a “simple” paint job here, and cute little basket there. (..some new tires, brakes..) Let’s just say, my husband was never thrilled with my  “rescue projects” that  never served a purpose beyond invading space in the garage.  After 10 years together, he possibly thinks I do not even know how to ride one.

my fix
Because we just moved back into the bike- friendly neighborhood where I lived for fifteen years and where my main mode of transportation was my trusty two-wheeler, I can feel an itch for that perfect summer–cycle beginning to kick in. Top that with a probable resolution for fitting exercise into my busy schedule. The high cost of gas.  The environmental benefits…. and I think it is time to satisfy that nagging itch.

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But, how to decide on what bike? There are so many beauties out there these days.

Design Story just featured the Public bike.  An urban bike that “rides like butter” and includes all the options like baskets, bags and bells.  They are great- looking bikes with  colors to suit everyone.  They seem to be inspired by the bikes John and Gregg used to get around Paris last summer.

velib, paris, biking in paris, france

And then there is this bright and cheery Abuela 3 Speed  we spotted at Cb2 last week during our furniture shopping extravaganza. It has “Summer”  written all over it.

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Did you know that Urban Outfitters now has a Bike Shop?  I just designed my custom bike (or 5) here.  With four bike styles and an array of color choices from the frame all the way to the bell, you can get as outrageous as you like for under $500.

urban outfitters, bikes, custom, fun colors, endless possibilites

Another dreamy-cycle of mine is the bamboo bike.  I passed one up at a local vintage shop for under $200, and kick myself every year as the cycle hunt begins. would-a, could-a, should-a.

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But then, maybe this is what I have been waiting for.  For some reason Angelina Jolie comes to mind.

If you like the sustainable, eco-friendly bamboo idea, but are more advanced in your riding skills, check out Fashioncraz top 5 Bamboo Bicycles.

For those who do not like to ride alone, this eco-friendly tandem bicycle is sure to turn some heads.

 

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On the more cutting edge note, there are these Concept Bicycles called Versabikes – A Nathan Durflinger Design.

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More great bicycles from HabitusLiving including these unusual designs..VANMOOF.  Gary Galego’s Carbonwood.  Jelly Bean Bike

 

Top Image credit, catbagan, via Flikr

A Match Made in Hollywood: Billy Haines and Joan Crawford

William “Billy” Haines was what we like to call a triple threat: He could act, he could dance, and he could…decorate? That last skill came in handy when MGM caught wind of Haines’ having a boyfriend and quickly wanted to find Haines a bride for publicity purposes; when he refused, he was fired. Performance career over, Haines opened a decorating business and brought high style to Hollywood homes for nearly 50 years.  Among many of his famous clients was Joan Crawford, a frequent costar and lifelong friend.

The handsome Billy Haines takes a respite on a chaise longue designed by Haines.

Billy’s good friend Joan Crawford poses in different rooms of her Hollywood home which Haines decorated. Gorgeous!

Joan Crawford, a timeless beauty.

Billy Haines’  influence is still present today with the popularity of Hollywood Mid-Century style. Here are a few images of John and Gregg’s home in Montecito, CA.

The couch in their glamourous living room is a Billy Haines original! Small world!

John and Gregg’s peaceful courtyard evokes simple Hollywood elegance.

billy haines, william Haines, furniture desgn, commision, jack Warner, Warner Stidios, 1930's

Haines has designed some great modern classics such as The Elbow Chair,  and the sofa commisioned in the 1930’s for Jack Warner.  Ironically, the home featured above was owned prior to John and Gregg by another famed Jack Warner of the architecture firm, The Warner Group.

To learn more about Billy Haines, pick up a copy of this wonderful book which features Billy and Joan on the cover!

Fabulous at Any Age

Many of us fear getting older. I for one, thought that on my 23rd birthday my life was over…I‘m a bit dramatic. However, how are we suppose to embrace getting older when we live in a culture that places so much importance on staying youthful by any means necessary. When I flip through the pages of Vogue, it is hard for me, a twenty something, to relate to the 15 year old models. No woman is ever going to look the way she did when she was a teenager, and why should she want to? If I remember correctly,  my teen years were filled with braces and bad fashion choices. Sure, my body was as thin as a rail, but I feel more beautiful now than ever before.

My hope is that we as a society can change our  perception of age and aging. If you, men and women, are not embracing your wrinkles and learning to love those gray hairs then I would like you to meet the inspiring women featured on the marvelous blog, Advanced Style.  This blog has completely lifted my spirits and has gotten me excited about my own aging process. These women have maintained their individualism and sparkle over the years and I personally think they have never looked better!

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Believe it or not,  this fashion- forward woman is 99 years old! Her fun use of accessories and groovy print blouse is a look that works for every age.

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Here is our girl again, rocking a menswear- inspired look accessorized with a silk scarf and gold earrings which add feminine touches. Mixing and matching masculine and feminine pieces is an easy way to achieve a chic look.

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Damn, girl! 90 year old Edith Drake is sporting a mini skirt and fishnets. Take notes girls, I see many a youngin’  try to wear this same look; however,  it usually lacks the conservative yet sexy and fun vibe that Ms. Drake wears so nicely.

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My all time favorite style icon: Little Edie of Grey Gardens.

So what have I learned about growing older? By the looks of the women above, I’ve learned that it’s totally awesome! Lastly, I would like to leave you with this video. It gives me chills and fills my heart will happiness! Enjoy!

Place your Bets: Fancy Hats & Mint Juleps

Time to get out your hats and place your bets!  The Kentucky Derby is on tomorrow, May 7.

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Speaking of hats, I love this image from BoDog.   Character.

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But when the subject is hats, the first designer who comes to mind is UK Milner, Philip Treacy.  He is  a first class artisan in his craft for men and  women …and even the Horse. …Apparently (via Alice is Lost).  Lady Gaga was even his intern at one time.

Images (clockwise):  Guardian, Harrods, Blogoogles

Sarah Jessica Parker showed off this Fascinator, also by Philip Treacy,  in “Sex and the City.”  These were a hit at the Royal Wedding and these from NYC Fascinators are even budget friendly.

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(photo by: Elizabeth Perrin)
If you will be watching from home like me,  get your Mint Julep ingredients together.Forbe's Best Bartender, Eben Freeman from the Tailor Restaurant in New York City, offers up his secrets and even a video on Epicurious.  
I have my eye on the Tipsy Tea. I am a sucker for a kitschy title, but it's also made with vodka for those who can not quite stomach the Bourbon.  

 Whatever you do, don’t forget to place your bets.  See the official site for all the details.

Good Weave, Good Cause.

Recently, we were in touch with a friend, and well- loved local preschool teacher,  who moved to Washington D.C. to pursue her Masters in International Relations.  We found she has taken her love of kids with her and is now interning with Good Weave, an organization working to end child labor in the carpet industry and to offer educational opportunities to children in South Asia.

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Vibra Silk at Carini Lang

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Fish Skin Blue from the Animal Collection at Carini Lang Continue Reading…

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Best of Houzz 2014 - Design
This professional's portfolio was voted most popular by the Houzz community.
Awarded on January 30, 2014