Sometimes it can be hard to find a decent bag to carry your laptop in that isn’t absolutely hideous. Most of the time, it seems like the laptop cases the average store stocks are the generic, bulky, black nylon cases. No personality, no style. Blech.
Exclusive GloboMaestro Video: No other vintage shop in NYC is more relevant to contemporary fashion than Screaming Mimi's. Our insider from The Bowery Hotel goes inside the NoHo boutique—and its secret VIP loft. Go to Globomaestro.com for more insider travel videos and tips.
Video courtesy of GloboMaestro
There are two kinds of travelers in the world: over-packers, those who try to stuff their entire closet into the overhead compartment on the plane, and under-packers, those who head directly to the store once they get to their destination because they don't have what they need. Not only am I a former over-packer, but I was a random over-packer, so I had a suitcase full of nonsense. Nothing ever went together so I was constantly asking myself, "Why did I pack that?"
I'm proud to say I've come a long way in the packing department. But it's an acquired skill and one worth spending some time on as summer approaches.
Here, 10 questions to ask yourself when you're trying to decide what to put in your suitcase.
1. What activities do you KNOW you're going to do?
The reason I was an over-packer was because I allowed my mind to go crazy with 'maybes.' Maybe I'll want to do this activity, maybe I'll want to do that activity, and pretty soon I was taking my whole closet because I wasn't focusing on what I was really going to do. So first and foremost: what activities do you KNOW you're going to do? Start there, and then you can tweak at the end as space allows.
More and more exotic oils are popping up every day, making it easy to sample terroirs from around the world. Here, five that topped our taste test.
The Oil: Pumpkin Seed
Why: Locals have long sworn by this nutritional extra-virgin variety.
The Source: It’s extracted from a green-and-orange pumpkin native to the Styrian region.
Buy: Austria’s Finest, Naturally; 8.5 fl. oz. for $16.99.
For my last round-up, I shared a collection of my favorite new cell phone accessories. This week I want to showcase a my fave iPad accessories. So let’s just cut to the chase and dive right on in, shall we?
Not everyone likes to bring their iPads with them when they’re walking around a strange city. For starters, showing off your flashy, expensive toy can turn you into a target for a mugging. Second, you kind of look like a jerk using an iPad as a camera. I’m sorry, but it had to be said. However, it can be understandably nerve-wracking leaving it behind in your hotel room, especially when there is no personal safe. For peace of mind, pick up the TechSafe Case ($80; griffintechnology.com), which connects to a steel cable that can be tethered to just about anything (like the heavy hotel desk, perhaps).
A head-to-hand guide to this year’s World Design Capital.
Smell: Lilies and lilacs mingling with the aroma of freshly brewed espresso at the cozy café and flower shop Fleuriste. 13 Uudenmaankatu; 358-40/051-9745.
See: Cutting-edge furniture and light installations at Design Gallery 12 inside the downtown Design Museum, which showcases work from creative up-and-comers. 23 Korkeavuorenkatu; 358-9/622-0540.
Hear: Symphony No. 2 by renowned Finnish composer Jean Sibelius, performed by the Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra at the recently opened Helsinki Music Center. April 25–26; 13 Mannerheimintie; 358-20/707-0400.
Touch: Silk sundresses and feather-print tunics from local fashion house Ivana Helsinki at its flagship store. 15 Uudenmaankatu; 358-50/505-1624.
Taste: Foraged meadow herbs with elderflower vinaigrette and cloudberry-glazed wild boar at A21 Dining, the city’s latest hot spot, or a basil-and-rhubarb martini at its chic neighboring cocktail bar. 17 Kalevankatu; 358-40/171-1117; dinner for two $105.
Photo courtesy of A21
Exclusive GloboMaestro Video: In a world of mass produced goods, Barbara Feinman's hats, handmade to order in her tiny shop in the heart of New York's East Village, are truly special. Made with limited editions fabrics and vintage details, Barbara and her small team of designers treat hat making like sculpture, using techniques that have barely changed since the 19th century.
Just a handful of these artisans are left in New York, and Barbara's hats are in high demand by New Yorkers in the know, including celebrities like Beyonce, Chloe Sevigny and Blake Lively.
In this new GloboMaestro video, a downtown insider from The Bowery Hotel explores this East Village storefront where one of fashion's niche arts is still thriving.
Video courtesy of GloboMaestro
This Dutch designer has become a cult favorite thanks to her brightly colored leather bags, wallets, and shoes. Here, the plugged-in local shares her top hometown picks.
Q: Favorite restaurant?
A: Proef (12 Gosschalklaan; 31-20/682-2656; dinner for two $120), a small, no-nonsense restaurant that’s organic and fresh, both in its menu and its urban-farmhouse-style décor. Try the beet ravioli. Book ahead.
Q: Must-visit jewelry store?
A: BLGK Goldsmiths (28 Hartenstraat; 31-20/624-8154) carries metal jewelry that honors the natural shape of gemstones; I’m inspired by the window display alone.
Q: Top cultural spot?
A: The Museum of Bags & Purses (573 Herengracht; 31-20/524-6452) has a collection of 4,000-plus pieces that offers a fascinating historical overview of my favorite accessory.
Q: Best mode of transportation?
A: My husband and I bike everywhere. I love the bicycles from Vanmoof; they’re lightweight and rust-resistant, and have a built-in lock. You can rent them at Cyclelution (258 Nieuwezijds Voorburgwal; 31-65/363-1973; $10 for two hours).
What started as a tiny shop in Rome is now a top Italian export, with hotels and jewels that continue to dazzle.
The Jewelry: Authentic antique Greek and Roman coins have been a hallmark since heir Nicola Bulgari first started mounting his collection on gold in the 1960’s. Price upon request.
The Hotels: The company’s third property, Bulgari Hotel & Residences, London (rates not available at press time), opens in May.
The Amenities: Bulgari hotels stock their own delicately scented green-tea bath products.
The Idol: Elizabeth Taylor said Bulgari’s shop was a highlight of filming Cleopatra in Rome—so much so that Richard Burton remarked: “The only word Elizabeth knows in Italian is Bulgari.”
The Backstory: Though the brand was originally launched in 1884, Sotirio Bulgari opened this shop on Rome’s Via dei Condotti in 1905; it still stands today.
The Bag: Snakeskin leather purse embellished with gold chains and replica coins. $3,200.
The Stars: Maggie Gyllenhaal in Bulgari sapphires and diamonds at the International Rome Film Festival.
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Photo courtesy of Bulgari
David Einsiedler, shop owner, and his dog Laban
“I own a vintage furniture store called Ply, so I’m a bit design-obsessed. Tide is a small, beautiful café lined with driftwood from the North Sea; I also go to the modern Klippkroog for regional food like Rollbraten (rolled roast).”
Nadira Nasser, costume designer
“Speicherstadt, the old warehouse district, is filled with museums now. At Miniatur Wunderland, the ‘chocolate factory’ exhibit actually produces a tiny piece of Swiss chocolate for you while you wait.”
Andrea Schneider (pictured), book cover designer
“HafenCity is the next great neighborhood, with many new buildings, including the concert hall Elbphilharmonie, scheduled to open in 2014. It’s right on the river Elbe; I like to watch the container ships coming in and out.”
Kevin Reschka, operations manager of an automotive company
“Sometimes after basketball we go to 3 Freunde for their inventive cocktails. My favorite is the Filmriss Deluxe, with vodka, vanilla liqueur, sparkling wine, passion fruit, and lime.”
Photo by Christian Kerber