Saturday, November 30, 2013

Brooklyn Thanksgiving, Fourth Time's the Charm

The last three Thanksgivings at my Brooklyn apartment have been great, but this year was definitely the best. Why? Well, 1) I've become increasingly fond of cooking and any occasion to have a day off to cook sounds spectacular, 2) my high school friends Jared and Kristen have since moved to New York and would be joining Thanksgiving this year, and 3) most importantly, I decided we would all eat on a real table (read: throw an expensive table cloth over our beer pong table)! With age comes class and apparently more red wine. I feel so fortunate to be able to spend Thanksgiving with friends, especially with friends and a husband who are amazing cooks and put so much effort, love and heavy cream into their food.
Our Thanksgiving dinner consisted of Celery Root Soup, Butternut Squash Salad, Pepper and Lemon Curd Roast Chicken, Holiday Brisket, Chicken Liver Sausage Prune Stuffing, Cranberry Sauce, Roasted Brussel Sprouts and Carrots, Garlic Mashed Potatoes and the most amazing Pumpkin Pie. Thank you Jason, Jared, Kristen and Sean for cooking a kick ass meal.
Some things don't change, pre-dinner pickers. Guess who's guilty...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I Am Obsessed With Volvo

Volvo created one of my favorite video campaigns this year, which was Leave the World Behind featuring the DJ trio Swedish House Mafia. Timed perfectly to launch after their final world tour and the official split of the group, Leave the World Behind was a poignant and melodramatic portrayal of the life changes for these superstar DJs. Filmed in Scandinavia, there could be no better setting to contrast their previous life in the spotlight.
What I loved most about this campaign was the subtle and almost absent branding of Volvo. Besides the inclusion of the Volvo SUVs, there were no logos or lockups to disrupt the pristine quality of the piece.

Volvo's Leave the World Behind campaign was created by Swedish agency Forsman & Bodenfors who recently has done it again with another entertaining and powerful video--Jean Claude Van Damme's Epic Split:
There's a human quality to Forsman & Bodenfors approach to brand entertainment. These videos don't scream look at our celebrity spokesperson! or Hey, look at our product!, instead Leave the World Behind and JCVD's Epic Split is a celebration of the human spirit and achievement of greatness. Volvo's video collaborations scream one thing--we're a clever car company with bad ass ideas.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

The Brooklyn Art Library, the Best Way to Spend a Day Off in Williamsburg

My 15 year-old brother Zadrian visited me all the way from Hawaii this weekend, so I took Monday off to spend time with him and celebrate my birthday. I struggled to think of things to do that would interest him in the neighborhood, so I suggested we taste chocolate at Mast Brothers on North 3rd mainly because I was craving chocolate. After Mast Brothers, we stumbled on The Brooklyn Art Library just a few stores down. I remember walking in here a few years back when they only had a small 3 ft high shelf and now the walls of the room are lined with sketchbooks.

The library is simple, you sign up for a library card (your name, email and phone number) and then you use their online catalog to browse for sketchbooks by interest, profession, location, color, mood, etc. The "librarian" (read: tight jeans, henley shirt, facial hair) will then bring you two sketchbooks at a time. Most of the fun is not knowing who's sketchbook you are going to get, and each sketchbook is inspiring in its own unique way.

My favorite sketchbook was by local Illustrator Greg Kletsel (see below). Anyone can participate by buying a sketchbook that cost $25--I assume part of the cost goes to maintaining the library--or $60 if you want them to digitize it, and submit it to the The Sketchbook Project, which to-date has close to 28,000 artists' sketchbooks.

I ended up buying myself a sketchbook to fill and a Pattern Box of postcards by 10 contemporary female pattern designers curated by the Textile Arts Center in New York. I've been super interested in pattern making and am currently taking Joshua Davis' Skillshare class on Generative Art, so hopefully I'll have some work to fill into my sketchbook!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Budweiser Cares Where Your Bud Came From, Do You?

During the World Series, Budweiser dominated the commercial airwaves with its catchy Miike Snow ball park spot and its new initiative "Track Your Bud". At, Bud drinkers can find out where and when their Budweiser or Bud Light was brewed by simply punching in the code from their can or bottle. The site serves as a digital brewery tour, first introducing you to the Brewmaster by full name (!!!) and then taking you through the steps of brewing your precious beer from milling to bottling. Each step has facts and a video, mimicking what a real brewery tour would be like.
So, why is this important?!
Yesterday, I watched the documentary The Naked Brand: The Future of Marketing, which features Alex Bogusky and various brands such as Patagonia, Under Armour, Unilever and Pepsi and talks about the need for brands to become more transparent about their products and business practices because the consumer feedback loop is instant. The quality of your product and story behind your brand is now KING when it comes to how consumers make decisions.

As for "the King" of beers, Budweiser's Track Your Bud campaign is an effort to highlight the quality and consistency of the All-American brew. The patriotic bottle is a reminder that Budweiser is America's beer, and now when you take a sip of Bud, you'll also associate it to a brewery within the states not so far away.

I've always been a fan of Bud heavy, and I actually appreciate this campaign because it recognizes Budweiser for what it is--a good 'ole American lager.

Monday, November 4, 2013

These TomorrowWorld Pics Cost Me $25

1 disposable camera ($12) + developing the disposable camera ($13) = 20 discernible photos (priceless)
There's something so satisfying about disposable cameras. That click! sound after you take a photo and the winding of the film until its taut. The need to ration your 27-shot camera across the course of 3 days, limiting you to roughly a photo an hour. But nothing beats the anticipation of receiving your photos weeks later in those paper envelopes, only to find out a third of your photos are just all-black because you didn't understand or forgot how to use the manual flash. Nostalgia is what the soft grainy quality of my glossy 4x6 photos feels like, and the imperfections of my TomorrowWorld photos is something no Instagram filter can replicate.