ZABARDAST Means Awesome in Urdu!

Where powder and passion takes you! Zabardast is an epic Freeriding and Mountaineering expedition through the mountains of Pakistan in the Karakoram range. An intense, courageous, and beautiful film that will inspire you. What the human body and mind is capable will blow your mind. It is a short 55 minute skiing and snowboarding documentary by Picture Organic Clothing. The images throughout the film will at times leave you breathless. The shear beauty of Pakistan, a group of remarkable men, along with a beautiful soundtrack is worth your viewing even if you are not an adventure skier!

Images and film from Picture Organic Clothing

Guest Post: Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum

Let’s see what is happening at the Tropenmuseum in Amsterdam via Solidliquids. Solidliquids never stops exploring what is around her. She is based in Amsterdam and always has a pulse on what is happening in the city. Enjoy! 

The Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk , and the Van Gogh Museum are some of Amsterdam’s most recognised museums.  Less famous but not less interesting is the Tropenmuseum (The Tropical Museum). This museum shares insightful stories about the huge cultural diversity to be found around the world.  It is a museum about people.

Currently the Tropenmuseum has three special exhibitions alongside their permanent collection that are worth checking out:  Cool Japan, The Bitter Chocolate, and Africa Fashion Cities (sadly ending Jan 6th). 

The Cool Japan exhibition is all about the world’s fascination with everything associated with Japan.  This particular exhibit is broken into small installations.  Two highlights are Kawaii and Otaku.  The Kawaii installation focuses on the growing protest among girls rebelling against the pressure to growing up, working hard, and conforming to the strict demands of society.  Hello Kitty known throughout the world and one you are most likely familiar with represents the commercial success that developed from this rebellion.  Now known throughout Japan as a Kawaii icon. 

The gallery of Otaku is a cozy Japanese corner that is set up for you to experience on a small-scale what it would be like if you were to attend a con.  Otaku was once a term of abuse, but now it is embraced as a nickname similar to what we refer to a “nerd” or “geek”.  The devoted fans to this culture spend hours gaming, reading, watching, and participating in the development of cultural products.   

The Bitter Chocolate exhibit reveals the ugly story of child labour on chocolate plantations.  Fifteen children share their compelling stories and it will change the way you look at chocolate forever!

Bitter Chocolate

The African Fashion Cities is an impressive exhibit told through the eyes of fashion experts from Africa and The Netherlands.  Visitors explore the lively and diverse fashion scenes that shake up the world of fashion.  Local stylists share their perspectives on what drives local styles.  Additionally there are videos of local retailers, photographers, and bloggers from different regions that share their design stories.  One example is the brother and sister team behind 2ManySiblings. They take you to a market in Nairobi where they buy and restyle second-hand designers clothes.   

The Fashion exhibition features creations by The Sartists, a multidisciplinary creative collective from Johannesburg, Said Mahrouf, a Moroccan-Dutch designer, and Maki Oh, an African based fashion label appreciated by Beyonce and Michelle Obama.  By the way did you know Maki Oh’s designer Amaka Osakwe’s inspiration for her Spring 2019 collection came from hanging out in hole-in-the-wall joints know as Bukas in Lagos, Nigeria?  It also happens to be Amaka’s hometown, where these Bukas are typically run by women.  Check out her latest collection.

Amazing! Beautiful! Inspiring!

This is just a peek into Amsterdam’s Tropenmuseum.  It is a rich and grand museum that stimulates curiosity. Just exploring the website will capture your interest.  A collection of installations that will draw you in through interaction and personal stories. The Tropenmuseum is worldly and one to experience if you find yourself in Amsterdam.  A hidden treasure!

(All images and videos are from the Tropenmuseum)

The Boston Ballet

The Boston Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker is absolutely magical!  A night to escape and be swept away.  The stage comes alive with movement, music, and imagery.  In 2012 Mikko Nissinen, the Artistic Director, revamped the whole production with an all new direction for the sets, choreography, costumes, and characters.  Over 350 new costumes have been hand sewn and painted.  The sets are all created by craftsmen and women from all over the United States.  It is a performance that has become one Boston’s most cherished events during the holiday season.  A tradition for many family and friends to enjoy. Now playing at The Boston Opera House till December 30th.  The Boston Ballet is treat year round!  Having an experience creates memories which you will always treasure.  Happy Holidays! 

(all images from The Boston Ballet)

Happy Fall And Everything That Goes With It

Apple picking season is a true sign of Fall.  What’s not to love about enjoying a couple of hours in the country to hand-pick apples?  It is simply fun.  You get to sample the variety of apples as you go along, climb ladders to pick your apples, indulge in cider donuts, sip apple cider, and perhaps take in a hay ride. You also end up bring home way more apples than you need.  Then you worry about what to do with all those apples besides proudly displaying them in a pretty bowl.  Check out Food52 for some inspiration that will get you peeling.

This year I have an apple goal, nailing the Dutch Apple Cake.  It is all about nostalgia.  This dessert connects me to a place and time.  A true Dutch Apple Cake has more of a cake like crust rather than a traditional pie crust.  It is the best piece of goodness to be accompanied by a latte that you will ever taste!

Take time to enjoy the season.  Happy Fall and break out your favorite sweater to embrace the crisp clean air! xo isostilo

Weekend Ready!

Hoping that the upcoming Fall weekends will have some spontaneous road trips for apple picking, leaf peeping, and maybe a bit of tailgating.  Here are a few essentials to get you excited for those perfect Fall crisp days.

Fjall Raven Backpack, Patagonia Vest, Hydro Coffee Flask, L.L. Bean’s Hunter’s Tote Bag, Waterproof Outdoor Blanket, Foldable Kermit Chair

(Perhaps you can keep this in your back pocket for gift ideas)

Weekend At TOURISTS, The Berkshires

How about a city timeout with a lovely weekend at the newly open motel, TOURISTS?  A 2.5 hour drive from Boston.  Upon arrival you wonder why haven’t we done this before and when are we doing this again?  Check out my earlier blog post if you missed the introduction.  TOURISTS is even better in person.  The aesthetics can be summed up with Hasami Porcelian.  This is their everyday multifunctional dinnerware from Japan.  The over all space is inviting, spacious, bright, minimal, and armed with all the amenities one needs for a restful or adventurous weekend.  It is a place that has that good worn-in feel but everything is new.  The rooms are cozy, comfortable, and well stocked including foldable chairs conveniently hanging on a wall waiting to be put to use for an outing.  Also each room is complete with an outdoor shower.

TOURISTS is a peaceful experience surrounded by woods, trails, the Hoosic River, and Mt. Greylock which happens to be the tallest peak in Massachusetts.  It is perfectly situated for you to enjoy museums, hiking, and exploring.  Start and end your day lounging around the pool or in one of their communal areas to relax and listen to nature.  Being a motel means you are roadside.  But once you enter TOURISTS, you feel at ease with the city life behind you.

Three places to visit in a weekend (but there are endless ways to spend your time inside and outside):

MASS MoCA is located in an old factory offering all forms of art including areas for performances. The space can overwhelm with its magnitude but it will not disappoint you.  It will amaze you!

The Clark is a stunning world-class museum that requires you to not be in a rush.  This is the perfect marriage of art and nature.

Drive up to the summit at Mount Greylock.  A lovely drive with plenty of look out spots for pictures and places to picnic.  Pack your hiking boots if you want to explore and hike the many trails of this area.

To Eat:

Tourists offers a light breakfast fare and a late afternoon into evening menu. The food is delicious and thoughtful.  It is casual and hits the spot.  Currently they are working on a tavern that will offer another option for on premise dining.  Stay tuned.

A.OK BBQ shack and Bright Ideas Brewing are across from each other at the entrance to MASS MoCA. Both are perfect for lunch and diner but certainly for a refreshing cold beer or tasty homemade kombucha.

In Williamstown enjoy your breakfast, lunch, and other provisions at The Spring Street Market Cafe.  Or stroll across the street to The Smoothie Spot for fresh smoothies, juices, and acai bowls.

Not to be missed is Pedrin’s, an old school diary bar serving some seriously good soft serve ice cream.

Where else can we explore that is within a 2.5 hour distance of Boston?  Happy Fall!

For your curiosity and your table:  Hasami Porcelain

TOURISTS, Welcome To The Berkshires!

TOURIST !

Delighted is all I can say when I came across this little gem in a Vanity Fair article.  Just add another easy weekend getaway to your bucket list especially if you live in New England.  When something as stylish, cool, and so perfect as the TOURIST, a new 48 room boutique hotel presents itself and is a 2.5 hour drive from Boston then the tranquil escape is calling.  TOURIST is located in the picturesque town of North Adams along the Hoosic River with the Berkshires as the backdrop. It is a city escape that is rich in natural beauty.  Based on the website it highlights itself as being a retreat with everything designed to make your stay a dreamy experience that will connect you with nature, adventure, culinary delight, and simplicity.  The space alone looks so appealing with its clean, simple decor and big window views of the outdoors.  Explore the website for yourself.  It is beautifully crafted with a history of the area as well as lovely list of places for you to explore.  Also take a peek at the VF article for more praise on TOURIST! images from photographers Tina Giovan and Nick Simonite off Vanity Fair Magazine

TOURISTS