Blogging about a variety of things I enjoy. Also peddling my wares at Thicket and Thistle on Etsy.

Friday, January 16, 2009

argo, you go

Sometimes it's nice to take the evening off and surf the Internet in bed - a much different feeling than surfing the Internet from any other locale, whether it be work or a busy swift-service eatery. The most inspiring finds come from relaxed surfing. Tonight I took a look back at the history of my web puddle-jumping. Evidently, I am a fan of saving random discoveries in my favorites list. At times I forget why the hell I ever cared about x and my mind starts picking up the pace when I see a recipe I wanted to but never did try. This evening one of my favorite links tapped my memory on the shoulder. Two years ago, a trip to Chicago got me hooked on a local franchise of tea cafes by the name of Argo Tea. I went to a different location every day of my trip, loving every sip of my chai lattes and anti-winter milky specialty drinks. The vibe at Argo Tea is chill. The soft but noticeable beats playing on the speakers and clean, "organic" interiors draw a Mac-tapping hipster crowd in dark-rimmed glasses. The service is unfailingly friendly, the selection of tea flawless, and the packaging artsy. The place makes you feel good. A must-sip for tea loving visitors (the locals already sip). For those of us on the East Cozy, far from the pleasures of an in-house cup, Argo ships their tea. I will surely sleep easy tonight having learned they stock a rooibos vanilla, which I discovered and fell in love with at my hotel in Budapest in October but could not find in stores here at home. This isn't me hyperbolizing - the place really is that awesome. Which reminds me...I cannot vouch for super-hip artist Moby's nifty tea cafe, Teany, in NY, but it certainly looks like a fun place to hang out and make some cool friends. They claim to stock 98 different kinds of tea. With an ambitious stock like that, I would most certainly ask for a recommendation. Tea havens are made for branching out. One itty bitty tea cafe in The City that I can vouch for is SubtleTea at 121 Madison Avenue #3. The interiors are in shades of Argo - snappy lime greens and bright whites joined with wood tones. The communal table (and communal magazines) help ward off New York's occasionally stay-away-from-me-you-stranger rep. More friendly staff can be found here. Hip, hip for brighter lights and wider selections than some of the country's better known coffee houses! Coffee can't compare to the charms of tea lattes, hot chocolates, and warm ciders. If only DC had better representation from the only kind of party I care about....

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

chandeliers and the color orange

Of late, I have developed an obsession with orange. In my middle school youth I called it my favorite color and made a naive attempt at wearing it. Now I appreciate it much more as a decorative element. My dining room chairs from West Elm are bright orange and paired with a chocolate brown table. I aimed to paint an accent wall in my bedroom bright orange but decided it would be too much in my small-ish space. Today on Etsy I discovered a brilliant artistic pairing of orange and one of my favorite design idees fixes - the chandelier. NestaHome creates funky, slightly off-kilter prints of chandeliers on bright, bright backgrounds. The artist kindly offered to go bigger and bolder when I asked if she could do 16x20 prints. Chandeliers are meant to be big, in my book. A white chandelier on a gold-orange background will be the perfect next best thing to an orange accent wall, and something I can triumphantly hang when I achieve my next interior design goal - painted brick in the bedroom (or anywhere, really).