Sunday, October 26, 2014

GRAYCLIFF by Frank Lloyd Wright

      Fourth of July weekend on Lake Erie and taking in some good ole Americana.  Nothing says USA better than taking a tour of a home created by one our country's most profound architects, Frank Lloyd Wright.  Just south of Buffalo, New York, the summer home of the Martins sits on the edge of the cliffs overlooking Lake Erie and was built between 1926-31.  Isabelle and Darwin Martin were rich Industrialists who commissioned Wright to build their vacation home after he built their main dwelling in Buffalo.
     There are  many highlights of Wright's effects on his work that make this building a very compelling work of art.  One being his appreciation of the natural surroundings and using actual materials of the area to build his work.  In this case, he used the shale stone that the cliffs were made of and used them throughout the home.  He also knew that over time, the natural combination of the rain and the elements in the stone would discolor the stone in different colors and add to the organic feel of his designs.
     Other features of the home are having a garden at one of the end of the home where the runoff from rain showers were angled so that it would empty in the garden and keep it watered.  Another Wright touch would be the open ribbon like windows on both sides of the home.  It gives the illusion that you can see through the home and enjoy the views of the lake and Canada across the way.  My favorite aspect of Greycliff is the running fountain that is designed in the front of the home and main walk way.  Two smaller walls line a water way that empties out into a bigger, natural, pool, so that it gives the illusion the lake is running through the home.
     There are many other features of the GreyCliff estate that are fantastic, like the garage, tennis court, and the sheep that were there to chew the grass, basically a natural lawn mower.
     I think it's amazing how Wrights designs still look so modern, especially given when they were conceived, and the amount of detail he put into every aspect of what he was creating.  Even down to the furniture and materials used, he didn't leave any form or function unthought of.  Completely recommend seeing this or any of his works when given the chance.
     Big thank you to the Hambergers for being fantastic hosts and guides!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Air Jordan 1 Retro High OG "Shadow"

It's amazing to see where the sneaker culture is today, especially if you're on the older side of it and thinking of how it was then, where it wasn't considered anything other than you buying the sneaks of the couple star athletes you saw on TV.  Nike saw the appeal in the NCAA champ and made their move.  The Air Jordan 1 started it all with a young, spry kid from North Carolina by the name of Michael Jordan.  Rest is history and in that storied history, this color way of the first Jordan 1 was an original color that was released in 1985.  The Nike Air on the tongue pays homage to the original as this retro matches it, along with retro box. (This color retroed in 2009 but with the Jumpman logo).  The Shadow Grey color way couldn't be simpler as black, white, and soft grey make up the leathered silhouette.  This retro release comes with a few sets of laces as well to mix it up a bit.  The Jordan 1 OG made a major presence in 2013 as Nike released most of the original retro's and it says a lot to see this sneaker as relevant now than it was thirty years ago.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

World Cup 2014 Is Here

     The globes largest sporting event is upon us and I have to say this is as popular as I've ever seen it in the States.  That's including us hosting the event in 1994 where I was lucky to attend two World Cup matches.  With technology reaching all parts of the world and more accessible in this country, the true
melting pot can be felt.  You don't have to look far in your ancestry to find some roots in some country that it's in the tournament.  At this point, I don't even care if you're a poseur pretending to care just to have a reason to party during the week, the World Cup is simply the best.  With Brazil being the host country and usually fielding the odds on favorite, this has all the makings of a world wide party with all eyes glued on the TVs, tablets, and smart phones.  Keep the fridge stocked for when you're watching at home and definitely go to your local watering holes, city pubs, Little Italy's, Chinatowns, and every  other cultural centric neighborhood and really get a taste for the game.  Remember, it's only every four years so take advantage and wear your favorite teams colors with pride!  Check out these great commercials that pretty much will want you to lace up your boots, put your kit on, and hit the pitch yourself.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

I Believe....

     Getting ever closer to the biggest sporting event on the globe, we've been seeing the marketing build up on all media outlets.  As we've seen in the past, the commercials have been very creative in getting people excited to spend a month watching the best sport on the planet, played by the best athletes.
The rainbow of colors of all the participatory nations' fans will be on full display every where you ago. From the sports bars in your town to the local neighborhoods of your favorite cities, everybody will have World Cup fever.  Start planning your excuses to call out of work and get in front of the big screen because you're not going to want to miss any of it.
      ESPN has the ball rolling with this commercial to get all the US Soccer fans jazzed up.  It's going to be a very interesting World Cup for the US Men's Team as we've qualified for every Cup since 1990, but haven't advanced past the Quarterfinals.  For the US to make a big step in the eyes of football fans and to get to another level of respect, I think the USMNT needs a final four appearance.  It's time....between the advancement of MLS and producing solid players to the experience of playing in some of Europe's best leagues, we need to BELIEVE that we belong with the best of the world and it's our chance to prove it.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

"You're The Real MVP" x Kevin Durant

     In this modern era of hundreds of channels, social media, and camera phones, the lines separating celebrities and the rest of the world is almost non-existent.  These platforms make normal people into reality stars and our hero's touchable.  Even though these outlets are available, rarely do you see an athlete at the top of their field shows moments of sincerity as much as Kevin Durant did receiving the NBA MVP award for this past season.  It's the best individual honor you can receive in a team sport where names like Jordan, Bird, Magic have become household names because of this.

     KD has won the scoring title many times, he's been an Olympian, he's brought his team to the NBA Finals and is a competitor of the highest level.  So to see someone of his stature take the time and sincere effort in recognizing the people that have helped him achieve his success, was a moment I think everyone should see, recognize, and appreciate.  The message of love, support, encouragement, hope, and never giving up is something we can incorporate into our lives every single day.  KD is living proof that if you keep a environment of positivity, love, and hard work, anything is truly possible.
     It's also very fitting that he received this award leading up to Mother's Day weekend as he clearly recognized the leadership, courage, strength and daily sacrifice that his mother went through to give him a chance....a chance at something much better than their daily struggle.  I think most of us can relate how our mothers played such an important role in who we all are today and in turn, how we go out in the world and affect others.
     Take the time and watch all 20 minutes plus of the speech, you will not regret it and I'm sure you'll find yourself watching it at times in the future when you need a little inspiration.  Watch it with your family, watch it with your mother, watch it with your kids.  This is something special and I think you would agree and you might want to keep a couple tissues on standby....Just sayin..

Saturday, May 3, 2014

"Me and U" x Cassie

     Not too many men I come across where you mention the name "Cassie" and instantly, you're all on the same page.  Yeah..... it's proven fact.  Casandra Elizabeth Ventura is one of the most attractive females on the planet, there's no denying that and you add that she can sing, dance, model, act and well, she's close to perfect.  She still looks exactly the same as she did in this video from 2006 and it's not surprising that she's been Diddy's muse since then. This is where it started..

Sunday, March 2, 2014

"Number One" Pharrell x Kanye

     Hard to read an article, turn on the television, or look at social media without seeing something about these two superstars, Pharrell and Kanye.  They've both managed to turn their careers into an ongoing creative process where they've kept themselves as relevant as ever within pop culture.  Music, fashion, art, seem to be constantly influenced by both and with two very different attitudes, but with the same results.  I've been listening to some of the earlier work by both, given Pharrell has his second solo album releasing this month and we just passed the ten year anniversary for College Dropout.  Very interesting to see and reflect how far they've come but also just as interesting as to where they'll go next.   This song and video seems very appropriate for both of these icons as everything is Number 1 in their lives, even when it originally was released eight years ago.  Styling in this video was flawless, what else would you expect.  The king of videos, Hype Williams, directs it and gives it his usual signature look.