Posts Tagged ‘Take the Trip’
Creative talents and independent minds have forged a bulwark against boredom in America’s greenest city
It’s not surprising that Portland is a design-driven city, with top-shelf creative firms such as Nike and Wieden + Kennedy calling it home. What’s surprising to outsiders is that the people shaping the scene have little to do with these recognizable names. Rather, it’s the emerging architects, designers, craftsmen, and artists who are driving the city’s cultural growth. “Portland is a very accessible city for young creatives,” says noted architect Jeff Kovel of Skylab Architecture.
Kovel and others have carved out spaces for artistic expression in each of the city’s main quadrants. Take the gritty Eastside: Kovel put the area on the map in 2004 with his Doug Fir Lounge, an offbeat restaurant, bar, and live music venue whose design could be defined as ’50s modernism meets cosmopolitan truck-stop diner. In the upstairs bar, onion rings, burgers, and “Grandma’s Meatloaf” are served, while the downstairs lounge hosts rock shows for a late-night crowd.
Next door, the 80-room Jupiter Hotel looks like it was lifted from a ’60s California postcard. Also open since 2004, the hotel was a design collaboration between Skylab and owners Kelsey Bunker and Tod Breslau, featuring recently updated guestrooms with modern headboards made from Ikea-like furniture, mod chandeliers, hand-painted wall murals, and Rothko-esque bright colors.
The workers who frequent the Jupiter for happy-hour drinks labor nearby at bside6, a new, seven-story office building. Designed by Works Partnership Architecture with Le Corbusier in mind, the project inhabits a simple concrete frame that creates four window-filled façades, interspersed with “city rooms” that offer views of downtown at its best.
Elsewhere on the Eastside, newish developments such as the former food bank called The Hub are home to lifestyle boutiques, including the hybrid florist-décor shop Ink & Peat. Clientele frequent this light-filled boutique to browse country-chic wares that include rustic pottery, letterpress greeting cards, and brightly patterned pillows.
Nowhere in Portland is the design scene so centralized as it is in the Westside’s posh Pearl District. Formerly a shady neighborhood characterized by dilapidated warehouses, this pedestrian-friendly, art-loving community is now marked by high-rise condos interspersed with exceptional dining locales. There’s one restaurant that only vegetarian denizens won’t travel to—BEAST . With an intimate, tiny setting of two communal tables framing an open kitchen, the restaurant boasts a “frank appreciation of meat.” Chef Naomi Pomeroy creates weekly menus and keeps them to six-course, prix fixe dinners with only two seatings per evening. Menus have included potato-leek soup topped with maple-glazed bacon and chervil salsa, and shredded rabbit over spätzle. For another helping of dessert, stop at one of two locations of Cacao. Owners Jesse Manis and Aubrey Lindley, boast what they call “chocolate prêt-à-porter meets chocolate haute.” The shop has more than 35 kinds of the sweet stuff, offered in both chewable and drinkable form.
Elsewhere in the Pearl, modern furniture stores like Hive feed the decorating desires of local loft owners, while the Museum of Contemporary Craft invites contemplation about design with rotating exhibits and public programs, complemented by monthly First Thursday gallery walks and annual shows dedicated to contemporary art, including fall’s Time-Based Art Festival.
Nearby is the West End, a budding shopping district sandwiched between the Pearl and downtown. Here, young professionals peruse the wares at Canoe, a modern home shop with a stock of simple, functional products. Close by is the headquarters of Ziba, a design consultancy, built in 2008 by Holst Architecture. The firm used native Douglas Fir throughout the 53,000-square-foot LEED Gold-certified space, keeping up with the city’s reknowned environmental standards. There’s even an auditorium open for public events.
Just a few blocks away sits the soulful Ace Hotel. This smart, nostalgic renovation of a 1912 hotel stretches an entire block and has 79 rooms flaunting vintage décor and wall murals from emerging artists such as street artist-skateboarder Brent Wick. An adjacent event space known as The Cleaners hosts regular events such as the bike-themed party, Artcrank.
Within walking distance from the eco-chic Ace Hotel sits the Nines Hotel, which houses Kovel’s 9,000-square-foot Departure Restaurant + Lounge features a new-millennium sheen, softened by an ocean-liner motif and Asian cuisine. The polished wood-paneled dining room has nautical map murals, marine-inspired teak decking, and an outdoor space that offers arresting views of downtown. Also located downtown is a veteran hot spot, Saucebox, where, since 1995 chic patrons have gathered for cocktails, as well as pan-Asian and Pacific Island cuisine.
Still need some retail therapy? Then Relish on the Northwest side is worth visiting for another round of shopping. This modern-home boutique attracts shoppers with an affinity for local green goods such as architect Jeanie Lai’s line of felt jewelry, runners, and coasters. Nike and gang may have set the stage for a burgeoning design scene, but it’s the under-the-radar individuals like Lai who are taking Portland to the next level. Says Kovel, “There’s a low barrier of entry here, allowing for many early-career opportunities for self-expression.” So far, it’s proven to be a winning design for success.
Photography by Linden Olivia Hass
After speaking with Chateau Marmont designer Campion Platt we were inspired to check out Andre Balazs’s latest property. West coast destination staple, The Standard, has opened shop in New York after establishing itself as a design mecca to Hollywood and Downtown LA travelers.
The 18-story glass and concrete tower was designed by Todd Schliemann, partner with Polshek Partnership Archicects, and sits in the heart of the Meatpacking District atop the High Line, housing 337 guest rooms decorated by Roman and Williams.
Also home to the Living Room bar and The Standard Grill, the hotel is a design destination which includes several public spaces for visitors to enjoy as well. The grand total would be two restaurants and five bars, including a roof deck with a and beer garden on the ground level.
Featuring the best in modern architecture and decor, rooms start at a recession-freindly $199 per night–virtually unheard of for a boutique hotel stay in New York.
Photos via Design Therapy.
Posted by Erin Ryder
6/8/09 Following ten years of advocacy, urban planning, and five years of construction, the High Line is set to open tomorrow, June 9th. Section 1, the first to open, runs from Gansevoort to 20th Street. Section 2, the remainder, runs to 30th Street is still under construction and projected to open in 2010, additionally pending development approval of the West Side Rail Yards.
Originally built in the 1930’s as part of a massive public-private infrastructure called the West Side Improvement, the elevated railway was abandoned in 1980 and otherwise faced demolition. The City of New York committed $50 million to revamp the structure à la the Promenade Plantée in Paris, with 720 teams from 36 countries submitting design plans to preserve the historic space. The High Line design team is led by landscape architecture and urban design firm James Corner Field Operations.
Visitors can enter from Gansevoort Street, and the High Line will be open daily from 7:00 a.m. – 10:00 p.m. On June 15th, Friends of the High Line will celebrate with First Party on the High Line.
Photography by Jesse Chehak and Paul Schlacter; courtesy of the High Line and flickr.
Posted by Erin Ryder
Soy based inks? Recycled paper printed on both sides? These are just a couple of the eco-savvy rules that 70 Park Avenue, a luxury boutique hotel, adheres to when it wants a guest who visits NYC to “live life well”. Luxury and sustainability usually don’t follow one another, but this metropolitan hotel, nestled in the Murray Hill neighborhood, appeals to the green at heart.
The hotel offers various incentives such as a $20 discount off parking rates to guests who arrive in hybrid cars.
Staying true to the luxury side of the hospitality business, the rooms come with l’Occitaine bathroom amenities, in-room spa treatments, and gourmet and organic treats stocked for any hours you might need to calm some hunger pains.
All 205 guest rooms were outfitted with an “American Classicism” look by interior designer, Jeffrey Bilhuber, known for his projects with David Bowie and Anna Wintour. Sleep easy in the city knowing your sheets were handpicked by Vogue’s editor-in-chief’s decorator.
For more information you can call: 877.707.2752 or visit 70 Park Hotel
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
Want to spring for an early Spring weekend getaway? Book the weekend or week away at The Nines. From Starwood’s Luxury Collection and located in Portland, OR, the nine-floor hotel occupies the top part of the landmark Meier & Frank building. With many unique amenities that make boutique hotels so appealing these days, the 331 guest rooms (as well as the atrium) are decorated in deep jewel tones. Looking past decorating color schemes, the most impressive attribute the hotel can boast about is its responsibility to the environment. During construction, 90% of the building’s construction waste was recycled, and it continues to use renewable energy.
In addition to their Urban Farmer restaurant, a modern steakhouse that’s devoted to using local, organic sources, the hotel is opening another major restaurant called The Departure (think: Asian-fusion that also appeals to the organic taste buds) later on in the season. So with nine floors plus 90% recycled construction waste and a $99 nightly rate for a limited time only (of 99 days, of course!) , it’s clear it’s all in the numbers with this hotel.
For more information you can call: 877.229.9995 or visit thenines.com
Posted by Kyra Shapurji
From 1920s vacation rentals, to housing for migrant workers, then to 1970s-80s crack houses, the Venice Beach Eco-Cottages have seen many face lifts through the years. But its most recent rehab by owners, Cynthia Foster and Karel Samsom, has made the beach-side bungalows an appealing vacation rental.
Over nine months, the Eco-Cottages were refurbished and completely redesigned with ecological tastes and consciences while forgoing the typical components of a business plan and architect. The artist and environmentalist couple were their own contractors and say they approached the undertaking as “a giant mixed-media art project—the art of sustainability.”
Rejecting the use of petroleum and plastic products as well as anything made in China, the couple opted for purchases made at flea markets, eBay, and salvage yards. Going beyond the general installation of solar panels, they also found eco-companies that make organic mattresses, bedding, and shower curtains, and they even went as far as using recycled blue jeans for insulation.
As a renter you have your choice between three cottages, each aptly named for their stylized interiors:” ‘The Papa Hemingway Cottage’ is the sort of place to inspire pulp fiction. ‘Le Bébé Cottage’ mixes midcentury modern with Rococo flourishes. And ‘Aunt Zoe’s Place’ is like a cheery, kitschy lake cabin.”
For more information, you can call: 866.802.3110 or visit venicebeachecocottages.com
Posted by Kyra Shapurji