New York, MoMa PS1 in Long Island City

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New York

We already spent a lot of time in New York City, but we'd never been to Long Island City before. That's why we visited the district this time and combined it with a visit to MoMa PS1. MoMA PS1 is one of the largest art institutions in the United States dedicated solely to contemporary art. It is located in the Long Island City neighborhood in the borough of Queens. The building is a former Primary School. That's why it is called PS1. It is an innovative, unique space devoted to the most challenging, thought-provoking contemporary art of today and part of MoMA. A concrete jungle where dreams are made ;-)!

The museum building itself is unique. It still has the ambiance of the school it used to be. The doors and rooms are still intact. If you peak out the right window, you can see the New York skyline on the other side of the river. In summer they organize festivals, so absolutely worth a visit. The people who run this place are mostly artists themselves and are more than willing to show you interesting details of the exhibitons, artworks and history of the building. The tours, guided by scholars and artists, introduce adults and school groups to cutting-edge contemporary art through interactive discussions of the themes, techniques, and imagery of the art on view, as well as the personal perspective of lecturing artists. We found it interesting to take part in one of the tours. It gave us new perspectives on the artworks shown and on how to look at them.

It takes you only a 15 minute ride with the subway from Manhattan Island to reach MoMa PS1 in Queens. You take Line E and heading East bound. The station you have to go to is Court Square. You only have to walk for 3 minutes to reach 22-25 Jackson Avenue where MoMa PS1 is situated. You can also have lunch at MoMa PS1. We recommend the avocado toast. Yummy!

Long Island City is definitely an upcoming district and known for its artistic habitat. So if you want to live here...don't wait to long ;-)!

Watch our vlog of New York, MoMa PS1 in Long Island City!

Los Angeles, oysters at Manhattan beach, breakfast in the sand, a vintage community, chill mode at Mama Shelter and music allover at Amoeba Music

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Los Angeles

Fishing with Dynamite at Manhattan Beach. That means oysters, crab, ceviche, clamps everywhere! Fishing with Dynamite is a reflection of chef David LeFevre's roots, his travels and his three culinary touchstones. Preparing food that is artisanal, soulful and handcrafted. And this is apparent in the taste of the dishes. It is so delicious! We sat at the bar instead of a sophisticated table, but it was so cozy. We chatted with the staff and made fun with the guys who prepared the oysters just in front of us, while we had a nice overview of this tiny little restaurant and a glimpse at the ocean. Tip: you'd better make a reservation because it is always full house!

The day after we bought breakfast at Target, and fresh coffee and croissants from the Bakery Café at 37 Pier Avenue and settled on the beach of Hermosa. It was saturday and during the weekends it is beach volley paradise on Hermosa Beach. A sportive theatre show during breakfast!

If you haven't visited St. Vincent de Paul Store downtown LA, try to arrange it some day. Because we are always in LA on the wrong day for the Rose Bowl (this Flea Market occurs on the second Sunday of every month) we searched for a nice alternative and that's why we picked out St. Vincent de Paul Store. The Society of St. Vincent de Paul, Council of Los Angeles, is known for thrift stores in Los Angeles and Long Beach. But the Society is more than a store. It is an organization with 2,500 volunteers who devoted 263,000 hours to calls for help from the needy last year. From books to large furniture and even afternoonspent at St. Vincent's is sure to turn up some unexpected gems.

We were supposed to only have lunch at Mama Shelter but we stayed their till after sunset. This is not only a hotel. It is more than simply rooms or restaurants. Mama Shelter is a living and meeting space, a true urban refuge that's not just beautiful, modern and lively but also popular, friendly and, Mama Shelter says: sexy. Curl up on one of the sofas and enjoy a drink, a small bite and relax. Mama takes care of everything! The rooftop is brand new and just opened for the public. We had a magnificent view over LA and the Hollywood hills with the remarkable Hollywood-sign when we were laying on lounge sofa's.

After a half day of enjoying the comfort of Mama we visited the Amoeba Music on Sunset Blvd. Music fans head to this bustling shop for its huge selection of vinyl, video and CDs, plus live shows.

Watch our vlog of Los Angeles, oysters at Manhattan beach, breakfast in the sand, a vintage community, in the chill mode at Mama Shelter and music allover at Amoeba Music!

Los Angeles, strict rules from the Stahl House, lunch at Villa Blanca, and window shopping on Rodeo Drive

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Los Angeles

This time we visited the Stahl House in the Hollywood Hills. The Stahl house was designed by architect Pierre Koenig. His client was Buck Stahl, that’s why it is called the Stahl House. Buck was a former professional footballer who worked as a graphic designer and sign painter. Although there has been some discussion about Buck’s influence on the design, some experts who have seen Buck’s original model agree that his concept gave the direction of the Stahl House. Today, Stahl House is still owned by the Stahl family. Though it remains a magnet for film crews and photographers from all over the world. You have to sign a release before you enter the property. The release contains the following information: "Photography is allowed with a signed release. Only cell phone cameras are permitted. All other cameras or motion cameras are NOT permitted. The Release form is available upon arrival. All photographs are for personal use only. Photographs may not be published in print or electronic form, without the written permission of Stahl House, Inc. No video permitted. No tripods, camera mounts, plugins, clipons or selfie sticks permitted. No photographs may be taken of any photos or copyrighted works on the property”. That’s why we can’t show any images in our compi and vlog. If you want to see some photo’s of our visit you can have a look on our instagram and facebook. That’s for personal use only so that’s where you can have a glimpse of it legally. It was absolutely a breathtaking visit and worth it. You have to buy tickets in advance via the website of Stahl House. We booked the afternoon tour and the light was fabulous for photograpy and the view over LA was amazing!

Before we visited the Stahl House we had lunch at Villa Blanca at Brighton Way. The owner of Villa Blanca is Lisa van der Pump, known from the realtity soap ‘the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’. Lisa Vanderpump has created a sexy, stylish and romantic restaurant with a St. Tropez-like vibe with its large patio and its wonderous decor. It is around the corner of Rodeo Drive so you can imagine who is visiting this place to have lunch or dinner or just to have a glass of champagne! We saw a lot of interesting people walking by while having our lunch in this great place. Chanel meets Furla meets Cartier meets Prada…meets plastic fantastic boobs meets botox faces meets high end lips ;-)! The cosmetic surgery was walking by in live versions, very interesting and typical LA-style. If you want to spend more money afterwards you can visit the Kyle shop by Alene Too near Villa Blanca at Brighton Way and Bedford Drive. Kyle Richards is one of the other wives from "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”. 
In the evening we ended up on Rodeo Drive. All those beautiful stores with high fashion…we wished we could buy just one piece of Chanel…but window shopping was the only thing for us we could afford. Having happy hour on 208 Rodeo was fun. After a wonderful day in LA we drove back to Torrance and we got the best present ever: We were sent ‘deadheading’ back to Amsterdam the next day. Instead of working we were traveling non-working towards Amsterdam in business class. And after all we got our piece of high fashion: a comfort bag designed by Jan Taminiau for KLM in a special edition. How lucky we were!
Watch our vlog of Los Angeles, strict rules from the Stahl House, lunch at Villa Blanca, and window shopping on Rodeo Drive!

Bangkok, high in the sky, Vanilla tasting, relaxing at Health Land and a spectacular river view

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We found ourselves right on top of the swimming pool on a glass floor at Long Table restaurant. It's situated on the 25th floor of the Column Tower. Long Table opened its doors in 2008 and has become one of the city's top hotspots. The main room features a 25 meter teak table, which can seat up to 70 people and is the world's longest dining table. We had a table for two on the outside instead of sitting at the long table and had a lovely view over Bangkok City companied by a bright moon. Both the food and the service were excellent and we tipped the waiter extra for that because it was more than worth it! The official name of the long table is: The Long Table of Krung Thep Mahanakhon Amon Rattanakosin Mahinthara AyuthayaMahadilok Phop Noppharat Ratchathani Burirom Udomratchaniwet Mahasathan Amon Piman Awatan Sathit Sakkathattiya Witsanukam Prasit. So practise before you make a reservation for it ;-)! A reservation in advance is recommended, especially during the weekend.

The next day we went to Vanilla Garden in the Ekamai 12 area in Sukhumvit. The relaxing atmosphere of the cafe with a view of a garden inside the compound makes it a favorite spot for locals and foreigners. The Vanilla Bakeshop became an instant hit since 2014 and transformed into a famous hang-out spot for all Thai trendsetters and celebrities. We had the privilege to sit outside in the sun and we enjoyed our lunch with an open faced sandwich with salmon, topped with salmon roe and drinks served in hip jars of course ;-). Unfortunately the book store in the Vanilla Garden has closed its doors some time ago. The bookstore was the main reason to check out this place for us. But it is still worth a visit to have a relaxed lunch in the garden.

By chance we found a very clean health spa, Health Land, in the neighborhood. It's a great spa where you can have all sorts of body massages, facials and foot reflexology at affordable prices. We chose a one hour foot massage and we relaxed to the max!

Full of energy, after this spa treatment, we dressed up to go to Sala Rattanakosin to have dinner. It cost us two taxi's to reach this hotel because taxi drivers always say yes but don't even understand where you want to go. The food was not really special but the view of Wat Arun on the opposite side of the river was so beautiful that we absolutely recommend this place. We ended our luxury trip in style with fire works. We pampered ourselves thoroughly in Bangkok with roof top views, good food and drinks, hip places to spot and a spa on top of that. It fits us, that's for sure!

Watch our vlog of Bangkok, high in the sky, Vanilla tasting, relaxing at Health Land and a spectacular river view!