Cape Town versus New York

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Cape Town versus New York
Summer in Cape Town and snowy weather in New York City!

Big contrast between sunny Cape Town versus snowy big Apple. Take a sip or a culture shot from both worlds!

Desiré

Cape Town is a wonderful place to be especially during summer. The surrounding winelands offer a breath-taking scenery.
I really love going to beautiful wine estates and have tastings. For me It's the perfect opportunity to learn and discover what you like and don’t like and it's a great way to try new wines without having to spent money on a bottle that you might be disappointed with.

First I went to the Morgenster Wine and Olive Estate in Somerset West where you can experience an olive oil tasting. Like wines, olive oils have complex notes ranging from buttery, grassy to peppery and everything in between. Instead of doing the olive oil tasting I had a wonderful lunch at 95 at Morgenster and tried some oils that were offered during the lunch. Because of this great lunch I ended up buying an expensive white truffle oil that I really don't need, but really want to try!

During my time at the Morgenster there was a huge forest fire due to the dry, hot and windy weather. An extensive cloud of brown smoke could be seen creeping towards the suburbs of Summerset West. The sun appeared red due to the smoke and dust. It gave me a sad feeling after spending such a beautiful afternoon there.

Life goes on and so does wine tasting!!. The next morning ( yes, morning!) I explored the decadently sweet and savoury art of wine and chocolate pairing (for which the wine estate is famous for) at Waterford Estate outside Stellenbosch in the Cape Winelands close to Cape Town. Three unique wines and three special chocolates were displayed on a platter and it was very tasteful! At the Blaauwklippen vineyards I enjoyed "Ons Sprankle" it is a perfect bubbly all-round wine perfect for hot summer months.
The Guardian Peak Winery has a fantastic restaurant where I enjoyed dijon mustard & brown sugar glazed Eisbein, mashed potatoes & chardonnay braised cabbage. The dessert was dark chocolate fondant with hazelnut ice cream. Mmmmmm!

I ended my trip at Paranga Restaurant at Camps Bay. It has a great vibe and fabulous view over Camps Bay beach. Soft white sand and aqua marine seas, Camps Bay Beach is the place to be during the summer months......Goodbye Cape Town for now!

Margré

This time New York City changed into a white city. It started snowing in the morning and it kept snowing the whole day. At the subway around the corner of my hotel on 34th street I took the R-line to Prince street in Chelsea. I decided to visit the New Museum because I wanted to see the exhibition of Pipilotti Rist. Elisabeth Charlotte Pipilotti Rist, is a visual artist who works with video, film, and moving images that are often displayed as projections. A must see for an art-lover like me!

The New Museum of Contemporary Art, founded in 1977 by Marcia Tucker, is a beautiful museum in New York City at 235 Bowery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. The seven-story 58,700-square-foot facility, designed by the Tokyo-based firm Sejima + Nishizawa/SANAA and the New York-based firm Gensler, has greatly expanded the Museum’s exhibitions and space. In April 2008, the museum's new building was named one of the architectural New Seven Wonders of the World by Conde Nast Travelers.

When you take a look at the outside of New York's New Museum you will notice a pair of skeletal towers extending from the roof and a 30-foot sailboat precariously suspended from the facade. Both are part of artist Chris Burden's project "Extreme Measures". The two skeletal towers certainly reference the Twin Towers, and the boat on the facade is intended to evoke a rescue ship in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

I had to stand in line in the snow and cold to get a ticket but it was worth it. It was such a unique visual and sensory experience. And it was a very real and expressive type of contemporary art. I look forward to future visits when the exhibits change.

After my culture shot I walked around Prince street and ended up in Dean & Deluca on the corner of Broadway and Prince street. Dean and Deluca is a chain of upscale grocery stores carrying specialty foods, including prepared dishes, plus home and kitchen items. I bought some fresh made sushi and sea weed salad and returned to my hotel by subway again because I had to leave a couple of hours later for the airport to fly home to Amsterdam.

It was a very short stay in the Big Apple but it was a great 'tête a tête’ as always! New York never disappoints me. This vibrant city gives me so much energy and inspiration. And the white snowy accent gave it an extra touch of magic this time.

Watch our vlog of Cape Town versus New York!

Los Angeles, treated as vips at Warner Bros. Studios, diving into art at The Broad and more

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Los Angeles

Due to a traffic jam, we arrived one and a half hour to late at the Warner Bros. Studios for joining the sitcom The Ranch with Ashton KutcherWe had printed studio tickets with us but the lady at the gate was very strict: no entrance anymore despite our reservations. But Desiré is a fighter if she wants something badly. So she talked with the security men near the entrance of gate 2 where the sitcom took place. A miracle happened. One of the security men called Jennifer, the sergeant of the security department. AND WE WERE IN! They brought us with a special car and we felt treated like vips. We got entrance to the stage and it was great to be part of the epsiode 'Things Change' of The Ranch. The actors were very serieus and repeated some scenes again and again. In the middle of september we were emerged into the world of chrismas trees, snow and jingle bells. At the end we shook hands with Ashton Kutcher!!! For next time if we want to join the Ellen Degeneres show we can contact Jennifer...how wonderful is that!

The day after our adventure at the Warner Bros. Studios we bought some breakfast at Cafe Bonaparte at Hermosa Beach and ate our croissants, yoghurt and blue berries on the beach joined by a cappuchino. We spend some time at the beach and had lunch at Tin Roof. Tin Roof is a nice place opposite the Manhattan Village shopping mall. Later on we drove to downtown LA. We had tickets for the exposition of Cindy Sherman in the new museum The Broad. Anytime a new museum opens in Los Angeles, it's a big deal. The Broad, though, has been a monumental moment in recent LA history thanks to the museum's free admission, distinctive design and big-ticket collection. It's yet another landmark to prove to the world that LA is a city rich with cultural institutions. The contemporary art museum is the public home for Eli and Edythe Broad's collection of over 2,000 post-war works. Though only about 250 of those pieces of art will be on display at once, it's still a lot to take in. The construction of the building is beautiful and also a work of art!

We had a short visit at the Ace Hotel downtown LA afterwards. Ace Hotel Downtown Los Angeles originally built as the United Artists Building and later known as the Texaco Building is a 243 ft (74 m), 13-story high rise hotel and theater building located at 937 South Broadway downtown LA. It was the tallest building in the city for one year after its completion in 1927, and was the tallest privately owned structure in Los Angeles until 1956. Its style is Spanish Gothic, patterned after Segovia Cathedral in Segovia, Spain. On the rooftop you can also find a bar and pool. The time we were there it was packed with people. A good spot for hipsters.

Los Angeles...you suprised us again! Till soon...

Also watch the vlog of Los Angeles!