Saturday, January 21, 2017

Il Pittore: Art and Coffee Amalgamation

A happy synchronicity. The reason I am saying this is to attest that such circumstances really exist though very few and far between. Here I was with my bosom friend Liza pining for something out of the ordinary to visit and chill in; as we mosey on to this café situated at the backdoor and definitely off the beaten path - no sooner did we become enthralled.

Exterior mural

It was this genuinely artistic creativity that drew us to the place to be sure, murals with German expressionist leanings, monochrome posters outlining Paris mixed with industrial furniture and Provęnce-themed bric-a-brac completed Il Pittore's 360 degrees exterior. 

cool poster de París

With our curiosity piqued, we enter through the 1950's wooden and glass door, et vóila, a pastiche of Picasso, Magritte and DaVinci with a Van Gogh backdrop on the wall and to the left side of this - a Chagall.

Magritte, Picasso, DaVinci & Van Gogh in one.

Rey, the owner and the artist is the man responsible for all these, see, art is his passion and the way he can share it with others is through his café. All around and over, one's senses will be heightened because vibrancy and novelty permeates through the walls, ceilings and floors. 

Cheesecake with vanilla bean ice cream. 

Another highlight to experience in this joint was to make our own "3rd wave coffee." Epicureanism these days occupies the palate, mind and fingers do they not? With the use of gadgets that look more for a chemist than a barista, 3rd wave coffee begins with your pick of coffee beans which are then measured with precision, grounded and having the steam pressed through to extract the flavors at it's optimum, and again all these - timed to precision. I quite like it of course for it's new! Also, because one has become intimate with the conception of one's coffee while third-waving it, well, it's practically drinking one's offspring though not in a gross sense. Check out the process below:

Do come and try  Il Pittore when you get the chance. It's quite remarkable. 

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Men and Sweaters:

Winter. Dudes. Sweaters.

Mark Strong

Daniel Craig

 David Tennant

Theo James

 Bob Marley

Keanu Reeves

Dan Stevens

 Tom Cruise

 and in Monochrome too...

Donnie Yen

Andrew Garfield


James Dean

Hullo, my name is Michael Caine, you may call me Michael Caine...

and let's wrap it up with:

Tom H.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Pepi Cubano: An Uncompromising Cuban Sandwich Supreme

It is not my desire to be remiss when pointing out a treasure for the purpose of sharing. So, aprés months of extensive research on where to find an authentic Cuban sandwich in the Philippines, the one where it best led the husband and I were to this gem of a sandwich shop in Gallardo St. Makati, Pepi’s Cuban Sandwich!

Let me not prolong the curiosity. Here it is, the Cuban sandwich in the Philippines that has captured the meaning of the bread-fillings-bread concoction. The Pepi Cuban Sandwich is indeed complete with the puerco asado, ham, cheese, dressing, mustard and the pan cubano pressed closely and tightly, altogether here the concert of these flavors and the crunchiness of the bread blend beautifully to make one ricisimo,  esquisito, deliciso sanguche cubano. Claro que sí ! 

Other fares and variation include the chicken, vegetarian, media noche (plain ham and cheese) and the beef steak Cubans. I urge you to try the joint which has been in existence from 2006. They began as a home outfit that delivered the sandwiches to the offices and word of mouth is what got them to where they are right now. Today they deliver, cater and has even been offered to open up at the malls all around capital, not just the capital but I say nationwide and why ever not? 


Sunday, June 26, 2016

Adieu Bill Cunningham

*not my photo

The Sartorialist, Street Peeper, Tommy Ton, Garance Doré and many many more, these are names of fashion street bloggers where we might get an idea of the style du jour. But where do you think it all began? It’s from this man - the begetter, the progenitor of street fashion photography named Bill Cunningham who passed away on Saturday. Photographing stylish and fashionable ones candidly and featuring  them on his New York Times column “On The Street" since the 70’s, New York’s foremost lifestyle gentleman is no more.

Of Bill Cunningham fashion matriarch Anna Wintour herself uttered, "It’s one snap, two snaps or he ignores you, which is death.” Scott Schuman (The Sartorialist) openly acknowledges obtaining the idea of street fashion photography from Cunningham and from that everyone else that is in the street fashion blog cottage industry followed.

Living his life in irony is what impressed me most about him. Famous people coveted for his imprimatur yet for most of his life he lived in a non-apartment quarters where the bathroom was in the hallway on one of the top floors of Carnegie Hall for 60 years! Using only a bicycle as his means of transportation all over the boroughs for his style hunting, he vehemently insisted on living like this until pressure mounted when the trust of Carnegie Hall implored him to move to an all expenses paid, loftier, more luxurious apartment in Manhattan. He once quipped that he wasn't interested in celebrity, sure he always had front row seats on all the shows in every fashion week at every city that mattered; but his disdain for dullness and pretense in his world was obvious. It was reported that Cunningham sometimes tore up his payment checks for work he did for top selling magazines and said, "Money is cheapest thing, liberty and freedom is the most expensive." What he simply loved to do was click away for the photos in the lifestyle/fashion pages of the NYT for the following day and this he did tenaciously.

In case you are wondering who this guy and how far-reaching his mark and influence is in your life, think of this, if you are a girl living in an archipelago somewhere in Southeast Asia who HAS to get that non-prescription geek eyeglasses accessory because you think it goes well with your high-waist cut-off jeans and your Gladiator sandals after seeing Alexa Chung wear it in a picture, it is because Bill Cunningham placed that inception of chronicling the in-style fashion in the streets way, way back in 1978, and now in the selfie generation, you must look fab peradventure a street fashion blogger might click away within your space. And so goes the full circle of Bill Cunningham. Capisce?

*not my photo

Monday, June 6, 2016

Not All Is Rosy: Afterlife Portraiture in Victorian England:

Apologies for being macabre with this post but I found quite an interesting article from the BBC about death portraiture in Victorian Britain where right after the death of a loved one, usually a child, photos were taken of the deceased with their siblings or entire family for a portrait. 

The advent of photographs was one way to immortalize the departed ones and to keep their memories alive also. The photo above shows a young girl propped up in a chair with her dolls all around as if only sleeping. 

The pretty girl on the left with the soft curls and ruffly white dress had passed, her body was made to stand and it even appears as though she is among the living with her siblings. 

It was said that sometimes "eyes" were drawn to the corpses so they would appear to be awake for the photography. The article mentioned that in this photo, the deceased daughter appears clearer than the parents because she was motionless and was captured with lesser artifact while shooting. 

There is no indication of anything amiss in this photo of a boy despite it being taken after his life ended. Proof of the photographers and makeup personnel's mastery in their craft is laid bare in the photos as they are able to make the subjects appear alive.


Wednesday, May 4, 2016

The Dispute on Hamlet's "To Be or Not To Be" at the RSC

A robust discussion ensued when veritable actors of the Royal Shakespeare Company who've played Hamlet competed with each other on how the soliloquy "To Be or Not To Be" should be delivered. What comes next is most unexpected. 

The look on all those acting faces...

Saturday, April 30, 2016

The Boulangerie at Sonya's Garden

What can I say Sonya’s Garden with her other amenities like the Bakery, Bed and Breakfast, the Apothecary and the Restaurant in the Conservatory are the stuff made of class. The interior here is like how I would like my every dwelling place to be. The white walls with the rough texture, the simple shelves and bold Spanish floor tiles that feel and taste like all the old rustic Mediterranean designs combined. 

Sonya's is in the details:
The crawling bougainvillea, bellflowers and other varieties on the exterior of the Boulangerie, the patterns of embroidered curtains, rich wood furniture, ornate tea sets and display case are tell tale of exceptional taste good planning and execution in design. 

The fare inside Sonya’s Panaderia are not wanting in quality; though I was expecting rustic breads like baguettes, sourdough, focaccia  and so on, the fare did still consist mostly of Filipino bakery items such as pan de sal with fillings of cheese or tuna, the bread locally known as the Spanish bread with sweet cream filling but with more intensity in flavors than the usual. 

All I can say is that it would be nice to have this very bakery or something so very akin to it was just around the corner from where I live. 
Do not you?