Color Porn: The Farmers Markets

Farmers markets is a source of so many beautiful things all in one place. The color, the samples, the random conversations, the freshness of the products and all the fresh meals that will soon be in your pie hole.  Farmers markets are wonderful places to grab a few things and picnic right then and there.  I’ve found myself purchasing some fresh bread, tomatoes and cheeses and have a simple lunch eating my newly purchased wares.  (Lets be honest here…I couldn’t wait to get home so I had to wolf down all my purchases on the quick.)

Supermarkets are convenient and wonderful in their own right but farmers markets are a great place to purchase fresh ingredients and do something great for the farmers and merchants that are available right there in your community.  Plus….all the vivid colors from nature right there for your viewing pleasure!  Oh and also the samples.  Delicious fresh fresh samples.

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Ideally I wish I could just grab my fruits and veggies straight from the source, like these cherries from my grandfather’s tree in Hungary.  But living in the bustling city this is simply not as easy.

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IN THE SMALL DETAILS.

I remember looking at Max Dalton’s ‘Ten Great Years‘ print years ago and considered buying it.  It was only $50 and I’m not sure why I didn’t jump on the opportunity.  Before a blink of an eye it was sold out.  Only a few years have passed and now its worth $1,200.  Oh how the waves of regret washed over me.  Not that I would have sold it anyway.  In my opinion Max Dalton is a modern genius and have been in love with his work since I laid eyes on it.  I like the way he represents the small details of each film.  Its the attention to detail that I think hes so good at.  He did a couple of ‘action figure’ pieces, though I think all of his work feels a little toy-like and action-figurey.  Pure nerd childhood bliss.  His whimsical vibe coincides with Wes Anderson’s vibe, so its no wonder Dalton designed the book cover for Andersons coffee table book (and if you haven’t already purchased it, I recommend it highly it’s absolutely stunning).

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http://max-dalton.com/

http://www.amazon.com/Anderson-Collection-Matt-Zoller-Seitz/dp/081099741X/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1427924576&sr=8-3&keywords=wes+anderson

MODERN IMPRESSIONIST.

Artist and illustrator Nicole Gustafsson creates beautiful worlds using gouache paints.  Shes uses Impressionist tricks such as the inclusion of movement as a crucial element of human perception and experience.  She creates beautiful stylized dream worlds and transports us to another land that is charming, colorful and peaceful.  Sprinkling nerdy references in an subtle way without it looking too “pop” arty.  Its closer to a Claude Monet painting than anything that I’ve seen in the ‘geek art” style.  Though the nerdiness is there in spirit.

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http://ngustafsson.blogspot.com/

https://www.etsy.com/shop/nimasprout?ref=shopsection_shophome_leftnav

FOOD FIGHT FANTASY NIGHTMARE.

If you’ve ever seen the 1991 Robin Williams movie Hook you’ll fondly remember the famous food fight scene between the Lost Boys.  I used to be super jealous of the lifestyle those kids lived, fighting pirates, running around a fantasy land and eating colorful whipped cream for dinner.

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Photographer James Ostrer may not have created this collection with the movie Hook in mind but rather he referenced icons of contemporary sugar worship.  Though some may find these images rather disturbing I look at them in a whimsical light.  I see the humor in covering a seemingly normal human being and covering them in delicious treats.  I am even curious about how these people found a way to breathe through all the frosting.

There is a strange throwback to ancient primitive art styles only using modern fake sugary treats, its really a beautiful contradiction. Looking a little deeper into the hidden messages that lay in Ostrer’s images, maybe nutritional disillusionment, or our societal practices of ingestion (we ingest a lot of bad shit) or maybe all that is on the outside is really what’s inside.  He touches on fascinating issues just through what seemed like a fun and whimsical project.  Outside of the deep hidden meanings of these photographs, Ostrer creates beautiful silhouettes and eye popping colors out of found objects that we are surrounded by everyday.  These are modern day masks that we all wear, even if we can’t see them.

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If you haven’t seen the movie Hook I urge you to see it.  Bangarang.

http://jamesostrer.com/home.html

SUSHI, ANIME, CHERRY BLOSSOMS OH MY!

If I could have dinner anywhere in the world where would it be?

Without a question in my mind.  Japan.

Japan seems like a world of mind blowing stimuli.  All things adorable, kawaii, themed restaurants, Nintendo, bento boxes, shiba inu dogs, tea culture, hot springs, anime, robots, gardens, Samurais, and endless street food?  All the things I love in one place?  My brain can’t handle it.  I’m overwhelmed just fantasizing about it.

Tokyo tops Paris with the most Michelin star rated restaurants.  Not that this matter to me, it is a good indicator of what’s happening though.  Japanese food culture has a distinctive style, attention to detail and the freshest ingredients anywhere.  Small dining spots where you sit at the counter right in front of the chef makes dining a very intimate affair.  American dining has us trained to order meals through servers while the chefs are cooped up in the kitchen and rarely get a chance to interact with the people that is enjoying their food.

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The food in Japan is still a great mystery to me.  Yes, I’ve eaten at hundreds of sushi restaurants here in America, I regularly eat at “hole in the wall” ramen joints in Little Tokyo and can fry up a mean ‘tonkatsu’ on the solo.  But eating at the birthplace of it all seems like almost too good to be true.

Heres a quick guide on how to make your own Tonkatsu at home.
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Food:

Street food in Japan seems like a wonderful thing.  Anytime you see an open flame and some meat on skewers you cant help but get excited.

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Street food never looked more chaotic and colorful.  Just point to the ones that look tasty to you.
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My love of soft serve ice cream is undying.  I will go on a wild manhunt to find the place that sells all these soft serve ice cream flavors.  When I find it I will immediately get fifteen cavities and gain a ton of weight.  Its going to be glorious.  There’s really nothing better than soft serve ice cream.  Nothing.
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Wacky Vending Machines:

So, are you thirsty from all that ice cream?  How about an ice cold beer to quench your thirst?  BEER from a vending machine?  What?  So you mean they actually trust people? I’ll take four for the road please.
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Maybe after several vending machine beers the novelty of “hot” vending machine food would appeal to my drunken tastes.
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I couldn’t talk about Japanese vending machines without adding this picture of a giant Hello Kitty vending machine.
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Nature:

Kawachi Fuji Gardens in Kitakyushu, Japan fairy tale flower tunnel. The gardens are home to about 150 Wisteria flowering plants spanning 20 different species.  This place is truly a visual feast for the eyes.
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The cherry blossoms must be quite the site as well.  This is in Sakura.
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The intricacies and attention to detail in the beautiful tradition.
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Sometimes when I’m sitting in my cubicle at my mundane office job I wander off in my head and daydream about travel. I think about wandering the streets of an unknown place and trying food I know nothing about.  Travel is an exciting mystery you try and solve as you go.  Language barrier is an added challenge but we are lucky in this day and age to have translator technology on our phones.
I like to think I have a plan while traveling but usually its a simple rough draft.  Sometimes getting swept up in the momentum of what’s naturally happening is the true way to go.  Sometimes I like to do a little research on the internet before I leave and map things out a bit but sometimes I’ll find myself on sites that don’t use website translation software and are written in other languages and I quickly go to my iphone or web translators.

It’s nice to hope some people speak English (or Hungarian which is highly unlikely unless I’m in Hungary).  Best thing to do look at sign with pictures on them. Easy to understand food imagery helps.  Besides look at how cute this is!
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Just this amount of cuteness brings a tear to me eye, just like that little onion bear on the bottom row.
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Tokyo has unique architecture.  These apartments look like little doll houses!  So beautiful!
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Sleeper pods.  Efficient and semi creepy.
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Unique stores and restaurants.
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How about the creative genius that is Hayao Miyazaki.  There’s a museum in Mitaka dedicated to Studio Ghibli.
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So back to my original question….If I could eat dinner (or breakfast) anywhere in the world where would it be?

Sushi Dai 

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I stand by my dream to have a fine sushi-for-breakfast experience at Sushi Dai, located just steps from the Tsukiji fish market.  Some would ask me why wouldn’t I choose a Michelin rated sushi establishment?  Or why not at a fancy and sleek dinner in the stylish part of Tokyo so I can bust out my top hat and bow tie?  Me?  No.  I stand by my love of “hole in the walls” and street food.  Some of the finest food in the world are the places that are the most unassuming and modest.  Go where the fisherman go.  I respect a modest place with beautifully tasting food.  After all, Its whats inside that counts.  Fish that is cut with a Samurai-like precision and rice that is kissed by the gods themselves.  Omakase menu, which features 10 pieces hand picked by the talented chefs based on seasonality of the fish.  I like the idea of the chefs choosing what they think is the best for you.  The chefs are the composers of this beautiful symphony that is your meal, in this case my breakfast.  Also the best thing about breakfast is that you have two more meals waiting for you over the rainbow.  Fresh fish out of the ocean sure beats your regular breakfast of Cheerios eh?
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Hell yeah it is.  Just look at this sexy monster.

Helpful websites:
http://www.ghibli-museum.jp/en/
http://www.yelp.com/biz/%E5%AF%BF%E5%8F%B8%E5%A4%A7-%E4%B8%AD%E5%A4%AE%E5%8C%BA
https://hungryhungarianblog.com/2014/08/14/lets-bento/

Because I have not traveled to Japan (yet) I found all my photos on the web and I sited where I found them below.
photo credits to:
http://udivitelno.com/plants/item/155-tonnel-glicinij-v-japonskom-sadu-kavati-fudzi
http://inlovewithjapan.tumblr.com/
http://www.kawaiistudyjapan.com/
https://www.pinterest.com/

CHILDHOOD IMAGINATION.

Modern surrealist artist Sachin Teng is an artist that is very hard to ignore. He creates poignant illustrations that has a bit of social commentary and a bit of whimsy.  He takes us on a journey that can be childlike and innocent to complex and dark.  These images are imaginative and thought provoking for sure.  He has such a unique style that would translate so well as an anime.

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http://www.sachinteng.com/