LEGION is a shop and art gallery located in San Francisco. The shop features artful goods for your home and body, from candles to ceramics, art & design goods. Art shows hosted at the shop feature both up-and-coming and established artists.
What do you love most about your area and how long have you been located there?
Legion has been in Lower Nob Hill now for almost a year, prior to which we were in Chinatown for four and a half years. Sutter Street, our current street, is wonderful — lots of great neighboring businesses, particularly art galleries and amazing restaurants. I lived a block away from the space when I first moved here in 2003, so I have a soft spot for the area.
Is your area known for anything in particular?
Our block is probably most notable for Liholiho! It’s one of the best (in my opinion) and most popular restaurants in the city. But we’re also super close to Union Square, so the area is constantly filled with both tourists and residents.
Describe your favorite sights and activities in your area:
We’re in such a central location, so close to many different neighborhoods, and I’m fortunate enough to get to walk to and from work every day! There are a few galleries nearby that I love: Hashimoto Contemporary, Spoke Art, and Chandran Gallery. Huntington Parkis a great neighborhood park. I bring my two dogs to work every day, so we usually stop through their on our walk home.
What are your favorite places for food/drinks in your area?
Manhattan is known for many things—theater, shopping, dining, sightseeing, you name it—making it a very popular spot for both visitors and residents. With everything New York City has to offer, it can be overwhelming knowing where to start. Where should you go? What should you see? Where should you eat?
Sylvia Parker, owner of Magpie and a native New Yorker, has you covered! Sylvia’s shop—located in the Upper West Side of Manhattan—offers unique, beautiful, and practical gifts that are frequently handmade, organic, and locally made and designed. “We’ve been on the Upper West Side of Manhattan for six years,” says Sylvia. “We love our neighborhood for its mix of people, our proximity to two wonderful parks (Central and Riverside), the cultural richness, and old-time architecture.”
Just a few blocks away from Magpie lies the American Museum of Natural History, a city landmark with world-famous exhibits. “I’ve always loved the old-fashioned dioramas and the giant blue whale suspended from the ceiling there,” Sylvia remarks. One of the largest museums in the world, the AMNH offers spectacles and exhibits for children and adults alike.
A wooded area within Central Park, the Rambles are a restored area of the park that have been fitted with nature trails, gardens, and bird feeders. Located between 73rd and 78th streets, the Rambles offer a beautiful outdoor space full of both native and exotic plant species as well as views of a pond where visitors take out rowboats when the weather is nice.
Also in Central Park is the Shakespeare Garden, located near the Delacorte Theatre, the site of the annual “Shakespeare in the Park” series held in the summer. A less-frequented part of the park, this serene and picturesque part of the park is perfect for a relaxing stroll on its winding paths. Full of seasonal flowers, the garden is particularly lush in the spring and is a popular spot for outdoor weddings.
A fifteen-minute walk across the park takes you to Museum Mile, which features one block after another of incredible museums including the Guggenheim, Cooper Hewitt, Frick, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, “which I consider one of the best (if not the best) museums in the world,” Sylvia adds.
With four miles of park, from 72nd to 158th street along the Hudson River, Riverside Park is frequently considered one of the best waterfront parks in Manhattan. With sunset views, a bike path, outdoor cafes in the summer, a skate park, and other sports courts and fields; this park is a must-see when visiting the city.
Mermaid Inn and Pizzeria Sirenetta are sister restaurants that both have terrific happy hour food. Pizzeria Sirenetta serves Neapolitan pizzas and rustic Italian fare while the Mermaid Inn is known for their seafood.
The second Shake Shack to have ever opened its doors, this Upper West Side staple is popular among tourists, residents, and folks who work in the neighborhood. “There is always a long line outside for the burgers at Shake Shack.”
Newport, a gorgeous coastal city located in New England’s Rhode Island, is famous for its vast harbors filled with sailboats and yachts as well as its historic mansions, several of which have been converted into museums. The city has one of the highest concentrations of colonial homes in the nation in its downtown Historic District as well as its Gilded Age mansions, which were summer “cottages” built by mid-19th century wealthy southern planters looking to escape the heat of the south. But Newport has so much more to offer than sailing, mansions, and museums!
Kristen Coates, owner of a an arts and home goods store in Newport, grew up in Newport, RI and—after having lived in Los Angeles and New York for more than 15 years—currently resides in the beautiful city. Kristen shared some of her favorite activities, places to visit, and things to eat with us so your next trip to Newport can be filled with great sights, delicious food, and fun!
Cliff Walk Cliff Walk is a world famous 3.5-mile walking trail that winds along the coast behind the mansions and gives an outstanding view of the water. This public access trail is unique in that it combines ocean views, stunning architecture, and rugged shorelines.
Newport Art Museum
The Newport Art Museum is a museum and art school located in downtown Newport that features changing exhibitions and art classes year-round. The museum’s exhibitions and collections reflect Rhode Island’s cultural heritage and contemporary art scene by featuring artists with ties to RI.
Redwood Library and Athenaeum The Redwood Library is the oldest lending library that still occupies its original building in the United States. Designated a national historic landmark in 1962, the building also houses antique sculptures, paintings, furniture, and rare books.
Third & Elm Press The oldest operating printing press in the country, Third & Elm Press, is also located in Newport. Visitors can view and purchase woodblock prints, limited edition books, and note cards and even watch the process of them being made by artist Ilse Buchert Nesbitt.
What to Eat?
White Horse Tavern “The White Horse Tavern is a personal favorite come fall with the crackling fireplaces and the stories of haunted dining rooms and the bar!” One of the oldest taverns in the country, established in 1673, this place offers delicious food and drinks in a cosy historic setting.
Thames Street Kitchen TSK is a wonderful farm-to-table restaurant that focuses on fresh seasonal and local ingredients. “The family that owns this place also owns the epic burger restaurant, Mission, and Winner Winner where they serve—you guessed it—chicken.”
Kristen notes her favorite Newport sights are along the coast and at the beaches. There are coves filled with soft-to-the-touch powdery white sand and waves perfect for surfing. Other beaches have great walking areas full of various flora and fauna. One of the best parts about Newport is being on the water and sailing around the island. There is a reason Newport is famous for it!
“The quality of life and the beauty surrounding the island,” Kristen remarks, “there is no other place like it in the world.”
It happens every year: Summer goes by in the blink of an eye and it’s over before we know it. But just because fall is quickly approaching doesn’t mean we have to cease all outdoor fun and hide inside until spring rolls around. Autumn weather offers its own charming ambiance for outdoor activities, from hiking and camping to leaf peeping and picnicing.
Don’t let the end of summer stop you from enjoying the outdoors. Instead, pack some of these great fall dishes, grab a picnic blanket (and maybe a sweater), and enjoy it!
We’re all familiar with Oregon’s largest city, Portland, known for its hip culture and thriving art, theater, and music scenes. But did you know Maine also offers its own Portland, a smaller city with river and mountain views as well as gorgeous Victorian-era houses, working fishing wharves, and converted warehouses with restaurants and shops?
Lauren, the owner of Fitz and Bennett Home—a thoughtfully curated home decor and gifts store located in Portland, ME—shares some of her favorite places to go, items to eat, and things to do in Portland. In addition to offering the standard attractions that come to mind when people think of Maine—great seafood, a beautiful coastline, and stunning lighthouses—Portland is also a popular spot for food and beer. “We have amazing restaurants in every food genre you can imagine,” totes Lauren.
Lauren’s storefront, situated in the historic Old Port of Portland, is just off of the beaten (and tourist ridden) path but still amongst the scenic cobblestones and historic architecture, and has a waterfront view right outside her door!
Where to Go?
Willard Beach Located in South Portland on the bay, Willard Beach is a moderately sized beach (so you don’t feel like you’re walking forever to find a spot, but also aren’t sitting right on top of other beachgoers) that offers calmer waters, slightly warmer water temperatures, and a dog-friendly environment before 8:00am during the beach season. “We love to bring our pooch down for a little play—dogs galore!”
Nature Trails Portalnd, ME has a number of trails full of stellar views and calming natural surroundings. Some of these include Wolfe’s Neck in Freeport, Mackworth Island in Casco Bay, and the Eastern Promenade. With food trucks frequently parked along the top of the Promenade, you won’t go hungry during your hike!
What to Eat?
“The best activities (and almost all of them here) involve a good view and good food.”
The Green Elephant An all vegetarian restaurant located on Congress Street, The Green Elephant is a favorite of Lauren’s. “My carnivorous husband loves it there too!”
Novare Res A hidden away beer mecca, Novare Res has a great outdoor patio with games and picnic tables, making it a perfect stop for beer aficionados and families alike.
Local 188 Local 188 is the perfect spot for an intimate dinner or stellar brunch.The decor is reminiscent of being inside of a Toulouse-Lautrec painting.
Silly’s Slightly outside of the downtown area (but still on the peninsula), Silly’s is a great stop for all kinds of food options. Vegan selections are just as plentiful as meat-heavy dishes, and beer is served in tin mugs. Silly’s also has outdoor seating and funky decor throughout.
Lauren recommends visiting Portland on months that shoulder the busy seasons; mid-June and early September. “Most of the tourists are gone and you’ll feel more like a local.”
There are also countless hotels in town to choose from during your stay in addition to very unique Airbnbs, so there’s no need to feel like you’re beholden to the big chain hotels.
Lauren’s overall advice for those wanting to visit Portland, ME? “Explore beyond the most popular places in Portland that have been written about over and over again. They are great and get press for a reason, but there are also a ton of other smaller fish here that are equally as amazing, so explore a bit!”
Camping, depending on your outdoor expertise and hiking level, can vary from “glamping” to completely roughing it in the wilderness. But being away from your home and its kitchen doesn’t mean you have to eat trail mix during your entire camping trip! Here are a few tips, tricks, and hacks to help you eat well while still being able to pack light and remain environmentally friendly on your next camping trip.
When camping, you always want to limit the amount of things you need to bring with you.When you are packing your cooking items, consider limiting yourself to multi-use items that can be used to cook in a number of different ways.
If you are camping in a car, trailer, or will not have to transport your gear far by foot: Instead of one or several small- to medium-sized pans, consider bringing a wide, flat griddle or cast iron skillet that you can cook multiple items on at once (Being able to cook eggs, bacon, and pancakes at the same time will speed up your breakfast cook time!). A griddle will also likely pack much easier than a pan or two, which are rounded and have handles that stick out.l Dutch ovens are another great option. They can be used as both a pot for stews, soups, chili, etc. as well as enclosed ovens for baking meals over a fire. Dutch ovens can also be used over propane stoves if open fires are not allowed within your campground. And if you want to limit clean up efforts, dutch ovens can also be fitted with disposable liners (parchment paper or aluminum foil). Just be sure to take all your trash with you!
If you are camping in a tent: If you will be traveling on foot, you won’t be able to carry heavy dutch ovens or cast iron skillet with you. Instead, pack a small, lightweight aluminum or titanium pot and pan. Your pot can double as a cup and your pan can also be used as a plate to cut down on what you need to fill your pack with. You’ll also want to bring aluminum foil. Not only does it not take up much room, but you can use it to wrap root vegetables like potatoes or carrots and even meat and fish, then throw them into the coals of your fire to cook without having to worry about getting a mouthful of ash when it’s time to eat.
Before your trip, fill plastic squeezable bottles (you can reuse emptied and cleaned ketchup bottles) with pre-mixed pancake batter, soup broth, homemade BBQ sauce, and other ingredients you’ll want quick and easy access to. This can also help limit the number of utensils you’ll need to bring with you.
If you are camping in a car, trailer, or will not have to transport your gear far by foot: You will basically have access to a full kitchen, so the sky’s the limit! You can decide on several meals before your trip, anything from pizza and pasta, burgers and ribs, to jambalaya and chicken noodle soup.
If you are camping in a tent: You’ll want to pack high protein, higher calorie food options that don’t take up much room if you need to carry everything with you. Snack options like trail mix (with dried fruit, nuts, and chocolate if you have a sweet tooth) or beef jerky are classic choices. You can also visit specialty outdoor retailers to purchase freeze dried or dehydrated meals that will limit their size and weight but can still provide you with tasty meal options.
Nothing beats cooking over an open fire, but if you are unable to or prefer the control of having a stove, you have options too.
Cooking on a campfire: A campfire may not offer you the temperature control of a stove, but nothing tastes quite as good as something cooked over hot coals! If you plan on cooking over a fire, it is a good idea to bring your own firewood in case existing log piles have gotten wet or rotten. Many campgrounds also have strict rules against collecting firewood, so this will help you bypass that completely.
Cooking on a portable stove: If you are camping in damp, wet climate or are having trouble starting a fire due to rain or other environmental issues, having a backup camping stove will save you a lot of stress. They are not only reliable, but are often designed to be lightweight and pack away easily. Depending on how you will be camping, you can select a classic two-burner propane stove or a single burner stove that uses small canisters to provide a flame.
Whether you’re traveling for business or vacation, airports and flying can be quite a process. Even seasoned travel veterans go to lengths to avoid any extra headaches when dealing with airports. One of the easiest ways to keep your air travel hassle-free is to downsize and fly with just one carry-on bag rather than checking your luggage. Sounds impossible? We’ve got your back with these travel tips.
Pack layers and outfits that can be mixed-and-matched. For your clothing, you’ll want to pack as few items as possible, but you also don’t want to be stuck wearing the same things every day. The easiest way to accomplish this is to pack a few basics with many layers that can be mixed-and-matched. For example, bring a pair of stylish sneakers that will be comfortable to walk around in all day but can also be worn with a sundress for a cute and comfortable daytime look. Or, pack a pair of black denim jeans that can be dressed up with heels for a night out or dressed down for a casual afternoon brunch. Include short- and long-sleeved tops that you can easily throw a flowy sweater over if it gets colder. You can also avoid packing extra (read: unnecessary) “just in case” items by checking the weather of where you will be traveling to ahead of time. Rain in the forecast? Throw a lightweight raincoat in your bag that can be worn over any outfit.
Plan on doing laundry.Though doing a load of laundry while on a business trip or vacation doesn’t sound fun, it can save you from ever having to pack “extra” clothes. If you’ll be traveling for 2 weeks, for example, and you do laundry once during your trip, you will only need to pack 1 week’s worth of clothing. Many larger hotels offer (or can suggest nearby) laundry services. If you are staying at an AirBnB or VRBO, look for one with a washer and dryer in the house or apartment. Staying with friends? Ask to do your laundry in their house or building, or seek recommendations for a nearby laundromat or dry cleaner.
Pack multi-purpose beauty products. By bringing products that can be used for multiple things, you can reduce the number of items you have to try and pack! For example, instead of packing individual bottles for your shampoo, conditioner, and body wash, consider buying a travel-sized product that can do all three! Or, bring a bath and body oil that can be used as a facial moisturizer, body lotion, and leave-in hair treatment. (Don’t forget to pack all toiletries in transparent bags and limit any liquid soaps or gels you are taking with you to under 3.4 ounces/100ml.)
Purchase what you need once you arrive at your destination.You may also want to consider waiting until you arrive at your destination to pick up smaller items rather than trying to pack them. If you’ll be flying to a tropical paradise, wait until you arrive to pick up your sunscreen. You can also easily find many beauty products at local drugstores, supermarkets, and pharmacies. Additionally, most hotels provide basic products for you such as soap, shampoo, and lotion. If you are renting an AirBnb or VBRO, consider calling ahead and asking your host if they keep your favorite item stocked.
Saving money is only one of the advantages to traveling light and not having to check a bag. You’ll never have to worry about the nightmare that is losing your luggage, nor will you have to waste time waiting at a baggage carousel after spending hours on an airplane!
Headed to Kauai anytime soon? If not, you should really consider it. I know I’m lucky to live only a 5-hour flight away! It’s a spectacular island with varying landscapes, beautiful beaches, unreal coastlines, and some good food. This was my second trip to the Garden Isle with my entire fam (mom, dad, sister, brother-in-law, and husband) and luckily we all like to eat. We generally cook at home but went out here and there for lunches and the occasional dinner. So my list is not extensive but gives you some great food and location highlights.
The transition out of vacation was hard but compiling a list of my favorite spots and foods has made it a teeny tiny bit better. Read on!
The BEACH. Epic backdrop.
Pink’s Creamery – delightful ice cream and tasty grilled cheese sandwiches with kalua pork
Garden Island Chocolate – tours on Monday, Wednesday & Friday. Learn about a variety of tropical plants, how cocoa is cultivated and then taste about 20 different kinds of chocolate. Delightful rain or shine.
I’ll be showing off all the delicious Etta + Billie products at my first ever NY NOW show this month in bustling (and most likely sweltering NYC). Attendees will get a sneak peek at our winter limited editions and a new product. If you’ll be at the show, let me know! I would love to connect.
What: Etta + Billie at NY NOW
When: August 20-23rd
Where: Javits, NYC | Booth 4276 (formerly 4269) Join Design | Accent on Design
p.s. got any NYC recommendations for me? I’m always looking for a new donut place to try. 😉
I can’t believe that it’s been over a month since I’ve been back from Portugal. It was truly a magical trip. The vibe in Lisbon and beyond was so relaxed, effortless and comfortable. I’ve never felt as at home, so instantly, in any place I’ve been. I love the aging buildings covered in patterned tiles, the steep cobblestone streets, the kiosks in small parks and the friendly atmosphere. People were engaging with each other at parks, restaurants, on the bus and in cafes. NO ONE was glued to their phone, except tourists. It was so nice to be surrounded by people connecting with each other! If you are thinking about visiting, do it. I’ve collected a few of my favorite places around the incredible city of Lisbon below (organized roughly by neighborhood).
Castle St Jorge – unbelievable view from the top of the hill, plenty of tourists but big enough that you don’t feel crowded. Bonus, one of the two Wine with a View carts is stationed here. A truly brilliant idea and with some very delicious inexpensive wines. Who doesn’t want wine while they peruse a centuries old castle and the stunning clay tile rooftops of Lisbon?
Fiera De Ladra – A great flea market with a variety of old quirky vintage items as well as chintzy cheap bric a brac. Happens every Tuesday and Saturday from 8 am – 6 pm.
Tram 28 – everyone recommends it for a reason. It takes you through most of the main points of interest in Lisbon.
Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara – Terraced park with another amazing view of Lisbon. You can see the Tagus, Alfama and Castle St Jorge. There are two kiosks for refreshments along with an outdoor bazaar.
Park – its a bar on the top of a parking garage. Very little signage so just make your way to the very top. Gorgeous view of the city, Tagus river and the 25 de Abril bridge.
Mercado da Ribeira – went here at least 4 times during my stay. So much food to choose from in a small space. I had squid ink risotto, octopus salad, croquettes, and the list goes on.
Paletaria – fresh fruit popsicles, very delicious and Instagram worthy (see photo above).
Cafe Carpe Diem – Part art gallery/installation, part cafe. Wander through to check out the current exhibitions and then grab some refreshment and sit outside in the old garden. A complete gem, not to be missed.
A Taberna da Rua das Flores – delicious. Modern take on some Portuguese classics without being pretentious at all. Menu changes daily. Lots of small plates for sharing. It was a long wait, go earlyish and prepare to drink wine on the sidewalk while you wait (we waited almost 2 hours, totally worth it).
Manteigaria – This place churns out a ridiculous quantity of Pasteis de Nata (the pastry of Portugal with egg custard and crispy shell). I ate at least one of these every day from a variety of places in Lisbon and these were my favorites. Slightly warm, creamy, crispy, sweet; the perfect companion for a rich espresso. I took a pack of six to go on our last day in Lisbon and ate almost all of them before we got back to San Francisco.
São Bento Nannarella – some of the best gellato I’ve ever had. I went twice in the span of three days and would have gone again if I wasn’t trying to hit up other food spots. A MUST visit.
Campo de Ourique
Jardim da Estrela – beautiful park with a couple of ponds, ducks, peacocks, occasional open air craft market, a playground, a cafe and a kiosk selling anything from Tosta Mistas (toasted cheese and ham sandwich) to Gin and Tonics.
Mercado de Campo de Ourique – more subdued food hall with a good selection of fresh produce, meat, fish and of course loads of food/wine options.
A Tentadora – great old school cafe with some solid pastries and a good vibe (plus they have lots of outdoor seating on the sidewalk)
Príncipe Real Frangasqueira Nacional – classic, basic and ridiculously tasty Portuguese BBQ. Go early because they tend to sell out. Take out only.
Jardim do Príncipe Real – a quarter of the park is dominated by centuries-old Buçaco cedar, a perfect spot to read or eat some of your Frangasqueira BBQ.