Category Archives: architecture

Celebrating Innovation; 10 Years of Prius!!!

Last night, I hit the PCH and headed to Malibu for the Toyota Prius 10th Anniversary party. It was held at the Wright Organic Resource Center, a rustic 24 acre site dedicated to the education and development of issues on ecological design, environmental responsibility, sustainability, and alternative agriculture.

As a die-hard Prius fan – I’ve been driving one since 2006 and recently upgraded from the 2007 model II to the 2010 IV- I was giddy all week and super stoked to attend.

In addition to meeting folks from the Prius camp and hobnobbing with like-minded hybrid car fanatics, the celebration included lifestyle workshops curated by Wired and SHFT, panels on sustainability, live music from M. Ward and Shepard Fairey, and a dinner al fresco.

The talks were inspiring and definitely got my internal gears going. Dinner, courtesy of Outstanding in the Field, was fantastic. I enjoyed learning about the direct farm-to-table approach of cooking. It created further awareness of where our food comes from, encouraging more personal action to buy local produce and make a small difference on the day-to-day level.

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All in all, it was a dream evening for a design, tech, music and sustainability geek like me. I met many incredible and forward thinking folks – we toasted with like-minded bloggers, chatted green with local gardeners, sparred tech with folks from Wired, and chatted Prius with members from their team. We also got a glimpse of the plug-in hybrid model (PHV), available in 2012.

Thanks to Filter for an incredible Sunday evening!

Visiting The Greenhouse Tavern

Over the weekend I had a chance to visit my hometown of Westlake, Ohio. I usually make it back once or twice a year. In an attempt to keep with  a New Year’s Resolution to spend more time with family, I flew back to visit my parents for Easter weekend.

On Friday night we dined at the Greenhouse Tavern. It’s a relatively new restaurant located in Cleveland’s East 4th Street Entertainment District.

I was impressed with their farm-to-table approach presented in a totally forward-thinking and upscale way. Maybe I’ve been living on the west coast for too long, but I really do believe that farm-to-table sets an example of how we should all be eating in the first place.

Opening almost exactly a year ago, The Greenhouse is the first restaurant in the city to be LEED Certified (LEED certification is recognition that a building’s management has implemented best practices for creating an energy efficient and environmentally sustainable structure).  It’s also the first green-certified restaurant in the state of Ohio.

In addition to being green the narrow space is also elegant. It employs beautiful oak flooring from former Ohio farmhouses and barns,  reclaimed vintage doors, and salvaged materials from the local business Old School Architectural Salvage. Other local businesses were hired to create furnishings. I learned from Yelp users that the best place to sit is actually in the basement, where you can pony up alongside the chefs and watch the action take place.

The restaurant advocates the Farm to Plate Movement, which means that all ingredients are locally produced. Our guy explained what the wild Ohio ramps were on the menu  (think leek meets onion) which he had happened to pick that morning himself.  The menu changes constantly to reflect new dishes and ingredients (say, if one of the staff happened to have gone fishing that morning – it would be incorporated on the menu that evening).

In a town known for roast beef and hot dogs, The Greenhouse is inspiring and a total breath of fresh air.

Although I’m a fairly fussy eater and was quite impressed with my experience, one of my favorite aspects of the restaurant was (surprise!) the jukebox. In the basement along the wall is an amazingly retro-outfitted jukebox with those little old-school hand-written cards. The music with funk, soul, r&b and rock singles – it made me happy just looking at it.

Overall, I’m excited for what the Greenhouse Tavern could mean for Cleveland and midwestern cities at large.

Named one of Bon Appetit Magazine’s Top Ten Best New Restaurants in America certainly gives it – and the city – international cred. More importantly is what it implies locally. Restaurants like The Greenhouse Tavern are promoting a practice and mentality that will better dining and best building practices for generations to come.

Let’s hope it catches on.

More:

http://www.thegreenhousetavern.com

Bon Appetit feature (PDF)

New York Times mention (PDF)

Cleveland.com: The Greenhouse Tavern and Death-Row Dining

BX Magazine (PDF)

http://www.farmtotablenm.org

Visiting Aria

Over the weekend I made a trip to Las Vegas for my friend Katie’s 30th birthday celebration.

On Saturday we paid a visit to CityCenter, the newest development on the strip that includes 2 hotels, a condo structure, restaurants, shopping center and spas.

The development, officially opened in December, is completely LEED-certified making it the largest sustainably-designed architectural development in the world. Rockstar architects involved in the project include Helmut Jahn, Studio Daniel Libeskind, and Foster + Partners.

The modernist design is breathtaking with plenty of glass and steel, extraordinary lighting and surprising turns and angles at every step.

It’s a beautiful complex and well worth the visit. I had a great time visiting the Aria Casino where we caught a few football games, played some games of our own in the casino and nibbled at a totally delish patisserie.  Check out some snaps below!

More:

http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/gensler-leads-design-of-citycenter-79314067.html

http://www.arialasvegas.com

http://www.dwell.com/articles/citycenter-las-vegas.html

http://www.inhabitat.com/2010/01/07/is-it-green-citycenter/