Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Road Trip Essentials: Haulers Part 3

To have and to haul-the best durable big lightweight backpacks and duffels for any road (or rail).
Made from the rugged material reminds us of sail clothes....Dyneema® Cuben Fiber-non-woven ripstop composite laminate is the primary an eye candy collection by Hyperlite Mountaingear that easily wears well off the trail...  "stripped down high performance." Waterproof, insanely light, high chemical, water and uv resistant minimalist gear made in the USA too. Backpacks of several sizes including WINDRIDER, $340-$375-with three external mesh pockets, YKK zipper and Dyneema®Hardline shoulder straps w/ ⅜"closed cell foam and spacer mesh-¼" foam back panel, Dyneema®Hardline zippered pockets on hip belt, ice axe loop, and compression system with  roll top closure system with 4 top Y-strap compression and side compression straps, adjustable sternum strap, plus a hydro port and internal mesh hydro sleeve.

Monday, May 29, 2017

The Leopard At Des Artistes: A NYC Restaurant Destination

The decorative masterpieces- Howard Chandler Christy murals-restored.

Relaxed elegance - bright with matte white walls and gleaming  blond wooden panels, 'simple' refined  cloth linen, shiny  china,-both white and solid cutlery-plus the professional caring, well-paced service equivalent to the interior plush environment.
For many - natives and visitors to New York, the landmark Hotel Des Artistes ground floor restaurant-Café Des Artistes-was THE pre Lincoln Center destination... for a meal with the grown-ups-and later on, a cocktail with friends.
And that was pretty much it -as far as late 20th century visits go.

What took us so long to re-experience- this iconic space- now the Leopard at des Artistes with a revived decor-post a painstaking nine month renovation-and its tasteful menu of classic and modern southern Italian culinary staples -overseen by restaurant veterans (Paula Bolla-Sorrentino and Gianfranco Sorrentino and acclaimed Executive Chef Vito Gnazzo)- well, we have no idea.

But we can positively check-off a 21st century YES- for the five star experience-this accessibly luxurious restaurant and glamorous bar  - delivers now, for all five senses.

Thursday, May 25, 2017


Part 2

Graduation sprees, family road may not be the destination but the journey...still need tough luggage options for all your stuff-coming along for the ride...and long haul home.

Thule-makes protection for valuables - personal electronics cases -bike travel bags/racks-BUT ALSO keeps adding to their truly fab series of tricked out backpacks and roller bags that mesh tech functions with sleek urban design silhouettes...and is clearly why we see this brand on hiking trails and on city subways.

THULE SUBTERRA collection -city chic-'soft' packs but tough made options for all kinds of journeys.-pictured above the black carry-on is a durable 2 wheeler made of weather resistant 800D nylon-with features like built in id slot, interior with divided main compartments, quick access to keys, wallet-zippered via mesh pocket up top, piggyback strap attachment loop allows for additional bag to be strapped on a pictured above, telescoping handles, durable exoskeleton and moved polycarbonate back panel to survive baggage handler toss, and 3 grab handles-top, bottom, sides, 

Thule -Subterra Carry-On interior...mesh separates dirty-clean laundry very handy!

Thule Subterra Carry On 40 L and smaller Backpack 34L   -both kinda hybrid back packs -also pictured up top atop roller securely attaches to rolling luggage via the pass through panel where hide passport-but access quickly, backstraps adjustable-removable sternum strap, padded EVA shoulder straps with mesh covering and padded back panel, top, side bottom grab handles, on bottom part not shown-actually separate compartment for shoes/dirty laundry, interior removable laptop/tablet sleeve-includes a PowerPocket-that manages cords, quick access to keys, wallet, and smaller items through zippered mesh pocket up top.
PELICAN™ AIR luggage collection-brand new-joins this company's crushproof-waterproof photographer must haves and elite luggage series. Very nifty-reduces the weight of the carry-on-and check in bags...with clever removals aka "structural removals". All selections are made of the brand's proprietary HPX ™ resist, honeycomb structural elements that are stronger than polymer material and super-stiff "full box" sections -to create hollow parts-like from sides of the pull-up handle seen on left.

Other features-stainless steel hasp protectors, rubber overloaded handles, watertight O-Ring gasket, automatic purge valve balances pressure, removable polycarbonate card holder, concave lid shape, double throw latches keeps it shut. COOL. The carry on 1535 even comes in four colors-black, orange, yellow, silver.
Carry on #1535 Carry On $187.50 for empty case-up to $315 for TrekPak system...the 1615 check in $255 check-in up to $427.50 for TrekPak System-largest size of series 14.06 lbs size 29.59"x15.50"x9.38"

!485 smallest of six sizes. 4.75 lbs-17.75"x10.18"x6.15"

Monday, May 22, 2017

The Perfect Pairings-French Cheese-Wine


French Cheese Board 41 Spring Street, NYC
 The French Cheese Board-is a destination for cheese lovers...and a delicious boutique with the mission of making everyone who crosses the threshold-lovers of the delectable cheeses of France. 
French cheeses are of the  'terroir' as wines are-with distinct tastings

Events and classes...feature French wines that pair well with the specialties of the house.

cheese boards...include mix of hard, soft-cow-goat milk cheeses

fig jam-works well atop camembert cheese 
Chateau Des Bormettes-is a family owned vineyard, located 50 meters from the Mediterranean Sea, near Nice, France. Selections from this vineyard-paired with three cheeses...

SUMMER ROAD TRIP Essentials: Best Haulers...



Part One:
Car trips across a country-America or abroad, are a summer tradition... getting humans, packed with the essentials- to peopled spots and the great outdoors.
Essentials=luggage/carriers that are lightweight, durable, and multi-compartment/tasking -for shifting locales---hauls well and a lot- from the back seat to scenic motels-to friendly crash pads...
And TSA tough enough for the inevitable airplane trip home-loaded down with souvenirs.

For small stuff-city slick-day bags that can hit the trails...
L.L. Bean Adventure Pro Bag $89 (and matching duffel) made of super tear resistant 420 denier ripstop nylon coated water resistant polyurethane-zip top closure-padded laptop/fleece lined electronics compartments-ballistic nylon base protects interior stuff, 2 end pockets, three color options...
tuck away back straps....
Igloo-has a series of patterned, insulated COOLER bags-that keep things cool-for packed lunches-outdoor meals/liquids for music festivals-but also stylish enough to use as an everyday-ESSENTIAL TOTE-on sale now for $15.00.

Fjallraven Kanken's are still massively popular...hard to be in any urban setting where don't see them. In mini-large sizes...multiple colors...back stars and top handle. 

Save the Arctic Fox Kanken $80 during lightweight vinylon F  2 side and zippered front, removable start cover in pocket at the back. Logo is reflective pop.-donation made to research  for saving the arctic fox with each sale

Thursday, May 18, 2017

Athlete Essentials: Be Safe/Be Seen



Adventures abroad, biking afar, hiking nearby, solo workers-interactwith strangers -or- for kids/elderly on their own...people now have choices for electronic safety monitoring systems...that rely on satellites as notification system. 
Inspired by a horrific home invasion, the brains behind this affordable safety alert system crafted an easy to use -finger size WEARSAFE TAG-device-pictured above-on the left-that pairs with a smartphone/notepad...and when engaged, can send out an emergency signal to the smartphones-with the WearSafe download-able app- of up to 12 people, The monitoring service-$5/month - $60 a year-is better than other systems out there-that send alerts to Emergency workers only-(often resulting in false-unnecessary actions), WearSafe allows those contacted to hear what's going on too-for a minute prior to an event-and after an alert goes out. Benefits among many-allows for the contacted to in turn-decide on an appropriate (coordinated-interacting through the app) response-including whether calling 911-one touch-even via the app (GPS coordinate's= exact location-when TAG engaged). FYI-attaches easily to keys, or clips on waistbands/pockets (ring/clip attachments)...wearers of device get a silent vibration each time someone gets one's alert. Multiple press settings, water resistant, and automatic battery status notifications-and can pair/mange multiple TAGS.
The best one out there, short of a personal body guard-and no surprise, a big hit at the most recent Consumer Electronics Tradeshow is the affordable WearSafe Alert  -a thumb size WEARSAFE Tag -clicker like device...that pairs with one's smartphone that can be up to 200 feet away...and when engaged (pressed) can send out an emergency alert to one's pre-determined contacts (via the  Google Play/Apple-down-loadable app). Bonus-on-scene audio capabilities, allows for multiple contacts to be alerted-can coordinate action via a group chat, emergency responders can view medical information via users profile...IMPRESSIVE!

Above picture-shows what the WEARSAFE ALERT app-when engaged looks like to recipients of the alert-including detailed  location map...subscription plans include free TAG...also available at Best Buy etc.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017


Part 3: Portable Human Carry Options for the long distance or races ... safe options for BYO
LifeStraw by Westergaard, Osprey Dyna Series, Nalgene, Aladdin Earthscape™ Collection


A must for adventurers -these LIFESTRAW STEEL lightweight (5.6oz) sipping straws are ideal for ultra marathoners/hikers/bikers and of course, travelers--offering complete confidence in water sipped from nature's sources like mountain streams...
the 2-stage filtration process removes bacteria and protozoa and reduces organic chemical matter and chlorine. Plus comes apart for easy cleaning later on and the filter capsule is replaceable. Added bonus-water tastes delicious...BPA Free and no chemicals used.  BONUS: Follow the Liters program, for every LifeStraw product sold, a child in a developing country receives clean, safe drinking water for an entire school year.

LIFESTRAW two stage BPA free water bottle...available in five colors...guards against unwanted GI distress from race water supplies-and airline water...and is a staple in our triathlon transition/travel bags-uses replaceable activated carbon capsule to reduce bad taste, chlorine and organic chemical matter for up to 100 liters (26 gallons)., uses advanced hollow fiber membrane technology (0.2 microns) to remove waterborne bacteria and protozoa up to 1,000 liters (264 gallons), removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction), including E-Coli, removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction), including Giardia & Cryptosporidium, reduces turbidity, filtering down to 0.2 micron, replacement hollow fiber membrane cartridges available, replacement carbon capsules available, does NOT use iodine or iodinized resin. $44.95 

Backpack/adventure luggage specialists OSPREY specifically shaped Hydration packs for hike/bike-and trail running-women's silhouette in the Dyna series...."...built for speed..."w/ easy access hydration to reservoir
room for water bottles (stretchy side sleeves)
Osprey Duro 6 Hydration pack for trail running $110 (w/1.5L)-adjustable fit-plenty of spots to stash gels/bars
OSPREY HYDRATION OPTIONS trail running-in back DYNA 1.5 $90  -specific women's streamlined running vest-body hugging fit-for bounce free carrying-in 2 sizes xs/s and s/m-comes wHydraulics™ LT 1.5L Reservoir. In the front OSPREY DURO men's/DYNA-women's handheld bottle $30 each- and belt/bottle carry options  (men's-DYNO Solo, women's-DYNA Solo $40 each)
For kids of all ages-NALGENE nails it with the licensed Marvel Collecton -featuring images of fav superheroes from comics and movie acclaim...FUN.  Made in the USA-  the cap are constructed specifically for these bottles, seal lid is directly in the cap- so there is no liner needed for air tight fit...easy to close up tight. Heavy duty walls for durability-after all kids drop stuff and the inner wall corners curve inward for ez cleaning. Recyclable too. BPA free mode form 100% virgin resin -FDA food compliant too. $15
For SoulCycle addicts- fashionistas types -meet the most stylish liquid holders out there...ALADDIN's Earthscape™ Collection-of vacuum insulated stainless steel Fresco Twist and Go water bottles $24.99 and stainless steel vacuum tumblers 30oz tumblers w/ removable straw $19.99. Pictured are some soon to launch (Summer-Fall 2017) images. ALADDIN-which win-win-collabs w/ The Nature Conservancy...and is committed to using sustainable material, ethical production -lowering stated on its website

on left -Waves Fresco -on pre-order $24.99-see the 2 way lid-water bottle top twists off at the neck for easy cleaning or to dump ice in the bottom, fast! Leakproof close...keeps beverages cold for 8 hours...or iced for 16. Naturally-BPA free.

Monday, May 15, 2017

CoolCore™ New Performance Wear

Athlete Essential: Part 2


Thermoregulation textiles  proven to lower surface temps of active wearer's skin -has been around a few years....and one of the best fabric suppliers, chemical free-patented CoolCore (and its technology)-  smartly shows off  its new M/W tops/bottoms for those on the go.

Proprietary construction-manages+distributes body heat - excels moisture wicking and evaporation...CoolCore built into fibers-won't wash out and maintains performance level... sweat activated surface temp can be lowered up to 30%!!!
Available June 1

our fav piece-racer back tank top-with side/back sweat zones
WHAT ELSE: Dr. Cool Ice and Compression Wraps  (using CoolCore) designed to incorporate the aforementioned healing attributes-wet, or freeze them---then wrap around dry skin-in sizes S,M,L

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Athlete Essentials: Recovery: CRYOTHERAPY REVIEW


WITH the mercury rising-outdoor enthusiasts pursuing athletic feats-will probably need to change up a few routines post exercise-not just their workout clothes.

Part One: Cryotherapy

We've known about this temporary deep freeze 'experience'- (enclosed from the neck down to ankles... immersed in a closed environment in temps anywhere from about -180F to -240ºF (that's right, negative) , 2-3 minutes, typically)-as another version-a  multi-room, gradually colder -treatment-has been available at glammy health spas overseas for years.

With athletes-celebs famously advocating the benefits that a cryotherapy treatment can elicit... including healing sore muscles/anti-inflammatory, burn calories (500-800 per session), better sleep, increased endorphins (sense of well being), boosts immune system, oxygenate the blood...we were game to try.

At Drive 495-a VERY well-equiped boutique- two level exercise emporium-featuring one on one instruction-including golf- to small group workouts targeting those who want to not only 'just' want to get fit-but "own it"-as the pro athletes who use the facility-work with seasoned fitness trainers... do...we had our own interesting experience with cryotherapy.


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Adidas Outdoors' TERREX Travels Well

Keep luggage to a carry-on with Adidas Outdoors' versatile Terrex Voyager + Solo kicks ...lace-up ease for cities/beaches/boulders/mountain trails.

Men's TERREX SOLO-lightweight low cut climbing shoe we would categorize as an 'approach' shoe-with a breathable mesh upper and abrasion resistant weldings keep feet protected. Stealth® rubber toe cap (that sticky-grippy rubber from brand 5:10) grabs rocks and  rear-foot Traxion™ _ Stealth® outsole Pictured below) provides great grip on stones and trails. Laces are bungee stowed. $120

Terrex Voyager S-all around foot cooling -climacool®-single layer mesh upper provides just enough stability with that overlay. Drainage system through the midsoles sidewalls, stretchy tongue and heel close fitting shoe-keeps debris out but comfy enough for all day wear. Even a thin TPU toe bump....available W in black-white now

Traxion™ outsole-provides great grip

Sunday, May 7, 2017

SALUT-Fresh Wines for Spring


Sparkling and ready to drink French Loire Valley + Italian wine picks ...

Looire Valley Wines: Crisp dry white varietals, rich aromatic white varietals, sweet wines, dry and off dry rosés, fruity reds,  earthy reds, and sparkling.

Sparkling Wine, Chenin Blanc $20

Ferrari Brut-Sparkling Trentdoc-100% Chardonnay

Friday, May 5, 2017



Brash and bright-May flower prints -step to in a big way...this season.

Some favs...
Aerosoles painterly streamlined pump-pretty and comfy! Exquisite with 3 inch heel...onsale now $59

SANUK-Pair O Sails Print-boat shoe inspired slip-ons with vintage vibe washed canvas upper-for women= with the iconic Yoga Mat footbed comfort $50
Coldwater Creek-catalogue-online collection-pretty day to evening Frankly Floral A-Line dress- fit and flare silhouette flatters-onsale now $99.95...back zipper and fully lined-in Misses and Petites

Thursday, May 4, 2017


Pet Gear-a royal chariot for dogs

PETS GLOBAL family of brands...including Zignature treats="limited ingredient formula"-the Kangaroo formula-lean protein- was most popular-note-chicken free products as dogs can be allergic to poultry...also NO eggs, potatoes, gluten, tapioca, corn, soy--- and grain free-traceable ingredients. Good for dogs of all ages. 

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

A Dog's Life: Fashion Musts-Eating Trusts Part 1


Pampered pooches (mostly small ones) and their owners-flashed some serious style, and sampled traceable treats at yesterday's Retail and Sales Pet Expo...with the latest in canine apparel (frilly-dapper), healthy foods, and 'must have' accessories.
Fancy Fare...