Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Smoked BBQ at Pitt Bros

Food cooked nice and slow makes the heart - and the stomach - grow fonder. If you haven't tried the smokey wonders of Pitt Bros, you are definitely missing out. This place is a tribute to slow cooked American BBQ: there's brisket (!), buttermilk chicken, charcoal-scented sausage, sticky St Louis style ribs and the good old pulled pork (probably the most ordered meat treat because it's oh so fuckin' trendy, like kale, avocado or ginger beer these days). Fries and mash are mandatory, and if you ever have the chance, please try the homemade lemonade in case you're skipping the craft beer. This is the place to go for some filling meat combo + tasty sides if you want to have a comforting meal in a cool, casual and wallet-friendly, yet centrally located (The George is literally next door, what else could you want?) eatery. Oh, and there's free ice cream too.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Deers, Daisies and Dandelions

Phoenix Park, North Side's own Bambiland. Long days spent among intimidating stags and dainty fawns. Grass so green, begging for an impromptu picnic (smoked cheese, grapes and salmon crostini come to mind), at least before the ominpresent Irish Summer rain takes over. Leafy echoes surround my lonesome footsteps towards Magazine Fort, a few minutes away from that ridiculous Papal Cross where the Ashtown kids gather, eating 99s and listening to Calvin Harris as the twilight is late and distant. I see a few more antlers camouflaged somewhere between the bushes and the trees. The Cadbury bar I carry in my pocket melts and I suddenly remember that Winter is over - until further notice.

Thursday, June 2, 2016

DART Destination: Malahide

Malahide combines exactly what I need on a day off: tranquility, an infinity of pale sandy shores (with real sand instead of pebbles), History and a quaint village for that small town vibe we sometimes oddly long for. The rows of pastel-coloured houses reminded me of Notting Hill, only there weren't any tourists taking photos of them. From fancy eateries to cute bakeries, and a few drool-inducing crabshacks, I fell in love with this place right away.

Malahide Beach is a little peace of coastal Heaven where you can walk for ages until you reach Portmarnock, another scenic stretch of sand. There's something about the crackling of broken shells as we step on them, the seaside wind, the sun reflected on the cold water, the smell of wet seaweed... Maybe it brings back some memories from home or from a long lost Summer. You see, when the sun shines in Ireland, magic happens. Sky and sea suddenly become bright blue instead of the usual shades of monochromatic grey (or brownish taupe - I've seen some swampy marinas). Lambay Island can be seen in the distance, with its own private harbour, seals, wallabies and a herd of fallow deer. Yeah, that's right, it's a private island.

Malahide is the perfect place to go for both sand castles and real castles. The castle itself looks quite Game of Thrones-esque actually. There are kids and dogs everywhere, however, peace is not easily disturbed. Me and Ana strolled around the gardens, admiring the emerald foliage and not in a hurry to go back home just yet. Me in my Wes Anderson-inspired outfit, eating marshmallow ice cream like a swine, how I wished to pause those moments so I could enjoy them in slow motion whenever I wanted. Inhaling the iodine breeze, contemplating a neverending seascape, absorbing hundreds of green and blue hues... Well, I can always go back there on a sunny afternoon.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Inspiring Women: Grace Jones

Before Lady Gaga, before Kanye, before Beyoncé, before Madonna, before the so-called swag, before the slay hashtags... There was Grace Jones. Supermodel, Bond Girl, style icon, performer, exotic visionary, futuristic chamaleon, singer, artist, actress, producer. How does one not seek inspiration in this extravagant panther? Born in Jamaica in 1948 (still can't believe how ageless she looks...), where she was raised by her strict religious grandparents (she described her childhood as being "crushed underneath the Bible") before moving to New York - and eventually Paris - Grace has always been this constant hurricane, a fusion of disco and funk and pop and avant-garde reggae, that enabled her to become an icon through the decades. Miss Jones is the Queen of Subversion - forever defying stereotypes, clichés and gender roles imposed by society. She redefined concepts of style (intimidating witchy veils, androgynous shoulder pads and layers of glittery sequins, anyone?) and fashion itself, fearlessly embracing the excess and the maximalism of aesthetics and incorporating a neverending metamorphosis by reinventing herself - from hoola-hooping onstage to setting trends in Studio 54.
Grace worked for Yves Saint Laurent, Claude Montana and Kenzo Takada. She was also the muse of Guy Bourdin and Jean-Paul Goude. This woman is not just that scandal-prone diva who lives off champagne and oysters (ok, well, maybe); she's Art. An explosive cocktail of rythm, creativity and charisma. Her transgressive persona has always been the living proof of authenticity being the key to make a difference.
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