cait +tiff

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T / i dream of berlin

Photo Credit: Felix Brüggemann

As I’ve mentioned before, my partner is German, schnitzel and all.  And I have this unfortunate tendency of putting his native land into a box of currywurst, castles and beer.  But it is so much more than its crazy long European history that involved defeating the Romans and all of those unfortunate children’s stories that involve deep dark forests. It is the land where type and graphic design were not only first developed, but also where they are still doing the coolest things.  Did you know that a German company actually owns Trader Joe’s?  Also Angela Merkel is killing it on the world stage these days.

And lately, I’ve been in a German deep dive, and I’ve mostly got my eye on Berlin.  So I thought I’d start there.  I’ve only been there once.  A few years ago and only for a couple of days.  But from the moment I stepped foot in the Kreuzberg I knew I had found my Toronto.  The place I could see myself perhaps spending more than a few days some day.  Let’s call this Day 1 of my Berlin Strategy.

Let’s start with visiting Berlin. A quick browse on Airbnb and you’ll find no shortage of intensely hip, minimally decorated apartments for short and long stays in the best neighbourhoods.  Bri found the perfect one, and you can see all of her favourite fun and colourful Berlin things here.

Hip things aside, Berlin’s also got a rich history in culture.  I’m looking at you architecture, techno and a whole lotta weird.  Have you ever been thrifting in Germany?  The treasures are beyond.

Or maybe you’re one of those people who likes to really get to know a place.  You know, not just for a weekend.  Katie spent a couple of months here and found all the places you would never have stumbled upon during those quickies.

I have my eyes firmly set on Berlin right now.  But I don’t exactly have plans to get there yet (unless someone wants to send me there!)  Thankfully, German TV is going through the renaissance we’ve been waiting for ever since all those Nordic murder mysteries started showing up.  And a couple of these series are even set in Berlin.  Clearly a sign, right?

Deutschland 83 was the one that set it all off.  Yup, set in the middle of the Cold War and that wall is still up.  And a year later, The Same Sky showed up on Netflix.  Both shows involve Eastern spies over Western walls, but each tell such incredibly different stories.

And on the modern side with fewer subtitles, there’s Berlin Station.  More spies.  But this time, there’s iPhones and ISIS are involved.

I’m also uber-excited for Dark.  Germany’s answer to Stranger Things perhaps? Probably darker, less cute and will probably get under your bones a bit more.

The thing I love so much about Berlin is its diversity.  Despite the tough central European exterior, it’s radiates a warmth that has attracted people from all walks and places over the last two centuries.  Just check out its history and you’ll see why.  It is basically not a mystery why the place is hemorrhaging with the cool kids.  It’s an epicenter for creativity basically.  I can dig a place that gets over being cut in half by war, then resurrects itself as the birthplace of techno.   Also, it’s almost too easy to find very good Chinese, Thai and Vietnamese food in Berlin.

Check out all of the stories on Freunde von Freunden.  Not only are these guys based over there, but they’ve got 300+ creatives profiled for your deep dive down the rabbit hole.  Get a taste of what everyone’s eating over at Munchies.  And make sure you make Berlin Food Stories your guide upon arrival.  And get your butt to the Markethalle Neun stat upon arrival.

Photo Credit: Marta Greber

There are also a couple of wonderful ladies making the most delicious things (both in Berlin!).  Luisa Weiss (aka The Wednesday Chef) knows how to make all the classic German desserts.   And Marta Greber is capturing every single one of her crazy gorgeous breakfasts (as well as telling you where you should eat).  Also make sure you check out her Instastories.  Her accent is the cutest.




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T / from russia with dumplings (and <3)


Always look up at the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood.

Why go to Russia? Because it is an empire with the richest and deepest of cultures and histories. It’s the world’s largest country.  And St. Petersburg is magical.  It’s Europe’s Disney World.  Take Paris, Vienna and London and blow them up on an epic scale.  So when I was invited to Alina and Matt’s wedding, my response was “hell yes.”  Our hosts, my college buddy Alina is Russian-Canadian, set the best scene ever for their destination love fest: St. Petersburg.  From-Russia-with-Love

Setting aside world affairs and geopolitics, we landed and set out to eat and see everything we could devour in five days while I tried to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in nearly a decade.  Because globalization works that way.

Anyways. We barely scratched the surface.  But I thought I’d share a few little tips and tricks (like Svetlana’s gorgeous Airbnb we stayed in).


Pelmeni (upper left), kninkali (upper right), and finish off with sour cherry vareniki (lower left). Yes more please.

I’m proud about my culinary heritage and the little morsels it has to offer. But then I had dumplings in Russia and opinions definitely changed.  Don’t tell the ancestors please. Pelmenya only serves Russian dumplings.  They are all delicious.  There are sweet ones too and you should order everything the menu has to offer and wash it all down with a cold mug of kvass.

Eat-in-RussiaEpic wedding aside, some of my favourite moments on this trip surrounded food (don’t they always?).  I haven’t seen some of these college buddies for years and I’m so happy that we got to catch up over three course meals in gorgeously curated restaurants.  The sun never sets in St. Petersburg, so I had no idea three hours had past. By far my favourite was The Idiot.  Yes, that Idiot.  Set in the basement in a centuries old building in the center of St. Petersburg, The Idiot offers the best of traditional Russian fare and they make sure you start it off properly: with vodka.  This was naturally followed by caviar.  Sadly, there was no room for the course of deep fried cottage cheese.

I mentioned that St. Petersburg is Europe on steroids, right?  Because it is.  You completely get a sense of the grandeur of the empire.  Everything is gilded in gold.  You’ll also want to get a proper Russian spa day with a good massage since your neck will always be craned upwards.  Start it off easy with a trip to the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood (see top photo).  From the outside, you would never guess the bloody history.  It looks a bit like Candyland, doesn’t it?  But once you enter, you won’t be able to stop looking.  The entire church is a mosaic.  You know all those words they use to describe epically beautiful things? Resplendent. Imposing. All of those are in this building and pretty much everything you will see in St. Petersburg.

gild-everything-in-gold PeterhofLike Peterhof, the summer palace (as opposed to his Winter Palace), of Peter the Great.  For 750 rubles, take a 40 minute hydrofoil ride to what is basically a big royalty park.  Entry to the site is another 500 rubles, and each museum or historic building also requires additional fees (about 600 rubles for the Grand Palace).  But it is well worth it and do spend a day wandering through throne rooms, salons wall papered in Chinese silk, fountains and gold.

Bring-Your-PhoneWe capped off the five day spree with an entire morning and afternoon spent at the Hermitage.  You can hit up both buildings which separate the classical Russian from modern impressionism and all the Kandinsky you could soak up.  This will take you about seven hours, but it’s kinda worth it.  It’s also worth it despite the crowds and the never ending scene of smart phones raised up high.  They even have apps to take you through it all if you’re not the type that wants an audio guide (me).  Just one important tip: skip the ticket lines! They’re ridiculous!  Look to the left and you’ll find ticket machines with…wait for it…no line.Look-at-Art

Okay so after all the eating.  There’s the drinking in St. Petersburg.  We didn’t quite get into the mixology scene, but we did discover a few little secrets.  Rooftop cocktails at the Kempinsky or the terrace of the W Hotel.  Or perhaps you want to get a little freaky and take part in Russian drinking games at Purga, where every night is New Year’s Eve.  Purga

And all the hip kids hang out at Terminal Bar and all the other establishments on Belinskogo Utilisa, just by the Fontanka River.

This-is-MidnightI’m gonna cap off this post with a midnight boat right.  Russian summers are known for its white nights, so why not explore Venice of the north at midnight?

Oh right. The important details.

Go to Russia now! The ruble is weak (about 67 rubles to 1 USD) and everything is so affordable!

Get around on public buses (30 rubles, or about 50 cents) and the metro (28 rubles).  Admiralteyskaya Station is the deepest in the world.  The escalator rides are epic like the rest of the city.

If your feet can’t do it anymore, Uber is also available.

Get your visa first!  Either with an invitation from your hotel or through a travel website like this one.

All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use.  Cait+Tiff are not liable for any vodka induced poor decisions.


T / postcards from istanbul

14---CatstantinoppleI knew I was stepping into a delicious place, thanks to Alissa.  But I didn’t think my expectations could be blown through the roof.  From the way citizens handled the attempted coup to the owner of the (delicious!) Gazientep kebab stall who insisted he repack my mess of bazaar purchases into a slightly less nutso annoying chaos. I was smitten.  I can’t wait to explore the rest of the country, but in the meantime, at least I can look back at these little goodies I took.



01---Raise-all-the-blindsWe stayed in the perfect Airbnb.  It was just steps from all the delicious and beautiful things. But not just that, our hosts messaged us to make sure we were alright once the coup started. Except we had the fortitude of being disconnected and clueless and replied, “we’re great! love this city!”  Anyways, I loved this little rooftop apartment with the best view off the rooftop terrace, waking up to this view from our bed every morning.  I never got sick of the calls to prayer, and even with the five flights of stairs to take us up, I would absolutely stay here again.

02---Drink-LimonataFrom this trip onwards, I am absolutely making Turkish lemonade, limonata, a constantly available beverage in my house.  It’s basically minty lemonade, but the moment we saw that Turkish Airlines offered a homemade version on their drinks list, I was addicted.  It’s all I want after hiking up a 45 degree incline.

03---Kool-Kids-in-Karakoy04---Blend-into-the-BackgroundKarakoy is where all the cool kids are.  It was also just steps from our Airbnb, and on the way to the ferry that would take us to the Asian side of Istanbul. There is no excuse for not heading here.  Just remember to make a reservation at Karakoy Lokantasi.

06---Eat-BreakfastIf you don’t have a Turkish breakfast,  then you haven’t really visited Istanbul. Every single person I chatted with while planning this trip implored me to visit Van Kavalhti Evi (though, the above picture was taken at Cafe Privato), with their endless supply of delicious tea, and that massive spread! Bring friends and spend at least three hours here.

07---Look-Up Tiffany TsangYou’ll need to get an olive oil massage at the hammam because your neck will always be craned upwards while you’re at the Hagia Sophia, The Blue Mosque, and all the other massive pretty things that make Istanbul resemble Disney World.

08---To-Market,-To-MarketTarlabasi Sunday Market is the perfect place to get a sense of Istanbul at it’s most normcore. Located in a middle class neighbourhood just a hop and a skip from Taksim Square, the place comes alive with olive vendors, cheese men, and all the peppers and spices in the world.  All I wanted to do was buy all the produce, and every single variety of tomato.09---But-First,-Olives Tiffany Tsang Tiffany Tsang Tiffany Tsang

11.5---Go-EastThe Asian side of Istanbul is just a 15 minute ferry ride from Karakoy harbour and across the Bosphorus. Our pal Abigail was absolutely right – you can just get lost over there, wandering every delicious street, from the seafood restos and fish market to all the bars on Kadife Sokak.  We stumbled upon the most delicious honey, fresh scraped from the comb atop the thickest yogurt.  Then came all the local brew and the fresh fish. We didn’t have any more room for the kunefe, which only means we’ll have to go back. 12---Yogurt-and-Honey 13---Drink-Local-Brew

05---get-a-rooftopAnd rooftops.  Those are always important.

All photos by Tiffany Tsang. Please request permission for use.  Cait+Tiff are not liable for sudden urges to go to Turkey.

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C / late in Kent


It’s late and I am in Kent. Or Ashford. Or a castle. Or a roadside motel. Oh and I saw that maze above today.

Late post today because rural England’s wifi is worse than Cambodia’s. I get that the country is going through a lot with Brexit and stuff, but really, you are embarrassing yourselves.

I’m exhausted from a day of talking to people with varying degrees of care, but I want to write about the insanity of gun violence in the states, the police brutality, the blatant racism, the monstrous double standards and how to make it all ok. I, of course, don’t know how to fix it all from a medium-good motel room in the UK, but it’s all I have been thinking about today. Through the conversations about other people’s kids, the things they hated about their friend’s weddings, and why wedding cake is obsolete, I have been distracted by the constant vision of headlines from the past few days. The past few days, piled upon the past few months, and years.

Don’t get me wrong, I actually like and care about other people’s children, and I agree that if you want to have a cheese tower instead of cake at your wedding, that it exactly what you should do. But my heart hurts for my country, my #OGBrexit, my home.

I’m too tired to write anything of consequence about the things that matter right now, and they deserve attention, consciousness, and love.

More soon.


Photo of the Maze at Leeds Castle

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C / Old Haunts


Know what the best remedy for jet lag is? Me neither, obviously, because I just flew to London six days after returning to Cambodia from the US. The only thing that I do know, is that this is NOT the way to do it. Unless you like watching two romantic comedies before 7am on a Tuesday, then this is exactly how to do it. 

I’m in town this week for a friend’s wedding and I will be stopping by some of my favorite places that I got to know last summer when I was studying at Central St Martins. There are so many amazing spots in London, and I am sure I don’t know anything about the coolest anything anymore, but I do have a few places I am sure to hit this round.

(You may notice that this little list has nothing in it from West London, and that’s because I went there two times total last summer and I know nothing about it.)

My Old Haunts


Yeah, it’s the cool kid neighborhood of London, and no, I’m not a cool kid, but I DO have a leather jacket and I am pretty sure that’s all you really need. I found Attendant last summer because I had some time to kill in the neighborhood before a class at Frame. It has all the makings of a pretentious hipster coffee spot, but it’s sort of decided not to be. The people are lovely, the coffee is damn delicious, and they have a guest chef who makes phenomenal breakfast treats. Things like Vanilla & Passion french toast, with rhubarb mascarpone, berries, honeycomb and maple syrup…and FLOWERS on top. I just ate this and it would be tough to share with my favorite person. 

Caravan-Kings Cross

I go to Caravan for the Aussie-approved coffee, the art student people-watching, and they craziest, most delicious savory muffin in the whole damn world. They have a different one every day, and it’s a mix of cheese+veg+something else awesome, maybe even surprise chorizo. Everyone loves surprise chorizo. Because it’s housed in the school, Caravan tends to a slightly younger crowd with as many different hair colors as there are stars in the sky. They always play good music, because they would explode from all the eye-rolling if they didn’t. It’s a busy spot and can be loud, and the server from last summer remembered me yesterday. I don’t know if that matters, I was just happy about it. 

The Water Poet-Liverpool/Shoreditch

I can’t put a list together without at least one proper pub on it. The Water Poet sounds fancy, but it’s a nice local spot with great beers and giant helpings of french fries. Yeah yeah, “chips.” Whatever, I’m American. #OGBrexit. They have a gorgeous and comfortable back patio that fills up around 4pm if it’s sunny, no matter the day of the week.

Boulangerie Bon Matin– Finsbury Park

This placed saved me on my very first day in London last year. I was exhausted, nervous about starting this whole new thing, and more than anything else, hungry. Bon Matin has a spread of gorgeous salads that should make Ottolenghi nervous, full of simple, delicious produce and things that make produce taste even better. The pastry that fills the front windows are a one-way ticket to the danger zone. Maybe even the highway there. It’s inexpensive, friendly, and sunny. They also don’t mind if you set up shop for the day to work on your Cambodia-based design blog and use their free internet. 

Monmouth Coffee-Covent Garden

This place was introduced to me by a friend from Cambodia actually, and it really is the snobbiest. There are like 7 seats in the whole place, the tables come with artisanal sugar and side eye, and no internet. But the coffee is really, really good, and the brownie is reason enough to stand in line with a bunch of disaffected 23 year olds talking about cold brew like they found it first. 


Oh Dinerama. Cool London friends showed me this place last year, and it’s the perfect summer hang out spot. It’s a pop-up-food-truck spot, and they have everything from lobster rolls to BBQ and papadum nachos. That’s right, papadum nachos. The best thing there is for the carnivores, and it’s a beef rib from the grill spot in the back. The thing is probably cooked for 8 days, and it falls off the bone like a prom dress. Best when eaten with hands and dragged through the leftover guacamole from the Mexican spot next door. 

Off to as many of these places as possible before I face-plant at 2pm.




guest post / Alissa Ate Turkey (…errr Istanbul)

When the layover stars aligned and I decided that I’d be heading to Istanbul (en route to a far flung location) in a couple of weeks, I knew I had to crowdsource all the tasty things.  And who best to do get the goods from? Our very own travel correspondent, of course!  You’ve gone through all of her tips before, so you know this intel is quality.  Thank you Alissa!!!  – Tiff

Alissa-Istanbul-HeaderIstanbul is one of my favorite cities that I’ve ever visited. It’s this incredible mix of traditional and modern, where elements of Europe and the Middle East blend to produce an atmosphere that is unlike any other. The markets are amazing, the architecture is phenomenal, and the food is beyond words. I stayed in Fener-Balat, a cozy little neighborhood of coffee shops and antique stores, where my friends live. Staying here provided a glimpse into the non-tourist side of Istanbul, and some of my favorite moments of the trip involved wandering this area, visiting farmers’ markets and catching up with friends over many cups of tea – spend 30 minutes in this city and you’ll soon realize tea and coffee are the vices of choice. Within moments of arrival, you’ll also quickly notice the plethora of street cats. Istanbul is known for their affection and respect for kitties, with dishes of kibble and water commonly left outside doorsteps. As a result, these are some of the cleanest, plumpest, and friendliest street cats you’ll ever encounter – expect them to curl up in your lap at cafes.

Here are some of the favorite things we did:


  • Oldest Turkish delight shop: This place is legitimately the best Turkish delight I’ve ever had. Granted, most of what I’d had before was free samples on layovers in the IST airport BUT I still argue that this is the best. With the shop first opening its doors in 1777, I am pretty sure it’s the oldest as well.
  • Baklava: My friends were quick to warn me that they had to to find delicious baklava in Istanbul… in fact, they said it was gross. Whaaaaaaat? I took this on as a challenge and proceed sample various baklava establishments daily, at the end of the trip concluded: Ya it’s kinda….. wet. We did some Googling and learned that Turkish baklava is different than Lebanese, the former uses sugar water (hence the soggy) while the later uses honey. Try lots and see what you think, despite the wetness, I still found it yummy and loved just having a piece with a Turkish coffee and watching the world go by. This place is across from the Turkish Delight place and I would highly recommend. It’s gorgeous and you feel like you are back in time and fancy.
  • Turkish breakfast: EVERYONE HAS TO DO THIS! Go here and order the biggest breakfast thing, and also order the egg dish with sausage and also order the fried doughnut things and the cheesy bread. Drink lots of tea with it. The neighborhood around here is also really special.
Dinner at Karakoy Lokantasi (left) and a kepbab at Duramzade (right). Noms.

Dinner at Karakoy Lokantasi (left) and a kepbab at Duramzade (right). Noms.

  • Kepbab at Durumzade. Bourdain ate here, so you know it’s the best.
  • Kunefe: There was this little cafe near the grand bazaar where we had phenomenal meat… and my friend was like, eat this you will die happy. It was kunefe and it was unreal. It’s fried cheese covered in honey and crushed pistachio. Keep an eye out for this treat!
  • Drink raki. It’s so strong, you’ll get so drunk and then like an hour later you’ll feel great. We drank lots of raki after the bathhouse and I’d recommend this as well.
  • Karakoy Lokantasi – this is a fancier resto, but still actually not expensive. It’s beautiful on the inside (one word: turquoise) and the food was phenomenal.
  • Lahmacun: this is like a Turkish pizza (but not at all) and it SO FREAKING DELICIOUS. Mincemeat on flatbread and then you put lots of greens and herbs on top, roll it up and munch. You’ll see them all over, be sure to eat one.


  • Blue Mosque (above) and Hagia Sophia, obvs. It’s unbelievably magical.
  • Turkish bath! We did ours in the neighborhood where we stayed at a very locale place, but can imagine the higher-end, historical bathhouses are also amazing. It’s a pretty incredible experience, who doesn’t want to have their skin scrubbed back to baby softness

Inside the Hagia Sofia.

Laundry Sky Photo

Wander everywhere.

  • Do Asian side and European side, they are so different. The Asian side is really hip and a great place to bar hop at night and hear live music.
  • Hipster time in Karakoy, lots of little boutiques and cafes!
  • Wander Grand Bazaar, here you will find all the Turkish bath towels you’d ever want!
  • There are also these cisterns near the Hagia Sophia that are pretty spectacular.

All photos by Alissa Pries. Please request permission for use. We are not liable for costs incurred for last minute flights of fancy to Istanbul.

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guest post / go away / mulinello milano

It’s day two of C+T Winter Break and Alissa is back! Hooray! You remember her from here, here, and here, and now that she is living in London, she gets to travel in Europe. One of her first trips after landing this fall, was Milan. We haven’t spent much time there, but after this rundown, we might have to. Thank you, Alissa!

Header-DuomoWithin one week of moving from Phnom Penh to London, I decided to test out the rumored cheap flights of Europe (the rumors are true) and pay a visit to Milan. Before heading there, someone told me that Milan was considered the ‘ugly duckling’ of Italy, known for being unattractive and overly industrialized relative to other Italian cities. Whoever bestowed this reputation on Milan clearly didn’t have eyeballs, because this gem of a city is a stunner and completely stole my heart. Two fantastic friends from Phnom Penh – Laetitia and Aldo (who was born-and-raised in the city) – served as my tour guides this trip, and can vouch for the constant stream of ‘Ooooo!’s and ‘Ahhhhh!’s and ‘Mmmmmmm!’s that emanated from me.

Milano is a mix of jaw-dropping Italian architecture and contemporary design, mouth-watering cuisine, a just enough grit to keep it real.Do---Galleria-Vittorio


Pinoteca di Brera

DO – Art and architecture is the name of the game in Milano. Stroll around and soak in the masterpieces… you’ll need to build up an appetite anyway for all the eating you’re bound to do.

  • Il Duomo
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
  • Pinacoteca di Brera


EATEAT – mozzarella, cured meats, gelato, pasta… it’s best to have 6 meals a day in Milano

Gelateria della Musica: There are an overwhelming number of flavors, but trust me – order the roasted salted pistachio flavor… you’ll be back the next night to sample the others anyway.

Pave: A stylish yet quaint pastry shop in an up-and-coming neighborhood, conveniently located 2 blocks from where we were staying. Sip a cappuccino with the pretty-young-things in town for Fashion Week, and eat an extra pastry for them. Try anything and everything on offer, the pastries are all made fresh on the premises and jams prepared by Pave as well.




Pastries at Pave.

Obica: Come here for one thing and one thing only, the mozzerella. We ordered a sampling of 5 to share – burata, stracciatella, delicate, intense and smoked. While we questioned whether we could actually finish it all, there was nothing left but an empty plate and us in a lactose-coma by the end.

Salvia fritta: Aldo introduced me to this Italian treat – deep fried sage leaves. A crazy combination of rich and savory meets fresh and pungent, this is definitely worth a try.

Apertivi @ Mom Cafe: Every evening bars across Milano throw down a spread of appetizers, which are free for patrons to devour as you imbibe an Aperol Spritz or two. Aldo took us to his old university haunt, Mom Café, for this tradition. We filled our bellies to capacity…. well, capacity plus room for gelato.

Mozzarella time at Obica.

Mozzarella time at Obica.


Last stop for the night – gelato, of course!


Drink-MilanDRINK – the Navigli district in Milan serves as the nighttime hotspot for bars. Meander along this canal in the night for a festive feel and great cocktails.

Luca e Andrea: a cozy, crowded spot right in the heart of it all. Ask the bartender for a Moscow Mule.

Old Fox Pub: Squeezing in as much as possible, we headed to this English Pub owned by a school-friend of Aldo’s for Sunday brunch before I caught my flight back to London. Eating up shepherd’s pie and sausages, cooked by an Italian, was the perfect way to transition from the delights of Milan back to London. This fantastic pub serves up its own delicious microbrews, one of just a handful of brewers in the burgeoning beer scene of Milan.

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C / textiles and tiny elevators


Last Friday, my instructor told the class that if we could make it to Premier Vision in Paris, we should absolutely go. A few people in class said they were going, a few more expressed frustration for now being able to go, and I googled it to find out what they hell they were all talking about.

Turns out, Premier Vision is the biggest textile trade show in the world, probably something I should have known. Its held in Paris twice a year and they have events in China as well. People from all over the world come in to buy and sell prints, silks, wool, cashmere, cotton, buttons, zippers, trimming, leather, synthetics and basically anything else you can jimmy-rig into a piece of clothing. Because I love an unexpected filed trip, I bought a ticket, got my portfolio together and jumped a train to Paris for about 36 hours.



Premier Vision was completely awesome, and completely overwhelming. I tried to touch everything I could and make notes as fast as possible, but mostly just wandered around letting the “oooh pretty” side of my brain navigate.




(The photos above are intentionally scattered and disorganized, as to accurately represent my brain during the event.)

The facility itself was giant; roughly 6 football fields full of different textiles. They had set up some really interesting exhibits on texture and color and mood, and I got in trouble more than once for taking photos where I wasn’t supposed to. (I’m sorry, nobody looks on the floor to see if there are “no photography” signs, AND those signs were just a rectangle with a line through it. It could have just as easily been a “no brick throwing zone” or a “do not be a rectangle” zone. Get it together, design conference.) I did manage to get a few photos of the place, and some of the pretty things I got to touch.




I’m glad I went, because I got to see the millions of different fabrics that are available, and who is doing what. There were not as many sustainable fabrics as I had hoped and a lot for furs than I expected (yuck), but it’s good to know that I can pretty much get anything I can dream up. Next time I will go with an idea of what I want to get, rather than human-ping-ponging around until I collapse into a pile of croissant crumbs and 7 coffee. Oh and I went to see the Eiffel Tower at night and I liked it.


All photos by Caitlin Decker, from her iPhone. If you would like to use them for some reason, please ask. There are probably better ones on the internet.


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C / slow


I spent last weekend in Amsterdam with a few friends and a long list of things of things to see. I love making the list before a trip, because it’s fun getting all excited about the restaurants, museums, parks, art stuff and everything else a new place has to see. I get excited about potential. This was a particularly long list, with some of the usual suspects, and a few well-researched treasure hunts.

I did all of two things on the list.

There is something wonderfully satisfying about ditching plans and doing nothing. It’s sort of like the feeling that I get when I remember I’m a grown up and I CAN buy as much candy as I want. Instead ticking off different attractions on my list, we spent the better part of the weekend sitting on a dock, feeding birds and eating cheese.


I will be back to Amsterdam to see the Anne Frank house, the tulip fields (which apparently only bloom in the spring), all the museums, and the Victor and Rolf  flagship store. The city is protected by UNESCO, so it will be the same, by law, when I return. I was totally charmed by the places, and am already planning my next trip. Also, I am already out of Stroopwafels and 3 year Gouda, so I will need more of that.