Archive | November, 2009

My Current Favorite iPhone Application: WorldView

My Current Favorite iPhone Application: WorldView

worldviewwidget_20080115175627

This is a fun application where you can view more than 6,000 web cams from all over the world. Most shots are updated about every 15 minutes and watching the webcam images make me feel a part of the human race. This app would probably be a life saver for photographers or directors wanting to shoot in unique locations. I’ve used it prior to visiting a city to see what the climate in that particular town was. It’s free.
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Big Lantern San Francisco

Big Lantern San Francisco

2In the Bay Area, Chinese restaurants are a dime a dozen. Only a few places stand out for their exceptional food and service. Big Lantern in San Francisco’s Mission district (3170 16th Street) is one of them.
I ordered Garlic Eggplant, Pork Siu Mai, Bacon Shrimp Roll, Pan Fried Pork Bun – the combination of the dishes was so good.  I’m going back often…
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My Christmas Crackers

My Christmas Crackers

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Last night,  I grabbed Ak-mak crackers and some spreadable cheese from the supermarket and had it for dinner.  This 100% Organically Grown “Whole of the Wheat” flour stone ground Cracker is my new healthy snack. I could taste the sesame seeds and finished the whole box in one sitting. A must try if you are looking for a mouth-watering healthy snack.
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My Three Cups of Tea

My Three Cups of Tea

I love to sip PG Tips tea in the morning.  I also drink at least three cups of Yamamotoyama Green Tea throughout the day. Long before beauty and health editors touted the benefit of drinking tea, I was a step ahead! Teas are tastier, full of aromatic anti-oxidants and  I support business owners who take risks to be on the forefront of the American tea culture…which I can say was non-existent before Jesse Jacobs came along. Bravo Jesse!

2Samovar Tea Lounge , the brain child of Jesse Jacobs, is one place where I go to taste new tea flavors, bite into mouth-watering desserts and be a part of the burgeoning tea movement. To date, Samovar is home to over 50 of the world’s finest teas (i.e. many of which are organic and fair trade certified) served alongside funky-fine internationally traditional food pairings.

Samovar Tea Lounge was voted a Top 10 Tea in America by USA Today, and has recently been highlighted in publications as Wall Street Journal, CNN, New York Times, Bon Appetite, Food & Wine, Forbes.com, SmartMoney.com, Lonely Planet, Wired.com, and many others.

What are some new flavor of tea/s slated for the next few months/year?

Earl Lavender

Origin: Organic, fair trade black tea and organic lavender flowers blended with natural essential oils of bergamot and lavender in the U.S.

Flavor Profile: A delightful twist on an enduring classic, with rich notes of malt, chocolate and tannin, and all the brightness and freshness of citrus and lavender.

Tea Story: Earl Grey is one of the most classic teas in existence, and some say it is the most popular flavored tea in the world. Earl Lavender elaborates on the Earl Grey theme of black tea with essential oil of bergamot (a type of citrus akin to tangerine or kumquat) by adding compact, potent lavender blossoms to the brew. There are hundreds of variations on this elemental blend – Lady Grey, Earl Grey Cream, Earl Green, Imperial Earl Grey and so on – but this simple twist is our favorite of them all. It has an enchanting appearance, with golden tips and green-violet flowers dappling the deep black tealeaves. The aroma of the dry leaves is extraordinary, like complex, juicy notes of bergamot and tangerine zest in the lavender fields of Provence. The brew is a rich, coppery garnet that reveals the boldness of the organic, fair trade black tea at its base. Malt, chocolate and tannin swell on the palate and are accented by the sharpness of citrus, delicate floral notes and a surprisingly full, velvety mouth feel. The aftertaste is floral, full and lasting, with hints of orange peel and copper. The result is a new level of complexity and dimension in the Western world’s classic flavored tea.

Food Pairings: Earl Lavender pairs similarly to Earl Grey, but with an added floral complexity. It is great on its own or with a hint of sugar. Traditional afternoon tea sweets, such as black currant or raisin scones with Devonshire cream, English trifles, custards, fresh fruit tarts, strawberry shortcake and lightly flavored shortbread are all divine with Earl Lavender. It’s also fantastic paired with chocolate sweets (such as vanilla-iced chocolate pound cake, dark chocolate truffles or chocolate chess pie), unadorned fresh fruits or hearty brunch foods (such as flavorful quiches, buttery, savory pastries or rich fruit pastries).

Cinnamon Stonefruit

Origin: Organic cinnamon, organic, fair trade hibiscus, organic currants, organic licorice root and natural plum flavor blended in the U.S.

Flavor Profile: A touch of woody sweetness, the bright tartness of red plum and nuances of cranberries and currants with a tart-spice finish.

Tea Story: Organic cinnamon, hibiscus, currants and licorice are blended with natural plum essence for a complex yet gutsy, caffeine-free drink reminiscent of Gluhwein, a spiced, warm German red wine with apple cider. Notes of cinnamon stick, cinnamon-laden, stewed McIntosh apple and hibiscus are in the nose and the aftertaste. Shake gently before each brewing for a balanced infusion.

Food Pairings: Like Gluhwein, Cinnamon Stonefruit pairs well with Weiner schnitzel and sauerkraut. It can also handle rich, buttery cheeses, like warm Brillat-Savarin cheese with almonds, or simple vanilla desserts like pound cake with a vanilla bean glaze.

1The Usuals…

Why do you do what you do?
I am in the business of creating peaceful living, through tea.

What makes you want to wake up in the morning?
The sunrise of a new day.

Who is your inspiration?
The President.

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be?
President Obama.

What is your favorite country?
The United States

Your three rules to live by?
Have fun, make a difference for the better, breathe.

Your must-have travel item?
Pilot Pen G2 mini in Black, and the BackPocket Molskine unlined journal

Your city/country of origin?
Boston, Massachusetts

Your proudest accomplishment?
My son.

A special thanks to Jesse P. Cutler from JP Cutler Media for being such an awesome person. Publicists rock! Read more of my stories on my love for tea.

Oolong Tea

http://www.diiver.com/?p=1416

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Gemelli Diversi – vivi per un miracolo

Gemelli Diversi – vivi per un miracolo


I consider Gemelli Diversi  the most successful Italian  hip-hop band to date.  I played their  debut single, “Un Attimo Ancora,” over and over again and fell in LUST with Strano.  Check out the clip of their newest single. The boys are super talented…


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Cafe Venezia

Cafe Venezia

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This is probably one of the few place in Berkeley, CA that has authentically good Italian food, ambiance and Diiver approved service. The food is delicious, the drinks are mixed just the right way and the service is top notch. The interior of the Venezia invokes being in Venice with laundry hanging on lines, pigeons on balconies and beautiful murals. Currently on weeknights, they offer a Prix Fixe Special Menu (Monday – Thursday, 5:30 – 9:00 pm) 3 courses – $20.
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BAGGU

BAGGU

One of a kind BAGGU


When I first heard about BAGGU (translation of bag in Japanese) I chuckled, because the concept of BAGGU is so simple. Yet Emily, the creator of the line, was able to build and sustain a thriving business out of it. The bags come in a gazillion funky colors…standard colors are so boring, aren’t they? I love entrepreneurs, I truly do. I am one, and the path that we pave for ourselves is not an easy one, but the risk at the end is oh so worth it. Emily’s story mirrors my philosophy of what true entrepreneurism really entails…Read on…

How did BAGGU come about?
BAGGU is a company that makes very simple multi-functional bags. Our first product, also called BAGGU was a basic reusable shopping bag, based on the form of the iconic plastic bag.  My mom and I started working on BAGGU in 2007. We wanted to make a reusable bag that was attractive, functional and affordable. We spent months sewing together, mailing prototypes between New York and California.  When we finally came up with the design for BAGGU we knew we had something goo d.  My childhood friend Ellen, a graphic designer, joined us early on and designed the look and feel of the brand. I’m not sure we had a big vision when we started, we just wanted to make a really good bag that people would actually use.

What does BAGGU mean in Japanese?

Bag!

pink baggu

Pink is my favorite iro desu…

Would you share with us a bit of your background?
I have always been entrepreneurial, as a kid I was always starting businesses for fun. I did my BA in Economics at the University of Michigan, then studied fashion design at Parsons. I worked as a designer for a couple of years before I left to start Baggu.

What are the most popular colors among your customers?
Peacock is always our best seller, anything bright and jewel-toned. People want to buy colors that don’t look like they will get dirty!

What was the biggest challenge/s in creating BAGGU ?
Everyday brings a new challenge – when we get stuck, we turn to Google.

What are some future products slated for 2009/2010?
We have a new Recycled Cotton Tote coming out at the end of the month called the Duck Bag. It’s the perfect everyday tote.

navy bag

HoneyNavy

The Usuals…
Why do you do what you do?
I couldn’t imagine doing anything else.

What makes you want to wake up in the morning?
Want to? I hate to wake up.

Who is your inspiration?
Everyone and everything.

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be?
Probably me again. I’m pretty happy with myself.

What is your favorite indulgence?
Butter.

Your three rules to live by?
Find work you enjoy. Love someone. Exercise.

Your favorite city in Japan?
Tokyo

Your city/country of origin?
Del Mar, CA

Your proudest accomplishment?
BAGGU! I feel so proud that my project turned into a profitable business that supports people. I like to think BAGGU is setting an
example that making a green product can be a sustainable business model, and that women can run businesses.

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Taking Care of the Club House

Taking Care of the Club House

Mel&mediansinNY

Melissa is the Club Manager of the popular Clubhouse. It was voted “The best comedy club in town” by the San Francisco Chronicle as well as receiving San Francisco Magazine’s and 7×7 Magazine’s Best of the Bay Area 2009. The fact that you can BYOB is probably the selling point of this mega popular club, but I’d like to say my friend Melissa deserves the bulk of the credit!

How did you become the Club Manager of the Clubhouse?
I’ve been involved with the San Francisco Comedy College (SFCC) since its inception in 1999. I was already marketing the shows and classes there when the CEO Kurtis Matthews decided to open a second, larger performance space at 414 Mason Street. We had been selling out our weekend showcases in the 7th floor theater space (which seats 60), so when the larger space on the 5th floor became available, the position of Club Manager was offered to me.

Who are the most popular comedians?
San Francisco has several comedians who have built a following. Two of the most popular comedians in town who trained at the SFCC are Ali Mafi and Reggie Steele. A few more comedians who have built a following in San Francisco are Ali Wong, Will Franken, Marga Gomez and Brent Weinbach.

Your most favorable guest?
My favorite audiences are the really enthusiastic comedy fans who keep coming back and bringing more friends each time. Generally, people who are polite, stay fairly sober and do not heckle are the best.

What are the biggest challenge/s in being a Club Manager?
My biggest challenges are filling the seats every day and dealing with drunk or crazy people once in a while.

Who are some future guests/comedians slated for 2009/2010?
We’re have Hasan Minhaj slated for Thanksgiving weekend and Joe Klocek headlining our annual New Year’s Eve show, which also features Ali Wong. Last year, our Valentine’s Day weekend was our busiest ever, so I hope to break our record!

The Usuals…

Why do you do what you do?
I love comedy and I enjoy working with funny people.

What makes you want to wake up in the morning?
Knowing that I will have some really good coffee soon. Usually, I have several to-do lists that motivate me.

Who is your inspiration?
I get inspired by many women, including my mom. She taught me to work hard and enjoy life.

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be?
Probably someone else.

What is your favorite indulgence?
Vietnamese food.

Your three rules to live by?
Try anything once.
Attitude is everything.
Acceptance is the first step to change.

Your favorite brand or jewelry item?
I like H&M and Target.

Your city/country of origin?
Skokie, Illinois

Your proudest accomplishment?
I’ve made people laugh and brought joy into the world.

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Best Body Scrub

Best Body Scrub

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My body is loving -seriously loving – Nature Girl’s Organic Sugar Scrub and Organic Aloe Vera Body Wash. I am now a Nature Girl FAN. The smell of the body wash is heavenly…to a point where I realize I am taking a longer shower. The sugar scrub is infused with delicious Brazilian brown sugar. It not only scrubs the dead skin cells away, but leaves my body with a layer of protected botanical oil. I’ve never been a gal who remembers to moisturize my body after a hot shower, but now I can visibly SEE the oil coating my body. I am in LOVE. And the best part? Mr.X tells me I smell like a bouquet of flowers.

What was your inspiration on creating Nature Girl and Rich Hippie?
I wanted to make products that are great for your skin and that make you smell nice while also being safe for your health and safe for the environment.

What was the biggest challenge/s in creating your line?
Natural and organic products are more labor intensive. We source ingredients from all over the world. So there is a lot more coordination and time put into actually procuring the raw materials as compared to traditional synthetic beauty lines where the products are just made with chemicals in a local lab.

What makes your line unique? Nature Girl and Rich Hippie are unique in that they are 100% natural and made with organic and wildcrafted ingredients. There are very few brands like this in the entire world today.

What are some future products slated for debut? Rich Hippie will soon have eau de perfume and Nature Girl will soon have the first perfume ever for the line.

Any celebrity clients? Donna Air, the famous British actress who is very involved with environmental causes, Mary Kate Olsen, Julia Roberts.

The Usuals…
Why do you do what you do? Because I love it.

What makes you want to wake up in the morning? Swimming in the ocean.

Who is your inspiration? It’s a secret!

If you were given the chance to relive your life all over again, who would you be? Myself!

What is your favorite city to visit? Rio de Janeiro.

Your three rules to live by? Do what you love, have a good time and remember that rules were meant to be broken.

Your favorite Nature Girl and Rich Hippie product/s? I love them all.

Your city/country of origin? New York, USA.

Your proudest accomplishment? Being myself.

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Hand Sanitizer

Hand Sanitizer

sanitizer

I think I am one of the few among my friends NOT to be succumbing to a nasty cold this season – and I owe part of the credit to my usage of hand sanitizers. It’s not a sexy product to be carrying around, but it sure does work.

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