TRAVEL

On Deck: Riva Lounge at Venice's Gritti Palace

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Before I headed to Venice for the Venice Biennale,  I heard the news that the Gritti Palace was opening a new canal side lounge bar designed by Riva Yacht.  Yep, that Riva, the gorgeous and century-old boat-making company of luxury flotilla (runabouts, row boats, yachts, motoscafi and all) that has the remarkable ability to make my heart beat just a little faster  and my mind conjure up overly styled images of me arriving in my best cruise wear just upon hearing the those beautiful syllables: riva.   Did I mention it is canal-side? Ahem, Grand Canal side? And thus Riva Lounge was shortlisted for cocktails in my Biennale beat, in other words, 24/7 pastries, art, cocktails, repeat.

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Here's my take: the Riva Lounge location (front row view of Venice's Salute and Punta della Dogana and a 4 minute walk to Piazza San Marco) is worth the Bellini alone. What solidifies it as a place where I will be having repeat cocktails are the details. Long known for its unforgettable style both large and small- wooden hulls through the 1960s and sublime sexy fiberglass from the 1970s forward, hand-stitched upholstery, gorgeous chrome ornaments, and color, precisely picked color, Riva Yacht has given the exact same attention to its land-locked vessel, aka The Riva Lounge.

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And it is on fleek.  The classic design is subtle at times, and best shown off in its aerodynamic, Acquarama-inspired chairs of nautical Navy blue back casing, white upholstering, and chrome.  But I had my eye on a table- the gorgeous round  tops made of inlaid wood and chrome.  My only suggestion to Gritti is to not cover them with linen cloths during table service so that people, like myself, can obsess over the chrome while enjoying the bacalà tris and a Riva cockail.  I've never been shy to share how much I love the classic and unforgettable Riva lettering.

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If design and material is so very Riva, so is color.  Riva's Robin's egg blue is just the menu,  but also the signature Riva Cocktail (orgeat syrup, white rum, orange bitters, grapefruit juice). The menu itself is a very lovely selection of light Venetian dishes, including the Bacalà tris.  But next time you find me there, I'll be the woman testing out the cocktails and cicchetti.

Riva Lounge at The Gritti Palace

U-bahn stories, underground font in Berlin

Postsdamer
Postsdamer

Futura. Verdana. Blackletter. Humans. Helvetica. Copperplate. Futura. Verdana. Blackletter. Humans. Helvetica. Copperplate.

All I see in Berlin are letters.

One ride on the U-Bahn turns into an afternoon of name-that-font on a timely transport of typeface. As I pass by each stop, I recite names of font I just saw. I am like letterpress Arya Stark.

Futura. Verdana. Blackletter. Humans. Helvetica. Copperplate.

There is something meditative about sitting in a yellow subway car, waiting for the doors to open to find an unexpected font long forgotten and preferably with umlauts and eszett.

I do this for a few hours.

Anhalter
Anhalter

I know, I know. You are thinking "Gutenberg, girl. Get it?" while I'm crossing my fingers, hoping that my metro card hasn't expired.  There can't be more of this. But it keeps going.  And there is no logic. San Serif, serif.  All caps. Caps on first and the rest lower case.  Black on white. White on black. Stencil on tile. Metal on marble.

I run up for a breath of fresh air, some sun shine and a glimpse of the city.  Berlin is bright and blue. Construction cranes are looming over most of the city in a slow motion ballet of building.  Everything is neue.

Futura. Verdana. Blackletter. Humans. Helvetica. Copperplate.

Mohenstrasse
Mohenstrasse
neu
neu

Dedicated to Brooks and Cary Ocon of Aardvark Letterpress, who will probably never read this.

Want more Berlin U-Bahn type? So do I. Check out UrbanSketcher's lovely post and Kate Seabrook's Endbanhof photography series where she documented the entire U-bahn.

Typecast: Stazione Santa Maria Novella, Firenze

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I have a thing about letters, type and font. Vintage, die-cast lead signs make my heart swell. It's no wonder I have a huge crush on Louise Fili and only frequent bars with great signage [sadly, this bar just closed].  As long as there are gorgeous letters, I am happy-- so you can imagine why I was incredibly happy to have a one hour layover at Florence's central train station Stazione Santa Maria Novella.  Santa Maria Novella is a cache of incredible 1920s and 1930s type from the standard lean Fascist lead font and neon exit sign to the  gorgeous serif numbers that hide throughout the station. Bonus points for the striped orange/coral and cream marble floor.