Sunday, January 29, 2012

Table for Two

Courtesy Maca & James Restaurant by valgarise
Restaurant Row - (BTT) Valentine's Day is fast approaching - have you made dinner reservations yet? Allow me to suggest Maca & James, surely one of the classiest places in town, assuming they aren't already booked up. The beautifully detailed exterior, with its bold use of green and red, certainly draws the eye - step inside and expect to find the well-groomed waitstaff always willing to open a bottle of wine to help you celebrate any occasion. Certainly a night to remember!

Inspiration of the Day - 1/29/12

St Vincent Street-Milton Free Church (Glasgow)
Courtesy St. Vincent Street Free Church by dalbera
Glasgow, Scotland, UK - (BTT) When you think of great Greek Revival architecture, chances are the first place to pop into your mind isn't Glasgow, but perhaps it should be. One of the greatest architects of his time, the appropriately named Alexander "Greek" Thomson, only recently gained the fame he deserved outside his home town in Scotland - certainly better late than never. His St. Vincent Street Free Church, completed in 1859, is the most intact of his three monumental churches he built in Glasgow, providing a very nice contrast to the less traditional (to put it nicely) buildings in the neighborhood.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Breaking the Fourth Wall

Courtesy In Den Vergulden Turk by pj_bosman 
Leiden, the Netherlands - (BTT) It really is true - they don't make 'em like they used to. Clocking in just shy of 400 years old, this townhouse shows no signs of going anywhere anytime soon. For those of you with voyeuristic tendencies, the missing wall allows a great view into the lives of others, as well as a great chance to appreciate all the fine interior detailing.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Ye Olde Modular

Medieval Modular 2
Courtesy Medieval Modular by myko82
Peasant Trail - (BTT) At first glance, it appears that we have traveled back in time. Looking at this building, with its half-timbered facade and stone base, there is surely no doubt that we are looking at a scene straight out of the Middle Ages. Even the owners out front seem to be decked out in period appropriate garb. Turns out that they are just on their way to the local Renaissance Festival, and this building is just a wonderful homage to the era - minus the plague and religious persecution, of course.

Inspiration of the Day - 1/22/12

Cadet Chapel
Courtesy Cadet Chapel by athenius22
US Air Force Academy, Colorado Springs - (BTT) In stark contrast to last week's Inspiration, the Cadet Chapel at the US Air Force Academy is a true triumph of modernist architecture. Designed by SOM's Walter Netsch and completed in 1962, the building was extremely controversial when initially completed, but has since been recognized for its importance - it even became a National Historic Landmark in 2004. Although there are several places of worship found within, the Protestant Chapel is easily the grandest, taking full advantage of the space located beneath the 17 iconic spires.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

All That Glitters is Gold

LEGO Modular Bank Main View
Courtesy Modular Bank by dita_svelte
Fortune Lane - (BTT) If you've wondered why the interest rate on your savings account continues to be next to nothing, now you know why - opulence like this does not come cheap! Anything not gilded in gold has been painted in a vibrant Art Deco palette, including the four iconic columns that both figuratively and literally are holding the weight of the world upon them. The interior is no less grand, with sconces that would bankrupt lesser financial institutions.

Friday, January 20, 2012

LEGO on National Geographic Channel

Sometimes, when the desire to build just isn't quite their, our minds wander and wonder. Staring at all these little bricks with such precise dimensions and shapes with such easy to follow instructions baffles us. How are they made? What's the process behind these endless varieties of bricks and colors and a toy that has morphed into a timeless hobbies for thousands of people all over the world.

LEGO on Ultimate Factories this Saturday at 8pm!
Well thankfully, the long unanswered question is finally being answered! Ultimate Factories, a television series on the National Geographic Channel, has set on finding out how this tiny little brick, that has transcended generations, is made. Based in the LEGO factory in Billund, Denmark, the show follows the design, implementation, packaging, and distribution of the new LEGO Police Station.

The show will air this Saturday at 8pm on the National Geographic Channel.

I would personally like to thank Kristin Montalbano of the National Geographic Channel for bringing me this news!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Witting Pawn

Pawn Shop
Courtesy Pawn Shop by zaberca
Desperation Boulevard - (BTT) If there were ever a recession-proof business, this is it. Unlike many others in the field, this pawn shop has gone out of their way to create an inviting atmosphere, from the attention-getting crown to the clean and uncluttered interior - even if it does feature a rather large amount of weapons. Rumor has it that the owner is in talks for a new reality show, as the public has been quite adamant that the number of TV shows about pawn shops finally overtake those about cake decorating.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Above the Clouds

Courtesy Maison de Campagne by Theolego
The Wild Blue Yonder - (BTT) Owning a house is great and all, but should you decide you would rather be in another location, you can't exactly bring it with you - or can you? Not letting things like noisy neighbors or the laws of physics impede on their dreams of a perfect home, these happy dwellers seem to have found their little slice of heaven. Literally. 

Inspiration of the Day - 1/15/12

Cathderal of Learning
Courtesy Cathderal of Learning by steveh30
University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania - (BTT) While some institutions consider education to be an almost spiritual experience, few take it as literally as the University of Pittsburgh. The 42-story Cathedral of Learning, designed by architect Charles Z. Klauder and dedicated in 1937, was not only planned to be the tallest building in Pittsburgh when it broke ground, but remains to this day the tallest educational building in the entire Western hemisphere. Before you head off for class, make sure you write down the room number carefully - with over 2,000 rooms inside, it could take the whole semester finally find your way.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

10224 Town Hall

10224 Town Hall courtesy Caramidute 
The rumors were true - the next official modular is a indeed a Town Hall! Clocking in as the largest release in the line to date, both in height and piece count, LEGO has also included 8 minifigures - quite an impressive number. Start saving your pennies (or currency of choice) now so that you can pick one up when they start showing up in stores come March. Huge thank you to Mikey26 on the Eurobrick Forums for being the first to discover these photos - please visit their forums to see more and join in on the discussion.

LEGO in the Classroom!

LEGO is slowly making its way into the classroom. Whether you're an 8 year old or a graduate student, chances are you might stumble into these little plastic bricks at some point. It makes perfect sense. They can help students understand science, mathematics, engineering, and simple team work. View the 20 examples here!

London Calling

Courtesy Georgian Townhouse by snaillad
Belgravia, London - (BTT) They sure don't make them like they used to - not that any of us could afford such a lavish home today. Certainly the height of luxury back when it was finished in at the turn of the 20th century, this Georgian townhouse spared no expense. Inside the opulence continues - from the reception area to the dining room to the master bedroom, every space has been thoughtfully considered.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Carved in Stone

Sculpture Museum 1
Courtesy Sculpture Museum by zaberca
Brancusi Boulevard - (BTT) Paintings are all well and good, but this author prefers something a bit more three-dimensional when it comes to fine art. You don't even need a ticket to enjoy part of the collection thanks to the lovely garden out front, but it is well worth the price to get in - especially nice are the more abstract works on the upper floor.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Inspiration of the Day - 1/8/12

Philadelphia, PA Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts by army.arch
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - (BTT) Known for his bold styles and creative use of materials, Philadelphia born architect Frank Furness was one of the more notable American architects following the Civil War. His competition winning design for the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, completed in 1876, was one of many buildings in his city of birth - sadly, it is also one of the few still standing. Other gems, such as the magnificent Broad Street Station, have been demolished over the years, but thankfully some have escaped the wrecking ball. Influences from Furness live on in the work of one of his former draftsmen, Louis Sullivan, who is also known for his similar use of organic decorative elements. 

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Breakfast in Bed

The Sleepy Oak
Courtesy The Sleepy Oak Inn by tiberium_blue
Old Mount Road - (BTT) Forget the big chain hotels - there is nothing like the charm of a good bed and breakfast. The Sleepy Oak Inn has been treating travelers to a one of a kind experience for years, and now that the snow has hit the ground, there is all sorts of fun to be had on the hills. Should the cold be a little too much, spend a little time in the cozy interior, warming up next to the fire.

Monday, January 2, 2012

On the Rails

Train Station 01
Courtesy Train Station by cjedwards47
Pennsylvania - (BTT) No matter how much technology marches on, the humble train station seems quite content to stay as it always has been. Be sure to check out the map by the custom green door before taking a seat on the benches (which should look instantly familiar to train aficionados). Even the weather vane at the top of the building carries forward the railroad theme - truly no detail has gone unconsidered.