Charleston, United States
To us, Charleston is a bridge over River Ashley, a storm in the Southeast, a dusty cloth shop, and a sage-green Victorian façade. And also a Saturday night at the corner between King and First where young people from the neighbourhood drink beer together at the pub while a team of thirty-year-olds prepares and serves perfect bowls of Raw/Grilled Oysters, Fried Chicken, Shrimp Roll and Cole Slaw in an old garage renamed Leon’s.
Once upon a time, Candy and Edchin – a teacher and an engineer respectively – lived in Long Island. They arrived in Andes, NY, by chance, and became fond of the town. Therefore, when they found out that the Gas Station business was for sale, they decided that this would be a nice place to live. We, too, arrived in Andes by chance and, thanks to them, became immediately fond of the town, of their love story and of their peculiar gas station/diner/shop. Get here hungry and rely on Candy. She will disappear into the kitchen and come back with a giant version of your toasted sandwich. You will wolf it down sitting at the one informal table of the shop, among the shelves of vintage toys and preserves.
New York, USA
Today at breakfast you disappear behind the glass door of a lobby in Church Street, order a soft Danish pastry with raisins and an Americano, then slowly enjoy them while watching the coming and going in the building’s corridor. You will not feel like you are exaggerating when you define this odd bakery in Tribeca a bizarre and ingenious work.
You are in Girwood, a village surrounded by woods. During the winter months, this is a well-known skiing destination very popular with Anchorage young crowd. The wooden houses are empty, the trees are skinny, a deer wanders in the unfenced garden of a chalet and the ski lift is closed. It’s summer and no one seems to be around in this cool August evening outside the city, that in Alaska means in the woods…
At the crossing with a big Boulevard with an American name there’s a modern glass and wood building. At the bar they serve fragrant beers. In Alaska the wooden oven seems to have replaced the gas cooker. From this oven they take out genuine, skilful and seasonally inspired food. The Cauliflower Flat Bread is an oven-baked cauliflower cracker filled with ricotta cheese, rocket, red and yellow beetroot, mushrooms and roasted onions. You sit at long wooden tables accessorized with white linen napkins. When the waitress describes to us her favourite dessert is like listening to a modern folk song that talks about summer, a tent in the woods, a bonfire, roasted marshmallows on sticks and hot chocolate bowls to dip them into. In the parking, a light blue vintage van and sport bikes await a crowd with a passion for uncomplicated American fare.
Seldovia is a wilder version of Halibut Cove. It sits on deep green and mysterious sparkling waters. You have to check the tide before you start walking toward Outside Beach. The old boardwalk is melancholic and peaceful. You’re surrounded by colourful wooden cabins (red, turquoise, blue) built on pilings over the slough and flowers, and can spot eagles and seagulls. Even on a rainy day, Seldovia is magical. In the morning, the paths in the forest are muddy with plenty of wild berries to pick. As you’re surrounded by deep green giant leaves and orange spotty mushrooms, you feel like Alice in Wonderland. Suzie and Jerry own the most beautiful cottage on the old boardwalk and rent it out to visitors…
Since 1966 this green varnished wooden fishing boat has been sailing on the sheltered icy light-blue water of the bay serving as passenger ferry to Halibut Cove. The captain pokes her head out of the small square window to make an announcement. She’s a young looking woman: blond, big eyes, wearing summer boat shoes. She has the smile and the look of someone who was born for these adventures at sea, like one of Wes Anderson’s characters. Welcome aboard the Danny J! Rain ponchos are available on board to protect you from water and rain. Here’s the Gull Island’s sea bird sanctuary, the dream of keen birdwatchers…
It’s summer in Homer, Alaska. You’re in your favourite American indie movie with people in jeans, flannel check shirts and rubber boots, holding cups of piping hot coffee. There’s nothing you would change, included that authentic hippie spirit that is in all Alaskan generations and that deeply inside you wished it run in your veins as well. At 5pm, ’90s car and pick-up trucks arrive on the Old Town’s beach and stop one next to the other to look at the sunset over the bay, like in a natural drive in. As Homer Split is illuminated by the last ray of light, it turns into a golden tongue jutting out into the bay, right to the very tip. It’s a campground perfectly integrated in the surrounding nature and deeply connected to water, sailing and fishing (The Fishing Lagoon is crowded with men and women with fishing rods and bags). You warm up around the campfire where they’re grilling fresh filleted fish, and enjoy the owner’s family and their friends company. Together, you wait for another day to end in the Kenai Peninsula…
Los Angeles, USA
Let’s start from the end, with a well-deserved applause to this small modern diner. Contemporary organic cuisine finds a generous, delicate, inspiring dimension here. In a word, sexy. If they happen to be among the day’s specials, do not miss the Salmon Belly Tacos, with jalapenos and corn tortillas. In the hip and still genuine Silver Lake.
Los Angeles, USA
When we set up the Meraviglia Paper Awards, Ace Hotels will certainly be distinct in various categories, such as Best Hotel Chain, Best Atmosphere, Best Merchandising. And that is not it. Ace Downtown LA will stand out in the Best Waffle, Best Wall Decoration, Best Iced Cappuccino and Best Hall competitions. Set in the historical UA Theater in Downtown (built in 1927), this hotel gratifies all of our passions and confirms our esteem for one of the most advanced and inspiring brands in the world.
by Emily Nathan
We aren’t always after the sunniest, bluest sky or the perfectly sculpted still life. Rarely do I get to join forces with my colleagues with the sole purpose of capturing something else, something less than perfect, but, perhaps, more beautiful…
by Luca De Santis
Luca loves traveling to discover wonders. He loves to give space to diversity. Luca loves to stay. He loves everything that becomes ritual and is handed down from father to son. (Luca, Meraviglia Paper Creative Director is also art director, photographer and video maker).
by Avi Brosh
Avi is the founder, leader and creative force behind the Paligroup brands, established with the conviction that neighborhoods, unique experiences and inspiring places are integral to a life well-traveled. Avi has been actively involved in the real estate development and hospitality industry for over 20 years, He is a graduate of Boston University’s School of Business Management.
Santa Monica, USA
An extraordinary example of “beach chic destination”: a “lobby lounge” where to enjoy breakfast, original fresco ceilings, Malibu tile floors, a grand wood-burning fireplace and blown glass doors that open onto a private outdoor patio. With 36 rooms featuring a pied-à-terre layout and reminiscent of European style urban apartments, this hotel is located in a quiet residential neighbourhood of Santa Monica with immediate access to the beach. Keywords: beach house, vanity rooms, bespoke wallpaper (Abnormals Anonymous), Dean & DeLuca minibar treats, space, style, sophistication, individuality.
by Jayma Cardoso
Jayma is owner and founder of The Surf Lodge in Montauk.