Candytopia. The Louvre of Lollies.

The Louvre. The MoMa. Candytopia.

Who knew a museum could be this much fun? Candytopia is a wonderland of sugar and color where guests are encouraged to gorge themselves on the sticky goodness as they marvel at the strangely sublime artwork this team of candy-creatives have crafted. Replicas of some of the world’s most famous works of fine art, from the Mona Lisa to the Venus De Milo have been reproduced in saccharine similarity, and the effect is stunning. Much more than a gimmick, Candytopia is an interactive, fun, and wild experience that you really have to go to fully understand.

Of course there are more instagram opportunities here then you probably have space in your phone for, and even a giant marshmallow pit that you can lose your worries (and self) in, but the real joy is watching everyone lose their mind in this candy palace, bouncing off the walls with pure joy (and sugar strength).

We sure were sweet on the Candy Queen and creator herself Jackie Sorkin who gave us a little tour of this magic place, which quickly became one of our favorite destinations in LA. Don’t fret though… Candytopia is a roving experience, with plans to tour the US this year, so hop over to their site to see if they’re coming to your city next and grab tickets while you can!

JOIN THE CLAST!

 

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Eat Me: Tsuru TonTan Udon NYC

Yo. I’m Italian. Noodles? Yeah I got your noodles right here.

Lemme tell you. Tsuru make some lip smacking strings of delight that even my Sorrentina Momma would get down with.

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This udon joint, on 16th just west of Union Square, took over a beloved space which shall go unmentioned, and opened its slick, modern subterranean interior to the hungry masses of NYC this winter. The old tenant, despite it’s Godlike status, I doubt it will be missed as the noodles here are made on site, by hand, and can’t get in your face fast enough.

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Flavor? Oh hell yeah. I had the Sukiyaki for lunch. The waitress asked if I wanted thin or fat noodles. Pro tip: ask for extra fat. She just nodded with that wink cool kids give you and shuffled off. In a few minutes before me was presented a beautiful bowl, the kind you would buy your girlfriend for a birthday if you were planing on staying together with her. Inside was sizzling, yo, SIZZLING noodles in thick sauce. scattered pieces of tender meat, woodsy mushrooms, bright scallions, and were those perfectly caramelized onions like they hijacked an In-and-Out burger? Yeah, yeah they were.

On top… a golden orb of a perfectly fresh egg yolk. Lets begin.

Mixing it up we get the creamy consistency of really good sex, or, carbonara in Rome. The smell, sweet and sultry, and the texture, dear Lord, the texture like one of those memory foam pillows you can eat. The flavor is out of this world, familiar and foreign, kinda like a Philly Cheese steak done by Jean Georges. We all know it’s master Tomoya Tamaru rocking the taste buds, and this his first US extension of his well-known Japanese noodle joint will hopefully be a Union Square staple for a while. Given the busy crowd of 95% Japanese people I’d say we’re on the money.

Cant say enough about this place. Apparently Eater and the NYT can’t either. I just happen to be passing by, but will definitely stop back in to try some of their more unique flavors. Welcome to NYC Tom, we love ya!

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Roberto Serrini is a professional traveler who records his adventures in wordphotography and film. He is a staff writer for Get Lost Magazine, a senior contributor to Trip Advisor, as well as a commercial film director and drone pilot. His work can be seen at www.robertoserrini.com where he can be contacted as well.

legendary legend’s corner.

Nashville, amirite?

Typical Friday night, in town for a wedding. Word on the street is Legend’s is happening. Word was right.

Legends is the type of place that is typically Southern; honest. Let’s break down their about page, shall we?

“Some will say that a trip to Nashville is never complete without visiting the tried and true honky-tonk saloons along downtown Broadway.”

This is true. Nashville has lots of amazing attractions that define the city; a full-size reproduction of the Greek Parthenon, a world class tomato art festival, and probably most famous is their cinnamon roll. We all know this. Some would argue that the music, dare I say, is really the draw, and Honkey Tonk is the king. Continuing….

“While it’s hard to go wrong in any of these gritty watering holes, Legends stands out as one of the best.”

That there is true Southern hospitality. Effectively they are saying “There are lots of great other places. We’re just one of them”. Lovely and well done Legend. Continuing.

“Country music record covers plaster the walls, but the real attraction is the bar’s live music: Some of the city’s finest contemporary acts make their mark onstage.”

This sentence is very honest. Country music records do cover the walls, which are made of plaster. True. Also what is true, and perhaps more important than what is on the walls and what the walls are constructed of, is the fact that the music here is off the chain, or in the lasso, or whatever the southern equivalent to the South Bronx version of “fantastic” is.

“The expanded drink menu and the cold beer keep regulars coming back.”

This is my favorite stanza in the whole poem. So much going on here. “Expanded” drink menu. Letting you know that it was once a lesser drink menu and now it is more. Do they mean size wise? Like is the menu itself larger, physically? Or are their more types of drinks that you can get now vs. before? So many questions. Also, a bar even having a drink menu is similar to a painter having a picture menu; you have a pretty close to infinite amount of combinations of liquors you can use to make a drinks, why limit yourself? What really gets me is the “cold beers” keeping the regulars coming back. Who are these regulars that solely the temperature of their beverage being consistent is the reason why they offer their constant patronage? I love these people. Simple. Honest. Continuing.

“The Draw With one of the most prominent locations downtown (catty-corner from the Arena), Legends draws an equal mix of curious tourists and local barflies. While the dance floor seems to shrink a bit on weekends, don’t be afraid to mosey on out and kick up your heels.”

Wow. You know on the 4th of July when you watch fireworks you’re like “this is great” and then the end comes, and there is this massive ejaculate of explosions in the sky and you’re like “WOW!” and everyone then runs to the parking lot to try to beat everyone else out? This is what this last sentence is for me. Lets take a moment to break it down; first “The Draw With” sure a typo… or is it? I like to think they triple capped because it shows humility, that they aren’t a bunch of smarties. These are real folk. Then lets look at the sly use of parenthesis (the first use ever in their statement. Brilliant). See how they slyly slid in there the fact that they are across from “the Arena”? Now they own EVERYONE that goes to an event there. Brilliant. Mentioning that they “draw” an equal mix of tourists and locals means that EVERYONE is coming to this bar. Doors are open people. Finally, and perhaps the cherry on top is the use of metaphor. “The dance floor seems to shrink” … dance floors can’t shrink! I mean over hundreds of years, and if made of organic material such as wood, you may notice a reduction in matter via natural attrition, but it definitely isn’t something you would notice over two days.

Of course the obligatory use of “mosey” and “kicking up of heels” is a nice final touch to seal this biography of a fine establishment in the lexicon of true Southern glory.

The God’s honest truth is that Legend’s is simply that. Legend. It is everything it says it is, and being honest about it is just one more way I find it the most charming bar in Nashville.

Also those beers are good and cold.