Monthly Archives: February 2013

London’s best bars

London has long been on my list of places to visit. I’m fascinated by British history and would love to see the Tower of London. But I’m also a traveler that seeks out experiences that allow me to immerse myself in a place, to really experience what it’s like to live there–not just travel there. And those experiences often unfold in bars. To find the best bars in London, a traveler need look no farther than Late Night London for the best bars, clubs, and restaurants in the big city on the Thames.

After browsing the site, here are a couple of places I’d love to check out should I make it to London:

The Booking Office, with its soaring ceilings, brickwork, and lovely wood detailing remind me of an old library–sometimes it’s fun to drink in places where you feel you shouldn’t. The inviting sofas look like a great place to kick back after a long day of walking London’s streets.

Happiness Forgets, by contrast, is a tiny basement with terrible lighting and dark wood finishes, but that seems cozy, perhaps a great place to snuggle in a booth with friends after a cold, foggy London day. Plus I hear they have great cocktails.

What bars do you recommend for an authentic London experience?


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Tips for starting your freelance business

Starting out as a freelancer is tough. There are tons of challenges and ups and downs on the road to freelance business success. In starting out, I recommend the following tips:

  • Hire a CPA who will help make sure you are documenting expenses and income correctly
  • Get active in social media
  • Consider hiring an outside firm for promotional marketing services. This is a great service to outsource to an expert company, who can ensure you’re reaching appropriate markets in the most effective manner possible.
  • Make a killer website
  • Shake as many hands as you can at social events and promote your work
  • Print business cards
  • Make an email signature with your business name and information

As a seasoned freelancer who was once a newbie, I can tell you it takes many months–and sometimes years–of hard work and persistence to get to the point where you are able to live comfortably and feel secure as a freelancer. It’s not impossible, but you absolutely can’t give up or slack off. Good luck!

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8 bizarre condo architecture inspirations

Most condominiums are predictable: right angles, traditional layouts. There’s usually not much of a surprise. But every now and then an architect is inspired to push the envelope and create a unique—sometimes bizarre—condo. Their influences are equally strange. Inspired by nature, human movement, and video games, here are eight of the world’s most bizarre condo architecture inspirations, many of which occupy international real estate.

1.       Jenga: The Beirut Terraces

Architects Herzog & de Meuron may or may not have been influenced by the classic kid’s game, but this Beirut tower certainly resembles a stack of Jenga blocks—with a few pieces removed. The slightly asymmetrical floor plates, heavy use of glass, and overhanging terraces add drama in this energy-efficient condo.

2.       Elephant: The Chang Building

This Bangkok landmark stands out in height and design among the traditional Thai homes it surrounds and pays homage to the animal Thais hold most sacred. The elephant stands at 335 feet high and includes a combination of offices, shopping, and luxury condos.

3.       Human body: Turning Torso Building

The distinctive twist in the marble-and-cube design of this Malmö, Sweden condo was apparently influenced by the Twisting Torso sculpture, featuring a human form in mid-turn. When the condo was built in 2005, it became the tallest building in Scandinavia.

4.       Cactus: Urban Cactus High Rise

This condo’s name resembles its inspiration source more than the building probably does. The Amsterdam building’s 98 prominent terraces swing outward, so each resident has access to sunshine and city views.

5.       Honeycomb: Marina City

These two high-rise condos absolutely clash with Chicago’s Gothic and Art Deco styles. The balconies and parking decks on the 65-story building resemble fish gills or honeycomb—neither of which looks very flattering on a condo. Regardless, residents have access to a river-level landing dock and soaring views of downtown Chicago.

6.       Dancing: The Dancing House

Designers Frank Gehry and Vlado Milunic built this Prague condo building to capture the motion of a dancing couple. Maybe it’s a bit of a stretch; locals call it the “Drunk House,” which is probably more accurate.

7.       Video game: Tetris Apartments

This building’s designers wanted to guarantee you made the connection between their design and their inspiration. The cubes and clean lines of the Tetris Apartments appeal to more than just fans of the 1980s video game the building is modeled after.

8.       Rubik’s Cube: Cubic Houses

These Rotterdam creations are actually designed to resemble trees, but we think they look more like Rubik’s Cubes. Architect Piet Blom’s buildings combine both commercial and residential uses, with shops below and homes above.

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