The Lost Romance of the Transylvanian Spa Town

We walked with ghosts through a crumbling spa town in the valley of the Cerna river, where Empresses and Kings of Bohemia once came to “take the waters”. An early morning mist rose from the sulphurs of the riverbed, crawling through the empty streets. Whistling through shattered … | Continue reading | 1 day ago

Brooklyn’s Revolutionary Social Club

On a quiet street in Brooklyn, lies a very peculiar treasure chest. It safeguards the boots of Mexican revolutionaries, and the sound bites of rebels; it collects buttons, posters, and anything upon which one could scrawl a grassroots manifesto. It’s New York City’s “Interferenc … | Continue reading | 1 day ago

Vacationing with Wes Anderson

It's been almost two years since our "Location Scouting with Anderson" post went nuts all over the internet, and with summer fast-approaching and travel on all our minds, I thought it might be time for a new round of Wes Anderson-worthy locations – the vacation edition. So let's … | Continue reading | 2 days ago

The Underdog Dining Club of Paris

La Petite Rose des SablesThey're not hip, they're not sexy and they're certainly not in the Michelin guides – they are the underdogs; the restaurants that call out to us for some reason or another. They might be hiding away in an unpopular neighbourhood, serving cuisine from a co … | Continue reading | 3 days ago

Unsung Heros of WWII: The All-Female WASP Squad

Elizabeth L. Remba Gardner of Rockford, Illinois, WASP. Wikipedia. Where this is a will, there's a way -- but for pilot Jacqueline Cochrane, there had to be even more. "To live without risk, for me," she said, "would be tantamount to death." One of the biggest risks of her career … | Continue reading | 4 days ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCLII)

1. What it's like to live at Everest base campEvery year a pop-up city is built at the foot of the world's tallest mountain... Life at base camp is an odd mix of mundane domesticity, logistical challenges, and the occasional flash of life-or-death drama.National Geographic takes … | Continue reading | 5 days ago

Free the Nipple, says History

Nipple slips must have been a real problem in the 17th century. Or rather, not so much a problem per say, as an everyday practice. If you've ever walked around a portrait gallery of Renaissance European art or watched a few period films set around that time when the cup did truly … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

7 Things You May Not Know About Hearst Castle

They said it was where California met the world. Where Egyptian antiquities mingled with cast sculptures by Bernini, and the gaze of medieval eyes met those of Hollywood's elite. Today, we're traveling into the nooks and crannies of La Cuesta Encantada – The Enchanted Hill. 1. It … | Continue reading | 8 days ago

She Played the World’s Most Unappreciated Music, but looked Fabulous Doing it

Yvette in 1977. ©Getty Images. First things first: it's not like we hate the accordion. We like it on the occasional metro platform, and we love to hear it in a distant summer breeze by the Seine. Few things are as effective at stirring up good 'ole Parisian nostalgia, even afte … | Continue reading | 9 days ago

The Secret NYC Gallery that brought Picasso & the Avant-garde to America

Did they ever tell you about the nice Jersey boy who brought Modern Art to America's shores? It wasn't a Rockefeller, or a Guggenheim – just a kid from Hoboken, New Jersey with an eye for talent. Behind the doors of a little 5th floor attic-level apartment on 291 Fifth Avenue, he … | Continue reading | 9 days ago

Where to Shop for Souvenirs in Paris like a Collector

How does one shop for souvenirs in Paris without feeling like a tourist? How do you bring home something meaningful, something unique you discovered down the rabbit hole that won't declare "I Heart Paris" in giant letters across your chest? As peak season for Paris tourism kicks … | Continue reading | 10 days ago

The Curious Career of Living as a Real-Life Garden Gnome

If you were out of a job in 19th century England and seeking new employment, there was a chance you might find a peculiar advertisement in the newspaper that read something like: "WANTED! Ornamental garden hermit". The profession would essentially require you to become a human or … | Continue reading | 11 days ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCLII)

1. Eiffel Tower Spotting on its 130th BirthdayAs the iron lady turns 130 this week, here is a photography project by Jasper White looking at intimate and unique views of the Eiffel Tower from the homes of Parisian residents. He has a book coming out on the project soon. | Continue reading | 12 days ago

Wet Hot Parisian Summer: A Lost 1930s Nudist Utopia

In Physiopolis, life was better in the buff. Or at least in a bikini, which was as close as one could legally get to public nudity in 1930s Paris. It was here, on an isolated sun-baked island on the Seine, that a titillating new naturiste-nudiste (naturalist and nude) movement sp … | Continue reading | 15 days ago

Remember that time the Motion Picture was Invented (and Everyone was Naked)?

One of my favourite things about Eadweard Muybridge, the man who gave us the moving image, aside from the vast array of exotic spellings he adopted for his birth name (Edward Muggeridge), is the idea of him travelling around the American wild west in a 19th century carriage which … | Continue reading | 16 days ago

René Magritte, Accidental Hipster?

Le monde poétique II, 1937.Creative inspiration lives on a carrousel. Meaning, bygone trends and inventions always rear their heads at another point in history, finding relevancy for a new generation -- and, yes, usually the generation in question is millennials, who've successfu … | Continue reading | 17 days ago

Collectors Item du Jour (Vol. VII)

We love a fashion moment wrapped in a mystery, which is precisely what happened when fate, or chance, or whatever, first brought us to our dream handbag. There, in the sea musty bins at the Brooklyn Flea, it glimmered: a purse made up of cream coloured coils...dare we say, telep … | Continue reading | 17 days ago

The Peculiar Art of Over Complicating Things

He was so good at imagining overly complicated and outlandish contraptions that his name became part of the English dictionary in the early 20th century to describe anything with an unnecessarily elaborate design. "That's a real Heath-Robinson!" one could say to describe an appar … | Continue reading | 18 days ago

Don’t Judge this Potato Hotel by its er, Skin

Otto Kitsinger/AP Images for Idaho Potato CommissionBeauty's in the eye of the beholder, as they say. Especially if that beholder happens to own Idaho's chicest new B&B, The Big Idaho Potato Hotel. At a glance, the spud seems like another loveable wonky, abandoned roadside gem fr … | Continue reading | 18 days ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCLI)

1. Post Modern cakes by a Fashion designer turned BakerDiscover the delicious world of Ard Bakery found via Present & Correct.2. This Home built around a Boulder © Modernism week© Palm Springs Art Museum© Palm Springs Art MuseumDesert Modernist AlbertF | Continue reading | 19 days ago

Paris is Removing its Iconic Kiosks. So What Will Become of Them?

I woke up one morning in Paris, headed to the boulangerie, when I noticed a strange new structure had been installed on the sidewalk overnight. It took me a moment to figure out what it was. One of those self-cleaning public toilets? A construction crew's cabin for yet another ro … | Continue reading | 22 days ago

Where has the Japanese Art of Synchronised Walking been all our Life?

Just when you start to feel like a fairly competent human, something like Shuudan Koudou slides into your Instagram feed to prove you wrong. Literally translated as "collective action", Shuudan Koudou is the Japanese sport – no, art form – of walking. That is, walking forwards an … | Continue reading | 23 days ago

Who wants to take over 13 Greenhouses? Café, Historic Nursery & Cottage included

The Walled Garden © bloomologieflowersI can picture myself now: waking up with the birds, throwing on a pair of wellies and zipping up my fleece as I walk out to a little hamlet of 13 Victorian greenhouses. The lines of the glass catch the morning sunlight just so, as dawn breaks … | Continue reading | 23 days ago

B&B of the Month: The Wander Inn

© Brandon AguilarThey're the Renaissance women of the wild, wild west, and today Amie and Jolie Sikes are giving Messy Nessy a taste of their little haven in Round Top, Texas: The Wander Inn. It’s the stuff of southern fairytales, a bed & breakfast where the longhorns graze and t … | Continue reading | 24 days ago

Goth is Not Dead: 5 Notre Dame Alternatives to Seek Out in Paris

On 15th April 2019, millions of people around the worldwatched as Paris’ Notre Dame Cathedral was engulfed in flames. Masses gatheredon the banks of the Seine to sing hymns to Our Lady as a reported 500firefighters battled the 15-hour blaze. That evening, as first the roof and th … | Continue reading | 24 days ago

Journey to Zealandia, Earth’s Hidden 8th Continent

Ball's Pyramid, 1930s. Lord Howe Island Museum. Beneath the crystalline waters of the South Pacific, 32 scientists from 12 countries emerged after a nine-week voyage to the depths. They'd been drilling for samples from a long-lost world, on a quest that sounds a whole lot like th … | Continue reading | 25 days ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCXLX)

1. Anyone like this idea of Notre Dame's roof as a greenhouse?As you might have heard, France announced an international competition to be held to find a replacement for the Notre Dame spire destroyed in the cathedral fire. Some of the designs making the rounds on the internet so … | Continue reading | 26 days ago

The Lost Floating Pools of Paris

Once upon a time, the banks of the river Seine were lined with giant floating swimming pools. In the 19th century, one could take swimming lessons next to the Pont Neuf and in the 1970s, sunbathe topless on the upper deck of the Piscine Deligny, which was moored in the 7th arrond … | Continue reading | 29 days ago

Don’t be a Tourist in Portugal Mini Guide

So you’re thinking about a trip to Portugal. When travelling in Europe, Portugal tends to be an afterthought for Mediterranean sun seekers, whose first instincts are to look at France, Italy, Greece or Spain. Portugal once owned half of the new world and it’s the oldest country i … | Continue reading | 29 days ago

Stalin’s Fashion House: Style Spying behind the Iron Curtain

For many, "Soviet fashion" reads like an oxymoron. One simply can't imagine that funding fashion ateliers was high up on Joseph Stalin's to-do list, and it wasn't, but still -- it was there, and apparently it was utterly extravagant. “Eclectic mannequins were turning slowly as th … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Collectors Item du Jour Vol. VI

Photographs by Robert Demachy, 1900, Gum bichromate printIt would take most people a moment to figure out that these aren't charcoal sketches by Degas or some other impressionist artist. They are in fact photographs from the late 19th century, artfully manipulated to look like pa … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Did Jesus Escape to Japan?

Image: candidplatypusGreetings from Shingo, a rural village, 650km north of Tokyo that is believed by its inhabitants to be the last resting place of Jesus Christ. Make the pilgrimage to its quiet hills, and you'll find yourself in a veritable slice of the Twilight Zone where the … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCXLIX)

1. That 1970s Vegas Underground Bunker Home is for sale againThis time it's listed for $18 million. Before the house became internet famous, our original article on the property from 2013 reveals that it first went on sale for just $1.7 million. 2. Parisian woman with her cat in | Continue reading | 1 month ago

A Pit-Stop in Japan’s Time Capsule Post Towns

Tsumago ghost town © semituneWe've got an achilles heel for places stuck in the past, and today on our armchair adventures, we're stopping off in the sleepy streets of Japan's cinematic post towns, known locally as Shukuba (宿場). What is a post town, you ask? Essentially it's a pi … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Did the Rooftop Bees of Notre Dame Survive?

It took me several days to think of the bees. After the smoke had cleared and the heartbreak settled in, I remembered: they kept beehives up there. So you might be wondering too: were the honeybees spared from the fire that ravaged Notre Dame and left the world in disbelief on th … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

13 New York Collector’s Addresses

To celebrate MessyNessyChic's next book finally heading off to the printers, I thought we'd switch this week's "Collector's item du Jour" series with a special sneak peek at Don't be a Tourist in New York. So I've combed through the manuscript and plucked out my favourite collect … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

So in Albania, the Number of Abandoned Bunkers is Kind of a Problem

On the beaches of Albania © Artemis DesteredesOnce upon a time, during the Cold War, Albania’s paranoid dictator Enver Hoxha forced his country to build 700,000 bunkers, one for every four citizens. Today, the country is still trying to figure out what to do with his concrete mus … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Thoughts for Our Lady of France

I wish I had taken your picture a thousand more times, my beautiful neighbour. For all the history lovers, architecture lovers (who feel that buildings have souls), Paris lovers: we are all no doubt feeling the same helplessness and sadness for Notre Dame. I think of the artisans … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCXLVIII)

1. Unearthing the 1929 Julian Price HouseThe historic 1929 Julian Price home appeared on Hoarders. The current owners maintain a Facebook page here. 2. A Real-life Rapunzel TowerThe medieval dungeon at the Chateau de Tracy in the Loire Valley. Today, the domaine makes a very | Continue reading | 1 month ago

The Wondrous Search for the Lost Pink and White Terraces

"This is New Zealand's Titanic," said one scientist who dedicated several years of his career to searching for the 8th Wonder of the World – thought to be lost forever – destroyed by a massive volcanic eruption in 1886 that devastated the natural landscape. Known to the Māori peo … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Messy Nessy Movie House

Introducing the Messy Nessy Movie House, a library of movie recommendations, tailored to your interests. Never again be stuck for movie choices with our carefully-curated list featuring all the stories, themes and styles that you've either read about or would expect to find throu … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

When Native Americans Took Back Alcatraz

Image: AP Fifty years ago, their revolution emerged like a Phoenix from the ashes. It was 1969, and a fire had just destroyed the San Francisco American Indian Center, which had proved an indispensable resource for over 30,000 members of the urban indigenous population. With no o … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Collectors Item du Jour (Vol. V)

Sacred Hearts at Santuario San Cosimo Alla Macchia, Oria, Italy / FlickrIt should come as no surprise that some of the world's most fascinating collections are found in churches. But today we're not talking about Florence's abundance of Renaissance murals or the Baroque masterpie … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Time Travel to the Real-Life Peaky Blinders Village

Peaky Blinders fans, hold onto your flat caps. In the heart of "Black Country", an area of the West Midlands that became Britain's own furnace, powering the Industrial Revolution in the 19th century, an entire 26 acre village exists for you and I to experience a day in the life o … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Is MacPaint the Most Underrated form of Outsider Art?

Readers of a certain age may remember its arrival well: developed by Apple and released in 1984 with the OG Macintosh Computer, it was our planet's first taste of fancy graphics editing, and it was available to absolutely everyone. For a price, of course (the first Mac cost the 2 … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

13 Things I Found on the Internet Today (Vol. CCCXLVII)

1. The Louvre's Pyramid Turns 30 with an Epic Optical IllusionThe world-renowned street artist JR used 2,000 pieces of paper to make the museum’s iconic glass pyramid look like it it’s rising from a quarry. Follow JR on Instagram. 2. Just nature, adapting to a hostile | Continue reading | 1 month ago

Oh to Have Eaten at the Automat, Just Once

For those who remember the Automat, the mere mention of the word taps into a wellspring of nostalgic, pungent memories. Clutching a handful of fat nickels, peering into the little glass doors framed in brass, choosing from the chicken pot pies, the cream cheese & chopped pecan sa … | Continue reading | 1 month ago

A Café Philosophique with Messy Nessy Chic (Acte I, Paris)

Boris & Michelle Vian with Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Paris 1949 © Manciet/ Sipa“Change your life today. Don’t gamble on the future, act now, without delay.” ― Simone de BeauvoirShe was an inspiring lady that Simone de Beauvoir; the prolific French writer and philosoph … | Continue reading | 1 month ago