Vanilla Is The Old Black

“Meanwhile, vanilla pods are brownish-black, vanilla extract comes in shades of brown, and, when Europeans first encountered this new-world orchid in the sixteenth century, it was in the context of chocolate. Indeed, the Aztec name for the ground vanilla beans used as flavouring in their prized bitter, spicy, hot cacao-based beverage was “tlilxochitl,” derived from “tlilli,” meaning “black.”
Read the full article at Edible Geography.


Zuber Wallpaper

From Color Geek

On a recent trip to Natchez, I stayed at Dunleith, a home built in 1856. On the tour of the home, in the dining room was a panoramic Zuber wallpaper made in 1855 titled, “Les Zones Terrestres” or Zones of the World – desert, tropical, temperate, arctic. The story goes that the 31 panels were rolled up and hidden in a cave in France and remained there until 1960. It took over 2,050 individual hand carved blocks to print, and I can’t remember how many colors. All the blocks were destroyed in WWII, so this design hasn’t been printed since.

Miami Color

miami1Color inspiration fresh from South Beach Miami. The Miami Design Preservation League offers Art Deco District tours, or you can do what I did and just walk around for hours soaking it all in. From MDPL’s website:

Miami Beach’s building boom came during the second phase of Art Deco known as Streamline Moderne, which began with the stock market crash and ended in most cases with the outbreak of World War II. It was less decorative—a more sober reflection of the Great Depression. It relied more on machine-inspired forms, and American ideas in industrial design. It was buttressed by the belief that times would get better and was infused with the optimistic futurism extolled at America’s Worlds Fairs of the 1930s. Stripped Classic or Depression Moderne was a sub-style often used for governmental buildings, the U.S. Post Office being the best example in Miami Beach. Miami Beach architects used local imagery to create what we now call Tropical Deco. These buildings feature relief ornamentation featuring whimsical flora, fauna and ocean-liner motifs to reinforce the image of Miami Beach as a seaside resort.

However, there really are three predominate architectural styles found in the Art Deco District: Art Deco, Mediterranean Revival and Miami Modern (MiMo).

miami2And for even more color history, check out this 99% Invisible podcast about the Purple Hotel, shown below. Not in Miami – in Illinois.FL000005