All posts tagged: Travels with John

Turkmenistan Exploring

A gas rich, ex Soviet mirage in the desert. Somewhere between Las Vegas and Dubai without any sin. Definitely the strangest place I’ve ever visited in my life. Highly recommend it because it’s there. This is the city. No cars on the street. No traffic. Like nothing you’ve ever seen. The video on the plane says it all. A post shared by John Hardy (@greenbyjohn) on Aug 29, 2017 at 11:20pm PDT Friday at the mosque. No one else there, just our guide and one guy watching us at all times. A mind bogglingly huge mosque. The wedding’s over, you put the scarf in your mouth and you say nothing until the kids are born. You have no voice. For more on this astounding Turkmenistan tradition, read on. Some women carry on the practice of wearing a yaşmak, head scarf, in the initial year after they are wed. The wife clenches the corner of her scarf in her teeth to show a significant barrier toward the male guests and to show respect to her parents-in-law. The …

Copper artisan of Mexico

The copper artisans of Mexico

Recently had a chance to hang out in the coppersmith workshops of Santa Clara del Cobre in the mountains of Mexico. Copper has been worked in this area since pre-Hispanic times. Although the Spanish introduced new techniques, one native one that was kept was that of smelting, as it was more efficient than European techniques. For this reason, bellows seen here are very different from Europe. Most of the town’s population, 82%, is employed in the making of copper items. There are 250 registered workshops in and around the town, which process about 450 tons of copper each year. This generates an income of about fifty million pesos a year. Many of the copper items made are of a utilitarian nature – cooking utensils, various types of containers, pots, pans, plates, shot glasses, clocks, jewelry, vases, beds, tables, chairs, light switches, counters, sinks, even bathtubs, and much, much more, all in copper. However, since the 1970s copper jewelry, and many other non-essential items has also been made here. –  Wikipedia   Cynthia giving a hand A post …

READ: The Package Free Shop is here

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Refuse and Repair in one package-free store? It’s happening in Brooklyn, NYC, with the pop-up store run by Lauren Singer and Daniel Silverstein, two trash bloggers who have been on a zero-waste journey for years. ‘Think outside the box’ is the message. The Package Free Shop curates the products they sell to support a zero-waste lifestyle, ranging from reusable coffee cups to compostable toothbrushes. If this store opened a thousand branches across the globe, how much waste could we reduce? Read more about the Package Free project here. If you’re in NYC this summer, go and visit.    

Taxi in San Miguel de Allende

Around the world in 30 days

A few of the sights and experiences from a month long trip through Budapest, London Amsterdam, Mexico and New York. It was my first time to Budapest- caught up with old friends and explored a potential site for a new Green School in an old coal processing factory. Budapest’s manhole covers are so beautiful. An incredible and controversial depiction of Jesus, under/below the Emperor. Bicycle of Budapest. A week with my love in Tulum and San Miguel de Allende. In Amsterdam I went to the Hemp and Marijuana Museum. Love the bicycle delivery carts of Amsterdam. Need more in other cities. Then over to London to help Carina inflate the Back to the Breast installation on the lawn at Goldsmiths. Finally, to New York and the US for a quick tour of colleges with Chiara. Gehry appreciation club. Spring has sprung.  

John Hardy in Malang

World’s biggest bread slicer in Malang

Went on a boys trip to Malang last month to check out what was happening in the world of stone and petrified wood. We stayed in the incredible Tugu Malang. The petrified wood– wood turned into stone- is amazing. Only now do they have the tools to cut it with the diamond blades. World’s biggest bread slicer. The water keeps the diamond blades from overheating. The world’s biggest bread slicer A post shared by John Hardy (@greenbyjohn) on Apr 6, 2017 at 11:24pm PDT Here it’s made into sinks. The tools they use are just incredible. It’s the ultimate man’s machine land. Big saw, medium saw, small saw. The plywood factory—making it out of tree bark! Just incredible product. Goonie land. The vehicles the workers use are just completely nuts. Other beautiful things we found over there. Black palm rope, bamboo brooms, rag rugs- so cool. The psychedelic kampung of Jodipan in Malang. More on how/what/why here. A young unmarried man’s sarong. The shopkeeper wouldn’t let me buy it. Visited the master bronze caster. He uses bits …

Bangkok travels

Bangkok travels: Buy, see, do

Notes from a recent trip to Bangkok. Views from the taxi while stuck in traffic. Carina in red. Spectacular temple ruins. Back to the breast is everywhere. Shopping with Chris. One of my favorite places to go in Bangkok is Stefaan Grusenmeyer’s gallery at O.P Place, Suite GFO1/1, Charoen Krung Road.  Stefaan is a lifetime antique dealer and he’s putting things in his shop these days that he’s acquired over his lifetime. There are some treasures you can’t even imagine. Don’t miss seeing this in Bangkok.      When I was there, I also saw an exhibition from the ultimate organic artist- Jean Louis Dulaar.

John Hardy and the cow phone

Things you have to see and do in India (2 of 2)

These are my favorite hotels and shops in India. These are secret so use them wisely. Place to stay Imperial Hotel is my favorite urban hotel in the world. It has 3,500 original prints, like this one of a Maharaja with the colonial Englishmen. At the Imperial Hotel in Delhi A post shared by John Hardy (@greenbyjohn) on Feb 15, 2017 at 8:57pm PST Most of the prints are of the most bucolic countryside. Except for this one- the Uber of India past. Biggest issue for me are the industrial hotel buffets- it’s just sugar for breakfast Sugar carb sugar carb. The industrial hotel breakfast buffet. A post shared by John Hardy (@greenbyjohn) on Feb 15, 2017 at 11:07pm PST   Places to shop Ahujasons have the most delightful selection of pashminas in the world. And the great thing is that it’s all fixed price. So you can look at the USD 3,500 one and understand why it costs that much, and then see the UD 500 and USD 300 ones and see what they’re worth. …

Suryagarh Heritage Hotel India

A heritage, sustainable hotel in Jaisalmer, India (1 of 2)

I didn’t have any expectations when I heard there was a heritage fort hotel in Jaisalmer. But I was blown away when I got to Suryagarh. I kept looking for something that was newly constructed on this property, something that would break my eye. But nothing did. My host in India was Manvendra Singh Shekhawat, a INKTalks Fellow and traditional architecture enthusiast. Photographed below with James, who traveled with me from Bali. Manvendra Singh Shekhawat’s love lies in hotels, heritage conservation, design, experiential real estate and social entrepreneurship. His hotels take the path less travelled and his NGO, I Love Jaisalmer, was responsible for launching the city’s  largest cleanliness and conservation drive. Manvendra is currently working on building experiential hotels, development of a renaissance township and the restoration of a 350 year old military fort.  Above my bed there was a roof made of cut stone, just stone on stone to make this incredible roof. It was an amazing experience. If you get to Jaisalmer, stay in this hotel. They dug a huge pond to …

John with bamboo umbrella

The bamboo craftsmen of China

When I went to China recently, I visited 4 craftsmen taking bamboo to new heights. The paper maker, the basket weaver, the flute maker and the umbrella artisan were so cool. The Bamboo Paper Makers The bamboo being soaked for a month until they can pulp it. Huge stone used to grind the bamboo into fine powder The paper maker goes to the water, picks up a thin layer of pulp on the screen. Then lays it down to dry as paper. Thin, thin paper. A video posted by John Hardy (@greenbyjohn) on Jan 2, 2017 at 3:16am PST     Brushes to smooth the pulp. The Bamboo Lamp Weaver The Bamboo Flute Carvers   A video posted by John Hardy (@greenbyjohn) on Jan 2, 2017 at 10:02pm PST The Bamboo Umbrella Makers The umbrella factory was a curious thing. It’s in the house of people who own a huge bamboo property and they’re getting paid a fortune for that bamboo. They also make these 3 meter bamboo umbrellas. So cool. Bamboo bones and paper. …