Smiley the Beach Dog: Rockaway Beach NYC (YouTube)

Rockaway Beach is a great place to take your family, including your fur babies! You can only bring dogs here during the off season but it’s so worth it! Check out this happy boy on the beach for the very first time.

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Bezzikapa Illustrations by Kate

I think I always wanted to be an artist. I even went to art school, but for a long time I wasn’t considering it as a serious carrier, somehow. Couple of years ago, I realized that I’m not happy with what I’m doing…

Bezzikapa illustrations are designed by Kate, who lives in Prague. You can find her artist store here. You can find more of her links, including Instagram at the end of this post. 

How did you start doing this?

I think I always wanted to be an artist. I even went to art school, but for a long time I wasn’t considering it as a serious carrier, somehow. Couple of years ago, I realized that I’m not happy with what I’m doing (it was marketing) and that I have time to work on what I would really enjoy.

I started with participating in different illustration contests, and I’m slowly working on my artist shops. For now, I’m choosing the platforms that will print and deliver products with my designs themselves, so that I have more time to create. I believe, I’m still in the beginning of my long path!

This is the first Illustration I made (during the past few years) that I’m proud of 🙂

Bezz 1

What is the process of creating the design? Which part is your favorite?

I have a video 🙂

The first step, is the most difficult – the blank slate. I’m more a rational person, than creative, thinking of ideas can be a painful process for me. Sometimes when I have a good idea, I’m terrified that it can already exist, that it was on a surface, not clever or interesting enough.

It can take me a day or two to come up with something. I hope it will get easier in time.

There’s also a research part – that’s mostly googling. Styles, technics, references, poses, features, – anything that can help with the idea, and creation process.

And then, well, I just draw. I mostly use the Procreate application on iPad. And then make finishing touches in Photoshop.

Bezz 2

Drawing “fluffy” characters can take me 5-12 hours:

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Something simpler takes less time, of course:

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Do you hope to do anything different/new in the future?

I want to design cool book covers, magazine covers and create book illustrations!

What has been your favorite design so far?

Recently I started working on dogs breeds illustrations. I love this one:

French Bulldog

What are your other hobbies?

I mostly collect stuff: beer caps, beer coasters, coins, books and stuffed toys. I like linguistics, documentaries and reading!

 

You have a cat, does the cat help you or distract you from work?

She do both. She is my little helper, but also sometimes she sits on me, so I can’t work!

unnamed-5Varezka pencil sketch

You can see more of Kate’s work here: https://bezzikapa.threadless.com/

You can follow her on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bezzikapa/

Redbubble: https://www.redbubble.com/people/Bezzikapa

You can even find buy her designs on Society6: https://society6.com/bezzikapa

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New Year’s Fireworks on Charles Bridge, Prague – 2019

Do I recommend seeing the fireworks from Charle’s Bridge at least once in your lifetime? Yes, definitely! Will I be doing it again? Probably not.

While living in Prague for 20 years, I heard horror stories about being on the Charles Bridge at midnight on New Year’s Eve. After spending 2.5 years abroad, I decided to return and bite the bullet. Crossing this experience off my bucket list was different than expected. Being on the bridge felt extremely safe and the atmosphere was great.

There were police officers there to keep things in check but they didn’t stop anyone from drinking or setting off fireworks. The dangerous part came after, on our walk to our accommodation. The moment we stepped off the bridge, there was lots of chaos and drunken brawls. Do I recommend seeing the fireworks from Charle’s Bridge at least once in your lifetime? Yes, definitely! Will I be doing it again? Probably not.

It was so absolutely breathtaking though, see for yourself:

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New Year, New Me! Kind of… Maybe.

At the end of every year, I always sit down to reflect and write new year’s resolutions. I don’t care that it’s cliche or that some things won’t change no matter how much I work for it. It’s nice to have goals no matter what!

Anyway, one of my goals is to get back on track with this blog and my videos. From now through the end of the year, you can expect a blog post or video on here ever other day. If you see me slacking or falling behind, feel free to send me a comment or message!

In the next few weeks I will be focusing on reporting back from my trip to Iceland, London, Kyiv and Prague! Wish me luck and let me know what your resolutions are in the comments below.

Christmas Cheer in NYC & Upcoming Break from Blogging

Merry Christmas from my family to yours! ❤

In just one week, we will be leaving Smiley in good hands (I’m still going to cry and worry) while we leave for our 18 day trip to Iceland, London, Kiev and Prague! It’ll be our first time returning to Europe in 2.5 years and I have no idea what to expect with my Shanghai/New York perspective! It’s going to be amazing.

Yesterday we spent a day doing all the typical touristy Christmas stuff in Manhattan with Smiley. It was crazy and crowded but so worth it. Here are the photos! I’ve been posting every other day for months and it’s time to take a break. I’ll be back annoying you with my rants and videos in January!

I wish you all happy and relaxing holidays ❤

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Droning Over Phi Phi Islands, Thailand 2018 (DJI Mavic Air)

Thailand is a beautiful place and offers breathtaking views from land, boat and plane. This time, we got to experience it’s beauty from a unique angle – birds-eye view via our DJI Mavic Air drone. Thailand remains one of the few countries where droning in public areas is still legal and not regulated. Check out the shots and make sure to turn sound on for the full experience! 

Thailand is a beautiful place and offers breathtaking views from land, boat and plane. This time, we got to experience it’s beauty from a unique angle – birds-eye view via our DJI Mavic Air drone. Thailand remains one of the few countries where droning in public areas is still legal and not regulated. Check out the shots and make sure to turn sound on for the full experience!

5-Day New York City Guide 2018 (Guest Post)

If this is your first time in NYC, you know why you’re here: you want to see Times Square. Sure, go see it. Everyone should see it once in their lifetime (and only once). Do some touristy stuff on Day 1. Day 2: West Side, Day 3: Central Park, Day 4: East Side and Day 5: Downtown.

Ok, here’s a suggestion of how I would do it, given 5 days. There is a lot of walking because New York is all about walking, by Jesse Richardsoriginally posted on Quora.

Day 1: Ugh, Midtown

If this is your first time in NYC, you know why you’re here: you want to see Times Square. Sure, go see it. Everyone should see it once in their lifetime (and only once). Do some touristy stuff. Go ahead, get it out of your system. We’ll wait. And I hear there’s a nice Applebee’s for lunch around there.

1. Times Square
2. Rockefeller Center
3. Bryant Park
4. NY Public Library 
5. Grand Central Station
6. Empire State Building
7. See a show (Broadway or Off)

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Day 2: West Side

Now the good part starts. Let’s walk around some of my favorite neighborhoods. Start at the Flatiron building and walk south on Broadway to Union Square, and south some more to Washington Square Park. Then take Bleecker all the way through the West Village. Don’t be too prescriptive; you’ve got plenty of time to wander around. To finish off the day, walk the whole length of the High Line north. It will be crowded, but it’s worth it.

1. Flatiron bldg
2. Madison Sq Park
3. Eataly
4. Union Square
5. Greenmarket (certain days)
6. Forbidden Planet & Strand
7. NYU
8. Washington Sq Park
9. Bleecker Street
10. Get lost in the West Village
11. Meatpacking district
12. The High Line

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Day 3: Central Park

And now, the most beautiful work of art ever created: Central Park. Afterward, there are a few million more pieces of art in The Met. Here’s a recommended path:

1. Columbus Circle
2. Chess & Checkers house
3. The Dairy
4. The Mall
5. Bethesda Fountain
6. Pass by the Bow Bridge
7. Strawberry Fields & Imagine mosaic
8. The Ramble
9. Belvedere Castle
10. Shakespeare Garden
11. Great Lawn
12. The Met

(If you are ever able to go to Central Park for a second day, check out the north half, including the Ravine and Conservatory Garden.)

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Day 4: East Side

Back to another tour of incredible neighborhoods.

1. Chinatown
2. Canal St.
3. SoHo
4. Lower East Side
5. Katz’s Deli
6. Alphabet City
7. Thompkins Sq Park
8. St. Mark’s Place
9. East Village
10. Take the L one stop to Williamsburg
11. Wander around Williamsburg
12. Check out the Pier

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Day 5: Downtown

Follow the beautiful series of interconnected parks around the tip of Manhattan, giving you spectacular views of the harbor and Statue of Liberty. Then, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge and see even better views from the Brooklyn Promenade.

1. Rockefeller Park
2. Tom Otterness sculpture garden
3. South Cove harbor and Esplanade
4. Robert F. Wagner park
5. Battery Park
6. Vietnam Veterans Memorial
7. Elevated Acre
8. South Street Seaport (the museum is nice, too)
9. Brooklyn Bridge
10. Brooklyn Heights
11. Brooklyn Promenade
12. Skybridge down to:
13. Brooklyn Bridge Park
14. and DUMBO

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Day 6: Soak feet.

Don’t do too many touristy things. Just wander in the world’s best neighborhoods.

(All photos by Jesse Richards.)