As you’ve noticed by now, i have been recently fascinated by the world from above ~ and not in just a google satellite view ~ but amazing views of cities and the in betweens as dramatic sunsets and sunrises hit them… So thanks to Mercedes who was incredibly kind to bring me to Stuttgart to learn more about their world (even when i needed to come from Singapore and leave to Milan)… here’s another installment of what my friend and i have been calling Operation Window Seat! Doing it backwards, on the next page you can see pics as i come in to Milan from Stuttgart… then Stuttgart on my way from Singapore… amazing how the terrain changes ~ and the lighting!
Heading off to Milan tomorrow… well… via a few weeks in asia and a quick stop in Stuttgart… but i’ll be in Milan April 8-19!!! And i can’t be giddier. It’s hard to believe the last time i was in Milan was when i was living there for a little over a year doing grad school… all pre-NOTCOT (the sites, the name was used on lots of random stuff for years before!)… so FINALLY, making it back for the salone, and to go see some of the old spots… but, that being said, its been 5 years!
SO! If you’re in Milan, or have some awesome recommendations, i’d love any ideas on what not to miss ~ people to meet up with ~ events at the Salone to check out ~ and more!
p.s. that image above? i found my old huge map of Italy… i totally forgot i used to highlight all the cities and towns i’d visited… so many left to see! Maybe if there’s time i ought to pop out and explore a bit more too!
After a long week, sometimes you just need something totally random and silly to reset you… tonight that ended up being…. grabbing a friend to get food, suddenly fog rolls in, and as we drive by the little santa monica airport… we vow to go wander around it if its still foggy on our way back (she was hungry, so food naturally had to come first). Well it only got foggier in the interim, so it was on! And here are the pictures that came from that exploration… driving around the parking lots, tiptoeing through bushes, and trying to find that perfect light that made the fog covered planes glow so awesomely. And suddenly we heard shouting and laughter… and as we got pretty close to the insanely foggy brightly lit soccer fields… we saw there were people playing! (Yes, it was foggy enough you had to get rather close to be certain!)… There’s something so other worldly about the way things felt in the ominous fog… see it all on the next page!
On travel obsessions, someone just reminded me one of the few items that has made my MUST PACK list ~ i’ve been so busy using, i have yet to write about it. humangear’s GoToobs have been indispensable. Sure they are similar to Paul Koh’s Bubble Bottles ~ but they are much better. A more airport security 1 quart ziploc bag friendly shape for packing… the ring allows you to select Soap, Shamp., Cond., Lotion, Sun, … so no sniffing to figure out what’s in there, and no need for labels… wide mouth opening for cleaning/filling… the one thing i never thought i’d use, yet have many a time ~ SUCTION CUP! So far they come in green, blue, clear, pink, and a newly added orange! See more pics on the next page…
I feel like such a tease. I keep showing you parts of Oakley HQ, but not the insides… well not the normal insides, just the secret bar so far. And since these are in fact their real offices with 1500 people or so… there is a lot of work going on, and the majority of it confidential… so for everything i CAN show you, just know that there were probably 10 things i was dying to take pics of to share with you… whether they were prototypes, new designs, renders, sketches, or even amazing future wall tiles that i’m still lusting after… BUT that being said, take a peek at how awesome the architecture is, a peek down memory lane of Oakley’s history, the ejection seats CEO Colin’s waiting room… and his mine… camouflage covered cubicles… a few allowed sketches… the GI Joe looking guy dropping out of a helicopter on me when i looked up… machine gun in the hallway… AWESOME diorama’s to put your childhood shoebox setups to shame… and a bit more.
On Oakley fun facts: Did you know the name came from that adorable dog up there? And you can see the original 70s acorn logo from their bike grip days on the next page too!
Laguna Beach ~ so many surf brands have their home base in the OC ~ and recently so many hotels with special designer suites ~ but somehow i never heard about the Casa Surf Project over at La Casa del Camino until now! The hotel is perched less than a block from the beach, has an old spanish styled look and feel… and somehow the smell and hallways remind me of college… something frat house-y about it? Or maybe that was the crowd too… fascinating thing about the Casa Surf Project is that they gave 10 brands and their designers 10 suites, and let them have their way with it - “Action sports icons like Billabong Men’s and Billabong Women’s, Rip Curl, etnies, Roxy, Quiksilver, L* Space, Lost International along with Riviera Magazine and Glaceau have teamed with Southern California’s finest designers to create the Casa Surf Suites with a portion of the proceeds from each room donated to key charities for the first year.” I love the moroccan inspired Lost room… how far they took the decor, and the furniture choices… you have to see how fun the lights looked at night! And the way they really customized the walls… so beautiful! Billabong and Quicksilver are my other favorites ~ see more pics on the next page, and see full information on each suite here!
So after a bit of hotel horrors ~ and bouncing in and out of the vitale over the last week ~ with sf gift fair and macworld happening, SF hotels seem a bit packed… just decided to check out the Clift Hotel in San Francisco which is part of the Morgans Hotel Group (with those awesome “The world needs to discuss it over drinks. The world needs more interesting.” ads i adore.)… they were nice enough to upgrade me to experience one of their suites, and i’m currently working at that “through the… orange… looking glass” feeling table above… and really, between the bizarre world within it and the stunning city views here, it’s hard to focus! It’s also incredibly calming and relaxing with it’s lavender entry way, light grey carpeting, and light wood furnishings… exactly what i needed after quite the crazy last few days! Go take a peek into their fun, spacious, suite i’m living in for the next few days on the next page!
Looking down out this huge concave window in my Hotel Vitale room, has been strangely mesmerizing and inspiring to stare out of… from the spiderweb mess of bus cables to the curved arcs of the road and diamond of the cross walk and just watching the traffic/people flow through it… it kind of looks like a math or physics diagram…
Anyhow, Hotel Vitale has been one of my favorite spots to hide out in San Francisco since i moved out of this city… and while i’ve been in quite a few different rooms, this is definitely one of the most unique. I sleep better than usual in their beds… this room has a nice tub with a view… and this ridiculously large window! As well as the usual nice huge desk space to work at… and chaise to lounge on. Take a peek at a few pictures of the view in both day and night, as well as a peek at the room!
I passed out as soon as i sat down on the plane from SLC to LAX ~ i barely remember take off ~ and then suddenly when turbulence jolted me awake somewhere in between, all i saw out the window were surreal and stunningly dramatic shadows on snowy mountains… and i was so mesmerized, then something kicked in, and i half awakenly grabbed my camera, and felt like i was dream shooting all the way back to LA. So fun to see the world from that view ~ such a nice perspective shift from what’s felt like a very conceptually nazel gazing last few days. I love the way the snow transitioned into dessert… and into cities… and the way roads are carved into the snowy tree filled mountainside… the way the city glowed with the hollywood sign and downtown popping out as we landed… Take a look on the next page!
I had one of my “wow, i love LA” moments as i was flying in from NY the other night… after not sleeping the night before, i crashed hard in a strange and contorted position for 5 hours on my JetBlue flight home, and as my eyes started to open, i was disoriented and fascinated by the sparkles of the city below me. It was such a clear night. and the colors felt different… i couldn’t help but wonder if it was the increase of things like LED billboards that are so blindingly bright when i’m on the ground changing the landscape of lights from above. They felt brighter and sharper ~ twinkling as we approached… and of course, i couldn’t help but snap a few pics to share with you. Also, nice placement of your URL, JetBlue, it’s as if you knew people would be taking pics out of the window… or just looking out of the window constantly…
Mmmmm. Doing that bicoastal commmute again, this time thanks to the Macallan folks who have brought me out to NY for an event tomorrow night, more to come on that later though. Long day of travel ~ popped over on JetBlue (i miss Virgin America, they spoil me with wifi. I thought i might be happier without it when flying, but i was wrong) ~ luckily i feel like i’m at home away from home as i slipped in to The Mercer Hotel ~ another Andre Balazs property, this one in the heart of Soho… and i absolutely adore it. Got in, got room service, and got to work! Well, after taking a bunch of pics of all the little design details that grabbed my eye. Also bonus points to them for super fast room service and bringing me some benadryl at midnight. They’ve been so kind and taking such good care of me here already! And so many details of this room make me want to go home and remodel already… Ready to take a peek?
I’m a bit obsessed with print recently. I mean, i always love/d print, but extra aware of it and all its design nuances at the moment. Beyond that, i can’t seem to help fixating on the way digital/online medias can translate back out to print in the real world well ~ and how integrated ads can be beautiful and/or enhance the content. Ran into this little booklet for the first time at a hotel and love not only the concept and execution, but also the design!
Daily Candy has a beautiful Los Angeles pocket sized city guide that is perhaps one of the most thorough (SO many of my favorites and many more are included!) guides to places to eat, sleep, shop, and more in LA! Design is fun and readable, adorable little icons and extra notes and illustrations tucked away in each page. It’s also light on the branding/advertisements Only a few Jet Blue ads inside with fun creative and copy of course! On the front it mentions it is in partnership with the Viceroy Group and Urban Retreats. As far as positioning, seems like great positioning to get Daily Candy in front of boutique hotel guests ~ particularly those who may not know the mailing list yet. Lovely idea, beautifully executed, i’d rather grab one of these than a Wallpaper guide, etc. if i’m sending a friend off to explore LA ~ now i’m curious what other cities exist! And how to find them! Take a peek inside this LA guide on the next page…
UPDATE: Just in from Daily Candy - there are NYC and LA guides. the NYC guides were made last year and can be found at the 5 W hotels in NYC. The LA ones just arrived in the Viceroy and Urban Retreat hotels last month! “They were penned by the NYC and LA editors respectively. It’s the first time we’ve printed our favorites in such a fashion and they are being well-received in both markets. The great thing is it’s everything we love — Not just the “latest and greatest” but they also include mention our tried and true favorites.”
On unexpected popups i wish i could teleport over to, this news was too fun not to share when it just showed up in my email! Photos by Hiroyasu Masaki (punkfloyd).
Ace Hotel and Japanese retailer Isetan Shinjuku are curating a pop-up shop for the holidays. Ace Hotel is in Seattle, Portland, Palm Springs, and New York. Culture, collaborations, and a design aesthetic that mixes uncluttered comfort with a bohemian vibe are Ace’s trademark—informed by each city’s sense of place. It’s a gathering place for neighbors and guests alike. We at Ace love Japan, and we’re excited to be able to come to Tokyo and bring all of our recent product collaborations to the heart of Shinjuku.
Isetan will be showcasing gifts from Ace that give you a sense of the hotels and their cities. Products include collaborations with Pendleton Woolen Mills, artist Evan Hecox, Generic Man, Dean Markley, Fjallraven of Sweden, Mackintosh, Coto, Le Labo, Wings & Horns, Project No. 8, Pearl Plus, and many others. Products from Rudy’s Barbershops will also be available for the first time in Japan. Come find something Wednesday Dec 2-Friday Dec 25.
The Ace Hotels practically radiate visual inspiration at every turn… but at the Ace Hotel Palm Springs add being at the foot of the mountains in Palm Springs with that crisp desert sky at night as you float in the pool and hot tub ~ only to run out and press the “Make Fire” button on one of the many fire places surrounded by adorably designed chairs as you look up at the Stan Bitters ceramics ~ or wander to the bar where what appears to be the coolest sunglass wearing stuffed bear you will ever see is perched behind the bottles ~ challenging the coolness of the coyote of a mascot above the reception whose silhouette is all around the hotel… and the THINK signage in the lobby “compliments of IBM corporation” is just priceless. OH! And there are yurts too… with beautiful domed skylights colored with geometric gel patterns… and hammocks too! So as you can see, there was too much besides my room, that i couldn’t help but share with you… so MANY pictures on the next page. I hope you enjoy them as much as i do!
While in Palm Springs at the Ace, i was told that i HAD to go see the Integratron. How good a word is that? I didn’t even know what it meant, but was instantly intrigued. So, while on super secret brainstorm adventure in Palm Springs this weekend, we jumped in the car, took off an hour into the desert not quite sure what to expect… although we did know that it had something to do with amazingness, alien abductions, domes, a sound bath, and something about our neurons getting massaged. Dome + sunset + desert = gorgeous pics.
So while i’m still on my thing about circles lately ~ and concentric circles from directly below… the architecture of the Integratron blew my mind to wander around in… and honestly, i think there must be something wrong with me, because the Sound bath (you lay on the mats in the dome, and they “play 9 quartz crystal singing bowls live, each one keyed to the energy centers or chakras of the body, where sound is nutrition for the nervous system.” and it’s on Rolling Stone Magazine’s 2009 Hot List) ~ i couldn’t lay through the whole thing, it made me feel like i wanted to scream and dissonant sounds vibrating through my head just started to hurt. BUT that being said, it was pretty amazing the way they resonated around the space… really staring at the architecture and lighting as the sunset around us was far more fascinating to me. So take a peek at the random pics on the next page… LOVE the colors in the desert sunsets…