So, now that you’ve seen the gorgeous scenic Scotland roadtrip ~ here’s a peek at the Loch Ness Monster, fondly know as Nessie. On one hand, sure, it’d be awesome to catch a glimpse of a sea monster popping up from this vast loch (which apparently holds 3-6 times the world’s population - depending who you ask)… on the other hand, it was breathtaking to drive up along the Loch Ness and understand what it is that is so beautifully mysterious about this place that has enamored so many from around the globe. Then almost as if in a parallel universe, the tourism which has emerged around Nessie over the decades, was fascinating ~ seeing so many graphical interpretations of Nessie on everything from cafes and inns to boats and car sized moving replicas… Sleekest design interpretation? The Loch Ness Centre’s logo. So i picked up a walking stick badge… it was adorable, simple, and hey, maybe it’d be amusing on one of the pool cues that we’re playing with customizing… more pics as well as looks at the Loch Ness itself on the next page…
Thanks to Veuve Clicquot, i’m currently curled up on a cloud of a bed here in Paris after a beautiful flight from LA today! Left around 3:45pm got in to Paris around 11am ~ and in between? headed up past vegas/salt lake/etc through canada over greenland/iceland/uk and ended up in paris… and so many gorgeous views… lots of dramatically lit mountains, even flew over some pretty crazy fires, gorgeous scottish/british countryside, french coast… and glowingly red clouds… nothing like a flight to remind you how little all your emails and errands and life is ~ floating above the clouds really throws things back in perspective! Take a peek at some of my favorite views in this latest addition to Operation Window Seat on the next page!
Got to love the random inspiring emails that show up. Today’s from Alessandro Loschiavo Design just said “Hi everybody … believe me: it’s hard to forget a holiday in Andalusia! Alessandro” ~ and then attached a ton of pictures. And i couldn’t stop staring at them all! So here are peeks at some of the lovely design details, patterns, and colours he spotted on vacation! See more collections on the next page!
Much talk on twitter this morning about clones… especially of the mentally networked type… so i could be in multiple places around the globe at once! One of the recent moments i wish i could be in NY and LA at the same time (or actually, i suppose teleporting would be ok too) ~ when the email came in with subject line: “CHANEL J12 Marine invites you to Montauk for Fireside Cocktails - Aug 21st”
As if i wasn’t bummed enough not to go see it in person, the pictures came in this morning ~ and it was just too picturesque not to share! Something fun about the way they were shot, it looks like the matte black and white Chanel logo’d surf boards were the stars of the party… in addition to their new brand ambassador, and the new J12 Marine watches of course! “Like CHANEL’s newest brand ambassador, Laird Hamilton, CHANEL has allowed themselves to be swept away by the beauty of the waves, and has incorporated these elements into the design of the J12 Marine, the newest addition to CHANEL’s fine timepiece collection.” I have a fascination with watching brands and experiences you don’t expect merging beautifully to create a whole new experience… Chanel + Surfing? Definitely quite the contrast to the socal surf scene and the art/design i usually imagine coupled with it… But lovely in its own way! Take a peek on the next page of the dinner Chanel’s J12 Marine and Laird Hamilton hosted in honor of “The Wave” by Susan Casey to benefit the Surfrider Foundation…
p.s. the email with pictures said “…dined on fresh seafood at wooden tables and then gathered around the fire pit for cocktails and smores.” How lovely does that sound right now?
NY trips aren’t complete without a stop over to The Standard Hotel New York to catch up with everyone ~ right after the Absolut Brooklyn launch, popped over to finally see the pool on the 18th floor of The Standard Hotel New York in action ~ and WOW is it different compared to when empty in the day! Floor to ceiling black glossy tiles, a diamond shaped, large hot tub sized 4ft pool surrounded by endless NY views glittering in every direction. It’s incredible how the cave like darkness of the space is literally lit up by the NY skyline! For this night, a fun mix of internet week and lifestyle and travel industry folks ~ all coming together to celebrate the launch of location based members only site, TopGuest ~ “Topguest gives travelers real loyalty program points from top hotels and airlines for geo check-ins on all major applications, automatically.” Basically, it’s a membership program that will connect up your foursquare, gowalla, google buzz, yelp, twitter and more and sync it up with existing and upcoming partnership rewards from major hotels, airlines, and more. Fun potential with the concept, and i love that they are targeting carefully curated brands and experiences first ~ during the preview, their exclusive launch partner is the Standard Hotel group, and they’ve issued a challenge: check in to all 4 (NY, LA-downtown, LA-hollywood, Miami) Standard Hotels in a week to earn a free week stay! But first things first, you have GOT to check out the views from the glossy jet black Standard NY penthouse pool!
Just experienced the Royalton Hotel while in NY for the Federated Media Conversational Marketing Summit (my annual catch up with my FM folks and intellectually immerse myself in the marketing/ad world)… since it’s practically in times square, the Morgan’s Hotel Group helped me try out the Royalton Hotel… and from the website i was already obsessed with seeing their soaking tub in person. It is HUGE and pretty deep. You could probably fit about 5-6 of me in there… comfortably. And it’s like being in an inverted discoball… Also noteworthy, it is the perfect luxurious NY hideaway, if you need a super comfy, cozy place to hibernate in NY. It can stay surprisingly dark in the room (with lots of nearly blackout curtains, dimmers and candle like lighting) regardless of what time of day/night it is. After a few too many late nights out, it was an incredible place to just curl up and catch up on sleep and work in a timeless space. And the bed is divine (pillows and duvet you just melt into!) with fun beautifully lit bedside port hole like shelves cut into the headboard which extends wall to wall and floor to ceiling including the closet and drawers. And that impressive darkness i was telling you about? It also flows through the hallways and into the lobby (which is an enticing lounge/bar space that leads to the restaurant) ~ so it’s a bit of a shock to the system every time i had to head out ~ back into the real world (or the chaos so near times square!)
Take a peek at my experience of the Royalton Hotel’s Room 904 on the next page ~ lots of pics of favorite details!
Latest Dear NOTCOT post fresh in from Julie Wolfson who was just exploring Shanghai for the 2010 expo! Absolutely awesome pics of the larger than life Louis Vuitton Suitcase… and the incredible exhibition within! Thanks for sharing, Julie!
Louis Vuitton Paris 1867- Shanghai 2010 - In Shanghai just down Nanjing Road from where I was staying as a guest of the Portman Ritz-Carlton, I found a building sized Louis Vuitton suitcase at Plaza 66. Seeing a major LV display on the outside is a sure sign that there will be something amazing to see inside. (I found that out last year when I saw a Murakami designed facade in Tokyo.)
On the bottom floor of Plaza 66, a customized luggage workshop filled a section of the LV store on the 4th floor of Plaza 66, the Paris 1867- Shanghai 2010 exhibit at Shanghai Plaza 66 celebrates the company’s participation in world exhibitions. Almost a century and a half ago the Louis Vuitton company was introduced to the world stage at the Paris World Exhibition of 1867. To enter the show Paris Shanghai show I walked through a giant red three-dimensional red book. Inside more red books open to reveal white cutout resembling children’s pop up books. Each display tells the history of Louis Vuitton’s luggage. From the wardrobe trunk made in 1911 to the Amiens Fitted Suitcase with toiletry containers from 1931, each case is made with incredible detail. Peering close up to one of the latches or handles reveals how LV luggage design has defined the art of travel. I’d be happy to have just one LV suitcase. It really would make any trip feel more glamourous.
Plaza 66 is located at 1266 Nanjing Road in Jing’an just down the street from The Portman Ritz-Carlton. The show is open on the 4th floor of Plaza 66 until October 31, 2010. For now see loads more pics on the next page!
Time for another installment of Operation Window Seat ~ a peek out the window at the teeny tiny world below. This time Nike Golf has brought me out to Fort Worth, Texas to check out the Crowne Plaza Invitational at the Colonial Country Club and the Nike Golf R&D Oven (which i’m extremely curious about!) But first things first ~ jetlag has me up bright and early, so figured i’d share a peek into my aerial tour of the southwest from Los Angeles to Fort Worth. The pilot was seriously like a tour guide the whole flight, with constant “To your left you can see….” and nuggets of history and random factoids. While it was nearly TOO bright and beautiful out, washing out some of the pics ~ i tried to pull some of the patterns that mesmerized me back out of the pics… and you can see squiggly winding rivers, craters, the salton sea, edges of the grand canyon, the southern coast of LA/OC, and more on the next page…
Wow. What a few weeks/months/etc its been ~ but the last week in particular feels like the quietest i’ve been online in a LONG time! So before hopping back into the design chaos ~ after design week in NY, i popped across the pond to the english countryside to celebrate my little sister’s wedding. Who knew, even with wifi, it would actually keep me busy enough to stop working nearly completely! So here are a few pics of some of the random, prettiness encountered over the last few days on the next page…
Wow. There is a definitely love of light bulb clusters at the Gramercy Park Hotel ~ particularly in this room that opens up to the Roof Club… but also in my bathroom! While it does feel a littler overwhelming, it is also completely mesmerizing, and makes for some fun pics! See more on the next page!
I must admit i was skeptical when one of the most common words that came up regarding the Gramercy Park Hotel Roof Club… was “Magical”. Sure some of the women who uttered the word seemed like the type that may use it in daily conversation, but some of the men who did, most certainly didn’t seem like the type.
Sure enough ~ as i stumble off my redeye, and at 7am find myself at the Gramercy Park Hotel, which was kind enough to invite me to visit their world while here for NY Design Week, my room wouldn’t be ready till 10. With the limited amount of energy, my options were minimal ~ but breakfast with wifi on the roof sounded like a good place to start. Take the elevator to the top, step out, and get lead to a ridiculously adorable and comfy couch to curl up on while breakfast comes up… and as i order and process where i am… i can’t help but notice the beautiful lights, the ivy hanging and intertwined above me, how much greenery and the variety of pots i’m surrounded by… and as my eyes focus, suddenly i realize what a stunning view i’m waking up to. No joke. It’s pretty magical. Everything seemed to sparkle in that early morning glow! It felt as if you were in a large intimate garden/deck at home… and i hear its even more stunning at night, so, i’ll have to find a night to see it glisten as you overlook all of manhattan… So take a peek on the next page of how pretty the Gramercy Park Hotel Roof Club looked bright and early!
New sponsored content series ~ this time Las Vegas is letting me rant and share some vegas awesomeness NOTCOT style! As usual, my pics, my story, they just give me an excuse to talk Vegas.. and share some of my favorite bits!
There’s something so nostalgic and beautiful about the early days of Las Vegas and the incredible neon signage that was unmissable. Sadly as more and more of these come down, they tend to end up in the Neon Graveyard! Which is only a PART of the Neon Museum which is trying to save this critical part of Las Vegas history. Graphically they are absolutely stunning ~ i’m particularly a sucker for those which move… They Neon Museum has even been reviving some of these signs and have them up around vegas, with 10 amazing ones from the 50s and 60s up on Fremont Street ~ in what they are calling their gallery… but they are basically on the main street 24/7 for your viewing pleasure! So on the next page you can take a peek at some of my favorite neon signs spotted around Las Vegas from a few trips ago…
It’s fun to step back from the design madness here in Milan during the design week ~ and really just appreciate how AMAZING details in and around the city are too… so in the evening we popped up to the roof of the Hotel Dei Cavallieri at sunset and the views are truly awe inspiring. Then a late night wander lead us through the Duomo and Galleria ~ and with big camera in tow, naturally couldn’t help snapping away… it’s just breath taking ~ even after seeing it so so many times on a daily basis for over a year… But the best details? Bizarre mylar ballons that escaped some poor child’s reach, only to create a silly juxtaposition in all my pics of the Galleria grandeur… there’s a tiny hot pink unicorn/pegasus up there… and in the hallway the next day… a tank. See it all on the next page!
As we warm up to Milan Design Week, it’s been awesome having a few days to just catch up with the city! On todays few hours of walking/shopping ~ here’s more randomness that caught my eye besides the HermÃ©s Paper Sculptures! From slightly evil wooly sheep ~ to the milan marathon i ran into by the castle and throughout the city ~ to the giant camera lens screens at Tod’s ~ to rekindling my door knocker and gargoyle obsessions ~ tv sunglasses! ~ the blue cubes popping up around sculptures being restored ~ awesome signage ~ and these beautiful linen lamp like structures that fill Monte Napoleone, some designed by fashion designers!… and so so much more! See it all on the next page!
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!