I love when things just fall together. Like yesterday ~ finding out that the gorgeous AETHER APPAREL (who has been a kind supporter of NOTCOT over the years through beautiful advertising!) is actually LA based! And love matte black/metal/wood minimalist gear, gadgets, and cars/etc as much as we do. They just took the mobile pop up shop to a whole new level with their AETHERstream ~ designed by Thierry Gaugain, this airstream that has been gutted and retrofitted with reclaimed wood floors, modular shelving, and vintage gadgets/gear… and their storage? Stacks of huge pelican cases! It’s a beautiful (though tight) space ~ and it was great to see the majority of their collection in person finally… the tiny details were amazing ~ from quality of materials and stitching (it just feels so GOOD!) to the awesome black safety pins they use to attach their tags and the Aether whistles on each piece. Take a little tour in and around the AETHERstream on the next page ~ it will be hanging out in LA for a few weeks before it heads cross country to NY by mid nov!
Entries tagged with: los angeles
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Shopping for a car in the mall. Pick up a pair of shoes, grab a bite in the food court, then saunter in to a store to build your car on an iPad and email it to yourself, then hop down into the parking garage for a quick test drive?
Tomorrow, LA based tech startup/car company, CODA, officially opens their first store in Century City ~ perhaps store isn’t even the right word ~ it’s an “experience center/meeting place” in which shoppers can learn about electric vehicles (EVs). Completely green ~ the facade and ceiling are made of reclaimed wood, the plywood is all formaldehyde free, even their wall graphics and pamphlets use eco friendly printing and materials. With a car parked outside, you can’t miss it’s location near the movie theater and food court, and even if you don’t peek in, the window inspires you with “Be the change you wish to see in the world.” And when you’re ready for a test drive (or while looking for a parking space) ~ you can’t miss the special CODA section in the parking garage directly below the store with CODA’s waiting for you to give them a spin.
I love this trend of stores that are focused on the lifestyle and experience of a space versus simply selling their product. The theme of creating inviting spaces to engage buyers and could be buyers in a relaxed setting ~ and bringing the products and stores to where people already congregate (versus the usual destination streets filled with car dealerships.) is very Apple store like ~ and in fact Tesla brought on the man who helped create the first few to do theirs… and the team at CODA admitted Apple inspired their as well, and even strategically placed their first store near an apple store (across the way and down a few doors!) to attract people who like such experiential spaces. Will we be seeing more of these? I wonder which other genres will be next ~ is this going to continue to be an EV trend?
But first ~ take a peek into the beautifully designed CODA space in Century City as well as their test drive area in the parking garage on the next page!
So you’ve seen the Making Of… well, here is a look at our 6 playful experimental mini videos of new ways to look at Bentleys! Watch them all. We had fun finding the perfect clips and fun music to set the mood for each one…
It’s a beautiful thing when a brand wants to encourage passionate, playful exploration. When Bentley invited us to join a fleet of their cars, Brian Gush - Head of Drivetrain and Motorsports, Robin Page - Head of Interior, a skeleton film crew, designer Cory Grosser, and former lead designer of Nokia/founder of Vertu - Frank Nuovo at Mister C in Beverly Hills, to just “be creative and play,” how could i resist? So we loaded up a bunch of new (and old) toys ~ and spent the day all over beverly hills and bel air playfully exploring these cars in new and inspiring ways… and while there is much to come from that… first things first!
At around 11am we ended up borrowing the Bentley Supersports Convertible ~ jetting back out to one of my favorite bluffs near home, and had fun playfully shooting it underneath the unbelievably bright moon and stars while overlooking pacific coast highway far below and the vast expanse of ocean and ~ it’s definitely different at night! Shawn managed to take some stunning shots of the car ~ and while he patiently took those, you can also see some of the silliness i ran around shooting in between on the next page! The car simply glows in the moonlight…
Gorgeous day spent lounging in Malibu ~ having lunch, shopping, and beaching ~ and running into the new mobile truck of my favorite Pressed Juicery with Tasteologie editor, Jackson… the result? An awesome fun feature i just wrote up for you at Tasteologie!
Adventures this weekend lead Jackson and i to £10, the new secret bar at the Montage Beverly Hills ~ with endless Macallan, ice balls, soap stones, bacon and more… it was a fun launch event with some incredible bar tools laid out with surgical precision… take a peek at our adventures on Tasteologie.
Finally taking a vacation in LA this week ~ when the opportunity came up to pop across town to try out The Redbury in Hollywood, it seemed like the perfect chance to even further escape my “normal” life. Checking in to room #415 ~ i stepped into the red red building perched at Hollywood and Vine, into their red red hallways adorned with larger than life hollywood glam photos filling walls along the way… and into a fully stocked apt of sorts. To call it a hotel room doesn’t even do it justice. With a kitchen (stove, fridge, dishes, the works) ~ and Katsuya and Cleo room service ready at the touch of an iPhone App ~ a washer/dryer as well as a record player stocked with records… it’s hard to find an excuse to leave this little escape when sitting on the patio staring out at Hollywood. It is a boho-chic home away from home ~ complete with that vintage store scent. “Curated by renowned photographer Matthew Rolston and Founder and CEO, Sam Nazarian ~ The Redbury features 57 thoughtfully appointed guest flats designed to provide a relaxed and entertaining environment. Each spacious room offers a home-like atmosphere to accommodate stays of a day, a week, or as long as required.” And it couldn’t be more true… ready to take a peek into my room at The Redbury and some of the fun details? To the next page!
P.s. i’m smitten with their graphic design/branding details!
It’s a little absurd that it takes Mercedes-Benz inviting me to a German press trip that starts with a night in the Shangri-La in Santa Monica… to take my camera out and get some new perspectives on a place blocks from where i spent the first 5 years of my life… and minutes from my current house. But it also seemed too perfect not to show you some fun car shots too! So i wandered out after dinner across to the park and to one of the bridges that goes over PCH tonight, and i forgot how absolutely mesmerizing it is staring out at the views and the cars zooming past you in both directions. Take a peek on the next page…
On weekend adventures ~ the timing couldn’t have been more perfect with the GoPro HD Hero and Bentley arriving at the same time. So, while cruising around, mounted the GoPro upside down suction cupped to the center ceiling console and took off. Tested out photo still mode (making pics like above!) as well as video mode for the majority of the drive… took about 40 minutes of driving and compressed it 20x into about 2 minutes. Ready to take a lightning fast tour from the tops of Malibu’s canyons down to the ocean, along pch, through the tunnel, on to the 10, to the 405, to Sunset and back around to Pacific Palisades? It’s a fun drive ~ pieces of many of my favorite roads in LA. Video on the next page ~ see it in HD even!
p.s. I left the audio unaltered ~ it sounded like a crazy video game…
Yay for twitter ~ which introduced me to the folks at one of my favorite yummy vodkas, Firefly. On Saturday adventures, just joined them for a Hollywood crawfish bowl with Jackson, our Tasteologie Editor. It was my first! Delicious! And so fun! He took some awesome pics, so i’ll let him fill you in on everything… check out his post below!
The Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka people and their RV have come a long way. They’ve gone from just distilling a vodka made of Southern grown muscadine grapes to 7 varieties of artisanal flavored spirits. Just this spring they’ve worked their way out from South Carolina, down to New Orleans for Mardi Gras, through Austin for SXSW, through Arizona, and finally out to California. Despite the company’s base in Wadmalow Island, South Carolina it has strong Louisiana roots, so a crawfish boil at Five 0 Four in Hollywood is a perfect fit. It was a great afternoon spent getting to know Firefly, sipping sweet tea cocktails and sucking crawfish heads!
Firefly’s Sweet Tea Vodka is a wonderful combination. Talking to Scott Newitt, Firefly founder, I learned that its more than just a simple vodka infused tea… through a bit of chemistry magic it is a combination of both cane sugar sweetened tea and vodka without being watered down. Firefly is a passionate bunch. They fought to get legislation passed to make it legal to distill again in South Carolina. Now they are starting to work outside of the bottle and just last month they launched Firefly Records with a huge presence at SXSW. Come check out more of the deliciousness up close on the next page…
Hello, jetlag! Europe back to LA is always a rough one… this one had me up around 4am unable to sleep… so while cooking breakfast, reading magazines, catching up on the internet, and looking for other jetlagged/insomniacs on twitter… the idea of Sun Stalking came up to give purpose to this eerie morning hour… found a few others who were up on this time zone in the dark too, and took some pics of the sunrise!!! Take a peek at my sunrise (many from the view of my skateboard swing)… and also some fun silverlake shots from @meganwest, and i’ll add more if others come in too! See what we’ve got so far on the next page…
p.s. if you’re into the idea ~ maybe we should start regular sunrise/sunset rituals! It’s just a nice way to force yourself to notice the passing of time, and the beauty of each revolution of the earth…
In case i don’t say it enough ~ you, readers, are awesome! And when i get fun emails with pictures of running into Banksy’s being covered in LA that a reader’s wife sent him… how can i not share? (Thanks, Abner!)
So what’s the story? My wife was with her brothers, sister in law and 2 year old niece hunting for Banksys and they encountered that scene: Banksy was being preserved. Here is how she describes it: I asked who had told them to cover it up, it had been the owner of the building who had asked them to do this. They only said, “Him, the guy that made it.” Photo credits to Sandra Gonzalez! While it’s tempting to veer into the state of the cultural perception of Banksy… or discuss shark jumping, or impressive impact beyond the street art/art world… How about we just revel in the amusement of turning a corner and running into a team of guys trying to plexiglass the side of a building? Take a peek at the close up on the next page too…
p.s. it’d be perfect if someone added imagery ON the plexi of the guys putting it up. And then added another layer above that to protect it… and so on… and so on… street art sandwich?
The idea of a staycation is bull. It has recently been brought to my attention that i spend so much time in hotels in every city except my own (LA!) that i should get to know some of the ones in my backyard better. Ugh, questioning whether this is a ‘staycation’ (i recoil similarly to “jeggings”) led to discourse on what a “vacation” really is… and you can’t knock it till you try it, so when the Four Seasons Los Angeles at Beverly Hills offered me a suite, it seemed like the perfect excuse to give it a try.
So what IS a vacation? A change in perspectives. A break from your everyday. A chance to explore, relax, indulge, be pampered, be left alone, enjoy room service,… whatever it is you need! The Online Etymology Dictionary says: vacation - late 14c., “freedom or release” (from some activity or occupation), from O.Fr. vacation, from L. vacationem (nom. vacatio) “leisure, a being free from duty,” from vacare “be empty, free, or at leisure”. Staycation implies that location matters. But to me (and from the etymology), vacations are merely a state of mind! As i wrote over at OpenForum, vacations can be minutes or hours even, it’s all about perspective!
Anyhow, that is the last you’ll hear of staycations here. Upon arriving at the Beverly Hills Four Seasons, not at all far from home, i was on VACATION! Impeccable service from their kind and friendly staff, new toys to play with (Jambox!), the surprise of a stunning suite on the 15th floor facing east… giving me views over Beverly Hills to Sunset Strip, Hollywood sign, Downtown, and snow capped mountains glistening in the horizon, dining room resulted in a little impromptu dinner party with delectable room service from Culina downstairs (the burrata…mmmm), gorgeous weather meant poolside relaxing to catch up with old friends… Vacation! A definite much needed perspective shift both physically and mentally has left me even more inspired and energized this weekend! So take a peek at the gorgeous views and into suite 1518 on the next page!
First things first, sorry i’ve been quiet. Bottom line, ferverish for a few days that ends up being strep - sucks. Combined with a bit of travel craziness, and right into Grammy parties in LA, i might have overextended a little this month… BUT loading up on antibiotics, chicken soup, coconut water, pudding, etc… and hopefully back to normal by tomorrow?
That being said ~ Cotton Candy Foie Gras Lollipops at The Bazaar at the SLS in Beverly Hills are always awesome. Especially when you have the guy there making them non stop, its mesmerizing. Popped by Primary Wave’s annual Pre-Grammy Party, this year celebrating their 5 Year Anniversary. On fun stuff to share, it was a great chance to try out the new Absolut Wild Tea (black tea + elderflower!) in some of their new cocktails… and being The Bazaar the food was of course molecular gastronomy goodness… and my favorites have always been their Cotton Candy Foie Gras Lollies and the dark chocolate covered pop rocks… so i couldn’t help taking lots of pics of the Lollipop guy set up outside at the party doing his thing! Check it all out on the next page!
I love paintings on wood… these pieces from Anthony Lister’s solo exhibition FIERCE are lovely! From the press release: “Opening Friday, January 14, THIS los angeles and Monster Children magazine host Fierce, a solo exhibition featuring original works by Australian graffiti and street artist Anthony Lister. Fierce debuted this past December during Art Basel at a pop-up gallery space in Miami’s Wynwood Arts District. The exhibition will make a special one-night appearance in Los Angeles at THIS los angeles in Highland Park, and works on view include 11 wood panels, five large canvases and more than two-dozen masks.” The opening reception takes place on January 14, 7-10 p.m. at THIS los angeles, 5906 N. Figueroa St., Los Angeles, CA 90042.
Remember his window painting at the Standard NY Store? See a few more of his pieces on the next page… wonder woman cracks me up…
Is molecular gastronomy ready to go main stream? Tucked in the rear of the new Marina del Rey Jamaica Bay Inn on Mother’s Beach (where we were quickly warned not to go in the water!) ~ there is a newly opened restaurant, Vu. With the look of an all-american restaurant in a business hotel perched on the marina, it is so well lit, we felt no shame in grabbing a camera for a few food snap shots! My friend kept joking that if we were going to do the molecular gastronomy thing, we may need to go for burgers after… but the dishes here were far more filling than we expected! With deep fried grits, pork belly, bacon powder, collard green fluid gel, goat cheese hush puppies, micro cilantro/arugula/basil, aerated cream cheese, apple roe, sweet tea poached lamb, chicken fried watermelon, coffee-glazed cous cous, and more… it’s a fascinating experiment to taste! Chef Kyle Schutte has crafted quite the mix of comfort foods and local socal deliciousness! See some of the dishes we tried on the next page… and here are the Vu menus.
It’s inevitably become car week here at NOTCOT, between global adventures with Mercedes-Benz ~ spending today at the LA Auto Show Press Events… and more! So while i was watching the unveiling of CLS 63 AMG and the Diavel, Linhchi hopped over to Volkswagen at the Audi design center right by the Santa Monica Airport. In addition to celebrating their 20th anniversary in California, there was a sneak peak of the new 2012 Volkswagen Eos.
The president and CEO of Volkswagen Group of America, Jonathan Browning, emphasized that VW is all about a balance of style/fun and function, a perfect fit for California. The new convertible Eos that was unveiled is currently the only hardtop convertible with a built-in sunroof. I guess it’s perfect for those moments when it’s too cold out to have the top down, but you still want to enjoy the SoCal sun? Check out pics from the event on the next page, from a VW car on the wall to dogs being carried to Gossip Girl cameos…
It’s 3:30am, so please forgive the random nature of the images for this post, but wanted to give you a peek from tonight’s launch before i went to bed… Here’s a look at the new Mercedes-Benz CLS 63 AMG in addition to the new Ducati Diavel ~ and during the press event, Gabriele del Torchio, President and CEO of Ducati came on stage together with Ola Kallenius, CEO of Mercedes-AMG, they announced their new partnership to be working closely together! From AMG becoming one of the Moto GP team sponsors to starting to include Ducati bikes at AMG events and vice versa. It was interesting to see both machines in matte finishes, the CLS 63 in a matte grey, and the Diavel in a matte black/matte carbon fiber… both having such strong lines, the curves definitely stood out well in the lighting…
Ok, seriously, have to get some sleep before ending up at the press conferences in four or five hours, so sweet dreams, and there are lots of random picture details to feast upon on the next page!
I just went literally around the world in 4 days! And for all who agreed it sounded both awesome and horrifying all at once… Mercedes-Benz managed to make it impressively painless, luxuriously comfortable even ~ i actually may have both seen more and slept far more than usual ~ as i was catapulted between time zones so quickly, my body had yet to completely notice before ending up right back here in LA! So forgive me for going quiet the last few days… i honestly can’t recall the last time i’ve actually had so little internet (and barely enough time to even panic about it!) I’ve just touched back down to LA, though currently in Laguna Beach for a bit before LA Auto Week kicks off. The gist of the trip is “Timeless Design” where we visit 4 of Mercedes’ six global design studios, one after the other! So on weds night i left LA, ended up in Stuttgart Thurs night (via Munich) to see the Sindelfingen studio on Friday, then quickly to a private jet to Milan, where we drive to see the Como studio - spend the night in Milan (next to the duomo!) - saturday morning we take the jet to Frankfurt to hop on the beautiful A380 to Tokyo - pop into the Tokyo hotel for and hour and a half to freshen up before heading to the Tokyo studio - and then hop on another jumbo jet right back to LA… and here i am in Laguna Beach SUNDAY AFTERNOON! …with an hour before the meeting with the futurist, a million pictures to sort out… and we’ve yet to visit the Carlsbad studio, or play with the cars, or see the auto show. So, here’s some quick NotVentures/Operation Window Seating literally around the world on the next page to inspire you… the globe has never felt quite so small or diverse as it does right now, my head is still spinning trying to keep track of all the places we’ve been and things we’ve seen in such a tiny amount of time… surreal to say the least! While this is certainly not everything, and a bunch of flights were in the dark… see some of the most inspiring views i found!
p.s. As for the actual design inspiration and incredible studio peeks… coming soon. Somewhere between catching up on all the pics and making sense of a bigger story as the trip comes to a close!
In light of the launch of NotVentures and the recently unboxed MacBook Air… impulsively hopped a flight to celebrate ~ deciding to take a quick overnight trip up to SF… which resulted in some gorgeous midday cliche sunny california weather both yesterday and today! Exciting news ~ NO problems at all with 11” MacBook Air going through airport security in my bag!!! And it’s a breeze to pack, and starts up so quickly… perfect for quick work on the plane and at the airport… perfect to toss into a bag that doesn’t scream “laptop!”. And beyond that ~ being a gorgeous day, both ways, with incredible views, i’d be remiss not to give you another Operation Window Seat post! So mesmerizing watching the patterns that show up when looking at the world from above… and getting some literal distance and mental perspective… take a peek at my awesome mini-vacation on the next page!
NOTCOT’s Favorite Places ~ here’s a new series of posts sharing some of my favorite places in (and around!) Los Angeles! This content series is brought to you by the All-New 2011 Kia Sportage. Welcome to the Next Level.
AVOCADO FRIES! and PRETZEL BURGERS! Did that get your attention? Because they really are quite a fascinating treat. SO, this is the final installment of my Favorite Places in LA ~ as sponsored by the All-New 2011 Kia Sportage (Thank you, Kia!)… which is kind of sad, since there are so many more i could share with you, but the weather and timing have been a bit against us the last few weeks! So i’ve been showing you things i really end up doing (even with the raininess we’ve been having on and off) ~ but maybe i’ll keep it going… it’s made me far more conscious of the things i take for granted near home that i seldom write about!
3 Square Café + Bakery
1121 Abbot Kinney
Venice, CA 90291
So for today’s installment ~ take a peek inside the deliciousness of 3 Square Café + Bakery ~ i strongly suggest the avocado fries, mint lemonade (its like a super minty non-alcoholic mojito), and the sampler… the presentation is just adorable and perfectly matching the 3 Square logo as you’ll see! Nothing like sitting outside on the patio enjoying the woody decor, adorable dogs walking by, and a mini Shrimp Grilled Cheese, Pretzel bread burger, and Ceviche in a shot sized bread bowl! Take a peek at it all on the next page!
SHARE! Feel free to comment some of your favorite spots near home that are worth checking out if in your town/city!
NOTCOT’s Favorite Places ~ here’s a new series of posts sharing some of my favorite places in Los Angeles! This content series is brought to you by the All-New 2011 Kia Sportage. Welcome to the Next Level.
On favorite spots in LA, i had to share:
Fred Segal Santa Monica
420 & 500 Broadway
Santa Monica, CA 90401
Thinking through favorite LA spots ~ this one’s nostalgic! Fred Segal Santa Monica’s benches out front as one of my childhood memories! Sadly, my favorite one used to be a grown up and a kid silhouette, which is no longer there! But there are still two others! My mom used to take me there when i was in a stroller ~ and we even used to sit on the bench together on the silhouettes… and as much as this shopping haven has evolved and grown over the last 20 years, there’s still something comforting and fun about the patio out front ~ not to mention the shopping inside! An array of little boutiques housed the buildings across 5th St and Broadway ~ everything from fashion to beauty to gifts to purses to jewelry and some delicious food as well ~ it’s a nice little haven that i pop by every time i’m back in LA. So take a peek at a few snap shots we shot while there tonight on the next page!
10.10.10 was the perfect day to celebrate 10 Years of Prius! Hosted by Toyota, along with Shift.com, WIRED Magazine, Outstanding In The Field, and Reverb ~ up on the Wright Organic Resource Center in the hills of Malibu, home of grandson of Frank Lloyd Wright, Eric Lloyd Wright - architect and founder of the center. Firstly, there couldn’t be a more stunning Los Angeles day ~ sun beaming, clear skies, and the s-curves up to the house were stunning… and at the center, being surrounded by mountains and the whole of Santa Monica bay to look down on… they set up a series of sustainability workshops, live music, talks, and the coup d’etat ~ a special Outstanding in the Field dinner (remember i wrote about them recently?) As you can imagine, with such a stunning celebration underway, i ended up with hundreds of pictures, all of which could easily become many a post… or one huge epic one… so here’s the plan. On the next page ~ check out the pictures for an overview ~ think of it as a day in the life… walking through 2-10pm with me! And i’ll have more to show you on the stunning Outstanding in the Field dinner HERE! Absolutely incredible day, so nice to have a beautiful day outside surrounded by the sea, the mountains, music, food, drink, tech, and great people ~ coming together to celebrate 10 years of the Prius! SO! If you’re ready… check it out on the next page!
NOTCOT’s Favorite Places ~ here’s a new series of posts sharing some of my favorite places in Los Angeles! This content series is brought to you by the All-New 2011 Kia Sportage. Welcome to the Next Level.
First up on favorite spots in LA, i had to share:
1121-1 Abbot Kinney Blvd
Venice, CA 90291
310 392 9128
Tuesday - Sunday 11a - 7p
I told you when they first opened their Venice store that it is like NOTCOT in person. Well a few years later, and that is still true ~ and they even recently expanded to take over the space next door, and now even stock FURNITURE! Which makes it filled with delectable temptations for not only gifts and smaller items, but some really lovely chairs and desks and lighting even! So beyond what you see of their goods online at AplusRstore.com it’s far more fun to play with it all in person… popping by today i totally gave in to this awesome Brasafire Tabletop Eco-fueled Fire Lamp… go take a peek inside the space and some of the amazing products on the next page!
Such a fun way to spend the day before hopping on the LAX-CDG flight ~ TBWA\Chiat\LA 5353 Music Art Fest ~ an evolution of what was once a company wide picnic, this year TBWA\Chiat\Day threw a party in their parking lot celebrating their team, art, and music accompanied by food trucks (Kogi and Greasy Weiner) and an Ice Cream Sandwich Bar! The music was quite the line up with performances by Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Fool’s Gold, Fitz and the Tantrums, and Local Natives. Then there was the art ~ nice idea to have an art show featuring non work pieces by TBWA\Chiat\Day employees, many of which don’t necessarily even work in the creative side! The beer was flowing, the dunk tank was splashing, the music was blasting, and everyone seemed to be having a great time as they popped in and out of the building ~ i guess the only downside (or upside?) to having this year’s event in the parking lot versus offsite, you can hang out AND still work at the same time! Huge thanks to the folks at TBWA\Chiat\Day for inviting me in, honored to have made the “friends of…” list! Check out the fun scene from the top of the parking garage, the giant chicken sculpture that farts bubbles, the pixelated bike, the burnt golf balls and more on the next page!