Wow. So when i first heard about Orient Express’ rebranding and “A Journey Like No Other” campaign coming up, i didn’t quite grasp how magically inspiring it would all be. Then amidst the chaos of running literally ALL over europe at lightning speeds for a few weeks of work trips, they offered the opportunity to experience it first hand, so i’ve been hiding out for a few days in between the madness in Mallorca at La Residencia in Deia. I supposed the truth is, i’m a sucker for other worldly escapes ~ be it in film or photography, there’s something nice about being pulled out of your everyday life, pressing pause for a moment, slipping into as much inspired relaxation as possible before leaping back into the thick of it.
The Orient Express’ seems to have captured the essence of this other worldly escapism perfectly through the 4 perspectives of a family in their new campaign ~ from Father, Mother, Son, and Daughters views spanning travel via luxurious train, boats to Venice, drives to Rio, and more. The mini films (and matching instagram-esque photo galleries) help you feel like you’re peeking into another life ~ and it’s so fun seeing the same trips from various perspectives… both nostalgic and modern, watching them while curled up in Mallorca, a mere few hours before hopping a 7am flight, just makes me want to duck away into yet another Orient Express styled adventure in luxurious relaxation… but perhaps a few more work bursts before the next one is needed! As for now… take a peek at some of the first few “A Journey Like No Other” videos on the next page ~ and see more on the site!
On great escapes, the Orient Express (and their Journey Like No Other) seems to know how to do it ~ this week in particular we’ve been hiding out at La Residencia in Deia, Mallorca, Spain in between trips (See the madness surrounding this escape and a peek at the views at night). I can guarantee your stress levels will drop ten fold even from the drive in from Palma (or via private jet)… the softly twisting roads bring you deeper into the island’s canyons and terraced lush green hillsides. The hotel and surrounding town have apparently changed little over the last few decades, and before joining the Orient Express family in 2002 was owned by Richard Branson since the late 80s, and a favorite escape for many high profile clients over the years. Luxurious accommodations, great service, and breath taking views… not to mention divine tapas… while you have multiple pools, tennis, spa and lots of hiking, sailing, and more available, it’s hard to beat taking a few hours curled up on the patio of our suite staring out at the mountains and ocean… so take a peek inside the Alfabia suite, our ridiculously large bathroom, luscious four poster bed (with tv that pops out from the foot of the bed)… in addition to a few other fun details ~ from the call buttons that are poolside… to the various donkeys, sheep, and olive groves around the property (which they make their own olive oil from!) as well as an organic garden next to the spa!
You have to see the amazing little cove that is a quick walk/hike down into the canyons to the water…
Well before another week not too dissimilar than the last, the Orient Express has invited me to experience one of their relaxing escapes, and the timing seemed perfect to see the world of Hotel La Residencia, nestled in Deia, Mallorca, Spain while catching my breathe. Currently curled up on the patio lounge chair in a bathrobe with laptop staring out at the most serene town, mountainside, and peeks of ocean 5 minutes away as i write this post. And last night after getting in, you can see the delectable tapas and wine we indulged in… before coming back to a nice bottle of bubbly cava they kindly left for us… at which point i couldn’t not grab my camera and share the stunning star filled night and glow of the town. So before i give you a peek into the room ~ take a look at the breath taking night! Exactly what i needed after quite the euro-whirlwind of a week!
I’m all smiles when NOTCOT favorites team up ~ and i really can’t stop grinning when a rough few days get turned around by thoughtful little surprises ~ like this exclusive Dopp Kit from Incase and the Ace Hotel New York which matches the new Incase x Atelier Ace FW2011 collection. Complete with Ace/Incase logos cobranded on the zipper pull ~ and all the favorite Rudy’s Barbershop goodies usually in large pump containers in the Ace NY bathrooms now in adorable mini form ready for other travel adventures! It’s as if they knew i’m running around in a packing frenzy trying to pack for a few weeks in europe, and as i get to organizers, the perfect sized dopp appears. In standard Incase fashion, the quality is amazing, nice sturdy yet soft cotton ~ bright “taffeta” orange interior making it easy to fish around for things. This may just be the perfect bag for the many action HD cameras and mounts and cables and madness i need to pack for this trip! Take a peek at all the details on the next page…
A Zambian safari, an escape in the Philippines and top destinations for volcano lovers are all part of this week’s roundup from NotVentures. To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
An unexpected discovery on the way to FARM:shop, the Dalton Eastern Curve Garden looked irresistibly welcoming. The unexpected wildlife friendly garden is a beautiful sanctuary from the busy streets, like a big communal backyard complete with butterflies and bees drifting from flower to flower, children playing and locals relaxing in the sunshine as the pizza oven was being fired up.
The garden is situated on the abandoned Eastern Curve railway line. The area was transformed into a green space by the Design for London initiative Making Space in Dalston. The collaborative EXYZT built the ‘Dalston Mill’ for three weeks as part of The Barbican Centre’s ‘Radical Nature’ exhibition and returned to create the pavilion in 2010. The gardens opened just over a year ago in July 2010.
“A meeting place for people and plants”, the garden hosts courses, events, workshops and all sorts of activities for children and adults, it is a wonderful space and perfect way to escape for a few hours. More photos of this spectacular urban garden and pavilion on the next page.
Here’s the latest discovery from Justine based in London!
20 Dalston Lane in the heart of East London seems an odd address for a farm. But Dalston’s FARM:shop is literally a farm in a shop. Once a derelict store, the shop is now a shop/cafe/meeting place and farm all in one. It is home to hundreds of growing plants arranged in every setup imaginable from a backyard polytunnel to hydroponics setup where plants are fed by the fish. It is even home to a flock of rooftop living chickens!
A perfect combination of public spaces/projects with urban farming, I knew this one would be right up our alley, and when I heard about the hydroponics and chickens on the roof, I knew it would be one not to miss. More photos on the next page!
Get ready for the weekend, with a roundup of travel inspiration from NotVentures. This week’s roundup includes picnics in Portland, emigrating to New Zealand and the undiscovered charms of the Antilles! To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
Running around San Francisco this weekend, popped by a few of the old spots ~ and had to go by Magnolia Gastropub and Brewery on Haight. My other old neighborhood fav that we also went to this week, their sister spot up Haight, The Alembic. Food and drinks at both were spectacular as always ~ but what made me grab my camera was the menu redesigns… both the their interior and branding were done by Nothing Somthing: NY. The attention to detail ~ beautiful typography ~ the little type snippets hidden about ~ the images on the flip sides of the pages… also Magnolia had some delicious Devils on Horseback (goat cheese stuffed dates wrapped in bacon) and Pulled Pork Poutine. And we couldn’t help but try two cases of the 6 beer samplers to work our way through all of their latest brews. Take a peek at it all on the next page!
If at The Alembic - Slow Cooked Farm Egg (with quinoa, chorizo, fava beans, maitake mushroom, idiazabal) is a must try. Also the Bone Marrow. Mmmmm.
Last night we stayed at the Dream Inn Santa Cruz, and from the balcony there was an amazing view of the wharf, boardwalk, and the bay… and all night we heard a mix of waves crashing, fog horn going, and what sounded like tons of sea lions barking… but we never saw them! When i asked about the upon check out ~ i didn’t believe the woman that they were all tucked away on the pylons beneath the wharf… so, first stop was the wharf! And she wasn’t kidding… you have to see it for yourself ~ they balance and nap beneath the wharf on the thin pylons. They even leap up on to them (sometimes after many tries and much splashing) ~ and you can get closer to all of them than at a zoo, etc. It’s fascinating. They are SO loud with the echo created under the wharf. You can peek at them at a few spots ~ under the wharf, on the floating barge near the boat launch, and through various areas in the center of the wharf near the far end… Endlessly amusing, and a gorgeously sunny day in Santa Cruz ~ take a peek at our post-car-weekend adventure on the next page…
We went offroading in the new Range Rover Evoque! I had no idea while wandering around between the beautiful cars on the golf course at The Quail that just behind the course is one of 4 Land Rover Driving Schools. It takes you straight up into the lush trees of Carmel as you twist and turn along their dirt track… occasionally with a camera man popping out as you round a corer ~ after all, this was fun test drive experience Range Rover set up for Quail visitors to experience what the Evoque can really do. The highlight? The glass roof is amazing! And when clean, the pictures and view you get through it are incredible! While having grown up in many SUVs, i must say the clearance in the front was a bit tough, particularly while trying to navigate their offroad course, but there are some UI details that are pretty interesting… take a peek on the next page at the mini-adventure and some Evoque details!
Just launched today ~ Bluelounge MiniDock! This magical little contraption means you can now charge your Apple gadgets directly from the wall socket, saving counter/floor space and cables. Perfect for hotels, sitting in airport lounges, bedside charging… you name it! As usual with Bluelounge the product feels great in your hands, the details are perfectly simple ~ as the press kit cover says “Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler,” quoting Albert Einstein. Take a peek at the unboxing as well as examples of it in use (and video!) on the next page!
So, who would have thought the Pittsburgh/LA direct flight route (one a day in each direction on United!) would be so awesome. With no wifi, a small plane, magical first class upgrades, food, and super nice crews… with window seats and great timing on the flights to catch sunsets mid flight… i’ve been getting some of the best meditative/ME time! Awesome naps and placemats filled with notes ~ and between naps today i scrambled for my camera as soon as my eyes opened a crack and thought i was in some otherworldly place. Turns out a cloudy day below can make for quite the surreal flight home… some of the shapes were unreal, how did the clouds even make those angles and layers?!?! How did those layers of clouds start to look like a glassy ocean with peeks of the midwestern farmlands below barely showing through? And the way the dramatic shadows change as the sun begins to set… mesmerizing. While cloud watching is fun laying on the grass, staring up at the sky… seeing what creatures and objects you spy… it can be even more amazing from the side, or from within the layers of them! So take a peek at Operation Window Seat’s first Cloud edition on the next page… what do YOU see in them?
for whatever reason the first thing my subconscious thought was: care bears + game of thrones. And the picture above looks like a rather pointed submarine with an arrow like periscope… or am i just seeing periscopes since its one of the current NOTlabs research project?
On fun new web resources, loving Google’s Hotel Finder experiment. It has a beautiful UI allowing you to search for hotels in the US filtering by location (with 4pt shapes), dates, price, hotel class & user rating… you can also flip between map and list view and even have hotels in your shortlist in a different color… But my favorite feature is definitely “Highlight popular areas” ~ which is perfect for new cities you are visiting when trying to figure out what hot spots are. Read more about it on the Google Search Blog and see more pics of the details on the next page.
Vast Canadian national parks, sandy dunes and underwater adventures are all part of this week’s roundup from NotVentures. To find out more about each post, click on its individual image.
p.s. I know we seldom back to back round up here ~ but it’s been a rough week or so, so taking a little break in Pittsburgh at the moment, and taking a bit more me time, but will be back to normal in a few days!
A few weeks ago, Eric Yang of Gear Patrol, was nice enough to step in for me and go on a British adventure with Bentley on behalf of NOTCOT ~ of the MANY pictures he returned with, one of the first to catch my eye were these from Heathrow’s Terminal 5 at the entrance to the First and Concorde Galleries lounges… Troika’s “All The Time In The World” from 2008 looks beautiful. This 22m long electroluminescent wall “extends the conventional notion of a world clock, which commonly concentrates on capital cities in different time zones, by linking real time to places with exciting and romantic associations like far-away places, exotic wonders and forgotten cultures.” The way the text is drippingly formed is fun to watch ~ take a peek at it i the video and pics in the next page.
Warning: This is totally mesmerizing and addictive, and in screenshotting for this post i lost more time than i’d like to admit exploring the world through their lens.
That being said - check out Rorschmap by James Bridle ~ a playful use of the Google Maps API, creating kaleidescopic views of the world… you can flip from satellite to street map view, type in any location you desire, spin it around, zoom in and out… or just press GO! in the top right corner and let it do it’s thing… or be your screensaver. And trust me, it is a time suck! So fascinating seeing how places you know and love or want to visit are… see some screenshots (and see if you can recognize some of the spots i picked) on the next page!
More fun surprises that arrived while i was in NY! Gorgeous pack for The 2011 Hangar One Vodka Blimp Tour… it’s fun to see that SF/Alameda’s Hangar One is now taking the country by… BLIMP! This very minute, the Hangar One blimp is adrift in the skies somewhere between Long Island and Boston. There’s nothing quite like a crazy continental blimp tour! The 120 foot aircraft with a vintage Hangar One airstream is on an epic 6 month tour which kicked off from Miami last month. Over the next 6 months, the blimp will be visiting over 20 cities across the US, before finally docking in Hangar One’s home of Alameda, CA at the end of November. Check out the blimp schedule to find when the team will be docking in your town. Because when the blimp comes to town, it’s more than a pit stop. Each stop is also a competition between 15 bartenders with winners for every stop.
Beautiful branding, illustration and packaging that goes along with the tour by Dead As We Know It! The gorgeous drawings have a homely feel that captures the handmade, small scale production of the spirits. The illustration runs throughout the press kit and the company’s website. Check out the gorgeous intro at the Hangar One Vodka site as well as The Ballad of Hangar One and documentaries about Hangar One’s Story, Farm and Process, created by Dead As We Know It… Now as for the goodies in the cardboard case that arrived ~ take a peek at the unboxing of the poster, BLIMPSPOTTING stickers, hat, t-shirt, and more on the next page!
This post is brought to you by Lowe’s, and is the brainchild of NOTCOT. Find inspiration and encouragement as you plan, begin and complete do-it-yourself projects at Lowe’s Home 101.
I find myself staring into the sky a lot lately ~ especially in dense cities like New York, i can’t help but to stare upwards often. The clouds are just different! And the sunsets and Manhattanhenge have been awesomely dramatic… so when looking for home inspirations for this latest Lowe’s sponsored post, it seemed like the perfect excuse to see the color palettes we can pull out of these many sunset pics i’m finding on my phone this week! Take a peek at some of the stunning views on the next page!
I’m also playing with and very impressed with the camera/UX on the new HTC Sensation! These sunset pics were all snapped with its 8mgp camera!
The inspiration is in the details… every time i’m at the Ace Hotel NY ~ or any Ace Hotel for that matter ~ its the fonts, witty statements and quotes, playful design choices, etc that just make me giddy and inspired… take a look at some i found in the loft this trip… photos on the next page!