On awesome tech + hotel collaborations, latest one i’m loving is the Ace Hotel NY and Google teaming up to put Chromebooks in EVERY room and in the hands of lobby folks to experience them throughout their visits. Sure it’s great that they provide them for use both in and out of the hotel throughout your stay, but even cooler? The custom felt cases designed by Ace x Google that they come in! AND the Superfuture powered “Ace Hotel New York Field Guide” they’ve created as well! And bonus? “For guests, we’re laying out an extra gift: an Ace x Google designed notebook - with real paper - wearing a John Milton quote from 1634.” So whether you’re a guest staying at the Ace, or just hanging out for some Stumptown in the lobby - feel free to ask to borrow a Chromebook next time you’re in there! And take a peek at all the fun little details of this collab ~ all the details from the case to the guide are on the next page as experienced in one of the lovely Ace Hotel NY lofts!
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On fun emails ~ my dad just got back from Sitka and sent over some adorable Brown Bear pics. Turns out they are from one of his favorite non-profits that he visits a few times a year ~ Fortress of the Bear… “a 501 (c)3 non-profit education and rescue center with an exquisite three-quarter acre habitat for orphaned Brown Bear cubs complete with covered viewing areas.” Mind blowing that the tiny cubs he saw in the years past are now 300-600lbs cubs! And apparently these Sitka Browns “represent a distinct population, genetically dissimilar from any other bear. Research suggests these bears are remnants of a Polar bear population stranded in Southeast Alaska following the last ice age.” Interesting, right? Rumor has it they may have started as browns that turned white to adapt (and into polar bears of the region) only to evolve back to browns to adapt again… Regardless, it sounds like a beautiful, playful, peaceful space for orphaned cubs to call home, and definitely a better alternative to the usual reaction of shooting them! Some grow up to move to zoos around the country, others live out their days there… and all get delicious salmon and food from local fisherman, restaurants, and more! So, if you’re ever in Sitka, Alaska go visit (and support!) Fortress of the Bear! Take a peek at more of the pics he sent over on the next page.
It’s Friday and time to start getting ready for the weekend! Where are you heading? This roundup from NotVentures is full of inspiration whether you’re after a beachside idyll, death-defying coaster tour or America’s best hikes. Find out more about each post by clicking on its individual image.
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.
Everything IS Wonderful! Isn’t it? And if not, they should be. Came across one of these “Everything Here Is Wonderful” Best Made Co limited edition map prints while wandering the other day, and it just made me smile. Grin. Giggle? I need one, but i wish there was an LA one. From the NY based axe makers, Best Made Co, they created a “Limited edition of 15 woodblock prints on topographic maps from the United States Geological Survey. Handmade at the Best Made Outpost in St. Paul, MN.” With three maps currently available, you can choose from Mt Hood, MN, Mt Mansfield, VT, and Marfa ~ see them all on the next page!
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!
Tonight has been absolutely stunning. The full moon is GORGEOUS. And while i wasn’t able to see the eclipse from here ~ coming in to NY and across the bridge at sunset ~ arriving at the Mondrian SoHo, whisked up to the 25th floor (P1 in the elevator!) and into a room with views all around ~ and a patio i stepped out on to that just took my breath away. To watch the sunset, the moon rise, and the glow and sparkle spread across the city was the perfect moment that made the previous hours of internet free middle seat existence melt away. So stunning, and i can’t stop staring at it out the windows even now as i write this… take a peek on the next page!
So, i sent Tasteologie editor, Jackson, out to the UK with the Plymouth and Beefeater Gin folks… and wow… he just wrote up a feature on their adventures out to Plymouth and literally scooping water out from the absolutely breath taking reservoir to make this cocktail right there on the reservoir wall! Anyhow, you simply must check out the full feature, i can’t stop staring at it.
On fun new features over at Tasteologie, our culinary editor, Jackson, has been out in London this week exploring the world of GIN! First up is a look inside the world of Beefeater Gin and how it comes to be… pics and video galore!
It’s been a little while since i’ve looked out a window, scrambled to find my camera, and just felt insanely inspired for one of these Operation Window Seat posts ~ but today was STUNNING. And there’s always something about falling asleep in one place (this time Pittsburgh) only to awaken somewhere about an hour out of LA to an absolutely BREATH TAKING sunset.
While i’m uncertain whether it’s the influence of the engineering/prototyping madness of the weekend i just spent at CMU with Toyota’s Ideas For Good adventure (sneak peek part I is here)… the unmistakeable sparkle of the city as we came in today kept feeling more like a giant circuit board… don’t the warehouse lighting patterns make them look like little chips? Also SO many brightly lit baseball fields! Even flowers of them jumping out between the glowing grid of the city… So anyhow, take a peek at more pics while i wake up here in LA and sift through so much more to share with you.
It’s like gorgeously mesmerizing artwork, no? Now imagine it constantly moving… I was too shaky to make a video of it for you, but believe me, it was mesmerizingly trippy and beautiful… amongst a strange 2 days. Not sure where to start ~ but i think i was mostly horizontal for about 48 hours on that Mercedes-Benz sailboat trip… and for those of you who got curious and have been asking if things were ok once they saw the posts on Mike Horn’s blog from the adventure… i get why you were worried now! Anyhow ~ after a super rough ~48 hours… which ended up being some massive mix of hibernation/seasickness for most on board (except of course for our fearless adventurer hosts!) Don’t worry, it all ends with some gloriously gorgeous shots as we sail under the Golden Gate at sunrise… a dozen or so hours later than expected (and of course, far more pics of that later). And right after that, i hopped back on the road and cruised back down to LA! So having left LA saturday morning, reached SF by Monday dawn, and back by late afternoon ~ what a whirlwind to say the least… so on where to start ~ how about what’s still stuck in my head tonight? Some delirious views of how i saw the world while drifting in and out of so many trippy dreams and inspiring conversations… and LOTS of water? Rolling in and out of sleep ~ being picked up by massive waves that would suddenly DROP the whole boat (and you along with it) creating the strangest sensation of gravity-free dreaming, only to catch you again? (Yea, brain trying to rationalize scattered series of those ended up interesting in dreams…) So, ready to see the crazy part? To the next page!
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…
StndAIR! Yes, André Balazs and the Standard Hotels now have their own sea plane! And will even give you a ride from the New York City to East Hampton on peek weekends (perfect for hopping over from the Standard New York to Sunset Beach)… or you can charter it for anywhere in a 300 mile radius. Adorably red, “Willa” certainly can’t be missed! This 8 passenger Cessna 208 Caravan Amphibian aircraft, staffed by two pilots, officially takes flight tomorrow, but we’ve got some fun sneak peeks at the sketches behind her and her first flight! And in full Standard style, “The cheeky flight experience will include André Balazs Rosé, Swedish Fish, StnAir Branded Water and a Standard flight greeter at departure and arrival.” (Mmmmmm Rosé and Swedish Fish.)
And of course they take the experience even further with their StndAIR Flight Board: “Travelers can ‘compete’ to charter flights at more affordable rates provided they recruit friends to fill the 8 seats on the plane, or take their chances with others seeking the same destination. The first person to book receives the lowest price and there’s a sliding price scale that gradually increases as more participants sign up for that flight. The first to fill a flight gets the confirmed charter.” So… what are you waiting for? Let’s get a group of 8 together and go! Take a peek at StndAIR’s inaugural flight on the next page!
This post is sponsored by American Express Membership Rewards. Visit American Express on Facebook at facebook.com to view all the possibilities with Membership Rewards Points.
Ok, so i just spent a week with a 2011 MercedesAMG C63 in my garage (yes, the BRIGHT mars red one)… and i forgot how much i LOVE driving. Sadly just had Mercedes come pick it up a few minutes ago… So, that combined with being asked to share some of my travel dreams for these Amex Membership Rewards posts… i had to show you the Mercedes AMG Driving Academy Winter Sporting classes… in Arjeplog, just 80km from the Arctic circle! The pictures are just stunning ~ definitely dreaming about doing these some day ~ though i can’t decide how i’d ever pick between driving and photographing! See it all on the next page!
One can’t deny that delicious room service is a fantastic luxury to wake up to in a hotel. Well, with our new Tasteologie features, i sent our editor, Jackson, to the newly opened Mondrian SoHo in New York for their press staycation… and we found they do breakfast deliciously! You can take a peek at the sketches and initial looks at the Mondrian Soho in our previous post. One feature takes a look into breakfast in the green garden like space of their Imperial No. Nine restaurant… the second feature takes you inside the room - and the in-room first gen iPad, on which you can do everything, including order breakfast! Delicious and gorgeous, check them out here.
Baby turtles!!!! Our good friend and zoologist colleague Dr. Rob Holbrook sent me some amazing photos of his recent adventures in Sri Lanka. Despite traveling for pleasure rather than a zoological field trip, he managed to encounter some amazing animals! Of course he returned with awesome pictures ~ these are from the Kosgoda Sea Turtle Conservation Project and the Pinnawala Elephant Orphanage. See all the pics on the next page!
It’s absolutely amazing what you can see through the window of your computer these days. I won’t lie ~ my high res camera has definitely been my third eye when i’m out and about. Coming home and taking images off my Canon 5D Mark II, I ALWAYS find details i could not have possibly seen with my naked eye ~ at events, off in the horizon, tiny details… it’s unbelievable. Now take that even further… there’s an awe inspiring trend of super high res imagery from view points around the world. With sites like Paris 26 Gigapixels, 360 Cities, Gigapan, and more - the world is literally at your fingertips to spin around, and zooooooooooom into! Think of these as panoramas on steroids ~ with super vision? Take a peek at a few examples of Paris, Dresden, London, and Alpstein on the next page!